This blog looks at why you need to have your own voiceover website.
The Power of The Internet
- Number of monthly searches on Google – 100Billion
- Over 50% of all searches come from mobile phones
- 80% of the online population has purchased something using the internet
- US Ecommerce sales estimated to be $304.1 billion in 2014
- Nearly two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone owners
The internet is now embedded into pretty much everything we do from checking the weather to contacting friends and of course searching for business and people.
The internet is growing and so it is important for you to be a part of the global network and use it to power your brand.
What Is a Personal Brand?
A strong personal brand is a mix of reputation, trust, attention, and execution.
– Chris Brogan
The majority of jobs, an estimated 80%, are found in the informal job market, which means through networking and personal connections. The days of putting together a single CV and showreel and then firing it out to loads of production houses are over. They may occasionally generate results, but in most industries and markets now it is hyper competitive and so you need to be focused and creative to get work.
The internet and social media have rewritten the rules of how we network and find work. There is now not one but many places that you need to use to ensure that you are visible as a brand. Most corporate brands now have big teams of people managing their profiles across social media as well as maintaining their website. At one point some thought that websites would disappear, but in fact the opposite is true, websites have become the hub for all brand activity.
To start with though you need to create a strong brand identity. There are lots of elements that go into to making a great personal brand. A personal brand, is something that you actively have to manage online, offline, in your industry, and on social media. Which means there are dozens of opportunities every day to question whether you’re doing it right and opportunities to do develop it.
How To Identify Your Personal Brand
Creating a personal brand starts with some research into your voiceover talent, your interests, what drives you to be involved in the voiceover industry and how you can make a unique contribution.
Identify what excites you the most about voiceover, what other passions, skills and interests that together shape who you are. In particular identify the niche parts of the voiceover industry that you are suited to. Be a specialist and understand who to express this. To do this you need to really drill into who you are and explore it with others – often those close to you professionally and personally can help give you valuable feedback.
Write down what makes you different. Having a personal brand is about differentiating yourself by expressing your own unique creativity and personal style. This is also about your personal journey,. How you got to where you are and what skills, experience and knowledge you have gathered. This is your unique life fingerprint.
Now when you are pitching yourself to people you need to be quick, concise and clear about who you are and how you can fit with their goals. This is important in a competitive industry like voiceover. People will remember you if you can do this well. Take some time to study other people with similar messages online and try to find your own unique view on your topic.
Building, investing in and developing your personal brand is essential. You are constantly projecting your brand, consciously or unconsciously, and others are acting based on how your brand comes across. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your reputation accurately reflects your true brand so that you can rise to your full potential.
Now your personal brand needs a home a place, your own voiceover website, where people can read about you and it isn’t limited to a 100 characters (the profile limit for your Twitter profile).
Why Have A Personal Voiceover Website
Every social network and even Pay to Play sites has limitations. Often you are one of many or you can’t offer the full picture of yourself in the format that you want. People make quick decisions on the internet, in literally seconds, so you want to be in control of those first few seconds.
According to one study, more than half of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than by resumes. A personal website not only allows you to share your accomplishments and experiences in greater detail, but also serves as a cornerstone of your brand identity.
Five Reasons Why You Need a Voiceover Website
Now that you know it is possible to build an attractive site, why would you want to do so?
#1. A Website Improves Your Search Results
The majority of people now search online for voiceover actors before making final decisions and a personal website gives you some control over what they find. A site branded to your name is likely to be appeal to potential casting directors if it fits with the type of work they are looking for. In this way your personal voiceover website will help you shine and demonstrate your talents. If optimised for SEO it will also help you appear in search results.
#2. A Website Serves as a Portfolio
Your personal voiceover website is where you can show all your work. If you have done a range of voiceover work you can present it as your portfolio. The website allows you to share more of your best work. Additionally you can add in the personality, interests and other skills.
#3. A Website Helps Build Your Brand
From the images and fonts you choose to how you choose to arrange your site, it contributes to your brand and image. However, a website does more than that. By adding testimonials, links to your social media, and your voiceover portfolio, your website helps establish your credibility and communicates what you are all about.
#4. A Website Helps You Network
Your website is accessible 24/7 — even the most committed professional can’t claim that! While you are busy working and living your life, your website is networking for you; others — who you might otherwise have never met — can get to know you by perusing your site and then reach out for a live conversation or meeting if they want.
#5. A Website Helps You Become a Thought Leader
Your own site is the best place to share your thoughts as well. You can put on your website your thoughts on the industry, help others through your experience and start to build a conversation with others. As an example you could interview others in the voiceover industry and write about it. If you put in the time to keep it current, others will begin seeking your opinions, and your reputation will grow.
What Your Website Should Look Like
Before you begin designing your personal website, take some time to think about how you want to present your brand, and gather the content that you want to use. Look at your voiceover website as a tool for telling your story; everything that you include on the site should contribute to that goal.
One important feature you will need is the ability to easily add audio files and label them clearly so that potential casting directors can easily listen to pieces of work relevant to them.
“But I Don’t Know Anything About Building a Website!”
While there are plenty of reasons why you need a personal website the fact is, most people don’t have the skills to build one. The most frequent problem in talking to voiceover actors is that they do not feel like they have the skills to design an attractive and functional website, and/or they don’t have the budget to hire a professional web developer to do it for them.
I will write about some ways to get your own personal voiceover website shortly but if you need help or want your own site then get in contact with Gravy For The Brain, we are developing new services to help the voiceover community.