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Vintage social networkingIf there’s one thing I’ve discovered in my years as a full time voice actor it’s that, as a community, we’re really awesome at networking…with ourselves. I wouldn’t even want to begin to venture a guess as to how many voice over communities there are online. Likely hundreds, if not thousands.

Spend a few minutes on Facebook, Google Plus, or LinkedIn and you’ll find more groups and communities than you’ll ever be able to keep up with. Most of them are populated by the same voice actors. I’m one of them and I benefit from the wisdom and content shared in these communities daily.

Here’s the thing about this form of networking, though, it’s a poor marketing strategy.

“Building a network of voice actors is the social media equivalent of preaching to the choir.”

If you want to know the secret to booking more voice over work via social media it lies in this simple five word question. “Who is in your network?

Take a look at who you’re following on Twitter and who follows you. Who do you interact with most on your Facebook page? Who’s in your circles on Google Plus and whose circles are you in? Who are your connections on LinkedIn? If the answer is other voice actors, that’s your problem.

There’s nothing wrong with being connected to other voice actors. In fact, I think it’s very important to build a strong network of peers. However, it’s definitely not the way to generate new work for yourself.

“The secret to voice over social media success: Build a network of potential clients.”

Whatever social network, or networks, you use, you need to be very intentional about who you’re networking with. You need to build a network of clients and potential clients. What are some of your niche markets? If it’s voicing apps, then build a network of app developers. If it’s audiobooks, build a network of authors or audiobook producers. Once you’ve built your network, engage with it. Daily! Retweet them. Like or +1 their updates. Comment on their blog posts. Develop relationships. Relationships with the right people are the real secret to social media success as a voice actor.

Bonus! Tools to help you manage the social media landscape:

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Hootsuite – Manage multiple social media accounts from one dashboard, schedule posts, follow specific keywords and much more. You can draft a message and simultaneously post to Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. with one click.

bottlenoselogoBottlenose – This is the best app I have found for monitoring what people are talking about right now. Keep up with trends and see what your contacts care about right now.

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Rapportive – This is not a social media tool, but a plug in for your gmail inbox. You’ll see an image of the person contacting you, plus see all of their social media accounts connected to that email address. You can friend them, follow them, etc. without leaving gmail.

n-logo-bigNewsle – Again, not really a social media tool, but it will monitor everyone you’re connected to via social networks and email you when someone makes “news.” If that former or potential client’s company has an article written about them or they write an article, Newsle will let you know via email. You can then write to congratulate them, share their news on your social media channels, and stay on their mind for the next time they need a voice.

What do you think? Is social media helping you find more voice over work?