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Marketing: Create Image That
Looks As Good As You Sound
 
By Gabrielle "Gabby" Nistico
Vice President, VOCareer.com
Operations Director, VoiceHunter.com
 
Note: VOCareer.com is giving away a one-year listing on VoiceHunter.com, valued at $500, in a contest ending March 31, 2010. See the link below for details.

If a picture tells a thousand words, what does the ‘look and feel’ of your marketing say?
 
Today, voice-over talent are more “visible” than ever and must have a visual presence. But too often, we see talent offering up cliché graphic designs on their web sites and mailers.

Since VO talent are performers and artists, we understand why this is happening.
 
Without sales and marketing training, many talent fail to think from a buyer’s perspective.
 
A TYPICAL SITE

Here’s a run-down of the picture patterns seen on most VO web sites: a photo of yourself and pictures of microphones, sound waves and mixing boards.
 
But what do these images say? If you’re a buyer … not much.
 
They tell us you’re a VO talent. But if I found my way to your site, I probably knew that already.
 
LOOKING BETTER ...

Here’s a way to look as good as you sound.
 
Draw a line down a piece of paper. On one side, write down a list of adjectives that describe your voice. Think of as many as you can. Then line-by-line associate each adjective with a noun.
 
For instance, if you wrote ‘sexy’ in column one, maybe your image of sexy is a pair of red leather pumps. If you wrote ‘energetic,’ maybe you associate energy with the Sun.
 
WHAT'S THE IMAGE?
 
Once you have both columns completed, look for an emerging theme or pattern. It should appeal to you and still well-represent your voice.

A little while back, our staff completed this process for a postcard for voice actress Nancy Linari. Our adjectives for her voice were: cool, sophisticated, luxurious and icy.
 
After brainstorming nouns we decided on – diamonds.

Diamonds made a stunning visual association for Nancy’s voice and created a powerful message for the people seeing her postcard. Without even hearing her demos, they could get a feel for how she sounds.
 
APPLY IT TO MARKETING

Once you have decided on a visual image, you can create a slogan, tag line or creative positioning statement.
 
Then, keep things consistent by applying them to all your marketing materials.

A success story that uses this same method is Skittles candy. “Taste the rainbow, feel the rainbow,” is a theme and visual concept found in all their advertising.
 
YOUR PUBLIC IMAGE
 
As a voice-over talent, you are your own brand. Taking the time to think about your public image is a must to gain a competitive edge.

One interesting twist is to use pictures of yourself that exemplify your sound. Play dress up, hit the local costume shop or get a friend with a digital camera and go take some pics at the local bar.

Hiring a professional photographer is great, but you might not need to.
 
The goal is to have one or two photos that really tell the story of what you sound like.
 
THINK IN PICTURES
 
For instance, talent Doug Medlock uses pictures of himself riding his motorcycle, and he sounds every bit the bike riding rocker that he is.
 
For your web site, thinking in pictures is important because it will give people a better sense of your skills and prompt them to listen to your demos.
 
For direct mail or email marketing, this is critical because it will give people a reason to take the extra steps needed to go to your web site or contact you directly.
 
ABOUT GABBY ...
 
Gabrielle "Gabby" Nistico is vice president and co-founder, with Adam Goodman, of VOCareer.com, a multi-faceted voice-over career development service. She is also operations director for VoiceHunter.com, the online voice casting and voice talent marketing service. Gabby has worked in numerous radio stations, advertising agencies, and audio production studios as a DJ, writer, producer, voice talent and teacher. She began her radio career at age 14, and by age 17 was the youngest DJ ever on the Long Island, NY classic rock station, WBAB. She has also voiced many national commercials and radio imaging projects.
 
Note: VOCareer.com is giving away a one-year listing on VoiceHunter.com, valued at $500, in a contest ending March 31, 2010. See the link below for details.
 
VoiceHunter.com contest: www.VOCareer.com/home/Accelerate.php
 

 

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Comments (3)
Debbie Irwin
3/17/2010 at 10:22 AM
Having just completed a web site maekover (by Artist Upgrade no less!), this issue is very much still on my mind. We struggled with finding an image that captured all I wanted to say, so instead of an image, we used the words in an artistic way.

I wonder solutions you might have come up with, Gabby! Thanks for the excellent advice in this article. There's lots of food for thought here!

Debbie / www.DebbieIrwin.com
BP Smyth, Narrator
3/17/2010 at 7:59 AM
Gabrielle,
You hit the nail on the head. A great example of a web site design that projects a customized image for voice talent is one that "ArtistUpgrade" out of New York designed for me. See: www.bpsmythvoice.com Mick and Alison are pros at creating a voice talent image that is exactly right for you. To contact them just google ArtistUpgrade.

Bettye Zoller
3/17/2010 at 12:33 AM
Wish the article had been longer, Gabby. You are fabulous.
Bettye Zoller
www.voicesvoices.com
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