"How can I get into voiceovers?"
This is a continuing series of blogs on what I've done to get started in the voiceover business; some of this info may help you get started in voiceovers, as well. Last time, I wrote about logos and how necessary they are. In the coming weeks I'll talk about business cards, invoices, Letterhead, email, equipment, software, recording environments, training, auditions and the process, I used, of 'getting out there' in the virtual (audio) environment.
Today I'll talk about domain names and your webstie.
You'll need to register a domain name; without one you can't have a website. You can use your business name as a domain; with JustMyVoice Production (my business name) I wanted to use JustMyVoice.com, it was short, simple, no hyphens, under-scores, numbers instead of letters...etc and I didn't want to use JustMyVoiceProduction.com or JustMyVoiceProd.com...because there's just to many letters to type. But, at the time, JustMyVoice.com was taken; I could've used .net, .biz or any other .name that was available but I wanted .com. So I did a 'whois' search to find that the JustMyVoice.com domain will be coming up for renewal in a few months. It also listed who owned the domain and an email address; so I wrote an email to ask if there were any intentions on renewing JustMyVoice.com. There was no reply, so...I waited.
When the domain expired I jumped right on it. Last year (2013), I registered a handful of domains- JustMyVoice.net, .us, .biz, .org, .ca, .me, .co, .info and maybe 1 or 2 more. If you type JustMyVoice-dot-...any one of those domains it will bring you to the JustMyVoice.com site.
With your domain name in place, you'll need a website for folks to visit so that they can hear your audio demos, read about you and more importantly...contact you. To get an idea on the different styles of website designs, do a search of 'voice talent'; check out the sites, take notes on what you like about the sites; are they simple to read/navigate? Listen to the audio demos- to the varied deliveries (some have video demos). While you're looking at the sites take a look at the bottom of the page, there's usually a link to who designed the site. Website designs typically include a year of hosting as well.
I started with a free Yahoo site (that I designed myself- and it looked like it, too lol); a little while later I went with a professional site that I paid to have done. It served me well for a number of years, in 2013 I had WebDugOut.com design my current site and I love how it turned out; I get lots of compliments on it's layout. Just like the logo design process, you'll tell the desingers what kind of site you're looking for, they may offer suggestions; you'll send them your logo (and any other artwork you'd like) so that it can be incorporated into the site. Be sure to keep your artwork relative to your business; your business is voiceover, so having pictures of monster trucks and rock concerts or your family bbq's really have no use on your site; unless, of course, thats the type of work you do (monster truck rallies, rock concerts...etc). If you use someones picture, you'll need to have a signed release, from that person, giving you permission to use their picture. You could also buy high quality pictures to use on your site- which I'd recommend.
I signed-up a free account with 'Dreamstime'; do a search for audio, or microphone (or any other business-related keyword) and look through the pictures- some might look familiar as alot of folks use the same pics and alter them a bit. Although joining the site is free you'll have to pay for the pictures (considered a business expense). It's important to keep in mind that your site should look how your vocal delivery style is. For example: If your website has an 'edgy', 'loud' or 'busy' look, then your demos should have that same audio tone- loud, edgy, in-your-face type of delivery. It's not un-common for a voice talent to have more than 1 website: 1 for that loud, edgy delivery and another for the toned down, natural sounding delivery.
by Rich Brennan