There’s a fair amount about being a voice talent that requires LESS of you.
Yep, you heard that right.
For instance, are you a voice actor with more than four voiceover demos? If you are, you’re probably relying almost solely on Pay-to-Play sites, rather than talent agents, to land work. This multiple demo promotional model was adopted by online sources to drive traffic to the site from your on-going attempts to “feed the algorithm”.
By continually adding new content to the Internet, especially in audio and video formats, is how Facebook and YouTube became household names. Generally speaking, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is how traffic is driven on the Internet. The practice of continually updating and adding new content to any site, and naming each with key (searchable) words and phrases are meant to improve the number of visitors to your web site. In theory, anyway.
Yet, when it comes to voiceover all that might be a bit of overkill.
Without proper professional guidance, continually “updating” your demos, incessantly changing who you are and how to reach you, rather than simply determining what it is you do best, often leaves you right where you started: in oblivion, the polar opposite of the effect you’re attempting to create!
For example, I don’t want to see what you look like if I’m casting you for a voiceover. I want to IMAGINE what you look like. Your job as a voice actor is literally to engage the listeners’ imagination. This fact is far too powerful an opportunity, if not responsibility, to overlook.
Can we Google you? Absolutely. And by doing so we’ll likely discover a headshot or two. However, my point is to instill the same audience experience with your voiceover demos and auditions to your potential clients on your VO only web page should be to create as seamless an experience as possible. All this to accommodate the great likelihood your voice won’t match the imagination of the listener. It rarely does. The listeners’ imagination, and what you suggest with your performance, is far more important than what you actually look like.
Besides, the objective of your voiceover web page is to make your name known, defining you as a professional voice actor with progressive, appealing graphics. It should legitimize your professional identity through effective advertising by featuring your name in the form of a distinct logo that should look as good as you sound. You’re promoting yourself to commercial producers, first and foremost, considering better than 80% of all producers spend between 6 and 8 years in advertising before specializing in other areas, such as documentary, film, TV, games, industrial, or animation. And the best advertising is never selling anything, it’s imparting the concept—which is precisely what your logo is designed to do. Provided it’s done well!
Unfortunately, a bulk of voiceover web sites are overwhelmed with the same tired graphic images of mouths, sound waves, headshots that read like you’re selling real estate, and the ever popular, overused ribbon microphone. All of which tells us absolutely nothing about you, except—yep, you guessed it—I suppose you do voiceover, huh? Thought so.
Another marketing misstep when it comes to your voiceover web page is listing past clients and including their various company logos all over your web site, and resume’. This reads as conflicts rather than credits. That’s a problem. Besides the fact these established identities completely upstage your own logo by pitting your brand identity against iconic images, such as BMW, Coca Cola, and McDonald’s for instance, which ultimately defeats the purpose of having a web page devoted solely to your voiceover work. If you’re a recording or production studio, then by all means, list your credits and add all the iconic logos of well-known established brands on your site as you can. But as an individual voice talent, these additions ultimately translate into distractions. Away from you, and that’s an epic fail, marketing wise.
Also, it’s not well delineated, but as a voice talent, you can secure representation from multiple talent agents in a variety of markets across the country, however, not every hat fits every head. Some talent can barely manage one or two agents. Yet, various online voiceover “experts’ claiming to have 10 or more agents only advertises a true lack of experience, and would only serve to undermine your professionalism. Maintaining representation with no more than 3 or 4 talent agents, is recommended, provided it’s not more than you can personally handle.
Lastly, when it comes to performance, “hard sell” tends to read as “sell-y” and off-putting. It’s precisely what NOT to do in a commercial. In fact, in advertising, you’re never selling any thing, you’re embodying and imparting the core concepts of the campaign and the overall brand, which is how you’ll build your own reliable brand. But, suffice it to say, there’s no “hard sell” in truly effective marketing, advertising or promotion.
So, there you have it. Granted, as professionals we’re accustom to delivering our best, if not our all. Nice to know, at least with a few elements such as the handful of items listed here, doing less can accomplish more in the end.
Copyright © 2019 by Kate McClanaghan. All Rights Reserved.