VoiceActorWebsites.com is a team of web developers and marketers who started more than 10 years ago with Joe Davis and has rapidly grown into being the go-to team for voiceover website success. Boasting some of the industries top talent as clients, the business got started when Dan Leonard simply asked Joe Davis for help with his marketing. From there other voiceover talents quickly recognized the talent Joe possessed and his knowledge of the voiceover industry and began using his services.
The New Year is often the time when businesses begin new marketing initiatives. Voiceover actors are no different. When I started thinking about a new website for my new branding, I looked towards other successful voiceover talents for who they used. I worked well with my old web developer but wanted someone who had a fresh vision for my website. I wanted someone who also had a deep understanding for my particular business. I notice that many talent had branding by VoiceActorWebsites.com including Issa Lopez, who I am friends with. Issa connected me with Joe Davis’s number.
Joe actually knew who I was. We had met before at VO Atlanta and after seeing his face online, I vaguely remembered. But the fact that he did remember meeting me was a testament to the fact that Joe knows the voiceover industry. We talked for a while on the phone and I explained to him what I was looking to do with my site. While on the phone he did a quick audit of my site and immediately identified some things that would benefit the site and my branding. It was impressive to say the least and I was pretty convinced of his ability to deliver. We spoke a few days later where he gave me a more complete rundown of his recommendations.
Joe connected me with two of his project managers, Alex Sanchez and Karin Barth. I only corresponded with Alex briefly but Karin mostly handled my case. Karin immediately understood my vision as well. She had taken a look at my then website and saw the diversity in my work and how my new branding would reflect that. Karin showed me a number of possibilities, from custom made sites to various templates. I had an opportunity to pick several and review with her how they would work best for me. The process all in all took a few weeks.
When I caught up with the team in Orlando, they were working at Alex’s house. I sat down with Joe, Karin, Alex and one of their newest teammates, Lo-An Schoeman. We discussed what it was that made this team so popular.
It’s a new year and you’ve been thinking about all new branding, new demos, new marketing, new business cards. Wait! Does anyone actually still use business cards? New website! And who are you gonna call for that new website anyway? No! Not ghostbusters. Voiceactorwebsites.com.
Dane: I’m Dane Reid, The Voiceover Guy. I am here with the team from voice actor websites. Guys! (Team Introduces Themselves) (Dane) And I don’t have any labs that fit five people.
So my own website was starting to look, well, old. So I wanted a new one. So I started searching online and saw my homie Issa Lopez’s website and decided to call her and ask her where she got hers made. She told me “voiceActorWebsites.com. So I went to their website and found a contact and call Joe Davis on the phone. Joe connected me with Alex. Alex connected me with Karen and “BAM!!” I had a new website. Recently I sat down with the team to find out how they’ve won the hearts of so many voice actors.
Dane: So this is a very unique interview because this is the first time that I’ve ever interviewed 4 people. This is the most number of friends that I have in life by the way.
Dane: (laughs) 4 at a time. That sounds like a different kind of video Alex. (Laughs) As you can tell this team has a whole lot of fun. And if you’ve looked at any of the websites that voice actors have, this team is responsible for a lot of those websites. And so aside from all the fun that they have, they have a lot of talent, and so I want to thank all of you guys. Usually what I do is one single
handshake but if we can get maybe a “Goooo Team”
Dane: On the count of 3
Joe: Who’s on top?
Dane: I’m in the building with the Voice Actor Website Team. Obviously you guys have great chemistry. I can tell already. How did this whole voice actor website team and thing come together? Who wants to answer? Just raise your hand like we’re in school or something because I have to pass this mic.
Joe: It started out with just me and actually it was thanks to Dan Leonard. He, 10 years ago maybe, asked me to help him with some of his marketing. I did and then I wound up getting invited on Voiceover Body Shop which was back then east/west audio body shop. EWABS and I thought it was gonna be something fun and interesting. And didn’t really know where I was gonna go and voice actors started calling. So I said “alright so there’s something here.” and I spent about a year year and a half learning about the voice-over industry. I got to a point where I felt I knew close to as much about voice-over as I did about marketing and web development and at that point started a new company. Karin came on board and then Alex and then Lo-An. We actually have an even larger team then this today.
Dane: and they couldn’t fit in this shot. This my maximum and we’re not doing this again.
I worked closely with Karen to get my website done. Karen is a fellow insomniac who worked diligently throughout the night and who was probably really surprised the first time she sent me a message at 3 a.m. and I answered so quickly.
Karin: I’ve been on for about 4 or 5 years now. And Joe is one of my closest friends. And he wanted to scale the business. So I went to onferences with him and for about a year I learned about the industry and saw what it was all about. I met people and networked, fell in love with it. The community is amazing.
Dane: What’s your story Alex? Talk to me Alex.
Alex: okay we’re getting serious here. Well I’m a project manager and I’m doing sales as well. I’ve been able to grow in that position and learn a lot about voiceover but also about the business. It’s been a great learning experience to me.
Dane: What’s your role?
Lo-An: My role is and alsoa project manager and I’m the newest member to the team. I’ve been for six months now. I also met Joe through a mutual friend. I’m in college for my marketing degree so Joe was gracious enough to give me a job.
Dane: Who are some of the people that jumped on board early on in adopting voice actor websites?
Dane: What are the distinguishing aspects of what you guys do versus doing it yourself or getting someone who does websites but maybe doesn’t necessarily specialize in voice actor websites?
Karin: We’ve worked with a lot of different people in industry. Casting agents, producers.. We’ve gotten a lot of points of view from other people. You know what they think is important and obviously just going to conferences and hearing about the different needs of the industry. Knowing all about it gives us a unique view into what is needed.
Joe: At its core every voiceover site should give talent seekers the ability to hear you and hire you. Those are the two most important things. But then there’s all kinds of subtleties for example making your demos downloadable. So a lot of time you don’t think of doing that but producers and casting directors a lot of them don’t make a decision the first time they listen to something. Or they think “oh that person would be good for this other project that I’m working on” so they want to save your mp3. It might seem silly to not think of making your demo downloadable but it’s something that I’d say more than the half of people that we see their site, don’t have that.
Dane: So if someone, for example, wants a new voice actor websites, what is the process?
Alex: Typically what we do is we send a Google form to gather ideas on the design and colors they want to use. And then that becomes kind of like the starting point for the conversation where the project manager comes in. And the project manager will work to assign the designer that fits best for the project and then the whole process unfolds that way. It’s a very collaborative process.
Dane: So about how long does the process take? Let’s say if I wanted a three-page website. I mean, what would be the standard?
Lo-An: I think that’s like dependent on the voice actor. Because sometimes they have all the content that they want to put on their site and ready to go, and you know, have a site launch in 2 to 3 weeks. So it just depends on what they’re willing to get us.
Alex: so it’s basically self-paced in that way and then the client provides the content and we turn that into a website. So it’s dependent on that open line of communication.
Joe: It also depends partially on where some of these in their career. Are they just starting out? Have they been doing this for 20 years or somewhere in between. Because they’re gonna have a different body of work and probably we’ve been goal for the site. Also, the two basic types of sites that voice actors have are either an extension of the business card, meaning they’ve had some sort of prior interaction with the person that they’re sending the site to and you’re sending them there to hear you. And the other is more of an SEO driven site, where you haven’t interacted with the person before and you’re trying to get them there based on the search that they did and have them listen to you and hire you. So the the first type of site, the extension of the business card, it could be one page, two page, five page site. I wouldn’t do, you know 500 pages, but probably betweeen one and five pages will be average. An SEO site, the bigger the better. Google is, at its core, kind of a relevancy engine and a popularity contest. And so the relevancy engine portion of it is, the more relevant your result is to a searchers intent, the more likely you’ll come up. Meaning, if someone is searching for pharmaceutical commercial voiceover and you have a website about voiceover, is it relevant? Yeah, that’s good. Could it be more relevant? Absolutely! So then let’s say you have it broken up into the different genres. If you do a page for commercial, a page for corporate narration, a page for ivr, a page for e-learning, Google looks at that and says “the site’s about voiceover and it’s about commercial, is it relevant? Yes! But could it be even more relevant? Yeah. So then now let’s say you have a tertiary level of navigation where commercial’s broken up into kids commercials, and automotive commercials, and pharmaceutical commercials. And each one of those pages has audio content and text content and supports that narrative that you are voice actor that does commercial work and whatever that subgenres is, in this case pharmaceutical voiceover. So, Google looks at that and says “Wow!” It’s about voiceover, it’s about commercial and it’s about pharmaceutical. It becomes perhaps the most relevant result on the internet.
Hanging out with the team from voice actor websites, I learned so much about how Google serves up information about your website. It’s so important to your business. It’s certainly important to mine.
Dane: What do you guys think it is that makes this whole thing work?
Alex: At least for me my experience, working for the company, sets it apart as an experience. Because the personal connections that we built
with our clients or with each other is what really makes us a success. Because people see us as people and we’re a small business as well. So we understand that when clients are investing in the websites, they’re also small businesses. So we come with that experience and we make friendships.
Karin: And we make awesome friends.
Alex: Yeah. We make awesome friends. And we see them conference and it’s like a reunion. It’s really special and I think it speaks to the VO community. There’s something unique about it. Very special!
Dane: I teared up. Guys you have incredible energy and just seeing the team together…. Because I’m used to talking to Karin on the phone at 2:00 in the morning. She like “what are you doing up?” But yeah I mean just to seeing you guys here together and working together…. When I came you were on your laptop’s. It looked like you’re watching YouTube, not working. [Laughter] So one last question. Obviously, here’s the answer. It’s quite easy. Where do we find you guys if you want a voice actor website?
Everyone at once: Voice Actor Websites dot com
Dane: I’m Dan Reid the voice of a guy with the voice actor website guys and girls. I’m gone