‘Your Online Brand’: Traditional Voice Over Experience May Not Be Enough

Posted on October 8, 2009 by

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The term ‘brand’ refers to the image, feel, and idea of your online product, in this case, your voice over abilities. Quite often at Voice123, I have seen amazingly skilled voice over talent from the traditional offline market struggle to make the leap to online casting. Many usually start by selling themselves based on their experience, first. Unfortunately, as much as I hate to admit it, the belief that just stating you are experienced is not definitive enough of your ‘brand’.

In the two years I have been behind the scenes at Voice123, combined with the two additional years of using online casting, only after leaving the traditional offline method of the voice over industry, I have come to learn just how the original ‘you’, your voice product, and how you use it in the present defines a person’s ‘brand’.

The statement can be highly unsettling for those with great experience in the traditional market. However, the online voice over casting industry is a completely new market and way of doing business, and it is less than six years old. Compared to traditional markets, it is still just a child.

Hear me out on this because I made a mistake while a voice talent on Voice123 by believing I could transfer all I learned while ‘pounding pavement’, and simply apply it to online casting. I was wrong. This information will prove valuable to any voice talent.

There are five steps to building an ‘online brand’:

  1. Get noticed by being the ‘positive’ you, and only ‘the positive you’. Avoid negativity.
  2. Be ‘down to earth’ while working online, understanding online casting is still new for many people auditioning and hiring.
  3. Build trust and relationships with those you come in contact with always by having a brand that is truthful to your ability.
  4. Get to know yourself, and describe what it is you actually do with your voice. Listing experience is not a description of what you do. It is a record of what you once did.
  5. Display flexibility when dealing with people online, and know how far you are willing to stretch.

Why is this helpful for voice over casting online? A key factor in understanding exactly ‘how the mindset of the Internet works’, in my opinion, can be summed up simply as:

‘The Internet belongs to everyone. No one owns it.’

  • When something is shared by everyone, you can never display that you feel you are above someone else. It will turn people off to you, and you want people to trust you. Trust is the one ingredient in the online world that has to be proven time and time again. This is merely a psychological effect of trying to work with people you cannot see. The Internet carries that burden of proof, always, simply because it is so easy to lie on the Internet.
  • Therefore, telling someone, ‘I have 30 years experience.’, carries little weight because online casting for voice overs is just a six year old playground. It requires building trust and learning a new method of doing business all over again before the experience can be used to shape the future of online casting.
  • Finally, keep an open mind about what people think. With the entire world watching and listening, and with so many opinions, not everyone will think you are great, no matter where you come from or what you have done, and that is normal.

Is this bad? No, not at all. The Internet, social media, etc. allows for everyone to market themselves, create a community, and all with a much more cost-effective price than in years before working online. Also, given that the ‘Internet belongs to everyone’, people will be allowed to either pass or fail on their own, as their own business, quicker than before.

Always be your best original ‘you’!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Public Relations Manager
My Blog
Twitter: @voice123dotcom