FOR THE HELL OF IT VOL 6. NO. 1
So here we are with a brand new launch of Abbreviated Audio! Welcome to our new site. Here are some stats: the site was designed by Bryan Burton and Hannah Barudin of FanBoy Designs. You should contact them about your website. And mention us. And, yes, you need a website.
Which brings us to one of today’s topics:
WEBSITES, SOCIAL MEDIA,MARKETING AND THE AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR
As a world famous artsy fartsy type – beloved by all but the most jaded and Simon Vance – I am frequently asked many questions.
Questions like: “Are you leaving soon?” “You can’t stay long – right?” and, of course, “Who are you and why are you nosing around in my refrigerator?” Normally I just smile and doff my cap and say some deep and pithy Biblical thing like – “You know it’s harder to get a swine through the eye of a needle than you’d think,” and take my leave.
Today I am faced with a question asked by many of my audiobook students and various Facebook lingerers that I think deserves some attention. Does an audiobook actor need a website? And the larger question – what sort of marketing should such a person do …if such a person were to do such a thing?
We live in a world of swirling images and rapid fire sound bites — a world more intent on shouting than on listening. Our minds are set on text messaging and not on the cars and bicycles coming at us as we text. We are completely absorbed in Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and LinkedIn and other things I still haven’t heard of (as the campaign to keep me from being hip continues unabated). What does all of this mean for the audiobook narrator?
Simply stated, it means you need a web presence. If you want to be found by talent buyers, be findable! Gone are the days when one could simply wait for the phone to ring with a new job at some shiny new studio with a Krupps Coffee Maker and a very clean restroom with plenty of toilet paper. Now it’s an email offer asking you to work in your studio with your crummy coffee maker and your bathroom with a few pieces of Bounty towel or a 1/2 roll of Scott tissue on a coat hanger. Times have changed.
Here’s what VO marketing guru and all around swell guy (although I think I’ve picked up every bar and lunch tab so far….) Tom Dheere has to say:
“In this day & age, to be a successful voice talent you need to be an artist inside the booth and a business outside the booth. Specifically; having an effective business plan, the right tools, and an understanding of how to promote oneself effectively without being perceived as a self-aggrandizing clown. To that end, having a website as a home base to demonstrate your talent, your professionalism, and your brand, is critical.”
Here are some reasons to get a web site:
1. You can post pictures of yourself and when things are slow, you can look at you looking good.
2. You can – and should – upload vo samples of your audiobook demo and any other vo demos you have.
3. You can direct prospective buyers and fans to your site.
4. When prospective buyers and fans google you – they will find your site and you.
5. It’s the professional thing to do.
Now then. Does anyone ever get work from their website? YES.
Do people check out your website? YES.
Do prospective buyers that you may meet ask if you have a site? YES.
You can build a free site, pay something for a decent site or pay a boatload for an awesome site. No matter what you do, do something. Have a web presence. Start somewhere and make sure you update the information at least monthly on the site.
IF YOU DON’T WANT/HAVE A SITE – then have a FaceBook page. Join groups that exist in your acting genre. I am a member of Audiobook Pros, Audiobook Crowd, Professional Audiobook Narrators, Voice Over Pros, ACX Narrators and Producers…etc.
Why? By joining these groups, you have the opportunity to read what Peter Berkrot is doing almost minute by minute. You’ll learn of his highs and lows and his attempts to hijack every single thread ever written. It’s swell.
Mostly, you’ll get to know who your peers are. You’ll be able to get great help and advice from wonderful people. Interested in putting together a home studio? – these FB groups will help you make the right choices, based on their own experience. Need help selecting a mic and other equipment? Need some advice on how to start? On how to carry on? You can get it.
I’ve made friends with Jeffery Kafer, Dick Hill, Andi Arndt and so many more wonderful people just by being on FaceBook.
Additionally, the very people you need to meet to get work are on social media. They post on FB and they post on Twitter and they look at your profile on LinkedIn.
And every one of these marketing opportunities are free to use.
It makes no sense not to take advantage of them. Remember, however, when you post your opinions and make your comments, that your words can be seen by many people. And many of these people don’t know you yet. There is a danger of presenting the wrong public face if you aren’t careful. Especially if you really are – I mean deep down, through and through – a complete asshat. If you are, then you probably know it. Therefore take care not to allow that facet of your hideous personality to show. Be careful not to say things that signal your asshatery. Hide it. People will find out about you soon enough — don’t help them on this one.
Get involved in the action. That being said, I don’t do Instagram and I don’t know what FourSquare is…I’m tellin’ you – every time I try to get with it, “it” changes. But you may be hipper than me so you go girl! (actually, there are old folks in assisted care facilities that are hipper than me).
Finally -for the actual useful information part of today’s For the Hell of It – Jo Anna Perrin and I welcome you to the new Abbreviated Audio! We plan on doing interviews, reviews, random thoughts, guest writers, Q & A’s and some audio production. So look around and keep coming back! Friend us on Facebook and Twitter and feel free to write us with your comments and thoughts.
RANDOM THOUGHTS, NEWSAND RAMBLINGS:
Ukranian model Valeria Lukyanova – famous for having surgeons turn her into a living Barbie doll (likely not allowed under the new Affordable Care Act) is in the news again. This time for her new diet – no food and no water. The Barbie-doll look-alike known internationally for her absurd dimensions is bringing new evidence to the theory that her brain is made entirely of plastic. She now hopes for the day when she will not need to eat or to drink to stay alive — or whatever passes for life for her.
The new diet is from a cult called Breatharianism. Breathanarians believe that food and water are not necessary to sustain life and Lukyanova hopes soon to be able to exist only on cosmic energy. Little is known about Breathanarians as the really serious ones tend to die of starvation pretty damn quick.
While scientists denounce the cult as moronic, researchers look forward to in increase in donated Breatharian organs.
Lukyanova’s fellow Ukranians had this to say: “holy shit! Is that a Russian Tank?!!!”
Two men are under arrest for sexual misconduct after being caught molesting a local cow. One man, covered in jello, had sex with the cow while his friend filmed the experience – apparently because memories like this need to be saved, filmed and savored for many years. The trio were interrupted in the act by local journalists- causing the cow to run off, veer onto the highway and die in a 3-car collision.
It is not known if the men, Reid Fontaine and Michael Jones, met the cow in a chat room or just hit if off one night or the udder. Fontaine, who hereafter shall ever be known as “Cowpoker” Fontaine, had no explanation for the jello.
“I tend to prefer pudding but jello is nice too,” commented one deviant with a passing knowledge of what he calls “animal husbandry”.
It is not presently known how many other cows have been molested by the pair nor is it known if this was the cow’s first time with either man.
“I’ll tell ya,” said a local farmer, “that ol cow came on to me once or twice – she’s been around is all I’m sayin.”
Reporters covering the story asked police this question: “Three cars are totaled, one cow is dead and two men are in jail for deviant sexual assault on an animal – what do you call something like this?”
“We call it Wednesday,” said a police spokesman.
Tom’s River, NJ…
Chris Miller isn’t done with Stride Rite quite yet. Miller, arrested for robbing the Tom’s River shoe store in 1999, served a 15-year sentence and one day after being released from prison, headed back to rob the store again.
Miller was caught a few blocks from the store with his $389 take and arrested.
“I’ll be back!” shouted Miller. “I will find my way around this top of the line children’s shoe store security system and when I do …watch out! ….cuz then I’ll have ….well….a hell of a nice collection of shoes! Yeah!”
Shoe store employees were perplexed by Miller’s determination. “Man, that guy really likes our store! Can I friend people in prison?” asked a salesperson.
“We aren’t sure,” said local police, “but right now, we’re working on the premise that Mr. Miller is an idiot.”
Action star — or whatever passes for action in his horrible films these days — Steven Seagal has finally weighed in the Russian take-over of Crimea. Seagal, a friend of Russian President and anti-gay warmonger Valdimir Putin supports Putin’s actions in the area as “completely reasonable.”
Seagal believes the American reaction and policy in the aftermath of the Russian incursion to be “idiotic.” Seagal has long criticized US President Obama and lionized Putin whom he considers “one of the great living world leaders.”
Seagal is apparently very popular in Russia and may seek Russian citizenship.
The US State Department was quick to respond: “What?! Seagal doesn’t like what we’re doing over there? Holy Crap! I wish he had let us know sooner. When a brilliant actor and deep thinker like Seagal weigh in this sort of thing, we need to know about it. I don’t think we can just change our stance yet though…not until we hear from Chuck Norris.”