In Good Company…
Sometimes you are blessed with knowing the right people, and knowing Joe Davis and Karin Barth is a blessing indeed! While I am fortunate to have worked with them for years on my website and SEO, I am doubly blessed to call them dear friends and amongst my favorite people in the world. When I have important decisions to make about my business, I trust them not just because of their superior expertise, but because they are truly mensch (someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character) in every sense of the word. I have shared holidays and dinners out with them, they have been to my home and know my family, I share personal details of my private life with them, so when I tell you that I trust their guidance for websites… I mean that I fully and completely trust what they have to offer.
So this past Friday, even with just returning from Dallas and the Jewish holidays to boot, Karin Barth made time to speak with me and Diana Birdsall on our weekly Clubhouse “Ask the VO Coaches” about all that we could jam in related to websites and SEO. We had some great participation and all were dazzled by Karin’s brilliant insights. In case you missed it, here is a brief recap of some highlights.
Why Websites Are So Important
Karin put it simply: You want to get your voice heard, your demos heard, and people to hire you. I always tell me coaching students your website is your virtual storefront. She did not use those words but that is how I think of it, and your business really does not exist if your website is not up and no one can find you. A regular to our Clubhouse room, Vijayan, offered that people know that you value yourself and your work once you have a website. He also said that prior to his website, he had an issue with transparency in his country. There was always a middle man. Once he had a website, he was able to interact with clients directly and could negotiate on his own. It was so refreshing to hear his reflections, as I had my own website before my business launched, and I had never considered this issue.
What Voice Actors Need to Start
Karin said in order to begin you need to have had some coaching and completed a professional demo. As a voice over coach and video demo producer, I cannot tell you how happy this made me to hear. She shared an anecdote about a woman who wanted to do a website and had no demos. This lady thought she could just record some stuff on her phone. Karin said in this scenario they advise folks new to voiceover to instead invest in coaching and then revisit a website down the road.
We then asked Karin if voice actors come to them with a Wix or Square space page if they can work that. The answer is yes, but there is an advantage to having a Word Press page. Since June, Google has changed its core web vitals. Word press makes it easier to comply.
Diana then asked Karin if we should be regularly changing our videos for our SEO. I was fascinated because while I typically add new videos, I tend not to delete old ones as I am really proud of the work I have done and get attached to my content. It never occurred to me to swap it out. I also like the idea, personally, of amassing a large body of work. Anyway, Karin explained that the idea is to train the google bots to come to the site. You want to continually add more relevant content so that your site continues to rank.
Features All Voice Actors Should Have
I of course found this interesting:
- Demos: They should be downloadable, not just playable. Karin also mentioned you should be mindful of how you name them. For instance, don’t just label it “commercial demo” because a casting agent could be very confused if they download it and it does not have your name.
- Bio: There are a few important details that Karin mentioned. First, be sure to have unique, original content and not to use the same bio on Linked In, your website, and other places! Next, while folks are often excited to share their backstory, Karin suggests starting with where you are now. What service do you provide? What are your selling points?
- Contact Form: I will tell you I have changed mine over the years but they do an awesome job setting this up for you and Karin also sets up “recaptcha” so you don’t get spam.
- Testimonials: This is so important to help build your trust factor
- Client List or Client Logos: Again, this helps with your street cred.
- Videos: We chatted about how people like to take in information in different ways, and offering video to people who do video production just makes a lot of sense!
Insights From Google Analytics
We also spent a little bit of time talking about Google Analytics and what you can learn from them. Your bounce rate is how long someone stays on your site, and Karin explains you can actually look to see the behavior flow and try to see if there are trends in where they drop off. This can give you an idea if you need to add a different call to action. Basically, the longer they are on the site the better. I found this fascinating.
Those of us who work with Karin and Joe know we are lucky. They know their stuff and there is a reason so many of us turn to them.