Saturday, September 29, 2007

How Are the New Voice123 and SmartCast Doing? Second Update

Hello community!

Several weeks ago we released some stats comparing the improved performance of the New Voice123 with the old system. Today, we are releasing even more stats on this comparison, showing how wonderfully the New Voice123 is doing:

More direct messages between voice seekers and talents!. In the old system we had a monthly average of 3,900 direct messages between voice seekers and voice over talents or voice producers. With the New Voice123, that number has increased by 150% to more than 9,700 direct messages per month!

Many more projects are being posted!. Last month 1,002 voice over projects were created by voice seekers in Voice123! That is 142% more than September of last year and 44% more than May of this year, one month before SmartCast was released. Out of these new projects, 639 were SmartCast enabled!

Those surveyed are happier with the auditions and proposals received. Surveys sent to voice seekers are showing a 23% satisfaction-index increase on the perception of the voice seeker with the quality of the auditions and proposals they receive.

Here is what others are saying:

"I think the new Voice123 is GREAT! I have booked more jobs since the new version came on line than the previous two years I was a member combined! The jobs pay better and I like the feedback system and ‘opened audition’ notification. I only wish more clients would use the rating system and open all their auditions. Overall, the new Voice123 is a HUGE improvement! :)"
Dustin R. Ebaugh - Voice Over Talent

"Guys, you're doing a great job. This is what Web 2.0 is all about. Great web experience backed up by outstanding customer service."
Dan Holleran - Voice Seeker

Do you have a success story with the New Voice123 you would like to share?
Share it by posting a comment on this blog.

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Friday, September 28, 2007

PayPal Button Improvement

Hi all!

Today we have released a small improvement to the PayPal button in your Voice123 profile. Voice Seekers will now find a larger and more attractive PayPal button to click to start a PayPal payment.

This is a great time to make certain your PayPal account information is current. To check out the new button and/or update your PayPal account details go to:

You can update your PayPal button preferences at any time from the "Additional Tools" section in Voice123. This feature is available to both Premium and Standard Subscribers.

If you want to learn more about PayPal, please go to

Best regards,

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Three Small Improvements

Hello everyone,

Three small, but practical improvements have been implemented to better service our talents and voice producers:

First: Now, the budget for each project is also listed on the Invitation Inbox.

Second: When you delete invitations from the screen containing details of the project, you will be redirected to the invitation inbox so you can continue checking on additional invitations immediately.

Third: The voice seeker details screen includes a field called "% of auditions/proposal opened of all of the auditions/proposal received for previous projects during the past six months". Now this field will only take into account projects that have been closed. This way the stat doesn't get distorted by auditions and proposals that had been recently submitted to projects posted by each voice seeker.

These improvements to our system were implemented thanks to the feedback received from users like you. If you like these features, or if you have more ideas to share with us, please comment below.

Thank you!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tips to take care of your voice (By Gary Terzza)

We use it every day and yet the voice is one of the most neglected parts of our anatomy. Just think about how you use yours: chatting on the telephone, shouting at the kids, clearing your throat - the vocal cords endure a punishing schedule.

Of course if you use your voice professionally the demands are even greater; so how can you make sure you are giving this powerful, but delicate organ the care and attention it deserves?

Don’t misuse, or abuse the larynx. Never smoke and keep away from smoky atmospheres. Don’t shout. If you have a cold that’s affecting the voice box, try and avoid talking.

Dry dusty conditions, even air-conditioning, can dry out the voice significantly, so always take regular sips of water. Try to reduce your caffeine intake as this can dry out the larynx and cause hoarseness. Equally watch your alcohol consumption as this not only has a physiological impact on your voice box, but reduces your inhibitions, making you more liable to raise your voice.

If you use your voice for singing, voice-overs or telephone sales make sure you do some warm up exercises. Gentle humming at a low level can help develop resonance, clear the airways and give those pipes a soothing work-out, but be careful you don’t strain.

Large meals can alter the tonal quality of your voice (ask any singer, or voice-over artist) and this is especially true of spicy foods and dairy products.

For women, hormonal changes such as the menopause, pregnancy or menstruation can have a marked effect on the voice, as can stressful situations such as divorce or bereavement. The voice is the conduit for our emotions, so tension or depression might show in your voice, sometimes in quite unexpected ways.

If you are ever worried about your voice, seek medical advice straight away.
Enjoy your voice and use it as a creative tool, or as an instrument to bring pleasure and fulfilment, but always treat it with great care and respect.

Gary Terzza is a professional voiceover with a client list that includes Channel 4, Channel five, VH-1 and the BBC. He also runs a voice-over master class and is a member of the British Voice Association.
To learn more about Gary Terzza's coaching services just follow this link:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rating System Improvement


Thanks to your feedback, we have found that some voice talents and producers were staying away from projects with budgets "To Be Defined", as they didn't want to get a bad rating just because of quoting a price that could be considered too high or too low by the voice seeker. We listened and took action.

We recently released a new feature that has the objective of reducing the chances that a voice seeker gives you a bad rating just because of the price you quoted. From now on, the first time a voice seeker rates an audition/proposal with one or two stars we show them a large message asking them if their decision was based on the quoted price. If so, we ask the voice seeker to delete the audition/proposal instead of rating it low. This message will be seen by voice seekers in projects with budget "To be defined".

We will also work on some additional changes that will urge voice seekers in defining budgets by making them aware that "To-be-defined" budgets discourage some great voice talents and producers from submitting auditions and proposals.

You can comment about this improvement below.

Thank you!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Saturday, September 15, 2007

New Coach Partner Program

If you aren't a voice over coach, this message may not be for you. Nevertheless, if you let your voice over coach know, he/she will be thankful.

We just released the Coach Partner Program. A free program for voice over coaches and their students to help them promote their businesses, use Voice123 as a training tool, and help us shape the future of Voice123.

All the details of the Coach Partner Program are available at

Why did we launch this program? We have always had strong relations and open communication channels with many reputable voice over coaches (as a matter of fact, the New Voice123 took into account hundreds of conversations and brainstorming sessions held with many of them). The Coach Partner Program is formalizing some of the agreements we currently have with several voice over coaches, and it is opening the doors to let many more take advantage of it.

As usual, if you have questions or comments, please contact us at


Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Monday, September 10, 2007

Voice Seekers Can Now Contact Voice Talents and Producers Directly by Phone

Now, when a voice seeker decides to contact a voice talent or producer, the voice seeker will be able to call the talent or producer and speak with him/her directly. The phone numbers of voice talents and producers are now available on the contact form so that voice seekers can place direct calls in order to get projects underway even faster than before! Voice seekers will still be able to send email messages to talents and producers through the contact form.

If you are a voice talent and/or producer, you may want to make sure your telephone information is up-to-date. You can do that by clicking here.


Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Sunday, September 09, 2007

No More Asterisks If You Were Invited

Good news! From now on when you follow the link to see the details of a project, you will be able to see the script and script notes in full, without the annoying asterisks that were previously visible. Plus, you will now have more information to decide if you want to submit an audition or proposal for a project. Some voice seekers request to hide their contact info, that's what the asterisks are used for.

Please note that the asterisks will be removed only in projects for which you have been invited to submit an audition or proposal. If you haven’t been invited, the asterisks will still appear. Make sure that you are signed into our system when looking at the details of each project so that the system will know if the person opening the page has been invited.

As usual, this improvement to our system was done thanks to the feedback received from users like you. If you like this feature, or if you have more ideas to share with us, please comment down here.

Thank you!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Co-founder

Monday, September 03, 2007

Check Out These Great Topics On The Voice Over Savvy Forum

The Voice Over Savvy community is not just another gathering place. The information, knowledge, professionalism, and camaraderie shared among the participants have transformed a simple forum into a community with a life of its own.

You are welcome to join us in a refreshing corner of the web, where all of us related to the VO industry can find information, share our knowledge, find answers to our questions, or just have a little fun.

The following topics have been compiled by Voice Over Savvy moderators: Erik Sheppard and Colin Campbell. Thank you Erik and Colin for your contribution to the community!

What Makes A VO Artist A Pro
“We have posted our equipment chain, we have posted photos of our recording facilities, we have posted sound clips from our microphones and each has been a good community sharing. I want to propose the following question...”
- Read more and comment at

Using Licensed Music In Spots
“Could someone fill me in on this? If I remember right, can I use up to :08 of a licensed song in a spot, or has that changed?
If an audition requests music, does it have to be license-free? ...”
- Read more and comment at

To Sit Or To Stand?
“When recording VO, do you sit or do you stand up? I don't mean for practical reasons, but for technical/physical reasons.
For me, it depends. If I'm doing soft reads, I sit. For hard-sell and voice acting, I stand. Some may have other reasons for doing it either one way or the other, and I'd love to hear them ...”
- Read more and comment at


Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Juan Salcedo
Marketing Manager

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Talents Featured on Voice123's Tutorials

If you joined Voice123 before July 7th, 2007, you may have already seen the tutorials about the New Voice123 released July 9th, 2007. You may also wonder who the voices behind the tutorials were.

Here they are: Susannah Kenton, Mary Baker, Michael Rhys, Scott Pollak. Thank you guys!

You can see and hear the tutorials here:

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Juan Salcedo
Marketing Manager

Closing The Deal (By Gregory Best)

Shortly after I gave my negotiating presentation at VOICE 2007, Alex asked me to write several short articles for Voice123, saying he particularly wanted an article about “closing the deal”. Since I’ve covered this topic only briefly before in seminars I started brushing up on the topic by reading about sales techniques. I knew that negotiating plays a big part in sales, but quickly realized the material was very familiar to me because sales techniques and negotiating techniques both employ the strategies and tactics I teach and use on a daily basis.

Webster’s defines “closing” as to bring to an end, to conclude a discussion or a negotiation, or to enter into or complete an agreement (e.g. closes on a deal). Salespeople strive for an agreement on terms which, among other things, includes the details of the product and the price. Both sales and negotiating are about getting to “yes” or coming to an agreement.

When you go to a car dealership to buy a car the sales person hands you over to the sales manager. The manager then further persuades you that this, specific new car is the one you can’t live without. In this situation, the manager is the “closer” who is there to cinch the deal. In the VO business we mostly work by and for ourselves. For the most part, VO talent doesn’t have the luxury to employ a closer.

When you go through a job checklist with a potential talent buyer, not only are you gathering the detailed information needed to give a good quote, but also getting the buyer to invest both time and energy. The more involved the other side becomes, the more they have invested in you. They’re also invested in helping create an agreement. You are assisting the client in making the decision to hire you.

Since some people are uncomfortable making decisions, you may need to guide your potential clients in making them. One way to do this is by providing the client simple choicesand leading him or her to easy answers. “Is this spot to be done dry or do you need full production?”. Use your checklist to provide simple choices that show why they should hire you. You are helping them make decisions and also showing them you are a professional.

An example of a close is “... When do you need this by? I can start on your project first thing in the morning. Let’s work out the rest of the details and I’ll get started.” There are many ways to close and you should try different variations depending on the circumstances. Be creative. Mark McCormack in his book What They Still Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School says, “The best closing technique might be no technique at all – where the sales pitch seamlessly leads into the purchase and the buyer doesn’t know the difference.” The best sales person, or closer, whenever possible gets to “yes” without their prospective client knowing they were sold. In my opinion, the best negotiating and sales are “win-win” situations where everyone’s needs and goals are met.

Article Written by Gregory Best

Error Fixed!

Hello all,

During the past two weeks you may have experienced the results of an error (also known as “bug”) in Voice123 SmartCast. The error consisted on Voice123 SmartCast triggering invitations to submit auditions or proposals on projects that were very close to reaching its SmartCast audition or proposal limit. As a consequence, you may have received several invitations for projects that, within a few minutes of receiving the invitation, would have reached its SmartCast audition/proposal limit and would not be receiving more auditions or proposals from SmartCast invitations.

This issue has been fixed. SmartCast will no longer trigger these invitations when a project is close to reaching its SmartCast audition/proposal limit. Please note that you may continue to get invitations, from time to time, for projects that are close to reaching its SmartCast audition/proposal limit. This will happen -not very frequently, though- as SmartCast systematically sends invitations until the desired number of audition or proposals has been reached. You will also continue getting invitations for projects that will reach its audition/proposal limit within a few hours of the invitation being sent. This commonly happens with projects that have very tight deadlines and are open for just a couple hours.

Most talents were not affected by this error. If you did, however, we will give you a one-month free premium subscription as an apology. You qualify for the free month if during the past two weeks you received invitations for many projects that reached its SmartCast audition/proposal limit within a few minutes of the invitation being sent. If you think that is the case, please reply to this email and we will research into your account to determine if you were affected by the error. Please allow us up to four weeks to process your request and get back to you.

Finally, thank you to all the talents and voice producers that gave us feedback about the strange behavior of invitations they were receiving. You have helped us pinpoint the error and fix it.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Best regards,

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
by Alex Torrenegra
Leader and Cofounder

PS. Please keep in mind that the SmartCast audition/proposal limit is set by the voice seeker when posting the project. If you want to learn more about Voice123 SmartCast, go to