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Twitter: Yes It DOES Bring Jobs
To Voice Actors. Here's How ...
 
By Trish Basanyi
Voice Actor 
VoiceTweet.com
 
The social networking giant, Twitter, continues to mystify some and make money for others.
 
Heck, even the money-makers are mystified. (Try saying THAT three times fast.)
 
Yet the ones who have tackled the site head-on continue to bring in revenue in their desired fields - and voice-over talent is no exception.
 
ASK RIGHT QUESTIONS
 
Are you on Twitter? Have you signed up and then abandoned the account after two “tweets” citing an excuse of something like, “I just don’t get it” or “it’s a waste of time”?
 
STOP.
 
The Internet is an amazing thing, and some still don’t grasp the plethora of knowledge just waiting to be found …when you ask the right questions.
 
LEARN ONE TO LEARN ALL
 
All of the social networking sites are connected. We’re only going to talk about Twitter in this article, but by using one you will learn how to use the others!
 
For instance, there are thousands of two- to three-minute videos on YouTube which show you how to use Twitter. All you need to do is search for them. The same goes for Facebook.
 
These videos explain how to use these sites and make the most of them. And they're yours for the viewing, absolutely free.
 
TWITTER APPLICATIONS
 
There are hundreds of applications for Twitter, which maximize Twitter's search potential  for you, and streamline the process of finding voice-over work.
 
Trust me, the work is out there.
 
I could make recommendations about the applications, but everyone I know uses something different - kind of like the path of every voice talent on their way to success. Different things work for different people.
 
One of the more popular desktop applications is Hootsuite, but if you'll search online you'll find dozens more.
 
BE YOURSELF!
 
Spend just one hour on Twitter and you’ll begin to see the enormous potential.
 
Don’t know what to talk about? Just be yourself!
 
Make jokes, ask questions, and talk about your everyday life - both personal and business.
 
As voice talent, we’re not always selling our voices - we’re selling ourselves, as people. When we’re real and interactive, people will respond, and will want to “follow” you in the Twitter world.
 
SEARCHING JOBS ...
 
Even if you don’t have a lot of followers, you can still find jobs - again, just use the search engine for the site!
 
If you’re searching for VO jobs anywhere else, you already know how to use a search engine.
 
Step outside your comfort zone for one hour and see what happens.
 
EASIER NAVIGATION
 
Maybe you’re on Facebook but only using it for personal connections. That’s great! But if you use Facebook already, you’re 10 steps ahead of the learning curve when it comes to using Twitter.
 
Twitter is an easier site to navigate than Facebook - in fact, the confusion most people express for Twitter seems to be the concept rather than the actual functionality of the site.
 
Once you understand the concept, using the site is a breeze.
 
WORKS FOR VO WORK
 
Twitter is responsible for about 20% of my income in the past year. I have:
  • landed several high-dollar jobs through clients I’ve connected with there originally,
  • acquired roughly 20 new clients that now hire me on a regular basis, and we continue to have a great relationship both online and in the VO booth.
It didn’t happen overnight, but the process has been fun and a huge learning experience.
 
FOR MORE EXPOSURE
 
I come across potential clients on a daily basis that are looking for a specific voice - which isn’t always my voice type.
 
Sure, I could let them fend for themselves, but it’s much more rewarding to play a role in helping them find one another.
 
So, I recently formed VoiceTweet.com to help other talent get more exposure and work through Twitter.
 
There’s no one voice that is a “one size fits all," so there's plenty of work out there for everyone.
 
My reason for creating VoiceTweet isn’t to make a million dollars, nor to compete against the powerhouse casting sites, as I’m part of these sites, too, and find them valuable.
 
The small fee simply eliminates the “riff raff” that the free sites normally attract. Plus, it covers the time I spend marketing the site, and monthly SEO fees to get the site seen by search engines.
 
HOW IT WORKS
 
All you need is a Twitter ID, and a web site link.
 
When I spot a voice seeker on Twitter - and there are many - I “tweet” back with the VoiceTweet site address instead of my individual web site, like many do.
 
We even have a job posting board for companies seeking voice talent. And the site is simple and user-friendly for the talent.
 
MORE SITES COMING?
 
Right after I launched the site, someone brought up the question, “Just how many paid sites are there going to be to get listed as a talent?”
 
The answer: “As many as there need to be, so clients on ALL Internet paths can find us.”
 
GET MANY LISTINGS
 
The Internet is so vast that it’s naďve to assume everyone will find voices the same way.
 
I’m listed on over a hundred sites as a talent, some paid and some not. And I know it’s made a huge difference in my success, since I’ve booked through a majority of them at some point or another.
 
If it’s a paid site and you make more from it than you’ve spent to be listed, isn’t it worth it? Not only monetarily but for the extra exposure and backlink - for SEO - as well?
 
GET CASTING NOTICES
 
Those who are friends with me on Facebook know I also post casting notices on my page fairly often. While I have no plans to become a full-fledged casting director, I’m finding more and more clients who love to get a selection of voices sent right to their inbox to choose from for a particular job.
 
These jobs will now be sent to the VoiceTweet members first, allowing them first dibs.
 
There is a free signup for casting notices on the site for public postings from other voice seekers, too. I’m simply creating another avenue for more VO folks to get discovered by clients and develop business relationships that will be profitable for years to come.
 
Even if VoiceTweet isn’t for you, give Twitter a shot. Meet some new clients and have fun in the process!
 
ABOUT TRISH ...
 
Trish Basanyi, VoiceoversByTrish, is a full-time and social media-savvy voice talent who serves a variety clients in radio, television and Fortune 400 companies for projects including web sites, multi-media, animation, streaming video and DVD marketing. She also voices real estate virtual tours, podcasts, product marketing and on-hold messaging. She recently launched VoiceTweet.com, an online voice-over job service, and is a panelist at the June 4 VOICE 2010 session on how voice actors use the Internet.
 
VoiceTweet: www.VoiceTweet.com
 
VOICE 2010, June 2-5 conference 10% tuition discount:
Please click here, and insert this Registration Code: VOXTRA
 

 

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Comments (6)
Heather Anne Henderson
4/6/2010 at 4:19 PM
That was a wonderful little article - inspired me to finally take on Twitter, after putting it off for too long. It was mostly good to hear specific examples of how it really can bring in jobs. I'll check out VoiceTweet, too. Wish I could come to Voice 2010 and hear you on that panel - but thanks for your upbeat and generous sharing on this topic.
Kimi
4/5/2010 at 9:04 AM
BTW Dan, I know someone who does hypnosis. Just think of the new contacts you can make in ALL your areas of interest. :)
Kimi
4/5/2010 at 9:02 AM
Thanks for the site and for the post Trish. What are some of the good hashtags and words you search for voiceover jobs?
Trish Basanyi
4/3/2010 at 1:00 PM
Darren, I can say this because I know you. You're being ridiculous. ;) If you had a friend that only talked about one subject ALL the time, wouldn't you get bored and/or annoyed with them? Probably.

You have to think of your followers as friends - just like us, they're interested in a variety of things. I actually DID make this mistake (talking about only VO related stuff) when I first began, and I was glad a few people were candid enough to tell me it was annoying (usually non-VO people).

I started to vary my subjects a bit. Yes a majority of them still are centered around VO, but I try to disguise it or word it in a way that includes the non-VO folks and I often get a mixture of VO and non-VO people commenting as a result.

The whole idea of this update stuff is to promote yourself without sounding like a commercial all the time. Post links of interesting things - whatever YOU find interesting. If THEY don't think it's interesting, they don't read it. But one "boring" (to them) tweet won't get you unfollowed. I could write a whole book on this stuff, but I think you get the gist. Hope this helps! -Trish
Linda Ristig
4/3/2010 at 9:13 AM
This is a terrific article with great social media tips! How wonderful there are people like Trish in the world that are willing to share their knowledge of sites like Twitter to help others! It really is a vast ocean of potential employment! Well done!
Darren Altman
4/3/2010 at 4:50 AM
Nice article Trish, thanks for putting this together. I now have a Twitter account thanks to you and VoiceTweet, but have said to myself that I won't try to attract followers and as yet haven't tweeted.

As a freelance drummer & voiceover artist (with a passion for hypnosis and my football team, Spurs) can I ask you this: If I am to use Twitter as a busines/networking tool for my voiceovers, then it could get messy! People wouldn't be remotely interested to hear about what drumming gigs I'm up to, what success I'm having with my hypnosis or anything un-voiceover related.

If people are following someone for a reason, i.e. they are a voiceover artist, as in your case, then they might get bored/annoyed if that person keeps tweeting about un-related subjects ... or am I being ridiculous?!
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