When it comes to getting noticed, advertising your business online is crucial. That’s because, not unlike every other corner of showbiz, the voice acting industry is teeming with immensely talented individuals who will do almost anything for their shot at the limelight. To get your voice over business to stand out in a crowded playing field, every successful voice actor needs to double as a savvy marketer.
Being strategic about self-promotion and networking is critical. People won’t be aware of your services, or the voice acting work that you’re doing, unless you go the extra mile to put yourself out there and make known exactly what it is that you’ve been working on and what your specialties are. When someone is casting a project that requires a voice actor within your niche or area of expertise, all digital roads should lead to you.
Attaining these results is an ongoing process, and you will likely have to test out various advertising methods in order to determine what translates into the strongest and most bountiful work opportunities for your voice acting business.
Evaluating Your Options for Advertising Online
There are a multitude of ways that you can advertise your voice over business online, but the trick is to be strategic when scouting out the approach, or combination of approaches, that work best for you.
When you are evaluating your options for advertising online, you should calculate a budgeting plan, how you can leverage your resources to implement a blend of organic and paid marketing, scope out your intended audience, consistently monitor your ads’ performance, and create a marketplace profile on Voices.
- Map out the big picture of your marketing plan from an overhead view. This should include what will be required for researching, planning, creating, reviewing, approving and testing advertisements.
- Thinking about your business, identify any seasonality that should be considered when it comes to timing your advertising. For example, have you noticed that clients are looking for voice over services in the summertime as they begin to prep their holiday advertising campaigns? Keep that in consideration when planning your advertising activities and schedule.
- Detail which elements of your marketing strategy can be completed in-house (by you and your team), and which will be outsourced (i.e. ad design, video editing, etc.)
- Establish a schedule for shopping for any necessary service providers and comparing offers.
- Set out a schedule for sending requests for proposals to service providers and a deadline for choosing a provider.
- Determine your advertising cost-sales ratio. Cost-sales ratio is a simple metric that you can use to measure the efficiency of your voice over business. It will help you determine how much your business spends to make a dollar, which will inform how much of your budget you should allocate toward advertising efforts. Note: to figure out your cost-sales ratio, take your business’ total advertising cost divided by sales in dollars, and multiply that number by 100.
- For example: If it cost you $500 in advertising to achieve $625 in sales, the formula would look like this: $500/$650 x 100 = 76.92.
- The lower the cost-sales ratio, the better. You’ll eventually want to aspire to a percentage that is about 50% or lower.
- Allocate your promotional budget as a percentage of sales. This strategy will ensure positive cash flow and position the company for continued profit.
- Voice actors are typically paid on a per project basis, so it may be tough to calculate a standard promotional budget out of a percentage of sales.
- When you are still in the incipient stages of your voice acting career, it is recommended that you allocate between 12-20% of overall revenue to promotional efforts. Once you have established yourself further in the industry, you may find it more advantageous to devote a smaller portion of your budget (say, 5-10%) toward promo and marketing.
Now we’ll explore the 3 primary ways that you can market your voice over business online.
Using Organic Marketing for Your Acting Business
Organic marketing involves the strategic method of enticing users to your voice over business, without spending any additional funds. Some examples of organic marketing include ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing, social media activity, email campaigns that you may send out to your subscribers, and search engine optimization (SEO) on your website.
Organic marketing goes over well in the voice acting industry because clients hope to naturally arrive at the best hire for the job, not because they’ve been manipulated by ads that were paid to appear there.
Research has shown that getting testimonials from past clients is one of the best ways to market your voice over business to future clients. Most people have grown adept at reading internet marketing, and can detect when they’re being lied to or manipulated. Going the word-of-mouth marketing route is the most cost-effective solution since it relies on trusted sources.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Your Voice Acting Website
One effective method for drawing attention to your voice over business involves attempting to appear through organic searches on a search engine. Search engine optimization or ‘SEO’ involves the calculated placement of keywords and other enhancements to your website so that your site appears higher up in search results on search engines like Google. For this, the content on your site will have to be considered the closest match to what the user is looking for, at least according to Google.
Showing up in the major search engines is vital for pretty much anyone who conducts business on the Internet. One outcome you will most definitely want to aim for is arriving on a search engine result page (SERP) for certain relevant search queries.
For example, you may wish to rank highly for ‘best radio voice over,’ or ‘top voice actors in Dallas.’ The terms that you aim for will be unique to your business, your niche and your offerings.
Search engine results are constantly in flux, so frequently updating your site’s content and trying out various methods is a must.
The way all search engines display results is by ranking the content of a specific page within a website. This is where we endorse a “content is king, but keywords are queen” philosophy. All the content on your website should be relevant and well-written, but you should approach it with a firm SEO attitude in mind. You want the keywords to boost your SERP ranking, sure, but when prospective clients land on your page, the content needs to be relevant and directly address what the visitor was searching for.
We encourage you to publish press releases or blog posts whenever your voice over business has a story worth sharing. This can be a useful way to keep content circulating that communicates important news and events. You can also host webinars on your webpage, which will drive traffic to your site.
Google adds and updates new sites to their index each time they crawl the web, and website owners are invited to submit their URL to Google. Note that Google does not add all submitted URLs to their index, and cannot make any predictions or guarantees about when or if they will appear.
If you’d like to tap into other channels to promote your voice over business, you can join and contribute to industry-specific forums, weighing in on your experiences and lending tips within the voice acting industry. You may also join pertinent groups on LinkedIn, where you can network and build brand awareness.
Another option for earning free advertising is by offering to write guest posts on relevant industry publications and blogs. Media are often looking for new topics and interesting perspectives, so if you’re comfortable with writing, these publications could offer the perfect avenue to share your experiences and get in front of the right audiences for your services.
Once you’ve found a publication that you feel would be appropriate, look to ensure that they are open to guest posts. Often this appears under sections like ‘About’ or ‘Contributor Guidelines.’ If the publication takes pitches, then make sure to do a little research before you reach out. Read some of the articles that they’ve published lately, and in your email pitch, be sure explain your proposed topic, specify why it fits within their publication, and why you’re the right person to write about it.
Quite often, these blogs and online magazines will allow contributors to include a link back to their website in a blurb about the author. These links offer valuable sources of traffic to your site.
It can be highly beneficial to learn how to use tools that analyze demographic and behavioral data about your customers. It is crucial that you have a comprehensive understanding of your ideal client. If you are advertising on Facebook, you can employ its Lookalike Audiences or Custom Audiences features.
Invest in Sponsored Content
Sponsored content includes articles, such as how-tos, and editorial pieces, that are written by businesses and individuals who are not part of the publication’s editorial staff. These placements are called ‘sponsored,’ because they are paid for.
While it’s always preferable to be published for free, sponsored content can still offer tremendous value.
For instance, paying for sponsored placement will allow you to get in front of potential customers, especially in publications where getting ‘free’ placement would be highly-competitive.
You can tap into the paid Google Ads channel. For any platform that you are advertising through, such as Google Ads or Facebook, you should be monitoring results and adjusting daily budgets and campaign budgets to allocate more resources for better performing ad groups and keywords.
You should regularly monitor whether the money and effort you’re putting into building your web presence and advertising your voice over business online is reaping any rewards and actually driving traffic to your site.
Here are some ways you can do this:
- You can create Google Alerts for your name or the name you’ve given your voice over business, in addition to alerts for the terms voice actors, voice over, and voice talent in order to stay up to date with the industry.
- Establish time-based checkpoints for reassessing strategies (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly), to allow you to reassess budgets, or to consider adding new tactics.
Creating a Voices Profile
A voice over marketplace, like Voices, is the ideal place to begin developing your presence online.
Voices is an online marketplace that connects business clients with professional voice actors. Voices is home to more than 2,000,000 registered users, people just like you, and serves companies from Fortune 500s to small business.
In addition to its role as a marketplace, it provides helpful resources and business tools to nurture its customers, including blogs, podcasts, and award-winning customer service unparalleled in the industry.
6 Tips for Completing Your Voices Profile
Now that you’ve created a profile on the industry-leading online marketplace for voice actors, here are 6 tips for fleshing out your profile in order to get noticed and hired more often. Note: This is an abbreviated list based on a blog post. Read the entire article on How to Create a Great Voices Profile.
- Fill out your profile as thoroughly as possible: Be sure to include a number of great demos and related descriptions to ensure you get found by the right people. Tip: You should have a separate demo for each of the different reads you can accomplish and the skills you possess.
- Get into your voice over auditions and recordings quickly: Clients often know within a few seconds of an audition whether a given voice is the right fit. Cut to the chase.
- Use Voices to accelerate your voice over business brand building: Think about how your Voices profile fits into your overall online marketing mix, and make sure you feature it prominently in your outreach efforts.
- Read voice over job descriptions with great care: Take time to internalize the script and get into the head of your client.
- Learn from the successes of other voice actors by studying their work: Look at Voices’s weekly Top 100 lists, including the Top 50 Favorites, Top 50 Most Reviewed, Top 50 Recently Hired and the Top 50 Newest Talent.
- Seek feedback: Reach out to friends, family members, colleagues, and coaches in search of constructive feedback.