Is Branding Important for Voiceover Talent?

Is Branding Important for Voiceover Talent?

Is branding important for voice over talent?

Well, it depends.

That’s an unsatisfying answer, I know, but it’s true.

It really depends on what your voiceover goals are and what your target market is.

The easy answer is, “Yes, of course it is.” And since I’m a big fan of good branding (and geeky enough about it to spend time on branding blogs and forums), I’m admittedly biased towards doing everything possible to put your best foot forward.

Maybe Not

In certain cases, though, I think that branding your voiceover services might be a little less than critical.

For example, if you’re lucky enough to get most of your work through talent agents, (and to some degree, this also applies to the pay-to-play sites), chances are that potential clients won’t have many opportunities to interact with your brand, since, for the most part, their decision will be based on little more than hearing your audition.

That said, I think that there’s still a good argument to be made for going through the branding process, even if you never have a single business card printed. The more time you spend focusing on your branding, the more effectively you’ll be able to communicate your brand’s message.

When It Matters

If most of your work comes by way of your own marketing efforts, however, then I think it’s safe to say that marketing and branding are totally co-dependent. There’s not much point in doing one without the other. Done together (and done well) branding and marketing can be extremely effective.

One goal of good marketing is to get your name and your brand in front of the people you’d like to work for. Unfortunately, if the marketing pieces that you put in front of them don’t make a positive impression, you’ve lost that opportunity.

Branding lets you tell your story, in the way that you want it told. It gives you the chance to shape peoples’ opinions about you and your work.

Teach Them Who You Are

 

Take some time to think about things from your potential clients’ perspectives. How do you want them to feel about your sound, before they even listen to your demos? In fact, let’s assume that they’re not going to listen. You still have a chance to teach them something about you. As soon as someone looks at your materials, they should have a pretty good idea of what to expect from your sound: corporate, quirky, homespun, enthusiastic, etc. It also gives you the chance to give them a pretty good idea of what the experience of working with you will be like: are you a serious, full-time voiceover professional, or someone who treats voiceovers more like a hobby? (Either way is fine, but your target markets are likely to be different, and should be treated accordingly.)

Regardless of your approach, why miss out on the chance to engage potential clients – the chance to help them understand what you do, and what they should depend on you for?

Good Branding vs. Bad Branding

 

Good branding elicits a reaction…a response…an emotion. It teaches people where you fit into the big picture, and helps them remember you at the right time.

Bad branding…just…doesn’t.

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18 Comments on "Is Branding Important for Voiceover Talent?"

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Dustin Ebaugh
Guest

Doug, this is very insightful, thought out and well put. Par for the course from you. Sage advice that every pro and part time VO should think about and implement. Thanks for sharing your valued perspective.

Marc Scott
Guest

Great post, and plenty to think about. It’s actually something I’m working through right now. I just finished reading ME 2.0 by Dan Schawbel and I’m currently reading Platform by Michael Hyatt, while I sort through all the information.

The fact of the matter is, if we want this to be our business, we need to treat it as such, and that involves branding on some level.

Lance Blair
Guest
I like the idea of using branding to be persuasive. To set the listener to be receptive to your sound before they even click ‘play’. Every little bit helps to stand out. I’d add that engaging in developing in one’s own brand is so helpful in understanding and shaping one’s own vocal styles. VO talents can learn something about themselves as well in this process. It can be a process of elimination too – avoiding playing to weaknesses in order to play to the strengths. When I engage in my branding, I realize “no, I’m not like that guy…that’s his… Read more »
Christian Rosselli
Guest

Doug- thank you always for your invaluable insight. I am always making tweaks to my brand but your advice always makes me go the extra mile. Thanks again!

Peacock Jones
Guest

Doug, you have confirmed what I have been thinking on and that’s branding. What, how, do I want my clients and potential clients and setting me apart from what is a male dominated area of the voice overs. So with that being Doug, thank you for your article.

Dan Nelson
Guest
I didn’t think too much about the branding aspect of voiceover work until you posted this. Now that I’ve let it gel in my brain I realize that Mandy and I came up with a brand almost before we started voicing, one that captures our quirky nature as well as our audio goal. Who wouldn’t want their audio to sound dandy? I mean good is good, but dandy, well that’s just…dandy! Thank you for posting this and for linking it in LinkedIn. For the record I think it is necessary and beneficial to the voiceover professional who wants a long… Read more »
Elizabeth Holmes
Guest

Many thanks for posting this, Doug. It’s solid gold! I particularly like this observation: “How do you want them to feel about your sound, before they even listen to your demos?” Intentional branding and marketing creates an advantage. Thank you for this succinct and helpful summary.

Scott Burns
Guest

Great advise Doug, as always. It’s funny because similar to Lance, I found I would tend to aim for jobs that “weren’t me.” Then I examined the jobs I was landing vs the ones I was auditioning for and realized what my brand should be focused on. The challenge is coming up with recognizable words that aren’t cliche. Aaaugh! I’m in the process of narrowing that down though. Any references to professionals you think are top notch in this arena would be most appreciated!

Kelly Brennan
Guest

I feel like I’m at Faffcon, as I just received a golden nugget after reading not only this whole article but this line in particular – “Branding lets you tell your story, in the way that you want it told. It gives you the chance to shape peoples’ opinions about you and your work.” (Especially helpful as I am in the process of rebranding)! Thank you, Doug!

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