the oversharing voice talent

audio'connell voice over talent_microphone on stage

There are two or three voiceover coaches who post so much on Facebook, Voiceover Universe and Twitter et al about their latest seminars in Tupelo, Mississippi or where ever that I’ve simply unfriended them. Social media for them is an endless informercial, I guess.

Oy.

Evidently so many voice talents have sooo much new business – based on all the Facebinkedinwitter posts I read from them – that there may be no voice over jobs left for me (or you for that matter) so we all should just quit. It’s like an accountant in April posting “I just completed another tax return!” Um, pal, that what you’re supposed to do.

The debate over the best microphone has become so intense that two voiceover talents will duel to the death tomorrow morning– their weapons of choice will be a Neumann TLM 103 and a Sennheiser 416. It begs the question if two voice over talents die in the forest, who will announce it?

And it will surprise you to learn that voxmarketising is NOT the only blog on the topic of voiceover – at last count there were 14 billion voice over blogs, all of them debating whether breaths should or should not be edited out of narrations.

Obviously I’m being silly but the truth is: in the voiceover business, we talk a lot.

When it’s not on mic, it’s on line.

The trouble is we’re ALL talking about the same things…over and over. And I think I’m getting burnt out.

That’s a bad thing because while I thought I was contributing to the conversation, I wondering now if I’ve simply been contributing to the noise.

Paul Strikwerda, my Double Dutch voiceover friend, recently wrote about this issue, which I have been bandying about in my head for a while. He’s felt tad bored by what he’s read.

My concern is not that I’m bored (I know how to fix that – change the channel, hit the off switch) but rather that I’m the one being boring. I’ve actually cut back a bit on my social media and blogging because I didn’t feel I had anything interesting to contribute. I’m not sure “my perspective” is always enough.

Thinking about it that way made me feel a little better because at least I was thinking before typing. I think when it comes to Social Media, that’s not done a lot (and it’s not an issue exclusive to voice over talents, believe me). I’ve also been guilty as charged so don’t think I’m casting aspersions (so please, no emails from aspersions looking for voice work).

It seems we’re now all (and that “all” was a lot smaller when I started in Social Media) talking about the same voice over topics and from where I sit (just one man’s opinion here) the individual perspectives don’t always seem unique enough or even thought-provoking…and again, myself included.

I know we all just want to be heard and we all enjoy freedom of expression and that’s great. I don’t want it stifled but shouldn’t we all consider a little self-editing? Just a little?

I don’t know about you but I do NOT want to be the “oh not THAT guy again” brand. The line between frequency and obnoxious gets thin fast in social media; brands are now suffering (and not reaping).

SEO and marketing opportunities available through Social Media are so enticing (based on cost) that I think we all forget sometimes that for Social Media to be effective, we have to be maybe less frequent but certainly more interesting. And that’s not always easy.

Nor should it be.

What do you think? Or are you even paying attention anymore? 🙂

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7 Responses to “the oversharing voice talent”

  1. Hey Peter…I couldn’t agree more and I thank you for the article. I’ve gone from writing a blog a week to one a month for the reasons you stated. Oh yes and nobody noticed LOL

    I am working on increasing my ‘likes’ on Facebook but I don’t know why. Maybe I’ll get over that too. I would much rather work more and “social” less so between you and Paul encouraging me maybe I actually will.

    Oops…sorry gotta go answer a tweet! Hmmm or not

    With gratitude,
    David

  2. I have a feeling I know whom you were talking about when describing coaches that plaster facebook with propaganda.

    When facebook members start using profiles for business, they are actually violating facebook’s terms and conditions.

    Facebook Profiles are for people. Facebook Pages are for nonprofits and businesses.

    Colleagues have contacted me and said: “This voice-over coach behaves like a pitbull. I once showed some interest in one of her trainings and now she won’t let go of me until I sign on the dotted line. I’ve had it! At this point I don’t want to take any of her trainings anymore.”

    Here’s another problem. The Yahoos and the Googles have turned webranking into a numbers game. The more we twitter, blog and blabber, the more relevant we appear to be. That’s why some people keep on posting, even if there’s nothing interesting to say.

    I agree with Peter and David’s “less is more” approach: quality over quantity. With so much content being released online every day, people will have to make a choice how and with whom they wish to share their social media time.

    If I want to be sold, I’ll go to a store. If I want to have a virtual water cooler conversation, I’ll go over to facebook.

  3. Hi Peter,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I agree and have backed off in visiting the forums as well.
    Sorry we couldn’t meet up when you were in East Tennessee recently!

  4. Hi Peter,
    “Take It To The Limit” was the title of a famous Eagles song and these lines from it could be used in regards to social media:
    “Still you’re coming back, you’re running back,
    You’re coming back for more.
    Take it to the limit,
    Take it to the limit,
    Take it to the limit one more time.”

    The question now needs to be asked, WHY? Are we going to miss something important IF we don’t come back to Facebook or Twitter one more time today?

    Social media IS hard work and requires effort and interaction. I find it is too often a one-way street. Why I am getting blank friend requests from voiceover talents on Facebook when a brief introduction is basic etiquette? The you’ll notice later that (insert name here) is now friends with 63 people on your friends list.

    We all need to step up our social media skills. Again, that involves effort and interaction. We are not teenagers anymore:)

    Best,
    Ralph

  5. Good Day Gentlemen

    @David- Your welcome. As long as you truly have something to share, blog and tweet and facebook your…face off, I guess. But for you and me and all of us…we’ve ought to focus more on content. And that’s not easy.

    @Paul So YOU’RE the one that actually reads all the terms and conditions on these web sites. Good on you! 🙂 I am surprised that a voice coach is so aggressive as you’ve described but I suppose I shouldn’t be…people need money and will work hard, sometimes against their own long term best interest, to get it. But I do disagree about going to a store to get sold…with the thousands of tiny decisions each of us make everyday in nearly every interaction we have with family, friends and strangers, we’re being sold on what to do or what not to do everyday. Sometimes its a buying decision, sometimes its a lifestyle decision but we make them and seem often not to realize it. Social media just adds to that clutter…and yet we dive in willingly, me too.

    @John: It’s OK to play just watch what you say! (I call trademark!)

    @Ralph: Social media is a want, not a need, as you’ve correctly alluded to here. So to keep people engaged, we need to remember to fill that “want” with interesting stuff. What’s interesting? That depends and that’s where the effort comes in. We should all at least try.

    My thanks to you all.

    My best always to each of you.

    -Peter

  6. Sincere article w/sincere feelings. Oversharing , sometimes, feels the “Taste of Healing” : sharing and let the emotions flow…
    On the other hand,if it is overwhelmingly intense,then,it may play a Destructive role.

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