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Secret Playbook for Marketing on Voices.com

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

May 4, 2008

Comments (7)

The Secret Playbook For Marketing On Voices.com

As promised, here starts the coverage of the presentations at the Voice Coaches Advanced Marketing Expo and Conference that was held in Schenectady, NY.

To kick things off, I'd like to share the Voices.com presentation with you and other articles will follow throughout the week.

Check out the Secret Playbook for Marketing on Voices.com and the Internet!

You can revisit this playbook once per year. Just like you would a business plan or doing an annual check-up at the doctors who looks for the same stuff year-over-year, it’s important to have a solid foundation for your voice acting career.


Build a Winning Team

Even though you’re a freelancer, every person in business is supported by their peers and colleagues within the industry. Consider yourself a business person. Reality is that you are in business, and the service you provide is voice-over.

Your winning team will include:
• Voice Coach
• Voice Over Agent
• Peer Support Group
• People in Your Social Network
• Tech Guy or Gal and Web Guy or Gal
• Vendors and Partners
• Lawyer and Business Advisers
• Role Model or Mentor
• Spouse or Significant other


Make the Most of Training Camp

From the second string goalies to the captain of the team, everybody goes to training camp, plays the exhibition games and gears up for the season opener.

Going to events like this, or study privately or taking a course to improve your skill set. Just because you have decades of experience doesn’t mean that you don’t have to brush up your skills every so often.

• Annual Events
• Monthly Newsletters
• Weekly Podcasts (+100 Lessons Available FREE)
• Daily Blog Articles (+2000 Articles Online)
• Everybody goes to training camp.


Prepare for Success During Pre-Season

Apply the techniques that you learned during training without being penalized during the regular season.

• Learn how to use your computer, recording equipment and websites
• Outline a workflow for how you handle an audition
• Set-up systems for how you going to manage your contacts, organize scripts, auditions and send invoices


Complete Profiles Get More Clicks

Your Profile is your online storefront at Voices.com and is used to conduct business with clients from around the world if used effectively. An incomplete Profile is not representative of you and your body of work nor will it attract prospective clients or index much about your skills as results for search engines such as Google, MSN or Yahoo!.

One of the criteria that influences the rankings in the Voices.com Search Engine is "Profile Completeness". People who have completed profiles will rank higher in search results than those whose profiles are incomplete. You can measure your Profile Completeness in your account.

Solution:

• Fill out as much of your Profile as you can

• List anything and everything that supports your voice acting career

• Upload samples of your voice

• Use keywords that relate to your voice, studio equipment, clients, etc.

• Select voice ages, skills, years of experience and other criteria

• Add testimonials in your Experience area


Stand Out By Doing the Opposite

One of those winning, but counterintuitive strategies in marketing is to be different. You can accomplish this by creating a visual brand that positively identifies you.

We've designed several new themes to help you personalize and brand your Voices.com website. There are 22 elegantly designed themes to choose from and they'll be available in your Profile section, under Themes.


Create a Visual Brand by Adding an Image

Does your Voices.com website have a placeholder avatar where your picture, logo, or graphical representation could be? Without an image that represents you as a professional, it is hard to relate to you and next to impossible to see how you brand yourself and your voice acting business.

Solution:

Upload an image to your account, whether it be a professional head shot, cartoon image or corporate logo. This is a golden opportunity to brand your website! Let people know more about you visually to become intrigued enough to listen to your voice over demos. If you don't want to present a photo of yourself, you don't have to, but it is wise to have something to brand yourself with - just don't be a placeholder.


Create a Unique Vocal Description

write-a-headline-500.jpg

Famous advertising executive David Ogilvy say “The headline is the ‘ticket on the meat.’ Use it to flag down readers who are prospects for the kind of service you are offering.”

When a client is looking through the Voices.com search engine or is visiting your website at Voices.com, the first textual impression they get of you and your voice comes from your vocal description. If a description lacks the appropriate adjectives that best describe your voice and an element of pizazz or originality, it makes it easier for a client to overlook your Profile due to lack of perceived information or detail upfront before they listen to your voice over demos.

What's an example of a weak description? Try this one on for size: Strong, great for all kinds of reads, can be old or young.

Solution:

Really and truly describe your voice. Three adjectives (unless they are extremely telling and succinct) aren't enough to whet an ad exec's appetite when they are looking for something that stands out from the crowd and gives them an immediate impression of your vocal capabilities.

Ask yourself "If I were a client, would I hire me based upon what I have on my website?"

Your vocal description should not only be a litany of complementary keywords about your voice but also a persuasive advertisement for your voice. Those who can describe their talents in an inviting and appealing manner will be listened to and hired.

Examples:

Your voice description provides a summary of your vocal qualities and abilities. Your voice description is also visible in the search results as well as on your website.

Sample 1: Jim's voice is quite versatile and has been referred to as genuine, charismatic, and hilarious. Ranging from characters such as the stereotypical football coach to a doting father, Jim is able to cater his performance into a voiceover that works perfectly for your project.

Sample 2: Annette has a wide spectrum of vocal capabilities. Trained as a classical singer, Annette's vocal elasticity and burnished tone color shines brilliantly through commercials, telephone recordings, and children's audiobook narration projects.

Sample 3: Richard's light tenor voice is caring, authoritative, and didactic. Richard specializes in recording for educational materials and has an impressive command of technical jargon for medical and scientific scripts.


Showcase Only Your Best Work by Uploading Your Voice Over Demos

No matter how you slice it, sometimes, interpretations can sound more like reiterations or regurgitations. The client doesn't want to hear theme and variation when they click on demos that are classified as being in completely different niches or for distinct applications.

Solution:

Make sure that your vocal style, interpretation, tonality, versatility, and range varies not only from demo to demo, but from spot to spot.

If you work in radio as an announcer, for instance, be sure that your voice is not stuck in a radio rut. Announcers and DJs, (sorry to pick on you!), do at times adopt the same delivery and vocal approach for voice over as they do when on the air. The trick to all this is to concentrate on voice acting and really interpreting a script, internalizing it, and giving the words their own unique embodiment using your voice.


Titles & Tagging

demo-title-and-tags-500.jpg

When you go to a store and pick up a product, you likely read all of the advertising copy, the ingredients (if it's food), and once you've done so, are able to discern what it is that you may be purchasing. It's the exact same with demos. Simply giving your demo a category isn't enough when a client is looking for something very specific to their needs.

Solution:

Be sure to properly name (the "title") and label (the "tags") all of your demos in the appropriate field when you are in the process of uploading them. If you do that, you'll not only rank higher in the search results and be found in more places, clients are more likely to listen to your demo and hire you for work. Why? Because you've clearly identified the style, voice type, tone, and supplied other adjectives that describe your voice and the audio recording.

Don't make any assumptions - not everyone is a casting director by trade and most people will appreciate the extra details.


Feature Your Voice Over Demos in the Directory

As a Premium or Preferred member, you have the ability to promote your voice in a variety of application specific categories such as TV Commercials, Movie Trailers, Telephone System Recordings, and so on.

If you aren't making use of the real estate being provided to you as part of your membership, you are missing out big time on clients finding you who prefer to search in this manner.

Solution:

When you are uploading your demos, be sure to check the box that says "Feature this demo". If you are a Premium member, you have unlimited categories to feature your voice in. As a Preferred member, you have 5 categories to feature your voice over demos in.

You can change which demos you feature and their respective categories at any time in the Studio section of your Profile.


Be a Star During the Regular Season

When a new job that matches your preferences and skills is approved at Voices.com, you will receive an email from us with an invitation to reply to the job posting. Simply click through the "Reply to Job" button to audition right away.

Your jobs manager organizes all voice-over jobs in one central location. All job notifications are governed by your user Preferences in your Account and Settings area.


See Opportunity in Every Audition

Simply put, you are auditioning or applying for a job online using the Internet, a medium that is available to you 24/7.

The Internet is generally a one-way medium wherein the person using it is able to move along at their own pace and fulfill a task with the help of their personal computer or hand-held device using an Internet connection.

As a freelancer applying for a job online, be sure that the person on the receiving end of your bid for the work is provided with all of the information necessary to make a hiring decision while they are reviewing your submission ONLINE.

Your Proposal Should Include 5 Critical Components:

1. Your name

2. Sample of your voice (or work)

3. Proposal detailing why you want the job

4. How long it will take you to complete

5. Quote


Always Have a Call For Action

How effective are ads or websites that have no obvious call for action? Not very, but with a solid call for action or invitation, you'll see remarkable results.

Solution:

Invite and encourage potential clients to send you an email if they like what they hear so that you can further discuss their objectives and how you can work together.


Now, those are just ten of the most common mistakes. Here are some more that fall in line with what we've discussed but are further along in the routine chain of events.


Sample of a Winning Proposal

Dear (Contact Name)

Thank you for the opportunity to present my custom demo to you and quote for your commercial project.
I have extensive experience recording for radio and television commercials and I confidently feel that my voice meets the requirements listed in your project details. I can deliver your audio within 24 hours via email or on CD.

My rate for a :30 national broadcast commercial recording is $.

Looking forward to working with you.

Best regards,
Voice Actor

“The ones that were the most succinct (but still had all of the info I really needed) were the most appealing” ~ Dana Detrick-Clark from Serious Vanity Music


Be a Fan, Cheerleader and Advocate for the Industry

BLOGGING

blogging-growth-technorati.jpg

1. There are millions of blogs out there on the Internet (get recent stat)
2. There are now over 50 voice acting blogs on the Internet.

Getting involved
1. Discover a blog
2. Subscribe to that blog
3. Comment on articles

Comments add value to the conversation that’s already going on.

They should:
1. Be insightful
2. Validating
2. Carry Momentum

• Bloggers love to approve valid comments to share with their audience
• Comments can be reassuring to a blogger
• Comments validate what has been written
• Comments provide new ideas for the voice over community.
• Wonderful way to introduce yourself to other people
• Build links to your website
• Keep yourself involved in the conversation

Bloggers need to:
1. Promote their blog
2. Build an audience
3. Write consistently
4. Reach out to their readers
5. Help direct the conversation


PODCASTING

Podcasting is audio content on-demand, when you want it, where you want and how you want it.

Listening to podcasts is:
1. Fun
2. Educational
3. Community oriented

Most podcasts are accompanied by a blog. The blog often includes:
1. Synopsis of the show
2. Show notes with links to websites
3. An image or picture
4. Area for comments
5. Opportunity to submit audio feedback.


SOCIAL NETWORKING

social-media-timeline-500.jpg

Social Networking can be an integral part of your marketing mix.

Connect with other people who:
1. Are in a position to further your career
2. Could become a client of your services
3. Network with as friends.


Popular social networking sites
• Facebook
• MySpace
• LinkedIn

Some tips when using Social networks are:
1. Use the same name and photo at all sites so that people can easily recognize you
2. Personalize your profile and list your business information
3. Upload audio samples if you can and link to your website
4. Keep any information that you want to remain private off of your profile
5. Add friends to network with and try your best not to become addicted!


Go To Market Strategy

go-to-market-strategy-500.jpg


Did You Find This Helpful?

If you found this presentation insightful, download the entire presentation as a PDF, then leave a comment below.

Stephanie and David


Related Topics: agents, blogging, business, Business Plan, cartoons, child, conference, German, Google, hired, how to, industry, marketing, marketing expo, PDF, podcasting, radio, social networking, TV, voice coaches, voicemail


Comments


    Hello David, Stephanie and baby girl,

    Thank You again for a lively and informative presentation. Both of you should be very proud of the work you do. Your knowledge of the internet and the V.O. field are second to none. I look forward to reading your take on the events this past weekend, it sort of felt like a family reunion.

    P.S. Billy Serow, super agent, speaks at conference, baby cries during his presentation, PRICELESS.

    Posted by:

      Great playbook guys! If we are serious about making money and doing well in the VO business then this is all stuff that we should be doing, and the playbook as you made reference to is something we can go back every year and look at to do some self evaluation. I know I will keep it handy! Also, I know I said it several times in previous comments, I really wish I could have been in Schenectady with you, but it wasn't to be. I thought of you all when I was zipping through Troy though! Looking forward to your next entry. :)

      Kind regards,
      Tom Conklin

      Posted by:

        Hi Stephanie & David,

        It was a honor meeting you both and your beautiful daughter this past weekend. It's exciting to meet the faces behind the magic of Voices.com! Your presentation was incredibly informative and inspiring. Thank you for traveling to NY to share that with us :)

        Posted by:

          Hi Leo, Tom and Heather,

          Thank you for your comments! It was a wonderful time and we're looking forward to next year big time ;) Leo, it was very nice to see you again and it was a pleasure to meet you Heather and your husband.

          Tom, it would have been great to meet you in Schenectady and no doubt there will be another opportunity that presents itself. That'll be fun!

          It certainly felt like a homecoming / family reunion. Voice Coaches treats everyone so well and creates an environment that makes you want to keep coming back. That's just one of the reasons why we love working with David, Anna and their team.

          Thank you for commenting :)

          Stephanie


          Posted by:

            Hi Stephanie & David,

            This is fantastic. I've auditioning regularly and checking out the podcasts. I'm positive my name will be on that Recently Hired list and Who Got the Gig very, very soon, -- thanks to all of your helpful tips and items. Have just downloaded this publication.

            Thanks so much. You really go the extra mile for your v-o peeps to make this a win-win situation for all!

            Cheers!

            Stefania
            //(^.^)\\

            Posted by:

              Stephanie and David,

              Excellent material. Thank you.

              Be well,
              Bob

              Posted by:

                Stephanie and David,

                Great info to remember! Definitely have to print this and keep it close by for reference! Thanks for all that you do.

                -Jason

                Posted by:

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