Nacho Sacchi is an bilingual announcer and voice talent in Argentina.
Four years ago I was pushed to become a freelance voice talent after almost 18 years on the same radio station. Things didn’t look good. With my wife and two kids, ages 6 and 8, we decided that it could never get worse (though we never saw 2020 coming).
What to do? The radio environment of the city in which we lived was terrible.
I started Googling … online resources for voice talents … voice agents … voice banks. All articles with information in some cases old and in other cases biased, speaking badly of the competition and good of their own products.
After evaluating the situation, I decided to invest money and time in online voice banks with paid services. I improved my home studio, updated my microphone and invested in hardware like a nice preamp and good noise isolation.
Voices.com, Voice123, Bodalgo and a few others were on my radar. I decided on Voices.com after reading negative and some positive comments. What influenced my decision was that at first glance they seemed the largest, the most serious and the one with the big clients.
It is true what they say: You have to invest time and effort. And so I did. I participated for several months in all searches that included what my voice had to offer: Latin American Neutral Spanish, Latin Accented English and much more.
It was four months without a result. But more than 70 auditions later, I had my first paying job in the international world of freelance voices. And a few months later, I had recovered the investment of joining the bank and was preparing to continue growing.
Why do I tell you this? How can my story help others?
The COVID-19 crisis has led many to rethink their careers or consider how to generate a new income. And that’s where we have to take advantage of the crisis and open ourselves to new work horizons.
The human voice will never be replaced by a machine. Although our assistant Google or Alexa will surprise us, they will never speak like a human being. What’s more, behind those attempts there are human voices.
So where is the opportunity?
The internet democratizes, puts us on equal footing — the voice talent who lives in Los Angeles, the one who lives in San Pedro Sula in Honduras or in Mar del Plata Argentina or in London!
In a digital audition, the internet eliminates factors that a voice talent can’t easily control, and thus allows them to compete on their talent alone.
If the audio quality is good, all the different voices are on more of an equal footing.
So how do we distinguish ourselves?
We have to be the fastest and understand exactly what the customer is looking for. Understand the markets and listen to what is heard in each country.
How? Maybe spying on successful voice talent demos, listening to international radio stations, seeing patterns on big TV ads and trying to duplicate that … and also making the effort to read that “matrix” and seeing what the market might be lacking and empowering your uniqueness! Perhaps the next trend is your quirky sound?
So to fellow voice talents who might be discouraged, I say: Prepare your home studios, invest in your careers and move on. Inside your house, but always moving forward.
The author’s website is nachosacchi.com.ar.