Whether you’re just getting started in voice work, or you’re a seasoned pro, a personal website is a great way to get attention for your demo. But it can be difficult to get right. Translating your audio demo to a visual medium requires thoughtful planning, and some technical know-how. Many voice actors have jumped in with both feet only to get underwhelming results. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
This guide is your ultimate resource for creating a website that looks good, works well, and helps you grow your voice business. After reading it, you will have a better understanding of why a website is important, how to plan out your website and bring it to life, what considerations to keep in mind through the process, and how to promote your website so it can be seen.
Building websites for voice talent is what we do. If you have any questions or want to learn more, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Voice actors like you have lots of choices for being seen online. Between your agency, services like voices.com, and your various social media profiles, you might be wondering why you even need a personal website in the first place.
There are three reasons why you will want to have a personal website for your voice over business.
In December 2021, it was reported that an Instagram user from Australia with the handle @metaverse found herself locked out of her account. The reason? Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, attempted to take the account for themselves. The company backed down after the story received media attention, but the incident still serves as an important reminder that you do not own your social media profile and it can be taken away from you. Having a personal website is the best way to guarantee that no matter what goes on inside social media companies, other service providers, and even your agency, you’ll always have full ownership of your home on the web.
Voice talent agencies are in business for one reason, and one reason only: to make money. Your job when seeking representation is to show them that you are capable of helping them achieve that goal. While your demo is far and away the most important piece of collateral you have for attracting an agent, a website can go a long way in influencing their opinion of you. With a polished personal website, you appear professional and committed.
The same principle applies to casting agents. Having a website that works well and stands out above the average could be the difference between landing a gig and being forgotten.
Just as a writer will spend time carefully assessing their client’s needs and coming up with a detailed plan before writing a script, you will achieve the best results if you carefully assess your needs and come up with a detailed plan before creating your website.
Each website you visit has a goal in mind for what action they’d like you to take. A quick visit to www.google.com makes it clear their goal is to have you conduct a search so they can show you relevant ads. Head over to www.apple.com and you’ll notice its purpose is to sell products.
Similarly, your website should be built with an objective in mind. There are lots of different things you might want your website to help you do. Possibilities include:
Your personal brand is a promise to your customers that will inform the look and feel of your website.
There are two components to your brand. The first is your voice – the product you ultimately want people to buy. For example, are you professional and commanding? Youthful and energetic? Or something else?
The second component of your brand is your professional self – the work ethic you bring with you into the voice booth. For example, are you creative and spontaneous? A dedicated perfectionist? Highly coachable?
Both of these components come together to form your personal brand, and both must be communicated not just in the words on your website, but in its look and feel.
With an idea in mind of what you want your website to achieve, and the branding message you want it to convey, it’s time to write the outline of your website content. Just as a video script includes visuals and sound, your website outline should plan for images and copy.
Each page or section of your website should be outlined in detail. Most voice artists will want to include the following pages or sections as a starting point:
|Photo: Me laughing in voice booth||Headline: About Catharina|
Bio text: Cras interdum pulvinar elementum. Morbi id lacus maximus, dictum enim in, dictum lacus. Fusce vehicula efficitur blandit. Praesent sit amet magna at purus interdum pharetra eget in neque.
Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Nam mattis neque sed nibh rhoncus convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.
Fusce tristique eros ligula, sit amet luctus ligula tincidunt eu. Duis ut felis sit amet arcu placerat gravida eget eu lectus.
Once your outline is finished, it’s time to bring your website to life.
If you don’t already have one, securing a domain name (the address of your website) is a good place to get started.
The best domain names are:
A best practice is to use your full name, e.g. AmyNelson.com. If it’s unavailable, try a regional extension (e.g. AmyNelson.co.uk) or a common alternative (e.g. AmyNelson.io)
There are several websites you can use to search for and purchase a domain name. Popular options are godaddy.com, domain.com and register.com.
Hosting, design and development, referring to where the website lives on the internet, how it looks, and how it’s constructed, respectively, are closely related and should be considered together. In general, there are three approaches to hosting, design and development you may want to take.
Popular website builders like Squarespace are actually providing hosting, design and development combined as one product. For a monthly service fee, you get a graphical interface that lets you design your website, turns it into code, and makes it available on the web.
Website builders are attractive because they’re low-cost and let you stay in control of your project. The downside is that while they’re easy to use, it can be very difficult to adapt a pre-made template to fit the content you want to produce. The most common result is that people invest a lot of time and effort for a website they’re not truly proud of.
More advanced users might find popular builders like Squarespace to be too limiting and difficult to customize, opting instead to do it themselves. This approach opens up a lot of possibilities, but requires a bit of technical know-how.
The most important decision for DIY website creation is the content management system, or CMS. Unless you have some knowledge of HTML and CSS, your best choice is WordPress. The free version of WordPress.org gives you access to thousands of free themes and plugins, and its “Gutenberg” visual editor makes it easy to use.
You will, however, need to purchase hosting for your website. There are many options out there for hosting with WordPress built in, and the cost ranges from around $3 to $25 per month.
Building a website yourself can take a lot of time and be hard to get right, which is why many voice actors choose to hire a professional. The best professionals will work with you to determine your needs, come up with an original design, and build your site for you. They can also help you set up your domain name and hosting if needed.
The downside to hiring a professional is that it can come with a high upfront cost. It can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to design and build a custom website, not including ongoing maintenance and hosting. And as many agencies have multiple ongoing projects, it can still take a long time to get to a finished product.
Full disclosure, this is us.
We’ve noticed that most voice artist websites suck. It’s really hard to build a unique voice talent website on Squarespace. It’s really expensive to hire a professional. And the few companies specializing in voice actor websites haven’t upped their design game since you needed a college email address to sign up for Facebook.
When you use Voice on Screen, you get the quality of a professionally made website for the price of a DIY builder. We don’t charge any upfront fees, we don’t make you do any design or coding work, and we provide hosting and maintenance for as long as you keep your website.
Learn more about Voice on Screen
When creating your website, consider following these best practices:
It’s far easier to take a mobile experience and adapt it for desktop than the other way around. Start with an experience that looks and works well for mobile users and then worry about moving it to larger screens.
Your demo is the best representation of your product. Make it easy to find your best demo by putting it in the hero section of your website. At the very least, your best demo should appear “above the fold” – that is, in the portion of the website that visitors can see without having to scroll down.
Your website is there to sell you. Skip the goofy caricature and show your audience who you really are. Invest in high-quality photography to use on your website. Or at least have a friend take a variety of well-framed pictures for you with their phone.
The worst websites are the one that fill up all the available space. Use whitespace liberally and give your content room to breathe.
At a minimum, ensure your website has proper meta tags, well structured headings, and human-readable addresses like yourname.com/voice-over-demos
Accessibility is important for any website. Use clear, keyboard-compatible navigation, use “alt” tags to label non-text components like images, and offer controls for interactive components like audio and video.
Don’t try to make your website look like an old-timey radio – your audience knows you do voice overs and would rather a clean, easy-to-use website that lets them get the information they need, listen to your demo, and move on with their day.
Once your website is live, promote it! Here are some idea for how to get it found.
Add a link to your website on all of your social media profiles. Don’t forget:
Every time you send an email, you have a chance to show someone your website. Add a link in your signature along with your contact information.
Make your website address prominent on your business cards, and hand them out liberally at networking events. Think about printing a QR Code on your business card so people can visit your website just by scanning it with their camera.
Advertising your website is an option, but it’s not likely that people will see an ad, visit your website, and then hire you. Instead of advertising your website directly, use that money for other lead generation efforts and use your website as a showcase for people who are already interested in you.
Most voice talent websites suck. Ours don’t.
Most voice over actor websites are terrible. They look dated. They have weird spacing. They look wrong on mobile. And they make skilled talent look amateur. Yikes.
Show casting and talent agents you’re the real deal with a professional website that stands out from the crowd. Our websites feature modern designs, put your demos front and centre, and showcase your personality. With a well-designed home on the web, you can get more auditions, book more jobs, and grow your voice over business.
Give your demo a beautiful home on the web with no coding and no building for a low monthly fee. Learn more at www.voiceonscreen.com
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