We realize that this post may not apply to enterprise businesses with a grand social disconnect from customers caused by the size of a company or chosen path of leadership. However, Realtime Casting is a voice-over casting website in a niche industry, an industry everyone wants in on, but not everyone many can hang in for the long haul.
About one-year ago, we made changes to the company, which included no longer using paid-for content writing services. If you are a writer and voice actor you may be more familiar with these services. In short, any well-paid writer views them much in the same light as voice actors view low-paying voice work websites.
Needless to say, crowdsourcing established creatives for the purposes of making them more affordable to more people, while driving rates and wages down for the creatives, as the website takes a commission is not a new practice. Regardless, we stopped using content writing services for several other reasons that go beyond the affect it has on creatives.
5 Reasons We Stopped Using Content Writing Services
5. The “online formula” was taking precedence over “company heart”
Last year, we basically said to Jim Kennelly, producer with Realtime Casting, “Hey. When you talk, people listen. When we pay others to talk for you, Jim’s heart is gone.” We found when others spoke for us that had no connection to the voice industry, the content ended up stale and typical. It was nice, but it had no heart.
4. Voice actors respond to what is being said online, all the time
If you asked someone to write a blog about your business for you, maybe even a press release, a voice actor who belongs to the website will read it. If that voice actor reads it they hold the company accountable for what is being said. They often email the company asking questions about content sometimes to simply ask, “What does that mean?” This is the one thing that makes casting websites for voice-overs so intriguing. The players in the game are hungry for answers on how to get work and there are only so many business posts you can read about the voice industry. Worst of all, if the voice actor finds out, “I am not really reading the thoughts of the company!”, they will lose trust in the casting website.
3. You have to know voice actors to write for voice actors
A voice actor who chooses to make their money performing scripts in soundproofed boxes has a greater chance for success, if he/she does it for the love of the art. If the voice actor simply sees it as an easy way to make money, their career will have an expiration date. You have to know why voice actors really love what they do in order to write for them. Content services tend to focus on methods that work for SEO, saving money, or appearance online. Voice actors cannot relate to people who don’t speak to them directly when they write. Speaking a person’s business language is important.
2. You have to know how to write to appeal to different groups in the voice-over business, such as producers or agents
The unwritten rules between talent, producers, and agents are endless. They stay “unwritten” because they can change instantly depending on the business relationship. Hiring a person to write content, who does not understand the “unwritten rules”, is a waste of money.
1. The business is too small to not be a thought-leader and thought-leadership starts with personalized writing from thought-leaders, always
We can run down a list of thought-leaders in the voice-over business and beyond. If each of them started writing about their passion, you would know them immediately by their point of view, just like you can tell the writings of Mark Twain from Edgar Allan Poe.
The voice industry is so small and the community is so demanding of transparency enough that if anything reads just a little “fake”, people see right through it for its intention. Realtime Casting, a year ago, was trusting strangers to write about the company for them and what got lost in the content for a very small industry was this website’s vision.
Closer to the heart
You can relate #1 to “heart” as well, but the fact remains when a company uses its own people to do the work and write about what they feel, instead of having others “shape it for them”, you can read the difference. Every person in a creative field wants to know their is a creative heartbeat on the other end of the laptop. It is interesting when websites claiming to disrupt corporations for the better choose to save money by “attempting to hire a heartbeat”, which is the very sickness of certain businesses to begin with.
To date, though many websites have tried, there is no way to fake the creative heartbeat. The proof is clearly shown in how each website has its own personality, which seems to be a collected representative of the owner and staffs’ thoughts and opinions.
Incredibly, in just one week after staff and owner took over the writing of the content for Realtime Casting, readership quadrupled on this blog.
That should tell you something about the power of a company’s “voice” when it speaks for itself. If it takes a little more work or time in the day to personally share the company’s voice, voice actors and creative types will know it and respect the passion, as it speaks to their minds and hearts.