Entries Tagged as 'voiceover advice'

Writing a useful Voiceover Profile for Source-Connect

Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover Source-Connect Profile 2021With so many more voiceover talents jumping on the Source-Connect bandwagon in the midst of COVID-19, some voice talent may ignore a key marketing tool included with their Source-Connect membership.

The Source-Connect user profile.

As with almost all things internet, every Source-Connect member can (and should) fill out their profile. There’s the basic form to fill out (name, rank, serial number….that was a joke, don’t try to search for rank and serial number).

But the important part, in my opinion, is the biography information below the form.

This is where I think thoughtful voice talents have the opportunity to stand out successfully.

There will always be a few producers who blow past the Source-Connect bio opportunity and not read it because…whatever.  Some voice talents may feel the same way. That’s fine.

There are a few more producers who may be torn between picking from some Source-Connect voice talents whose sound is similar, who both obviously have Source-Connect but whose profiles say and convey different things.

Those conveyed differences could be the distinction between you getting and losing the gig. Those same million variables exists on every voiceover job, I know. My point here is: with a little work now, do it right, set and forget it and you’ll have a better shot of getting the job.

You want that possible advantage, don’t you?

Here are the things I think you should make sure you include in your Source-Connect profile biography.

OVERALL
This biography is absolutely NOT like the biography (the “About”) page on your web site. This should be informative, concise, easy to read and extremely focused on the needs and wants of the studio producer reading it. Lots of meat, very little warm and fuzzy.

THE STUDIO
Many but not all people hiring you will own their own recording studio, your Source-Connect session will be recorded in their recording studio. To the people who do the hiring, studio information can make a difference. Be as detailed and yet as matter of fact as you can be. Those recording in closets, do your best to describe your custom built or custom designed recording space. You need not feel shame as long as your recording space SOUNDS professional…no doubt most Source-Connect using producers have recorded more than one voice talent who voices from a good sounding closet.

THE TOOLS
Especially with (but not exclusively to) recording studios, engineers will look with a keen eye at your list of mics, audio interfaces and software. They do not have many ways to ensure for themselves they are going to be receiving quality sounding audio BEFORE they actually hear it in the session so reading about your gear IS important to them. That said, don’t get into a “brand-panic” or fall into an inferior mic complex or some such thing. Just make sure you consult with an audio engineer (the George Whittham’s of the world) to make sure your studio tools give you a quality, broadcast-ready sound BEFORE you try selling yourself ANYWHERE, let alone via Source-Connect.

THE CREDITS
The word credits is born of word credibility. While your entire Source-Connect biography is about establishing your recording credibility (studio and performance) – listing your professional voiceover credits is a way to assure producers that whatever project they have you in mind for…their session with you will NOT be your first voiceover recording rodeo (this is true for any professional voiceover biography). Your list of voiceover credits allow the media producer to know other producers and specifically other brands (hopefully, well known, easily identifiable and respected brands) have trusted your professional voice talent and/or recording abilities and so can they. Anywhere from 7-10 featured brand credits (across multiple industries) should assure them you are an experienced, professional voiceover talent.

Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover Source-Connect IconTHE YOU
Probably the biggest difference between your “ABOUT” biography on your personal web site and your biography on your Source-Connect web site is “The You”. On your web site, you can talk about your likes and family and unicorns and rainbows. All fine.

Not on your Source-Connect biography…at least that’s my opinion.

Producers are usually rushed for time when hiring a talent and if…IF…they take the time to read this part of your Source-Connect profile (and again there are no guarantees they will) give them ‘just then facts, ma’am’.

If you want to tie in a few words about your personal brand (very few) and location, that’s fine. Keep it short. For example, in my Source-Connect profile, I mention I used to live in Buffalo, NY and now live in Raleigh, NC. Some producers from years ago may remember me from Buffalo, not realize I moved to Raleigh and thus may not be sure I am the same guy. That location detail has professional, business relevance to my profile. Otherwise I wouldn’t include it.

Why so much info on a profile that is supposed to be so brief? Because to be concise, you have to be fairly thoughtful about those few, right words…about sharing the most valuable content. I hope this blog has offered you some helpful guidance and ideas.

V.O. North 2020 was Virtually Great

Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover V.O. North 2020This past weekend’s V.O. North was my first virtual voiceover conference. It worked out well.

Look, nothing will ever be as much fun an in-person conference. The interactions and the spontaneity of in-person events cannot be matched.

What would be worse, though, would be to not have ANY voiceover conferences at all and I believe that was Tanya Buchanan and Dervla Trainor’s thinking in going ahead with V.O. North 2020. They were the event producers.

Me and 250+ of my closest friends all agree theirs was the right decision.

From the execution of the web-based seminars (which was technically pretty much flawless) to the content and even the evening parties…we all had a great time.

Tanya invited me to moderate 4 seminars this weekend with a total 14 presenters and they were all so (individually and collectively) terrific! The content was practical and applicable, the information shared was thoughtful and insightful and the presenters very willing to share their knowledge. Of course all the attendees were extremely nice.

Special thanks to my panelists:

  • Tanya Buchanan from Ta-Da Voiceworks (full disclosure, my Toronto-based Canadian agent for at least 8 years and friend for longer)
  • Roger King from PN Agency
  • Carol Rathe who is now retired from Go Voices
  • Roberta Romano who is the director of the Voice Department at Fountainhead Talent
  • Erik Shappard from The Sheppard Agency (full disclosure, my agent for at least the past 12 years, maybe more and friend for longer)
  • Ralph Streich from Vancouver’s RED Talent Management
  • Long time friend and fellow voice talent Bev Standing who now heads up the Canadian division of Gravy for the Brain
  • Voice talent David Toback who also oversees GVAA
  • Vancouver-based voice actor Noel Johansen who runs On The Mic
  • British voiceover artist Rachael Naylor who owns The Voiceover Network
  • Los Angeles-based voice actress Rachel Wohl
  • Audio producer (and Calgary Flames hockey fan) Bruce Crews who work with On Air Studios in Calgary
    Long time friend and voiceover talent Liz de Nesnera
  • Los Angeles-based audio producer and sports ball fan Andrew Silagy, who is the terrific Talent and Production Manager for Snap Recordings

Y’all made my job very easy. Thanks!

v.o. north 2020 adds voice actor peter k. o’connell to the presenters’ roster


Peter K. O'Connell V.O. North 2020 Toronto Voiceover ConferenceWe’ve all had some weird things happen to us in 2020. Well the hits just keep on coming.

Four years ago, we packed up the O’Connell Conestoga Wagon and traveled from way up north in Buffalo, NY to the southern climes of Raleigh, NC.

Now, I’m moving back north….even MORE NORTH than Buffalo which is weird cause everyone used to tell me Buffalo was “the end of the line”. Bah!

This time I’m off to Toronto, Ontario, Canada…which is fine with me because my Grandmother was born there and we had a house in Fort Erie, Ontario for over 4 decades.

So Toronto it is.

Only for a weekend, though.

Peter K. O'Connell V.O. North 2020 Voiceover ConferenceI’m not sure whether it was being housebound during COVID that impacted Tanya Buchanan’s thought process so much but she pinged me the other day and asked me to be a part V.O. North 2020, taking place October 16-18 in Toron….puter…screens. 😉

That’s a Canadian city you might not know about, Toronputerscreens….but that’s where you’ll find me for V.O. North 2020.

I will be a moderator for sessions where otherwise well meaning voiceover panelists, sharing their knowledge on a variety of topics, must endure me slinging questions at them on topics that may or may not have ANYTHING to do with voiceover. 😉 This is the kind of zaniness that takes place when you put me in charge.

I have not participated in V.O. North yet, so I am very excited to see how this will work.

Obviously, we would ALL prefer V.O. North take place in person in Toronto but something is better than nothing and V.O. North meeting promises to be something else…in a most wonderful way!

voiceover north 2020 toronto canada peter k. o'connellYou do NOT need to be Canadian or even know a Canadian to participate….so sign up! V.O. North 2020 has waaaay more impressive presenters than me. Check them out.

I look forward to seeing and speaking with you there.

 

 

using a professional voiceover recording studio DOES matter

Professional Voiceover Recording Studio Peter K. O'ConnellAs as a voiceover business owner, there is always the question of how much capital to invest into one’s business.

One wants have very good audio technology that allows for the best voiceover audio quality.

One also want to have enough money to pay the mortgage and eat.

I get it.

A voiceover CLIENT, on the other hand, wants everything to sound perfect, they want no technology problems and they want all that broadcast quality sound and more right now.

Only the client’s wants and needs matter, by the way. That’s just a fact.

Occassionally, voice talent (who are new or relatively new to the voiceover business) focus their budgets on microphones and not so much on their recording environment. Goodness knows there are low-cost, short-term tricks to making an audio recording environment “workable”. We’ve all been there…especially when trying to record voiceovers while traveling.

This discussion isn’t about traveling.

This is about home voiceover recording studios.

(Note: I am NOT a home studio expert, nor have I played one on TV. But after nearly 40 years in the business, I have learned a thing or two <hundred> about audio recording).

One’s home voiceover recording environment is critical…short term fixes (closets, blankets etc.) can work but also have significant limitations that reveal themselves at really inopportune times (usually with a client on the line, a deadline looming and one of your biggest paydays hanging in the balance….no problem!!)

Outside noises in your studio will negatively disrupt a recording session, upset a client, make re-takes a nightmare and basically ding the “professionalism” of a talent’s reputation – at least in the opinion of a voiceover client (and really, is there any other opinion that matters?)

This video (below) shows one way to address your recording environment professionally. It is NOT the only way and it doesn’t have to be pretty (unless clients will be coming TO your voiceover recording studio). My non-home voiceover recording studio expert but significantly experienced advice is to find a good, strong recording space solution to ensure, more often than not, that the quality of your home voiceover recording environment is as dependable and reliable as you are as a voice actor.

It ALL really matters. Hope this helps.

“Notecard” The Voiceover Workshop with Peter K. O’Connell

I think most Moms are the same…they all mean and do well for their children.

So I’m guessing your Mom, like my Mom, said something to you like “The little things matter.”

It was only later in life people tell you “not to sweat the little stuff.”

But the little things DO matter, especially when it come to kindness. And small business ownership.

Like when you write a hand written note to your prospects or clients. So I’m going to chat a little bit about that.

“Get Dressed” The Voiceover Workshop with Peter K. O’Connell

EP 2 Voiceover Workshop with Peter K. O'Connell

Too simple “they” will say, (you know, those THEY people).

Doesn’t apply to me, “they” will also say.

“They” say finally that this doesn’t even count as advice.

Except it does.

We all have work clothes. We all have lazy clothes.

I contend (as do others) that if one tries to do work in their lazy clothes…they won’t be nearly as effectual.

We have to be physically and psychologically prepared to work every day (although it’s not THAT dramatic as that sounds)

Well, anyway, watch the video and consider the advice. You are the ultimate decider…for you.

Hope it helps.