Creating a Personal Website

The world is at your fingertips. There is no better way to obtain a global client base than with an effective Internet marketing strategy. One of the keys to a successful voice-over business is taking a multi-pronged approach to marketing your services online.

Creating a web presence for your business begins with an eye-catching website. A personal website will help you define who you are as a brand.  The good news is that nowadays, it's surprisingly easy to set-up a website. Let's learn how.

Registering a Domain Name

Your personal branding is important, and if successfully mastered, it will help set you and your business apart from the masses – and it all starts with selecting a domain name.

Many talent choose to use their real names (e.g. www.janesmithVO.com), however, if you have a name that’s difficult to pronounce or one that’s exceedingly long, you might consider an alternative.

Some options are using a stage name, slogan, or your speciality voice. For example, if you do a lot of fashion ads perhaps you might choose something like www.voiceofstyle.com.

Your domain name will also help you define a visual style for your brand. A name like www.voiceofstyle.com lends itself to so much more creative imagery than simply www.janesmithVO.com.

It’s a good idea to have a few ideas in mind because the domain you’d like to use could already be in use. A web service like NetworkSolutions.com or GoDaddy.com will help you determine if your domain of choice is available.

Picking 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 from will also offer web-hosting packages but in the event it doesn’t you can check out some of the other available options such as www.rackspace.com, www.1and1.com orwww.hostgator.com.

Branding your voice-over business is one of the most important objectives in your marketing efforts and will project a consistent perception of you to your audience, establishing your brand’s image and purpose.

Creating Content

Once you’ve got your website up and running it’s time to make it shine! It’s time to add your content.

Creating a site that’s rich in content and updating it periodically with new and relevant material will help you rank better in search engines.

When drafting your written content a client should be able to learn about you and your services in as few words as possible. You’ll want to include a description of your voice, making sure that it features your strengths, specialties, and unique characteristics.

This description should be no more than two to three sentences long. You’ll also want to summarize your voice-over services in a few sentences or by using tantalizing bullet points that leave them wanting more information. This is where you strategically direct them to your contact information.

You may also want to start thinking about a single phrase that best reflects your voice-over services. Take an hour or so to brainstorm slogans and tag lines for your voice-over services. Our domain example earlier reflects a slogan that could be used in conjunction with a name: Jane Smith…Voice of Style

Considering a Blog

If you’re skilled at writing consider creating a blog for your personal website. Sure, it helps with your online visibility in search engines, but it also gives your brand personality and, especially for those clients you’ll never see in person, it helps you become relatable, real. 

Consider how often you plan to update your blog; daily, weekly, or monthly. Be honest about how much time you can dedicate to it and stick to with it. Consistency matters as much to the search engines as it does to your readers. 

A blog also helps you become part of the greater voice-over community, helps you create a professional image, rank for more keywords and drives more traffic to your site. Comment on other blogs, whether those of other voice actors or blogs from outside of the industry. Write from the heart for the audience you have in mind, not for the search engine, and you’ll naturally see better traffic because your content is authentic.

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 overall marketing efforts.

Be creative, interesting, and authoritative.

Adding Multimedia To Your Website

‘Content’ doesn’t just refer to what you write on your website. So if writing just isn’t your thing you can still build a content-rich website without a blog. Content also includes any kind of digital media; pictures, videos and audio.

A good option for any voice talent to explore for their website is voice-over related podcast. This will demonstrate not only your voice but also your technical skills and your ability to sound natural and engaging. To learn more about Podcasting you can download our Podcasting Success Kit.

At any rate, your landing page (homepage) should contain what your clients are looking for most; samples of your voice. You’ll want to include as many demos in different genres as you’re able to perform so clients can easily find the type of voice-over their looking for.

For marketing purposes, try to update your website often. Every time you update content on your website major search engines pick up on it and “crawl” the site for the new work you’ve added increasing your ranking in search results.

So if you’ve recorded a new demo post it to your website, write an entertaining story about it, and share it on social media (more on that coming up).

Creating a Logo to Brand Your Visual Identity

Another thing you’ll want to consider for branding purposes is a logo. Your logo can accompany press releases, be used as a link to your website, used in advertising, on business cards and letterhead and give potential audiences a glimpse into what you and your voice are all about even before listening to your demo. 

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 attractively, making sure that it doesn’t overpower everything else.

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.

Next, we’ll discuss some effective online advertising strategies.