Why Less is Often More in Voiceover Marketing

Photo Source: @TonyTheTigersSon via Twenty20

There’s a fair amount about being a voice talent that requires less of you. Yup, you heard that right. This sentiment may go against everything you think you know about being a performer, but hear me out.

If I’m casting you for a voiceover project, I don’t want to see what you look like, I want to imagine what you look like. Your job as a voice actor is to engage the listeners’ imagination, an opportunity far too powerful to overlook.

Sure, we can Google you and we’ll likely discover a headshot or two. But the great likelihood is that your voice won’t match the imagination of the listener; it rarely does. The listeners’ imagination—and what you suggest with your performance—is far more important than what you actually look like. So you must carry that idea from the beginning, starting with your VO website.

The objective of your voiceover web page is to make your name known and define you as a professional voice actor with progressive, appealing graphics. It should legitimize your professional identity through effective advertising by featuring your name in the form of a distinct logo that should look as good as you sound. You’re promoting yourself to commercial producers, many of which spend years in advertising before specializing in other areas like documentary, film, TV, games, industrial, or animation. As such, they know what you’re trying to accomplish and they know all the standard tricks people use to get themselves there.

Unfortunately, the bulk of voiceover sites are overwhelmed with the same tired graphic images of mouths, sound waves, headshots that read like you’re selling real estate, and the ever popular, overused ribbon microphone. All of which tells us absolutely nothing about you, except that you do voiceover.

READ: Establishing Your Brand Identity as a Voice Talent

Another marketing misstep when it comes to your voiceover web page is listing past clients and including their various company logos all over your site and résumé. This reads as conflict rather than credit, and that’s a problem. These established identities upstage your own logo by pitting your brand identity against iconic images, ultimately defeating the purpose of having a site devoted to your VO work.

If you’re a recording or production studio, then, by all means, list your credits and add the iconic logos of well-known, established brands on your site as clients. But as an individual voice talent, these additions ultimately translate into distractions that lead visitors away from you and that’s an epic fail, marketing wise.

When it comes to representation, proceed with caution as far as your site goes. While it’s not always talked about, as a voice talent, you can secure representation from multiple talent agents in a variety of markets across the country. However, not every hat fits every head. Voiceover sites that “boast” representation by 10 or more agents only advertises a lack of experience and professionalism. Maintaining representation with no more than three or four talent agents is recommended, provided it’s not more than you can personally handle.

Lastly, when it comes to performance, “hard sell” tends to read as “sell-y” and off-putting. It’s precisely what not to do in a commercial. In fact, in advertising, you’re never selling something—you’re embodying and imparting the core concepts of the campaign and overall brand, which is how you’ll build your own reliable brand.

So there you have it. Granted, as professionals, we’re accustomed to delivering our best, if not our all. So it’s nice to know that doing less can accomplish more in the end, at least with a few elements such as the handful of items listed here.

Check out Backstage’s voiceover audition listings!

The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

Kate McClanaghan
Kate McClanaghan is a casting director, producer, and founder of both Big House Casting & Audio (Chicago and Los Angeles) and Actors’ Sound Advice. She’s a seasoned industry veteran and actor who has trained actors and produced demos for more than 5,000 performers over her 30 years in the business.
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