It’s Your Virtual Business Card. Help Future Clients Find You.
Your voice over business is … a business. Yes, that earns a major “Duh!” on the surface, but many beginning voice actors don’t often realize that there’s a significant business component to creating a successful artistic career. One of the first things that a new voice actor should do after crafting a professional demo is to create a professional website to advertise their voice talents.
A professional website is your storefront. Not a new concept, we’re all well-accustomed to shopping online. And we probably recognize a good website when we see it. Attractive, easy to see what the business is all about, hopefully pretty straightforward to find what you are looking for, simple to navigate with clear cut product descriptions, and a means of easily placing your order.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, and at first it probably shouldn’t be. As you expand into multiple genres of voice work, your website can grow with you. At first, it can be one easy-to-read page with just these basic elements:
1. Your name – whichever professional name you use, make sure that it is big and bold and known to those coming to your website. Viewers may only spend a few seconds looking over your home page before deciding to move on, so let them know who you are and what you do at first glance. And yes, put the word “voice over” somewhere prominently near your name so that it’s obvious what you do.
2. Your demo. One is sufficient to start. Just put it in the top half of the page so that the viewer’s eye can find it right away. And make it easy to play. I use the VoiceZam player that allows me to quickly and easily update individual tracks and lets the viewer listen to or download as many spots as they’d like.
3. Your contact information – show them how to contact you! A simple email address will do.
Make certain, however, that your website is easily readable across multiple platforms. If it looks great on the computer, but appears too large and content is lost when viewed on a mobile device … that’s a problem. Prospects, agents, and other valued folks are quite likely to first use their phones to look you up and see what you have to offer. A website that doesn’t properly size to the device or takes too long to load will not be viewed. If you don’t have the skills or interest to learn how to do this properly, you may want to reach out to a professional to set it up for you.
There’s so much more information that you can add to your website, so be sure to choose a tool that will allow you to easily expand it as you progress in your career. Instead of one rolling page, consider adding landing pages and buttons from the home page to direct leads to the demos that they’ll be most interested in. Besides demos, you’ll want a section to provide a little information about yourself and what makes you unique, links to your social media, customer testimonials, etc.
Some of the popular, easy and straightforward website hosting platforms that you may want to check out include:
I’m using Wix, which has the added benefit of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) included with its use. There are others, of course, but these three seem to currently be the most popular with a majority of voice actors.
As you get to understand your unique voice, flavor your website with branding. As a voice actor, you are unique because your voice is unique. Take the time to discover the qualities others think of when they hear your voice and how they mesh with your personality. Are you the good-natured guy next door? The brassy best gal pal who’ll tell you what you need to hear? The wise old owl to whom you find yourself turning to for advice time and again? Let that uniqueness guide you to creating (or modifying) a website that tells potential customers who you are, what you have to offer, and how you’re uniquely you.
If you’re not sure of your brand, that’s OK. It can take a few years to discover! Originally, I thought I was the authoritative CEO type because of my years as a corporate sales exec. Surprise! I learned from coaches, other voice talent, and the experience of listening to my own reads that I really have a quirky voice, dynamic and full of humor that lends itself to storytelling, “real person” and conversational narratives, and even character work. Sure, I enjoy voicing the authoritative read, but it’s not the first thing people think of when they hear my voice. So my website reflects the fun, quirky side of me, while also demonstrating that I play well in the corporate world, too, with narration, eLearning, explainer videos, and telephony. If you’d like to explore your brand with the help of a well-regarded expert in VO branding, check out Celia Siegel’s book Voiceover Achiever and branding services.
Now that you have your website, it’s time to actively look for work. Check out these first steps to finding opportunities as a new – but professional! – voice actor.