I was initially very reluctant to join social media, it took me years to even open a Facebook account. As I grew more familiar with it, I realised my business could really benefit from social media if I understood it, but at the time it felt so unlikely I would ever get my head around the ins and outs of each of the different platforms, so why bother trying?
Taking myself seriously as a business
In the last 6 months I’ve started to take myself a lot more seriously as a business, and along with that came the realisation that social media was free marketing and I would be a fool to pass up the opportunity of getting my name out to a larger number of people who could potentially throw some work my way. If I wanted to be taken seriously I had to embrace social media and stop hoping that it was going to go away.
Twitter felt like a minefield
Initially I thought it was enough to just open a few accounts. I didn’t really think I’d need to be particularly active on them. Twitter felt like a minefield… as did LinkedIn… and Instagram!? I knew Facebook but only for posting photos of my kids, I never really used it professionally.
It all felt a bit overwhelming before the course, but having Rachael and Lotte explain it in The VoiceOver Networks 6 week online 'Social Media' workshop in manageable chunks gave me the confidence to play around with it. It has allowed me to develop my online presence in a way that I feel confident about. Having the contact with the other participants in the course was also really useful, everyone had varying degrees of experience with social media and we all helped each other.
Getting jobs through social media
In the 4 months since doing the course I have gained over 100 followers on Twitter. I know it’s not all about how many followers you have but considering I was so confused by everything surrounding Twitter, I’m really proud of myself. I have grown my following organically and steadily. Although I had a LinkedIn account I had no idea how to use it. I now actively use it and have had people asking me to quote for jobs through it. These people who would never have known about me are now on my contact list.
An ever changing industry
I am looking for a voiceover agent at the moment and a deciding factor for me now as to whether I approach a particular agency or not is whether they have an active online presence. I now don’t believe that someone can represent me who doesn’t. I think it looks unprofessional and out of touch within an ever changing industry (I never thought I would ever say that!).
Being more active on social media makes me feel more connected to the industry when I’m not close by geographically or when work is slow to come in. I have a long way to go until I feel that I’ve mastered even one of the platforms but as I often hear in this industry, ‘It’s a marathon not a sprint’.
Guest Blog written By Toni Fruitin
Toni trained as an actress and now specialises in voiceover. She has been a continuity announcer at STV (Scottish Television) for the last eight years, alongside that she records mainly corporate and commercial voiceovers from her home studio in Glasgow.