Originally published by on Voice Over Herald
Personal branding in your voice over career is creating an image that distinguishes you from the rest of the voice over actors in the market. Branding is an essential part in marketing your voice over business as it gives you the edge and identity in the increasingly competitive industry. But creating a brand does not end with identifying the niche you want to focus on, and how you would stand out in that chosen niche – you should also work on having a strong sense of brand message and presence across all marketing methods.
Here are a few questions to assess how strong your brand message is and how well you have maximized the value of your brand.
1) Do you have a clear and defined brand positioning statement?
A clear and defined brand positioning statement should be able to define four key elements:
- Your Target Audience – Who are you trying to appeal to?
- Your Voice – What do you offer or the value you provide?
- Your Market Position – What makes you unique, better, or different?
- Your Brand Promise – What is your promise and how do you back it up?
You should bear in mind that a brand positioning statement is not the same as your elevator pitch or tagline.
2) Do you have an elevator pitch that speaks of your attributes, what makes you unique and better suited for the project than other voice actors?
An elevator pitch/speech is your clear and brief message about you and what you can offer to your client. It is typically 30 seconds – around the time it takes for a person to ride an elevator from top to the bottom of the building. This can be your introduction when you audition on casting calls, or a segment in your demo reel, or how you introduce yourself to your peers, perspective clients in any voice over events or conference. It is good to practice and remember key points in your pitch, but make sure that your personality comes out and that you tailor your pitch for different audiences. It should be quick, persuasive and can spark interest in your listeners.
3) Do you have a website that is specifically designed to deliver your brand message and showcase your accomplishments?
A website tells a lot about your voice over business. It shows how much thought you have put into your brand and your value. Your website should articulate the image that you want your brand to be seen – from your graphics, logo, font, color, and more importantly your content. A key ingredient to a great brand is consistency. You want to create a site that causes viewers to associate a certain aesthetic with your name and brand. You want to choose a unique written, visual and auditory content that is representative of yourself and your personal brand. If you could survey all the visitors who left your site, what key message or trait would they know about your voice over services?
4) Have you written or contributed several industry articles for publications in the past year and/or created a respected industry blog?
A great way to spread your brand message in your chosen niche is to become an “influencer”. An influencer is an individual or group that has sway over the audience or readers. Be a trusted source of information in the industry by showing off your expertise in your niche. Of course this does not happen overnight. You have to build your credibility by contributing well written articles that offer the enthusiasts, peers and clients some insights and know-how about the voice over industry.
5) Do you have a strong “searchability” or online presence?
An important key to branding yourself in this modern day is ensuring your online presence also represents your brand message. You need to make sure your online presence is current and consistent with the image you want to present yourself. You want all your social media platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc. to reflect your overall brand and image. It is okay to add a little pop culture commentary in your posts or tweets to show your personality, but you want your platforms to show mostly your expertise and experience in the voice over industry. This way when clients search for you, they will be presented with a professional image of you. Interact, comment or contribute in industry discussions but make sure it in line with your personal brand, shows positive messages and your personality.
Remember, everything about you, your performance, appearance, and attitude should speak to your brand message. Your personal career brand image, your reputation, and the value that others perceive you possess in the voice over industry is something you can cultivate, shape, grow and control. Your brand is what makes you unique – the more you nurture it, the better you are placed against the competition in the marketplace.
What steps have you taken maximize your voice over brand?