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I’ve always loved the idea of doing interviews here on my blog, but I wanted to find a different set of people to interview that would be of interest for the voice over community. So today I am launching some interviews with people who are involved with voice over, but who are more ‘backstage’ in what they do.
For my first interview, I spoke with Morgan Barnhart, voice over professional and social media guru of Sociableboost.com. Morgan and I met on Twitter when I re-tweeted some of her useful and interesting social media content, and eventually became Facebook friends, and started chatting. She was kind enough to answer some questions for me about voice over and social media, and the interaction between the two.
1. As both a voice over artist, and a social media guru, do you think good engagement in social media is important as a VO?
Oh absolutely. I’ve actually gotten a lot of gigs through social media as a voice over artist. Good communication is important no matter what field you’re in, but being a voice over artist (is just as difficult as being an on-screen actor), you have to work a lot harder to gain the attention of those who are willing to pay you for your voice.
2. Have you gotten VO work from your outreach in social media?
Why yes, yes I have. Guess I prematurely answered. 🙂 But yes, through Facebook, Twitter, podcasting and general interaction through particular forums, I have gotten work through social media.
3. Can you recommend any basic ‘how to’ guides to getting started in social media? It’s kind of overwhelming to some people when they first get started.
The thing is, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. People think too hard about social media and they think it’s some scary monster that will consume them if they take a “wrong” step and offend someone or something. It’s really not like that. The best thing to do is to stop thinking about how difficult or overwhelming it is and just DO IT. Just start an account, start finding like-minded people and act like a HUMAN by just, you know, interacting with people online as you would act with them offline. Be friendly, show off your personality and most of all, don’t think too hard! But if you’re really a novice when it comes to even starting a Twitter account, then head to this URL: http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-resources/ where they have step-by-step guides on every subject imaginable.
4. Are there any things you feel people should absolutely NOT do in social media? What’s the worst gaffe you’ve ever seen?
The worst thing people can do is pretend that the person on the other end isn’t a human being. Would you seriously walk up to a stranger and ask them to like your Facebook page? What do you think that stranger would do? Probably think you’re nuts and try to ignore you because not only do they not know you, but you just rudely assumed that they would be interested in what you have to offer. Everything that happens within social media is a CHOICE, not an obligation or guilt trip. Don’t try to guilt people into liking your page because you liked theirs and try to avoid blatant self-promotion when it comes to complete strangers. Start a conversation and what you do will come out naturally. It’s called small talk. 🙂
5. Do you think it’s possible for a full time entrepreneur to engage in a productive social media strategy without neglecting other things in their business?
Oh absolutely. Everyone says they’re sooooooo busy, FAR too busy to bother getting on social media, but what they fail to realize is that the actions we all take in social media only take a few minutes of our time with each encounter. Think about it, if you want to tweet, we pick up our phones and send it off in a matter of a minute, sometimes less (or more, if you’re uploading a pic or something), but you get the idea. People think they have to be present on social media 24/7, but that’s just not so. Even the busiest of the busiest can update, create and manage their social media profiles without all the hassle or stress.
6. How do you feel about engaging with the hot new sites, like Pintrest? Do you think it’s wiser to stick with the tried and true until the new ones prove themselves, or should we take advantage of high traffic, even if it’s only temporary?
Honestly, unless you absolutely must join the new social networking site because you strongly believe it’ll help your business, then go for it. But if you’re on the fence about it, then it’s probably not a big deal and won’t help your overall strategy. It’s better to be in a couple places that are updated often, instead of in a bazillion empty places. Feel free to try out the new sites, because hey, even if you’re on the fence, you could join and end up realizing that it’s exactly the type of network you’ve been looking for. But if they just aren’t working out for ya, delete your account and move on.
7. If you could give one piece of advice to VO talents who want to use social media for their business, what would it be?
If you’re using social media to promote your voice, then use your voice to market yourself. Don’t simply rely on your website because rarely do people visit each other’s websites without being prompted. So if you write a blog post, then turn it into an audio post. Create your own podcast. Share audio tweets and FB status messages. Read from your favorite book and put that audio excerpt up on YouTube (this really works! Even if it’s already in audio format, people love to hear their favorite books in different forms). Just get creative with how you can use your voice and expand out from the norm.
As a post script, if you know anyone who would be good for this ‘techie’ interview series of mine, please email me at [email protected]!
Dan Friedman is the next subject of my interview series, discussing his experience, background, and enthusiasm for the audio world.