What do you need to do to get noticed? As you may have heard, half of the battle is just showing up. In order for your brand to show up, you need to know how to market yourself. Particularly online, marketing yourself includes investing some time and effort into building your web presence.
You can market yourself online in a variety of ways, including sharing your story and explaining to others how you can potentially work together. Networking is a way to expand your territory while making new friends. So many different businesses need voice-overs recorded, and they may not even realize how voice acting can help them. When you network with other people, you may be the first person they’ve ever met that does voice acting. As a result, getting your story down pat before you head out into the world of business networking is a must.
These days it’s not just about who you know, it’s about how many people you know that matters. Social media now plays such an important role in getting more friends — and thus more business prospects.
With social media, virtual friendships have increased the number of friends and potential networks you are connected to. You can have similar interests and business goals with those friends, which in turn allows you to share opportunities and successes in your voice acting career.
The three main social media sites that we suggest you use to market your voice acting include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn:
Facebook (www.facebook.com) allows you to join groups, add friends, and incorporate applications into your profile to share content and help direct people to your website. You can include links from your profile to your own website and blog. The ability to post notes and update your status on the fly also gives you an opportunity to communicate to all your friends at once. Your profile can promote your voice and invite your clients to join. You can send out emails to your members easily to announce and share a new demo, talk about work you’ve recently completed, share your studio news, and more.
We suggest that if you want to keep business and personal separate that you create separate profiles — one for your personal self and one for your business. You can opt to create a Facebook page for your business that people can “like” and follow you on a professional basis. That isn’t to say that you can’t share personal things through your professional profile, but you can be more selective with what elements of your personal life you choose to share given the audience viewing the updates.
Twitter (www.twitter.com) is a channel that many techie social networking types have embraced as an alternative way to keep people up on what they’re doing. Twitter gives you the ability to sign up and provide a flow of personal updates while also allowing you to follow or subscribe to the Twitter update feeds of your family, friends, colleagues, or your favorite movers and shakers. For example, you could be on the lookout for people in the industry who share interesting things on their Twitter feeds. If you follow them, they may follow you back! Similarly, you may be followed by those who are interested in what you have to say, or in hiring you. When you use Twitter, you can share about recent work you’ve done or general things, like how to take care of your voice. You also direct followers to where they can hear interesting projects you have voiced, or where they can hire you, whether it be a service you use, or your own website. Twitter’s 140 characters forces you to get creative with concise calls to action and rapport building.
One of the more popular ways to classify a tweet is by using a hashtag (#) before a word. Doing so makes it easier for others with similar interests to find what you’re talking about. For example, a popular hashtag being used in the voice-over industry is #voiceover.
Remember that Twitter updates can be searchable on the Internet and also published in the public timeline. If you want to limit access to your updates, you need to check the box to “protect your updates” Twitter feed.
LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) is one of the oldest social networking sites specific to professional networking. It focuses on facilitating the connection of service providers in a traditional manner. Why is LinkedIn great for voice actors? LinkedIn classifies nearly every aspect of what people do in their professional lives and makes it simple to connect with others in the industry of your choice or related industries. You can add friends and develop a network of other voice actors, producers, casting directors, and so forth. You can also observe a “six degrees of separation” type family tree of who knows who, how they know each other, and how you may also become acquainted with someone who is a friend of a friend by means of an introduction from a mutual friend.
Remember to avoid “social media burnout.” If you’re feeling overwhelmed by social media and social networking, you may find that maintaining too many profiles on social networks may become one more thing on your to-do list or the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Having several profiles on social media can also become addicting if you’re constantly updating, tweeting, or reading what others are doing instead of actually doing anything yourself. Social media has a lot of noise, so be careful and spend your time social networking wisely.
Making social media a part of your marketing strategy for your voice and your brand is smart; you can control the image you put out into the world, making sure that it aligns with your goals. As well, a little bit of thought will go a long way in determining how successful you are at marketing yourself on social platforms. Deciding exactly what your brand is, and what your goals are, is key. Planning how you will conduct yourself, the kind of content you will be posting, and what kind of rewards you hope to reap will guide your choices and overall success.
About The Authors
Stephanie Ciccarelli and David Ciccarelli are the founders of Voices.com, the largest global web hub for voice actors. Over the past nine years, Stephanie, David, and their team have grown Voices.com from the ground up to become the leader in the industry. This article was originally published in Voice Acting For Dummies and has been republished with permission from John Wiley and Sons, Inc.