For those who may not see how “quirky” is “professional” online and why
Have you ever seen someone say something about you in the most random of ways online? Maybe someone chose to acknowledge your work in a forum or share audio from something you recorded professionally? You need to know why this is a good thing for you and why.
Where this comes from
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges we have seen with professionals from the offline world, now working online, is the fear or misunderstanding of “when something is good or bad for business online”. The simple fact is that an online environment is uncontrollable, yet through marketing voice actors we have found that many believe you can control reactions or control how people respond to your actions, both offline and online. No, not at all. You can control your own “image” as you have released it to the world, but the life it takes on afterwards is beyond your control. Artists have always dealt with this. Some may seem more in control because they know their target audience well enough to make them happy always.
However, when you are working online…you need to remember that anything “quirky” is professional, and to try and fight this fact may very well lead to your fans rebelling on you. To date, the professional voice actor we have seen adapt best to working in an online environment has been DC Douglas. He turned getting fired from a national campaign into something positive for his career, and he had the best type of marketing in the process: Earned content. He expressed himself and it was a risk, most likely not a marketing idea at all. People talked about him…for him…to tell his story. In the process, many found out the guy is talented.
Does this mean, “Go out and get yourself fired!”? No, but it does mean when you work online there is a greater demand for unsafe self-expression.
Professionally Quirky means “Taking Calculated Risks”
So, you have a lot of class and you like to consider yourself an upscale citizen of the voiceover industry. Great, but guess what: No one will believe you are for real, until they see a bit of a quirky side to you that lets the “commoners” know, “Ok. He/she acts that way on purpose for business reasons. That makes them smart and real.”
Almost all marketing online is based on calculated risk, not based on what people say they feel. Beyond what people say, there is actually “what they do” and websites and/or Google are set up to track such things. In the world of business, and staying in business, you have to make money. This may involve doing things that seem “childish” or “strange”, but what if it “works” online? What if it pays the bills and helps you live a life you wanted as a full-time voice artist? Can you call the marketing “unprofessional”?
No doubt, talent hate taking risks in marketing is scary because it makes one feel vulnerable. No one likes to feel vulnerable. It is a feeling one has lost control. Realtime Casting, as it works in an online environment, will have these calculated risks to take as well. If the result leads to talent getting paid well and producer satisfaction, it will be hard to argue that a form of marketing is less professional.
What we can control online
The only things we can control when working online:
1. What we say to others
2. Content we create
3. How we react to marketing
And sometimes…having content removed from Google searches, if the person who created wants to take the time to remove it. This means we must be fully aware of our moral and ethical standards, with a clear-cut idea of what we always do and will never do and the ability to explain why, if necessary. The nice thing about working online is that it gives people a chance to express what they care about, whether it be a web designer or voice actor. When people get to see a quirky side, they often get to see the love behind why they express and how far they are willing to go to show off what they believe in.
An example of “professional quirky”
To give you some examples from Realtime Casting:
- Blunt? Yes.
- Obvious? Yes.
- Quirky? Yes.
Unprofessional? Not in the slightest bit, and neither are the t-shirts! Welcome to working online!