Though I had a studio of sorts in my home 15 years ago, I didn’t consider myself full time until about 6 years ago. Business grew steadily over those 6 years. About 2 ½ years ago I felt brave enough to start looking at agencies. Dare I submit my demos in for representation? My self-produced demos. Because why pay someone to produce my demos? I’ve been producing spots for clients for more than a decade. I don’t need that.
How’d that work out for you, Jen?
Glad you asked! Several responses come to mind. Knocked down a few rungs on the ladder. Bubble burst. Deflated. Kicked in the proverbial jimmies. No. It didn’t go well. I didn’t even get the conciliatory, “Try again in six months.” Crickets. Nothing.
What’s not to love?
The demos were comprised of actual work. From national campaigns! C’mon! How does this not showcase my ability? In fact, they were even mixed well. The biggest issue was the disparity in the sound of the recordings after the spots were produced by a variety of studios for a variety of media. I downloaded the ads, extracted the audio and mixed them into a demo. I knew the audio differed from spot to spot. Still I hoped the agencies would just hear my voice and want me on their rosters.
I’ll take professional demos for 400, Alex.
You’ve heard the saying, “You have to spend money to make money.” And spend, you have! You bought the gear, the mic, the interface, Source Connect, plugins. Maybe you’ve gone so far as to invest in a booth. I did too. Those investments ARE important. Quality is everything. I was still hesitant to invest in one last element: professionally produced demos. Phhht! I don’t need that!
Yes. It’s that important.
Demo producers know how to take your best qualities, your best genres, your best sectors and make you shine. They understand current trends. Your demo is your calling card. It lets an agency know that you take your craft seriously enough to invest in your presentation. Consequently, for them to invest in you. Worth it? Ask my agents. (Yeah. I have a few now.) Or listen for yourself.
It just so happens that Jodi Krangle is hosting a Clubhouse Hangout (tomorrow) on this topic with an amazing panel of guests, including Anne Ganguzza, J. Michael Collins, Kim Handysides, Brandon Perry, Michelle Sundholm and Stephen Sundholm. Get the ins and outs and decide if a pro demo really is what you need. Join the Clubhouse March 9th at 2pmEST here!!