As human beings, we crave authentic connection. We want to feel heard, inspired, understood, included, and informed.
As a voiceover talent, it is your job and passion to evoke these feelings – to effectively pull the copy off the page and truly speak to your listener. Whether it’s a radio ad for a new product; a TV promo for an upcoming series; a corporate training video for a healthcare company; or an audiobook narration for a New York Times best-seller, you use your voice to connect with your client’s audience.
What you can’t forget is that, even though you spend most of your time behind a mic in a secluded, soundproof, 4×6 ft. box, as a voiceover talent, you are also a brand worth sharing!
During these crazy COVID times where in-person socialization is not as simple as it once was, social media is more important than ever.
It’s a powerful tool for:
1. Sharing information and ideas
2. Learning about what’s happening in your close circle, your community, and around the world
3. Interacting with friends, family, clients, colleagues, thought leaders, and brands to build strong, meaningful relationships
4. Marketing and promoting your business, especially in this increasingly digital age
However, if you didn’t grow up in the world of posts, gifs, highlights, tweets, hearts, hashtags and emojis, social media can feel overwhelming.
You might ask yourself: What platforms should I be on? What kind of content should I post? How often should I post? How do I get more likes, comments and followers? These are all questions that plague our minds when it comes to the world of social media.
Can all your content be under one account or do you need a business page and a personal page? How much time do you need to spend on social media a day? How can I make this whole process easier?
First thing’s first. You need to have a unique personal brand that captures your essence and makes you stand out. Voiceover is an extremely competitive industry and now a global business, so you must capitalize on what makes you one-of-a-kind to break through the noise.
Whether you opt to do it yourself by following a tried-and-true branding methodology or you hire a professional branding team to help you discover your brand is totally up to you. The important thing is that you do it! Branding is a necessary and worthwhile investment, especially in the world of VO.
SOCIAL MEDIA DECISIONS:
Once you have all the elements of your voiceover brand packaged together (your tagline, branded bio, color palette, fonts, images, website, demos, etc.) you will have the tools you need to create and optimize your social media presence.
The next step is to determine which social media platforms to use. To do this, you have to know the purpose of each.
Here’s a basic breakdown for the major social media platforms you should be considering as a voice over talent:
LINKEDIN: As the largest professional network on the internet, this is THE platform to advance your career. When done right, it’s also a great way to find clients, and ultimately, make money! Unlike the other popular social media platforms, LinkedIn is all business, so if you aren’t on there, you need to be.
This is the perfect place to build your industry network and promote your brand/voice/work.
- Showcase VO content like new demos, client projects, blog posts, podcasts, website updates, and behind-the-scenes clips of your home studio – just to list some ideas
- Reach out to prospective clients/ talent buyers and cultivate relationships
- Collect testimonials to boost and show off your credibility
- Keep up with industry trends as well as what your clients/colleagues are up to
- Be a thought leader in a chosen field and share articles, podcasts, and ideas that are on brand for you
TWITTER: If you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of social media, I recommend you start with Twitter. Through short and sweet, 280-character count tweets or by following specific hashtags or accounts, you can stay up-to-date with anyone about anything. Because it’s an open, global and popular platform, there’s virtually unlimited access and potential.
- You can engage with people and brands that are important to you, both in your personal and professional life. This can include clients, companies, politicians, celebrities, athletes, experts, brands, managers, agents, VO pros, random funny people, colleagues, friends – you name it.
- It’s a great platform to network and find your tribe in a low-stakes, no-pressure kind of way. This is one of the many benefits of Twitter’s fast-moving, highly skim-able content! You can Tweet directly at people, chime in on any conversation, or use it as a public forum to post your shower thoughts, work updates, and anything in between. Who knows, it might even go viral.
- While I highly encourage you to post original content, you can also take a more passive approach and ride off the coattails of others. You can retweet or heart other people’s tweets and therefore, link them to your profile feed.
- It gives real-time insight into pop culture, industry trends, social commentary, and news.
INSTAGRAM: If you love taking aesthetic photos or have a passion for visual storytelling, then Instagram is your social media mecca. This is an entirely image-based platform (with video sharing capabilities too!) that gives people countless little windows into your life.
As a voiceover artist, this platform allows you to…
- Provide depth into who you are both inside and outside of work. This is particularly important because it helps talent buyers narrow down the auditions and cast the most authentic person for a job when there is a large pool of highly-qualified and comparable talent to choose from.
- Showcase the things, activities, and people that you hold near and dear to your heart (pets, food, travel, family, quotes, VO life are all fair game!) via photos and short videos.
- Promote your voice via features like Stories, Highlight reels, IGTV and more.
- Embrace your brand. You can weave your branded colors, logos, imagery, and personal tidbits throughout your posts to create and maintain a consistent online presence.
FACEBOOK: While Facebook is mostly a platform to share photos, videos, and life updates to your friends and family, it can be beneficial to you as a voice talent too. You can either make your profile public for ease and accessibility, or you can set up a branded VO business page.
This platform allows you to…
- Describe your voiceover services
- Link to your website and demos
- Connect with those specifically in the VO industry – other voice actors, voice buyers, clients, companies, experts and more
- Participate and stay up-to-date with events, industry trends, etc.
- Post about all VO-related work
YOUTUBE: Being the largest online video platform, this is where all of your VO content should live. This includes demos, commercials, promos, narrations, live announce recordings, podcasts, and vlogs.
- It’s easy to link and embed on your other social media accounts and website
- It has a HUGE audience of 2 billion users – many of which could use your VO services as an eLearning, animation, promo or narration voice, just to name a few.
- Its purpose is to allow people to share 1) how to solve a problem, 2) improve a skill, or 3) provide entertainment – all of which voice actors can do!
- People would rather watch videos and listen rather than read.
- You can easily track your views and engagement.
THE TAKEAWAY: Whether you are on one platform or all of them, be sure you are staying consistent – both in your activity and in your branding. The more active you can be, the better your engagement.
PLANNING AND POSTING: You also need to have a strategic social media plan. After all, it is an integral part of your voiceover business.
1. Plan your posts: This ensures that you have a consistent presence on social media. I recommend scheduling them through a program such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social or Buffer. They all have free versions available.
As a voice actor, here is my posting schedule recommendation for you:
For LinkedIn, post 2-3 times during the work week.
For Twitter, tweet original content at least once a day, if not 5 or 10 times.
For Facebook and Instagram, post 4-5 times a week.
For YouTube, upload videos as you produce, create, or gather new mp4 content.
As for what time/what day to post, this depends largely on your audience. Dig into your data analytics to see when your followers are the most active. The more engagement you can get right after posting, the better! If you want to take a less technical approach, think about when you yourself are most likely to be scrolling through social media. Be aware of time zones too.
2. Brainstorm relevant content: Here are a few ideas you can start with:
– new demos
– VO client projects
– opinion pieces
– useful industry information
– tips and tricks
– blog posts
3. Engage with the platforms: Like, Comment, Share, Post. All of these will help you break through the algorithm and boost your numbers and views.
GENERAL SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS: Here are also some important tips to keep in mind when it comes to posting content, no matter which social media platform you’re on:
- Be consistent with your branding
- Maximize your profile by filling it out fully
- Utilize all the features
- Cross promote your pages
- Tailor your content to the platform
- Use plenty of relevant hashtags
- Include visual elements or media links to boost engagement
- Be active on the platform and engage with your followers
- Track your data analytics so you know when your audience is active and the type of content they are engaging with the most
- Be authentic!
If you don’t have the time, energy or experience to do this all yourself, do as the celebrities do and delegate. It’s totally okay to hire a social media management expert so you can stay in your zone of genius behind the mic!
Done correctly, beautifully and consistently, social media is a great way to promote your brand, your business and your life. Not only are they full of supportive communities, but it can add true value to your career. Now it’s time to take your online presence to the max!