Among the many people I got to meet in person during the course of my travels in 2007 was a very talented gentleman named Peter O’Connell, a genuinely brilliant voiceover talent and an even more brilliant marketer of his voiceover services. How brilliant? Well, here is a survey of what I see as the single greatest bit of blog marketing, at least in the world of voiceover blogs, that I’ve ever seen. One that it’s been playing out right before our eyes in the last 2 weeks.
First, Peter identified a subject about which he felt passionately, and not only he, but quite a few others. That subject being the decision by NBC Television to hire Michael Douglas to provide the voiceover introducing the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Mr. Douglas is a well established star in the movie business both in front of and behind the camera. And he has a wonderful voice. But, Peter didn’t think it was the right voice to introduce something as important as the nightly network newscast. So, he blogged about that. And for most folks, that’s where we would have stopped. But Peter was just getting started.
Next, he created an (unofficial) casting call for voice over talents to submit an audition for the News intro voice, even providing a clean copy of the NBC Nightly News theme music to use with the auditions. Entries began to pour in from all over North America as well as at least one entry from the UK. Not only did Peter blog about his contest, he posted notes about it on the VO-BB, the Yahoo! Voiceover Group and prepared and distributed an official press release about the contest.
Naturally, lots of us other voiceover bloggers posted about this contest, as well as putting our hats in the contest ring.
By the time the dust had settled, Peter had received 60 entries to his contest, not counting his own initial example entry.
Taking his game to even greater heights, Peter then invited everyone to vote for their top 3 favorite entries. As I type this message late New Year’s Eve night, 61 voters have been entered their top picks. Again, Peter posted an invitation on the VO-BB, the Yahoo! Voiceover Group and prepared and distributed another official press release.
By the way, the voting is still open through at least New Year’s Day, so if you haven’t cast your vote yet, go here to listen to everyone’s entry and then go here to enter a comment with your top 3 picks.
So, the story isn’t done, but from the standpoint of voiceover marketing and blogging, this has been the story of the year in 2007 and carrying over into the early part of 2008 of course. I don’t have access to his server logs of course, but I’m sure this has taken Peter’s blog traffic to new heights, and while some of those visitors may not return, Peter has very wisely invited everyone to subscribe to his blogs feed each stop of the way, including links to his own favorite blog reader for anyone who doesn’t already use one.
Really brilliant stuff Peter. I am in awe of what you’ve accomplished. I’ve learned so much from you in this past year, and not just through this series of events. But watching all of this unfold has multiplied my admiration for you and your business savvy. You are doing a great job and I wish you much continued success in the coming year.
Oh, and while we’re at it, if you’d like to subscribe to this blog, here is the link you need to add to your feed reader. ( http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheVoiceoverBoblog ) Peter uses the Google Feed service. I use Thunderbird. There are lots of other choices. Just search on the term “feed reader.” If you’d rather just have the posts sent to your email inbox, you can do that here.