I’d like to talk a bit about a new voice over social platform called SkillsHub.life. Founded in July of 2021 by Jennifer Hale, Bill Reld, and Carren Dujela, SkillsHub.life provides paid-by-the-minute coaching with over 60 different coaches--some being available within the next hour!
I found out about SkillsHub.life through Jennifer Hale's Facebook page; she had been sharing it like crazy. I’d been looking at doing more coaching, but, with my current schedule, most coaches didn't have my same availability (evening or weekend sessions). I paid the $12.99 monthly membership fee and decided to give it a try.
When making my profile it asks a few simple questions like, “What is your level in voice over?” and “What are your main interests in voice over work?”, along with some other similar questions to get a sense of your career progress. After the profile was finished, I had a few areas I could explore. Some of these included Get Coached, an area to find a coach and learn about all the current coaches; Actor Portal, the location of all your profile’s info (sessions, memberships, and favorite coaches); and The Hub, an area where one can look at forms, opportunity boards, and workout rooms.
Another thing the site talks about is NDAs--something with which EVERYONE in this industry should be familiar, because you’ll be signing them all the time.
Moving on, the whole point of me signing up for SkillsHub.life was trying out coaching on my time. I signed up for an evening session (6:20PM) with Liisa Lee; signing up was effortless. I went through a master schedule listing a whole bunch of coaches and the days and times they were available, and I filtered through the genre I wanted. Afterward, I read the profiles and selected who I thought would be the best fit. Right before “checking out,” an NDA warning popped up and had me agree to the terms of the coaching session.
SkillsHub.life uses their own video chat system they call “The Greenroom." The day of my session, about five minutes before starting, I loaded up my Greenroom. Once again, I had to sign/verify my NDA (like I said, get used to these) and then I waited. As I loaded into the room, I saw a timer at the top center of the screen counting down from 28 minutes. Once 25 minutes hit, I expected my coach to load in. She did not. I waited as the minutes went by--22 minutes. Now, some might think this isn’t a big deal, but I had already paid for the session, and it is by the minute. At 21 minutes, Ms. Lee joined my Greenroom. She informed me she had some issues with getting in. I'm not sure if this was her first session with SkillsHub.life or what have you, but I was a bit concerned.
Now I can’t talk too much about the session itself (yay NDAs), but we got toward the end where only seconds were left and I had no idea if I was going to be randomly booted at zero. We quickly said our goodbyes and then the time went "negative." We jointly decided to end the call so I wouldn’t get charged extra money for the session.
Because I did miss out on about five minutes worth of coaching, Ms. Lee suggested I contact SkillsHub.life to see if I can get a refund for that missing $11. Contacting them was surprisingly easy and, within a few days, I was refunded for the minutes my coach had missed.
Now, what are my thoughts on the experience as a whole? I enjoy the convenience of being able to book a coach anytime I have the availability. My chances of getting the same coach all the time are reasonably good, because her schedule seems to match mine at the moment, and her prices aren’t terrible. That being said, I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue to go to Ms. Lee if her rates hit the $3 a minute tier. What are the things I’d change? I’m not a fan of the timer in the session. I feel like it pressures me to not fully focus on what is happening in the moment. Having a five-minute warning toward the end would be better.
So far, the one coaching session is the only thing I’ve done with SkillsHub.life. I did sign up for a "workout room," but it’s not for another month. I’m sure as more people join, these sessions will happen more often. The form section is filled with random topics all relating to VO. Some topics are introductions, a few are about personal experiences (like don’t eat peanut butter in the afternoon), some are troubleshooting topics, and many are about the site and how it works.
Overall, with the site being so new, there are a few growing pains (like the mobile site barely being functional at times), which is to be expected if still frustrating. I’m going to stick with the site until the end of the year and see if I want to continue to use it or stick with Gravy for the Brain.
Thank you all for reading!