By Stephanie Ciccarelli
May 18, 2011
The purpose of a voice over demo is to show prospective clients what you can do.
That being said, are you doing as much as you possibly can to attract people to find your demo and then click play?
Learn how to position your demo so that it is listened to by a client hiring voice talent!
As you may have heard me say before, audio isn't searchable, text is. That being the case, the better an audio file is described online the greater the likelihood that the audio file is found and listened to.
Even if you aren't a wordsmith, getting your demos indexed in search engines and ranking in our search engine results at Voices.com is pretty easy when you know what to do.
For the next little while, we'll take a look at how you can get your demos into the ears of clients who need your services.
When you upload an audio file at Voices.com, you are invited to complete a number of fields to give a better indication of what a listener will hear before they click play. The art of naming, labeling, categorizing, tagging and describing can be learned and better still, is easy to accomplish.
If you are taking time to describe how your voice sounds on a demo or need help picking tags, you might find this article on how to accurately describe your voice helpful.
Something to consider is naming your demo appropriately so that it catches the eye of human users while also proving relevant to search engine spiders.
Are you interested in improving your rankings in search engines? You'll be pleased to learn that each demo uploaded to your Profile at Voices.com has its own unique URL featuring specific details about the demo. These pages also help to build up more content for you and more ways to be found online.
You can get to individual demo pages from your Demos section by clicking through a link to "learn more" about a given demo.
The example below is an educational demo on voice talent Diane Bean's profile at Voices.com. This snapshot shows you the detailed listing of this particular demo:
Here's another example of what a demo could look like in terms of how a search engine spider gobbles it up:
Name of demo: Commercials for Broadcast Television
Description: Listen to four samples that I've done for broadcast television in the London, UK market including upbeat spots from using the underground to dining to banking to realty! These spots are geared toward young professionals aged 25 to 35 looking to move into the downtown.
Tags: Confident, Energetic, Sophisticated
Language: English (British)
Voice Age: Young Adult
When you think about it, it is truly in your best interest to include as many professional-grade samples of your voice as possible. I recommend that your demos not only be numerous but are specific to niches of voice over that you can competently perform.
Remember that people can only listen to a little bit at a time and appreciate finding immediately relevant samples. By creating relevant samples in bite-sized chunks, you're helping yourself and those who are in need of what you have to offer.
Rule of thumb: The more information and detail you can provide the better. Descriptions can run longer than one sentence. I've seen demos that have descriptions running two to three sentences, even a paragraph depending on the nature of the demo and the number of spots being described.
Aside from having demos in the most popular categories, it's important to also have demos that reflect what you say you can do on your profile.
If a visitor to your profile is led to believe that you are able to do something but cannot hear you do it, that doesn't help that person much nor does it represent you well.
For instance, if you say you can speak German but don't have a German voice over demo, you ought to consider uploading a sample of you performing in German to validate your claim that you can speak the language.
The same applies for voice ages, accents, special skills and so on.
Rule of thumb: If you say you can do something, you should have a sample demonstrating that style, language or skill set for people to listen to. Check out a recent Voices.com infographic for more on the kind of voiceover jobs that are posted along with statistics on the percentage of jobs seeking certain languages, voice ages and more.
Voiceover demos are very important and serve as the primary tool for those coming to the site to sample the kind of voices they are able to choose from.
Only talent who have samples of their voices uploaded to the site are searchable in the Voices.com search engine.
If a voice talent does not have a demo on their profile, they will not be presented in the search results via our site. Additionally, talent without voice samples are not listed in the Directory. This applies regardless of membership level.
Once a demo is uploaded to a talent profile, you are searchable and can also be indexed in the search results of major players such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
If you don't have a professionally recorded voiceover demo, it is possible to either record and produce one yourself or seek the assistance of a local demo producer who can help you prepare a 1-minute sample of your voice.
Should you work with a producer, be sure that whatever is on that demo is something you are proud to be associated artistically and morally and is representative of what you can do skills wise from your home recording studio. You want to be able to live up to your demo, after all!
Rule of thumb: Do not use audition recordings as demos. The copyright for the spot doesn't belong to you! Only use these samples for promotional purposes if you are given permission from the copyright holder. Copy in the public domain is your best bet, that, or writing your own unique copy. Similarly, if you'd like to include a sample from some paid work you have already done for a company, seek their permission first before using the spot or excerpt in your demo.
If you'd like to take advantage of these tips now and get some more files uploaded to the site (or better describe / define current samples on your profile), log in to your Voices.com account and visit your Demos section here:
StephanieRelated Topics: Accent, demos, German, Google, how to, samples, voice, voiceovers, Voices.com, work