Over the past few weeks we’ve been talking about having a website for your voice-over business.
We’ve covered everything from knowing when the time is right that you could benefit from having a website, choosing your domain, setting up hosting, and the specific tools you can use to put your website together.
Now, today we’re going to close out this website series by answering the question:
What should I actually put on my website?
Let's go over how to lay out your website and optimize it so you’re more likely to get work from it, plus a simple idea to bring more people to your website.
This will wrap up the series on voice-over websites.
Maybe you already have a website but it’s just sitting there, it isn’t getting traffic or you aren’t getting any business from it. If that is a problem you’re having, it could be that your website just isn’t laid out correctly.
And I should say, the way I’m going to explain isn’t the only way to do it, there are probably other ways you could try, things you could test, but this follows best practices for website user experience and marketing - and it’s basically a breakdown of each section of the VO Website Template, which, if want more details on - you can check it out at voiceacting101.com/website/
I’ve reviewed a lot of voice-over websites over the years, one of the biggest problems I see is a confusing layout for the visitor.
Someone will land on the website, but they struggle to find what they’re looking for, there are too many places to click, it’s overwhelming and frustrating for the visitor, there’s no flow or process in place. The visitor just doesn’t know what to do.
A Lot of times, we only focus on what we want. We want them to hire us to record a voice-over. But there are things that take place before that happens. Getting hired is the end result, the job of our website is to move them in that direction.
So the first thing to consider when it comes to the layout is, what does the visitor want?
What is the main reason why someone is visiting your website? And how can you make it easy for them to get what they want / what they came for?
In voice-over, it’s pretty simple, most of the time - if someone visits your website, they want to hear your demos. Odds are they have a script and just need to find the right voice. They may be going from site to site, trying to find the perfect voice for their project.
So what they want, right off the bat, is to be able to listen to your demo and decide whether or not you’re right for the script they are hiring for.
So we want to make it incredibly easy for them to play your demos.
We can make it easy for the visitor by putting the demo player at the top of the page. This is called the hero section or above the fold. This section is probably the most important section because it’s what every visitor immediately sees. They may not scroll down, that’s more work for them, so they may never see anything more than the hero section.. And again, because we know they probably want to hear our demos, we make it easy for them and they don’t have to click and go to another page or scroll down the page to play the demos.
They visit the page and they should immediately see, oh here’s the demo I can listen to, that’s what I was looking for.
There are a lot of website audio players out there, but they are usually designed for music. Ideally, you’re using a demo player made for voice-over like the VO Demo Player Plugin and here’s why:
Again thinking about it from the client’s perspective and what they want, even for the demo player - you don’t want 1 long demo the client has to listen all the way thru to see if you have the style that they want. If they don’t like what they hear in the first 3 seconds, they probably aren’t going to stick around for 2 minutes hoping they find what they’re looking for.
Instead, if you separate out each segment of your demo, the client can quickly jump to the next segment - without wasting time. And then, if you add descriptions for each segment, that’s even more helpful for the client to jump from something like high energy to a calm quiet segment. This way they can find what they are looking for faster and it makes for a better experience.
One other important note about your demo player - the demos should be downloadable. Sometimes the person looking for the voice isn’t the same person that is making the final decision, they may have to share the MP3 with others. Sometimes our client is working with their client and they need approval all the way up the chain. So if you give them the option to download the demo - it is another way you’re making it easier for them.
So in the top area, that hero section, we’ve got our demos there and we also want to try to answer 4 questions in as few words as possible:
What do you have to offer?
Why should people trust you?
What are the benefits of working with you vs. someone else?
What action should they take?
You can answer these questions using the header, or the title of the page. Which by the way should be an H1 tag - that’s one key to telling search engines like Google what your page is about.
You can build trust by showing your experience or giving social proof that you’ve successfully helped other clients.
Then what do you do differently than someone else, what sets you apart? You can add a paragraph to write it up or have a checklist to keep it simple.
Then most importantly what action should they take next? What is the call to action?
Based on my experience, almost all of the jobs I get start with me first looking at the script. Sometimes they don’t have a script or they for whatever reason can’t share it yet, but the next step is usually “Send your script, Get a Price and maybe even an audition of the script back”.
So what you’re saying is if you like what you hear, the next step is to send me your script and get a quote. That’s the call to action.
Your call to action may end up being different. But in general, in that hero section you want your demo player, you want to answer those 4 questions and tell them the next step to take.
These next things I’ll mention, they are somewhat optional, but I’ve found them to help build that trust and strengthen the reason why they should choose you.
If you’ve worked with well-known brands, show that either with logos or text.
Also, sprinkle client testimonials on the page. If you’re just getting started and don’t have testimonials yet, that’s OK. But if you have clients, you should be asking them for testimonials.
I also like to include descriptions of how the hiring process works. Some people have never hired a voice actor before, so they aren’t sure exactly what you need, what they’ll get and how it works. So explaining the process can build their confidence in you.
If you have video demos or examples, you can include them on the site as well. It’ll give them a chance to hear your voice on a final product.
I also like to include a frequently asked question area. I’m sure there are questions you get all the time or you will, that you can answer upfront. For me, questions I tend to get are - can I listen in while you record? Do you accept credit card? Do I pay first? Are you available this week? You could even put a calendar on the website to show availability and let them book you right there. Other questions could be - Is there any script content you won’t record? Can you mix music to the voice-over? Over time, you’ll notice the questions that keep coming up. So you can add them to the FAQ section and you’ll probably be answering questions for some they didn’t even know they had, but are glad you answered.
If you put all these things together you’ll have a well-optimized, high performing voice-over website.
Then you just need to start promoting it and driving traffic to it.
One easy, passive way to do it is to just add your website to your email signature. Then anytime you send an email to anyone, you’re promoting your website. I’ve had several voice-over jobs come in from personal emails I’ve sent, where they saw my email signature, visited my website and hired me to do something for them.
Just make sure you’re using a professional email address lie email@example.com and not sending from a free account like gmail or aol.
So that’s it!
That is the layout I recommend for a voice-over website. We call it a website, but really it could just be one finely crafted landing page.
If you want this exact layout setup and done for you, with hosting, SSL, tthe VO Demo Player and more - check out The Voice-Over Website Template.
And If you have a voice-over website, I’d love to check it out - leave a comment with a link below.
I hope this series helped you!