What does it take to be a Voice Artist? Is that like a hand model?

Becoming a professional voice-over artist is no picnic in the park. Some of us remember the Seinfeld episode where George is a hand model. Let’s just be clear that being a voice artist is both a gift – like George’s hands – and a cultivated skill. Plenty of people sound great, but there are many steps one has to take to sound sufficiently sharp.

On this week’s Kimberly’s Corner, voice-over extraordinaire Donna offers tips on how you can sound like a professional voice-over artist. It involves reading well, placing emphasis on the right spot and practicing.

When it comes to voice-overs, the popular phrase “practice makes perfect” definitely comes into effect.

To help take your voice to the next level, check out Donna’s helpful tips.

Upcoming Fall Seminars at Blueforest Studios

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Nonprofit Storytelling Seminar October 18, 2016

Do you know what it takes to tell a marvelous, memorable story?

Learn the steps to becoming a master storyteller at our Storytelling Seminar, back by popular demand.

As a marketer, you understand the importance of storytelling, as well as the difficulties in crafting your message. Grabbing the attention of a busy and distracted audience to help support your cause can be tough. If you feel your organization’s purpose is getting lost in the clouds, there is a simple tool at your disposal!

A great story will forge a deeper understanding of your organization’s mission. We can help you unearth and develop that message.

Discover how to convey your message in a way that inspires and engages, at our Storytelling Seminar in October.

This seminar is free to nonprofits and only a small fee for others.

Light breakfast including fruit and snacks plus coffee will be provided.

Nonprofit Seminar: Leveraging Your Video Online November 2, 2016

We work with many clients who have videos that are only applicable to a small target audience. We want to make sure that those targeted audiences find those videos–and learn about their clients and their services. Don’t you want to learn how to reach your target audiences with video?

Here’s a sample from Homes By Dickerson, a custom home builder in Raleigh. There are only a few thousand people in Raleigh that are looking to build a custom home each year, but Homes By Dickerson would like to be on top of their list. They worked with our team to create this amazing video and we followed up with optimization.

For our clients that select it, we include BlueBoost – a service by which we optimize and promote the video on YouTube as well as provide recommendations to get the most out of the video asset. YouTube is the number 2 search engine – right behind Google, so it makes sense to take advantage of both platforms in getting our message, and our client’s message, out.

During our upcoming nonprofit seminar, we will provide an overview of the top 7 steps to properly optimize your YouTube video, as well as how and when to place video on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. We will also talk about when videos can be used in email marketing – for instance, is it acceptable to send an old video to new subscribers?  We encourage participants to submit their questions in advance and we’ll be ready with an answer.

Registration is free for our nonprofit friends and just a small fee for others.

Sign-up for Learn To Leverage Your Video Content Online today!  Want to learn a little more about the class?  Check out this video.

Kathy Hughes Langfield and Kimberly Corrigan will be sharing their expertise during this 90-minute interactive seminar.  We will also provide light snacks, coffee, and soft drinks to get your morning started right!

The Voice of the Expert Presented in a Creative Way: Keen Strategy

by Ammon Ehrisman

With any creative project, you are going to have lots of possible decisions and you have to be very selective about what you choose.  It was no different when we started working on the Keen Strategy branding video.  

As I met with Greg and John I realized that their software was a bit technical and took a while to explain.  But their passion for what their software could do to help marketing managers was palpable.

After doing all of the normal creative discovery, we knew the three biggest things we would like the video to do.  First, we needed to describe what Keen’s software did so anyone could understand it.  Second, we wanted to demonstrate that John and Greg were really passionate about what they were doing. Third, we wanted to show that Keen’s MIDA software was different from anything else out there.

Great. Sounds like a plan, right? Well, since we only had 2 minutes to work with, we knew we would have to pick one or maybe two of these things to really focus on in the video or we were going to start losing people.

We ended up coming up with 3 ideas to address these issues.  Some were funny.  Some were told through the eyes of a marketing manager.  Others were more symbolic, but the one that John and Greg liked the most was also the most offbeat idea.  

The concept was to interview them about the software and their passion for helping marketing managers.  As we watched their interviews, they would magically transform into animated versions of themselves. This would hopefully grab the attention of the audience and give us the opportunity to demonstrate the high-level features of the software in a visually captivating way all while making a real connection between our audience and the founders of Keen.

The result is the Keen video: Greg and John.  Watch it and tell us what you think.

 

 

 

Why invest in team building?

There are still a few companies out there that don’t realize that a little R&R together can result in a closer team.  Fortunately, our leader believes that we need to spend time together and have some fun.  We even have a Fun & _____ Committee. I’m still waiting on my creatives to name it properly but they think that’s pretty funny.

Teams that get together out of the “everyday office environment” can learn to relate to each other in a deeper way that’s more productive.  At Blueforest we volunteer together, eat potlucks together, bowl together and even fish together!  I’m pretty sure that when you get up at 4am to land a big Mahi or Tuna with your team you have new appreciation for what your co-worker is able to do.

Check out our latest adventure “Blueforest Goes Fishing” and some of our other videos that feature some of our team building activities.  We have learned that building the team results in a happier and more productive team.

Share your team building tips with us as we’re always looking for ways to continue to improve our culture!

Say Hello To Kendra

Kendra Jones is one of our latest Marketing interns. She arrived at our studio in March and we are excited to have her. Find out more about her below:

Kendra Jones is a native of Jamaica, Queens, NY and has been living in NC for a couple of years. When she was a young teen, she became interested in becoming a part of the mass communications scene, specifically the broadcast side. She began studying just that at Barton College where she received her bachelor’s degree.

Kendra has worked as an Associate Producer at a news station for a short time and is currently working towards her goal of becoming a Communications Specialist/Spokesperson. She aspires to become the voice of a company, whether it is through written, vocal or visual means. Her passion includes telling stories in a creative manner and bringing ideas to life.

During her spare time, Kendra enjoys writing, shooting and editing videos, shopping, playing with her nephew and nieces, going to see bands play and thinking about cute little bunnies.

Blueforest Gives Back Applicant Spotlight: Families Together

by Kendra Jones & Kathy Langfield

One of the things we liked most about Families Together is their very strong home page.

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This is by far the best Call-To-Action that we’ve seen in a long time.  The image and text does not leave any doubt as to what the problem is and there’s a direct statement about how we can help and a prominent “Donate Now” button.  Once we saw this we had to learn more about the organization.

Families Together

There are thousands of children experiencing homelessness in Wake County. Families Together works toward its mission to help those Wake County children and their families move from homelessness to stable homes through mentoring, housing support and connections to community resources. Their vision is to end homelessness for Wake County families.

Families Together has been providing families a way out of crisis for over 35 years, helping them move into permanent homes as quickly as possible. The program is designed to shorten the time a family is homeless and address the trauma of children and parents, all while supporting each family as they find permanent housing.

Children and their families are kept together during the entire process while they connect with personal mentors, community services, and skill building. The Families Together staff serves each individual family for up to a year.

What we love about Families Together is that they focus on changing the lives of children and families experiencing homelessness while giving them the ability to move forward. A home is an incredibly essential need for a family to sustain itself. The Families Together mission shows their compassion for strengthening families.

Check them out and learn more about their mission at http://plmft.org/

 

 

#NonprofitSTRONG – YNPN Conference

We are so excited to be able to support young men and women in the nonprofit sector as a sponsor of the #NonprofitSTRONG conference.  We can’t wait to learn more about their unique challenges and to share some knowledge on how video content can help nonprofit organizations.  Check out this version of Kimberly’s Corner to learn more about the upcoming event.  Registration ends very soon so signup today if you’re interested.

CASA Raises 280% More Funds….

Last summer we worked with CASA on an integrated video campaign.  We created an amazing animated video that tackled a difficult subject.  Who can talk about homelessness with a smile?  Well, it turns out since CASA is actually solving homelessness in the Triangle for hundreds of individuals and families – they can certainly smile about the solution they are providing!  Their “Housing First” model has worked so well over the decades that they have seen remarkable growth in funding.  We were thrilled to be part of the process.  Learn a little about their experience in this behind the scenes video.  (Full disclosure, they were our Blueforest Gives Back winner so the $10,000 was free to them.)

We worked with Missy Hatley, Director of Development at CASA to create an entire integrated campaign that ensured the video reached their target audience.  This, of course, is the crucial part – we can make an amazing video, but without a plan to get it to the right audience it’s not going to get the desired results. Blueforest helped with the YouTube optimization and CASA did the rest.

At the end of summer 2015, Ms. Hatley reported they had raised 280% more than the previous summer.  We were thrilled with that result!!! Check out their video here.  Want to learn more? Drop us a line.

Meet us at High Five!

We are looking forward to all the great speakers and workshops at High Five this year. We also want to meet new people and if you would like to talk about Video Marketing please sign-up for a 15-30 minute appointment slot. For those on Google check out the calendar below!  Others feel free to reach out on Twitter, LinkedIn or Email. We are planning on hanging out in the lobby/bar area of the Sheraton so hope to see you there. If you’d like to meet somewhere else just reach out!

Look for Kimberly or Russ.
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Email Kimberly At BlueforestStudios.com if you can’t select a time slot or prefer a different time.

Custom Music Helps Take Home the Addy

When Blueforest Studios was selected by Triangle AdFed to produce a video to launch the new ADDY award and program we were ready to take up the challenge. We knew that we’d have to go above and beyond to inspire our local advertising and marketing colleagues. We collaborated with Bill Harper of Wonder Web and also the ADDY Co-Chair, who brainstormed the idea of smashing the old crystal trophy and metaphorically bringing the new one out of the ashes. Our team worked on getting just the right shot. We used our new set of Kino Lights plus natural sunshine and shading provided by numerous staff members holding the tent in place.

So once you have the shot, what’s next? Editing, editing, editing and a really cool voiceover. And with all the hard work that was put into this we couldn’t just put any random stock music into the video. So we turned to 1 of our 3 composers, Dustin Painter! You can hear that all he learned at the University of Southern California for his degree in Scoring For Motion Pictures and Television. We think the music is just about the best part of this award-winning video. We knew that based on his past work he was the man for this particular job. Check out the Silver ADDY winning video to see what you think!

Coincidentally, another of our composers, Donald Best, won for his custom music for a local Fortune 500 company.

We believe that a signature sound for corporate videos is an important part of the brand experience. Due to budget constraints we once used a very nice stock track on a video for a national brand. By the time the video was released, that piece of music was everywhere. We counsel our customers to consider custom music. It adds to the overall price of the project yet can really pay off in the long run when the audience associates the quality of the visuals with what they are hearing.