Voice123.com is presenting their first Saturday Webinar today, with Nancy Wolfson and Anna Vocino. They’re about to get underway and I’ll do my best to present the information discussed in this webinar as we go along. Together Nancy and Anna have a business called Break Into Voice Over.
The webinar is titled The Power of YOU, Inc. …Work Your Brand to Get More Work. (All time references are Eastern US time.)
1:12 PM – A few technical difficulties have led to a bit of a late start. But, we’re now under way. Nancy begins with a bit of background on her approach to training, specifically her concentration on helping each talent discover their own unique brand.
1:15 PM – What is Break Into Voice Over? Using our skills and connections to help your career. Demystify the VO business. Why creative people must act like business people. Increase opportunities to make money at voiceover work. What you need to know about branding.
1:18 PM – Four must haves of our VO Business Plan – 1. Education 2. Inventory. 3. Marketing 4. Means of Distribution. If this seems kind of strange, a business focused, goal oriented way of looking at things rather than talking about acting technique. If we concentrate on performance skills rather than understanding the styles that are actually selling, we can end up with lots of skill, but not work.
1:20 PM – Your demo needs to be “so you.” It has to accurately reflect who you really are. Commercial demos need to be first, and only after we’re starting to book significant work should be branch out into secondary and other demos like animation, character, trailers, etc.
1:22 PM – Consistent graphical content, avoiding corny and over used images like microphones and mouths, that reflects who you really are needs to be everywhere. Web site. CD cover. Business cards. Etc.
1:25 PM – It’s important to focus on the first four points (at time reference 1:18 PM above) and do them in order. Train. A Great Demo. Consistent, accurate marketing. Professional quality home studio, high speed Internet service, web site and other tools.
1:28 PM – One major key to branding your voice is to be narrowly focused, especially at first. Like a hot knife through butter, we need to cut through the clutter to “you” as distinct from anyone else on the voiceover landscape. There isn’t a single “sound” that is the accepted voiceover sound anymore. Because everyone and her cousin can now seek work in voiceover.
1:30 PM – Even if you’re talented enough to do all kinds of things, there’s already others who can do each of those things better than you. Everyone is a unique fusion of experiences, genetics and relationships; and if we can present ourselves as that unique “me”. Being versatile isn’t a distinctive position.
1:34 PM – With national, well known brands, the distinctives of the content (e.g.: Heinz and Hunts catsup actually have different formulas for the amount of vinegar and sugar) are demonstrated in the way the packages are designed.
1:36 PM – So, our graphics need to reflect who we really are and who we actually sound. Thus highlighting our distinctive difference from anyone else in the voiceover business.
1:38 PM – The graphics, demo and presentation do have to match, otherwise we’re undermining ourselves in the process. But, by having everything lined up and consistent, we multiply the power of what we’re doing.
1:40 PM – What do we use to Brand? You and your experiences. Your likes and dislikes. Your demographics including age, place where you grew up, etc. Key questions like “how would your Mom describe you?”, etc.
1:44 PM – Branding Blackjack: What is your “up” card and what is your “down” card? (e.g.: Brad Garrett is such a funny, goofy guy for someone with such a big, deep voice.) Question to examine, how is who I am distinctive from how I look?
1:49 PM – Check out the pairs of voices at this link, which is what we’re comparing and contrasting right now. In each case, the pairs are similar enough they wouldn’t likely be listed on the same agents’ rosters, but distinctive branding sets them apart.
1:53 PM – Good branding makes it easier to book work because it helps agents and clients understand who you are and what you can do. Branding also makes the point to those who make advertising that you understand how advertising and marketing works.
1:57 PM – Places to go and things to do. Register your domain name now! You can listen to lots of examples of other great demos at voicebank.net and Nancy’s site. Also check out the FAQ section while you’re there on Nancy’s site.
2:02 PM – Nancy and Anna are interviewing agents, casting directors, animation directors, and producers for a series of MP3 recordings that will be available at Break Into Voice Over in the near future.
2:06 PM – First question was about catching the eye of those who cast. Graphics have to be first quality or we will communicate that we’re small time, even if we’re not.
2:08 PM – Second question. What are the first 5 things to do for someone new? Look above at the list of the first 4 things. Plus, we have to Available, Affable, and Able. (Clarifying this last point, you have to be able to deliver once you’re in the studio!)
2:11 PM – Third question was about versatility for those already with an agent. Narrow branding is still vital, because it helps the agent get you work.
2:15 PM – Everyone’s situation is unique, which is why Nancy recommends studying privately with her to focus on branding, so that the branding efforts can concentrate on what is unique about you.
2:19 PM – How much does it cost? The answers are in the Break Into Voice Over web site in the MP3 teleseminar for sale there, but bottom line, about $5000.00 if starting from scratch.