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SOCIAL MEDIA
Are You Getting Business From Social Media?
See Voice Actors' Top 5 Biggest Blunders ...

By Paul Schmidt
Voice Actor & Coach

If you're like most voice actors, you feel an immense amount of pressure to post on social media, hoping to use that as a business development strategy, which takes a ton of time and effort and sweat and stress.

You’ve got to plan it, conceive it, design it, produce it, and schedule it. Oh my God. No wonder you're stressed out.

But here's the thing. You're probably going to all this trouble for virtually nothing in return in terms of revenue produced from all that time and sweat and stress and everything else.

The fact is, every voice actor I know is all over social media, and most voice actors still struggle to grow their business. So, what gives?

I'll tell you what gives: content marketing on social media sucks as a business development strategy for voice actors.

Here's why that is: why you're wasting so much time, what social media is good for, and how to properly use it to your advantage.

So, here are the top five biggest social media mistakes voice actors make.

5: YOU'RE PREACHING TO THE CHOIR

This is the most common mistake I see voice actors posting on social media. What makes them great to work with? And here's the problem. When I look at their following, 95% of it is other voice actors

Right message, wrong people? I'd say wrong message, right people. But we'll get into that in a few minutes.

The fact is, unless you're Morgan Freeman, Seth Green, Tara Strong, etc. producers and video buyers just aren't going to follow you on social media.

Now the exception is LinkedIn and here's why. There's a difference on LinkedIn between following somebody and being connected to them.

If you're connected to somebody on LinkedIn, you'll both be able to see each other's shares and content updates on the platform. And you can also send messages to your connections on LinkedIn. It's a two-way street…

As opposed to following someone on LinkedIn, which allows you to see their shares and content updates without being connected to them. A follow is a one-way street.

They won't see your content updates unless they follow you or you're connected.

Now why is this important? This is important because being connected in that two-way street with buyers on LinkedIn is much better than following them.

And you can request to be connected to somebody. Now, if you are connected, if you have a two-way street with buyers on LinkedIn, then pushing content to LinkedIn can be an effective strategy.

Otherwise, you're, as we said, preaching to the choir.

4. YOU'RE WASTING TOO MUCH TIME

How often does this happen? You sit down to plan your social media for the week and you think to yourself, “Well, let's see what's happening. What are people talking about?”

So, you go on social media and then next thing you know, you've been watching people injure their genitals for an hour.

Social media is the biggest distraction there is. It's a black hole of productivity and it's where impactful action goes to die.

But the problem is not social media itself. The problem is our intentionality or lack thereof with social media. It’s like that old joke about Target. You go in for one thing, you come out with 20 for the same reason. You're not intentional about your purpose while you're in there.

The best thing you can do for your productivity in most cases is to schedule your social media time and to be intentional with that time while you're using it. Have a focused purpose.

And in my humble opinion, my recommendation is keep it to 30 minutes a day at the most. Also, one of the best decisions I ever made for my own mental health - and I recommend it for you, too - is to disable all notifications from the social media platforms, the social media apps, on your phone.

Stop being a servant to the Red Badge of Distraction.

If you disable the notifications from the social media apps on your phone, then you have to make the conscious decision to go into those apps.

How many times have you done this? You open the app just to get rid of the badge. And there it goes… 20 minutes of your life you won't get back.

3. YOU'RE PUSHING YOUR CONTENT

If you're like the vast majority of voice actors and most of your following is other voice actors, then pushing content to show how great it is to work with you makes little to no sense.

For business development purposes, rather than pushing your content, look at the people that you follow. These are most likely producers and buyers, and people likely to hire you and interact with their content. Like, comment and when appropriate, when it moves you, share their content again with a comment of your own.

Now, the goal here is not to get noticed by that person or to get anything, for that matter. The goal is to genuinely and authentically interact with their content. Be real, be human and keep it positive. Your job is just to collect friends.

And one last tip here. Don't overdo it. You don't want to be that guy that likes every single solitary piece of content that somebody else posts.

2. YOU'RE NOT HAVING CONVERSATIONS

To my last point, social media in general is not a megaphone. It's a telephone. It's a tool for having two-way conversations, not one-way monologues.

Even when you're posting and pushing content, the goal should always be to spark a conversation. And when you do, when someone begins to engage with you, don't screw it up by not responding or mailing in a response.

Give a real, genuine response to their comments. That's what advances the conversation and deepens the relationship.

I remind students in the VO Freedom Master Plan all the time: never forget that the other person on the other end of the email, that text message, the social media platform, the LinkedIn connection request, whatever it is, is a real person and you're having a real conversation.

Forget being a voice actor for a minute. That's the biggest mistake we make on social media as a society. We have that comfortable cushion of digital distance and we think we can say whatever we want. Remember that the other person on the other end is real and be intentional about how you're communicating with them.

And the biggest mistake voice actors make on social media is:

1. YOU'RE NOT BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

Social media is a fantastic tool for starting and growing relationships in this business. I can't tell you how many friends I have in real life now that started as online relationships. We started interacting with each other's content.

And vice versa. I've met people in real life and then followed them on social media - and social media helps us keep in touch, right? That's how it was originally designed.

And it's especially effective for voice actors because, look, we're all in different cities in different countries and different time zones, and so it helps us keep in touch and deepen our relationships.

So, what do you want to build relationships with people in voiceover who can hire you.

First, I'll let you be selfish for a minute. Referrals.

The more talent, the more voice actors you know, the more friends you have in the business, the more referrals you will likely get.

Now, referrals may never be the primary source of your business, but they do help. And on the reverse side, you can help your clients by having a network of friends in the business, other voice actors to refer them to when you're not particularly right for the role.

Secondly, as freelancers, it's up to us to assemble our own team… coaches, demo producers, managers, virtual assistants, lawyers, and on and on and on.

Knowing people in this business who also have teams that are similar allows you to learn about, find, and assemble your own team.

Thirdly, and maybe most importantly, the friends that you make in this business and the relationships that you have in this business will add a huge amount of joy and richness to your life.

I've said it before, I've now got hundreds, hundreds of friends in this business that I did not have 10 years ago, and the amount of joy and love these people have brought me is absolutely immeasurable.

And no one, not even our partners and our spouses, understand what we as voice actors go through on a daily basis with our day-to-day challenges. 

Plus, this community is special. The kindness and the generousity and the love among these people is absolutely amazing.

And I guarantee that if you participate fully in this community, your career and your life will improve significantly.
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ABOUT PAUL
Paul Schmidt is a successful voice actor, community builder, and voiceover business coach. He's also the creator of the VO Freedom Master Plan (see link below), a voiceover marketing program designed to take voice actors from part-time income, relying on the pay-to-plays, booking inconsistently, to having a plan and system to grow relationships at-scale that lead to consistent business, booking, and income. Paul has been a voice actor for over 20 years and full-time for the last several. He lives in beautiful Richmond, VA with his son, Robbie.

Email: paul@paulschmidtpro.com
Web: https://paulschmidtpro.com
VO Freedom Master Plan: https://paulschmidtpro.com/vo-freedom-master-plan

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Comments (1)
Jennifer Kanari
2/27/2024 at 4:22 AM
We love your content in our Voice Actors community in Kenya - The Voice Actors League of Kenya (VALK). I co-founded VALK in 2012, and do a large part of the admin, which includes sharing content from others in the industry - like your team. Keep up the great work! You are changing lives across the world.

Jennifer
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