By Stephanie Ciccarelli
September 16, 2010
Is your Voices.com profile completed?
Do you have loads of demos uploaded for people to hear to sample your voice?
Even people who have 100% profile completion and a wide assortment of voice over demos struggle with getting hired and promoting their talent effectively.
In today's VOX Daily, you'll meet someone who meets this description and learn more about how you can make a good thing even better.
When I was approached to review a voice talent's profile, let's call her Audrey (not her real name), I was presented with an interesting challenge. While Audrey did well to describe the qualities of her voice on an adjective per adjective basis, she was not translating that information into words or language that prospective clients related to in terms of what she was offering service wise.
Audrey did volunteer herself as a case study candidate wherein I could share the insights I gave her here on VOX Daily. She just received this email around lunch time today (12 p.m. EST) and while grateful, is still taking in all of the tips and starting to put some of what was recommended into practice. We will do a follow up to learn more about her experiences and any differences she has observed down the road.
For now, I've included my email to Audrey and am sharing these ideas with you now so that you can benefit from what she is currently implementing on her profile and in her audition responses. Note that while this is written as you were the person being addressed, keep in mind that these comments are directed to Audrey but they are there for your reference when going over your own profile.
1. Consistency in presentation
2. Demo descriptions / voice ages
Two of the things I admire about you are that you are very eager to please your clients and you do everything you can to get your brand out there.
You are doing a wonderful job.
Consistency in presentation and demo descriptions are related and you'll find that my advice is blended into the following below. Beneath this section, you'll find particular notes and suggestions regarding your Proposals when auditioning at Voices.com.
Where I do see a disconnect is that the adjectives you use to describe your vocal delivery contrast aesthetically with how the demo is promoted. What I mean by this is that there is an overwhelming amount of text and space in a list of adjectives. The description field for a demo is meant to describe the content of the demo with the vocal delivery as only part of what is included.
If you go take a look at your primary demo, I've taken the liberty to give you a template for how you could describe other demos on your Profile. I also edited one of your other demos as another example of what I would expect to see as a prospective client visiting a Profile at Voices.com.
Avoiding Caps Lock and Remembering Voice Age
While we're on the topic, be sure that you are naming your demo as appropriately as you can, are not using capitals as a means to stand out (you already do stand out!) and ensure that voice age is consistently selected for all of your demos. There was one, the medical demo I believe, that I added "Middle Age" to which ensures you'll show up in the search results for any queries made by people looking for demos in that category who happen to also be searching by Voice Age.
You might be wondering why I took your name out of the Medical Demo title. I did this because my feelings are that the content of the demo supersedes the name of the talent, especially when the customer is looking for a demo by keyword. I did a Google search for "site:voices.com medical demo" and your demo was ranking already without having your name there. You could always add your name in after the Medical Demo part.
The decision was also to make your Profile appear less cluttered and repetitive.
From what I can see, there is only one benefit that might be derived from placing your name ahead of the demo content: a) SEO for your name as your name would appear as part of the demo's page name. It is possible that the name might prove as a reminder for the client as to who they are listening to, however, this is a redundancy as your name is already associated with that page and is displayed prominently beside the demo.
Feedback: Less is More
I love that you are sharing some testimonials from your clients. Your Feedback page looks marvelous! As it pertains to your main Profile page, my thoughts are that you may want to trim down some of what is presented to visitors so as not to lose them before they get to know more.
In general, I've noticed that there is more information provided to the visitor than most people are able to ingest in one sitting, especially if they have a shorter attention span or limited time to allocate on the site. What I recommend is to only include necessary information as it pertains to those fields. Maybe just use one testimonial in your Experience field and leave all of the other feedback related items to your Feedback page.
As a customer or potential customer, we, the visitor, want to know more about your abilities and how you can serve us in short morsels of information with only the most relevant bits. A long scroll bar can be frightening! Whet the appetite for us to contact you through Voices.com. If you leave the visitor with just enough information (they aren't looking for a 6 course dinner, just a 3 course dinner), there may be more conversions from prospects to customers for you via your Profile.
Use of HTML
Lastly, when using HTML in your profile, make sure that it is used sparingly and that it isn't visually distracting. If something doesn't complement your Profile, don't do it.
There are a few areas within your audition responses, also called proposals, that I'd like to take a closer look at with you. Namely personalization, being more selective with opportunities and how to keep the client comfortable and engaged when reviewing your proposal at Voices.com.
Thank you for personalizing the proposals so that the client feels valued! People love to see their name spelled correctly and a little bit goes a long way. That being said, there is some room for additional customization where their particular needs and project are concerned. This is their baby and anything you can do to let them know why their particular project appeals to you is worth mentioning. If you are using templates, be sure to customize them in all respects.
Only Audition For Work You Can Commit To
Another tip is to only audition for work you know that you are able to do. I'm not speaking from a performance perspective but from an availability perspective. If you know you will be out of town or unavailable for a particular job, pass on the audition. When you respond to an opportunity that you can't fulfill on the client's terms, it's a waste of your time, their time and may not sit well with them going forward. What was meant to be an opportunity to perhaps get in with them for future work could result in an undesired impression that leaves the decision maker with less confidence. That is on the far end of the spectrum so far as outcomes go but realize that it is a possibility. It is also possible that they do keep you in mind, however, that wasn't the purpose of their job posting. They have the expectation that they will work with some of the people who respond and given the response sent to this audition, that was not something you were able to commit to.
Contact Details in Proposals
This is an area that often results in work leaving the site and consequently, clients not being able to leave feedback for work that was secured via Voices.com.
I've noted that on more than one occasion details encouraging clients to go to your website to listen to additional demos has been included. This sends people away from the site and ultimately defeats the purpose of securing work within Voices.com and knowing that the work did indeed come from the site. You have 20 demos uploaded to your Profile at Voices.com that the client has access to already, so no need to send them away from the site. Remember that the client trusts Voices.com and are engaging with you in the confines of the site as part of using the service. They don't want to leave the site because their goal is to hire a voice talent using our service from start to finish.
Including email addresses, phone numbers and the like may appear to be convenient from the talent point of view but they are a red flag to a client who wants to complete business within the safe framework of Voices.com and pay using our SurePay escrow service. I'm sure you have received work from more than just 2 clients at Voices.com over the years but that isn't reflected in your Feedback ratings and reviews. The possibility remains that you may have been hired by more clients than you associate with Voices.com simply because it was very easy for them to contact you away from your Profile and not share how they found you or that it was your audition that won them over.
Audrey would like to be able to share more about her experiences and any outcomes of this profile and proposal review sometime in the future. Stay subscribed to VOX Daily to discover how things went for her. If any of these tips resonate with you, feel free to comment and share how you're doing!
Â©iStockphoto.com/Sze Fei Wong
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