Quick Branding Tip to Keep the Passion Flowing

It’s been a month since VoiceOver Atlanta, and I am still energized by the wonderful community we have. What blows me away every year is just how passionate every single person I meet in this industry is — coaches, producers, voice talent, everybody.

I adore being in a space that buzzes with passion, intelligence and focus. My focus, as you know, is empowering this fantastic community through branding. And what better time to work on your brand than now — when that conference buzz is still fresh and spring is in the air?

No time like the present!

Here is one of my favorite exercises from my new book, “Voiceover Achiever: Brand Your VO Career. Change Your Life”:

Branding allows you to tell your story in a way that is entertaining, concise and specific. The trick is to focus in on exactly what that story is and then to emphasize important aspects of it that your ideal customer will find interesting.

I developed this Brand Finder tool with that in mind. And I use it to kickstart the brand discovery process with all my clients. Spending time grappling with — and answering — these questions is a crucial first step toward getting at the heart of your brand story.

  1. What do you want to accomplish? (You must know where you are headed in order to get there. Be as specific as possible)
  2. What makes you competitive and differentiates you from other talent? (Voiceover is an extremely competitive business. Knowing what makes you unique will allow you to carve out your voiceover niche. Sameness makes every single audition like the lottery. Uniqueness makes you stand out, which gives you an edge.)
  3. If you could only audition for one style of copy what would you want it to be? (Your main brand needs to appeal to your core audience. Pick a genre and start there. Nuanced changes in approach can be made for other genres.)
  4. What would you like advertising agencies/buyers to know about you and your style? (In other words, why should anyone hire you? A clear answer to this question is imperative. If you don’t have one, you have work to do.)
  5. How would you describe your current image? (What feels great? What’s missing? What needs an upgrade? Be tough on yourself. Only by assessing yourself honestly will you be able to make improvements.)
  6. In your opinion, is there anything about your image that feels outdated or off-base? (What message are you sending out now? Do you send the wrong message? What could be enhanced or improved upon?)
  7. What words do you associate with your signature sound? (Use detailed language to describe your voice. Be honest. Be bold. You’ll be doing a lot more of this type of thing.)
  8. What colors, textures, moods or metaphors come to mind about your voice/image (your voice/image sounds, feels or is like ______)? (This is my sneaky way to get colorful images from you that you can use to create visuals.)
  9. What popular cultural icons (famous people, movie stars/eras, popular commercial products/trends, etc.), contemporary or historical, could you align with your voice? (What does your story have in common with theirs? Find descriptions of the items on your list and note any clues to your own brand.)
  10. What kind of music, fashions, stores, and what area of the country does your voice feel most comfortable in? (Look at how the entities on your list advertise and again scour the ads for clues to your brand.)
  11. What brands (can be any product or service including other voice talent brands) do you personally like and why? (This one is huge! If you are attracted to someone or something, you see your ideal self aka brand in it. For instance, I love Apple because it is visionary, well designed and a hub for an entire community. That’s what I am on a great day!! I love Zappos. Not for the shoes — I could find shoes anywhere — but for the culture and the customer delightful service! I love giving that kind of service! I love Birchbox because it’s well designed, appealing and tailored just to me. See how you play this game? Spend some serious time noticing and creating around this concept. You can find inspiration in the multi-million-dollar brands that you love.)
  12. Make a list of all the character voices/roles and networks/commercial products that you can see yourself as a perfect fit for.
  13. Write a rough and brief voice talent and career bio. Just a couple paragraphs. You will edit and infuse this bio with your brand later, so don’t sweat the writing too much at this point. Include notable details about your voice and work/professional qualities (feel free to pull from your answers to questions above) as well as your home studio info, where you are located and any personal or professional tidbits that might interest a potential buyer.

See how fun this can be? You are on your way to enhancing everything about your VO biz.

Feeling on a roll? Pick up a copy of “Voiceover Achiever” on Amazon and keep the brand passion going. Need help? Call me for a free 15-minute brand consultation. I’m always here to help you. Whatever you do, make sure you claim your power and brand your career.

Until next time, passionate entrepreneur!

Celia

Psssst! Did you hear? I’m holding an upcoming branding workshop! For details + to register (limited space!), click here.

 

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What’s your superpower? Mine is helping you uncover yours!

vo achiever chapter 3 header photo

*A special treat for you today! Here’s a sneak peek at Chapter 3 of my brand new book, Voiceover Achiever.*


Branding is my life. I even dream brands. After a particular election, I dreamed that I rebranded the losing party — the one I had voted for — to empower it to succeed. I woke up laughing — of course, I was subconsciously using branding to cope with the defeat!

When people find out what I do, they all want to know what my personal brand is. I’ll get to that in a bit, but first I’d like to take you back to the beginning — all the way back to my baby book.

My mom kept a meticulous baby journal that included the usual milestones: first smile, first tooth, first steps. But it was the other entries that gave clues to the person I would become and the personal brand I eventually would share with the world.

In one entry, she wrote that I had a peculiar habit of drifting away from the TV when shows came on but always stayed glued to the set for the commercials. In another, she talked about how I would focus on what was wonderful about pretty much everything under the sun and then talk it up to anyone who would listen.

As I grew older, my favorite sport became guessing people’s stories.

I’ve played this game with camp counselors, bus drivers, servers, college professors, accountants and real estate agents — you name it — and I have an uncanny knack for getting the stories right. But that’s not the best part. The best part is that each story — each person — is just as fascinating as the next. Each of us has a story to tell. My passion is to help bring these stories to the forefront in a truly authentic and compelling way.

Of course, I didn’t start out knowing what my path would be. My talents and interests drew me to the world of voiceover. As I’ve mentioned, early in my career as a talent agent, I became fascinated by the factors that led to success. Everyone I worked with had talent but some were far more successful than others. While the reasons for this gap eluded them, I recognized what was happening and saw the solution. Both the big solution: branding. And the specific brand solution for each client.

This is when I realized I had a knack for seeing brands — for tapping into the essence of individuals so they could shine their brightest.

This was my superpower. Superman had x-ray vision; I had brand vision.

When I started my business I decided it was time to own this unique gift. Armed with years of voiceover industry insider experience, I set out to change the world one person, one talent, one brand at a time.

I formed Celia Siegel Management to provide a clear path to entrepreneurial success for talent I knew had the potential to reach higher heights. I’ve been doing that ever since. I’ve spent much of my career developing proven, fruitful branding strategies that empower and propel the voiceover careers of my clients. This comes as naturally to me as taking those first baby steps.

And it makes me happy.

And now I’m extending my passion for helping those in the voiceover industry find their branding power source by writing this book. You, too, have a personal brand that was already in you when you were taking your first steps. And when you take the time to examine those characteristics that are uniquely you, you, too, can build a brand, a business and a life that makes you happy. It is my firm belief that once you get your brand story right, everything in your life falls into place.

My definition of brand is the story you want to tell the world about who you really are and what the real you can give. Not a super perfect story about who you would be if only you were flawless. To successfully brand yourself, you need to be willing to show not the perfect version of yourself — not who you wish you could be — but who you really are.

So who am I really? What is my brand?

The answer is: brand intuitive. I view the world through a brand prism and see what’s wonderful inside people. I use this talent to help them see it, too, so they can broadcast it to the world.

Once I strike upon a person’s essence, I see the complete brand finished — it comes together like a picture in my head — and I know how to communicate that to a designer so it comes to life as I envision it. When I show the client, nine times out of 10 they literally jump up and down. This is the joy that comes from being seen for who you truly are.

When I work with clients, I create a main brand — an umbrella brand — then tweak how it’s presented for each particular audience. When approaching creative types, you can be more playful and flippant. With corporations, more straightforward and businesslike. It’s the same brand, packaged in a slightly different way.

“Successful brands are not static. Nor are they rooted in static things, like logos, stationery, and slogans,” says Joan Baker, co-founder of Society of Voice Arts and Sciences with her husband Rudy Gaskins. “Brands are dynamic entities that are fueled by creating value for others. As a voice actor, your primary value lies in your voice acting ability, an effective means for delivering your service, and your relationship skills.”

“Branding begins with cultivating genuine value for the audience you seek to serve, i.e., agents, casting directors and buyers. Branding continues by nurturing and expanding your value to accommodate your audience’s evolving needs. Your audience is constantly evolving and brands have to evolve with them or be a step ahead, ready to serve when the audience arrives. Elasticity and innovation allow brands to do this.”

But that doesn’t mean you try to please everyone. Here’s the truly tricky thing about branding: If you do it right some people aren’t going to like it.

In order for branding to work, you have to tell the truth.

My job is to give clients a brand that makes them say, “Aha! That’s my message!” But sometimes they are reluctant to show their true selves even to me.

I had a client I adored (and still do!), but creating her brand was a struggle. Christian Taylor insisted that her brand present an idealized version of herself and I couldn’t talk her out of it. She wouldn’t reveal her whole true self because she was focused on looking perfect. We created her brand. It was safe and pretty. But I didn’t feel it. There were no sharp edges, no dark side, nothing to separate her from the pack. She’s a good actress, so she jumped up and down convincingly when I showed it to her.

I saw her a few months later at a conference. She came up to me after my presentation and said, “Celia, I just listened to your presentation and I saw all your beautiful brands. I don’t like my brand.” I was like, “What?!” because I’m used to the jumping up and down — not this. I said, “Dang it. Let’s fix it.”

We started over. We went through the Voiceover Brand Finder process I developed. It’s a series of questions I use with my clients to help zero in on their brand and create their brand story (You can learn more about this in chapter 5 of my book). We did it and came up with a few ideas. All were authentic, but one stood out — it was completely her: the ultimate neighbor lady, the reliable, resourceful person next door you could always go to, whether to soothe a worry or borrow a cup of sugar.

Again, she resisted. “I can’t do that,” she told me, “That’s too middle- aged.” I wasn’t going to let her make the same mistake again. I told her, “This neighbor lady is beautiful. I want her on my block. I yearn for that woman on my block who I can trust, who I can trust with my story, who I can borrow sugar from, who knows how to make a pie, who would watch my kid if I had an emergency. That person is gorgeous. That’s how you sound and that’s who you are.”

The next time I saw her was at another conference. This time she wasn’t in the audience — she had a booth that people were flocking to. She was all apple pies and stain remover and handing out wooden spoons. She was the ultimate neighbor lady and everyone loved her.

When she saw me, she said, “Celia, my business is so great. People are coming to me and hiring me. I am middle-aged. I’m amazing and I’m wise and I’m still cute as a button. I had to let go and be authentic to get where I am now.

christian taylor voiceover

That’s the biggest challenge of branding — dropping the need to be perfect. Being perfect is exhausting and not as interesting or appealing as being real. It’s like trying to squeeze into a pair of beautiful shoes that are two sizes too small. Now Christian says, “My new branding fits like my favorite flip-flops and makes me feel fabulous. It gives me pride, strength, and presence in the noisy VO marketplace and that makes me exceedingly happy.”

 

 

A few years ago, Katie DeGabriel came to me saying she was feeling like a voiceover imposter because she was new to the business. To combat this fraud syndrome, she hired me to develop her brand. We went through the usual process and she was forthcoming … to a point.

Her life was a little messy, she told me, but deep down at her core she was a Zen yoga master and she wanted a brand that reflected that. That quality was definitely in her — an important part of her personality — and we launched a serene, tranquil, ohm-like brand. “That is so me!” she said. “Thank you!”

But in reality, it was only part of her story. A year later, she came clean and admitted she wasn’t actually a Zen yoga master but an overscheduled single mom who longed for a more Zen-like existence. “I’m late for everything. I have stains on my clothes,” she confessed. “I want to be serene but my life is anything but.” Aha, this was her real authentic self. We rebranded her with the tagline “Maternally cool. Eternally real.” The visuals depict a many-armed mom a la the goddess Kali trying to do it all. Guess who’s bookings went through the roof?

Katie recently sent me a thank-you email for helping her peel back the layers of the onion to reveal “the true me, my authentic brand: the single mom doing voiceover work.”

“I love my brand because it’s me, my truth, and I’m finally OK showing that to the VO industry,” she wrote.

katie degabriel voiceover

We think that being perfect makes us attractive, desirable, hirable. But the truth is that only by showing our true imperfect selves do we attract our tribe.

There is magic on the dark side.

What are you really terrible at? Like super painfully awful at? There is a pot of gold 180 degrees away from that. Your brilliance can always be found on the flipside of your weaknesses.

I’ll go first.

If you spin me around, I will be lost. I can’t navigate my way anywhere I haven’t been at least a hundred times already. I can’t even find my table at a restaurant when I come out of the bathroom. Don’t even get me started on airports. I tried for years to become a directionally savvy person. It was a constant struggle.

One day while I was busy driving around trying to find the new coffee shop without directions, it hit me: I was watering a dead plant. This was sucking energy away from what comes naturally to me — being creative. You might spend years running from your shadow side. But you can’t escape it. So you might as well stop running and embrace it.

GPS changed my life. And I’m probably the only person ever who asks, “May I have a table near the bathroom?” and “Would you mind if I follow you out of the airport?” These adaptations let me spend more time and brainpower doing what I am meant to be doing: tuning in and finding the authentic brand in each person I meet.

There’s a reason you picked up this book.

It is no accident. Like me, you have a message, a beautiful message to share with the world. You also have a mission — the world needs your gifts. And you yearn to attract your tribe. We all do. It’s human nature.

But a lot of us work alone now. We’re on our screens, doing the hard work of being a voiceover entrepreneur. It’s not nine to five; it’s 24/7. Technology can be a trap, a cage that isolates us and distracts us from who we really are. So what’s the answer? How do we share our message when we’re flying solo all the time?

By remembering that this miracle called the Internet is actually a superhighway. That very same thing that puts us in isolation, clips our wings and leaves us less than fulfilled can actually help us attract our tribe. On this superhighway, you can go anywhere, meet anyone. You may find your tribe on the other side of the country. Doesn’t that sound fun?

I’d like you to take a minute, shut your eyes and think about what your mission is. What were you put on this earth to do? Who do you want to serve? Spend a few minutes meditating on how your whole life story has brought you to this mission. Feel the joy and the humanity of fulfilling that mission. Sit with that feeling. Savor it.

Now that you have that feeling, I want to ask a tough question: Do you want to walk away from that and settle for Plan B? Or do you want to put everything you’ve got into making Plan A — your mission on this great big planet full of all sorts of people — happen?

Your inner skeptic may be insisting on a practical Plan B. I urge you to shove that naysayer aside for a few moments and visualize your heart’s desire. It feels great, doesn’t it?

Are you prepared to show — not the perfect, aspirational, Photoshopped version of yourself but your true vulnerable self? Are you ready to be honest — not about what you wish you could do for a living but what you really want to do? Are you prepared to connect — not with some idealized customer but with your tribe?

I challenge you to really step outside into the light and show the real you. That’s what your tribe wants. As for me, I want the whole world to be branded. I will sleep better at night knowing more people are finding success and happiness by getting their brand right. When you get your brand right, you’ll sleep better, too.

 

Ready to find your superpower?

One of the services I provide to clients is being a sounding board, someone to talk to as they go through the challenging process of self- exploration required to uncover their brand.

Work with me here.

Interested in reading more? Grab my new book, Voiceover Achiever here!

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Your permission slip to start the new year in February

I’ve seen the joke, “January was a test run, let’s start the new year in February” and I can’t help but giggle (and agree!)

How many of you feel that pressure in December to not only wrap up your business on a high note, host the holidays with your crazy aunt Beatrice in tow and plan for a fabulous and successful new year?

{HANDS IN THE AIR – WAVE ‘EM AROUND LIKE YOU JUST DON’T CARE}

Here’s a little how my mind looks towards the end of the year:

-Oooo yum! I HAVE to try that caramel peanut brittle recipe I saw on Instagram.
-Must. Make. Dreamboard.
-Hmm, what is my word of the year?
-What am I going to get my teenage daughters this year??
-Ugh, tax time is coming.

Let’s be realistic. For me (and all of you with your hands in the air) January rolls around and while that motivation is high, it does feel like a lot of pressure to have it all together on January 1.

January isn’t the end all be all month for setting yourself up for success. Here’s how to set yourself up for success anytime of the year.

Outsource that shiz.

Look, I get that delegating your tasks can be a bit panic inducing. Your business is your baby and you don’t want anyone to mess it up.

But as tempting as it can be to be a total control freak, keep on your voiceover hat, it looks great on you. That video editing scarf? Not so much…

One of the best things I ever invested in for my business was a virtual assistant.

I know, I know. You’re thinking, “but it’s SO expensive, I’ll never be able to afford that.” But you have to think of it like this – the ones that invest, get more in return. Sure, it’s scary but guess what? I’ve been able to better my business, increase my exposure and get more done = more $$$.

Here is a list of some tasks that you can delegate today:

-Billing / invoices and follow-up
-Inbox
-Website updates
-Demo creation + edits. Yeah, I know you can do it – but give it to an expert.
-Hire a housecleaner. Spend $100 or 6 hours scrubbing your house. Your choice.

You deserve the help. Get into that mindset.

Make a plan.

Write it down. Make a plan.

You don’t need a fancy nancy planner (although I do love myself a good one!). A pen and paper or a Google doc works just fine.

What’s really been helping me is having a theme for the month. I use this theme for my blog posts, my newsletters and my social media. January’s theme? Everything Voiceover Achiever.

Streamline.

We often overlook all the things we do on a daily basis. If we’re working on something daily, it should definitely be simplified and as productive as possible.

Here are some examples:

-You keep all of your contact info in a spreadsheet. It works but it’s kind of out of control. Solution? It’s time to look into customer relationship management (CRM) software.
-Instead of checking your email every 20 minutes, give yourself permission to look 3-5 times per day.
-Automate social media. BUT, not everything. Have a big list of engaging questions you’d like to ask over time? Schedule them! Have a bucket load of inspirational quotes on a sleek backdrop? Automate them! While automating is great, be sure to check in daily and respond and interact in real time. Favorite tools for social media scheduling: Hootsuite, Facebook Scheduler, Grum.

Be flexible + patient.

To keep yourself motivated, take notice of what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished.

It’s easy to get lost in the day by day tasks. But you know what? Those small tasks are all leading to something bigger.

And remember, it’s okay to be flexible. You might initially decide to put a lot of energy into one year, but midyear, you realize that strategy isn’t working as well as you thought.

Tip: I love having a handy dandy checklist next to me (I love a physical checklist but iDoneThis is pretty fabulous for a digital option)

The satisfaction of checking off what I did that day feels GOOD. Like reaaaaal good.

Was January a practice run for you? Share with me in the comments below!

Just take a breather. I know social media makes it appear that everyone has it together but newsflash, we don’t.

The year ahead is a journey. It’s never too late to get started on your goals.

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The Catch-22’s of Voiceover

You may have realized that at every turn in your voiceover career, there’s a catch-22.

  • You need a great demo to get a great agent—but you need to be making money to pay for the great demo.
  • You need agents to get jobs, but you need jobs to get agents.
  • You need a brand that stands out—but it’s an investment to pay for the brand.
  • You need time to audition, but you need money to make time.

Does this ever make you feel confused? You may feel like you’re constantly at the end of a cliff, questioning whether you should take a leap of faith. Taking the next step is not just about crossing your fingers—it’s about being strategic! Here are some tips for when to take the leap.

    1. You can afford the investment. What do successful people have in common? They keep learning and keep investing in themselves. The minute you can afford it, invest in yourself.
    2. Your heart says yes. Is this right for your business? Is this right for you? If you wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night with it nagging at you, it probably is. When your heart says yes, it’s important to listen.
    3. You’ve hit a plateau. If you’re booking as many jobs as you can, and you’re not sure how to keep improving, it’s time to make a shift.
    4. Your booking ratio is going up. When you’re consistently booking a higher percentage of jobs, it’s a good sign of things to come.
    5. You’ve consistently hit your financial goal for at least 4 months in a row. (For really big leaps, like moving across the country, I recommend 12 months.)
    6. You’ve got connections. If you’re immersed in the industry and the community—and know key players who can help you career improve, it’s a good time to leverage opportunities.
    7. You are getting the green light from the business. When you belong in this industry, you are not in a bubble. You are interacting in positive ways. Pay attention to the feedback you are getting from your efforts. Sometimes the VO industry chooses you and sweeps you into the tide. Listen to the signs.

When success is on the horizon, the signs will be everywhere—and you won’t be lost in Catch-22 Land. Always with strategy and a plan, I help clients answer tough questions, get ready, and take the leap.

Have a possible next step that’s puzzling you? Let’s talk about it Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

-Celia

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The Industry Is Changing: Here’s How To Handle It

I know it’s a shake-up out there. With the recent upheaval in the voiceover industry, it’s undeniable that the industry is changing. Are you wondering what to do about it? I know the answer with every cell in my body: It’s a call to be more awesome and authentic.

What can you personally do? As a VO actor, you can leverage this change for your benefit. Here are my tips on how to shine as the amazing, rocking individual you are—and not get eaten alive by voices.com:

  1. Raise the bar. The better you are, the higher it raises the bar. The voice actors who embrace this mentality will separate themselves from the pack. Keep our community awesome by being awesome individually. Look deep inside at your skills, personality and strengths. Refine and show off your authentic brand so you are an individual, not a commodity.
  2. Root yourself in the community. Be there for each other. Support our industry. Speak up. Protect each other in this new marketplace by having united relationships and refusing the status quo.
  3. Look to outside industries. Remember, we are not alone. This commoditization is happening in so many industries. But businesses are standing out and creating great success by honing in. Retailers like Glossier are thriving by being specific, on the pulse, using technology and having stellar customer service. They know who they are—and what their audience wants. That’s a powerful combination when it comes to standing out.
  4. Go deeper. Build stronger relationships by being personable, knowing your clients, listening to them and solving their problems. When you make their job easier, you’re more than an on-demand voice and you become indispensable.
  5. Be mindful. You have a limited 24/hours a day. Use these hours to say NO WAY to being commoditized. As you move forward in this new landscape, ask yourself: Is this positioning me as unique and high-end, or making me blend in?
  6. Get your tools together. When people understand exactly who you are, it immediately elevates you…but it takes organization in order to do that. Get your brand organized. Then hop on your resilient boat of entrepreneurship and spread the word.

You’re not one of 200,000. You’re one of a kind.

Want to make sure you have everything you need to shine? Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

-Celia

P.S. For more on this topic, here’s a recent article from VoiceOverXtra that I was quoted in: Responding To Change: As Individuals And A Community, You Have Voice And Choice.

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I’m really bad at this…but it makes me #awesome

Yes, I’m an eternal optimist…but what I’m about to tell you is truth – mine and yours.

There is magic on the dark side.

Get ready for this…

What are you really terrible at? Like super-painfully-awful at?

I’ll go first.

If you spin me around, I will be lost. I can’t navigate my way anywhere I haven’t been at least a hundred times already. I can’t even find my table at a restaurant when I come out of the bathroom. Don’t even get me started on airports. I tried for years to become a directionally savvy person. It was a constant struggle and I was watering a dead plant.

Then it hit me…

While I was busy driving around trying to find the new coffee shop without directions, I was sucking my energy away from what comes naturally to me—being creative. I may be detached from the physical plane, but I can create visual brands in my mind with ease!

You might spend years running from your shadow side. But you can’t. Stop running and embrace it. Because on the other side of the shadow, there’s sunshine and gold.

Forget about becoming the kind of person you’re not. Instead, implement tools, ask for help and find support. GPS changed my life. And I’m probably the only person ever who asks, “Can I have a table near the bathroom?” and “Can I just follow you out of the airport?” These adaptations let me spend more time and brainpower tuning in and finding your brand-soul.

If you’re trying to be someone you’re not…you’re sacrificing your best assets. Our gifts are in our defects!

Admit you’re not perfect. Delegate. Let it go. And step into your sunshine.

Ready to embrace your dark side? Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

Celia

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It’s almost time to get geeky…

Did you see this mom from Alabama’s funny back to school photo? It has over 4k likes and 19k shares!

Whether Jena Willingham is drinking orange juice or a mimosa, I’m not sure. What I am sure of is this:

If you’re a VO actor and your kids are going back to school—you should be increasing your intake of VO marketing juice!

I LOVE back-to-school time so much. I envy my kids—with their new back-to-school clothes, backpacks and supplies—because they have a year of learning and accomplishments ahead of them. (Yes, I was a total geek in school and still am today.)

So when they go back to school, I do too. I use each new school year as a motivator for my own continuing education. I plan out my “academic” calendar and pick which events I’m going to attend.

Not super busy this August? Don’t sweat it. Enjoy it. Take those kiddos to the beach. Sit on the front stoop and shuck beans. Drink up the sun and store up some Vitamin D for the year. Because come September—when everybody gets back to school, you’re going to get back to business with gusto and kick…some…booty.

Are you with me?!

Want to make sure you have everything you need to market yourself this fall? It starts with a strong, authentic brand. Hit the ground running: Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

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Is there such a thing as too authentic?

Holy smokes. Everywhere you look, there’s a Kardashian.

Whether you like ‘em or not, you can’t deny that they are successful. Reality TV culture is a thing, love bugs. It’s the world we live in. That’s why I couldn’t resist picking up the book, The Kim Kardashian Principle: Why Shameless Sells (and How to Do It Right).

I laughed when the author, Jeetendr Sehdev, wrote, “Like most Brits, I grew up in sheer terror of causing offense.” I think lots of us can relate. But this play-it-safe mentality could be getting in your way from a being-awesome-at-business perspective.

Want to be a wildly successful VO actor?

Don’t squish your spunkiness. Don’t dilute your drama. Don’t water-down your wackiness!

Okay, so not everyone will like it. Not everyone will need your particular brand-of-special. Not everyone will swoon. But the ones who do really will. And they’ll book you first.

I say it often…you must be incredibly talented. But when you’ve got the talent—you’ve got to be real. YOU ARE YOUR BRAND. So let your brand REALLY represent you. (Being 100% authentic doesn’t mean you need to share every detail of your personal life…it just means sharing who you are.)

So is there such a thing as too authentic? I don’t think so.

The more real you are, the more you’ll create a riveting connection with your tribe.

One of Sehdev’s recommendations is AIM TO OFFEND.

Sure, aim to offend…if you’re authentically an offensive person.

Otherwise, be as ass-kickingly authentic as you’re comfortable with.

Ready to make sure your branding is representing the authentic you? Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

Celia

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And then I pressed play…

It’s hard to admit, but it’s true: His website almost scared me away.

When a new potential client sent me his website, I assumed he sucked. Then I pressed play. His voice was like butter. His timing was great. He was amazing—but his website was sending the message that he was anything but…

I made pessimistic assumptions about his awesome talent. Because of his website.

And it made me so freaking sad! Because most people never move past first impressions (and discover that you’re actually incredible).

How many talented VO actors are hiding their amazingness behind crummy marketing materials? How many of you are busting your butts to make up for all the positive connections you’re losing because of an ugly website? How many of you are considering driving Uber to make ends meet? Ugh!

No, you don’t need to go spend a fortune on a perfect website! This guy would have been better off just picking his favorite color and putting up a giant button that said “play”.

Make your life easier. Make sure your marketing authentically reflects your talent. Let your charisma come through—not just in your demos and auditions, but everywhere. As people are passing through their busy worlds, let them immediately know that they’re in good hands with your talent!

Share authentically and consistently.

If you’re brave enough to tell your story—buyers will know you’re confident enough to tell theirs!

Make it easy for others to know that you’re amazing. Don’t make ‘em work for it.

Ready to start showing off? Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

Celia

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3 ways to be like Birchbox

I had stubby lashes. Not anymore…Because Birchbox just sent me the best mascara ever!

When Birchbox sends me a package, I know everything inside is going to be amazing. And then it is.

In case you live under a rock, Birchbox is the marketing darling of subscription services. They are doing it right! And because of that, their marketing and their offerings are a welcome addition to my life (and maybe yours too). Here are a few things we can learn from Birchbox:

  1. Be amazing looking. Look at this branding! It’s not just on their website, but in everything they do, from their social media channels to their packaging. Do all of the materials that reflect you look authentic and amazing? Tell your story beautifully and consistently—that’s how you make connections.
  2. Personalize. Talk directly to the individual like Birchbox does. Birchbox knows I’m a mom with puny lashes who likes paraben-free products. They know this, and they cater to me! Want to do promo work? Speak directly to the promo producers and their needs.
  3. Sell unique products in the same box. Birchbox sends me 5 products a month in the same box. You also offer many “products”—like promo narration, gaming and e-learning demos. Look at your brand like the package itself, and then within that brand, show off your individual categories. When you’re selling me lotion, sell me the best darn lotion ever.

I don’t just pay for my Birchbox subscription. I eagerly await it. I jump up and down when it arrives. I read all the emails they send me and follow their social media channels. Everything they do reinforces my trust. And then, of course, I buy full-size products from them.

So take a lesson from Birchbox. Look amazing. Customize. Sell specific products. And before you know it, they’ll have you on subscription and be buying full-size YOU again and again.

Ready to plump those marketing lashes? Schedule a free 15 minute brand-strategy session.

Celia

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