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Marketing: 4 Racy, Sexy & Naughty
Voice-Over Business Tactics ...
By Peter K. O'Connell
Voice Actor
I got pinged by my friend John Florian, who runs VoiceOverXtra, regarding an idea for a voice-over article about unique ways voice talents can secure new business.
This was prompted by a request from one of his readers who noted that pay-to-play sites and agents can help folks get voice-over work, but that it's not always enough. So here goes with additional marketing ideas.
While there are four tactics herein, they are neither racy nor sexy nor naughty.
But I know how you people think, and gee, you’re reading this aren’t you?
John may regret the invitation to write this article, but here is my unfettered advice on the matter, spoken - or written - here from friend to friend … and yes, I do talk to my friends this way. You could ask them yourself if they weren’t all in the witness protection program. They didn't listen to me, either.
The primary tool that I still see neglected, even as far into the digital age as we are, is a voice-over web site.
Articles have been written, teachers have said it to voice-over students categorically, and yet there are still schmoes out there pretending to be a voice talent without a web site of their own.
Get your own web site, you idiot! I mean that in only the kindest, Christian way and only because I can’t slap the back of your head from where I am typing.
No, a formula profile on a casting web site is not enough!
You need your own domain to match whatever brand you establish, and a few pages about you - demos, credentials, biography and maybe on-going news about your business.
Why? Many reasons, but here are some quick ones. Did it ever occur to you that:
  • the people you send to your way dull casting web page may innocently scurry around that site and find another voice talent very easily? People are easily distracted, you know. Or that
  • the people you should be marketing to have advertising and marketing backgrounds, as well as higher expectations of their vendors than a copycat web page?
And if your response is that you don’t have the money for your own web site, then stop pretending to be a professional voice talent, because professional voice talents run businesses - they’re not playing at this!
Building a web site is not ungodly expensive, either. 
Do the research, do the work, and get the web site done.
The only rule for your web design is that simple is better, but simplistic is very bad.
Make sure your web designer understands the basics - and more - of SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing).
Unclear about what I am talking about? Look it up. Learn about it.
It’s the whole ballgame when it comes to your storefront - i.e. the web.
Make sure all your marketing collateral matches in many ways to the branding you establish on the web: logo, color choices, fonts, etc.
It does not have to be exact, but so many voice talents hand me generic business cards that I feel this needs to be mentioned … again!
Do you have all your contacts organized in an electronic database?
If you have them listed on sheets of paper or as business cards rubber-banded together in a desk drawer, I will slap you upside the head again!
Your contact database is your vault; it is your most precious business asset and must be continually nurtured.
Whether you use Excel or Outlook or File Maker or ACT! or Sales or any number or other tools, you MUST compile, organize - and most importantly - back them (and the rest of your computer) up!
With all these tools, you are truly 75% there as far as being ready and able to secure new voice-over business business.
Emails with programs like Constant Contact, direct mail postcards, and networking events can fill in the balance of what you have to do.
But why bother showing up to a gun fight without any bullets in the gun? Bullets like:
  • an established brand,
  • a brand-specific web site that is optimized,
  • collateral that properly presents you and your brand in networking situations, and
  • an effective place to store all your collected leads.
If you are in a panic right now, good! You should be.
You’ve been lazy and complacent and need to have your world rocked, because the rest of the world doesn’t know your voice-over business exists!
And if you have the talent - if you are recognized by some qualified teachers and businesses as truly having a great voice talent to share with the world - then the world’s ignorance about you is a sad thing indeed.
But as you can see, that sad thing is easily and immediately avoidable.
Go out now, do the work, get the recognition you deserve and enjoy the ride.
Peter K. O’Connell has been a professional voice talent since 1982 and is president of audio'connell voice over talent. His company provides English-speaking professional male and female voice-over and audio production services for national and international clients. The voice-over needs of foreign-language clients are served through another O'Connell-owned company, International Voice Talents. He also operates Voice Over Workshop, which provides professional voice-over training to novice and experienced voice talent worldwide, is author of The Voice Over Entrance Exam, an e-book that examines the business and performance realities of becoming a voice-over talent, and writes a very informative blog on voice-over marketing and advertising, voxmarketising.


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Comments (1)
12/30/2009 at 12:06 PM
Really enjoyed this article. I perhaps needed this slap against the head. As a voice talent I have no real set tools at the moment, such as a web site or a casting web site. I need assistance in this area. In this new year, I have a plan to get my talent out there. I know if I fail to plan, I plan to fail - great thought as well as a great vocal warm up. Any guidence in the area of getting a voice web site together would be greatly appreciated, and as always best wishes in your endeavors, Peter. Dave Johnston
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