with your social media branding – get the picture!

Peter K. O'Connell Male Voiceover Talent facebook

So many voiceover talents tell me that they don’t have time for marketing. That’s usually code for ‘I don’t know how to do it and that fact scares the pants off me!’

Other voice talents are little more honest and say they don’t know what to do or how to start.

Whether it’s marketing, accounting, legal documents or technology, we each have elements of running a business that scare us because we don’t know how or where to start. Me too.

My plan is usually to contact someone who specializes in the area I am clueless in and at least get started in some direction.

For business, I have a greater affinity for marketing (I’m not an expert….NO ONE in voiceover is a marketing expert and if they tell you otherwise, run away!).

What I’ve noticed is that soooo many voice talents are missing a simple yet prominent branding opportunity that is easy to set up. Oh, and it’s FREE!

So what I thought I’d offer is a really quick step that will offer a little boost to your branding. It involves Social Media and you don’t have to pay for anything.

 

IT’S SIMPLE AND EASY SO WHY NOT?

Peter K. O'Connell Male Voiceover Talent SoundcloudMost of us in voiceover have social media accounts on channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and SoundCloud. There are a million others and what I will cover here will probably be applicable to those others.

Most of us in voiceover also have some kind of logo (a specifically designed image with or without words to represent your company) or word mark (just your name or company name in a specific font or design) that we use to brand our voiceover businesses on web sites or printed materials like business cards.

But many voice talents with the aforementioned social media accounts, who also have these logos or word marks, do NOT put the two elements together on their social media pages. I know because I just look at some social media accounts for some fairly well known talent and I saw blank spaces where banners should be.

That’s not smart for many reasons.

First, it’s easy to upload and place these images on social media channels. Second, most voice talents have links on their business web sites to their social media pages and when a visitor clicks on the link, they will notice the branding is inconsistent (or maybe not really know where they are and lose interest. Third, some prospects may come across you/your company via social media FIRST and not your web site.

So it would probably be a good and easy thing to make sure your social media pages have your branding on them. I’ve yet to come up with a reason as to how that kind of business branding can hurt a business social media account.

 

WHAT IS BUSINESS AND WHAT IS PERSONAL

Peter K. O'Connell Male Voiceover Talent TwitterAs many people as there are on social media, there is an equal amount of different reasons people participate on social media. If you ask 10 people, you’ll get 10 different answers.

Most people who do not own their own business use most social media channels for personal reasons and that’s fine. But if you have a business web site (and thereby your own voiceover business) and you have social media channel links on that web site, those social media channels that your business web site is linking to better have some professional branding.

Can you have both personal and business social media accounts? Sure. But on your business web site, only link to your professional social media pages, not the personal ones. On your business social media pages, show them your talents, your knowledge and your shiny, happy, professional side.

To specifically address business versus personal on social media, let’s talk about one of the most informal and popular social media channels, Facebook. Here’s how I do it and you can take this for what it’s worth.

I don’t link to my personal Facebook page from my voiceover web site. I set up a business Facebook page and that’s the only Facebook link I share from my business web site. Why?

Maybe on another day I’ll post something new about how you should post only professional things on business social media pages but I also kinda think if you need me to tell you that at this point, you’ve got bigger business problems than branding.

If you’re directing clients to your business social media pages – there should be no political, religious or personal public discussions or fights. You are a vendor, you are to be professional and that’s it.  If you disagree, I respect your opinion and would like to advise there is nothing on this or any other page that can help you. You should move from this place and good luck.

 

SIMPLE BRANDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Peter K. O'Connell Male Voiceover Talent LinkedInFor the purpose of this post, I just want to focus on your profile image and most especially your banner. If you handle these two items well, then you completed some valuable marketing tasks.

Most everybody has posted at least a profile picture on their social media pages. This usually leads to a discussion about if a profile picture on a business social media page should have a picture of you, the voice talent or your logo.

I think the answer is: it depends.

Some channels like LinkedIn strongly advise you use a picture of yourself. On LinkedIn, I agree. For Twitter and other channels, it depends on your branding and in some instances, what you are comfortable with.

Remember, with a profile space, it’s fairly small so any logo (or if you’re like me, a secondary logo) needs to be able to be pretty recognizable in that small space. A highly detailed logo will likely not be visually useful.

If you go with a personal picture of yourself, it does not have to be a professional head shot, just a nice, usually smiling and clear shot ….not you wearing a lampshade or you holding a beer. Common sense, I know, but as we all experience on a daily basis, common sense is not so common.

So let’s get to that social media page banner. Do you have a logo you really like? Or a studio shot that might have a little corner logo? Or maybe a cool shot of you recording something in a studio? All these ideas and I’m sure many others will help tell people you are a professional voice talent.

All would make good social media page banners. Just make the image consistent with your branding.

That’s it! That’s the entire purpose of this branding exercise.

 

HOW DO I GET THE BANNER SIZE CORRECT FOR MY PICTURE

The honest answer is I don’t know.

I can only tell you how I do it. It ain’t pretty but it works.

I have downloaded countless social media banner size templates and directions over the years and maybe I’m just ignorant (a real possibility) but the numbers and the sizing tools I use (probably incorrectly) just don’t match up.

For me it’s trail and error.

I start with Power Point. This is all done on my MacBook Pro, so how you work with Power Point on your computer may vary but most options listed should be pretty close to these directions (I hope).

These will LOOK like a lot of steps but I am trying to be super clear, so once you actually do it, it won’t feel like as many steps. Do not be overwhelmed, these directions are not hard.

From to tool bar window, I go to File and then I go to “page setup” — the “size” window will come up

  • I believe the default set up (depending on which version of power point you are using) will come up as “On-screen show (4:3)”
  • Change that setting to “On-screen show (16:10)”
  • Save that page as a .ppt document, title it something like “social media banner” or something equally creative
  • Make sure the page is laid out horizontally by clicking on the page layout icon on this same page size pop-up screen, then click OK
  • From the tool bar at the top of the power point page, click on “Insert” go down to “Photo” and then you might get another option that allows you to pick “Picture from photo”
  • Find the picture you want to use, click to insert it on the Power Point page and it should appear on your
  • How you adjust the photo on the Power Point page will depend on the operating system you’re using so I will not try and direct you here
  • Some pictures (not logos) can easily fill the banner space…if that’s the case with your chosen image, then awesome
  • I will say you will likely want a lot of white space around your image (especially if your image is a logo) to be able to work with the banner space within most social channels…of course, some images are big and you may just want to fill the banner with the image….that works too…it all depends on the image
  • So if you have the image the way you want it (or the way you THINK you want it until you upload it to the social media channel banner space to see how it will actually lay out), you should save it twice…once as a ppt file (which means just hit save) and then again as a .png file
  • You should be able to click the “Save As” button and when the window pops up, there will be a drop down window which will say .ppT. ….. click on that and you should get a selection of file types….pick .png and hit save
  • Go over to your social media channel, click on the profile page and find the banner space; if you are signed into your account, there should be a button on that page that says “Update image”, click on that, a window of some sort will pop up that says pick photo
  • Follow the windows to your photo and insert it
  • It may give you the option to adjust the picture or zoom in on the picture (this is where all the white space comes in handy)
  • Position the picture where you think it would look best -when you are happy with it, click save…done
  • When you look at the finished picture on the page layout, you may decide you need to re-size or adjust (as I usually do)…don’t get frustrated as this happens to many folks…just adjust on the PPT, re-save as a .PPT and .PNG and upload the new. PNG file with your adjustment

Remember to do this on ALL your social media channels. Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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