Creating a Brand - Always improving your image

For the very select few, it's job after job after job... in the studio almost all day every day. Those in the next slightly larger group are those who are fortunate enough to just stay busy but get lots and lots of auditions so you still stay pretty booked in the industry. Then there are those in the much larger group who book a gig every once in a while and do not get an enormous flow of auditions streaming into your e-mail or by other means but you still very much want to make your mark in the biz. So what to do while just waiting around for things to happen for you? Well, you could improve your poker skills on-line. You could find a new hobby like crochet, paper-folding or stamp collecting. You will be very tempted to use that extra free time to find "other" work (outside of the VO industry) to supplement your income. However, there is something you could do to work on your "brand" (that thing you do that sets you apart from all the other talent out there). Here's some tips to keep you busy working on your work which will in turn end up working for you to help you get more work... emphasis on the "work" part.

If you have a website, upgrade it, improve it. And as Woody said in Toy Story, if you don't have one, GET one! Here are a few things that will help you look better, more professional and more hire-able.

  • Update your resume frequently and often. The newer and better jobs you book, the more important it is to get that information where potential clients or even agents can see it. As you improve your resume, delete off the "filler" items on your resume - like the freebies you did for co-workers by recording their voicemail messages or some favor you did for a student film, etc. You want to have a resume that gives the appearance that you are busy and are getting hired. Eventually, you don't want any of those old pre-professional jobs listed (c'mon, you know you had or have a few of those on there!).
  • If you have a headshot (and avoid putting those on the homepage of your site), keep it current. Perhaps put it on your resume page which should be a sub-category of your homepage.
  • Never ever hurts to change the lay-out or color scheme of your site. Keep something interesting but not over-the-top to keep people returning to check it out. No harm in having a blog or daily/weekly update somewhere or your homepage which keeps the information fresh, new and up-to-the-minute. Once a client has seen your site, what will interest or persuade a client to return?
  • Always be improving your demo(s). It can be costly or it can be an investment with an enormous return on that investment. Don't let anyone convince you that you have to have thousands of dollars to get demos produced. There are pros out there that will produce quality demos for only hundreds - take the time to look and research. Have a demo for commercial, narration, promo, trailer, character, etc. or whatever your specialty is. Have the demos where they are easy to find - homepage, close to the top - or the main demo on auto-play with the others (if you have them) optional. VO websites don't need to be complex. Simple (but not too simple) is much better. My site has a homepage, a resume page, my background story as a sub-page of the main page but not as one of the main links on every page and a CONTACTS page (which is the most important because it's the page that could get me jobs) and also contains my social/work network links. But back to demos, you may have a voice match demo but if one of the clips is of an American President from a decade ago, it may be a good idea to cut that clip and put something more recent or recognizable in its place.
  • Link the green eggs & ham out of that new, improved and updated site through other sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and even send it to potential clients or agents. Even sites like THIS one! One of the best things about this particular industry is that there's a lot of networking. I've had jobs where I didn't fit the video description BUT I knew someone or several others that DID fit the bill. An awesome site may be the clincher that seals the deal.

 

Hope this little list of ideas gives you (and me) something to do while improving your brand and image simultaneously which may help you get busier later on so you won't have so much free time in the future because you'll be swamped rollin' in the dough!

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