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internet marketing for voice over idiots (that’s all of us)


That would be the title that the folks as Voices.com choose not to use for their latest e-book entitled Internet Marketing Plan for Voice Actors. I was given an advanced copy and asked by my friend Stephanie Ciccarelli to do a review on audio’connell’s voiceover blog on!

She’s read my blog before so you know right off that top that if she asked me for a review, she’s one brave business woman! You never know what’s going to fly off this keyboard.

My quick hit review is this: it’s a good product for those voice actors who have no internet savvy at all. For those voice actors for whom web 2.0 sounds like double the upgrade of their current web capabilities, they will find some good stuff in here. Some parts I thought were really well thought out including the sections on Internet Marketing Strategies, Internet Links, and Social Media.

I’ve long said that the Voices.com founders were very web savvy based on their name change alone which was brilliant (they were formally known as Interactive Voices but then invested in the domain, Voices.com, smartly re-branding to their present day success). This is a company that has embraced Web 2.0 like a sailor on shore leave. They know how to market on the internet. And they have the best customer service in their industry.

But my problem with the e-book is that it really is only a primer and lacks some depth and fleshing out of topics that would be critical to a “newbie’s” basic understanding of web marketing. While it would be unrealistic to ask this book to go into the minutia of web marketing, to me, there were glaring omissions:

• For a book that is primary but not exclusively targeted at the uninitiated in web marketing, why not spend a page at the beginning of the book to tell the reader how they should use the book. Parts of it should be read in detail, some contents could be covered as needed…but the setting of expectations in an introduction page might help those who really don’t know what to expect from marketing on the web. It might be as easy as taking the book’s sales pitch and fleshing that out a bit more.

• Some of the statistics in the book, while not key to web marketing, might be misleading for anyone using this book as a “how to marketing book” versus its main purpose as an internet marketing book (and since there aren’t many “voice actor marketing planning” books out there, the desperate VO’s may try and adapt this text for traditional marketing plans). Quoting a heretofore unheard of company (among my marketing executives’ circle anyway) called Common Sense Advisory, it was noted that “total industry revenue for the language services industry, including language translation and voice-over recording, was more than $8.8 billion worldwide in 2005.” I sure would like to know in a lot greater detail how that pie is sliced up exactly otherwise that number kinda sounds like a bunch of hooey (“hooey” is the Latin term for baloney)

• The ad promo budget, even for a beginner, seems very rudimentary and could easily be expounded upon to help readers comprehend it more fully, plan better and make more successful choices

• Finally, there is a dearth of practical examples in many of the points shared (both in text and graphic form) and that may be the greatest omission of all, especially for new internet marketers. One of many opportunities missed here would be in the logo section (communicating how to purposefully create logos and use them), where examples of one company’s logo might show a main logo, a secondary logo and how and why/how they might be used on the web

All this does not mean I hate the book. I do not. I think it was an in-house publication and it reads as if it was edited that way. As voice talents often require a second set of ears on their productions, this e-book required an outside set of eyes.

Internet Marketing Plan for Voice Actors was/is in need of an outside editor to help the authors at Voices.com expound on concepts that the company is very qualified to write about. Three quarters of it is there, a professional editor could help take this worthwhile concept the other twenty-five percent of the way.

podcamp toronto 2008

podcamp toronto 2008

While I was in Boston the wiki mail came down from Jay Moonah that registration is now open for Podcamp Toronto 2008.

The date for Podcamp Toronto is February 23-24, 2008 which may not work for me as that’s the week that O’Connell Part Deux is deux, uh, I mean due. We’ll see.

But at any rate, if you are nearby, you should attend Podcamp Toronto and I hope you will.

live from podcamp boston 2 (final thoughts)

Peter O’Connell and Len Edgerly at Podcamp Boston2 photo by bryan person

Podcamp Boston 2 has come and gone and it was a good experience

It was also an imperfect conference.

My greatest and most satisfying take away was that Podcamps continue to be an amazing place to meet, network and become friends with some very talented people and at least “get to know”/be introduced to some others. For that single reason (although there are others) everyone should attend a Podcamp in their area. It’s a great experience.

Just one quick example. Through a Sunday session and later in a hallway meeting and at lunch, I met Adam Weiss . (That’s a picture from the meeting and I really did enjoy it much more than the photo would indicate…another reason I should stay behind a microphone). He’s one of the sharpest audio talents I have yet to meet in Podcasting. He’s also one of the most generous with his insights. There were many meetings like this (and some prospective client meetings too) that were simply invaluable.

The educational sessions were hit and miss. When they hit, it was out of the park. Let me explain.

As with anything as informal as an “unconference” there are going to program issues. It’s going to happen and organizers really can’t do too much about it except learn from it (and make no mistake, the Podcamp Boston committee are sharp people, they know how to adjust and I am sure they will).

There were a few challenges in this Podcamp edition:

1. Program content is determined primarily through attendees volunteering to make a presentation (as it is with ALL Podcamps). Organizers can try and determine the value of the presentation and the presenter’s professionalism but it’s a crap shoot. Part of the problem was lousy session titles, one can’t really figure out what the session is about from a vague title. Sometimes, the presentations offered little value, in my opinion, and sometimes they were really great. But the omissions stood out and felt like time lost.

2. Those in attendance were (as might be expected) at various stages of their blogging and podcasting life so programming had to strike a delicate content balance between rank amateur and professional. The format through which the sessions were laid out was great. Programming was broken down by segments and that was good. But for me there wasn’t as much “meat” as I had hoped for. In Toronto (the first of my Podcamp experiences) I felt there was more valuable content in the presentations but that could be a factor of where I was in my blogging and podcasting life. For others, the content may have struck an amazing chord.

3. Initial attendance numbers (not final to be sure) seemed higher then the first Podcamp Boston, according to those on the committee that I spoke to but many people who committed to coming didn’t show up, including some presenters (1,200 was a number thrown about prior to the event). The organizers noted this in their wrap up meeting and will offer up the option to other Podcamp organizers (the Boston crew owns the Podcamp brand) to charge a small attendance fee. It’s thought such a fee will ensure a higher attendance if people have “something” to lose by not showing up. I think they may be right.

A project like this is an enormous task and my comments are not meant in anyway to take away from the great efforts of the Podcamp Boston 2 team. But following their sophomore effort, I think they can really learn some valuable programming lessons they will help Podcamp Boston 3 ensure a fuller experience for all attendees.

live from podcamp boston 2 (update #2)

podcamp boston 2007

The Saturday afternoon presentations ratcheted up the learning level. CC Chapman and Mitch Joel presented a very content heavy presentation on the “Tools of the social media trade”. Ideas like using Google Alerts for more than just your key words to track your marketplace….think about your target markets and consider their keywords (sometimes that geographic, sometimes its industry specific etc). When working with itunes for podcasting, make sure you focus on sub categories for your podcast to have a chance to stand out from the crowd on itunes (fairly important!). Lots of other stuff too but check the Podcamp Boston wiki for some video or audio of this or any other sessions.

Podcamp Boston organizer and Financial Aid Podcast honcho Chris Penn did a really high energy presentation on to market with New Media. One quick idea which I liked was including your podcast show notes in the lyric tab of itunes…data, data, data.

Grabbed a quick but much needed nap back at the hotel and on to the Podcamp Party over at the very nice Seaport Hotel which I met a bunch of very nice people including CC Chapman who’s starting a new company, Louise Rijk of Advanced Media Productions, musician Graham English and Robert Mendelson of Select Blinds Canada who is just starting out in podcasting but has a “radio history” so we shared those great stories.

Snuck down to the bar to grab a quick dinner and watched some of the World Series during the 3 inning of game 3 where Boston started to own Colorado…the place was erupting! Great fun.

There was supposed to be an informal marketing meeting back at one of the hotels at 9 PM but by 10 PM they still hadn’t put it together and it was getting late so I just headed home.

Starts all again tomorrow!

live from podcamp boston 2 (update #1)

podcamp boston 2007

Awake at 05:00, wheels up at 07:00 and into Beantown at 8:30.

I’ve been to the BCEC (where Podcamp Boston is holding the uncoference) before for a major trade show but didn’t have any idea the true scope of this building….that means it took me a while to find registration. Its an unconference so signage is optional I guess.

But I found my way and the registration folks were very nice and helpful.

First session was a mix between Mitch Joel’s Personal Branding (I stepped into the room and the whole room yells “whooo hoooo”! Not for me of course…he was making a point in his presentation.)

Then I moved over to Scott Monty’s presentation on Web 2.0 tools that are really useful…good stuff here.

Someone in the Podcamp Boston community is doing a TV show and I did a quick interview for them.

Then moved into another presentation and I won’t tell you which one it was because it wasn’t so good plus I was hungry so I left to catch the latest presentation from Dunkin Donuts…ok it was a coffee cart but it was reeeeaaaallly good 😉

Caught up with John Wall (of Ronin Marketeer , the M Show and Marketing Over Coffee) who is a great guy (example: I sent him an email question on travel in Boston for the Podcamp trip and he was very helpful). Also met his wife who (like most of us husbands) is too good for him. (Just kidding).

Currently listening to a really good presentation by David Meerman Scott who has written the book (The New Rules of PR) and its really good. What’s impressive about his presentation (like Mitch Joel) get paid for speaking like this….here they do it for free. But the payoffs are still strong for them, I’m sure.

More later.

just think

question mark

Maybe you’ve given this some thought.

Maybe this has given you pause.

Maybe if it hasn’t yet, it should now.