communities don’t replace work

Oh how we love to talk about voice-over.

We have meetings, we have meet-ups, we have bulletin boards, we have blogs and Facebooks and LinkedIn and Twitters galore!

But the dirty little secret is…when we are on social media THAT much, we’re not working enough. We’re not DOING the business of voice-over enough. So we do that which is easier…we socialize.

Two quick points: if you look at that list, you can check my name as an active participant on many of those items. And the second point is I can get lazy too. So I can be accused, to a degree, as being guilty as charged.

But oh, how we rationalize.

We all think there is marketing method to our social media madness. In some cases there is – this blog, for example, regular helps my search engine marketing results and I can prove that. So alot of my social media focus on the ‘Twitbookedin’ are repostings of my blog posts (which I suck at compared to guys like Paul Strikwerda who reposts his weeklys every darn place and has billions of readers and millions of comments and I can’t decide if that makes me more bitter or jealous of my talented voice-over/writer friend but I think in the end I’m just lazy and he’s probably written a blog about that already and I can’t keep up with him so I’ll just schedule a nap soon).

This week I saw a Facebook post from Terry Daniel saying he got a voice-over job from Facebook. Great!

I’m sure there are few other similar stories out there but I’m pretty sure the quantity of VO social media users is not, in any algorithm, equivalent to the number of voice over jobs closed using social media.

I think if we’re honest with ourselves (because it’s social media so we’ll want to temper our honesty with each other, TMI, etc.) we get on these groups in Facebook and LinkedIn and other independent web sites because we are not recording, our minds wander and suddenly we’ve lost an hour of the day.

If we had an employee who we were paying who did that, we’d be pissed. Rightly so.

We don’t need over two dozen voice-over groups on the ‘Twitbookedin’ but they keep popping up there and on other independent web sites because they keep getting populated by VO’s.

Here’s a question for you: can you name, without checking, every voice-over related social media site and group you are currently a member of?

My guess is that you’re probably like me: they all just run together.

There’s your answer.

Now, what’s the solution?

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13 Responses to “communities don’t replace work”

  1. Guilty as charged here Peter! Like so many other vo’s these days, I’ve got the FacebookTwitterLinkedinGoogle+Blog addiction. I’m sure I’ve justified it in my head as a ‘necessity’, when, in reality, I’ve often realized, ‘I could have spent that time auditioning, practicing, focusing on direct contact with clients, etc.’ I will also admit that, based on some of the comments on the fb groups lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been a little too eager to ‘share my stuff’, cross posting on too many places. Part of the problem for me is that I Really do love sharing all-things VO!! But, the last thing I would want to do is ‘turn-off’ my fellow vo friends by being overexposed. So, I’m working on a new, scaled-back, social media strategy, to still post and share, but maybe not on so many sites, and not so often. In fact, I just thought today about Bob Souer’s advice to not be afraid to ‘invite the avalance’, and I’m wondering if I’m using so much social media to subconsciously ‘avoid’ the avalance? Hmmm?

  2. Great post, Peter!

    I’m definitely guilty of losing big chunks of time to the Social Media monster (less as a contributor and more as an observer, but still…I could be doing way more productive things with my time :)). I’ve tried blogging before, but it didn’t last for me. For 1. I suck at it, and 2. I didn’t really care enough about doing it to learn to not suck at it.

    P.S. – Love that pic! 😀


  3. Mea Culpa, Peter! Yes, I sometimes fear I overdo it… posting my blog on every corner of the web (, just like our friend Derek.

    By keeping a close eye on my analytics, I know it works because I can see where my web traffic’s coming from.

    Ideally, I’d like to have a faithful community of subscribers so I won’t have to pimp my musings on every site, from Facebook to Pinterest. That’s not happening because people are afraid to commit.

    Second point: I blog because I love to write. I can only do so much talking on any given day, and when I’m not blabbering into a microphone, my fingers are dancing on the bluetooth keyboard. It’s occupational therapy!

  4. Don’t you DARE Mea Culpa, Paul, you are not in need of forgiveness, as far as I am concerned. You have a marketing plan and you are executing it. If you’re target audience is pushing back, well then, maybe you adjust things but that a call you make case by case.

    It’s the same reason I blog…it benefits my business. And I too like to write.

    But the real art is when people like to read the writing. I haven’t mastered that art.

    By the way I wrote this blog on my phone and omitted the links, which I will now fix. Sorry bout that.

    Best always,
    – Peter

  5. Peter – Your comments are relevant beyond your industry. I am working on a website to promote North Buffalo and I have spent hours right-and-left clicking, chatting live with customer service people, and reading other folks’ posts and white papers about all the stuff I need to understand and be fluent in. And all I want to do is interview people and write! I know there is a learning curve and it’s a steep one for me. But it’s like as soon as you uncover one solution to the why everything you have tried just isn’t doing what you wanted, you are presented with five more things to do or choose from — and all of them are new terms you’ve never heard of. I guess that’s a little different from what you are saying. The link is that there is so much to know and keep up on and it’s very taxing on our time. (Also, I didn’t know that you did surgery, too. You are so talented…..)

  6. Peter… You’re so right on it hurts!
    And thanks for the 5Q:VO spotlight!

    Btw, are you cutting someone’s heart out in that shot?

  7. Thanks Rick, and no cutting was done…that picture was me suiting up for the birth of #2. What a day that was.

    Thanks for doing the interview, your participation was GREATLY appreciated as was the participation of everyone who…um, participated.

    The participants, yeah.

    I feel like I’ve gotten myself in a loop and I gotta jump off!


    Best always,

  8. I have two surgical specialties, Joann, one is Socialmediaitis and the other is Voiceoverology.

    The coolest part is I do all the procedures digitally (the electronic kind not the fingers kind).

    So no gloves.

    Best always,
    – Peter

  9. Fran,

    Good for you for being honest enough to draw the line in the sand early when it came to blogs.

    Whatever you want to do in Social Media, you should at least enjoy it.

    Best always,
    – Peter

  10. Inviting the avalance is not always easy but I’m pretty sure you’re not uninviting it either.

    Trying to wrap our collective heads around what works on Social Media and what doesn’t and, equally, what are best practices is a hard task.

    As soon as one concept is mastered, the Social Media focus changes. You’re doing fine Derek!

    Best always,

  11. We’re being honest here?

    Here’s a scenario:

    A person in a company is tasked with finding a voiceover artist for the new company video. The employee, having never hired a voiceover person, gets on the web, finds you and hires you. The project is completed. Why is that company employee going to follow you on twitter, Facebook, Linked-in, or any other social networking site?

    Even if you’re hired by a professional in the industry, say, a video director. Why should he care to follow you?

    The people following you? Mostly other voiceover talents it seems.
    And who is following because he or she really cares about what you’re doing? I think it’s mostly about finding jobs and little about the worthiness of the followee.

    Lately, and with reluctance, I’ve been unfollowing some of my *favorite* VO bloggers because it just gets to be too much fluff, too many tricky snippets pointing to other links to be clicked, to much rehashing. (And too much white text on black backgrounds.) Yeah, a Facebook page led to a job. And someone else got a job from Linked-in. I mean, Linked-in is a business-to-business site. Are jobs-found-via-social-media newsworthy now?

    I keep whittling down the groups list. The constant barrage of PR and the like. The cross-posting hurts my eyes. The lack of activity in the groups.

    As we all flock to The Next Big Thing, well, there we are. It all evens out, doesn’t it?

    Through all the posts and all the advice, I’ve noticed a failure to acknowledge that in order to be hired, the potential employer needs to *like the sound of your voice*. Needs to feel that your voice fits the project. Regardless of your voiceover experience, the voice selection is subjective.

    The battle for backlinks and a web presence is never-ending.
    Me, I’d rather be recording.

  12. BlogUTwitting is a way of claiming you are marketing yourself and getting more work, greater exposure AND a free set of steak knives when in truth you are merely taking your mind off getting in front of the people who matter.

    “Doods I just got me a national TV commercial!” says the post, blog or twit. All fans and followers mindlessly comment/respond “Awesome dood!”

    In the majority of cases the Awesome Person will not go into detail because the job pays pennies on the dollar and and is being shown nationally on a cable channel with a peak time audience of 3 people, an Antelope and a dead Frog named Ely. The devil is in the detail and more often than not the detail merely sighs …”oh dear me”.

    But what about the message to the market? Truth? There isn’t one. The real movers and shakers don’t read your complete twaddle and the VOs who do are so stoopid if the read the sign “Wet Paint” would give a good ole college try!

    Please comment “Woot awesome dood” as your SEO needs it 🙂

  13. Above “You” means us Voiceoverists and is not a swipe at Peter.

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