The Art of the Humble Brag – How to Celebrate Business Wins Without Being Obnoxious
We’ve all seen and read and perhaps even posted about wins for our voice over businesses on Facebook and other social media. And regularly the community responds with celebratory comments and support because this industry is chock-full of colleagues who truly cheer each other on and are happy when they see others doing well. It’s a big part of the unique charm of our industry.
There is nothing particularly wrong with this practice of announcing voice over successes – it is common for brands to celebrate wins in press releases, product launches, town halls, etc. One could argue that even commercials let the world know about how well a business is doing. In an industry where the only product to sell is something as intangible and subjective as an actor’s performance, letting people know that you’re hired regularly and by well-known brands isn’t a bad bit of marketing.
I would suggest, however, that there is an art to this “humble bragging” and that there’s a line where being a little self-congratulatory becomes obnoxious. You should know the difference.
First and foremost, as with anything you’re going to put out there online, consider the WHY first. Are you excited about a cool new job and want to share in the celebration with your friends and colleagues in voice over? Not a problem! Many voice over groups offer opportunities for members to do that, in specific “Let’s all celebrate ourselves and each other” threads where “look at this awesome thing I did” is expected, not shunned.
But if you’re attempting to attract new business and post as a part of your voice over social media marketing, keep in mind that your friends and colleagues are not your main audience. Sure, referrals happen from other actors, but that is based less on how often you post about your triumphs and more on who you are as a human being. The much larger intended audience is the advertising executive, video producer, elearning creator, gaming company, audiobook publisher, etc. who is looking at your social profiles to assess whether or not you’d be a good partner for their project. And if you’re offering coaching services, your potential new students may be trying to get a sense of who you are before handing over their hard-earned money to work with you.
Make no mistake, the casting world is changing and companies are starting to go directly to websites and social media profiles to find talent. We’ve all seen auditions where social media following is a question, but I would suggest that how you comment about projects on social media is as important as how many people see it. First and foremost, are you posting about projects covered by NDAs before you have permission to do so? Even vague-booking about a “project that is so cool, but I can’t tell you anything about it”, right after finishing said project, may make the creatives you just finished working with very nervous that you will violate their NDA. Anxiety is never the feeling you want them to walk away with.
When you post, is it more about YOU, or more about the brand you’re voicing for? Pay attention to how many times you use the words “I”, “me” or “my” in your posts. Try to keep your posts focused on the client. Celebrate them in addition to yourself. Yes, you’re marketing your business and letting buyers know that you work with other top brands, on large e-learning, gaming or animation projects, etc. But if you barely mention the client and spend a great deal of time talking about how happy they were to work with you or what compliments they may have given you, you’re letting them (and future brands) know that in your mind, YOU are the key element, instead of their product, service, educational offering or entertainment project.
Additionally, if you’re hanging out a shingle to coach others in this industry, try to read your posts with your new students in mind. Sure, you want them to know that you have the credentials and the experience to help them in their pursuits, but posts that focus solely on how great you are can also signal to new students that any session will clearly be more about you and proving your greatness, rather than improving their talents or business skills.
Look, celebrating your accomplishments is a good thing. Being proud of the work you do and the clients you get to do it for is a big reason why most of us are here. Everything on social media leaves an impression. So find ways to post your wins that will make your current and future clients excited to work with you on their next project.