I want to get into Voiceovers – how do I do it?
“How do I get started in Voiceovers?”
Well…you probably don’t have what it takes.
Before you jump right into it and scream to the world from the rooftops, “I’M GOING TO BE THE GALAXY’S GREATEST VOICEOVER TALENT AND THAT’S THAT! HEAR ME ROAR, WORLD!!!” have you sat down and asked yourself if you really have what it takes?
If not, are you willing to train, to learn, and to study, to get it, so that you’re successful?
Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic Park had a line that I will never forget, because it’s amazingly insightful. It goes as follows: “Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not that they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” So I want to ask you from the very beginning to ask yourself, should you do this? You might very well be able to, but should you? Will it become a passing fancy? Or might you spend so much money in it and ultimately be unsuccessful, angry, and in debt? All things to consider before launching out into this field.
With that said, let me congratulate you on even considering taking such an awesome plunge with getting started in voiceovers. You’re about to dive into a pool full of wonder, great accomplishment, hopes fulfilled, character-driven flamboyancy, awesome networking, incredible dreams realized, and endless possibilities of being chosen, because it’s utterly amazing.
Welcome to the “How do I get Started in Voiceovers?” website. Let me be the first to say that I don’t know absolutely everything. But over the course of nearly three decades of experience in voiceovers and the performing arts, I’ve learned a lot, and I created a website because I wanted to share it with you.
THE VOICEOVER INDUSTRY
There are plenty of genres you can pursue in voiceovers:
- Commercial work
- Explainer videos
- Narration, such as of documentaries
- Character & Animation work
- ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement)
- IVR (phone tree) recordings
- Overhead announcements for live events
- Podcast intros
- Other Web videos
- And many more!
Voiceovers is a behemoth of an industry, continually poised for growth despite the threats to it such as AI voices and the erosion of the industry pay scale, which are real threats. Regarding AI voices, even as Alexa, Siri and other assistive apps have grown in popularity, the truth is that people still prefer the emotional connection of a real human voice.
In 2017, there was a reported 900 percent increase in the number of voiceovers required to be voiced over the span of the previous three years. The E-learning market is expected to grow to be worth over $200 billion by 2024. According to Preeti Wadhwani and Saloni Gankar, the E-Learning market size is projected to be worth $375 billion dollars by 2026.
“How do I get started in Voiceovers?” is a question that has been asked by thousands and thousands of people over the past few decades, and people are growing more interested by the day. Home studios crop up all the time and voiceover artists dot the planet numbering in the hundreds of thousands. And “How do I get started in Voiceovers?” has been answered by many of these people with “I did it, and it worked.”
Maybe you’re asking this question because you’ve been told “you have a good voice.” Many people have told me that people have told them that. I want to start by saying something that might surprise you. Here it is: “So what?” And yes, I meant to say that. Is it a mean question? Not really, when you think about it. Every field needs to validate its entrants, and the voiceover industry is no exception. Do you have an awesome voice? Maybe. Maybe you’ve been told you have a “face for radio” (yuk yuk yuk). But an “good voice” does not a good voiceover artist make, because it’s not just about a “good voice.” So, with that said, what makes a good voiceover artist when you’re getting started in voiceovers?
One of the very first and very best things you can do is to know your worth. Know what you should be charging. Check out the Global Voice Acting Academy (GVAA) Rate Guide and know what you should be charging for any type of voiceover job. Don’t ever settle! Don’t be cheap and undercut your fellow voice talent. Tow the line and know what we should all be making. This industry is incredibly lucrative.
After that, it’s time to make some cookies.
- A lot of skill
- The ability to network
- A sense of humor
- The willingness to fail…and then try again
- Allowing yourself to be coached and trained
- Business acumen
- Mastering technique
- Reading ahead
- Being passionate
- Lifting words off of the page
- and most of all, being committed to goals.
GOALS AND GROWTH
If you have a goal of growing a successful voiceover business, then I suggest you check out my video training series or my book series, because you’ll need some healthy training and inspiration. Inspiration, as well as encouraging you to treat voiceovers as a business (not a hobby!) are my passions.
You’ll also really need to obtain great coaching, as it’s critical to teach you how to do this successfully. They are minimal investments to ensure that you start off with the right inspiration and information.
But here’s what I say, and many would agree, because it’s true. The very first thing that you need, is to contact a voiceover coach. Don’t wait. Check out this highly-rated coach today. He’ll give it to you straight, he’ll tell you how it is, and he’s incredibly generous with his time, his humor, and his passion. His rates are reasonable, and he’s a wonderful mammal. You would do very well to learn from Scott Burns. After all, he’s my coach, and I speak from experience. Also see my more comprehensive list of other coaches below. I myself am not a coach, but rather an enthusiastic cheerleader on the sidelines…just…without the spandex and pom-poms.
“How do I get started in Voiceovers?” Good question. Here’s a formula that has worked for many to gain traction and achieve success:
Coaching > Demo > Website > Marketing
- Get coaching. Get instruction on how to do this right. Everything else hinges on that. Do NOT skip coaching.
- Then have a demo made by that coach.
- Then have a website made when you’ve got a viable demo to present.
- Then, start telling people.
Follow this foundation.. and you’ll succeed much more so than if you did not.
Scott will tell you if you have what it takes…and if you don’t, he’ll help you get there.
Aside from that, network with other voice talent. Join groups online. There are Facebook groups aplenty like Global Voiceover Artists Network, VO Tech Talk, VO Peeps, and many more. There are coaches and experienced voice talent like:
- Scott Burns
- Paul Strikwerda
- Tim Tippetts
- David Rosenthal
- Tracy Lindley
- Marc Cashman
- Everett Oliver
- Julie Williams
- Pat Fraley
- Dave Fennoy
- Nancy Wolfson
- MaryLynn Wisnner
- Paul Strikwerda
- J. Michael Collins
- Anne Ganguzza
- Jon Bailey
- Kay Bess
- Elaine Clark
- Marc Graue
…and many, many more, who would be willing to sow into your lives. They are excellent with technique, warm-up and more.
For myself, I maintain a satirical and inspirational blog, and offer voiceover business coaching and several online courses through voiceover video training.
Join local voiceover Meetups. Talk with others in online communities. Network, network, network. Rub shoulders with greatness, and greatness will rub off on you.
Don’t quit your day job
Ever heard that phrase? Lots of people the world over have been told “don’t quit your day job.” It’s a phrase that is not meant to deter, and is often said in a spirit of humor, because it’s ultimately comical. The truth is that plenty of actors (voice and regular actors alike) have to find a way to pay the bills. And voice acting won’t do that right out of the gate. There are celebrities in the voiceover world who make a fortune in voiceovers. There are legends, whose voice you’ve heard in movie trailers. Or masters who have held you captive, spellbound, as they have narrated audiobooks to you. All of these people have invested into their craft, and spent countless time and dollars perfecting what they do and how they do it, because they want to be successful. Their names are synonymous with celebrity, because they’ve paved the way.
But they didn’t just make a killing in voiceovers right away. They worked very hard to pay for the things that they needed, such as equipment, coaching, software, training, and marketing, because they believed in themselves. So after a coach, with getting started in voiceovers, remember that you need to make sure to find a way to pay for the things that you’re going to need to be successful in voiceovers. To do that, you’re going to need to make or save some cash, and invest that back into what you need to succeed.
I’ve heard it said that a career in cosmetology costs you between $15,000 to $25,000. And what do you get paid for a haircut? $18? $40? $80? You can voice a national television commercial in a directed session requiring about 30 minutes, provide them the raw audio and not need to do any pickups (changes) or even touching it up, for thousands and thousands of dollars. Which one will you choose? Take your time, I’ll wait.
Are you a self-promoter?
If you’re getting started in voiceovers, there’s nothing wrong with a little shameless self-promotion here and there. In this industry, the clients aren’t going to necessarily find you. You have to work to find them, and you have to be diligent about that. You have to humbly put aside your humble. Stick your chest out. Inhale deeply and know that you’re a force to be reckoned with. After all, do you think the sheepish “Sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if ________” approach will get you anywhere? Methinks not.
Know deep inside, or at least start down the path of knowing and accepting, that you are a contender. That you are talented, and have something to offer. That you can really contribute and help bring a company’s message to life as their brand ambassador. There is nothing outside of the realm of possibility when you take on this mantle and don this cape, because you are a Voiceover Superhero. Believe.
“How do I get started in Voiceovers?” The short answer? You’re going to have to get used to marketing your services, and you’re going to have to learn to do it shamelessly. You have an invaluable service that you are offering. Accept that.
Take the time to figure out where and how you’re going to market, and know that there are people who will help you. I’m one of them. A paid way to go would be my video training series for voice talent, or voiceover business coaching. It’s, ahem, really good. It’s not an expense; rather, it’s an investment. Consider it…because it will change your marketing and business approaches. It’s over 2 hours of business modules to help you retrain your focus on running a successful voiceover business.
Be bold. Know that you’re in the ring and you have something to offer.
Yoo-hoo! Voiceover work….Ollie Ollie In Come Free!
So where is all that work you’ve heard so much about? Where can you find it? Where is it hiding? The answer….everywhere you look, and that’s the truth. You might be surprised to know that your company-owning uncle needs to have a new IVR (Interactive Voice Recording) system put in place for his business. Or that your dentist just had a promo video produced and needs narration. Or your sister’s company is producing E-Learning and needs a voice.
- The Voiceover Marketplaces: Voice123, Voices, VOPlanet, Bodalgo, Voiceovers, ACX/Findaway/LibreVox/Ahab (all for audiobooks), etc., as well as the newest marketplace as of March 2021, CastVoices. This is a HUGE topic I cover in an online blog, and needs to be handled with grace and thought, so do read that. This is the easiest way to get work if you’re non-union. Keep away from sites like The Voice Realm, Fiverr, SpeedySpots, JustSaySpots, and GigNewton, etc. Bargain basement pricing coupled with some juvenile mistreatment of voice talent = a recipe for failure and frustration… and in some extreme cases, getting blacklisted.
- Production Companies / Production Houses
- Google Ads
- Facebook & LinkedIn Groups
- Direct Emails
- Blog posts & outreaches
- Instagram ads
- Facebook ads
- Local networking groups such as Meetup, BizBuilders, LeTip, BNI, and Chambers of Commerce.
- Video Producer directories
- Casting agent directories
- Video production company websites
- Talk to other VO talent about where they get their work
The phone book. (Huh???) Yes. The phone book. And you don’t even have to be a telemarketer.
Everywhere you look, possible clients are swarming around you, under your nose, rubbing shoulders with you, sitting next to you, driving in front of you (or tailgating you), on the bus with you, on the phone with you, in your life with you. Voiceovers can be plugged into every area of your life. In getting started in voiceovers, one of the best ways you can reach out is by getting vinyl lettering on your car…or having branded T-Shirts made that instruct people to “ask me about voiceovers.” Seriously! Think I’m crazy? I’ve done both, and I’ve driven that car and worn that T-shirt out on date night. You never know who you might run into – and even if it’s not a business prospect, what better subject to talk about than your exciting career? (Or perhaps your amazing children, time permitting…)
Seriously, they’re all out there, and they’re ripe for the picking.
YOU NEED VOICEOVER EQUIPMENT
“How do I get started in voiceovers?” Presuming you’ve already had coaching on how to bring a script to life, let’s start with equipment and software. Here’s what I bought. This is NOT the end-all-be-all, nor is it exhaustive, because trends change, and the industry has new needs every now and then. This is simply what I bought for me, and how I roll. Paul Strikwerda (NetherVoice) is a wonderful friend and blogger who frequently reviews new equipment. Check out his blog here. I’ve upgraded here and there, and purchased different equipment and software:
- Sony Vegas Pro 15 – I used to be a video editor, so this is what I started out with, as it has a great audio editing interface.
- I then upgraded to Izotope RX6 Advanced audio editing software
- I then upgraded to Reaper audio editing software for $60. SIXTY DOLLARS. An incredible purchase that has made my career. It is northing short of incredible, and easy to use. I no longer use Sony. I will never leave Reaper.
- Grace m101 PreAmp
- Yamaha HS5 reference monitors
- Sennheiser HD280 Pro Headphones
- Acoustic foam
- Acoustic noise blankets
- Scarlet FocusRite 2×2 audio interface to connect with my computer
- AudioTechnica AT2020 mic
- I then upgraded to a Neumann TLM 102 mic from the sale of my AT2020
- I then upgraded to a Sennheiser MKH416 mic from the sale of my Neumann.
- Vocal Booth To Go for mobile recording
- Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones
- Lyx Pro Acoustic Backwall
- Custom-built iso-booth home studio for $1800
- I then upgraded to a StudioBricks home studio for $8000
- I then purchased a Neumann TLM 103 Anniversary Edition as a backup mic and for variety
As far as mic and equipment, you can get a great mic like a Rode NT1A, Sennheiser MK4, an AudioTechnica 2020 or 2035 (or even a 4040), MXL 990s, Neumann TLM102 or TLM103, Shure SM7B, etc.. I’d also recommend a Scarlet Focusrite 2i2 interface. Of course it goes without saying: get a great pair of reference monitors that allow you to really hear your material crystal clear, because that is absolutely essential. Keep in mind that USB mics like the Apogee and the NT-USB are not recommended; their sound is usually not robust enough, and they’re also bypassing an interface like the Scarlet, because they’re USB direct to your computer.
What I might recommend is the following starting out, for the budget-conscious:
- AudioTechnica AT2020 – $169
- Mic & headphone cables – <$50
- Reaper – $60
- Scarlet Focusrite Solo interface – $109
- Decent headphones (LyxPro is a good inexpensive set of headphones) – $50
- Acoustically-treated space like a padded clothes closet – $50
- Computer or laptop for editing – price varies
Check out Booth Junkie’s YouTube channel for information on building a great booth from scratch!
For DAW’s (Digital Audio Workstations), it really depends on your flavor. I LOVE Reaper. But there are also:
- Logic Pro X
- Pro Tools
- Studio One
- Steinberg Cubase
- Ableton Live
- Adobe Audition
- Ocen Audio
- many more
Getting started in voiceovers, you’ll need to make sure your sound is optimal. Want to have someone check out your audio and make sure it’s up to snuff? Check with Jordan Reynolds, George Whittam and Dan Lenard, Tim Tippetts, Dan Friedman, or Uncle Roy Yokelson.
That little thing called “Business Savvy”
So, here’s where a lot of voice talent fall short and drop off the map. Business savvy. Acumen. Do you know what means? What does it take for you to run a successful business? Surely, you can’t run it with just your voice. You need a system in place around your voice to ensure that that beautiful little product you’re trying so hard to peddle is getting heard, getting estimated properly, getting invoiced properly, and reaching people. You need to have a structure around this enterprise called your voice.
Over the years, I had a Microsoft Access CRM database designed, and I’ve built on it over and over throughout the years. It runs my business, and it’s very effective. All of my information is in there, and it’s ready for me. I can see how many people I’ve estimated and how many people I’ve actually booked. I can see my marketing ROI. I can see my income. I can see how much I’ve got to pay in taxes. I know which of my ad sources are bringing in the most money. I know which voiceover marketplace is bringing me the most money.
I’ve invested back into it over and over again – and that’s a key point: all of this is an investment, not an expense – and now it’s everything. It’s part-CRM, part-accounting, part-marketing. It’s truly amazing. I also designed stationery. This includes:
- Business cards
- Invoice templates
- Estimate templates
- Bumper Stickers
- Thank you cards
I’ve needed to treat my business like a business, because that’s only fair if I want to succeed long-term. If I treat it like a hobby, it’s destined to never produce the level of revenue that might pay my mortgage every month…or to purchase that car I want…or to put my kids through private school.
If I treat it like a business, I can make some very good revenue. There’s a huge chasm of difference between some extra chump change, and genuine hard-earned, measurable revenue. One is a side hustle; the other is a thriving enterprise. You need to think about what your business is going to look like. Can you envision yourself as, instead of a voice talent, rather, a successful businessperson who just happens to do voiceovers? If you can do the latter, you’re going places. Failure to plan is planning to fail. You ask, “How do I get started in voiceovers?” I answer, “The most important thing is to treat it like a business, period.“
Do I need to be union or non-union?
Let’s not put the cart before the horse. You don’t want to even approach agents or producers or unions yet. After all, you’re just getting started in voiceovers. Get yourself some coaching, then demos, then a website, and then establish yourself, and then market yourself to agents and consider joining a union.
The short answer is that when you’re ready, you don’t “need” to be either. There’s no requirement, because you can be successful on either career track. If you’re union, you open yourself up to having to pay dues…BUT…you also open yourself up to some potentially super high-paying jobs…and some good health benefits. But if you’re non-union, you just may chance upon some of those super-high paying jobs as well, there are no dues, and there is much more work available to you. Much more.
There are some exclusivity problems with doing both, so navigate this field carefully. You are under no obligation to join a union. In fact, the overwhelming amount of voice talent out there are non-union, and are making a great annual income soliciting and finding their own work. I myself am non-union.
But again, there is no requirement to being either, and you’re not limited, so choose with no pressure, and just smile. The main drawback is that if you’re union, and you’re starting out, remember – there are talent in that union pool who have been talent forever – and a lot of these agencies know them, love them, and are used to them. You’ll be trying to carve out some space for yourself in what is commonly referred to as granite. So, good luck! This doesn’t mean you can’t make it, however.
What’s your next move?
Get some great books to help you learn! These are SUPER books:
Making Money in Your PJ’s by Paul Strikwerda
Running a Successful Voiceover Business by Joshua Alexander
Voice-Over Voice Actor by Yuri Lowenthal & Tara Platt
There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is by Elaine Clark
VO Studio Companion: The Home Voiceover Recording Instruction Manual by Emmett Andrews
Voiceover Achiever by Celia Siegel
V-Oh! by Marc Cashman
How to Set Up and Maintain a BETTER Voiceover Business by Gabrielle Nistico
The Art of Voice Acting by James Alburger
Voice-Over 101: How to Succeed as a Voice Actor by Debi Derryberry
How to start and build a 6-Figure Voiceover Business by Bill DeWees
Voice Over Startup Guide by Chris Agos
Voice Over Man by Peter Dickson
Voiceover Achiever by Celia Siegel
Getting Started in Voice Over by Gary Mason
And remember what I said? Contact Scott Burns or another reputable coach. That’s your first step. Scott is a great coach. And there are others just like him who want to invest into your life. When I first launched solely into voiceovers (after having done them as part of other projects for close on two decades) I was so shocked to find such a community of such sustained support, and an environment of help out there. Voice talent genuinely want other voice talent to succeed! It’s such a strange industry that way – where you encourage your competitor to get a job that you’re in the running for. Plumbers don’t do that. Automotive shops don’t do that. Electricians don’t do that. Realtors don’t do that. When you’re getting started in voiceovers, you’ll want to learn from those around you, so make sure that you provide opportunities for yourself to grow by networking and connecting.
“How do I get started in Voiceovers?” Firstly, know that you can do this. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing it for decades, or you’re just getting started. The caveat is that you both have an equal footing. Just because Joe Voiceover has 26 years experience, and you have 26 minutes, doesn’t automatically grant Joe Voiceover fait accompli. The client just may have YOUR voice in their heads…not Mr. Voiceover’s, regardless of your lack of experience. If you sound like you can lift those words right off the page and breathe life into them, and NOT sound like you’re reading, then you just might beat out an industry pro. People like the coaches I mentioned have techniques up their sleeves that are amazingly insightful for how to compellingly deliver a script so that you will increase your chances of getting cast.
You can do this. It is an industry that is tremendously fun, because you’re using your God-given gifts and artistry to deliver. A career in voiceovers provides incredible annual events like this one and this one. You can join regular local voiceover Meetups and be inspired by your fellow colleagues and this mutual race of shared joy and pursuit. Cheer on and be cheered. Encourage and be encouraged.
Voiceovers are a rewarding career on a number of levels, even before you score your first job. Why?
The Benefits of being a Voiceover Artist
- Work from home
- Work as much or as little as you like
- Set your own hours
- Spend time with your family and your own pursuits
- Have a career that you can call your own
- Be creative
- Call your own shots
- Choose your own clients
- Constantly grow and innovate in performing and marketing
- Take longer-than-2-week vacations
- And, the most awesomest….work in your underwear. (Ew.)
Sound appealing? It should. It’s the best life ever.
Now let’s talk about auditioning a bit. When we audition, do we count on actually being cast in that role? Is it something that we really want? Or are we just rapid firing out multiple auditions so that we’ll maybe get something here and there, hedging our bets as it were, so that it will kind of work out for us one way or another? Casting a super wide net to reel in at least one minnow?
Paul Strikwerda offers the following: “If your custom demo (audition) sounds too rushed, you won’t be considered. If you take too much time to perfect every second, you’ll miss the boat. It’s about balance, so remember that when you’re auditioning.”
I recently had a conversation with a colleague, and they were telling me that they don’t ever really give their “all” during an audition; they save it for the actual read. I had to scoff at their logic, for obvious reasons. I literally made a scoff sound, which sounds something like a cross between a gag and a profound urge to pee. Huh?? Saving it for the actual read??? Mon ami, you’ll never get to the actual read without giving it your all to get there, because they’re expecting your all and nothing less.
You can’t get a 100% job from a 50% audition. If you’re getting started in voiceovers, know that you must give your all every…single…audition.
THE PRODUCER’S CHAIR
Let’s look at it from the producer’s perspective for a moment. You know they’re developing audition fatigue as they go through the onslaught of submitted auditions. You know they’re losing the will to live as they next-next-next their way through scores of them. Is it reasonable to assume that you, appearing in their lineup with your half-baked and noncommittal audition, are going to make the slightest impression on their casting choice?
They say there’s a lead line. Michael Bell says the following:
One thing I’ve learned is that your VO audition must capture the casting director’s attention in the first 10 seconds or they will not listen to the rest. They simply don’t have time.
He’s right. If you don’t, you’re a goner, so capture their attention. You’re literally dead in the water if you don’t, and the producer will never even remember your name. You’ll never even get to the Money Line (as Bill DeWees calls it) before you’re shot down.
But how about this. How about if you, with all of your muster and luster and bluster, can take that audition, supercharge it, and make such an impression that they have no choice but to remember you?
Your goal is to knock ’em dead. Not to knock ’em somewhat sleepy.
ALL OR NUTTIN’
Armageddon. Lord of the Rings. Mission Impossible. Raiders of the Lost Ark. The Empire Strikes Back. Cujo. Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Taken. Tootsie. Aliens. Meet the Parents. E.T. Finding Nemo. Star Wars. Blair Witch Project. It’s a Wonderful Life. The Goonies.
Name any movie, and you will recognize that there’s a plot. A goal. An important mission. The protagonist(s) in any movie has a task that they must accomplish, and they must go on a journey of self-discovery in order to get there. They have to go on a journey of change; they have to grow and learn. They’re committed to their goal and their mission, because it is their passion.
Just because you’re not in the movie yet, should your audition be with any less feeling?
Remember The Return of the King movie? I will never forget one of the last scenes. Sam and Frodo are halfway up Mount Doom. Sam says to a fading Frodo, “C’mon, Mr. Frodo. I can’t carry it for you. But I can carry you! COME ON!” And Sam slings Frodo over his shoulder and carries him all the way up Mount Doom.
Half-baked food doesn’t taste very good. Half-assed attempts don’t resonate with anyone. If your goal is to get in, why would you be content with just quietly knocking at the front door?
There’s so much more to say on this…but is there? Is it really necessary? It’s simple. There’s no getting around it. You can’t ‘almost’ your way into a role. You can’t kind of do it. You intend your way into a role. Otherwise, you intend your way into frustration, because the only way you’ll get cast is by giving your absolute all, absolutely every single time.
I HAVE A LOT TO GIVE! SO, HERE’S A TINY LITTLE BIT.
Every role, every time, in every way, requires everything you’ve got. You’ve paid that membership to that P2P (pay-to-play voiceover marketplace). You’ve contacted that client and swore that you could do something marvelous. So, live up to your investment and promise.
Chew on these examples:
- Baseball’s heavy hitters don’t swing for the infield, hoping to lazy-lob one.
- Wide receivers don’t race across the field, planning to run underneath the ball without raising their arms to catch it.
- Basketball players don’t charge down the court, wanting to just stand under the hoop.
- Politicians don’t run for the presidency just so they can increase their Twitter followers.
- Top chefs don’t strive to make the best Top Ramen.
- Tourists don’t go to Rome and hope to avoid the Coliseum.
- Fishermen don’t cast their line out, wishing for minnows.
- The Beatles didn’t take their music to America, desiring to play only in garages and talent shows.
Voiceover artists don’t hope to do a mildly acceptable job. Is it risky to give your all and put yourself out there? Sure. But the cold truth? You have more to risk by not risking.
It’s called going the distance. They call it 100%. There’s no such thing as conserving your energy in auditions. The audition maketh the job. Go forth therefore, and give thou in all thy fullness! *disengages King James mode*
STREAMLINE YOUR PROCESS
“How do I get started in voiceovers?” Answer? Learn to streamline your auditions! Don’t spend precious minutes, hours, whatever, endlessly recording and re-recording and then editing and re-editing. Get a program like Reaper, where you can have automation. (And if you would like a complete training course on streamlining your workflow in Reaper, visit my training course page.) Get a program like Pro Tools, Adobe Audition, TwistedWave, Logic Pro X, or any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) with multiple channels that you can program a plug-in stack on, and that is ready to go. All of your audio is instantly manipulated to being broadcast-ready while you review it, in real-time. That way, you’re not tweaking and re-tweaking and spinning your wheels doing all of that, because you want to keep moving! You want to get into your booth to record your auditions, get out, edit them and send right away, rinse and repeat. You’ll need to get this down pat from the word ‘go.’
The faster you can crank out those auditions (while doing a great job on them of course), the higher up you are going to be in a potential client’s listening lineup, and thus the higher up your odds go of being officially cast in a role. Before these producers develop what could be called ‘audition fatigue’, you want to get your audition into their hot little ears, before they are tired of listening to all these people and are now screaming “just pick one!”
Don’t get stuck in “Analysis Paralysis”, because that will trap you. Don’t spin your wheels on your audition or editing process. Trust yourself, do well, develop a template and stick to it, so that you can move on to the next one. Streamline your workflow, streamline your audition process, get them done, and get them out.
If you’d like to check out a great book that I wrote, “Running a Successful Voiceover Business” may be the book you’re looking for. You can get it directly from me, or by visiting Amazon. Or contact me for voiceover business coaching.
You can check out my full list of services and products I offer at the Resources page on this website.
Or – subscribe to my blog for more info and tips/tricks on the voiceover industry and successfully marketing yourself.
And check out my video training series or my inspiring book series!
I hope this answers your question “How do I get started in voiceovers?” Ultimately, just start. It’s fun in this sandbox. Getting started in voiceovers, you’re at the starting line, sure, but you can take off and accelerate down that track with great success, provided you have the right foundation. Remember that formula I listed from the start:
Coaching > Demo > Website > Marketing
Never forget that formula, because it’s your best friend. Getting started in voiceovers is an amazing point to be at because your incredible journey is just beginning, and the wonder of it all is going to blow you away. Soak it in, and enjoy it, my friend. 🙂
All this goes without saying that this is from my experience. Everyone’s experiences are unique to them. However, if you would like a much more robust experience than this one – and a much longer, comprehensive resource guide – check out Dee Bradley Baker’s “All to Know about Going Pro in VO”.