Stephanie Ciccarelli, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer and David Ciccarelli, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, began their business with their respective voice and audio engineering talent, and borrowed books on how to build a website. Today, their Voices.com now leads as the world’s largest online marketplace for voice over talent with more than 400,000 registered users. Their clients and voice talent collaborate on such projects as animated videos, videogames, audio books, e-learning modules, ads, and more.
Through my interview with Ms. Ciccarelli, I had the opportunity to learn more about this entrepreneurial woman in tech, as well as how Voices.com has disrupted voice casting in Canada and throughout the world.
“The platform we created has changed the way people do business in our industry,” began Ms. Ciccarelli. “Voices.com has made voice casting and the hiring process much simpler for producers auditioning and booking talent. For instance, a decade ago, radio commercials used to take advertising agencies close to three weeks to complete for casting. Now, casting is done online and takes 48 hours or less.”
“Voices.com is also the first platform of its kind to offer access to both freelance voice professionals and celebrity talent. With customers in 139 countries and a global talent base able to record in more than 100 languages and accents, we’re reaching countless ears, minds, and hearts all over the world.”
“Because we are an online marketplace,” explained Ms. Ciccarelli, “our tech platform plays a crucial role in our success. By building a convenient, user-friendly website, we have transformed the 100-year-old, $4.4-billion voice industry for the digital age.”
It clearly sounds transformative, as talent no longer needs to travel to be heard, nor do producers and casting directors need to be part of a live audition process within ‘normal’ business hours. Explained Ms. Ciccarelli, “Gathering voice samples and price quotes can happen in 60 minutes or less through our site.”
Ms. Ciccarelli is an entrepreneur, author, spokeswoman and panellist at industry events, and I asked her about her motivation behind her volunteerism. “As a creative, I find inspiration and fulfilment when I can share and add value to a large and varied network. I am able to do this through teaching, mentoring, speaking, writing, and sharing about what we do and why we do it. I have an abiding passion for achieving excellence in our field. I also enjoy making connections that unite people and helping them find common ground because I know that it brings our community, and the business, closer.”
‘I have [also] participated in various mentoring programs, favouring mentoring in less formal ways. I believe in the power of making connections whether it is a long-term, 1-on-1 mentoring relationship, or a more casual meeting over a cup of tea. Everyone needs someone they can look to for guidance, and you’ll have different reasons for being mentored as you grow and mature. The value of having a mentor cannot be measured and it absolutely benefits people at every stage of their career journey.
When asked what advice she has for other women entrepreneurs in tech, Ms. Ciccarelli, commented, “To launch and run a business, you must know who you are, and what it is you want to do, as well as why it matters, both to you and the people you want to serve. Getting to know yourself is key to understanding what your passions are and how to motivate yourself.”