Call me old school, but I like Facebook. While I’m active on many social media platforms, for me, Facebook is where I find a thriving community of colleagues and friends in voice over. And with the advent of Facebook groups, it’s never been easier to find your tribe.
But like with a lot of things in life, you gotta take the good with the bad and Facebook groups are both, with some ugly sprinkled on top.
Let’s start with the good stuff. There are many Facebook groups dedicated to voice over – from the performance of it to the marketing of it and for just about every genre, geography or gear associated with it. There is an incredible amount of opportunity to interact with your colleagues in this industry to get advice, commiserate, celebrate and just have some fun with like minded people. And as we all still navigate a global pandemic, this has proved invaluable as isolation looms large, and in-person interactions with humans outside our immediate bubble are still extremely limited.
A lot of these groups are curated by professionals with track records of success. Newer voice actors have been able to navigate their burgeoning entrepreneurial adventures because of the generosity of people they’ve only ever “met” on Facebook, and that is truly incredible. If you’re looking for a group of people to help or cheer you on – you’d be hard pressed to find this amount of genuinely caring colleagues elsewhere.
The “bad” of Facebook groups is really more of a caution that while these forums for community can be wonderful, they can also become somewhat of an echo chamber and time suck. Pay attention to how much time you spend interacting with other voice actors in comparison to how much time you spend interacting with potential buyers. Having a place to hang out online is great, but unless your peers are also casting, it’s not going to lead to as much work as marketing your business will.
What about the “ugly?” Perhaps it’s the level of remove that is native to virtual exchanges that leads some down this path, but there is absolutely ZERO upside to participating in the snark, backbiting and character assassination that frequently appears in posts and comments in voice over Facebook groups. Frankly, engaging in any dialogue that is particularly acrimonious in these public forums will have a longer life than you may intend. Let me say it again. There. Is. No. Upside. To. You.
I respect that people have strongly held opinions or feel passionately about various subjects. But be careful when sharing them in public places, and pay special attention to remaining respectful in your interactions. If you don’t, you may ultimately lose work because of it. People will form an impression of you based on your online persona that may not be who you think you are in real life. Even if you’re right in your argument, if you come across as a contentious ass looking for any reason to start a fight, or project constant negativity, no one will want to deal with you. Cynicism has its uses, but it’s not a very attractive personality trait.
The internet has a very long memory and impressions matter. Is your online persona reflective of how you want to be viewed by colleagues and potential clients?