When I put up my e-shingle years ago I didn’t know a hosting service from a c-panel from an SSL certificate, but I did know I wanted to transfer the stellar brand I’d built with my voice over business onto the web. Fast-forward through a learning curve and a couple of mishaps, which happily have since been sorted out and yes, I know what superior hosting services can do for me and they are a critical part of my continued success in the voice over industry. In fact, quick, reliable, secure hosting can boost your bottom line. A specific segment of the entertainment industry, voiceover is different from the average small business and requires special needs from a hosting service.
How are Hosting Services Different for Voice Over Artists?
Most voiceover enterprises are solopreneurs or microbusinesses. Chiefly, needs in common with other small businesses are reliability, security, speed and responsiveness. But a couple other factors make a huge difference in this field. The single most important piece of marketing material a voiceover artist has is a demo of how they sound or a reel of work they’ve done. For buyers of voiceover services, words and images don’t mean very much. But a sample of what the voiceover artist actually sounds like, how they deliver a turn of phrase and what their vocal or acting range might be, is key. These samples need to be available and preferably, downloadable. So, a voice over artist website has more media files on it than the average business site. There will be multiple, and by multiple we’re talking hundreds, of mp3 files on a voice over artist site along with large format pictures, all which take up a lot of room. Some hosting services may have a problem with that. There have been cases where a voiceover industry professional has been forced to move everything and fast, because their hosting service didn’t like all their mp3s. Making sure your webops service can handle rich media files is a top priority.
Hosting Services for Voiceover at the Speed of Sound
Because of the multitude of mp3s and other files that populate a voiceover business website, we have a need for speed. Slow load times don’t cut it on any business site, but especially in the entertainment industry. People click away from sites that don’t load quickly. A page that doesn’t immediately load or a demo that doesn’t automatically play also transmits the image that you or your business aren’t up to current technical standards. You risk being seen as unprofessional. My hosting service uses multiple technologies and best practices stay at the forefront of the race.
Reliability Hosting Services Criteria for Voiceover Businesses
Just as important as load-time speed is your hosting service’s uptime. This equals reliability. The site needs to be up and working 24/7/365. My time is valuable and my client’s time is just as valuable. We can all make more money, but we can’t make more time, so respecting time is part of my value proposition. That means when a customer clicks on my link, I want to make sure my website is there. My server needs to be dependable. A server is made up of many moving parts. The server itself could stop running, emitting 500 error codes. The mail server could stop running. The MySQL or the database engine could stop or there could be hardware failures. Companies which offer hosting services take one of two approaches to server maintenance. They either wait for an unhappy customer to call, then run to put out the “fire” or they manage the environment proactively. Effective hosting service companies make sure that everything is up to date, that the server is looked after and various tools are run to ensure system health. This kind of proactive management leads to a more stable platform and an overall better experience for me. Ask your host whether they do daily backups and if they provide an audit of security risks on the site.
Hosting Services Security for Voiceover Businesses
While my business is not (yet) an online store (the capability is there, just not the demand currently), an increasing number of clients want to pay for my services directly on my website. And the majority of people who seek me out for coaching and classes pay for lessons and consults through pay-now buttons. Security for all my data is essential to my peace of mind and to free me up to focus on what I create.
Bespoke Hosting for a Custom Entertainment Business Like Voiceover
Secure, fast, reliable hosting services are all crucial for my voiceover business, and so is stellar customer service. To me this means more than being available for any issues that arise, but working with a company that understand my industry and my needs. This relationship is invaluable. Whether I have a question concerning my main site or any of my subsidiary sites, my hosting service provider understands and stays on top of my different needs. My hosting service keeps my website interactive, leverages the latest technology, makes it easy for me to manages and allows me to focus on the bottom line.
Female voice over artist, Kim Handysides is a coach, speaker and voiceover industry thought leader. Her work has been heard in games and corporations, in the White House and universities, in iMax, on Netflix, and all major networks.