If you are a Voice Over Artist and you take your professional career very seriously, you may know that in the globalized world in which we live your brand is everything. Today, your success is not measured by the fact that you have a website and a colorful palette of demos that showcase your talent in front of a microphone. Branding promotes a sense of oneness by combining your personality, your product and your service, thereby assigning a body of attributes and values that will be identified by your desired target.
Who can question the power of social media? While I admit it can be addictive, you can use it to your advantage as an instrument for building your brand and your professional identity, both of which are indispensable. I need to confess this: if it wasn’t for my Branding, today I’d be in the shadows.
Branding changed my life. By October 2014 I was determined to give a 180º spin to my profession by hiring Iael Brener, a young pioneer, who is the founder and Director of Suiza de América –a Uruguayan company specialized in Branding for the English/Spanish speaking markets. The architectural process of my brand was quite similar to psychotherapy: I had to respond to a long questionnaire that included introspective, moving questions. Also, I had to leave behind the easy reasoning and immerse myself into a very demanding creative plane. Not only that, but I also had to investigate what my competition was doing. While discovering my strengths and admitting my weaknesses, I discovered what I had to polish, what to leave behind, and what needed to be strengthened and re conceived. The result of this analysis yielded impressive results, and based on this information Iael and I focused on achieving a stronger product that, over the past year and a half, has consolidated my career and taken it to previously unthinkable places.
This process is why I became a big fan of Branding. I discovered firsthand that it is one of the most powerful resources available in marketing to re-catapult your career.
Simply put, brands that are strong are unbeatable. Working daily with my Branding helped me feel like the real captain of my ship. I am in control of my product and of my image. It reinforced my professional self-esteem, amplified my horizons and opened new doors to unbelievable projects! In other words, hiring a Branding Specialist and purchasing online tools that reinforced my brand such as Canva, LinkedIn Premium, Hootsuite and SocialHoomph, just to name a few, have been some of my best investments. Today, I am not just a Spanish Voice Over Talent in the global media. I am, more than ever, Simone Fojgiel: Voice Over Artist, Entrepeneur, Voice Over Coach, Director at E-Spano, Director at DemonDemos, and Spanish Program Director at VOAtlanta. I am all these roles synthesized within my logo, in my slogan, in my chromatic palette, in my flyers, quotes, demos, posts, tweets, blog, etc.
If you are ready to dive into Branding, then let me introduce you to 7 effective ways to increase your brand recognition, all of which helped me consistently:
1. Hire a Branding Specialist
First thing’s first: hire an experienced Branding Specialist who has a website where all his/her work is showcased. Take a look at his/her client roster, creative style, bio, resumé, studies, etc. Keep in mind that a Branding Specialist is NOT merely a Graphic Designer. Branding goes beyond graphic communication. It includes all components of a company and all the actions this company develops. It is, in particular, everything intangible that is given by a brand, which makes us loyal consumers to buying its products. Branding (also known as Corporate Identity) is the image the public has of a brand and what the brand image makes customers feel about themselves when they relate to it. Graphic design is just one aspect of Branding. It is not, however, the equivalent.
2. Think about your brand as if it were a person
Each of us is an individual whose character is composed by beliefs, values and purposes that, all together, define how and with whom we will connect. Our personality determines how we behave and how we react in different scenarios. This is why you will need to assign a human touch to your brand. Today, unlike ever before, it is imperative to be genuine. Your brand will get more interaction when it reflects a true personality and humanity throughout its brand and message.
3. Position yourself differently from your competition!
Why would you communicate the same exact service with the same saturated claims like the rest? Why would you include a mic or headphones in your logo, when you know perfectly well that these are the most obvious “creative” resources? Why would you use a naïve slogan in such a tough market? Analyze your public (your potential agents, companies you wish to be noticed by, the brands you dream about voicing), and don’t take them as fools. Avoid being predictable or pleasing. Break the rules! Be bold, daring and edgy. Predictable brands are extremely boring. Your only contribution will be to be perceived as one more of the pack. Don’t be afraid to shine. Not doing so is sinful.
4. Create an Identity that is easy to understand
The identity of a brand is more powerful when it evolves, and its value is strengthened when it is in line with what your audience wants. Make your communication express a lot in the simplest format. People today do not have time to analyze what your brand is trying to convey. Consumers want brands that are deliberate with their identity, that go straight to the point, and are "enlightened".
5. Be consistent with the Voice of your Product
Paradoxically, your voice is your product. Therefore, your Branding should represent that voice effectively, forcefully, and exquisitely. How do I get there? For example, focus on your strengths as a Voice Over Actor. In what kind of projects are you more engaged? What makes you special? How do your clients perceive you? How do you want to sell your prospects and position yourself with your differentials? To achieve success in these areas, you should hire a good Creative Copywriter to express these answers in words. It is a priority to work with a Designer who artistically reflects all the generated concepts derived from the questionnaire you did with your Branding Specialist. It is mandatory to develop a site that reaches a great Google positioning by reaching the desired audience, and work together with an expert in SEO Marketing.
6. Use content that is visual to reinforce your brand.
The visual content is one of the most important factors in digital interaction.
How do you take advantage of your visual content? Here are some tips:
- Brand presence in visual platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.
- Use as many images as you can in your social networks and your content. Those that include images are viewed 94% more. This means that they are seen twice more than those that do not include images.
- Be consistent with your visual content. Keep that consistency in your color palette, images and styles; create instant recognition and recall associated with your brand.
7. Inspire with emotion
Branding goes beyond leaving a visual mark. Brands also contain emotion. Never forget that memory and decision-making are governed by emotions. They are precisely what motivate us to buy, to take action, to generate loyalty to a product. Believe me, Emotional Branding works. That is why marketers never take it for granted. It is, therefore, desirable to transmit a sense of belonging, competition and, despite the redundancy, emotion in your brand.
Remember, Branding is not just a slogan or a logo, but the sum of several elements that, by the artistic and rational interaction with each other, generate emotions, concepts, loyalty, and identification. Its survival and success depends on you. Additionally, keep in mind that if Apple, Coca-Cola, Bayer, Bic, Chanel, and Mercedes-Benz are recognized in the entire world today, it is not by chance. There was a lot of dedication and hard work devoted to achieving their visual power. Along with these efforts came a high level of attention, a consistent voice, a human hand, and an emotion that incites a desire to show them, eat them, buy them, and generally make them part of our lives.