Promoting Your Voice Over Talents

As with any self-run business, a good deal of your time as a voice talent will be spent promoting your services. So many different types of businesses need voice-overs that the well is rarely, if ever, dry. But you have to let them know you're out there and what you can do for them, and then keep reminding them.

By the time you're at this stage of your new career, hopefully you've been experimenting with your equipment, vocal styles, and listening to other voice talent demos to get a feel for the quality of performance and sound that you'd like to emulate.

Have you created a number of demos featuring each area of voice-over work you're interested in? If not, now is a good time to do so. You really cannot move forward without having a selection of categories and styles to promote. There is no better way to showcase your skills and versatility.

At this point in time you should be looking into getting an agent, setting up your personal website, and creating a profile via an online marketplace such as Voices.com. These three items are the cornerstones of promoting your voice-over business. You might call them the "Big 3."

Getting Agency Representation

At this point perhaps you've got, or are trying to get, an agent who will actively promote your talents for you. Your job here is to touch base with them every couple of weeks so they don't forget about you. When the agent lands an auditioning opportunity for you, it's your duty to go and get the experience of auditioning in a live studio session.

Remember to respect your agent and their time. Avoid drama. They are there to help you, not to be of service to you. If you are a joy to work with, rather than a hassle, you will stand out in their mind as being someone on their roster they really want to push for.

Throughout your career you'll likely develop new skills and areas of interest in voice-over. If you are interested in exploring them, let your agent know and send them a new demo that features you voicing a script in that niche.

If you need a refresher on working with an agent, how to interact with them, and what they'll do for you refer back to the earlier chapter on Getting an Talent Agent.

Building a Personal Website

Creating a web presence for your business begins with an eye-catching personal website. A personal website will help you define how you want to brand yourself as a voice talent - and you don't need to be a computer whiz to do it.

ResourceRegistering a Domain Name

Your first step in creating a website is deciding on a domain name. Some voice talent simply use their name (Example: www.JohnSmithVO.com), while others get more creative (Example: www.voiceoverjungle.com). You'll need to use a service like NetworkSolutions.com or GoDaddy.com to find out if your selected domain name is available. Have a few ideas on hand if your first choice isn't available.

Consider this: branding your domain with your name alone can make it difficult to create a visual image for your brand. A name like www.VoiceOverJungle.com lends itself to so much more creative imagery than www.JohnSmithVO.com. Think about what a jungle represents; lush rain forests, variety, characters, challenges, stories, and so much more. The visual branding you could do with a name like that is endless. In fact, we may just copyright that.

Purchasing a Web Hosting Package

After you've secured your domain name, you'll need to purchase a web hosting package. In most cases, the company you bought your domain name from will also offer web hosting packages, but in the event that it doesn't, you can check out some of the other options available, such as www.rackspace.com, www.1and1.com or www.hostgator.com. Compare prices and options and decide which works best for your needs and budget because there is a third order of business.

Installing WordPress To Manage The Content

Once you have a web hosting service, you'll need to install a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress. A CMS will allow you to update the content and images on your website with ease and as often as you want. The content on your website is what will get it included in search engine results. This is important.

Optimizing Your Content For The Search Engines

What we're talking about here is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The more relevant content your website has to related search queries, the higher it'll rank in search engines, such as Google. That means more traffic to your site. More traffic means more prospective clients. You can see where we're going with this.

So, what kind of content should your website have?

Ideally, your website should have about three or four pages that a visitor can easily toggle through. Each page should have some written content, branding images, and some white space (for ease of viewing).

Your first page, also known as your homepage, should contain the most important items; your demos. Add some content explaining what the visitor can expect to hear on this page, inviting them to have a listen. If possible, add a little more detail about each demo. Make sure they are titled descriptively.

RememberTip: Descriptive titles mean "High Energy Radio Commercials" or "Dramatic Narrations" or "Video Game Character Voices." Avoid generic titles like Demo 1, Demo 2, or Demo 3.

Your second page should be an "About" describing who you are, your background, experience or training, and the voice-over services you offer. This is a place where they can get to know you and where you will subtly assure them that you are the right choice for their job.

Although it may feel a little odd at first, consider writing your profile in third person perspective. That means instead of writing I, me, or my; use Your Name, he/she, him/her. Writing in third person is good for SEO. It will put your name into search engines, intrinsically connecting it to voice-over searches.

If you do want to include some first perspective, try using quotes in a sidebar and attribute them to yourself. Example: "My clients' satisfaction is my #1 priority. I will work with them until they are completely happy with their voice-over." - Jane Smith.

Whether you choose to write in first or third person, one important thing to avoid is directly implying that you are new to the industry. This will send them running for the hills. Visitors should be reassured that you can handle their projects professionally and with ease.

Your third page should be your contact page. Rather than entering your email, telephone and mailing address consider using a contact form. There a number of reasons to do so, the least of which is reducing email spam, prank telephone calls and annoying junk mail. It's safer and presents an opportunity for them to talk to you about their project. 

Marketing Online with a Blog

You could stop there, but if you're a talented writer consider a fourth page. Add a voice-over blog. Consider how often you want to update your blog; daily, weekly, or monthly. Just be honest about how much time you can dedicate to it and only update it if you really have something worthwhile and interesting to talk about.

Whatever you choose, consistency is a key factor. Regular updates help you stay relevant in search engines, which automatically receive notification each time a website has updated their content. Their "spiders" crawl your site to index the new content, boosting your search ranking.

  • Helps you become part of the greater voice-over community, helps you create a professional image, rank for more keywords and drive more traffic to your site.
  • Write from the heart for the audience you have in mind, not for the search engine. You'll automatically rank higher if you do.
  • Allows you to add content-enriching items such as videos, stock images, and graphics which are all popular with any audience.

Ultimately, whether you choose to include a blog or not on your personal website, the written content throughout your website will be vitally important to your marketing efforts.

Be creative, interesting, and authoritative.

Joining a Marketplace

Some of the more popular and established online voice-over marketplaces, such as Voices.com, place you directly in front of the eyes and ears of hundreds of thousands of potential clients and send you more auditioning opportunities than any other source currently available anywhere.

Marketplaces are voice-over powerhouses. You just need to set up shop there.

A good marketplace does all the marketing for you. They employ a staff of dedicated professionals who reach out to businesses that typically need voice-overs throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and beyond. They should have educational resources and FAQs that will help you setup your profile and the best practices for doing so. They should be transparent and happy to help you.

They should be available to help you set things up and be there when you need them for technical assistance, but should otherwise stay out of the way. Their job is to bring clients to the marketplace and facilitate the transaction. Your job in a marketplace is to make your talent stand out from the crowd.

On the client side, depending on the marketplace model, they will set up an account with the site and browse the directory of talent, post a job for talent to audition for, or have the marketplace staff post the job for them to assist with the casting. Or, as with Voices.com, they can choose from any of the above options.

Most marketplaces are membership based, offering different types of membership depending on what your needs are at the time.

What to look for in a marketplace:

  • Free membership option
  • Free from third-party advertising
  • Easy to understand and navigate
  • Large number of auditioning opportunities
  • Profile page with demo hosting
  • Efficient system for setting up a profile, auditioning, and receiving payments
  • Testimonials from both voice talent and clients
  • Several ways for voice talent to be found in the marketplace
  • Easy access to resources and templates
  • Reliable customer service from real caring human beings
  • Reasonably priced membership fees with payment options (monthly, quarterly, annually)
  • Awards and Press Coverage
  • Built on integrity, accountability, and trust

Other Marketplace tips:

  • Audition often
  • Audition quickly
  • Audition well (good performance and audio quality)
  • Write a proposal/cover letter
  • Don't lowball or highball your quotes
  • Stay within the middle of client budget ranges
  • Fill out each area of your profile
  • Write it in third person
  • Upload a variety of demos
  • Describe the demos
  • Add testimonials if possible
  • Get involved in their community

Having a presence in an online marketplace as well as having your own website and an agent will give you the most opportunities and extend your reach far and wide.

With the "Big 3" you will be more effective at promoting yourself through social media, to local businesses, and you can add these items to your business cards, letterhead and other stationary.

You are setting yourself up for success!

Parting Words

We hope that you've enjoyed our time together so far!

After you've read this guide and completed the steps you need to start in voice-overs, you will be well on your way to building a solid voice-over business.

We invite you to check out our additional resources including the Professional's Guide to Voice Acting, which expands on promoting your business, setting up your marketplace profile, in depth auditioning tips, tips on creating a sustainable business plan, and much more.

We welcome you to explore what Voices.com can do for you as a marketplace by taking the Talent Tour. If you have any questions at all, we're here for you. Just give us a call at 1-888-359-3472 or email us at support@voices.com. We're happy to help!

Wishing you a world of success!

THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO VOICE ACTING