Professional voice over artist Rory Auskerry reveals his experiences working online.
Like many voiceover professionals I don’t rely entirely on this job for my income. In addition to recording and producing audio in my home studio I present a number of radio shows for commercial stations and the BBC as well as working as a Studio Director for one of the corporations national radio networks.
I love the spread of work and I think the different skills all play into each other and help me to do each job better than I would if I stuck to one role. My personal website, www.roryauskerry.com is my online portfolio of current projects alongside an archive of previous jobs. So when I started offering professional voiceover services in 2008, I simply added an extra section to my site featuring my demos and testimonials etc.
Last year, as business in this area began to grow significantly for me, I became concerned that the site was too cluttered. I felt the amount of content might be making it difficult for potential voiceover customers to get to the pages they needed without being distracted by my radio shows, magazine columns, podcasts and blog posts. The solution I came up with was to launch www.wantavoice.com; a brand new website dedicated entirely to the business of voiceover.
I know that a lot of voiceover professionals also work in other industries when they aren’t in a voice booth so I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s experienced similar issues. In launching Wantavoice, I decided to move away from the use of langue like ‘me’, ‘I’, and ‘Rory’ towards what I thought would be a more business like ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘Wantavoice’ approach.
Marketing experts are probably wincing by this point but I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to this kind of thing and it has been a very steep learning curve. Over the course of the 6 months after I launched the site I noticed that the amount of work I was getting had slowed. Concerned that the change of branding and language was turning people off, I decided to make some significant alterations.
My web guy and I added some photos of me at work in my studio and I changed all the language on the site back to the more personal ‘I’ and ‘me’ etc. We even added a ‘cartoon Rory’ on the home page to reflect the fun elements of character and impression based voiceover work – something I do quite a lot of.
Hind sight is a wonderful thing, but it makes sense to me now to keep things quite personal when it comes to voiceover. After all, when a client hires a VO they’re choosing you primarily because of what your voice sounds like. Obviously your level of experience, your equipment and whether or not you are technically capable of delivering a professional product are also very important but essentially they are buying YOU.
For some media businesses it might well make sense to operate as a ‘unit’ rather than come across as a one-man-band however I think in the majority of cases regarding voiceover artists the fact that you are a person with a vocal talent should be at the heart of how you market your business.