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New website - Would deeply appreciate constructive criticism

 
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IC Voiceman



Joined: 11 Apr 2017
Posts: 23
Location: Gauteng, South Africa

PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:31 pm    Post subject: New website - Would deeply appreciate constructive criticism Reply with quote

Hi all.
I have just completed a new website and would appreciate anyone taking the time to listen to two of my new demos, the first being character voices and the second an audio book.
http://www.iancullen.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Intense-Characters-A1-A2-A3-A4.mp3
http://www.iancullen.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Eagle-Rock.mp3

Kind regards.
Ian Cullen
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Bob Bergen
Cinquecento


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 583

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ian! Being that I don't do audio books, I'll skip commenting on that demo.

On to your character demo. First and foremost, you are a terrific actor! To my ears your demo feels more like a game demo than a character demo. Not a ton of vocal variety, but that is not necessarily a negative. There are many who work in both games as well as animation who work consistently not due to the fact they can morph their voice into a million different sounds and characters, but because they are just damn good actors.

Now, I'm not in love with your website. Kinda vanilla/plain wrap. And it lacks personality. Plus all the white is kinda jarring. Now, perhaps your site reflects the sites in your neck of the woods. But vo isn't really a local or geographic industry anymore. We are all competing together electronically. So I advise you check out the websites of some of the top vo actors out there and compare your site to theirs. And don't use mine as an example. It's extremely outdated and in need of an overhaul.

But again, you are a terrific actor! And you should be making a killing in games! As well as attending fan conventions if that floats your boat. This who work a lot in games attend conventions all over the country and make a killing. Fans are more into the game vo stars these days than they are animation vo stars.
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Bruce
Boardmeister


Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 5912
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree your acting chops are good and I too would like to see a bit more variety. Regarding the audio book demo the vast majority of books have no music in the background,so I'd consider dropping it. Also if you're showing off your fiction skills you should include some dialogue. You can go longer with book demos. Two and three minutes are common. Just keep it interesting.

As far as the site goes it is rather plain but also full of copy that says "I'm new to this business". Don't lie if you're asked directly, which you probably never will be, but I wouldn't proclaim my newness out loud. Your demos also have excessively long and odd names. Study other sites to get some clues.

B
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IC Voiceman



Joined: 11 Apr 2017
Posts: 23
Location: Gauteng, South Africa

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bob,
Thank you so much for your advice, constructive criticism and upliftment. I do appreciate you taking the time. Your advice is well received. Thanks again, Ian
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IC Voiceman



Joined: 11 Apr 2017
Posts: 23
Location: Gauteng, South Africa

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bruce,
Thanks for taking a look and listen. I have taken in what you've said. I will look at changing my demo names. I'm totally new to audio books so I like your advice on dialogue and more variety in voice demos. I feel in a catch 22 as far as my site goes. How does one keep it user friendly without making it appear amateurish?
Thanks again, Ian
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Bruce
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 5912
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian, "friendly" means simple in design, not maturity. Here are some examples from our own membership:

http://www.dbcoopervo.com/yeah/

http://www.philipbanks.com/

http://plainbrownmedia.com/

http://hireliz.com/

https://www.jeffreykafer.com/

http://www.voiceoversbymoe.com/

http://peterbishopvo.com/

And please note that none of these successful voice talents use language anything like:

Quote:
Welcome! I sincerely hope that you find that “particular” voice that you’re looking for here. I have worked hard at making the site as user-friendly as possible. Please take a look and (listen) around! I feel confident that you will find something that grabs your attention as my strongest point is versatility.


or:

Quote:
To download on smaller devices, hold down on link and select "Save link". (For full version audios please visit the Full Version Audios page) Two asterisks** represent demos with backing tracks produced by me.


They don't need to say those things. They are professionals and their sites are being examined by professional producers who don't need a lot of explanation. The audience you want are big time pros. Treat them like such.

B
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IC Voiceman



Joined: 11 Apr 2017
Posts: 23
Location: Gauteng, South Africa

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bruce,
Firstly, thank you for being such a solid character and administrator. You've given me some very helpful advice. When you put those two comments off my site on here, I thought oooh, that's like talking to a child. Bit of a wake up call! I've got work to do! Thank you for the time, Ian
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Bob Bergen
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Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 583

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And keep your picture off your site!! Buyers will judge your voice based on your look.
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Neil K. Hess
Contributore Level V


Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 160
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a relative newbie to the VO world, but I would agree that what is important is:

Easy to find contact information

Quality demos

List of some notable previous clients


Just the bare necessities (Studio equipment, union status)

Some portfolio work

****

Personally, I think focusing on SEO and the like is largely a waste of time and money. For the time and money that you would need to start showing up on google, you could call THOUSANDS of agencies and production companies. Way more productive and all it costs is your phone bill. Plus, you start forming relationships which is critical.

For me the jury is still out on social media. It can be nice to "stalk" potential clients and see what they do, but I have yet to land a gig through linkedin or twitter (again...not that I am a long-time veteran or anything)
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IC Voiceman



Joined: 11 Apr 2017
Posts: 23
Location: Gauteng, South Africa

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again Bob and Neil. I agree that photos are not a good idea (unless you're an established artist getting tons of work). Neil, I also think SEO is a big waste of time unless you're selling a different kind of product... even then...Time spent contacting is far more useful. All my demos are still there but I've removed info and put the site "Under construction" until I feel it's up to scratch....Even then, it will never be everyone's taste but I've taken what you've said into consideration. Thanks everyone!
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melissa eX
M&M


Joined: 20 Oct 2007
Posts: 2458
Location: New Amsterdam, the original NYC - just minutes from Hell's Kitchen, NYC

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian! Where's your contact info?
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IC Voiceman



Joined: 11 Apr 2017
Posts: 23
Location: Gauteng, South Africa

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Melissa,
Thank you for taking a look!
I'm working on my site and completed the basic layout at 2am our time today.
Still needs tweaking... And contact info! Smile

All the best,
Ian
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IC Voiceman



Joined: 11 Apr 2017
Posts: 23
Location: Gauteng, South Africa

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:19 am    Post subject: Finally Done Reply with quote

Hi all,
Finally tweaked and changed the layout of my site....And got my contact in loud and clear Melissa! Smile I've kept it plain and simple but tried attractive at the same time. Anyone care to take a look? Thank you in advance if you do and thank you to all of you for your valued input and advice!

All the best to you all.
Ian
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