How to Get Picked


Have you ever purchased a rare, one of a kind cardboard cutout of Fletcher Reede (Jim Carrey) from Liar Liar?


Have you ever read The Hunger Games books or seen the movie just because it seemed like everyone else had?


You probably said no to the first question, and if you said yes, please share the picture! I have one too! You probably said yes to the second question, based on who reads this blog and because it seems like everyone has read the book or seen the movie. You encounter many choices like these in life. While I believe you have free will to make these choices, there are many factors that influence what you choose to do. If you learn these specific factors well enough, you can use them to influence others, especially a potential client.




Dr. Robert Cialdini, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, has identified six principles that influence the choices people make:

Reciprocity:  You are more willing to follow through with a request from those who have provided similar things first.

Commitment/Consistency:  You are more willing to do something if it is consistent with an existing or recent commitment.

Authority:  You are more willing to follow the directions or suggestions of someone with whom you attribute authority or expertise.

Social Validation:  You are more willing to take an action if you see many others or people similar to you taking that action.

Scarcity:  You find things more attractive and alluring to you if they are seemingly scarce or rare.

Liking/Friendship:  You are more willing to say yes to someone if you know them or like them.




Just kidding! You can’t make decisions for people (at least in a fair and nice way), but you can use these principles to your advantage, whether you’re a male voice over talent like me or anyone else. For a voice over talent, here are some ways you can use these principles with prospective clients:


Reciprocity:  Do a favor for them. For example: if you know they are looking for a certain voice on a project that you don’t have, offer up the services of other VO talents you know in the industry. Be a temporary “agent.” Obviously, this is a competitive field, but if you can help out a client or prospective client when they’re in a pinch, they’ll remember your favor and turn to you in the future for projects. Plus, you’re helping out others in the field who might turn around and do the same favor for you!

Commitment/Consistency:  When cold-calling, ask the prospect: “Will you let me know when your next voice over opportunity comes around so I can audition for it?” While this is a scary question to ask, if the prospect says yes, he or she is much more likely to contact you in the future, because he or she has already made a small commitment.

Authority:  Be confident with your clients. Be willing to let them know about your expertise in the field. This will help them trust you with their upcoming projects.

Social Validation:  Testimonials, testimonials, testimonials.

Scarcity:  While it is important to be available to your client’s needs, don’t be TOO available. Remember that your time is valuable, and treat it that way. Your prospective clients will see this and realize that they’re lucky to work with someone as valuable as you.

Liking/Friendship:  This one is easy. Be friendly! And professional, of course. Your client is more likely to remember you and use your services if they enjoy working with you. You prefer working with friendly clients, don’t you?


Now that I’ve written this blog, I invite you to share a time when you’ve seen these principles at play – in your personal or professional lives. I mean, come on! It was so nice of me to do this for you (reciprocity), you’ve already read it (commitment), others are going to comment (social validation), you rarely see a voice over blog post this compelling (scarcity), and we’re friends, right (liking/friendship)? See what I did there? 😉 Thanks for reading!


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“Influence Summary.” Web. 17 Apr. 2012. <>.

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