I’m calling this interview with Stephanie Ciccarelli “The Platinum Interview” because our focus is on the recently announced Platinum Membership level at Voices.com. As you may know, Stephanie is a co-founder of Voices.com (with her husband David Ciccarelli, who is company CEO) and is in charge of marketing (second entry on the page) and blogging for the company.
So, to the questions.
Question 1 – You’ve provided lots of information on your site and blog about this service, but I’m not sure it’s completely clear who this new Platinum Service level is for and who it is not for?
Stephanie – The Platinum membership is designed for full-time, dedicated professional voice over talent who want to invest in additional services to help market their business, including press opportunities, dramatically increased visibility online in the search engines, insider knowledge, and participation in the Voices.com Advertising Network comprising of 10 partner sites and Voice Over Times.
Many professionals believe that they should be hired based upon their demo alone and audition only if necessary for larger projects. That is exactly the kind of clientele this membership is meant to serve.
On the other hand, the Platinum membership is not for amateur voice talent, people who pursue voice over on a part-time basis or people who are not willing to invest $1995.00 per year for this level of service.
Question 2 – Will Voices.com reserve the right to decline to accept someone at the Platinum level if their demos and experience aren’t of sufficiently professional levels?
Stephanie – Yes, Voices.com does reserve the right to accept or decline someone at the Platinum level. This membership service is for professionals and the membership will reflect that.
Question 3 – Will any sort of payment plan option be provided, aside from lump sum described on the Platinum Membership information page?
Stephanie – We are offering a quarterly payment plan to voice talent who are interested in alternative payment plans for the Platinum membership. Customers are committed for the year and will be invoiced a fee of $498.75 each quarter. Those interested are welcome to contact our offices or me directly to arrange the details. (Note: Stephanie’s contact information is near the bottom of the Platinum Membership information page.)
Question 4 – You’re launching a series of niche targeted sites. A couple of questions come to mind about this part of the service. Part A – Will anyone not part of the Platinum level be able to sign up to be featured on any of these niche sites.
Stephanie’s answer to Part A – No, the niche sites are exclusive to Platinum members.
Question 4, Part B – How will you ensure that the demos posted on these niche sites by your Platinum members aren’t just chopped up bits from their main demos, but are in fact professional quality demos specific to the given niche.
Stephanie’s answer to Part B – When selecting which demos go on each Platinum member’s partner sites, we visit their website at Voices.com and check to see if they have a corresponding demo for that particular partner site. The demo that best suits the category is sourced from Voices.com and featured. The demos that are selected to be showcased are stand alone samples that are representative of the niche site they are listed on.
Question 5 – How does the Platinum level at Voices.com compare and/or contrast with the highest levels of service provided by VoiceHunter.com?
Stephanie – Thanks for asking, Bob. There are two overarching points of differentiation including:
1. Voices.com does not take any commissions on work procured for voice talent members through our website or partner sites. By virtue of this fact, we readily present your contact information and point links directly to your official website from your Platinum partner sites where clients can communicate with you outside of the Voices.com network allowing you to close the deal on your terms.
2. While Voice Hunter focuses their marketing efforts on the distribution of CDs and profile building on 1 website, the Platinum membership through Voices.com offers:
- Customized listings on 10 niche websites in addition to a Voices.com site
- Limited service to 100 professional voice talent
- Search engine optimization services by experts in the field
- Graphic design should the Platinum member need art work for advertisements
- Submission to directories
- Inclusion in the Voices.com Advertising Network
- Two professional publicity campaigns per year that includes the writing and distribution of press releases
- Expanding our Platinum members’ reach through social media
- Exclusive monthly industry reports
- Marketing and Branding Tips
- All of the features and benefits of the Premium membership at Voices.com including unlimited access to auditions in the voice over marketplace
- Escalated support from the Voices.com team
Question 6 – Any time you do something bold, there will be folks who will complain or criticize. Are there any criticisms you’ve heard that have led you to adjust anything about the program?
Stephanie – That’s a good question. From feedback we’ve received, we implemented a quarterly payment plan that breaks the payments up over the year. People who subscribe to the Platinum service are receiving exceptional value for what they are paying. Priced individually, this package is valued at over $7000.00.
I had one follow-up question for Stephanie, and that was to ask whether they foresee the possibility
of ever expanding the number of Platinum Memberships beyond the total of 100.
Stephanie – I can say with some certainty that it’s unlikely we would expand the number of available Platinum memberships. The reasons being that creating the profiles for each member’s partner sites (members can have all 10 if they desire), conducting the social media efforts and creating individualized publicity campaigns requires a lot of human and financial resources to ensure that each Platinum members’ experience is successful.
Stephanie, thank you for your time. It will be very interesting to see how this develops going forward. For more information, visit the Platinum Membership page at Voices.com or check out one of Stephanie’s blog posts on Vox Daily.