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Even Better QR Code Usage

Hey, there!

A previous issue of the newsletter dealt with the use of QR codes in your offline VO marketing materials. But if you’re serious about using them, you might want to consider tracking how QR Codes are used.

This is a bit geeky, but worth it.

To review, QR codes (or Quick Response codes) are those square graphics with random dots that lead people to your website, if they use a QR code reader on their smartphones. They are great for giving people a way to engage online from offline (printed) materials. They’re free to generate (here’s the site I like to use to generate mine: http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/) Here’s a typical QR code:

vo2gogo-via-sovo-daily-2011-11-23

It’s a QR code that leads to my VO2GoGo site. But it takes advantage of something called redirection.

Instead of that QR code simply leading to http://vo2gogo.com, it leads to a tracking link, which only then takes the user to the main page.

Why?

Because I want to see how many times people actually use the QR codes I create. (There are lots of people who will ask you to pay them to tell you that QR codes are stupid, no one uses them and they don’t work. I beg to differ.)

I can even track individual versions of the code, that all lead eventually to the same place, my website.

So here’s where it gets really geeky, but if you follow me it will be worth it.

When someone snaps this QR code, the URL is actually http://vo2gogo.com/via-sovo-daily-2011-11-23, a URL that isn’t actually a page, but a descriptive redirection link via a plug-in for WordPress called, appropriately, Redirection. If the user scans that QR code, they will go to that link only briefly, and then be sent instantly to the main VO2GoGo.com page – but by checking my logs, I now know that a new person has used that QR code.

Go ahead and test it – I actually made the graphic above clickable. Watch the address bar as it briefly shows you the longer URL, then immediately goes to the main page (it may fly by quickly, so watch carefully). You can also hover over it with your mouse, and look at the status bar at the bottom of your browser window to see the actual URL it begins with.

(VERY GEEKY NOTE: If you don’t use WordPress, you can use an old fashioned META REFRESH page to lead to the actual page.)

Here’s how you can use this to your advantage as a VO talent:

You can generate QR codes that all lead to the same place, like your IMDB page, but are on different printed material. I’ve made QR codes that lead to redirection links including /imdb-from-villain-headshot, /rehearsal-dot-com-from-2011-brochure, /rehearsal-dot-com-from-2011-retractable-sign and so on. That way, I can look at all of them and see which ones are most effective.

Having control over that redirection link for the QR code is more than just for tracking visitors and where they come from. It also means you can change the destination of that redirection link anytime. And that means that if you put a QR Code on your headshot or resume that leads to, say, a YouTube video of your demo reel, if you update that demo reel, you’ll be given a new YouTube URL (you can’t just replace the video content seen at a particular YouTube URL). Just go to the Redirection plugin in WordPress, and change where the user ends up (the new YouTube URL).

Imagine your headshot hanging on the board at the theater where you’re currently appearing in a play, with a QR code tastefully in the lower right hand corner. During the run of the show, you happen to update your reel. No worries – just change the destination URL of the redirection to the new demo. No slapping a new QR code over the old one on your headshot.

You’re going to come up with even cooler ways to use QR codes – and when you do, please use the comments below and let me know about it.

Hope this helps.

David

10 Responses to 6 Steps to a Perfect VO Demo

  1. Kelli August 18, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    I feel really good about my demo. It is a quick and fun process, even for someone like me who gets very self concious. :)

  2. David Britz September 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    The demos are great. Superb quality. Why go anywhere else?

  3. David Britz October 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Can’t wait to record my Narration VO Demo!! :))

  4. Mike Brang December 31, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Having a well-produced demo is one of the most important things in the VO business. I had a number of demos made from other producers in the past and they all had one thing in common — that manufactured, cookie cutter sound!
    What sets David apart from the rest, besides his affordable price and tremendously fast turn around time, is that all of the clips you record with him sound unique. Each spot sounds like an actual commercial you recorded for a job.
    My agent loved the quality and even asked who produced it to refer his other talent there!

    Thanks again, David for producing such a great, high quality demo for me. You made the process relaxing and enjoyable. I urge anyone reading this unsolicited reply to listen to David’s student demos to hear the difference for yourself. Anyone would be lucky to work with him

  5. Kristy Liles February 9, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    I can not thank you enough. I worked so hard on 15 page IVR project, one day I cryed, look for answers, pull my hear (not really) but I was about until another VO send me this great tool. Thanks!

  6. Frank June 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

    David

    When v123 indicates the audition is for a student/ nonprofit are we to assume it is for $0. If so, why does the audition ask for an amount to be entered?

  7. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    David,
    I did get this scam through Voice 123. In our discourse, they offered me the gig and they gave me the name of a legit local place to record and the same runaround with the money. I didn’t send anything, but instead, I called the studio to make sure the booking was for the day we set up, and lo and behold, the people there had no idea what I was talking about. I then tried to call back my “contact person” who was setting this up and there was a fax machine beep on the other end. I immediately contacted Voice 123 and told them what had happened. You know what they say…if it sounds togaed to be true, it probably is. Thanks for the reminder!
    Shirley

  8. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    …too good…not togaed.
    The one time spell check didn’t work!

  9. Bernard Prame July 1, 2017 at 9:44 pm #

    extremely helpful demo. Thank you!

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