Making a Powerful Impact With a Strong Online Presence
It’s December of 2021. The Roaring Twenties, as I’ve decided to reasonably call them, have only just begun. If you’re anything like me, you’re feeling tired. As a voice actor running your own independent business, the workload never ends. I’ve been very much in the world of upgrading my studio, social media, organizing my invoices and end-of-year-admin, because–oh. Because the end of the year is right now. And next year is very soon.
If you’re still with me in being anything like me, you might get a bit overwhelmed by all of this. 2022 should be something good, right? How much control over that do I actually have? What exact agency can I implement over my future?
These are big questions, but I’m a big question person. I’m also a person who likes to ASK big questions, which you can blame on my extroverted personality, or my genuine sense and feeling of curiosity. This curiosity and desire to communicate is why I am actually active on social media and have worked tirelessly to create a strong online presence. I want to share myself, my work, and even my feelings and experiences (to a degree). I didn’t always actually want to.
Believe it or not, I resisted the rise of Instagram when it first arrived. I thought to myself, isn’t this a platform for narcissists?! Am I supposed to post a photo of MYSELF–every day?! Still–my curiosity and desire to connect with others got the best of me, and I got an Instagram account way back in 2014. I didn’t understand how it would impact me–and believe me, I completely understand and resonate with any criticism these platforms get.
Again, let’s fast forward to December 2021. We don’t have to LIKE social media, but we do need to understand that it is part of the plaza. We absolutely must market ourselves in any way that we can, and our online presence requires us to be…deliberately present. Everyone in voice over knows that you need demos to demonstrate your talents and skillset to clients. But, as David Goldberg, Edge Studio CEO and my friendly cohost of our Ask Me Anything series says, your talent is not even half of what clients are looking for. Clients want strong relationships. They want positive, productive, reliable communication with good people they can trust. They can’t see that in a demo, unfortunately.
They can see that elsewhere, though. Your website is the place to start: how does it represent you? What about yourself does it reveal? Beyond that, and you probably knew this was coming–does it link to your social media? We’d like to think that none of this matters, but your clients and potential clients are looking at your website in the hopes that you have a strong online presence. They’re poking around on your social media handles, too. They want to know what you’re up to, and they want to learn more about your personality. They want to see a little bit of you.
We can look at this harsh reality in two ways. First, we can feel stressed by it. We can feel overwhelmed and frustrated that we have to BE so much in the modern world. This feeling is absolutely reasonable and it’s an understandable reaction to have. We can also, though, look at it a different way: it’s an opportunity to develop our marketing skills as small business owners. It’s a way we can learn what our specific voice is in our own online presence. It’s a way we can practice healthy boundaries with ourselves and our greater voice over community as we learn to build up our brand.
Like it or not, if you’re a voice actor, your brand is you. Our voice is our strength. When we speak, we share. Our work is specifically communication. We help our clients share who THEY are with the world, and we do it through the strongest expression and understanding of ourselves. In my Social Media for Voice Actors class, I’ll help break down each platform for you, and we’ll come up with a strategy to get the irons in the fire and all of the wheels spinning for how you communicate and connect on each platform. Want to more? Watch this short video.
Working hard to create a strong online presence is how we develop this incredibly unique skill. Our social media platforms are our plaza where we flex this muscle. It’s a commitment. It takes time. But if we work on it, we’ll find that not only does it literally help you to book more work, but it provides us with a sense of community and camaraderie with folks in our industry all over the world. And if I know anything about The Roaring Twenties, I’d say that community is needed more than ever. Being present with my strong online presence is where I start.
Take Siobhán’s class Social Media for Voice Actors, happening on Tuesday, November 14th at 8:30pm ET. Register HERE.