VOICE-OVER MARKETINGHere's Where Doing LESS In Voice-Over
Marketing Can Get You More ...
January 22, 2019
By Kate McClanaghanActor's SOUND ADVICE
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 voice-over 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 benefit most 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. This is how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) drives traffic on the Internet.
The practice of continually updating and adding new content to any site, and naming each with key (searchable) words and phrases, is meant to improve the number of visitors to your website. However, when it comes to voice-over, all that might just be overkill.
LET ME IMAGINE ...
For example, I don't want to see what you look like if I'm casting you for a voice-over. 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 for you to instill the same audience experience with your voice-over demos and auditions to potential clients on your VO-only web page. Their experience should be as seamless as possible.
The listeners' imagination, and what you suggest with your performance, is far more important than what you actually look like.
YOUR WEB SITE'S JOB ...
Besides, the objective of your voice-over web page is to make your name known, and to define 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 voice-over websites 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 voice-over, huh? Thought so.
LIST PAST CLIENTS?
Another marketing misstep is listing past clients and including their various company logos all over your website and resume.
This reads as conflicts rather than credits. That's a problem.
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. And this defeats the purpose of having a web page devoted solely to your voice-over 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.
HOW MANY AGENTS DO YOU NEED?
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 voice-over "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 three or four talent agents is recommended, provided it's not more than you can personally handle.
HARD SELL = NO SALE
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.
Kate McClanaghan is founder of Actor's SOUND ADVICE, a personalized voice-over coaching and demo production service available online world-wide. She has cast, produced, trained and voiced thousands of voice-overs for more than 30 years, and as a casting director and producer has produced commercials (McDonald's, SPRINT, State Farm, IBM, Chase and many more), plus corporate narration, TV, film, animation, web and new media for scores of national and regional brands. She is also author of The SOUND ADVICE Encyclopedia of Voice-Over & The Business of Being A Working Talent, soon to be in it's 4th edition. She written seven additional books on acting, voice-over and how to forward a career.
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