by Bill DeWees on September 9, 2012

To use, or not to use a headshot on your voice over website? . . . That is the question!

Should Voice Over Talent Use a Headshot?

A headshot is customary and expected for an actor/actress to use on their website.  But when it comes to your voice over website, does it accomplish the same purpose?

Let’s think about it for a minute.  An actor or model gets work based to some degree on their looks.  The question of whether they “fit the part” is dependent, in part, on what they look like.  In voice overs . . . not so much.

Here are a couple of other things to keep in consideration.  When marketing either a product, service, or yourself, a large part of your job is to carefully and purposefully guide perception.  In other words, what is your brand?  What do you stand for?  What should clients expect when they hire you?  Does your headshot contribute toward that end?

Here’s another thought to ponder.  As humans, we cannot help but make judgements or create perceptions based on the input we receive from our environment (sight, sound, smell, etc.).  It’s automatic, no real conscious thought required.

Ever listen to someone on the radio?  Instantly upon hearing their voice, whether consciously or not, you created an image of what that person looked like.  How tall they were.  The color of their hair.  Their ethnicity.  Their age.  Etc., etc., etc.  Have you ever seen your favorite radio personality?  Did they look anything like what you originally thought?  Most likely the answer is . . . no.

Which brings me back to my original question.  Should you use your headshot on your voice over website?

Your website’s job is to create an instant impression of who you are (your brand) and as a result intrigue the visitor enough to listen to your demo(s).  NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!  Your single job in designing your website is to entice your visitors to listen to your demos!  That is done by carefully guiding and managing perceptions.

So, back to your headshot.  A headshot or photo serves an important purpose in the marketing scheme for an actor or actress.  For a voice over talent, it can be dangerous.  Your website visitors will make instant judgments based on your photo . . . “He’s too old!, ” “She’s too ethnic!, ” “I need someone with a deep voice, they look to small and petite to a big/deep voice” . . . I think you get the idea.

Remember . . . we all make instant judgments based on the stimulus we receive from our environment.  As a businessperson (and make no mistake, you are a business person!) you must guide and direct the perception of your target market.

My advice?  Lose the headshot!  Don’t gamble with that piece of your marketing strategy. You must control everything that is within your power when it comes to market perception and your headshot is simply a wildcard that you can definitely live without.

YouTube Video – Bill DeWees on Headshots for Voice Talent

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Who Is Bill DeWees and Voice-Over-Training.org

Bill DeWees is a professional voice over talent and voice over coach. Bill's voice over credits inlude Warner Bros, Microsoft, Dell, National Geographic, AstraZeneca, Whirlpool, Quicken and many more household names both globally and across the US.

Bill's website www.Voice-Over-Training.org provides valuable voice over training including techniques to record better voice overs, strategies to close more voice over jobs and step by step methods to build a voice over career and business.

Bill DeWees delivers his own style of voice over training through a range of engaging online courses, live workshops, events and personal one on one coaching sharing all his secrets from his own 6-figure voice over business to help you build yours. To connect with Bill or get additional information visit Voice-Over-Training.org

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