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October 25, 2007

The Internet Marketing Plan for Voice Actors


I've spoken several times on this blog (and elsewhere) of a key necessity for beginning voice artists: to recognize that having a good voice means nothing if you don't learn how to use it. However, even developing stellar vocal skills and gaining years of experience will do nothing for the VO artist who doesn't learn how to make buyers aware of his or her existence.

Stephanie Ciccarelli of Voices.com has introduced an e-book to address this very issue: The Internet Marketing Plan for Voice Actors. It's a 35-page document with a good deal of information not only on using the internet for marketing and promotion, but on key concepts like Branding, Advertising and Positioning that can be applied offline as well.

The strength of the book is in its organization, and also its straightforward delivery. Even for voice artists who've already discovered the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and apply it, there's a great deal of value in having a basic, starting-point online-marketing guide contained in one accessible package. For example: SEO can be a daunting concept to tackle in and of itself, but Stephanie does a superb job in breaking it down and presenting it as just one facet of an overall online-marketing plan. Also, the world of social networking --- yes, that's right, sites like MySpace aren't just for kids and rock stars --- is opened up and presented as an exceptionally valuable tool.

As I've said before, there's no shortcut to hard work; marketing yourself online is an absolute necessity for voice artists these days, and it's a task that does require time and effort. The Internet Marketing Plan for Voice Actors makes for a great way to ensure that your efforts are focused and efficient.


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October 24, 2007

This Time, Free is Good.


If you've read any of this blog in the past, you'll know that I'm usually skeptical of things given away for free; in terms of value, one usually gets what one pays for. With that in mind, I'm pleased to be able to report a happy exception to that rule. (Many thanks to fellow VO artist Joe Rodriguez for finding this one first.)

Intuit, the makers of Quickbooks (you may have heard the name; it's the market leader in small business accounting software) has made their QuickBooks Simplestart 2008 accounting software available for free. While you'd be right in thinking that this package isn't as fully-featured as the paid editions, it's not a time-limited demo or a stripped-bare version either; it's a completely functional program that allows you to create professional-looking invoices and sales receipts, track customer and vendor contacts, and further organize your business expenses. I've started using it myself the past few days, and I'm glad to say it makes this aspect of the business less of a chore.

Oh, and while I wouldn't be opposed to the idea, I assure you that this isn't a paid endorsement. It's rare that "free" and "worthwhile" go together, so I'm more than happy to let everyone know when it does.


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October 03, 2007

Big Fish Update

The big videogame gig is in limbo, but still moving forward. 

The original recording dates (set for last week, in Los Angeles) were put on hold, due to some technical and/or managerial issues...which, as at least one game-developer friend confirms, occur fairly frequently in the industry. My agent assures me that I'm still hired as the lead voice, so it's just a matter of waiting for the go-ahead.

I normally wouldn't bother writing (or even worrying) about a gig offer that gets delayed, but this game is going to be a huge release on the major gaming consoles (Xbox 360, PS3) ...and could (potentially) strap a rocket to my little voiceover career. Hopefully the go-for-launch will be issued soon.


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October 02, 2007

Radio Days





Over at Vox Daily, the question was asked: What Attracted You To Radio? While not all voiceover artists necessarily have a background as on-air talent, it's no surprise that many of us do. My response at the site:


I'd grown up as a fan of radio itself, not just the music it played. I've always been one of those who liked to look inside and take things apart to see how they worked, and like a lot of radio listeners, I figured "I can do that!" Imagine my pleasant surprise when I found out I actually could.

No doubt like many others here, radio proved not to be a gateway to vast riches. Still, I made a bit more than your average mic jockey (at least in the small market where I worked) once I learned I could write ad copy and produce spots.

Being an independent VO artist is easily the most satisfying and fun job I've ever had, but my radio days rank a close second.

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