You’ve had it. Everybody is disrespecting you or your opinion and you’ve had enough. Is it time for you to lash out on Facebook or Twitter? After all, you have a right to express yourself and your opinion. But is social media the platform for your personal views? Will you change society by sounding off? Posts can have repercussions, so you may want to give care in social media expressions.
In this politically charged time in America (again), headlines and opinions are being shared everywhere. From billboards to talk shows, everybody has an opinion…and wants to be heard. I’m sure you have seen a running stream of comments on many sites with all manner of retorts. You may be wondering if you need to let others know your thoughts via social media.
Guard Your Business Soapbox
Throughout the 20th century and long before the Internet, men and women would seek to reach the masses by speaking on street corners atop soapboxes. Answers.com says, “In order to be seen and heard, the speaker would carry with him (or her) a light wooden box, called a soapbox from its previous purpose, to stand on.” These little boxes allowed folks to stand above crowds and spout causes, thoughts, and sermons.
We all have feelings. As a voiceover talent, you are probably a passionate and insightful actor. Moreover, you most likely use social media as an intricate part of your voiceover business as with other companies. However, unless your business is directly related to sharing your opinions, consider the consequences of posting your personal beliefs via social media (your soapbox). Only post items related to controversial topics when you believe your opinions will be viewed as positive influences for online conversations and causes. If not, consider the long-term effects of your actions.
This advice may save your business and career. I have heard of people losing out on jobs and even relationships because of online postings. If you recall an event some years ago, a voiceover talent lost a major character voice contract because he posted a personal opinion on Twitter. The list goes on.
You would think that personal opinions posted online would not affect a person’s business. Hey, welcome to the digital age. Our society is more connected via the Web than through personal relationships. Often, hiring decisions start with online searches. Some even do extensive checks into posting histories to decide upon new clients and even marriage partners. What you say online does matter.
Maintain A Positive Online Presence
In business, most prefer and choose to do business with people they like and with whom it is easy to work. Any negative or adverse comments posted by you may be seen as controversial or a sign of trouble. You don’t want to give potential clients the wrong impression of your business because of your online postings. As a voice talent, you may be expected to demonstrate warm emotion through voice acting. If you are perceived as divisive or contentious, you may not be considered for certain jobs in specific categories or with some organizations. That big long-term voice gig client may keep searching for talent after reading your postings.
Be Business Smart
Valuing others is what makes us human. If your values appear to be strong in one direction or another, you may lose potential voiceover clients with debatable postings. It’s best not to reveal your positions on some subjects. This is not being phony or fake, it’s being business smart. You are not required to reveal your deepest views and personal affiliations via the Internet. If warranted, let potential clients address you directly and not use your social media profiles to gain insight into your personal preferences.
Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” Lyndon B. Johnson
Keep it Light; Keep Getting Paid
You want to continue in business and keep your friends regardless of the times. So, make a mental note to hold back on posting your personal politics online. With that said, if you are a political figure, strategist, religious leader, commentator, or the like, your personal views should be shared. But as a voiceover talent, keep the politics light and keep getting paid.
It says in Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act 1, Scene 3, “This above all to thine own self be true… .” Great advice, but not the best for social media platforms.
Be you, be smart, and stay wise. What’s that thing you do, break a lip.