Like many voiceover professionals I don’t rely entirely on this job for my income. In addition to recording and producing audio in my home studio I present a number of radio shows for commercial stations and the BBC as well as working as a Studio Director for one of the corporations national radio networks.
I love the spread of work and I think the different skills all play into each other and help me to do each job better than I would if I stuck to one role. My personal website, roryauskerry.com is my online portfolio of current projects alongside an archive of previous jobs I’ve worked on. So when I started offering voiceover services in 2008, I simply added an extra section to that site featuring my demos and testimonials etc.
Last year, as my voiceover business began to grow for me, I became concerned that the site was too cluttered. I felt the amount of content might be making it difficult for potential voiceover customers to get to the pages they needed without being distracted by my radio shows, magazine columns, podcasts and blog posts. The solution I came up with was to launch this brand new website dedicated entirely to the business of voiceover.
I know that a lot of voiceover professionals also work in other industries when they aren’t in a voice booth so I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s experienced similar issues. In launching Wantavoice, I decided to move away from the use of langue like ‘me’, ‘I’, and ‘Rory’ towards what I thought would be a more business like ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘Wantavoice’ approach.
Marketing experts are probably wincing by this point but I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to branding and marketing so it has been a very steep learning curve. Over the course of the six months after I launched the site I noticed that the amount of work I was getting had slowed slightly. Concerned that the change of branding and language was turning people off, I decided to make some significant alterations.
My web guy and I added some photos of me at work in my studio and I changed all the language on the site to the more personal ‘I’ and ‘me’ etc. We also added the cartoons on each page to reflect the fun elements of character and impression based voiceover work – something I do quite a lot of. There’s always going to be more we can do to improve the site further, but I think we’re getting there.
It’s really important to me that as you look around the site you can see that I’m providing a highly professional service. However, Wantavoice is not a multinational corporation and I treat every client as an individual. I think this helps me to arrive at the best result for you and your project.
Hind sight is a wonderful thing, but it makes sense to me now to keep things quite personal when it comes to voiceover. After all, when you hire a VO you’re choosing them primarily because of what their voice sounds like. Obviously their level of experience, equipment and whether or not they are technically capable of delivering a professional product are also very important but essentially you are buying that person.
For some media businesses it might well make sense to operate as a ‘unit’ rather than come across as a one-man-band however I think in the majority of cases regarding voiceover artists the fact that we are people with a vocal talent should be at the heart of how we market your business to clients.