Whether it be a casting website, business website, or personal website for a voice talent to market themselves, watch for these signs
In 2014, the process of working online is now old enough that certain life cycles have been completed; most importantly the life cycle of that dreaded 5-7 year requirement of reinventing yourself as a business and/or artist.
This need for reinvention never jumps out of a cake and says, “What you’re doing no longer works!”. It happens so gradually it can lead an artist to self-destruct out of confusion for once being able to work, and overnight the work dries up.
We are more aware of this necessity today than ever before, and so we offer these signs that your voiceover website needs to change.
Signs Your Voiceover Website Needs Change
1. Your Google Analytics show a very high bounce rate and high returning customer percentage.
You may think, “Hey! All my customers love me and keep coming back! That is great!”, but the fact is growth is dependent upon new people ‘visiting the store’ ie. expanding your reach. Your homepage or website may run on a code or user experience that turns people off merely because it is outdated.
Unfortunately, voice talent do have to watch changing trends in website technology, if only to spot when the overall expectations of what makes up a website has changed. Even if one has no idea how technology works, spotting when websites in general are changing is important.
A high bounce rate may indicate that people are instantly turned off by what they see, or the website mapping is confusing. As website users, we don’t always know what works, but we can spot when something is broken. Ex: Clicking on a link that leads to the wrong page.
2. When you find yourself making excuses or performing heroics for the website by defending it, more than selling your voice on it
Do you know how some people starting out in voiceovers respond to criticism by saying something like, “But my friend thinks my voice sounds great”? Keep that in mind. Now think…
If your website has a problem, someone points it out, and you reply with “Sure. It may not work as easy as others, but it still works if you [insert heroic tale]”, you are making an excuse for what you know does not work, or hoping to convince someone that your ‘broken wheel’ works that way on purpose.
Your problem becomes…Your explanation does not fix the problem that your website is difficult to navigate. If you think bad audio is hard to listen to for 5 seconds, how do you think the average web user feels on a confusing website for 5 seconds trying to figure out what it is you exactly do? A good salesman can sell a pet rock, but it is much more fun to sell something you can believe in like your voice talent.
3. When your “features” get in the way of hiring you
Is a feature really a “feature”, if it makes hiring you much more difficult? Working online is supposed to be easy. People generally enjoy using online services more that allow them to complete work.
4. When you hate using your own website
It happens and usually because you, yourself, got tired of trying to make it work or became exhausted with the outdated technology.
The funny secret about technology is that, even though we may at times curse “change in the voiceover business”, we still have common perceived expectations based on popular technology people seem to be using, as to what changes should be happening.
5. When customers stop talking to you
Although voiceovers is a competitive industry there are many incredibly nice people, who will not just come out and say, “Wow. Your website is a pain to use.” No one wants to be “that guy” who sounds impolite, rude, or confrontational, especially if they like the people who own the website.
The silence from customers can often be viewed at as ‘people hoping you figure out for yourself what is wrong.’
But with websites, you have to measure ‘silence’ as much as you do ‘feedback’.
Some tips for you
1. Survey often. Try Surveymonkey.com.
2. Make sure you have Google Analytics set up properly through your website.
3. Trust the opinion of the unbiased public. Try websites like Fivesecondtest.com. This is a way to help you organize your website in a manner that is most appealing to the common web searcher.
4. It is never personal.
5. Finally…Absolutely no guessing as to what should be changed. Why? It is easy to read articles and posts by colleagues and be influenced into thinking, “This is what people want.” Yet, what people say they want and what they actually choose to do are often different.
You have to study what people are “doing”, not always what they are saying, to avoid making expensive mistakes when building your website.
We hope you found this helpful. Perhaps this is inspired somewhat from personal discovery made during a redesign this year of Realtime Casting.
We are very excited to have a new look and user experience coming soon!