Friday Voiceover Tip: Finding Relevant Followers

social_media_320_wideIf you are looking to grow a larger and more relevant social media following, then this blog is for you! To build on last week’s blog post, Social Media Myths for Voice Overs, we will be looking at ways to build relevant followers on your social platforms. Many people, brands and business have found success on social media platforms because they are engaging their audience. Accessing your social media is low cost, immediate and its potential of making new age culture go viral, makes it a favorite tool for everyone from news organizations to celebrities to small businesses. There are easy ways to finding people who are relevant to you. There are a great number of tools, directories and actionable strategies available to help you do it. Now lets get to it!!

 

 

 1. Create a perfect profile

Build a complete profile. Most people will check out your profile before following you, it’s important to present yourself in the most engaging way possible. Make sure you’re using a photo of your face for your personal account or a logo for your business account. Let people know why they should be following you.

 

 

 

2. Cross promote all your social platforms 

Leverage the following you have built elsewhere to promote your other social platforms. Include links and call to action to follow your other platforms whenever possible.  

 

 

 

3. Find and follow relevant people

You can use search directories such as WeFollow to find relevant people to you on Twitter. Use tools like these to search and find fellow voice over artists or other individuals in the industry. The great thing about WeFollow, it lets you tag your account with different keywords or interests. Since it lets you create tags you want, you can add yourself to the relevant communities that have the most followers. Then you can join the conversation in the communities by mentioning them, answering questions and otherwise engaging them.

 

 

 

4. Post interesting things

Use Google Alerts, check trends on Facebook and the like to get inspirations for your posts. Sharing photos and videos are a proven way to engage your audience. Use photos to share your activity or events so your business will get click-throughs and comments as we do on Facebook. Check out what your followers are talking about and engage them in that conversation. Ask questions, answer them, like, retweet and respond.

 

 

 

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

Friday Voiceover Tip: When Should You Quit Your Job?

6a017ee949a238970d019b00fd7c58970b-800wiOne very sensitive questions a voice over artist asks at least once in his life is: “Should I put my eggs in one basket now and become a voice actor exclusively?” Unlike other fields of employment, the voice over industry can be a goldmine for others and an uphill battle for some. Many voice over actors want to branch out of their daily jobs and start working full time as voice artists because it is their passion but they are held back by how unpredictable the voice over industry can be. The great part about becoming a full time voice artist is that, you have independence, there is flexibility in your schedule and more opportunities to learn about the industry. When you start your voice over career, you will discover that your chosen path leads to a more creative and productive endeavor. Of course, many blog articles teach you how to perform well on your voiceover career but not many of them talk about when you should start working as a voice artist full time. In this blog, we will be answering the question ‘When should I quit my job and start voice over work full time?’

 

 

Why is it important to time your resignation?

There are definitely a lot of answers for this question. One reason you need to time resigning is because you have to make sure that you have enough resources to start your new voice over career. If you have an agreement with a voice seeker, that he will use your voice over services exclusively, that’s even better way to start your endeavor. In a nutshell, you need to be financially stable, have something to fall back on so when you leave your job, do it on good terms. Try to have a sure deal with voice seekers before becoming a full time voice actor.

 

 

When you have acquired enough experience

Becoming a full time voice artist is not easy, especially when you have nothing to show experience wise. Serious reputable voice seekers want voice over artists with experience. I assure you, they will not hire people who have no proof of how good they are. Create an online portfolio, include the projects that you do ‘out of boredom’. Find a voice over coach and take some voice over lessons. If you are open to working at a low fee when you are starting out, take small pay until you build a solid voice over portfolio. If you have no experience, then, create the experience. That is what a successful voice over talent does.

 

 

When you quit your job, you will probably get a considerable amount of severance pay. Consider this as your starting budget. As a full time voice over talent, you have to understand that you won’t get regular voice seekers in an instant. It will probably take months before it happens and that is not even assured. So, before you start your new full time job as a VO, better make sure to prepare your pockets for the following:

  • Food expenses for a couple of months
  • Enough money to pay the bills
  • Expenses for your voice over needs (e.g. your voiceover website payments, business cards, etc.)

Of course, this will be a painful experience. You will surely live on a tight budget, but this is a pain you have to endure. Starting out in the voice over industry is pretty rough, especially to those who have just started, but you’ll get through it. Believe me.

 

In conclusion, after reading this article, I hope that you would have learned how to time your resignation so that you’ll be in a safe spot to kick start your career as a full time voice actor. If you want to become a full time voice actor, you have to prepare heavily because it might become your career for years. You should be ready to work on your own at home most of the time. Know how to manage your time and be business minded as you are now your own boss. Also know when to quit your other job. I think you should start thinking about quitting your job the moment you feel that you are no longer enjoying it. When you feel lack passion, miserable each time you wake up, don’t work well with your co-workers, when you feel like your talents are not utilized, when you are stressed and it makes you physically unwell to be at your job. The most important reason of them all to quit your other job, is when you are ready and prepared to start your journey as a professional voice actor.

 

 

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

Interview with Awesome Voice Actor Sally Bailey

How did your interest in voiceover start and what was your first project?

Sals_Pic_copy_profileI was a breakfast presenter on the radio for twenty years, so voiceovers were something I’d always done as a part of my job, and something I’d always wanted to explore further. My first ‘proper’ job was doing the IVR for a company’s answering machine. It gave me a taste for how well paid VO’ing can be…I earned five whole pounds!!

 

 

What has been your favorite voice over job to date?

I’ve recently voiced some commercials for an English speaking radio station in Spain. I love a good challenge, and some of the place names were just that…

 

 

What’s a typical day like for you and have you done anything interesting lately?

I have built a studio up in my loft, so most jobs are done in my slippers. I spend at least an hour of my day emailing producers I’ve worked with in the past and checking twitter for anything interesting. Then I’m holed up in my studio, one of my favourite places to be. I’m currently voicing something for Classic FM, which my Dad is extremely chuffed about.

 

 

Do you have a favorite VO and anything you want the world to know about you?

I have an inner Twilight Sparkle desperate to get out…my dream has always been to feature in a cartoon. I like to think I could turn my voice to anything..comedy, sultry, corporate. You name it, I’ll do it.

 

 

Do you think regional accents can be detrimental to voice over career?

Not anymore, though I think it used to be. My accent is fairly neutral, so I’ve never had that concern.

 

 

Pick one style which you feel represents you best?

I’m fairly new to all this, but I would love to do narration and audio books. So far my acting talents (!) haven’t really been tapped.

Female Voice Over UK   Sally Bailey  Strong  clear  friendly  natural  confident   British Professional Voice over

 

 

What do you recommend, setting up a home studio or using a commercial recording facility?

I love having my own studio, but if there are technical problems, you’re obviously on your own. (unless you’re lucky like me and have a neighbour who’s an engineer!!) Using a commercial recording facility is possibly easier, and cheaper in the short term, but I do love working at home.

 

 

Any advice for aspiring and recommendations for aspiring voice talents?

I’m still aspiring myself, but I’d say don’t give up! Always be polite and be available as often as you can.
 

 
Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

Piehole UK Demos with Most Listens in June

The Piehole website gets thousands of hits each month, and is used by major ad agencies to source voice over talent. Yet some voice actors have less traffic on their profiles than others. Lots of traffic is not the be-all and end-all. You need the right type of traffic. Your family can click on your voice over profile a thousand times a day – and they will never offer you a gig! That being said, here are voice over profiles on Piehole UK that received a lot of demo traffic:

Piehole Male Voice Actors

  1. Boet Schouwink 68
  2. Peter Baker 43
  3. Robert Eldridge 42
  4. John Cavanagh 41
  5. Geoffrey Annis 35
  6. Adam Justice 34
  7. Phillip J Mather 30
  8. Kieran Phoenix Chantrey 30
  9. Rajiv Hasan 29
  10. Mark Ryes 28

 

Piehole Female Voice Actors

  1. Cromerty York 39
  2. Lisa Armytage 36
  3. Perdita Lawton 35
  4. Larissa Gallagher 30
  5. Bethan Dixon Bate 30
  6. Mandy O’Neale 26
  7. Emma Hignett 24
  8. Suzanna Hughes 24
  9. Jenna Sharpe 24
  10. Elainor Knight 22

 

Check out their profiles and listen to their demo to figure out if there is something you can do to improve your profile stats.

 

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

Friday Voiceover Tip: Record enjoyable voice over narrations

useful-tipsBad audio can ruin good video. These 5 tips show you how to make smooth, clear and enjoyable voice over narrations.  

 

 

1. Find your voice - You must know your own voice. You are about to start doing things with it that you have probably never done before so take the time to recognize your limits and your strengths.

 

 

2. Know the Material - Sometimes; even if you practice a voiceover script, you will have trouble delivering the lines naturallyWhen this happens, memorize the first line and then put down the script. Walk over to a friend and say the line as conversationally as possible. Be aware of whether or not you normally have an accent. If you do, know “proper” English pronunciation as well.

 

 

3. Take care of yourself - You can expand your healthy voice range just as you would build muscles at the gym by working out. Taking a singing class or voice class can often provide you with the exercises you need to broaden your range.

 

 

4. Inflection - Always be conscious of how your voice sounds. Read out loud enough that you can do so without mumbling or stumbling over your words. Variations in pitch are called inflection, and they keep the audiences engaged. Think of inflection as the melody of your speech. Use inflection to emphasize key words, keeping in mind that emphasis affects audience interpretation. Be aware of the speed at which you speak. Make mental notes of how fast you think you’re speaking while you record yourself. 

 

 

5. BreatheIn voice acting, knowing how to breathe properly is very crucial. It helps in voicing different characters. Below are easy breathing exercises to perfect your voice over game.

 

 Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose. Exhale slowly through the mouth. Repeat.

 

Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose. Exhale slowly making the sound “ahhhh”. Use your diaphragm.

 

Inhale deeply. Exhale in short explosive bursts (huh! huh! huh! huh!).

 

Inhale slowly and count aloud clearly enunciating each number until you run out of breath. This is also a good warm-up exercise for your articulation.

 

Take a deep breath and see how far you can read through this grouping of words. Make sure you are making each of the words come alive as you say them. 

 

 

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

 

Interview with Oliver McMullen, the man behind the voice

How did your interest in voiceover work come about and what was your first project?

Pear_Tree_Photography-0031_profileI’d been working in the BBC Information and Archives Department for about 22 years (I did the full 25 by the time I left) and it was what they call a “silo” I knew I had to break out and do something different. I had been working from home for 12 years – one day I found myself impersonating the actor George Sanders in his role as Nicholas Favell in “Rebecca” – I suddenly thought hey I can do this – why not try voiceovers? More inspiration came from an interview with Mark Hamill on YouTube about his role as the Joker in Rocksteady’s “Batman Arkham Asylum” game. I started taking workshops at The Showreel in London run by Jean Paul Orr and voice coach Yvonne Morley, I took to working behind the microphone straight away. Soon I had my first project studio set up for practise at home – now I have a professional grade studio. My first project so far has been voicing a three minute animated web video about credit scores for a Canadian marketing company – it was a nice meaty challenge.

 

 

What has been your favourite voice over job to date and why?

I’m still at the break in stage as yet. But I can say what my favourite VO job would be and that is voice acting for animations and games. Why? Because it is the sort of work that takes you out of the comfort zone.

 

 

What’s a typical day like for you and are you involved in anything interesting?

I like to keep my tools sharp so I practise every day in my booth, recording and playing back. I think it is really important to listen carefully and critically. At the moment I am developing a range of voices for animation work. I’m also working on female impersonations – typically aristocratic types with a comic twist – just for fun really.

 

 

Do you think a regional accent  is detrimental in the voice over industry? 

I don’t see why having a regional accent should be detrimental at all as long as it does not restrict you and you learn to leave it behind. I was born and brought up in the south of England so I tend to be very RP. In fact I was once told I sounded like David Cameron. If anything I feel I need to constantly try to broaden my range.

 

 

Pick one style which you feel represents you best?

I trend strongly to upper crust characters and pronounced RP tones – but I tend to feel that’s comfort zone stuff and for me voiceover is about getting out of the comfort zone, stretching your abilities and trying new things. With that in mind I am always trying to develop accents and off the wall character voices.

 

 

Do you have a favourite VO and what do you want the world to know about you?

My all time favourite VO was Laurence Olivier’s narration of the TV series “The World at War” he was simply a brilliant technician, the way he used minimal tone to convey emotion – pure genius. I’m not sure what I want the world to know about me – at least not yet. I do have a strong imagination which I try to bring to bear in my work – which is something I hope comes through.

 

 

What do you recommend, setting up a home studio or using a commercial recording facility?

The home studio is a no-brainer – you simply have to have one these days. Having my own studio gives me a space in which to practise the craft comfortably. Of course this does not preclude working in a commercial recording facility – I actually would prefer to work with a director than alone – but having a studio gives you that extra flexibility. A much trickier decision for me is when to go for ISDN – the ability to work Live from home is very attractive, but you need the client base first to justify the expense.

 

 

Any advice  and  recommendations for aspiring voice talents?

It is really important to listen to what your voice actually sounds like – so get a pair of close backed headphones, a recording rig of some type, and a decent mic and set it all up in a quiet place where you can practise – and practise every day if you can. I also think voiceover is absolutely not something you can learn completely on your own. I go to workshops and classes as often as I can – there’s always more to learn in this business you can never afford to stand still.

 

 

Listen to Oliver McMullen’s voice over reel here. Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice

 

 

Promoting Voice Actors on Piehole in June

We work hard to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the voice over industry to maximum the exposure we can offer our Voice artists. One way we promote our voice artist on Piehole is by giving them an opportunity to answer a voice over interview. We use these interviews to give their profiles and social platforms exposure. We send out a weekly email to copywriters highlighting the voice actors interview. Here is an image of the traffic stats the Voice Over Interview with Amazing Voice Actor Debbie Irwin received in the passed week. This traffic is mainly from the weekly emails we send out to copywriters.

Google URL Shortener

 

 

Secondly; we promote our brand through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Elance and many other platforms. My job is to make sure that Piehole Voiceover brand is visible at all times. Ensuring that voice seekers are a click away from hiring voice artist. I also write blogs on voice over advice and this helps with our goggle ranking.

 

I have mentioned this before; Twitter allows us the benefit of following the big people on campus and we can tweet potential voice seekers directly. Facebook is very easy to use and the fact that we don’t have limited characters is plus for us. We promote our voice actors to the industry drivers and we also share our voice over industry tips on Facebook. Always try to think out of the box on ways you can promote your voice profile. This is a small glimpse into the team effort from Piehole and our Voice Actors on how we promote ourselves.

 

 

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice over artist.

Friday Voiceover Tips: Self Promotion Tips For Voice Actors

currency_graphToday I’m discussing easy tips on self promotion for voiceover actors. One way to easily promote yourself is by writing voice over blogs. Blogs are easy to update, so you’re more likely to keep adding fresh content about the voice over industry to your site. Your blog entries can be short, initially as you start off. When you have time to write an article go back and see which entries about the voice over industry get the most comments. Then, turn those entries into full-scale articles.

 

Writing a blog about the voice over industry for other web sites is a great self promotion tool if done correctly:

• Make the articles informative and offer real valuable information.
• Do not make them a sales pitch for anything.

 

 

If you are successful in writing blogs, many voice over artists will reap the benefits:

• Readers who value the information will are likely to click on the link provided in your bio.
• Articles tend to stay on line a long time and will continue to drive traffic to your site long after you’ve written them.

 

Create a voiceover newsletter just for your subscribers and give them useful articles on how to be successful. If you have a content-rich web site, consider adding a paid membership section. There are many ways to set up a paid membership section. You can offer some content for free and add new, unique articles to the paid membership section. You can also take the opposite approach and make the newer articles free for a certain time period then, make the archives available to paid members only. In your newsletter, publicize the newer articles and say “free for the next two weeks”. In each issue of your newsletter, you might also want to highlight a few of the articles that are now available to paid members only.

 

 

Link exchanges can be a great way to promote yourself and should be considered as a tool for your viceover web site promotion. You should be discriminating in exchanging links. Don’t link to sites that are nothing but links and don’t link to sites that are poorly designed and laid out. You’re basically recommending the site to your visitors so your reputation will be affected by the quality of the sites you recommend to visitors.

 
When looking for a good link exchange, remember:

• Look for a clean design, good navigation, and relevant content.

• Don’t link to a site that is in direct competition to you.

• Do link to sites that are related and in the same niche market that you are.

 

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice

Interview with talented voice actor Adam Diggle

Adam_Diggle_2_profileHow did you get started in the voiceover industry?

I worked for a Theatre in Education company straight after graduating and they produced wild and wacky shows that toured secondary schools. The shows often used pre-recorded voices and characters and one day a cast asked me to do some voice over stuff for theirs, pretty soon everyone was asking me and I became ‘The Voices Guy’, I thought ‘I’ve stumbled upon something here’. My first project was with them impersonating the voice behind the X-Factor, Peter Dickson.

 

 

 

 

What has been your favourite voice over job?

I was involved in an audio production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ which was great as I played Scrooge, a brilliant part some 40+ years older than myself that I’d never get the chance to play on stage or film. I also played Tiny Tim so I had to use my range a bit! The cast were all ace and the director and sound engineer were top notch too, great job all round.

 

 

What’s a typical day like for you and have you been involved in anything interesting lately?

I don’t think there’s such a thing as a typical day for a voiceover actor! One thing I always do daily though is work on my voice and skills so there’s a routine there. Yeah, I’m voicing a couple of characters for an animation series aimed at pre-school kids at the moment, I’m playing a dog and an old tractor, it’s really sweet and loads of fun.

 

 

What do you recommend, setting up a home studio or using a commercial recording facility?

Setting up a home studio definitely, it gives you access to a broader range of jobs and makes you a lot more competitive as clients with a limited budget don’t have to pay for a studio and sound engineer in addition to you. I also use mine to record custom auditions and update my reels. You don’t need to spend a huge amount of money for a home set-up and it will pay for itself.

 

 

Do you have a favourite VO and what do you want the world to know about you?

I’m currently working on an impersonations reel (which I will put up on my profile when it’s done!) so I’ve been scouring the web for inspiration and one amazing impressionist I’ve been listening to is a guy called Ross Marquand. He does all of the usuals; Arnie, Nicholson, Pacino etc but also does some less impersonated and much more difficult stars, his Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford are outstanding! I would like the world to know that I do a really good velociraptor impression, and I mean reeally good.

 

 

Pick one style which you feel represents you best?

I would say versatile, I regularly do ELT jobs which require me to deliver up to 14 different accents in a recording session. I also love doing animation, it’s really satisfying when I show some of my work to my friends and they react with ‘shut up, that’s not you’.

 

 

Do you think having a regional accent is detrimental? Did you have a regional accent?

No, quite the opposite, I think it is a major selling point if you have a regional accent BUT you also need to be able to soften it where necessary. I practice my RP everyday so if I need to I can neutralise my accent (which is Northern) for more subtle reads but I would never attempt to get rid of it altogether, it’s a unique selling point.

 

 

Any advice and recommendations  for aspiring voice talents?

I would say that the most important piece of advice I received when starting out is that it is your own natural voice that will get you the bulk of your work, to be honest I’ve been at it for four years and that’s still the case for me. If clients want a specific accent nine time out of ten they will go for a native. It’s very much about finding where your voice fits in, what products could it sell? What age group will relate to it? You need to focus your ‘brand’ and be honest with yourself, my voice is nowhere near sultry enough to sell coffee or luxury ice-cream so I don’t have anything like that on my reel. Figure out what sets you apart and then go with it!

 

 

Listen to Adam’s voiceover reels here. Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice

Friday Voiceover Tip: All in one tips blog

I felt it was time to have our best Friday tips hosted under one blog for easier access for all voice actors. You should bookmark this blog because you will have all the in-depth and insightful advice you can imagine at your fingers.

 

 

1. First tip is DIY Home Studio. If you are going to DIY your first home studio, this a great blog for you. It has step by step tips on how to go about installing a perfect and professional home studio. It will have you knocking out voice over jobs from the comfort of your home in no time.

 

 

2. Throat feeling scratchy? Here are great tips on home remedies for your throat, some foods you should avoid before any recording session, Is it allergies or a cold? and Allergy Season tips.

 

 

3. Here are few awesome blog guides I wrote on how to quote, when not to quote and what to say to voice seekers. Responding To Enquiries3 Reasons To Post Voiceover RatesHow to lose a voiceover job in minutes and Guide to quoting.

 

 

4. How to protect your work from sleazy non-paying voice seekers.

 

 

5. Not feeling very confident about your demo? Here are blog tips s on 8 Signs You Should Invest In A New Demo and 3 Real Facts About Voiceover Demos.

 

 

6. You need to be confident to be successful in the voice over industry. Here are blog tips on Getting The Right StartHandling Rejection Part 2 (link to the prequel of this blog is available within part 2), How Self-Confident Are You? and 9 Voice Over Tips for 2014 to keep on top of the trends for this year.

 

 

7. One of the most important tips about the voice over industry for voice actor is promoting yourself. Here are some the blog tips, Promoting Voiceover Work Via Social MediaWebsite OverhaulIncreasing Your Organic Reach7 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You and Marketing Opportunity: Festive Season Is Upon Us.

 

 

8. Need a voice over coach? Here are facts to consider before you invest in one, Choosing Voice Over Classes and a Coach.

 

 

9. Every business needs great administration system to keep tract of the coming and goings of daily transactions. If you are looking for good way to keep records of your income and a way to issue invoices, here is a great blog for you:  The Best Invoicing Business Tools For You.

 

 

10. The most important question to ask yourself is Do you need an agent!? This is a tough question to answer but I will do my best to answer it as impartial as possible.

 

 

Click on these links to Become a voice over or hire voice