Innovations in technology have enabled companies of all sizes and budgets to present content in ways that were only available to specific media organizations in the past. The traditional newspaper can now become your company’s blog, a YouTube channel can be created by anyone, and podcasts are like having your own radio station. But just because you can do all of this, doesn’t always mean that you should.
As a former traditional radio broadcaster, I am passionate about putting quality audio on the internet airwaves and ensuring my clients are putting their best voice forward. This interview with Terry Daniel, Voice-Over Artist/Actor, Producer and Coach, allows us to share with you why professional voice work may be what your organization needs in your audio content marketing efforts.
Here are a few highlights from my conversation with Terry:
- Your business needs a voice: It’s important to put thought and intention around all audio content from your business. The voice on your on-hold message, voice-over of your web videos, audio training are all part of your brand. The old cliché still holds true, that you only get one chance to make a solid, first impression.
- Agencies should consider offering audio content: As the need for audio content marketing evolves, there is a need for professional voice-over work for webinars, videos, slide presentations, and more. Marketing agencies may want to consider adding a professional studio setup to their marketing mix. At the very least, agencies will want to have audio professionals on deck to help their clients grow this area of their content marketing strategy.
- Now is the time for voice-over talent: Perhaps you’ve been told before you should “be on the radio” or you have a great voice. The playing field of technology has leveled the ability for you to give it a try! But like any area of expertise, do your homework. Working with voice-over professionals, both for coaching and demo production, is important to learning this business the right way. Invest in good training, good equipment and practice, practice, practice!
There are several ways you can get the interview with Terry:
- Subscribe to Next Stage Online Radio via iTunes. [Note: This feed includes additional topics beyond content marketing.]
- Listen to the interview on Next Stage Online Radio:
- Read the transcript below.
Pamela: And a big welcome to my guest today, Terry Daniel. He is CEO and, I guess, chief voice-over artist over there at Voice Overs by Terry Daniel. I am very excited to have you, Terry, on the show today because we are going to break down some myths about content and voice-over and this is an area, obviously, near and dear to your heart. You’re a voice-over artist, voice-over coach. You produce demos. You’re a speaker. You’re out on the social sites. Welcome, Terry Daniel, to Content Marketing 360 Radio Show.
Terry: Thank you. I do mop the floors over here as well.
Pamela: Excellent. So, you are chief janitor?
Pamela: That’s fantastic.
Terry: Janitor, head of Custodial Art Department.
Pamela: There you go. There you go.
Terry: We do it all.
Pamela: You do it all.
Terry: My lovely assistant, my better half, helps me out with a lot of the scheduling as well. And if it weren’t for her . . . .
Pamela: You wouldn’t get anything done?
Terry: Well, this place would either be on fire or I would trip and injure myself.
Pamela: And we can’t have that, but we all have somebody behind the scenes. I have somebody, as well, that helps me stay in line.
So, I appreciate you taking time. You’ve got quite the busy schedule with your voice-over work and different things going on. So, thanks for being a part of our show. And we’re calling this . . . I guess we’re sort of outlining our show today, Terry, with the idea that we’re going to tackle this audio content marketing side of things, since we are Content Marketing 360 Radio Show.
But before we dive into some of the meat of that conversation, key up, if you will, with the audience a little bit about who you are, what you do in the voice-over world, and how did you land as a voice-over artist?
Terry: Well, those are great questions. I actually started in theater and radio and loved theater, but, of course, it didn’t pay and loved radio and never got along with any of my program directors.
Pamela: You’re a rebel.
Terry: I was born an entrepreneur and there’s no BS about that. I’m just not built for corporate America. So, I had to venture off and do something. I started doing voice-overs about, oh, 25 years ago altogether. I have not always done it full-time. I’ve worked in advertising, radio, marketing, as well, had jobs on the side like that.
I’ve really been involved with all of it for over 25 years. I’ve been doing it full time from home, probably, for about seven now, and doing anything from local/regional commercials to national e-learning campaigns, audio books. My niche really has been the e-learning and medical and technical narration. It’s really no fun at all, but that’s really the niche I fell into. There’s always a surprise in this industry. You think you’re going to end up doing one thing, and then suddenly you’re the guy that can do the other thing. It’s bizarre. Every week is different.
Pamela: And you bring up an interesting point because, I think, when our audience is made up of folks in the marketing industry, business professionals that are really looking to connect more with content and how to bring that into their business. So, it’s interesting. You and I have something in common having radio as a background. So, I think when people think voice-over, they automatically think radio broadcasting, on-air personality or kind of that bent or commercial side, right?
Pamela: But what you’re also saying, and I think this is one of the main reasons I wanted to make sure we had you on our show, was the world of voice-over has just, it’s not only exploded, but really changed. I mean, just really, the opportunities are pretty vast and different.
We’re going to talk about some of those specifics. But before we get into some of the specifics of the types, I think, too, that we live in a world where you and I can flip a switch and all of a sudden we are doing a podcast, right? We can get a headset with a microphone for 20, 30, 40 bucks and all of a sudden we can do our own audio, right?
Terry: Yeah, no doubt. Everybody’s a voice-over artist these days.
Pamela: And of course, we all understand that budgets are budgets and the economy has been a challenge for a lot of different organizations out there, but I really want to dissect this idea of hiring someone professionally, like yourself or anyone else that you know in the voice-over world. Why is it so important to consider a professional? And then, what are some of the professional ways that a business needs to consider bringing someone into their marketing team to do the voice-over piece?
Terry: Well, in my opinion, if you’re trying to make money with your project and you’re taking your project seriously, then you really need to hire a professional voice-over talent because this project could make or break some businesses, depending on what you’re doing.
It’s easy to go out and find somebody to do a voice-over, a 10-page medical narration or whatever for 50 to 100 bucks. But you aren’t going to get the quality. You’re not going to get the delivery that a professional voice-over artist will do. If you are looking for the lowest price, what that tells me is you’re not real passionate about your project and that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.
I think it’s really important that you hire a professional voice-over, especially if you own a big corporation and you’re doing on-hold messages, a lot of people will just have the receptionist record the voicemail.
This is the first voice they hear when they call your business. Are you really going to ask your best friend to do the on-hold message? It’s the old, you get one chance to make an impression, kind of thing. It’s the oldest cliché in the book, but it really rings true with the voice-overs.
Pamela: You bring up a really important point because, I think too, it’s one of those areas that we don’t even know why. We can’t even put our finger on why it’s a powerful voice-over until we’ve heard something bad, right? Does that make sense?
Terry: And the quality too. You can go out and find somebody who claims they are a voice-over artist, but just has one of those headset USB mics. You want to hear them breathing, if you want to hear all the pops and you want to hear them clearing their throat and you want someone who sounds like they’re reading, then that’s the route for you.
Pamela: And that’s an interesting piece of this as well. There’s a lot of variation within the voice-over industry in terms of the different skills a talent can bring to the table. So, what you are also talking about are some of the technical elements. There are so many things that we can do. We can get a podcast mic, flip it on and all of a sudden we become audio kings, right, kings and queens.
But what you’re talking about is if you’re working with a professional, there are some tools of the trade or some skills that you’re also purchasing, basically, so that you’re actually getting a bigger bang for your investment in terms of the piece of the marketing process?
Terry: Oh, I so agree with that. You are getting a professional that’s probably read thousands and thousands of scripts. They are going to read the script the way you want it to be read. They are going to understand who your target market is. There really is just a huge difference between hiring someone who’s experienced and hiring somebody who’s just trying to do the voice-over thing.
I don’t want to discourage those who are interested in going into voice-overs because if you’ve got some skill and you’re interested in training with people, that’s a whole other thing. But there are people who just don’t have the sound. They don’t have the education. And they certainly don’t have the reading skills to be really doing voice-overs for a living.
A problem I have is sometimes companies will hire those people just because they are willing to do a 10-page script for 50 bucks.
This goes back to what I said earlier. It’s like, how serious is your project? Are you looking to move content? Are you looking to make money with whatever project that you are doing? I mean, this rings true with car commercials as well. How many units are you looking to move a week?
Depending on what you’re trying to do with your business, a professional voice-over artist can really, really help you get there.
Pamela: Well, and you mentioned a couple of areas that are a specialty for you, some narration elements, e-learning modules and things like that. Content marketing is really exploding with different platforms, and so I think that’s another reason I wanted to connect with you because, like I said, we think about commercials, right, the car ad, right, or we think about “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday” when we think voice-over, but this area, what are some of the ways that you have been working with business owners and businesses with some of their internal or external content that connects with you as a voice-over artist?
Terry: Well, I do a lot of e-learning. I do a lot of e-learning for auto companies, car makers and also medical companies, as well. They’re basically educational products for these companies because they need somebody who sounds intelligent. I’m obviously faking it.
Pamela: Right. That’s why we call you a voice-over actor.
Terry: Yes, exactly. I think after all of the e-learning and medical scripts that I have read, I’m pretty sure I can perform open heart surgery. I’m pretty sure I can build you a car.
Pamela: And these are the e-learning that the doctors would be listening to or that folks inside of the hospitals or the clinics, for example, on the medical side? It’s internal training, right?
Terry: Right. Anything from pharmaceutical, med students, interns, physicians. A lot of it is very internal. That’s correct.
Pamela: A big piece of content marketing is, basically, educating your consumer, educating your current client base. In this situation the client is really, or the audience being the client, is a doctor or the folks that have to learn whatever it is about the auto piece.
I just want to set that stage for the audience because I really want to break down this wall that voice-over is strictly commercial, that there is so much. And I think we do more in business than we realize. But the other piece to this, Terry, is I believe it’s a gut feeling that there are a lot of businesses and marketing agencies out there that are not using audio to their best potential because they don’t understand this piece as much.
It’s not visual. It’s something that only radio had for a long, long time. So, if I’m a marketing agency and I’m thinking of helping my clients create podcasts or get voice-over done for webinars and things like that, let’s talk about some really great things I would need to know about someone like you, questions to ask. How would I start that process? And where can I start to connect with voice-over talent?
Terry: Well, you can connect with voice-over talent over the internet, of course. You can just Google voice-over or voice-over talent. You can, obviously, go to my website, here I am already plugging it. That’s universalvoicetalent.com. And there’s obviously a million voice talents out there, as you know. And that’s the way, you can just do some searching online for voice talent.
Pamela: Well, if I find a voice that I think is interesting, that I’d like to connect with, what are some questions that you find that businesses or folks that are connecting directly with you, not necessarily the agents, but the folks that connect directly with you, what are some really key questions that you either wish they would ask you to help you be better at your job or just as a marketing professional or business owner I should have this arsenal of questions that as I get started into this so I get a smart and the right person doing the job?
Terry: Well, what really helps me is if they really know what they are looking for as far as the delivery and that could be conversational, that could be business professional, the guy-next-door read, upbeat, energized, some of the more corporate narrations, the medical narrations are going to be a little dulled down from the average upbeat energized delivery. But it’s always nice to get a little direction from the client to what kind of a read that they’re looking for.
I like to provide samples for my clients. For example, if they send me a script, I will usually do two to four different takes of the first paragraph, just so we’re on par with what they are looking for. Some don’t know what they’re looking for. If I’m a client, I’m always . . . you’ve got to ask the voice talent what type . . . what’s the word I’m looking for here? It’s just too early in the morning, isn’t it?
I’d like to know who they are targeting. Are they targeting the business professional?
Are they targeting the 25 to 54 homeowner making six figures a year? Are you targeting the college student? Are you targeting your average blue-collar American? I mean, you can really break it down into all these different categories. And that really helps me in delivering the voice-over as well.
The more information that we know about who they’re targeting and what kind of read they are looking for, the less back and forth we have to go. And this is if you are working with somebody over the internet.
The other way that we do it is clients will be on the line, either via Skype or phone patch, and they will want to direct the session while we record. And I really like that because then at the end of the session they pretty much have everything they need.
Pamela: And you don’t have much back and forth then because they are right there with you saying, “I like that. I don’t like that,” which I think is a really important part of this conversation. Especially if a marketing agency is listening right now and they’re thinking that they want to add voice-over talent to their arsenal for their clients, directing, the perfect person to direct this is the person who is working with the client that understands target audience, what the end result is, what the definition of success is for the project. So, I would think that even the direction part, you don’t necessarily have to be this professional voice-over director, right?
To know what a good end product is?
I know you and I both work in this space. I think we appreciate when someone is actually directing us, because there’s that connection in real time, to the end result, is positive and they’re getting exactly what they’re looking for.
Terry: Yeah, no doubt about it. If you don’t always know what you’re looking for, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
But it does really help the voice talent if you have an idea of what kind of sound you are looking for, what kind of delivery and who your target audience really is.
Pamela: Now, you mentioned that when you have a client, especially if it’s a new client or someone who you haven’t worked with before, that you might send two or three samples of an initial read of what it is. Is that common in the voice-over world? Again, going back to professional versus just anybody who is doing this. You are basically providing a service that is, I don’t want to say goes above and beyond, but it’s a very detailed or a pretty strong service piece, is that something to be expected from voice-over professionals, to be able to get that kind of caliber of service?
Terry: Not everybody does it, but I like to do it because, again, it saves time from going back and forth. And we do it when we are auditioning for scripts as well. It gives the client a little variety. It gives them something to think about. Maybe they didn’t hear what they wanted to hear in take number one, but maybe the magic was in take number three. So, you always want to give yourself more than one chance to get the gig.
Pamela: Sure. Okay. Basically, because on those sites you are competing with people from all over the globe, right, that are submitting auditions? Now, I know one of the areas, if a business owner is out there thinking they want to connect to the voice-over talent or get into this, the social media stuff for you has really changed your business, right?
So, tell us a little bit, from a voice-over artist perspective, how social media connects you directly with some of the gigs that you are getting. Because I think, again, too, there’s this idea that you have to go through an agency for this type of talent and type of work? So, talk a little bit about how social has changed your business as a voice-over artist and how you have connected with business owners directly?
Terry: Well, there’s a ton of creative people. As a voice-over talent, there’s a ton of marketing firms, audio/visual companies, talent agencies, production companies on Twitter and Facebook, and Google Plus and LinkedIn. I’m not a big LinkedIn expert, but I think I’m pretty good at the Facebook, Twitter thing. And I’ve gotten a lot of work via both of those social media sites just by connecting with the people I just mentioned, and also, posting clips of cool projects that I’m working on.
It’s like, “Hey, I’m doing this, take a listen to this.” I don’t put out rates. I don’t say, “Hey, who needs a voice-over for 350 right now?” That’s not something that I tweet.
That’s not the right way to do it. But what I do is I, basically, sell the fun in what I’m doing.
Pamela: Right. Well, and you are providing, basically, it’s content marketing, right? You’re sharing the content that you are doing, snip-its, ‘cuz I know one that you were doing, was it last summer, was for a . . . gosh, what was it? It was a theme park or something?
Terry: Oh, yeah, the Stone Mountain Park.
Pamela: So you would share some of those? Because, obviously, for a voice-over talent like yourself, that’s a pretty fun project. You get to play with that one a little bit?
Terry: Oh, yeah. I like using YouTube as well. Sometimes I’ll turn on the webcam and videotape myself doing a voice-over. People are really fascinated by what we do. They either want to be a voice-over artist themselves, or they are really intrigued by what we do. So the YouTube videos of myself or whoever does it, when they are recording a voice-over, are very, very effective.
Pamela: Well, it’s like anything when you get to go behind the curtain, right? Like in theater, when you get to see backstage. It’s that theory of it takes some of the intrigue. People are just intrigued by this. It falls in the entertainment field, I guess, right?
Terry: Oh, yeah, no doubt about it. It’s like going backstage of a concert or something, being able to meet the band.
Pamela: Well, so that’s interesting too because if you’re doing a YouTube of “Hey, I’m cutting this spot today or I’m doing this e-learning module,” we get to see what your studio looks like. And I think too, yes, you can do this out of your home, like you do, Terry. You have that home base business with your voice-over work, it allows flexibility. But there are some tools of the trade that really allow you to stand out. Like you mentioned, it’s not just flipping on a headset mic and, you know . . . what are some of the basic tools of the trade when you get your, I guess, new voice-over artist up and running?
Because, even if this is an agency listening today, perhaps, there’s some pieces that we can provide to them where they can start to develop this inside their organization as well?
Terry: Right. Are you speaking of audio equipment?
Pamela: Yeah, audio equipment. I know every artist or voice-over person kind of has their favorite mic or their favorite software. But if I wanted to put together my own little voice-over studio, what are some basic things that I need to consider.
Terry: Well, depending on your budget, now they have those USB-powered mics that sound very good. They’re not going to sound like an XLR mic, like a Neumann TLM103, that’s the one that I’m using right now. But if you’re first getting started, Audio Technica makes one called the AT 20/20. There’s another one called the Blue Yeti. These are USB studio mics that plug right into your computer. They do pick up a little bit of room and floor noise, but as long as you’re in a very quiet area in your home, that should be good.
Eventually, now, when you start getting a nice pool of clients, you should, definitely, upgrade to a professional studio mic, like a Sennheiser 416, any of the Neumann brands are awesome, the Rode mics are very, very good. There’s probably about a thousand different microphones I could list off here. And I think I will. Number one . . . no, I’m kidding.
Pamela: We will have this transcribed later.
Terry: Yeah. That’s about it. When you start off, though, you don’t have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on the perfect home studio. It’s embarrassing what I was getting paid to do six years ago when I was upstairs. I had hardwood floors, high ceilings and Highway 169 was about a half a mile in the other direction. Literally, I would do my recordings and you could literally hear semis downshifting in the middle of the recording.
Pamela: It was a sound effect. What do you mean?
Terry: Oh, yeah. I couldn’t believe it. And back then I was using an MXL USB-powered mic. And while I had experience in voice-overs, up to that point, before I really started taking it seriously, doing it full time from home, I didn’t really have a tremendously trained audio technician-type ear. I wasn’t quite in tune with that as I am now, because most of the time, before the internet went crazy and where most of us were doing it from home, recording from home, and sending out mp3′s to clients all over the world, I was used to, actually, going to an off-site studio, via talent agent booking, that had all the greatest equipment in the world. And you never really had to worry about your sound. You just showed up, got the script, got a little direction from the client there or whoever is directing the session, and then you went home. The agency took care of all the billing. But you didn’t really have to worry about the sound or the editing, not like I do now, that’s for sure.
Pamela: And talk a little bit about that with the editing piece. So, I guess this conversation is two-fold. It’s for someone who is considering voice-over work themselves, getting into this business, but also, I think, I would love to see more marketing agencies pulling together their own audio studios or connecting to folks like us because I think this is such an important part of where we’re moving.
What about software, that’s another thing, I think, that really comes up quite a bit. Just like in the video world, there are certain editing softwares that people recommend. And they run quite a spectrum in terms of cost as well, so obviously budget comes in to play. But if I’m diving into this and building out my studio. I’ve got a nice USB mic. What software do you recommend?
Because you are talking about the editing process, I think, that’s too where you are hiring the talent. When you are doing professional voice-over work, the talent, a lot of times, will be doing most of the editing and taking out the breath work and all those little pieces that, again, we don’t hear it because it’s been removed, right?
Terry: And the stuff like this. [Cough] All the sniffing and the sneezing and the stumbling and bumbling over copy.
Pamela: Perhaps, a swear word or two?
Terry: It doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have had doing this, you are always going to stumble and bumble over a few words. And then you have to go back and redo that part, edit that in.
Software, there’s a free software called “Audacity” out there that’s a really good learning tool. It’s not the best sound quality you’re ever going to get. I don’t really like it at all, but it is a free software. And when you are first getting started in voice-overs, at least it’s good enough to learn on, to get you comfortable working from home, recording, doing a little editing, exporting the file, it’s pretty good for that. And the sound is okay.
The average human ear, probably isn’t going to hear the difference between something you recorded on Audacity or something that you recorded on Adobe Audition, which, of course, is what I use. But if you are dealing with production companies, studios, talent agencies, they’re definitely going to hear the difference.
I really like Adobe Audition CS 5.5, 6 is coming out any day now. Pro Tools, Sony Sound Forge, those are all very, very solid recording softwares.
Pamela: And a lot of times these softwares are offering a lot of bells and whistles and you may not use all of them. I think that’s another piece to some of the conversation is having the right tools really allows you to build something out inexpensively, but to create the direction at the beginning, creates less work at the back end. That’s really what we are talking about with the right tools here as well? Set it up right. It doesn’t have to be all the best of the best, but set it up right from the beginning and you will have a much better experience and, hopefully, a better product, right?
Terry: Exactly. When you get a new software, it’s like buying a brand new car. You see all these bells and whistles and it can be very overwhelming, but you are still going to press on the gas pedal to go forward. You’re still going to shift in reverse and go backwards. You’re going to hit the brake pad and slow down. They all pretty much work the same. There is a lot of bells and whistles in production that you’re probably not going to use, because more times than not all we’re doing is laying down the voice and then sending it to somebody else to produce and do all the mixing.
I’m a producer, too, and I do produce commercials with the background music and the sound effects. But the nice thing about voice-overs is more times than not they just want your voice because they already have somebody that’s going to be producing it on their end.
Pamela: Sure. Sure. I think that’s important to understand, but I think the fact that you have that talent also allows you to expand the ability of what kind of work you can bring into your business, right?
Pamela: Yeah, makes you a little more versatile, perhaps. And I think when you are dealing with a business owner directly, my guess is that because you also have the production side, you can offer some more educated guidance. Because sometimes, I’m sure, clients are coming to you, like we mentioned before, they don’t know, maybe, what they want. So the more that you can bring to the table, you actually become a consultant, per se, as well?
Terry: Yeah, no doubt about it. Sometimes even clients need help with copy as well.
Not all voice talents can provide it. I’m not great at it, but I can certainly offer up my advice on what I think sounds good or what I think sounds better in a script. And, as far as the recording, what kind of music would be the appropriate background music for their project. When clients ask me what I think, I’m always honored when they do that because there’s a real trust factor there.
Pamela: Right. Well, that comes from doing hundreds and hundreds of projects and hearing what works and what doesn’t work and putting the right music down, getting a feel for the conversation flow, and all of that, it really is a talent. That’s a big reason why I wanted to make sure we discussed the voice-over piece as content because I just want to make sure that our business owners out there and our marketing professionals are considering, just like you would have a professional writer do certain writing pieces or you would have professional video work done to showcase your product, this is another, I think, often overlooked area in the content marketing space. And to not have a professional, just to cut corners, I think can really hurt your brand and hurt you from putting your best voice forward.
So, Terry, you’ve been playing in this voice-over space for quite some time. You’ve seen some changes happen with the internet, probably, different and new clients over the years in terms of projects. Where do you see the audio side of content marketing going? How does what you do gonna shift and continue to evolve, say, over the next couple of years?
Terry: Well, one category that’s just blowing up right now is the podcasting and the webinars, the tele-seminars. That’s really opened up a field for us as well. I do a lot of intro and outros for podcasts and webinars, which, of course, is another benefit to the client to have a professional come and do those for them. It’s just going to be a far more effective webinar or podcast if they have a professional voice doing those intros and outros.
Pamela: Yes, I agree.
Terry: Yeah, that’s where we’re at as far as content marketing, I mean, there’s Sound Cloud now where a lot of people do audio blogs. When you hear the word “blog,” you think, Word Press or Blogger, you go on and read six or seven paragraphs of somebody’s content or whatever, but now audio blogs are starting to really erupt.
There’s websites like Audioboo and Sound Cloud where people do audio versions of their blogs where they are reading their blogs. All that does is just create more traffic for your website.
Pamela: Right. Well, it’s interesting because from an adult training perspective and just an educational perspective in general, we as human beings sometimes need multiple ways to in-take information to fully internalize it. So, in that particular example, we can, obviously, read the blog, but then the audio piece is put in and then if you are doing it as a video blog, now you’ve got the visual as well. So, it’s just a great way to differently re-look at how to repurpose and reimagine some of the content that you already have.
And you mentioned podcasting, now, I, obviously, this is a podcast, being an old radio girl, I definitely call it a radio show because it makes me feel better. But at the end of the day, it’s a podcast, right? We’re online. It’s internet driven. And this is an area you’re diving into with your voice-over business. Like you said, it’s really starting to explode. I’m extremely passionate about making sure folks understand quality audio is still better than just doing audio. A lot of times we hear of people getting into this that, probably, shouldn’t be doing it, right?
Pamela: I think it’s an important part of the conversation.
So, I want to make sure our audience knows how to connect with you in the multiple ways that you talk about voice-over because you’ve got the voice-over artists and acting piece. You’re also a voice-over coach. Actually, before we dive into how to connect with you, tell us a little bit about the coaching side of your business. How does that work? And if someone out there is interested in participating and getting more information, how do you work with that part of your business?
Terry: My coaching is really like a mentor-ship. It’s not a big giant class where I’m standing in front of 250 people. I’m really working one-on-one with that student to work on their craft. Everything from script delivery, marketing, recording software, to getting their foot in the door to certain talent agencies and production companies. It’s, basically, a series of one-on-one coaching sessions. And a pretty good mixed bag, too. There are a lot of coaches that just deal with reading scripts. And that’s great, because obviously, that’s a really important factor for doing voice-overs, but it’s really just a part of what I do with my students.
I train them to do recording software or how to use recording software like we just talked about. I do marketing sessions where we talk about logos, business cards, Facebook brand pages, what to put in a cover letter when they’re sending a demo CD to a talent agent. We talk about domain names. Anything brand- or marketing-related I cover in the marketing session. My program is a pretty good mixed bag of just, basically, all the steps that I took when I launched my voice-over career.
Pamela: So, this could be, even if you are an agency looking to add this to your arsenal, you could be a great resource in terms of things to consider in how to get a program like this up and running?
It starts with that series of coaching sessions. And then when all the coaching sessions have been completed, then it’s demo time. I usually book the student in a studio in their area that can patch me in to direct the session. Engineer turns around and sends me all the files, and I do all the mixing and mastering from here.
That’s if the students aren’t from the Minneapolis area, obviously. If they are from here, then they just come here. But I work with people not only in this country, but overseas as well.
Pamela: Again, that internet has really allowed . . . you have clients in Europe and all over, right?
Terry: Oh, yeah. The internet, Skype, Skype is just a huge tool with studios, too. So, even if they don’t have Phone Patch, I can usually just call their Skype account and they can patch me in to the student that way.
But, yeah, there are so many different ways to connect with people all over the world. We’ve got great tools, like Skype, PayPal, being able to email an mp3. We’ve got Dropbox, which is a tremendous online sharing tool.
It makes it really realistic now for people to be able to work from home and make a pretty good living at it.
Pamela: Well, as things get flatter and easier to obtain, there’s always that camp in every industry that thinks, well, anybody can do it now, so I don’t need to hire a professional or we can take care of it here. That is a big part of why I thought it was so important to have you participate in our Content Marketing 360 Radio Show because good audio is still good audio. Connecting one-on-one with an audience, really understanding what it’s like to have theater of the mind, per se. And a lot of that is done through folks that have done a lot of work, like you said, theater, voice acting, radio, all of those combinations along with your voice-over business over the past few years gives you just a different perspective than someone just flipping on the mic.
Terry: Yeah, no question about it. No question about it.
Pamela: Well, let’s make sure our audience knows how to connect with you directly, whether there was something in terms of learning more about Terry Daniel and his voice acting piece of the company that he runs, or the coaching side, producing demos. I know you also do speaking. You travel around the country and speak on behalf of the voice-over industry, as well as sharing on best practices. So, let’s make sure we know how to connect with you and make sure our audience knows about a new project that you’ve started recently as well.
Terry: Right. Well, you can go to my website, which is universalvoicetalent.com. You can email me as well at Terry@universalvoicetalent.com.
We recently just raised our old podcast from the dead. A voice talent friend of mine from the New York area, Trish Basanyi, and myself, we did a podcast years ago called “Voice-Overs On Demand.” And it really had a nice following. We did about 20 different episodes. But we’ve just recently, we’ve done a makeover on it and changed the name. We’re back at it. We’re pretty much starting from scratch, but it’s a similar formula. And this new podcast is called “The Voice Over Café.”
Pamela: And how can we connect with that? You just launched this. I know we are recording our time here together in, what is it, almost April, May of 2012 here, but this is a brand new project for you guys, this resurgence of your podcast. I love it when voice-over people do podcasts because, again, good audio is good audio, right?
Terry: No doubt. It’s just a really conversational, we wanted to create a really laid back environment. It’s funny because when you hear the podcast, it sounds like we’re actually at a coffee shop when we’re not. I put a little ambience in the background, coffee shop sound effects, to make it sound like we’re really there. Nice effect because I wanted to really create that really relaxed, laid back, conversational experience and that’s what you get with the Voice Over Café. It’s very educational. We’re going to talk to guests from time to time. We just did our first two. We’re actually doing a taping of our second show later this afternoon.
Pamela: Well, can I connect to this podcast on your website, universalvoicetalent.com or is there any other way that we should be aware of to get connected to Voice Over Café?
Terry: You can actually go to epodcastnetwork.com and just do a search for the Voice Over Café. We don’t actually have a really catchy URL for it yet. I am getting a makeover at my current website and there will be a podcast page on there with all kinds of links. There’s nothing on there yet. I don’t want to update it yet because he’s doing a full makeover of it anyway. So, I don’t want to do any more work then.
Pamela: And of course, you’re out on the social sites and posting when you do a new show, so that’s a great way, I guess, to connect you in general, right?
Terry: Follow me on my brand page on Facebook, too, and that’s Facebook.com/voiceoversbyterrydaniel.
Pamela: There you go. I know you will be posting every time you guys do a new show. You’ll be posting there as well?
Terry: Yeah, no question about it. We will be doing that. It’s gotten some really nice reviews so far. It’s been well-received. We have to build our audience again from scratch, but with all the voice-over groups that are on Facebook and everybody we are connected with on all the social networking sites, it’s already off to a really good start. I’m just looking forward to doing the next one.
Pamela: I think too, whether you are in voice-over currently, whether you are looking to get into voice-over, or if you are a marketing agency thinking, “How can we add this piece to our product mix?” the Voice Over Café is great because you are going to be highlighting specific folks. There’s a legal section. It’s really got a nice mix. So, we definitely encourage folks to check out Voice Over Café and, of course, Terry Daniel.
So, Terry, any last words of wisdom before we wrap up our time together today?
Terry: Man, that’s a tough question on a Friday morning. I’ve been reading all kinds of different scripts all week long and you would think that I would have something witty to say at this point, but, really, I’m dumbfounded.
Pamela: You’re dumbfounded, but you’re still talking and that’s an important part of being a voice-over artist.
Terry: My words of wisdom would be if you’re looking to either get into voice-overs or you’re looking to have one done, if your product or your project, if you are passionate about that product or project, please hire a professional voice-over talent to help get you to the next level. Using someone professional, it’s absolutely crucial.
Pamela: Yeah, I think that’s a great way to end our time together and a very solid tip and piece of advice, great audio is still great audio. And I thank you, Terry Daniel, Voice-Overs By Terry Daniel, and make sure you check out his website, universalvoicetalent.com. Thanks again for being a part of our show today.
Terry: My pleasure, Pam. Thanks for having me on.
Pamela: Excellent. You’re listening to Content Marketing 360 Radio Show. I’m your host, Pamela Muldoon.