Cheapening of the word “Expert”

Why you cannot take the word “expert” at its face value online

expert voiceover

It’s just a word
If you are custom to following Google alerts and press releases about websites, one of the most common tactics in writing a press release is to use words that both sell a business and are common search terms for finding voices online. It makes sense. No one will call the vendors on their website by which they sell their own services to be “just as good”, “a good substitute for the real thing”, and a “cheap alternative”.

But would they, if for some reason, these words became popular search terms? If the word “expert” is used to sell a website more so because the search term is popular, does it cheapen the word “expert”? The quickest way to find out is to attempt to hire an “expert”, only to find out the term in some way is actually false advertising. The great thing about working online is that anyone can create a persona for him or herself, and the same applies to businesses who claim to offer “experts”. If you wanted to start a business you would start by creating the persona of offering experts.

And this is why only 32% of consumers trust what they read online. You get more attention, if you know the right words to use to get you found more in a search. It is just a word, so the person’s experience means very little. Other words you may see thrown around:

  • Professional
  • Affordable

How can every voice talent in the world be a professional affordable expert? It is impossible.

What makes an “expert” more than just a search term?
If the industry truly had as many experts, as there are self-proclaimed experts, the business would be pretty boring. You will find these qualities in “experts”:

  • Has made many mistakes and learned from them
  • Makes decisions and judgements while knowing exactly what to ignore
  • Never pretends to know all the answers and comfortable with what he/she doesn’t know
  • Never defends himself/herself. An alternate opinion is always welcomed
  • An expert never calls himself/herself an expert. The actions speak for themselves

For voice actors of experience, they often deal with having to be the “expert” at starting over; the process of going through multiple rejections until that one hit shows them what it takes to get work. Through the years, as they become more experienced, they become an “expert” at dealing with starting over after each booking. For people starting out on “cheap” sites claiming to offer “experts”, the word “expert” becomes redefined and cheapened to mean:

  • A word you market with
  • Still discovering themselves
  • Still not sure what to ignore for the growth of their career
  • Trial by error (and often financial loss)
  • Defensive about experience or lack thereof

And after all that…
Everything written above really does not matter. Why? Because Everyone in every business has to sell and act like they have “been doing it for years”. Ultimately, when all is said and done, when all the song and dance is finished…

The final product is what sets people apart from being beginner, intermediate, and “expert” or perception of an expert.

The “decision to hire an expert” is subjective to the person doing the hiring. We may all believe we are hiring experts, until we are unhappy with the final product.

But the longer you hang around the voiceover industry, you can tell just by sound alone…

“These people know what they’re doing, and those other people don’t.”

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