Thursday, July 31, 2008
First, the most important step:
Always focus what you type in the form, on what you want (NOT what you DO NOT want). Putting in phrases stating what you do not want may lead to voice-over talent matching your request to record the opposite of what you need.
Second, the more details the better:
Talents, by trade, are creative professionals who follow what you ask them to do. They will do what you ask, if you put the details in there. The talent profiles on Voice123 are very detailed, and even includes additional business services that they offer as talent-voice producers. They will perform what you ask them to read, but if there is little description, words spelled incorrectly, or if proper pronunciations are left out, you may leave them scratching their heads. Using words to describe the read you want will help talents give you a creative effective audition, with proper pronunciations for difficult or uncommon words. All of this cuts down on time, and re-reads.
Try using words like real, smooth, friendly, conversational etc. Tell talents anything that comes to mind that inspired the script. Example:
"The read needs to sound like a friendly guy who has just won a new car. It has to be real, like he is from New York City."
In that small phrase, I used several words like New York City, friendly, real, and also set up the situation at hand! Asking for sound-a-likes is helpful, but it may get you many reads that sound like someone else, and therefore, it may be an impersonation of how someone reads & the emotion is lost. Even in simple things like 'IVR phone messages', you may want to set the mood for the people who call your office, so let them know what your office is like. Example:
"I need a phone message for my company. Our office sells life insurance, so the read should reflect an office with calm and caring people."
Third, always be upfront about fees and requirements:
From experience, Voice123 has seen more productive results when someone posts a job and lets talents know how much they will be paid ahead of time, what they must do when hired, or when production will begin. If you do not know, give as much info as possible as to your situation. We know that sometimes things change, but the most professional talents are more inclined to audition & be more flexible when more budget and requirement details provided. Being upfront about where the project is at in terms of budget and production leaves a talent confident in doing business with you.
Above all, Voice123 has trained industry professionals on Live Chat for you, as well as, in their administrative staff, and a customer service phone and email support. If you are ever curious or need help in creating a project, or do not know what to ask for, we can help!
Voice123 has made great strides in the past two years to make sure that posting a project is easier and gets great results! If you are ready for the quickest, most effective voice casting experience, post a free project and experience it for yourself!
Hope to see you soon,
Quality Assurance Manager
Monday, July 28, 2008
The hottest topics, so far in GENERAL CHIT CHAT!
- How do seekers rank auditions and proposals?
- Rankings and private invitations
- Labeling and Slating of Demos
A word about medical narration and hospital recording
"...if you like training and medical narration jobs and you've done them before and producers seem to like your work, then go for it." - Bettye Zoller
We also have a new TESTIMONIALS category for Voice123 talents!
"...Sandy Kelley was quick with her audition and very open to tweaking her spot. She was exactly what I was looking and I will definitely consider hiring Sandy again. She is a real pro." - Darlene L., Voice123 voice seeker
Voice123 appreciates the positive response to the new Voice123 Premium Forums! We certainly hope you will take full advantage of it to meet new people and get efficient answers to all your career questions with categories like DEMO ADVICE or BEGINNERS WELCOME!
Thank you always!
Quality Assurance Manager
Monday, July 21, 2008
What are the results of the meeting?
- We now have a direct communication channel with Ed and the board of directors of SaVoa. We will continue having conversations with SaVoa to discuss ideas and plans in how to help the voice over community.
- Voice123 is keeping our plans of featuring SaVoa in the upcoming search feature known as Voice123 SmartSearch, while keeping all the existing Voice123 features that promote SaVoa.
Being a leader in the online voice over industry, we think it is our responsibility to promote healthy online environments with keen awareness of web content that creates negativity for the online industry. Ed agrees with this goal. As such, Voice123 team members and members of the SaVoa board will discuss any potential disagreement in private communication channels, and not in public media outlets.
By doing this, the industry at large demonstrates awareness of potentially harmful web content to Voice123 & SaVoa members, with the ability to negotiate and execute agreements without resorting to negative and unhealthy tactics.
Voice123 and SaVoa are in this together. As the co-founder of Voice123 and certain staff are made up of voice over talent, we respect the efforts of SaVoa.
Ed also made an audio post with his thoughts, which you can listen to at http://voiceguild.com/savoa
We at Voice123 look forward to achieving all the objectives agreed upon.
by Alex Torrenegra
President and Co-founder
Thursday, July 17, 2008
There was nothing to do, but start over.
On the morning of July 11th, 2008, the new Ranking System was implemented, a system in which the feedback from the client on who should be considered for the job will appear in the talents Audition Outbox. Instead of giving stars, you can let the talent know if the talent will:
- Likely Hiring
- Not likely
- Won't be considered at all
We feel this new system is more comprehensive for everyone, and hope it encourages you to leave feedback. We understand why leaving a 'rating' in the past did not seem appealing.
We do hope you enjoy this new feature, and can use it for your benefit in the future!
If you have a new voice project in mind, just post it here to start taking advantage of this new feature:
Thank you for using Voice123!
The new terms/conditions/goals of the forums are listed here, and we hope you will take a look:
Given that these forums are brand new, now would be a great opportunity to contribute and see exactly what Voice123 is doing. We hope in the future to invite voice seekers to contribute, and make The Voice123 Premium Forums the most effective internet tool for finding a coach, and for coaches, to assist beginners, or talents just looking to brush up on their skills!
These forums will be moderated to protect your business, and make sure that you can offer the finest coaching, services, and advice in a positive environment geared towards helping people work.
Voice123 appreciates all that you do, and hopes you will take full advantage of this new positive atmosphere for growing a voice over career, whether you are a talent-voice producer, voice seeker, and voice over coaches.
To check current discussions, go to: Coaches Corner!
Don't forget to bookmark it to your favorites!
There are many out there just waiting to hear from you!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The mission of the new Voice123 Premium Forums is to provide an effective business and networking tool for all of you, the Voice123 Community. You will find discussions on using Voice123, coaches, ways to improve your chances of working, and other tools through positive discussions about the voice over industry. You can also take part in new ways to improve Voice123.
In the past year, Voice123 has undergone many significant changes to promote a more professional atmosphere for the voice over industry. Although one of Voice123's goals was to strengthen the community of talents, voice seekers, coaches, and careers in the online industry, we felt as if a disconnect with the community had to be addressed. Many of us simply missed having the daily chance to have constructive discussions with you.
The new forums will be about promoting the voice over industry at large, as well as, solutions to help you deal with the harder times. We will also look to invite voice seekers to this forum, and share their discussions and testimonials on what works best.
Above all, this is a forum that Voice123 will use to benefit you, and promote the growth of talents, coaches, voice seekers, and new Premium Subscribers.
The Voice123 team looks forward to talking to all of you again soon!
To start a new discussion or to read and participate in current discussions, just go to http://forums.voice123.com
Note: All customer service issues must be reported through Voice123's regular Customer Service channels, and will not be addressed through these new forums.
Friday, July 11, 2008
The Character Category has returned! It is very important to update the Character category on your profile to be matched to projects for that purpose!
Here's what to do:
- Go into Voice Details in My Profile.
- In the accents field, a change has been made. You will now see:
"Please list the accents, dialects, impersonations or characterizations you can perform*"
- Fill that section out as you see fit for yourself!
- Click "Save" at the bottom of the page when complete.
- Go into My Demos.
- Click on "Upload Demo" at the bottom of the page, and/or edit those demos you already have for character voices.
- Fill out the form to describe your demo, and you will see a new field:
"Did you feature accent, impersonation or character on this demo?*"
- Select the box that fits the demo, and a text line should open up:
- Fill out that section according to the demo you have uploaded.
- Click "Upload Demo" or "Save" at the bottom of the page.
- When complete, save the order of your demos!
Thank you to the Characters of Voice123 for your patience with us while we completed this update!
Quality Assurance Manager
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Recently Released Updates:
- Voice Seeker project form update: Updated to assist in giving the talent-voice producer community at Voice123 every bit of information needed to record an effective audition, Voice123 is looking to eliminate the 'What do I do?' feeling for both talents and voice seekers with text additions and new parameters to the project form.
- Voice Seeker shared inbox: Voice123 released voice seeker inbox sharing, which allows voice seekers to send an automated link of their audition inbox to clients, instead of the time-consuming process of downloading each link and emailing it. We hope this will give voice seekers more time to review every audition, and most importantly, the easier our user interface... the more jobs they post on Voice123 for talent-voice producers!
- Server database update: Voice123 updated its database to allow for a faster and more reliable Voice123!
- The 'Character' category is back! The 'Character' category had to be adjusted after the Version 2.5 release in March, for talent-voice producers with a character demo.
If you have a character demo, please update the My Demos section of your profile accordingly.
More demo tagging updates! To date, we have had over 12,000 demos tagged! If you have not done so already, we encourage you to take part in this unique experiment, remember you can tag demos right after you submit an audition.
Last, but not least, the rating system is being overhauled. It will not even be called that anymore. The original intent of it was to show how close one talent came to booking a job, but somewhere in between here and the 'stars', the true intention of it was lost in translation. The new version will be geared towards the original request of letting you know how you compared with talents who auditioned along side you, and will assist you more in knowing how close you came to getting hired. Voice123 believes voice seekers will use this new option more than what was set up before.
We are not stopping there. Voice123 has a busy summer ahead! We have much more to come in the future, and much more to do to keep this the most effective casting tool for voice overs!Thank you for using Voice123!
Product Development Manager
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
- Time-consuming link downloading of each audition you are interested in sharing with your clients/colleagues.
- Occasional speed-bumps from Flash Player or link downloading.
- Emailing each demo separately to the client.
- A new way to share your FULL or PARTIAL Audition Inbox with a clients/colleague/co-workers all at once, by sending an automated link!
- This saves you time, effort, and gives you more flexibility to evaluate each audition effectively.
- This also gives everyone the full selection of what you have received.
- You can hide all reference to the Voice123 brand, if you don't want to let your client know your casting tool secrets. (And you can even embed the audition inbox into your own website!)
Simply decide what you want your client to see by checking or unchecking each box, and drop down menu:
You can preview the new screen or just copy and paste the automatically generated inbox link!
Click on the following examples of how you can link to the unbranded version and how to include the auditions in your own website (e.g. http://www.Sample-Production-Co.com).
Voice123 hopes this saves you time and effort, making your experience faster, smoother, and easier! We appreciate the jobs you supply to Voice123 talents! Post a job again on Voice123 and see why Voice123 received a satisfaction rating of 95% in March 2008 by their clients, and still maintains a rating of over 90% to date!
In Voice123 you start receiving quality auditions within 60 minutes of approval of your project, more than that is just not acceptable in this fast-paced industry!
Coming soon... updates on our Project Creation form and descriptions of new Quality Assurance processes!
Thursday, July 03, 2008
With our highly intelligent, internationally trained voice over savvy staff, we bring you voices from around the world in any language using a technology called Voice123 SmartCast! Our user interface is simple to use and provides you tools to fill out an effective casting project form, as well as, quick and effective customer service provided by industry professionals!
Our hours of operation are 7am to 12am midnight EST, Monday through Friday. Voice123 even works weekends from 10am to 5pm EST. Voice123 understands that there is always someone in the world who needs a voice over 'yesterday'. We do our best to meet that competitive need, even working holidays. Of course, as always, posting a job is free!
Post a job and find out why Voice123 has received a 95% satisfaction rating from their clients!
Click here to post a new voice project.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Before SmartCast, and what the old Voice123 left behind on July 6th, 2007:
- Over 2000 auditions submitted daily, that only 20% were listened to by the voice seeker.
- Less than 20% of the Voice123 community of talents were booking work. Less talents were working, and therefore, not renewing their subscription.
- The Voice123 customer service team required more industry knowledge.
- Talent-voice producers had no idea if their auditions were even heard, or if the voice seeker was no longer listening to auditions. This led to the theory that 'it's a waste of time to submit, if 20 people have already submitted for a project.'
- This theory is a thing of the past for Voice123, though it still holds true for many other casting services.
- Overall... Voice123 left behind the 'unknown' factor.
- Over 60% of premium subscribers booked work during each quarter in the past 12 months.
- Our Voice Seekers receive auditions in 60 minutes or less when a project is posted between the hours of 7AM and 12AM EST.
- Last month, over 75% of the demos were either opened or reviewed by voice seekers.
- Last month, voice seekers showed a satisfaction rating as high as 95% with Voice123 talents they hired, which means they will be back to offer more opportunities in the future via SmartCast or direct invites!
- Our customer service team is now part of the industry, required to stay in training for the voice over industry while working for Voice123. These efforts were put in place to better assist our customers on a knowledgeable business level, both with Voice123 SmartCast and the voice over industry.
- We also can give you answers to questions on topics other sites dare not touch, like what to do when you are not paid.
- Talent-voice producers can now see when or when not to audition, as well as, what happens to audition submissions.
- Talent-voice producers have more access to in-depth project details to see if auditioning is worth the time and effort.
- Voice seekers get talents suited for their requests.
- Voice seeker efforts, including new interface changes to the project form and audition inbox, is forever increasing communication and education between talents & voice seekers.
- Voice seekers that can provide quality jobs and higher budgets are returning to Voice123.
- The knowledge provided to our team has allowed us to give free Thursday trainings on Voice123 that achieve effective results for an online voice over career. Just ask anyone who has attended.
The collaboration of all efforts from Alex, Tania, the product development team of SmartCast, talents, voice seekers, and the entire Voice123 team has succeeded in keeping Voice123 the most widely-known, largest and most innovative voice over marketplace. We are committed to updating Voice123 to make it a more complete business tool for the future!
We thank everyone for sticking with Voice123's SmartCast over the past year, and look forward to many successful years to come.
Thank you as always!
Quality Assurance Manager