If You Build It, They Will Come

March 17, 2009  |  Articles

You have a great voice that sounds like molten Cocoa extract with   fluffy white cream ear soothing mellowness topped with caramel flecks of ecstasy. You’ve been in front of the mic and people have told you you can make a bunch of green backs with that larynx of yours. You’re in the business… you might or might not have an agent and you’re determined to start hauling in that moula that everyone said you’d be making.

We’ve already discussed how you might be able to land yourself some gigs with Voices.com / Voice123.com / VOplanet.com / Primevoices.com and we’ve already discussed the pros and cons of using sites like that…

But one thing those site do provide is a place for you to post your demos online… You can also do that with Voiceover-casting.com and you might have already done that… but ultimately the best way to give yourself an identity different to the thousand other Voice Over artists out there is to build your own website.

Now what I will be dealing with in this post is the different hosting companies out there but I will also be discussing how you go about getting yourself a website.

First off lets break down the process itself and explain the different aspects of it.

What is a Domain
The domain name refers to the name of the website so if your name is Jonathan Smith you might want to name your website www.jonsmith.com. Obviously the name Jon smith is not the most unique name in the world so 9 out of 10 that URL (uniform resource locator) is already taken. In the voice over business I’ve seen many people with unique enough names to get their own name’s domain name … but there are those that have decided to go with something else like… www.thevoiceguy.com or www.voiceover1.com or something similar to that… the problem I have with that is that it does not reinforce the brand … and your name here is the brand. If you want to use a nickname that is still better to me than www.thebestvoiceoverguyintheuniverseandmuchbetterthantheotherguyyouwerethinkingofhiring.com

also … keep it simple… short… dont use dashes or funky characters…. that will ultimately only confuse your potential client.

On a techincal note it is important to understand that your domain is a separate entity from your hosting… you can retain a domain name once your hosting contract is finished and move it to a different service… which brings me to the other point…

What is Hosting
Hosting is the space where your website is located. This is where the physical Hard-disk and computer with your digital information resides in the world. This hosting service also includes the bandwidth that your website uses (if someone comes to your website and browses through it they are using part of their bandwidth and part of your allocated bandwidth (Internet speed) and you get charged for that if it goes beyond a certain limit) the hosting service also includes the email address creation service (some will let you open up to 1200 to 12,000 email addresses) and the hosting service will allow you to have an FTP service so you can possibly upload your work to your website and just send your client a link for them to click and download the finished work. Hosting services are very important as they determine how easily you can post media files on your website as well as cgi or javascript applets (if you know what these are then thats fine if not … it wont hurt you).

What is Webdesign
This includes two parts… the front end (what the website looks like) and the back end (what you want your website to be able to do … like for example if you dont want to advertise your email (so that you dont get spam or unsolicited emails) then you can set up a cgi script that allows the user to fill out a form which automatically gets emailed to you.) some web developers are able to set up a service where by you can give your clients a login and password to access their ftp section on your website so they can download the work. Finding a good web developer is important and nothing to skimp out on.

Corporate Identity
By that I mean your image… you as a VO artist are a one-person money generating machine… in effect you don’t really need anyone else (other than an agent and a sound engineer if the need arises) and you are in a way the Corporation (single proprietary) you need an image… you need to look good … to be represented… if that means a logo then get yourself a logo. A logo will determine what your business card looks like … will be an important part of your website identity might be an identifying marker that an agent or client might remember when looking to hire someone for that next big (or small) VO job.

I have one… I worked for years as a graphic designer so making one for myself wasnt that hard:

taji-vo-logo

course mine is black and white and simple because I put it together in 10 minutes.

work with your designer to decide what colours you want to represent you… I know a few of our female VO talents might want to be represented with a somewhat Martha Stewart like Pastel pallet… and honestly there is nothing wrong with that… as long as visually it kind of represents who you are… if you have a raucous husky sexy voice and you associate it with the pastel pallet… miss match!

Of course this is my opinion and what do I know I’ve just worked in the Advertising industry for around 15 years 🙂

So anyway… next post I’ll talk about the cost of hosting … I wanted to fit it in here but i’ve already nearly reached my 1000 word limit for 1 post (that I put for myself cause I know people get bored real quick).