Man networking with a womanThe first presentation at the Voice Coaches Expo this year was delivered by Jay Silverman, discussing how technology can help to facilitate traditional marketing techniques while reminding us that offline marketing is still one of the most personal and effective ways to self-promote.

I’ve taken some time to jot down much of what Jay advised as well as added my own thoughts in this article about how you can leverage technology combined with the personal touch.

Modern Self-Marketing

Creating new opportunities to market yourself has never been easier thanks to technology, specifically, the Internet.
Having a website that you can call your own to feature your voice on is absolutely mandatory in today’s world where you, and your voice, may be only a click or several keystrokes away.
Although the web offers an abundance of opportunity to network and get the word out about your business, don’t forget that there is a whole world out there of flesh and blood connections that you can introduce yourself to with some personal marketing.

How Marketing in Person Can Strengthen Your Online Marketing

Many people grew up before social networks, before it was common to use the Internet as a business tool, or even before the Internet existed, period. Networking was based upon the physical of meeting people in person at events, business meetings, at conferences, social encounters and in the workplace.

Firm handshakes, making eye contact, being friendly and open while exuding confidence and an attitude of service were and still are key in developing meaningful business relationships… the challenge faced today is making those skills translate to networking in a virtual environment. Those same people are also in business today, and to their benefit, are applying techniques and person-to-person communication skills to online efforts.

Creating More Business Opportunities

People everywhere admire and are moved by the personal touch. It means so much more when you receive something that you know has been touched, written by hand or sent especially to you in the mail.

Consider the following ways that using technology can help create more business for you:
Have hard copies of your demo on CD: Being able to hand someone a physical representation of your work is very important. You’ll find that there are people who want to hire you who are uncomfortable with receiving attachments via email, especially when it’s the first encounter. While MP3s are more convenient for you as the sender, sometimes they can pose issues and actually deter people from listening to your work if the MP3 is unsolicited.

Business Letter that accompanies the demo: Share that you are looking for work and have the talent, are understanding of what that perspective employer does and thus needs from you. Do more self-marketing through following up. More business is lost because someone drops the ball on follow up than any other reason.

Do web research to learn more about who the clientele is: Find out what they need and how your voice can help target their target audiences.

Build a website: Your website gives you the opportunity to look better and present yourself. Fully display your range, depth of your voice, and other assets.

TIP: Don’t just hope that someone finds your website among the millions of sites out there. You must guide people to finding your website. Helping them find you is very important. List the URL of your website on your business card.
Marketing activities still work, and as communications processes evolve, you can apply the same principles to your marketing as before.

Job Opportunities May Rely Upon 3 Things:

1. Training and your ability to use it (formal training, reading articles, listening to podcasts, etc.)
2. Communicate person to person and sell yourself to convey that you know what you are doing and that you can help them.
3. Your willingness to use some of your time resources even better. For those who are still working in other areas outside of voice over, you will need to give up more time than potentially anticipated.

Tell The World!

Hesitation will only hold you back.
Here are a number of ideas to help you self-promote and be a good ambassador for your business:

  • Be aggressive in marketing yourself
  • Take advantage of marketing opportunities already out there
  • Be creative in establishing marketing opportunities for yourself
  • Educate people about voice over
  • Educate people, even those at social / recreational events you participate in
  • Business meetings outside of your workplace
  • Give examples that they’ll recognize to learn more about what voice over is really about
  • Bring a load of business cards
  • Training makes you qualified to seek out work
  • Do something social to network with people one-on-one, BBQs for instance
  • Non-technical, inexpensive ways to extend your self-marketing a little bit farther.
  • Be prepared
  • Develop an elevator speech / pitch

Elevator Speech / Pitch

When you give an elevator speech, you’re summing up who you are, what you do and how you can be of service to someone in less than 60 seconds. You can also see this as the amount of time it would take you to travel on an elevator with a person of influence from the first floor lobby to their executive office, upwards of 30 floors or higher.

You’ve got a limited window of opportunity to make an impact and you’ve got to have your pitch down. If there is a follow up question from the person you are talking to, you know they are interested.
For some great examples of this, visit:
60 Second Pitch Contest at

Parting Words

Remember to follow up and stick with it. Also, always have a copy of your demo on you as you’ll never know when opportunity will knock. Handing someone a demo CD, even though it may seem to be low-tech when compared to zipping an MP3 off to someone, is still a viable and potentially preferred way to present someone with your offering and show them what you can do.

Jay Silverman (Mechanicville, New York)
In addition to being a voice actor and professional announcer, Jay is a marketing and public communications expert. His experience in communications training spans the corporate, government, higher education, and not-for-profit sectors. Jay is a member of the marketing faculty at the Sage College and the University of Albany.

Any Comments?

Looking forward to hearing from you,


  1. You did a very thorough job of summarizing Jay’s presentation, Stephanie. My notes from the seminar were similar, but I must admit, yours are much more detailed! In fact, I’m printing them out for future reference. I do especially like the addition of several links within your article to many of your previously archived pieces. Thanks for sharing! You really are a terrific listener and writer!

  2. Hi Stephanie,
    This is a great article! Thanks for summing up Jay’s points for those of us who couldn’t make it to the Expo. I’m currently taking Harlan Hogan’s teleseminar in starting your voiceover business and your comment on hesitation echos one of Harlan’s points. You must take action with promoting yourself as the majority of your work is finding the work and you never know where things will turn up!
    All the best,
    Ashley Huyge

  3. Thanks for all these GREAT reminders, Stephanie! And thanks to Jay, as well.
    I hope–when you were visiting Schenectady–you took the time to pop across the river into Scotia to visit JUMPIN’ JACKS drive-in. There’s NOTHIN’ like a “Jackburger” to kick-start the lunch hour!!!
    (I lived in Scotia for a few years back in the early 90’s)

  4. Hi Stephanie,
    Thank you so much for this very useful information. I read your blog often and appreciate all of the great tips and information you provide. Will you be commenting on any of the other presenters and advice they gave at this year’s expo?
    Joe Milam

  5. Hi Joe,
    Thank you for emailing me and I hope all is well with you! Thank you also for your nice comments.
    Yes, I am covering all of the presentations and panels. In fact, a new article is already online about Full Cast Audio and audiobook narration. The conference will enjoy coverage throughout this week on VOX Daily.
    Best wishes,

  6. Here’s another example of self-promotion (althouhg he’s not a VO artist, he’s an actor and model here in Phoenix.)
    I was driving down the highway one afternoon and saw a car in my rearview mirror. . . I could tell he had some sort of marketing “wrap” on the car, but couldn’t tell what it said. He eventually passed me & I got a good look at it all. I was so impressed I actually emailed him to compliment him on his marketing & self-promotion. To see photos of the car, go to click on “Photos” then on “Zee Car”


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