As a freelance voiceover, creating content is a crucial aspect to marketing yourself. 'Content' in this case can include pretty much everything, from examples of your work which you share on social media and direct with clients, through to blog posts, videos and vlogs. But as a beginner navigating countless voiceover websites, it's especially good to be aware of 'passive' content and its role in others marketing strategies too.
A notable number of voiceover talents provide passive content as a way of attracting attention to their services. A main example of this is youtube videos, examples of which I have linked to in many of my previous posts. The 'do it from home' approach to voiceover lends itself to the posting of numerous 'how to' videos, whether that's concerning the practicalities of setting up a home studio, marketing or aspects of performance. But they are technically 'passive' in so much as they don't directly engage in a dialogue with the audience.
Often the lines blur. The ostensibly 'passive' content of a blog can become an 'active' discussion by the comments on it, posters of 'how to' videos can comment and engage with responders. It is tricky to make a clear distinction in most cases, as anybody who has a knowledge in marketing will know that any content is also an 'engagement opportunity' - be that with potential leads, clients, or peers.
But it is increasingly useful to remind yourself what it is you are looking at, and frame it in the context of 'passive' or 'active'. Like many voiceovers, I have cast my net quite far and wide to find out as much as possible to get advice on coaching and tuition, and when (often quite large amounts of) money is involved, that awareness should be heightened.
Many VO's use ostensibly passive content to attract fellow voiceovers to their website where they can listen to demos, but also initiate a conversation about coaching. But an increasing number also augment this 'active' coaching with 'passive' tuition, usually in the realm of marketing.
In order to help monetise all the free content that a voiceover might be posting, some place a barrier at a certain point, offering even more in depth and exclusive content behind a paywall. This most typically manifests itself in a separate landing page offering a whole chunk of advice in the form of a programme and/or set of videos for a fee. This content is technically 'passive' as there is no conversation involved - the product being sold has already been created and simply sits behind that paywall. A lot of that content offers easily solutions, 'exclusive' insights, and maybe even the possibility of a 'fast track to success'.
I'm certainly not against this type of stuff in principle - the most effective proponents of it tend to have provided a lot of educational material for free - but at the end of the day they are running a business. Coaching - in both a passive and active sense - has become a small but significant income stream for many, and it makes absolute business sense to monetise some content as part of a greater marketing strategy. But it is important for a newbie voiceover to do as much research as possible so they know exactly what they are purchasing. Spending a few hundred dollars to access one person's 'step by step guide to marketing success' or 'top ten email templates' may or may not be value for money - it depends very much on the customer's own strengths and weaknesses as well as the actual content itself. But I recommend setting a clear budget for such content as soon as possible, so that you're not sacrificing more crucial investment (eg. in personal tuition, in soundproofing, in equipment) in the name of a 'quick fix'.