Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Voice123 Toolbars!

Our development team was very busy this summer and they worked on some upgrades to improve the Voice123 experience of voice talent, and voice seekers. This week, we would like to announce the first one, the Voice123 Toolbars:

With this new Toolbar (available for Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari) you can have Voice123's main features just one click away, making your navigation on Voice123 much more comfortable. The Voice123 Toolbar is available free of charge to all subscribers of Voice123, Standard and Premium, and also those looking to post voice over projects (aka. voice seekers).

The first toolbar gives voice over talent direct access to key areas of the Voice123 profile:
  • Search the Resource Center.
  • Receive alerts for audition invitations!
  • Quick access to Voice123's social media tools: Premium Forums, Facebook, Twitter and The Voice123 Team Blog.
  • Your "My Home" section.
  • Monitor your marketplace stats.
  • Your voice tags.
  • Upload a demo to your website.
  • Refer friends to give and earn Premium Subscription.
  • Project Directory and Marketplace stats.
With the second toolbar (for Voice Seekers), you have quicker access to the following:
  • Quick Search for Voice Talents and Producers.
  • Search the Resource Center.
  • Receive alerts for new auditions in your voice casting projects!
  • Quick access to Voice123's social media tools: Premium Forums, Facebook, Twitter and The Voice123 Team Blog.
  • Your "My Home" section.
  • Shortcut to post new voice casting projects.

Here are two SPECIAL OFFERS for Voice Talent and Voice Seekers!

We are so happy to bring this new tool to our users, that we are giving away five 1-year Premium Subscriptions to talents who install the toolbar and keep it for at least one month.

Install now to enter the contest! (Talent's Toolbar)

Posting a job? GET UP TO $100 FOR YOUR NEXT PROJECT!
We are giving away five $100 USD bonus towards your next voice casting project to voice seekers who install the toolbar and keep it for at least one month.

Install now to enter the contest! (Voice Seeker's Toolbar)

(Please note all Voice123 projects pass through a verification process).

Stay tuned, we have more great news coming in the following weeks!

So what are you waiting for? Click one of the above links to start using The Voice123 Toolbar!


Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
Juan Salcedo
General Manager

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Voice123's 'Voice Over Trials for Kids Program'

Are you a Premium Subscriber on Voice123 with a child looking to go into the voice over field? If so, please read on!

Voice123 is now offering a free trial program for those children of Voice123 Premium Subscribing Parents, who wish to involve their sons and/or daughters in auditioning online with Voice123.

How it works:

  • A Voice123 premium subscribing parent/talent will create a new profile, and upload demo samples for their son or daughter.

  • The parent will email help@voice123.com with the link to the child's profile.

  • The Voice123 staff will verify that the parent is a paid Premium Subscriber on Voice123 and will give the child a two month trial.

  • After the two month trial, the parent will be offered two additional months for free for the child's account, if they upgrade their accounts to continue being a Premium Subscriber at the end of the trial.

  • This is a total of 16 months as a premium subscriber. (2 month trial, 1 year paid, 2 months free)!

    Voice123 hopes you can take advantage of this offer, if your child is looking to become part of the next generation of the voice over industry!

    Rules and Regulations:
    • A 'child' is referred to as a 'minor under the age of 18 at the start of the two month trial promotion.' There are no retroactive promotions available.

    • The account must be created under the child's name.

    • A parent may not share an account with a child.

    • The parent is responsible for monitoring all emails through the Voice123 system, and assumes all risks that come with having an online profile. Voice123 is not responsible for online interactions with clients online.

    • Voice123 reserves the right to remove profiles if the integrity of a promotional effort, or Voice123, is compromised.

    • If at any point, a parent wishes to back out of the trial, please email help@voice123.com, to request the profile be removed.

    Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
    Steven Lowell
    Public Relations Manager
    My Blog
    Twitter: @voice123dotcom

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    The Diverse Languages of Voice123

    Did you know that based on private messages, private projects (aka SmartCast disabled projects), and SmartCast projects, it is estimated that over 2500 voice over jobs pass through the Voice123 system each month!

    What makes Voice123 special is that you are connected to a community of more than 4000 premium subscribing voice talent, and thousands more when you include voice talent with free standard accounts, covering languages ranging from Arabic to Welsh! In fact, it is very difficult to not find the voice talent you need when using Voice123.

    If you would like to see for yourself, post a voice over project or maybe just look through our current search feature (an updated search feature is coming soon!).

    If for some reason you do not find what you need, contact us via live chat, and we can personally assist you.

    Please click on the table below to see for yourself:

    "…whence came all these people? They are a mixture of English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, Germans, and Swedes..." − J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur

    Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
    Steven Lowell
    Public Relations Manager
    My Blog
    Twitter: @voice123dotcom

    The Voice123 'Add a Demo' Tool!

    Do you have a personal website and would like to add your Voice123 voice demos to it?

    If you login to your profile, and go to the More Tools section, you will see an option to 'Add a Demo to your Site'. This tool allows you to select one demo, and personalize the player to match your website design, the type, color, and size that you prefer, and then get the HTML code for it to paste into your own website, in these simple steps:
    1. Select the demo
    2. Select the player style
    3. Select the color
    4. Generate the HTML
    5. Paste it into your own website!
    This is an example we created for this blog (just click the Play button):

    Powered by Voice123 - Voice-Overs

    You can make yours by clicking here.

    Having your Voice123 demo in more places on the web increases your online exposure. Remember, "The best way to be in the right place at the right time is to be everywhere!"

    A quick note from me: If you are unsure what HTML code is or how it works, just ask your webmaster or as I did, I created a free anonymous Myspace profile, and added the HTML of my demos to test and see how it would work. This was an easy and free way to teach myself how HTML functioned.

    If you have any questions about this or any other questions about the voice over industry, please write us or post a question on our Premium Forums!

    Special thanks to Zurek for the usage of his demo.

    Thank you!
    Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
    Steven Lowell
    Public Relations Manager
    My Blog
    Twitter: @voice123dotcom

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    New Workshops! Award Winning Voice Talent Deb Munro

    New workshops for 2010! (See the website for more details):
    Selecting Styles – Voicing the RIGHT way!
    • Knowing what the client wants is half the battle to voicing copy. Once you understand the clients needs you can then apply the right style. With so many different styles and options how do you know which ones to choose? Work with someone who knows how to find the clues in the copy that will help you land the role. Award Winning Voice Talent Deb Munro will direct you through a variety of scripts (with mic time) taking you through the clients point of view step by step.
    • Have you ever wondered what the clients say? Deb’s 6 years as a Casting Director offers her a unique insight into the clients eye. Even a seasoned pro will discover things they can apply to their reads to create their own unique style. Plenty of one on one time, and Deb’s unique class set up allows all levels to join in. Whether you’re just beginning or already working, this class is will cater to your Voice-Over needs.
    • Remember a variety of training is necessary to create your own unique style. The Clients do not need more voices, they need more PERSONALITIES. Get behind the mic and work with Deb Munro for an incredible 8 hour workshop. By the end of class you will know your own unique style and learn how to apply that with the right read at the right time to land you the right role.
    • You will walk away with a recording of your recorded sessions including direction and a 90 page take home workbook that will keep you growing even after class time is over.
    Talking Audio – Long Format Voice-Over
    • Long format Voice projects have proven to be a lucrative career. Due to the many job opportunities available in this field such as; training videos, podcasts, documentaries, audiobooks and more, there is much work to go around. Having what it takes to produce such long projects is another matter all together. Work on scripts of your choice allowing you to focus on areas of interest to you. There are many things to consider when working on long format and Deb Munro is just the right person to take you through it. Consistency, changing voices, energy, intensity, production and more.
    • Get behind the mic all day in this intense 8 hour workshop, voicing a variety of long format projects that will test your abilities and leave you with skills you can apply after your gone.
    • You will walk away with a recording of your recorded sessions including direction and a 90 page take home workbook that will keep you growing even after class time is over.
    Toronto’s workshop will be joined by Special Guest Roger King of PN Agency and VO Talent/Coach Dave McRae. Dave knows the TO market and will be available to answer many of your questions. It’s also very important to hear from the Agents who help you get the work and Roger King is an agent who cares about his talent and is willing to talk to the class about what is required in the TO market and beyond.
    New York’s workshop
    will be joined by special guest Rob Scigimpaglia (NY VO Talent/Actor and Entertainment Lawyer)
    Los Angeles workshop
    will also be joined by two surprise guests to be announced very soon!

    SEATS ARE SELLING FAST at this low of a rate:
    • Deb brings you LA style training at half the cost
    • $395.00 (referral discounts available) Receive $25.00 discount off your registration fee for every person you refer who books a workshop!
    • Tell Deb you were referred by us and she’ll give you even more off until two weeks prior to the workshop date.
    Deb Munro
    Award Winning Voice Over Talent"

    Check out her site with tons of free info and more!

    See more Deb Munro Workshop dates for info and discounts!
    • Dallas, TX – Oct 17th/18th, 2009
    • Edmonton, AB – Oct 31st/Nov 1st, 2009
    • Toronto, ON - Nov 7/8th, 2009
    • Vancouver, BC – Jan 30/31st, 2010 New workshop – Auditioning Acrobats & Telling the Story
    • Los Angeles, CA – Feb 6/7th, 2010 New Workshop – Auditioning Acrobats & Telling the Story
    • Philidelphia, PA – March 20/21st, 2010 New Workshop – Auditioning Acrobats & Telling the Story
    • New York, NY- March 27/28th, 2010 New Workshop – Auditioning Acrobats & Telling the Story
    • Honolulu, Hawaii – April 10/11th 2010 – WORKSHOP EVENT - $450.00 full weekend -
    • Orlando, FL – April 24/25th, 2010 New Workshop – Auditioning Acrobats & Telling the Story
    • Regina, SK – April or May, 2010 (Date to be Determined) Auditioning Acrobats & Telling the Story

    Thursday, October 08, 2009

    'Your Online Brand': Traditional Voice Over Experience May Not Be Enough

    The term 'brand' refers to the image, feel, and idea of your online product, in this case, your voice over abilities. Quite often at Voice123, I have seen amazingly skilled voice over talent from the traditional offline market struggle to make the leap to online casting. Many usually start by selling themselves based on their experience, first. Unfortunately, as much as I hate to admit it, the belief that just stating you are experienced is not definitive enough of your 'brand'.

    In the two years I have been behind the scenes at Voice123, combined with the two additional years of using online casting, only after leaving the traditional offline method of the voice over industry, I have come to learn just how the original 'you', your voice product, and how you use it in the present defines a person's 'brand'.

    The statement can be highly unsettling for those with great experience in the traditional market. However, the online voice over casting industry is a completely new market and way of doing business, and it is less than six years old. Compared to traditional markets, it is still just a child.

    Hear me out on this because I made a mistake while a voice talent on Voice123 by believing I could transfer all I learned while 'pounding pavement', and simply apply it to online casting. I was wrong. This information will prove valuable to any voice talent.

    There are five steps to building an 'online brand':
    1. Get noticed by being the 'positive' you, and only 'the positive you'. Avoid negativity.
    2. Be 'down to earth' while working online, understanding online casting is still new for many people auditioning and hiring.
    3. Build trust and relationships with those you come in contact with always by having a brand that is truthful to your ability.
    4. Get to know yourself, and describe what it is you actually do with your voice. Listing experience is not a description of what you do. It is a record of what you once did.
    5. Display flexibility when dealing with people online, and know how far you are willing to stretch.

    Why is this helpful for voice over casting online? A key factor in understanding exactly 'how the mindset of the Internet works', in my opinion, can be summed up simply as:

    'The Internet belongs to everyone. No one owns it.'
    • When something is shared by everyone, you can never display that you feel you are above someone else. It will turn people off to you, and you want people to trust you. Trust is the one ingredient in the online world that has to be proven time and time again. This is merely a psychological effect of trying to work with people you cannot see. The Internet carries that burden of proof, always, simply because it is so easy to lie on the Internet.
    • Therefore, telling someone, 'I have 30 years experience.', carries little weight because online casting for voice overs is just a six year old playground. It requires building trust and learning a new method of doing business all over again before the experience can be used to shape the future of online casting.
    • Finally, keep an open mind about what people think. With the entire world watching and listening, and with so many opinions, not everyone will think you are great, no matter where you come from or what you have done, and that is normal.
    Is this bad? No, not at all. The Internet, social media, etc. allows for everyone to market themselves, create a community, and all with a much more cost-effective price than in years before working online. Also, given that the 'Internet belongs to everyone', people will be allowed to either pass or fail on their own, as their own business, quicker than before.

    Always be your best original 'you'!

    Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
    Steven Lowell
    Public Relations Manager
    My Blog
    Twitter: @voice123dotcom

    Thursday, October 01, 2009

    Social Media: The Need for 'Give & Take'

    Social media has truly exploded on the web as a great way for voice over talent to find out about voice over jobs, the activity of other voice talent, and also a way to promote oneself. In the process, as the Internet has truly turned business into the 'Age of the Customer', there is a required 'give and take' for everything done in social media.

    A very long time ago, a talent agent said to me, 'Steven, are you aware that you talk too much?'. When I asked, 'What do you mean?', he stated, 'You need to tell me what I get from talking to you, and you need to know on your own what you take from it. I will show you that respect in return.' Indeed, tough words to hear while trying to impress an agent as a young voice talent, but he had a point.

    Years later, enter the 'Social Media Age', where talking/typing about yourself and what you do is a necessity, the 'give & take' is still required in building relationships through social media.

    Take an example from Voice123 this summer. During the summer months I had the opportunity to forge three great relationships through Twitter, with two very popular talent communities, and a great customer service company. I am referring to Voice Over Universe, and Parature.

    How did this start? (Well, it started by being...social!)

    • Voice Over Universe (@ZurekVO): Reached out to me on twitter with some questions about posting a job on Voice123, so Zurek and myself set it up in such a way that he was the voice seeker, and those auditioning would also be introduced to his site in the process. Zurek wrote to me and gave me an opportunity to help voice talent, while he was offering a job for people that signed up with his website. I also created a profile on VO Universe and have popped in for some of his webcam events to see some familiar faces. He also shared with me some feedback as to how voice talent viewed the Voice123 website, which helps us with new ideas for Voice123.
    • Parature (@Parature): This customer service company, invited me to a webinar, and I attended. I began following their great customer service blog, and told them I enjoyed it and learned from it. One day, they asked if anyone was looking to write about customer service, and I applied to do so, which they accepted.
    At the very heart of the 'give and take' mentioned above, lies one specific common thread: Each company, voice talent, and job poster is creating a dialogue within their community of followers, with the possibility of creating contacts and networking. At the same time, it is being done in a friendly, positive environment so people can simply 'talk about what they do, and offer to help others with their knowledge, knowing that in the bigger picture of one's career, one day it will lead to either notoriety or financial benefit for all people involved in the community.'

    In the time that Voice123 has been using Twitter, LinkedIn, and Blogs, great information has been exchanged between positive online communities, that for many, has even led to jobs offline, just by talking.

    It all starts with talking about what you do, being creative, and knowing what you offer...and in that respect... maybe talking too much is not such a bad idea? Knowing this article is one big 'give and take' is quite alright because I understand that many will be helped by the people I have mentioned. The 'give and take' may mean you will find yourself copied many times, but in the bigger picture, that is a sure sign you are doing something great for everyone, and you will be rewarded for it at some point in your career!

    Keep talking!

    Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace
    Steven Lowell
    Public Relations Manager
    My Blog
    Twitter: @voice123dotcom