Yesterday, I was reminded how GREAT the VO community is. I recently released a new version of my website complete with re-branding efforts from my fabulous coach Sean Allen Pratt. While it looked great, and had received a great response from both friends and family alike, it wasn’t really doing much for me. I needed to tweak the SEO. So, I dialed up my friend Joe Davis of www.voiceactorwebsites.com and solicited his help. After an hour on the phone, I had made some significant changes, that I’m hopeful will help. Only two days later it seems it probably has already. Doing a Google search on several of my targeted industry terms, does indeed pull up my website within the first few pages. Voila!
Joe is a great guy, and knows his stuff. He’s even helped the community as a whole as a recent guest and now sponsor of Voice Over Body Shop. You can catch his most recent appearance on the show here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YKHfdgFR_Q
If you ever have the chance to meet Joe, he’ll probably offer you 10 tidbits about web design you never even thought of within five minutes.
As I thought about Joe and how giving of his time he is, I thought about all the other people and resources that are out there.
Most recently, in the wake of a certain online casting site changing hands, Brad Venable, Tim Friedlander and Jay Preston have founded The VO Weekly Workout to help working pros keep up their chops.
These are just a few of the great resources that are out there for folks to learn about the industry and practice.
Aside from the publicly available resources with a web presence, the community is also very cordial with person to person communications. I started a meetup group with several pros. We meet every week to talk shop and occasionally work on scripts. The members of this group, John Roorda, Heather Masters, Marisha Tapera, Mike Norgaard, Sean Daeley and Will Watt, have been so helpful to me and my career. On one occasion I traded Sean a TLM 103 microphone. No really! This was AFTER I had traded a Sennheiser MKH-415 to Bill Brooks for that 103. See what I mean? Now, Sean and I have become pretty close (see our ridiculous podcast The VO Meter for proof) but I still shipped him a $1000 microphone across the entire country. Bill and I have never even met, and he shipped me his mic in straight trade!
The point I’m trying to make, is you need to make friends. It’s not that complicated really. The same process holds true for any business or industry. The rewards, however, from the Voiceover industry, can be grand. Get out there and meet people. Join local groups, check out some of the groups on facebook. VO Pros, VO Peeps, and the WoVo group come to mind. For that matter, JOIN WoVo, the World Voices Organization. Then look for events to attend to help you meet people. VO Atlanta, Faffcon, WoVocon, APAC. All of these are great ways to expand your network.
It’s not an exaggeration to say I have launched my career, based on the kindness of VO strangers…who I now call friends.