Entries Tagged as 'marketing'

Voice Actor Peter K. O’Connell Gets A Facelift

Revised Peter K. O'Connell Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent logoI love me a good headline but no, I didn’t get a facelift.

My voiceover logo got a facelift.

So I designed my new logo back in December on my Mac using Powerpoint.

I will now allow all the logo designers reading this to scream and throw their computers.

I get it.

What’s important to remember is that I wasn’t originally trying to design a new logo in December….I was only playing around and it just sorta happened. Kinda like how babies are made (or so I’m told).

Anyway, everybody seems to either like the new logo or not hate the new logo and life goes on.

Being technologically inept in the graphics part of my life (PowerPoint, for goodness sake, even I’m a little ashamed), I needed some adjustments made to the logo and I had to call in the calvary (i.e. Ann Hackett from aHa Designs).

I am her least favorite client because I am very specific about how I want things done AND I change my mind alot. She charges me triple her going rate but I still come back for more! Might be like 3 decades working together…I’ve lost count.

I sent her all and I mean ALL the darn specs/files I had on my logo (including the fonts) so she could recreate it with the changes I needed.

But her Mac and my Mac or my PowerPoint and her WhizBang graphics software don’t always play nice.

The outcome was she came up with my logo design kinda close but then made some minor changes and created a tweaked 2nd version that I really liked. So that was the facelift of Peter K. O’Connell, Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent.

I’m sure I’ll tweak it more as time goes on but I am very happy with this outcome on the revised logo.

Hope you like it too.

Voice Actor Peter K. O’Connell’s Interview with VoyageRaleigh

What a nice compliment for me to be invited to an interview with VoyageRaleighVoyageRaleigh Voice Actor Peter K. O'Connell about my voiceover business!

VoyageRaleigh is part of a group of publications around the country whose mission is to build a platform that fosters collaboration and support for small businesses, independent artists and entrepreneurs, local institutions and those that make each city interesting.

The interesting part for me was that they listed my interview under the section of “Rising Star” – some 40+ years into my voiceover journey!!! I’ve decided it’s better than being listed under the category of “Falling Star”.

At any rate, thank you VERY much to the VoyageRaleigh team for spending time with me.

The Greatness of the Greenville Yard Gnomes and Minor League Baseball Logo Design

From a logo design perspective (and you know I love me some logos), few things make me as generally happy and excited a Minor League Baseball logos.

Which is why I was so excited to hear about the Greenville Yard Gnomes.

Greenville Yard Gnomes Baseball 2024 CPL

The new logo for North Carolina’s Greenville Yard Gnomes, who begin their first season in the Coastal Plain League on May 24, 2024 at Guy Smith Stadium

Yes…that is a baseball team, a very new baseball team and I am here for all of it (even though Greenville is 90 minutes away and I may never get to a game). I’m all in on the Yard Gnomes.

I’ll tell you why in a minute but first a not-brief-enough explanation on baseball leagues for non-“sportsball” people, (and look, I like baseball but I don’t follow/live/die baseball – an MiLB game is a great night out for me #goBuffaloBisons #goDurhamBulls #goCarolinaMudcats).

For those who don’t really follow baseball, they may only know the Major League Baseball teams (MLB) – like the New York Mets or the Los Angeles Dodgers…the teams that play for the World Series and get most of the attention. Even non-sportsball people will recognize these and other MLB names.

These MLB teams ALL have farm clubs…a kind of feeder system of players and coaches for the MLB make up teams in the Minor League Baseball system (MiLB). In this system, there are ranked MiLB leagues of teams from lowest (Single A) to highest and closest to the MLB (which is Triple A). Below that that are a series of much smaller leagues that I refer to as Development Leagues (I’m sure there’s a better name but I’m trying to get to logos here, people!!) 🙂

So, as to why I’m all in on these non-MLB teams?

These MiLB farm clubs and smaller teams, in my opinion, have to work especially hard to gain attention in their communities to get people to come to the games and for advertisers to spend money.

There is sooo much creativity that goes into MiLB and Developmental League gameday events, preparation, sponsorship (maybe broadcasts if they are fortunate). But to me it all starts with two things for an MiLB or Developmental League team to get a good start and be able to build a franchise: team name and logo.

The team name and logo set the stage for everything that comes after it.

The name has to resonate with the community (historically, geographically, comically – take your pick or mix & match). The name or a nickname has to be something the fans will be able to proudly scream and cheer for. The icon colors need to tie in with the community or be really smart looking. Of course the logo itself needs to grab the community for so many reasons, not the least of which is merchandise sales.

Not sure?

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs BaseballGo ahead and TRY and tell me you’re not the least bit curious about a baseball team called the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Biloxi Shuckers, the Lansing Lugnuts or the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels.

You’d be lying. Don’t lie to me!! 😉

So when I hear about a new, non-MLB baseball team, I know all the work, blood, sweat and tears (and often not great salaries) that went into the work (and will go into future work) to get the team’s branding right.

Which leads to this morning’s revelation (at least it was a revelation to me) that North Carolina is getting a new baseball team as part of one of those Developmental Leagues I spoke of…this team is the Greenville (NC) Yard Gnomes.

#GoGnomes (I made up that hashtag…not sure if it will stick).

Coastal Plain LeagueThe Yard Gnomes (which I imagine may start to be referred to by fans as the YG’s (pronounced “whygeez”, one word)) are now part of the Coastal Plain League (CPL), which is a collegiate summer league, featuring top-notched college players from across the nation. The CPL features 15 teams across Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Many of the CPL teams play in former minor league stadiums and cities, as well as in newly constructed stadiums that meet Class A standards. Capitol Broadcasting Company, a Raleigh-based broadcasting, sports marketing and real estate company bought the CPL in 2022.

It’s such a small league that, as of this writing, the CPL web site hasn’t even posted the YG’s new name & logo (Capitol Broadcasting has). No blame here, these minor-minor league leagues are often severely understaffed.

These are a collection of college players traveling across the South in summer, with players often living in the homes of local team fans who sponsor them with living quarters (players paying maybe a small fee) for the season. These players also have other jobs. The players need to really LOVE baseball because out of about 1,700 players, on average only 10% of them make it to the majors.

Peter K OConnell Holly Spring Salamanders Baseball

Raleigh-based voice actor Peter K. O’Connell – who really enjoys any night at a minor league baseball park – proudly models his Holly Springs Salamanders baseball cap from ’47 Brand. Holly Springs is a suburb of Raleigh, NC, The new (for the 2024 season) Greenville Yard Gnomes will be in the same summer baseball league as the Salamanders.

These facts I learned some years ago at a game of a sister CPL team to the YG’s, the Holly Spring Salamanders (and yes I have a Salamanders hat – of course it’s a ’47 Brand Cleanup — my favorite!!).

So all of that – the branding, the small staffs, the low budgets, the house rentals, the blood sweat and tears all went into kicking off this new baseball team in Greenville.

And the team name and logo are awesome. Fantastic! I love it. Why?

The Yard Gnome name, just as a guy on the outisde looking in to a market/community I do not know much about, is unique, quirky and fun. The name brings a smile. This to me is a VERY good start and memorable for a league whose average game attendance seems to hover around 1,000 on its best nights.

ECU Pirates Athletics

The Yard Gnome logo is cute, charming and whimsical…like yard gnomes (unless your neighbor has, like, a thousand of them in the front yard).

The CPL has created a brand story to tie in the legend of gnomes with Greenville’s East Carolina University’s Pirates and some of the history of baseball in Greenville to make it all flow.

Brian Begley Graphic Designer NJ

The Yard Gnomes logo was designed by Brian Begley, a New Jersey-based artist, who is know for his ability to blend historical and contextual elements with a clean, simple style.

The YG’s will enjoy their inaugural Opening Day on Friday, May 24 against the Tri-City Chili Peppers at Guy Smith Stadium, their new home.

voiceover workshop invited on the “ask me anything” webcast with tom dheere

Tom Dheere & Peter K. O'Connell "Ask Me Anything" Voiceover MArketingI’ve been fortunate to be invited on a number of voiceover related podcasts and webcasts (because the ‘cooking show’ podcasts know I don’t really have that much to offer – as I am a Platinum Member of the Arby’s Best Customer Club).

So it was nice to have the VO Workshop invited on Tom Dheere’s “Ask Me Anything” webcast (part of his VO Strategist business) to discuss voice-over marketing.

Full disclosure, I was not his first choice for the show but his original guest had to cancel last minute. Glad to help out my friend of at least 10+ years just before airtime.

The show must go on! Indeed it did!

We spoke about marketing priorities for voice talents including databases, demos, websites and more. We also took questions from viewers of the live broadcast.

According to Tom, the show went very well. As the guest, I know hosts always say that but the response thus far has been very positive. I know I enjoyed myself.

Hope you enjoy it.

don’t take your voiceover web pages for granted

Voiceover Workshop Peter K. O'Connell voworkshop.com

This is the graphic I created and added this weekend to freshen up the content on VOWorkshop.com

Wait a minute…don’t ignore that headline about voiceover web pages because you KNOW you do it.

Everyone who has a website usually works really hard at the start to make sure the design and content are current and laid out well and pretty. Oh how hard we work on it!

Then…we ignore it for many months and even years. Don’t deny it, yes YOU do!

As usual, I will throw myself under the bus in this regard — but I know this isn’t just me.

During this weekend, I found myself cleaning up and adding some content to my main site, peterkoconnell.com (also found via audioconnell.com). I had new information to add to some website pages, some new posts that will be added automatically in a few weeks to the main site and blog etc.

But when I looked at the website interface on all my many voiceover web pages, I realized I had not updated page for the Voiceover Workshop (found via voworkshop.com) in years. Plural! As in more than 1, 2 or 3 years. I’m still teaching all the VO stuff to the VO peoples 😉 but I hadn’t touched the web page in far too long.

Did that information change much? No…but I know it is valuable to keep refreshing a web page’s information at least a little every year..and it’s not that hard.

So to the Voiceover Workshop page, I updated some text and added a fresh, colorful graphic…simple. Now I’m happy with the refreshed page and Google is even happier

Mr. “Marketing Guru” (not at all, really) ignored his own oft quoted advice. Ok, it’s humbling and it should be for me.

But now, you can learn from my…well, not really a mistake…from my omission or neglect.

Take a look at the active pages of YOUR voiceover web site. Make an appointment with yourself…set time aside.

Sometimes you will not have to change anything…but sometimes there are reasonable and useful changes in text, graphics, headlines, alt tags or keywords, etc, that you should make. It’s easy but necessary stuff to do to keep voice actor website information fresh for prospects, customers and Google!

Voiceover Workshop website is your store voworkshop.comMy simple advice is don’t take website content updates for granted…try and schedule a 6 month or 12 month check-up with yourself. Be accountable to yourself.

Remember, in voiceover, your website is your store…and your store should be swept, dusted, vacuumed and/or mopped more than just every few years.

voiceover business cards: a moo-ving story of getting it right, eventually

Turns out the third time was the charm for this edition of how the voiceover business card turns!

So, as I noted in an earlier post, I updated my voiceover branding to highlight my “Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent” positioning. Along with a logo redesign and website update, news business cards had to be created.

As a few of you may remember, I do like my business card design posts…so do many of my voiceover blog readers. Business cards are a great creative opportunity to not only share contact information but also to become memorable among your prospects.

That’s especially true for voice actors who need to show a dash more creativity in our branding because many of our prospects and clients work in design and advertising and they notice that stuff!

This story of my new business cards will focus less on the actual design (although that will play a part in the story). This voiceover business card story will tell a tale of the printing of the business cards. And the printing of the business cards. Then finally, the printing of the business cards.

Having sent the design of my new cards to my graphic designer, I had to pick a style of card (there’s lot of them…with different corners, paper stock and coatings…oh my!). To print them, I decided to go with the on-line printer Moo.com.

By way of a little background, I had really gone all out on my last business card design. I found a company that printed plastic business cards that were very well received by all who got one. Such nice comments.

But plastic business cards presented a couple of issues, I realized over time.

One is that plastic business cards are VERY expensive. Also, I carry some business cards in my wallet and there were times when I went to hand one out and the cards had rubbed to together, get super smudged and they looked awful. I wasn’t about to carry a separate business card holder with me everywhere so the scratched and smudged expensive business cards were a costly annoyance for me. Finally, business cards feel like they are become a less necessary tool as so many connections are made virtually vs. in person.

So no plastic cards this time. Moo has this really nice, super thick paper stock that I thought would work really well. It even has color on the edges of the card. I was sold. My graphic designer gave me the setup design to upload and we were off!

Well it turns out…we were way off. My designer submitted the business card art with crop marks that most printers use. Moo did not want or like the crop marks. So the printed business cards came out showing some of those hash marks.

To Moo’s credit, their quality control caught the mistake and notified me that the cards with the crop marks had shipped but Moo said they could fix the issue and would reprint free of charge.

Before the ‘fixed’ cards arrived, I received the crop marked cards. Turns out the crop marks printed on the finished business cards were not the only issue these cards had. On the back of the new cards, I used a blue background. I found that the blue ink smudged pretty easily when I put some of the crop marked cards into my wallet to see how they fit.

Oy, here we go again…the expensive plastic cards had color smudging and now the new heavy thick paper cards have the same problem.

A little later, the “fixed” cards from Moo arrived. While Moo’s “fix” had removed the crop marks it also threw the design way of balance because they basically tried to “zoom” in to get rid of the crop marks. It was a bad look. These cards weren’t going to work either.

Something good did come of these printing errors.

I decided that the back of my card design was actually way too busy. My fault. I had inadvertently thrown the kitchen sink at that part of the design; yes cards were functional with all the information contained but the design (its function) was too cluttered.

Maybe the printing error was my graphic designer Guardian angel’s way of saying “try again, kiddo!” Indeed I would.

I decided in the redesign to go for mostly white in color…front and back…to cut down on the opportunity for smudging. Also I cut down on the words and made the fonts a little bigger and easier to read. I decided to go away from the thick paper stock and go one step down to Moo’s less thick but coated card stock. Hopefully this would lead to no or less smudges and scratches. It’s a wallet causing the issue so it may never be perfect.

With the new design done and formatted the way Moo.com liked it, their customer service person confirmed the designs met their standards and the art was uploaded for printing.

A few days later, I got THIRD version printed business cards. Inexplicably, these newest cards had printer cut lines on them and a black line at the bottom. None of these markings were on my submitted artwork.

Oh and about the rounded corners I had ordered…there were none…all 90 degree angles.

It was a production problem, I was told.

At this point, I had to speak with a Moo.com manager. It was too much and too sloppy.

I need to note that all the Moo.com customer service people I emailed with and spoke during this process with were all very nice and professional.

But I expressed my understandable frustration to the manager who not only credited me for the whole order, reprinted my cards, had them hand inspected and shipped over night (all at no charge) but also gave me a credit for future orders. Aside from paying off my mortgage, they was nothing else they could have done for me so I was satisfied.

Today, I got my cards…as I wanted them. Simple, understated & functional yet attractive and a bit of “oh hey, these feel nice!”

Business cards are hardly the most critical part of a business’ marketing efforts…but they ARE a part of it. They need to look the way they are supposed to look.

Now they do.

Be patient with your vendors, be patient with yourself…on business cards or any aspect of running your business.

Enjoy the ride.