Blog Getting into the voiceover business

Getting Started in Voiceovers- Website

Posted On: January 31, 2014

 "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. 

Domain name: 
  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, it was short, simple, no hyphens, under-scores, numbers instead of letters...etc and I didn't want to use or there's just to many letters to type. But, at the time, 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 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 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-, .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 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 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 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


Your Email Signature

Posted On: January 08, 2015

I got this email recently and had no idea who it was from- it had no signature and the email address (where it came from) wasn't familiar.  Sure it had a subject (2 old trucks) and it was sent via a cell phone, but that's it. It is from someone I know because of the nature of the, very brief, message (which narrows it down to about 100 people) but I still have no clue who it's from.  Any business contact is eliminated because this email is on my personal account. 

So, naturally, I replied with:  "Who is this?" 

               I didn't find out til a few days later....(that's another story lol)

Everyone sends email but does everyone 'sign' their email?  NO!  Back in the day, when pen-met-paper and we had to (physically) 'write' messages, we would sign the message with something...anything letting the person, who's reading the message, know who sent it. So...wouldn't it be in your best interest to do the same with email?  It's a very simple thing to set up and every mail server has one (as well as mobile devices).  If you're operating a business it's a requirement (provided, of course, you're looking to be successful). 

Here's a pic (from my cell) of my personal email signature using my name and that the message was sent from my cell.  This signature will be attached to every email I send from my cell.  And the same goes for when I send email from my desktop (without the 'Sent from my iPhone' add-on).

If an email pertains to voiceover business my signature gets a little more informative; because as the old saying goes:  'Nothing should leave your hands without your contact info attached'.  Contact info should include:

-Your name.
-The name of your business
-Your email adress(es)
-Your website
-Your phone number(s)
-and any links to your social media profiles (provided that the postings are fairly current).

If you have a slogan it wouldn't hurt if you put that there, too.

To the right is a snapshot of a new email ready to be sent from my phone; and the below graphic shows my signature when I open a new email in Outlook.  I use the same format when I use Yahoo, too.  You'll notice that my signature does not include any pictures; that's because some email servers have their security features set so that emails containing pictures will not be permitted (or need to be approved) to enter their system. 

The difference between the signature on my phone and from my computer is that the phone signature doesn't contain any 'links' (or it could be that I just haven't figured out how to set them up yet). Links are important, espcecially when you're making contact with a perspective client for the first time.  You want that person to be able to read, hear and contact you with the least amount of effort.

So...go ahead and create a signature, it'll save you alot of 'head-scratching'.

by Rich Brennan


Getting Started in Voiceovers- Logos

Posted On: January 17, 2014

"How can I get into voiceovers?"  

  This is a 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 the legalities of getting started in voiceovers and how necessary they are. In the coming weeks I'll talk about websites, business cards, invoices, Letterhead, email, equipment, software, recording environments, auditions and the process, I used, of 'getting out there' in the virtual (audio) environment.

Today I'll talk about logos.

  Once you've secured a name for your voiceover business, you’re going to need a logo.  Logos are an important part of 'who you are' (as a voiceover business); and it's going to go on everything business-related; You'll see later on. A logo can be the simplest of things, like your name or initials or maybe just a symbol...or you might want the most detailed piece of artwork out there (your imagination and your checkbook will be the only If you're aritistic (or know someone who is) that can design your logo, that's fine, you'll save yourself alot of money.  If you’re not you can contact a logo design company, there are tons of 'em; just do a search of 'logo design companies'. You'll be able to look at their portfolio of designs that they have to (maybe) get an idea of what you're looking for.  From there you can open a 'bid'; you'll list your budget and describe what type of design you’re looking for; maybe offer up some samples of..."I want my logo to look something like this..."; or, "I like how this looks"...etc. Designers will then compete for your design by submitting samples.

  From those samples you can choose a few that you like to narrow down the field and work from there (maybe have the designer make some adjustments); or, if there's a design you really like, choose it and be done. Don't settle for a design; you should absolutely love it because you're going to be using it on everything; and you should be positive that it doesn't resemble other logos. Once you've made a selection have the designer make up some variations of your logo. Different sizes, backgrounds, with and without a slogan (if you have one), some with Holiday themes...etc.

Now that you have your logo you should use it on everything: business cards, letterheads, CD's and, of course, your website.


by Rich Brennan