Voice acting is such a specialized niche that it’s hard to stand out in the field. Not because there are so many, but because the field is so small and most of the people are already connected. It’s a tough racket to break into.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If you’re an aspiring voice actor, or you are looking to expand your reach and grow your career, there is still a lot you can do. Here are four steps you can take to grow your reputation and promote your voice acting career.
1) Start Associating Your Web Presence With Voice Acting
That’s more than just creating a logo and putting up a website. It means writing a blog that talks extensively about voiceover work (triggers search engines), gives advice to other voice actors (shows you know your stuff), and discusses the benefits of working with voice actors compared to doing it in-house with a laptop and $100 microphone (reaches decision makers). Thanks to Google’s new AuthorRank algorithm and co-citation, any time you can have a piece of content that associates your name with “voice actor,” you’re letting Google do the work for you, and making it easier for decision makers to find you.
2) Consider Doing a Regular Freebie
Just make sure it doesn’t take away from paid opportunities. I’m a big fan of radio theater, especially the private eye shows, including one Harry Nile. Voice actor Jim French spent a lot of time and effort doing Harry Nile radio plays, selling CDs, and even getting them played on SiriusXM Radio. While he’s making money from Harry Nile (especially since the shows are 36 years old), it’s also a way for French to showcase the kind of voiceover work he and his product company are able to do.
As a voice actor, consider doing a very short podcast that a lot of people would be interested in — this day in history, this day in sports history, trivia minute, whatever. Put these out on a daily or weekly basis, keep them under 5 minutes, publish them on iTunes and Stitcher, and always include a small tag at the end — “This day in sports history is created by voice actor Rich Cunningham.”
3) Join a Marketing Executive Group on LinkedIn
Be the go-to guy for advice on not only voice work, but marketing videos, marketing podcasts, and anything that is going to require a script. Hell, join a script writing group while you’re at it, if for nothing else than you can learn a lot about script writing While you may not be a script writer, you need to know a lot about the art form. That’s so you can be a veritable font of useful information to people who buy scripts, hire scriptwriters, and ultimately hire voiceover people. Become a useful resource to them, and eventually you’ll earn their trust enough to get referrals and gigs.
4) Join a Business Networking Group
Whether it’s the American Marketing Association, American Advertising Federation, your local chamber, or any other group where marketing bigwigs meet on a regular basis, you need to regularly attend those meetings. Many of them will not be your clients, but they may end up referring you to the people who will be. So cultivate relationships within the groups. Have coffee and lunch with the marketers and the people who deal with marketers — script writers, radio producers, video marketers — and get to know them. Serve as a referral source for them and their projects, and they’ll do the same for you.
Branding yourself as a voice actor isn’t that hard. It’s just a matter of showing your clients and potential clients that you really know what you’re doing. Share information, provide a freebie to showcase your talent, and create written content that links your name to keywords like “voiceover” and “voice actor.”
Erik Deckers is the owner of Professional Blog Service, and the co-author of Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself and No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing.