Build Your Business And Your Brand

Realizing the Dream

You've made the decision that you would like to become a voice-over talent. Now what? In order to be successful in this endeavor, you'll need to develop a plan that you will commit to.

To run an efficient online voice over business, you need to have the tools of the trade. Here is a shortlist of the essentials that you will need to operate your voice-over business online.

Essential Home-based Business Technology

  • High-speed Internet connection
  • Personal computer, printer
  • Business software MS Word, Excel
  • Accounting software such as Quicken, QuickBooks, MS Money is recommended
  • Telephone with voicemail
  • Fax

Brand Your Voice

Your personal branding is very important, and if successfully mastered, it will set you and your offerings apart. Many professionals choose to keep their real names, however, selecting a stage name is also an option. This gives you the freedom to create a unique voice-over persona and will help separate your work from your home life. You can select a memorable name, a unique name, basically any name that you feel suits you and is in line with the services you provide.

Be sure to select a name that is easy to remember, easy to say and spell, and is non-offensive to others. Check to see if the name you would like to use is available, and if no one else has it, look into your own personal website. If the domain name you desire is available, you have an opportunity to purchase it and secure your brand name on the Internet.

Branding your voice-over business is one of the most important objectives that you will achieve before you market and promote your voice. Effectively branding your business will send consistent messages to your audience, establishing your brand image and purpose.

By taking the time to plan and brand well in advance of the release of your first voice-over demo, your efforts will go a long way and quickly differentiate your demo from similar offerings. Selecting a name for your company, securing a domain name for both your voice-over website and blogger, picking colors, creating a logo, language, music, sound effects, slogans, and voice-over imaging are all important aspects of branding your voice-over career.

Drafting Your Vocal Description

A crucial aspect of your personal branding includes the way that you describe your voice and your services. A client should be able to learn about you in as few words as possible. Summarize your offerings, about 15 words or less to keep client interest, particularly when you are promoting yourself in advertisements or at a voice-over marketplace. When you have your vocal description completed, start thinking about a phrase that best reflects your voice-over services. A slogan is a powerful and memorable device that will serve you well if properly crafted and placed.

Writing your vocal description is a necessary step in the branding process. When you are drafting the description of your voice, make sure that it features your strengths, specialties, and unique characteristics. This description should be no more than two to three sentences long.

Selecting a Name

When selecting a name, be sure that the name of your business reflects you as a professional voice-over talent. For example, your name could be Jane Doe Voice-overs, Jane's Voices, or Johnny Voice-over. Make sure that the name you choose is also available as a domain name online. Try to make your name unique but easily understood and recognizable.

Picking Colors

When choosing colors to represent your voice-over services, it is important to select complimentary colors, that is, colors that go well together. Once you have picked the colors that you will brand your services with and use on your website, create a logo incorporating those selections to further brand your voice visually.

Colors often have certain emotions or connotations associated with them, for instance, the color yellow is often associated with the sun, cheerfulness, and innovation, whereas blue may be associated with the sea, tranquility, and freedom.

Creating a Logo

A logo is the most readily available representative of your voice. Your logo can accompany press releases, be used as a link to your site, for advertising purposes, and give potential audiences a glimpse at what you and your voice are all about even before listening to your demo.

Logos are very important. When designing your logo, remember that it is often the first impression of your voice. Bearing this in mind, your logo should be friendly to all age groups and sized appropriately, making sure that it does not take up more than the normal allotted dimensions for logos. Incorporate the colors that you chose for your voice to further enhance and unify your visual branding.

If need be, you can outsource logo design to a freelance graphic designer or firm. If you are able to design your own logo, tools such as Macromedia Fireworks and Adobe PhotoShop are good programs to achieve your branding goals. If you already have a logo, you could further brand your image by incorporating your business logo or design a variation of your corporate logo to strengthen and reinforce your brand.

Slogans and Tags

Take a good half hour or so to brainstorm slogans and tag lines for your voice-over services. These short snippets can be used to instill, validate, and affirm your brand. Perhaps you will use your slogan on your website, business cards, and in your demos. A good example of slogan branding is the tag line that Bob Barker on The Price Is Right says at the end of each episode, "Get your pets spayed or neutered". A bit quirky, yet memorable and forever synonymous with the show.

Key Points About Branding

In this chapter, we talked about how important it is to make your voice stand out by branding all aspects of your voice-over business. Refer back to this branding guide to as you progress in your planning. When inspiration strikes, have a good brainstorm and jot down as many ideas about your vision as possible and use the results to brand your voice-over business.

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