Building Your Profile

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    The Voices Experience with Founder & CEO David Ciccarelli

    Do you know how to complete your profile to ensure you’re making the most of your Voices experience? As you’ll soon learn, talent profiles have come a long way since the launch of the platform. 

    In this episode, David explains how to best represent yourself using your Voices.com profile by setting your location and time zone, uploading the right number of demos and appropriately tagging them, and fleshing out the Overview, Service Description, and Experience sections of your profile. David also highlights the importance of the profile completeness score, and describes how the profile redesign was executed with the end user in mind: the client!

    About The Voices Experience: The Voices Experience is presented by Voices.com. Produced and engineered by Randy Rektor.

    Hi, it’s David here from voices.com, the founder and CEO of the website that helps you find voiceover work. In each episode, my role is to be your guide, and that means sharing the history of the industry, our company, and at the same time, giving you a behind the scenes look at how things work here at voices.com, on the website. And that’s what we’re going to do today, talk all about your profile.

    Now, your profile is the single most important marketing tool that you have at your disposal on voices.com for a handful of reasons. First off, your profile is really where you get to describe who you are, all about your voice. It’s where you upload your sample of recordings of your voice, also known as your voiceover demos. And it’s where you also gather ratings and reviews. It’s a really critical tool. It’s the public version of what people get to see about you. And so we’re going to dissect what it means to create a profile and give you some ideas of how you can market your profile more effectively.

    If you can, follow along. You can simply log in to voices.com with your username and password, and you can follow along the podcast with me, or you can simply go to the website. In the search bar at the top, you can type in really any search word you want and pull up somebody’s profile.

    Now, how are we going to do this today is actually walk through somebody’s public facing profile and I’ll describe why each of those fields or areas and sections of the profile are so important. And so let’s do that now. Go ahead and log in. And I’ve got Brad Ziffer’s profile up. Brad is a long time friend, an old friend at that. He’s actually been hired on voices over 2000 times and maintains a 5 star rating throughout all of that. I mean, his demos have been listened to tens of thousands of times as well, too. He’s a real pro. We’re going to walk through Brad’s profile and just an example, but not going to speak to Brad specifically, but more to the sections on the profile. You can do the same with your own profile and just follow along, or really anybody’s that you see on the website.

    At the beginning of today’s episode, I did promise to share some of the history of how we built the company. And in the earliest days, if you recall, from the first episode, I talked about how Stephanie and I, we went down to the local public library and took out Web Design for Dummies and learned how to hand code in HTML our own website. One of the pages we had to build over and over, and we eventually got a template for, was that of the profiles of the voice talent that we were showcasing on the website.

    Now, one of the funnier things was because there was no login system, no account that you could sign up for and register, and then log in and manage your own account… instead, all of those changes to the profile, including uploading and swapping out demos, maybe updating information about who you are and maybe your address change, all of that needed to be done by email. We would get emails day and night about these simple changes that needed to happen on people’s profile and we would have to actually manually pull down the page from the internet, make the change in HTML and then reupload it and refresh the servers if you will, with this new, fresh content. We’ve come a long way since then and understand the importance of creating unique content and giving every talent, as much as possible, their own environment, their own ability to showcase who they are or the skills that they have and how they can best serve their clients.

    As I said, the profiles have come a long way. And recently we actually updated the design of the profile, moving away from what I was referring to as this wall of text. You would have your picture and all of this text-based information. Yeah, there was one demo that you could click and listen to, but it really wasn’t designed for the end user in mind. Now, interestingly, you guys listening here today are probably not the end user of your profile. You create the profile, you edit it, but it’s the client who’s considering, “Hey, should I work with you? Yes or no. Do I like your voice? Do I save you as a favorite for later? Do I want to invite you to a job?” And so what we’ve done recently, as I said, is redesign the profile to better compartmentalize and group together similar pieces of information so that it’s best designed and used for a client to be able to scan through quickly, and most importantly, listen to your demos.

    All right, let’s get into it. Let’s talk about the profile itself. Now, every talent on voices.com has their own profile. It’s accessed at voices.com/actors, and then your username. As I mentioned, I’m looking at voices.com/actors/bradziffer. Now, the top of the profile, we have Brad’s photo, just like you would have your photo, your name, and then a location, which is the metropolitan area. You can change this, how you want to. If you live in a smaller city, you can put a larger metro area… for those who want to search for just New York, maybe you live in a suburb, or for instance, Los Angeles, there’s dozens of smaller cities that make up the larger Los Angeles area. That’s why we have this kind of metro area fields up at the top. You also can set your time zone so that, again, the end user can see the relative time where you’re located. And so that lets them know the time zone.

    And then every profile at the top, again, has these five stars and the ratings and reviews associated to that. None of that ratings and reviews are editable by you. No talent can change the ratings. That’s just what the client gives you, but almost everything else we’re going to talk about here today is completely editable by you.

    Now, as we move down the page, you’ll notice that a great emphasis is put on your voiceover demos. We know that clients are coming to the website, really to do one thing, find a great voice for their project. When it comes to visiting your profile, we want them to be able to see and listen to a number of your demos. Most talent are going to have at least three demos, a commercial demo, a narration demo, and a character or animation demo. Those are the three big ones, but we can actually break those down into additional categories. There’s 12 categories of work on voices.com and we strongly encourage you, if you’re a premium talent to actually upload at least one demo in each of those categories. The profile I’m looking at has 18 demos uploaded. Commercial, it looks like a business recording and educational. Those are right on the main page here.

    Clicking view all, lets you see all of the demos. And if you click into any individual demo, you’ll actually see the demo details page. This is where there’s additional descriptive information, the language, the gender, the age range, the category of work, as well as more recently, a transcription of the demo as well too. Transcriptions are either turned on or off. As of right now, you can edit them individually, but that’s going to be coming very soon.

    All right. Let’s go back out to the main profile. One of the hardest parts to fill out of your profile is actually in the about section called your overview. These are your top three lines describing who you are and why you’re going to be a great fit for that particular client. You have more than three lines to fill out, but the only the first three lines are shown and then it says, “Read more.”

    What would you possibly put in the overview? Well, let me give you some ideas. First, listen to a recording of your natural voice. Many of us don’t like the sound of our own voice. This is going to be a bit challenging, but try to describe the sonic quality of your voice, what your voice type is. If you work with a coach, you can ask them or family and friends to give you their opinion, maybe offer up some words that they would use to describe your voice. Ultimately, you’re making a list of these descriptive words that best reflect your own voice and then think of what your voice inspires people to do. Then consult with the source and find other colorful words to describe your voice. Try to avoid though common terms such as deep or funny or professional. They’re just a little too generic. If you have some words that are unique to you, that’s definitely going to set you apart.

    You can write as much as you want in the overview section and you can break it up by paragraphs. And one of the things that’s great is that you can make it scannable, maybe a numbered list or a bulleted list. Make it easy on that prospective clients so they can read through who you are and how you can work with them.

    And speaking of how you can work with them, that’s actually often listed in the service description. Now, many talent provide additional services over and above voiceover, maybe there’s audio production services, copywriting, translation. Maybe there’s some post-production services available as well. You can list and describe those in your services section.

    After that, we have your experience. Now, you might recall way back when you sign up on voices.com, you can choose whether you’re a beginner or professional. That information is not shared here. That’s really just there to help us send you appropriate email messages and material and tips and tutorials along your journey with voices.

    But in the experience, this is the information… as I said, it won’t be shared with the client, but it’s going to be a helpful free form text box, where you can, as they say, explain your experience. It’s a great place to highlight the number of years that you’ve been doing voiceover. And to explain the type of work that you have some experience doing. Again, it’s an opportunity for you to sell yourself and your business and make the client feel comfortable about working with you. Let the client know about the relevant and unique skills that you have, so if you’re an expert in medical terminology and have done a lot of medical narration, this would be a great place to do so. As you grow your business, be sure to come back to this section and update it as your career grows.

    After the experience is the client list. Now this is probably not going to be your exhaustive client list of everybody that you’ve ever worked for, but it’s an opportunity for you to highlight maybe some big brand names that you’re particularly proud of. And the first three lines listed are going to show up on your profile here. Make sure the first three are names that are recognizable, not necessarily your most recent work, but probably work that you’re most proud of. And the client list is a particularly good spot for those who have just recently joined voices.com. You’re a professional, but you haven’t actually acquired or accumulated any ratings and reviews yet. You can see them, you can list some of your clients they’re in the client’s list.

    And then after that would be your education. This is your formal educational background. You could also add in courses that you’ve taken or coaches that you’ve worked with. Sometimes I’ve even seen particular conferences that are relevant, that a talent has attended and they’ve listed those in their educational background.

    All of that is the about section of your profile. Below that we do have the reviews. And as I said, these are not editable by you, but it’s a chronological order of the most recent work that you’ve completed through voices.com. And you can see all of them there by clicking view all. But if you have only three, the three most recent will show up in this reviews section.

    If you haven’t won a job yet on voices.com, don’t worry. Maybe you’ve done some other work. You can actually include testimonials from clients that you’ve worked with previously, or maybe on another platform or a client that you landed or comment from an agent or a coach. You can include that all in the testimonials.

    Now, moving over to the sidebar, we see your vocal skills. Vocal skills include the languages you speak, accents, ages and categories of work that you have expertise in. To make changes to any of your vocal skills, just log in and edit your profile. And you can click and choose and add and remove as many of these as you want.

    Still on the sidebar and below your vocal skills is the section called studio. And this is an area for those technically inclined clients that want to understand what kind of microphones you have. What’s the software? Is it compatible with the software that they’re using? Is there any other special equipment that you have? And we’ve also recently just added a directed session. You’re letting the client know if you’re available for an audio or a video conference. If you have source connector, ISDN, you make sure that you’ve updated those because they are new fields to voices.com, new options for you to communicate what’s available in your studio and make sure those clients know that you can communicate in the ways that they want to.

    And lastly, in that studio section would be the turnaround time. This is great just to set the expectations with the client, that when they reach out to you, is it going to take minutes or is it going to take hours for you to get back to them? And then how long, kind of depending on the project… of course it depends on the project length in terms of a final turnaround time, but it’s helpful to set that expectation upfront.

    That rounds out your profile. Now, I know there’s a lot of information that we’re asking of you to contribute and describe who you are and upload your demos. But as we learned about in the episode about all the technology that powers voices.com, you’ll know that the information that you put in is very important. In fact, it’s critical for how the search engine works, as well as how voice match works, that matching algorithm that invites you to the most suitable jobs that match your profile. If you have a great completely filled out profile and you’ll know that by this profile completeness score when you log in. It’s about 100 points there that you can accumulate and just try to instruct you in and let you know what areas of your profile need to be filled out. Follow along that profile completeness score. If you can get it up to 100, it means you’re going to be seen in as many searches as possible and be invited to as many jobs as possible as well, too.

    And going beyond voices.com, we’ve got to be thinking about Google and Yahoo and Microsoft, Bing search engine as well too. These are all search engines that visit voices.com. They index or catalog the profiles of the voice actors. Often what we find is somebody searching for a talent in a particular city or who has done work for a particular client before, they put those searches into Google and actually land directly on your profile page on voices.com. Having a completely filled out profile is critical, not only for your success on voices, but also landing work from clients who find you through Google.

    Okay, hopefully you found this episode helpful. If you did leave me a review on iTunes and you can always send me questions or comments directly to me at david@voices.com. If you have a general customer service question, there’s a toll free phone number on our homepage and in our help section, or simply send an email to support@voices.com. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do so in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you’re listening right now. And until then, use your voice to inform, entertain and inspire the world.

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