Here is the second half of the notes I had from my talk at Faffcon 5. If you missed it, Part 1 is here.
Do you make a lot of blog comments? Are you a regular forum poster? Think of all the things that you do online that can be traced back to your name and your email. Every single bit of this is visible to people who want to find out more about you. Increasing percentages of HR people do so. Even interactions with your fellow voice actors can affect you. I know another dozen stories about people who have recommended each other, and passed along work that way. If you come across as rude or short with people, you are missing out on that kind of an opportunity. The voiceover community is fairly tight knit, all things considered, and it would be easy for a negative impression of you to spread to the producers and talent agents, the people who work in studios that we all know.
All these things come together to create that impression of you, that presence that people will see when they look for you online. All of those diverse elements come together to give you a good name, or not. This is just like how a mechanic, or a store owner would have a local impression as a ‘good guy’ and as ‘someone you could trust’, except now your audience is potentially in the millions, and there is a record of the things that you say that can’t be erased. Making your impression positive starts by simply being conscious of the things that you say. It continues by considering your online interactions—all of them—as being onstage.
Let me tell you about some of the things that people are looking for when they look people up online. They want to know if you fit the atmosphere of their company. Do you fit in with their brand, their company culture? Are you confrontational? Can you handle negative comments from others? Do you have a sense of humor? Do you come across as likeable?
Is your personal branding inconsistent? Do you talk about your work ethic on your website but tweet about how much you hate what you are working on? Are your ‘client testimonials’ false or misleading?
How are your communication skills? Social media is generally written without having been planned the way your website or Linkedin profile may have been. Social media is seen as being more the ‘real’ you.
So to sum up, there is a lot that goes into your online presence. You can’t ignore any element of your actions online, or allow one part or the other to lie fallow. Everything you post say and do affects everything else, and it’s vital to remember that any element of your online presence can be the first thing a potential or current employer sees. So think about what you say, and be careful. Right now the things you are saying could be affecting you in ways you don’t even realize, because it’s just people not contacting you. And bad impressions only grow over time.
Next week, I will be talking about inertia in your life and how it can cause problems with your work.