As a voice actor, your personal brand is what can set you apart from the rest of the competition. By definition, personal branding entails developing and maintaining a reputation. On this front, social media offers immense opportunity to showcase who you are, what you do, and what differentiates your unique talents.
We’re all familiar with the classic showbiz adage: it’s not what you know, but who you know. When you’re setting your voice over business in motion, you need to consider a new layer that social media networks add to that phrase: it’s about who you’re connected to, both online, as before, and now online, too. Who do you know? Who is ‘following’ you?
If you haven’t yet established yourself on social media and started to amass a slew of loyal followers, then it’s about time for you to start.
Why Having a Social Media Presence is Essential to Developing Your Personal Brand as a Voice Actor
Today, social media platforms are one of the main domains where voice talent network with one another, share industry news, find jobs, and engage with the community at large.
Having your own personal social media accounts is one thing, but nowadays, it is also important that you make use of the resources available and publicize yourself widely. The more of a presence that you can build on social media, the more prospective clients and casting directors will be aware of you, and the more opportunities that will come your way in the voice acting industry.
At the same time, you don’t want to waste your days toiling away in front of your Facebook homepage instead of developing your craft. Be strategic about the use of your time and how to optimize channels to construct a polished personal brand.
Building Your Brand: Determining Which Social Networks to Use
Theoretically, you should set out to promote your voice over business on all of the key social media platforms. However, if you know you either won’t be able to keep up with posting and interacting on each platform on a regular basis, or you know you won’t find clients or other voice actors on a certain platform, then there is no point in devoting time there.
Below we’ll outline the major social media platforms where you ought to develop a presence for your voice over business.
Why is Facebook great for voice talent?
By setting up a Facebook Business page for your voice over business, you can declare your business’ official name, write a description of the voice over services you offer, and upload critical personal branding elements, such as photos and other visuals (whether your headshot or your business logo). You can also present a call-to-action directing users to your website, or your Voices profile. On your page’s Timeline is where your personal brand can truly shine. Ensure that you’re posting regularly, providing new updates about your career, behind-the-scenes photos, audio clips, videos, etc.
On Facebook, it is critical to build separate personal and professional accounts. It’s easy and free to set up a Facebook page directly for your business. Your social sphere, the friends on your personal account,probably don’t want to be inundated with voice acting news in the same way that your professional network might. You don’t need to update your Timeline constantly, but you do need to be consistent. If you’re able to post three times a week, try to stick to it so that visitors can see that your page is being actively maintained. Also ensure that you do post and share relevant content whenever it comes around. You can also encourage clients to rate your business and leave a review detailing their experience working with you. The more engagement your page receives, the better.
LinkedIn is the largest and most actively used social networking sites devoted specifically to professional networking. This is the perfect platform for focusing all of your efforts toward reaching out to potential clients.
For LinkedIn, you should fill out your entire profile, showcasing your resume and completed projects. There should be a link to your demos. Like Facebook, encourage past clients to write testimonials recounting what it was like to work with you. These will be directly viewable on your profile.
As a platform, LinkedIn is far more professionally oriented than, say, Twitter or Facebook. It has fewer distractions, because it is primarily for forming work connections. As a result, there is less spam circulating, and when you send messages out to prospective clients, you have a better chance of getting a response than over email or Facebook, where messages often get lost in the spam filter.
More than almost any social media platform, Twitter has forged its way into the fabric of contemporary journalism and served as a site for some of the most innovative brand engagement of the past decade.
In the voice over industry, clients are now using Twitter to locate voice talent, reporters are using it to source stories, and talent are using it to promote new work or demos. Twitter can be a useful platform to provide a peek behind the scenes into your career as a professional voice actor. As you know, its main function is allowing its users to post short text updates (now 280 characters, up from the previous 140 character limit), photos, videos, and all-around bite-sized glimpses into your life. A feature coming to Twitter will present new opportunities for voice actors to do voice tweets. As of now, only certain accounts have been enabled, including that of our CEO. Check out the tutorial on how to voice tweet via the Voices blog.
You should also make sure to “follow” accounts that are of interest to you and your business. When you follow others, you’ll view their Tweets in your main Twitter feed, and you can reply or retweet as you see fit, which is seen as an endorsement or vote of confidence. This can be an easy way to build a rapport with potential clients and industry affiliates.
YouTube is the single largest video sharing site on the Internet, and actually accounts for more than twice as much activity and content as every one of their competitors combined. On YouTube, users can like your video, leave a comment on it, share it, or embed the video on their website to help promote you. They can also add videos to their favorites or playlists.
With video being easier to produce now than everYouTube can be a great resource. You can create your own channel and post demos of your voice acting experience, with a minor visual component attached. Or you can post vlogs (video blogs) where you recount your experiences working in the voice industry, showcase your vocal range, share tips on how to nail your next audition, and so on.
In any case, with a YouTube channel you get to use your voice and engage with the community at large. Just make sure not to put a great deal of effort into producing state-of-the-art visuals, since the video ideally shouldn’t distract from or overshadow the sound of your voice.
If your video has been used in commercials, explainer videos, or any other audiovisual project, clips of your completed work may already have a home on YouTube. These videos would be great to embed on your website as examples of finished products that you took part in. However, you should consult the client you worked with before re-uploading the video to your voice acting YouTube channel. You very well may not own the rights to the video.
Instagram is one of the most actively used social media platforms, so not partaking would be a missed opportunity to add to your audience.
Owned by Facebook, Instagram is a photo and video sharing app. For a professional voice actor, the platform can serve as the perfect destination to post clips of behind-the-scenes work and snippets of voice recordings. Just don’t forget to include the sound when you upload the video.
Make sure to keep the content you post on Instagram as concise as possible. If you want to elaborate, you can do so in the captions, but try not to go overboard and keep things brief.
Personal Branding Do’s and Don’ts on Social Media for Voice Actors
Social Media Do’s:
- Determine the right platform for marketing your voice over business, as well as assess which ones to prioritize, so you make the most of your limited time and resources.
- Be consistent with brand imagery. Use the same headshot and try to use the same handle on every platform.
- Be strategic and deliberate when establishing your personal brand.
- Cross-promote your websites and all social media profiles.
- Fill out your bio on every page. This is your chance to control your personal title and how you describe your voice over business to the world. Avoid using words like ‘aspiring’ or ‘newcomer.’
- Pay attention to all of your followers. Are they producers, or other professionals with industry connections? Who is engaging the most with your posts? Once you determine who your audience is, it may considerably inform how you produce and publish content.
- It’s crucial to remember that clients may be monitoring your social media accounts and/or ask about your social media reach (how many followers you have, who follows you, etc.) during the hiring process. Stats like this could even determine whether you’re hired for a project or not. Voice actors who double as social media influencers may be at an advantage.
- Social media allows you the opportunity to show a personal side. Even though you’re a business, you can still be fun and relatable.
- Learn how to measure your results, analyze customer touch points, and derive metrics from your efforts. Is any of your social media activity directly resulting in paying opportunities, or is it serving more to build your brand narrative?
Social Media Don’ts:
- Be overly pushy with your services. If you’re bothering your followers by relentlessly marketing to them, then a clean escape route, the Unfollow button, is just one quick click away.
- Share demos directly on Facebook or Twitter. Instead, direct visitors to your personal website, which should never be more than one click away at all times.
- Show off. You should post about successful jobs, but be careful about posting so often that it seems like you’re more invested in showing off than finding new work.
- Comment on or post anything attention-seeking or negative.
- Post recklessly and impulsively. It is highly encouraged to coordinate a social media posting schedule well in advance. You’re using social media as a business channel, which differs significantly from the way that you would navigate a personal account.