How To Create Your Unique Voice Over
Brand: What Everyone Will Identify As YOU
July 11, 2017
By Jean-Marc Berne
Voice Actor/Narrator, Coach, Producer
How do you brand your voice as a voice over talent? And what is branding in the first place?
Branding is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.
An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer.
Branding is something that you can clearly identify, like the McDonald's golden arches or the taste of Coca-Cola. You know exactly what those golden arches look like and what Coca-Cola tastes like.
The same concept can be applied to your voice. By creating a brand for your voice you are putting forth your essence, something that people can clearly identify. And by doing so, you are distinguishing yourself from other voice over artists who sound like you in pitch, tone, delivery and vocal age range.
CREATE THE PERCEPTION
But how do you get to your essence and create an effective brand for your voice?
Your essence will stem from three things:
ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS
Start this process with a series of branding exercises.
Answer questions about yourself, how you perceive yourself, and how you would like to be perceived by others.
By going through this process, you determine where you see yourself in the voice over market now, so that you can create a road map to get to where you want to be in the marketplace.
For example, you may perceive yourself as being funny and quirky, but you would also like for others to perceive you as the badass superhero.
Then, send questions to a core group of 10-15 people that know you well. This should be a mix of friends, family members and people in the industry whom you can count on to give you feedback.
SEE A PATTERN?
Based on the combination of answers that you give and that others provide, a pattern starts to emerge.
So let's say that the adjectives that come up the most in the branding answers are: "funny and quirky." But you would also like to have the "badass superhero" as part of your brand.
Then, you would find a way to work that into your branding statement.
Take, for example, one of my star students, Issa Deas. He's a guy with a deep, 'Voice of God'. He sounds like a young James Earl Jones, so his voice has authority and gravitas. But at the same time, he's super funny.
So after walking him through a series of branding exercises, we came up with the following branding statement:
"If James Earl Jones and Will Smith had a baby."With this statement, you get a clear idea of what his voice sounds like - deep, with authority, and a sense of his character: hip and funny.
BRAND APPEARS EVERYWHERE
This branding statement becomes the basis for all Issa's marketing and communications. Everything from his voice over demos, his emails, to his website and business cards are brand-centric.
This creates consistency in all his communications and in how he presents himself to the world. Casting directors, producers, agents and managers don't waste time sending him auditions that don't fit his brand. And Issa doesn't waste time auditioning for projects that aren't a good fit for him.
Note: Issa has been landing steady voice work, including national TV and Internet commercials for Hennessy and Honey Bunches of Oats / Pixar, plus roles in video games, "The Division" and "NBA 2016-2017" to name a few.POWER OF BRANDING
As you can see, there's a lot of power in having a strong brand.
And in the process, you're putting money where your mouth is.
SEE OTHER HELPFUL VOICE OVER MARKETING ARTICLES HERE
Your voice is your brand. Make it powerful.
Jean-Marc Berne is president of Berne Media Enterprises, a bilingual, English-Spanish creative media consulting company based in New York. He is also a busy voice talent, voice over coach, international professional speaker, singer-songwriter, and author of the book, The Heart-Voice Connection: How To Infuse Your Message With Real Emotions. He is the voice over coach for the Disney Channel animated series The Octonauts, and creative consultant for print and radio ads for HUD, the National Fair Housing Alliance, the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, and the National Crime Prevention Council. He is also a Spanish-English audiobook narrator (Negocios and La Fiesta Del Chivo), and commercial voice over clients include Bud Light, McDonald's, Western Union, Timberland, Pollo Loco, McKinsey, Pfizer, VNSNY, Xfinity, NFHA, and HUD to name a few. As a voice over coach, he has created a series of workshops (Power Marketing for the Voice Actor, Intro to Voice Over Technique, Spanish Voice Over Technique and Kids Voice Over Technique). His new 12-session online group coaching series for public speakers, Power Up Your Voice, begins July 12 (see details link below).
Power Up Your Voice - Group Coaching begins July 12
SEE ADDITIONAL HELPFUL VOICE OVER MARKETING ARTICLES HERE
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