Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Voice123 Customer Service Hours!

Voice123 is happy to announce that beginning March 2, 2009, we will be extending the live chat and customer service shift two more hours for voice over talents, to assist those affected by a delay in response due to their timezone. Our new hours of customer service for talents will now be from 9am to 8pm EST, Monday to Friday. We sincerely look forward to being here to serve you.

Now, comes the experiment to get more jobs posted on Voice123...

For the month of March, I will be working in the voice seekers department for approving projects and auditions, from the hours of 12am to 9am, Monday to Friday. We simply want and need more jobs posted globally on Voice123, and we know in the past many possible clients have dealt with a timezone delay, which led us to not being able to approve projects as quickly as needed.

I do wish to state that we are doing this for the month of March 2009, for now. However, if this proves to be successful on an international level, we will do our best to increase the hours, so that there will always be work available on Voice123, no matter where you are or what timezone you live in.

I personally invite anyone in Australia, Europe, and Asia, to begin posting jobs for voice talents during the month of March. We will be there for you, and we hope you will enjoy using Voice123. This is all a step in the right direction towards providing the best service to everyone on Voice123.

Thank you always!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Public Relations Manager
My Blog

Thursday, February 19, 2009

First Year 'War Stories' in Voice Overs

The first year of being a voice over talent is a memorable one for everyone, be it now, or many years ago. There are always those little 'things' that happen that leave you feeling at the time, 'Wow! I will never do that again.' Through our email campaign last week for 'What Would You Like to Know', a talent had requested, that she wished to know what others went through in their first year.

We posted the question on the Voice123 Premium Forums, and we wish to share a couple of stories from successful talents on Voice123, still in their voice over careers today, despite some unfortunate first-year mishaps; proof one should never quit! We hope you enjoy, and you can read the stories or post your own!

Special thanks this week to Michelle Falzon and John M. Thomas for their generous contributions of their stories:
"I was working my first day alone, on the air. I was scared to death. I was making my top of the hour announcements, short little show intros, thinking "Yeah, I got this radio stuff down perfect!" About 3 hours into my shift, the operations manager calls. I answer. He says only four words..."TURN THE MIC AROUND!". I had been talking into the WRONG end side of the microphone for three hours. Ooops." - Michelle Falzon
"...the station caught fire while I was on the air... with the firemen at the door screaming for me to get out... I dug out The Doors "Light My Fire" cued it up and beat it out of there... it was the last thing heard as the station burned to the ground!" - John M. Thomas

Thank you for reading!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Public Relations Manager
My Blog

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Choosing Voice123 Talents Can Be Hard!

It is said that, 'Being negative is much easier than being positive, because positive beliefs require great efforts to maintain.' I witnessed this first-hand last week when I posted a project looking for voice overs for our upcoming SmartSearch feature. It left me feeling positive that Voice123 talents know what they are doing. One of the obvious difficulties I had is that I know many of you, and I started to understand immediately that this would be difficult because no one likes to tell someone they respect, 'Not this time'.

So, to be fair, I closed my eyes and just listened, not looking at names. This made it even harder because now, after posting a project in which I stated what I wanted, I was hearing things that made me think that maybe voice talents knew what would sound better, even more than what I had originally thought would work.

That simple fact alone... told me that we have an amazingly competitive batch of talents on Voice123. I subscribe to the belief that 'you can only sell what you know how to sell best', and that 'the best salesperson convinces the buyer that they are insane for not wanting to buy from him/her', by being dedicated and committed through a passion to what they believe in. Yet, that belief can only be enforced after one learns exactly 'what works' and 'what does not work'. Each person, having his or her own product to sell, be it 'voice' or something else, has to find that 'zone'.

I listened to 163 auditions, and all the best one's I felt that were 'in the zone' had the following attractive attributes to them:
  • They read the copy as I had requested with real and conversational tones.
  • The reading gave me a bit of themselves 'in the moment of the reading', not an impersonation of someone in the moment.
  • Honestly, the sound quality on ALL OF THE AUDITIONS was excellent, whether it was a dry read or not. I did say that I was fine with people adding music because I would need a producer.
  • When I expressed interest, those talents did not 'leave me hanging', and got back to me immediately.
  • The remarks were very friendly. Granted, this may be my preference, but I prefer 'friendly' in an anonymous environment. I always hold the door open for people, as I believe positive action enforces positive behavior and sets a standard for others to follow.
All in all, it was not easy, because I knew I would be telling people I know could do the job in a flash, that I could not use them this time, and it seemed to come straight down to a business decision as to 'how the project would play out'.

I did, however, and from a talent's point of view this is important to know, get a collection of talents that I hope to use again for other projects, like this one, and their efforts were surely not wasted on me. In fact, you should never feel that doing your best is a waste of time. People notice it, even if they don't say anything, and they are quicker to pass around your name because of your dedication to quality.

I will let you know who was selected very soon. I think I surprised myself with how this worked out. As for those who submitted, and were not chosen, THANK YOU! I will surely hold onto you for the future!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Post Projects! Enjoy Voice123 Technology!

Last week, I posted a project on Voice123 to find voices for a new search feature that we currently have in development. The project received a great response! I tell you this because there is so much behind Voice123 technology, that knowing 'how to post a project', and 'what to do after', can make finding a voice over talent-producer, quick and easy.

First, check out my posting, where I specifically needed a broad range of talents. Your needs may indeed be very different, but you will see how important the project description, script, and parameters are to getting a response: New Search Feature Project.

Second, once you begin listening to auditions, you will have the opportunity to 'rank' people, which can take place even after you have hired someone, as well. It is helpful to leave a ranking for talents, especially if you have hired them.

Third, I have heard job posters say they want the client to listen to the auditions, unbiased by budget quotes, names, company logos from Voice123, etc. That can be done! Look at this shared inbox link, which has been set up to only show talents names and demos!

Fourth, posting a project is very easy! Give it a try once more, if you have not had the chance to try any of our new technology the last time you had posted a project.

Finally, the Voice123 staff is here to help you! Come by live chat, call, or write us, and we will gladly assist you!

Thanks for your time! We hope this helps you with your next project!

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Steven Lowell
Public Relations Manager
My Blog