Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Voicey Awards

The 2008 Voicey Awards finalists have been revealed, and this year, Voices.com is making it even more exciting with the addition of some cool new categories. I was very honored in 2007 to be named a Voicey Award winner for "Best New Voice", and was blown away when listening to this year's contenders. Voices.com does an incredible job promoting voice actors and the industry as a whole. I am thrilled to be nominated in two categories for the 2008 awards and want to thank everyone who voted for me!

The first category is "Best Voice Team" and I am proud to be nominated along with my friend and colleague, Adam Fox. Adam and I first met online early in 2007 through Voices.com, but became fast friends after we were hired to voice an engaged couple for Dunkins Diamonds last summer. We realized we liked working together, and clients seemed to naturally pair us together- so we made it official with a 'duo demo'. Adam has not only been a great go-to voice for my clients, but he has been a huge help to me in the production arena. When a recent client needed production elements I didn't have at the time (but do now!), Adam was all too happy to step up to the plate. If you haven't had a chance to hear Adam's demos- be sure to check out his website. You can also hear our voices together on my Voices.com site.

The second category I received a nod in is "Best Personal Branding". This is a nomination I am especially proud of because it was a long, long road to get where I am now with my branding! I could go through the lengthy details, but think it might be more helpful to share something I recently wrote to my voice coach and branding guru, Nancy Wolfson. Nancy sent me an e-mail asking what my thoughts were concerning my own branding...this is what I told her:

Branding is about the feeling you give your clients. It is all-inclusive between the way you work, the thoughts you inspire...and is backed up by colors and images that tie it together. Looking at some of the testimonials from my clients [sic: in response to my new 2008 artwork/branding] I found these key phrases:

"Not only did I get a timely professional result that was right on target but I met an amazing woman with many talents. The richest being her ability to handle her many gifts in a way that genuinely brightens your day, and makes you feel special."

"In addition, your genuinely charming personality and approachable demeanor had a noticeably calming effect on the Bobcats personalities appearing in the spot."

"Experienced, easy to work with, great sense of timing - and humor."

"Always professional, forever creative, and shockingly charming"

"she has been consistent, reliable, and an absolute joy to work with"

"She's a real pro who brings her energy and
unique character voices to every session"

"Plus...her easy going nature makes any type of project more relaxed and enjoyable"

"Listening to at least 25 professional female voices, I decided on a young lady by the name of Kara Edwards."

The words that pop out to me are...creative, bright, young, joy, charming, approachable, humor, energy, etc.

There are 3 words I put at the top of every audition proposal:
Fresh, Young, Vibrant.
A fellow VO, Peter O'Connell once used them to describe me, and they stuck in my head.

These are the things I try to keep in mind when marketing. It all came together the day you (Nancy) found the beautiful yellow background for my website. It encompasses all the things I believe I offer my clients. I offer them a bright, fresh voice (yellow) in an easy-going, stress-free manner (flowers) and on time (like a busy bee). My website is my brand. You know from one look that I will most likely be young, fun, and sound very real. Plus, since most folks know me as a character VO- the cartoon bee is perfect!

My holiday thank you gift to my regular clients and agents this year was a Hyacinth bulb in a small yellow vase. A few mentioned it was very 'me' and that they loved it. It reminded me that my clients don't use me because of my cool website, or a gift- it's because they feel they know me...and they trust my brand.

Branding is a broad term, but I feel I really have begun to understand what it means.

It is likely to take me many more years to fully grasp what branding is and can be...but I hope by sharing the above e-mail it will inspire you to look more closely at the message you are sending out to your clients. As of right now, my business cards, logo, writing pens, marketing materials, etc all match my website in color and concept. However, what really matters is that my voice work and overall client experience live up to the image.

Looking over the other nominees for Best Personal Branding, I am truly humbled to be among them. If you are looking for inspiration in your own branding, I highly recommend you check out the four other names in the finals!

The Voicey Awards will take place on February 21st. I want to thank Voices.com for all of their hard work and endless positive energy!

As a side note, if you are new to my blog and are wondering why I have a bee on my website, here is the story :)

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