Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Voiceover Index

If you’re a voiceover artist who keeps one eye on the horizon for new ventures, you may have noticed that a few voiceover casting directories have sprung up recently. Voiceover Index is one such website that recently caught my attention. Sharon Brogden, one of its founders, chatted with me about the work they do and opportunities they offer for both voice-over actors and clients looking for talent.

CM: What is Voiceover Index, and how is it unique?

SB: Voiceover Index is a new voice over directory run by volunteers from several areas of the voice over and audio production industries. As a non-profit making venture, all forms of revenue, including listing fees and income from advertisements are put directly back in to the company to further promote the services of its members, and also to source and provide other resources which are of value to voice talents worldwide.


CM: Where did the idea for Voiceover Index come from?

SB: The initial idea for Voiceover Index was formed about twelve months ago, after having worked as a voice artist for a few years. Like many others, I had been subscribing to several voice over marketplaces and submitting details to directories. It seemed an unnecessarily time consuming and expensive way to market any service, especially voice over services.

The leads that were coming from the casting sites seemed quite low budget and were very often not of a great quality. The best thing about the casting sites is the ability to upload demos and having a link back to a personal website. After a little research, it became apparent that many voice artists put more value on the link back to their site than on the actual job leads. Inbound links help to boost your page ranking with the search engines.


CM: How did you want Voiceover Index to differ from other voiceover casting directories?

SB: With standard directory listings, you are listed with a link back to your website, but very little else. It is also very time consuming not to mention costly, to source bed music and sound effects.

The main drawback for those seeking voice over services from casting sites or marketplaces was that, in order to contact the voice artist they are very often required to create an account which also results in their inbox being bombarded with all sorts of information, which they don’t necessarily want, the process needed to be simplified to provide voice seekers with a way of contacting voice artists without the need to create an account.

The drawback with using directories and search engines to source voice-overs is that the client has to go to the artist’s website from the link given before they even get a chance to hear the demos, making the whole process very time consuming and frustrating.


CM: And then Voiceover Index came together…

SB: I discussed the idea with some contacts from different areas of the industry including a couple of voice artists and some from other areas of audio production, who were all in agreement; therefore, we decided collectively to try and provide this unique service.


CM: How did you succeed in making Voiceover Index unique?

SB: With Voiceover Index, the voice seeker can narrow down their search using keywords, language requirements, location, voice style etc. We also specified at the outset that the site should allow any potential client a fast and simple method to identify their precise requirements by using a number of search criteria including keywords, so any talent offering particular specialized services such as translation, copy writing etc. would be filtered and displayed in the results quickly. The client is then presented with a list of artists that match their search criteria, they can listen to demos, read about the voice artist’s experience and services and contact the artist direct through the site without having to sign up for an account, if they want more information, they can also visit the artist’s personal website using the link provided on the artist’s portfolio page. The benefits for the voice artist is increased online visibility, links back to their personal website (helping to increase their page rank), free resources including royalty free music and sound effects and a quicker and easier way for potential clients to get in touch.


CM: So, how long did it take to get the project off the ground? From conception to what it is today?

SB: We have been developing the idea for approximately twelve months. During this time we have spent many weeks looking at what we would like to achieve with the directory, several months gathering information and researching what voice artists and voice seekers were looking for, sourcing high quality music and sound effects and researching the best places to advertise.

Since the site went live we have had a lot of interest from voice seekers, one artist even booked his first job from a client using Voiceover Index, within two hours of registering!


CM: Sounds great! What else are you all up to?

SB: We are utilizing several marketing techniques in order to promote the site, including Pay Per Click, Search engine optimization, Adverts in relevant publications around the world, both online and in print, social networking, article submissions and regular press releases targeting potential clients.

We are very excited about the potential of Voiceover Index and are confident that it will quickly become one of the best places on the internet to source international voice talent. We are also very proud that we are able to give something back to the voiceover industry.


Thanks for the information, Sharon. This looks like a great opportunity for new voice-over talents, as well as the seasoned pros!

3 comments:

  1. Sharon,
    If you would like to pass on another resource to voice-over talents, they can get excellent royalty free music at http://www.royaltyfreemusiclibrary. The prices are affordable and the licenses are simple.
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete