Do I Really Need a Web Site
to do Voiceover?
In today's world of VO a web site is probably the single most important part of marketing your voiceover talent. It is your on-line business card - your resume - your brochure of services - and many times, the first, best way for you to create an emotional connection with your prospects and clients. A web site not only makes you look more professional, but it is rapidly becoming the expected "norm" for most businesses. The simple truth is this: if you don't have a web site - you are not considered to be serious about your business. There are some exceptions to this, but they are relatively few. There are a few articles on web sites in the RESOURCES - ARTICLES section at www.voiceacting.com that will answer more of your questions.
Keep in mind that your web site should reflect who you are as a voice talent and should include your demo. If you have demos for different VO genres, they should all be available on your site. If you don't yet have a demo, you can still use your web site as a marketing tool, but your approach will need to be slightly different. For example, instead of having demos that can be played or downloaded from your site, you might offer visitors a free demo using their script. One mistake entry level voice talent make is that they include their "resume" and a photograph on their first web site. Unless your site is a "social networking" site, your photo is irrelevant to your voiceover work - so, we don't recommend putting up a photo. Of course, if you are a stage or on-camera actor, your photo is important - but as a voiceover talent, your photo can work against you by allowing potential clients to stereotype you based on your appearance. Your performing history is also irrelevant - so there’s no need to put up a resume. Voiceover talent buyers are only interested in what you can do with their script. If you can give them the interpretation they are looking for, you stand a good chance of getting the job.
There are many places where you can get a "personal web page" that does not require either hosting or your own domain name. These "free" sites are usually advertiser based and are very limited in their design, often built on only a few template options. A "free" site might have an address or URL like: www.yourname.freesite.com or www.freesite.com/yourname. This is actually nothing more than a single page named "yourname" that is a sub-domain of the hosting site "freesite.com." Although free sites and sub-domain sites may be nice for the budget-minded individual or someone who just wants a "web presence", they are NOT a good value for voice talent. They do not present a professional image and will not benefit your long-term marketing as a professional voice actor. Your professional image will only be achieved through using your own domain name and hosting.
The ideal domain name is your own name, but that's not always possible. When choosing a domain name, look for one that is easy to remember. reflects what you do, and can be instantly associated with you. You can expect to pay anywhere from $8 - $35 US per year, depending on who your domain registrar is and how many years you are registering.
Web hosting comes in all shapes and sizes... and all prices. Avoid the "free" sites, and look for hosting that is within your budget. Expect to pay around $8 - $15 US per month for hosting. Your hosting site should include e-mail services and some basic templates. Some services also include help with marketing, merchant services, shopping carts, and more. Building your first site from a template is a good way to get on-line, but eventually, you will probably want to hire a web designer to give you a truly customized and professional look and feel. Wait until you have developed some business and marketing skills before you go to the expense of having a custom site designed.
Once you have your web site on-line, you need to let people know it's there. So, include your domain name URL (that's the "www.domainname.com") in every correspondence. Your domain name should become synonymous with your name. The same goes for your logo (if you choose to use one) and the look and feel of your web site. If you look at www.voiceacting.com, you'll notice that the look is very clean and the navigation is extremely easy. You'll also notice that the conductor logo, the VoiceActing logo, and the VOICE hexagon logo appear on every page. This is entirely intentional and a great deal of effort went into the layout design. The VoiceActing.com site is primarily our coaching and training services site, so there is nothing there to distract from that - everything on the site is there for the purpose of helping entry-level voice talent to become better at both the craft and business of voiceover. Our other domains are designed to achieve a specific response from the intended audience (remember the 7 Core Elements? They apply to web sites as well as your voiceover performance.) Here's a list of some of our other sites to give you an idea of how the design can change depending on who we want to reach:
www.voiceacting.com - coaching and training services - primarily an education and information site
www.pennyabshire.com - Penny's personal marketing site - the design promotes her personality and versatility - her logo is a "penny" that ties in with her name
www.medicalnarration.com - corporate narration site - targeting a specific niche market for medical and science narration
www.voiceoverteam.com - our dialogue voiceover site - we haven't used this site in several years, and it needs to be updated - intended primarily for commercial producers
www.voice-international.com - our VOICE conference site - this is a very complex site designed to create excitement and promote our VOICE conference
We spend the better part of an afternoon in our VoiceActing Academy Masters Class discussing domain names and web sites, so don't be concerned if you are puzzled or confused by all this. It literally has taken me months to figure out how some of the Internet things work - and I'm still learning something new every day!
In order for us to help our students and others, we've set up MagicInet as a resource for obtaining domain names, web site hosting, design, marketing, and much, much more. There's a link to www.magicinet.com on every page of www.voiceacting.com. We also have other resources for web site design and copy writing services should you need them. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to answer your questions or send you in the right direction.