There are certain kinds of self-promotion that I would consider not only smart, but also essential for maintaining and furthering your voiceover career. One of those would definitely be a website, but I would caution you not to put the cart before the horse and create one before you have a couple of other promotional essentials in place first.
The main reason to create a website is to have a central location where people can come and listen to your demo, so obviously you want to have your demo finalized before you start putting out money for a website. But the branding aspect is important, too. As with any commercial commodity, you want to stand out apart from the competition. One of the ways you can do this is to brand your site, your voice, and your persona, by creating a unifying image or logo that represents the very heart of what you do. Think about your voice, your style, your energy, some defining aspect of your personality, and put all of this into an image that people can relate to, and feel comfortable coming back to again and again, hopefully for the purpose of hiring you for another job.
Once you have this branding image make sure it gets seen as much as possible. Put it on your business card, your website, if you have a physical CD for your demo, any invoices or stationary, and of course any advertising that you do to promote yourself.
Also, once you begin to get a recorded body of work under your belt you can put this up on your website in the form of a resume or a list. No boast, just fact.
Speaking of boasting, this is not a good form of self-promotion. Tweeting or posting on Facebook every time you get a job, smacks of a mix of narcissism and desperation. Not only “Look at me,” but, “Please look at me!” Personally, I find it sad and a bit embarrassing when an adult man or woman feels it necessary to crow about every single job that comes their way. Do you see a lawyer posting on Facebook every time they win a case? Or a plumber Tweeting about the latest drain clog that they fixed? Validation comes from getting the work, not talking about it. If you feel like you need congratulations, talk to a friend or a loved one.
If other people want to post about your great voice over skills, fine. Maybe that’s a way for them to draw attention to their own project (that you voiced), or for a coach, or school, to show success stories that have come from working under their tutelage. Wonderful! That’s free promotion coming from a third party source. Leave the crowing to them, and others in your field, who can speak highly of you.
The only exception I’ll make on this one is if it’s your very first job in the business. By all means, let people know you’ve arrived, let them know you’re here and ready to work. But after that, it’s just what you do. Keep your resume updated online. If you can, get a copy of the spot you voiced and put that up on your website as well. If you feel like you need congratulations, talk to a friend or a loved one.
And when I see people commenting on Facebook that they just had an audition, or God forbid, posting this as their status, I have to roll my eyes. This is like saying I got up and went to work today. Is this news?
Sometimes I get queries from producers and directors as to who I think might be good for a specific voiceover job that I’m not right for. Well, if I’m looking on Facebook at that moment and I see this guy talking about his latest job, I figure, he doesn’t need any more work; he doesn’t need any help from me. I may even know the guy and like his voice, but I’m going to pass that audition on to someone more professional, someone who has sent me his or her demo along with a nice cover letter or email. Voiceover is a job, not some vanity project.
Your street cred comes from the spots you put up on your website, your demo, your resume, and above all, your professionalism. As a matter of fact, professionalism on all the social and business media sites, on the job, and on your website, might just be the best form of self-promotion there is.