You are curious about beginning a voiceover career, and you’ve read my other article on how to get started. You’ve reviewed the various business, artistic and technical skills, and you want to keep growing. So, what are the next steps to dive into this incredible world of creativity, hard work, and great payoff?
Research a Voiceover Career
The next step is research! How much work is involved in voiceover? What do I need to know, how much will it cost, and what microphone and software should I use? These questions help determine when beginning a voiceover career.
Set aside at least 8-12 solid weeks of research. There are countless guides, tutorials, YouTube videos, and podcasts all about how to get started in VoiceOver. I like to refer those interested in the industry to www.gravyforthebrain.com, an excellent website about all things voice-over-related. Bill De Wees has a great Youtube channel all about the voiceover industry. There are hundreds more resources, but these were the two that helped me begin my career.
My Beginnings in Voiceover
I did four months of solid research about voiceover subscribing to various blogs YouTube channels, listening to podcasts, and reviewing websites about any and every question I could think of to get started. I hadn’t even scratched the surface. In my fourth year of voiceover, I finally feel that I have a good grasp of this industry, but it changes each month. It’s essential to keep researching and stay abreast of new technology and business resources.
Setting a Budget
I feel that I spent a reasonable length of time researching this subject. By doing so, I could purchase a fantastic beginner microphone, a good interface, good software, and an excellent pay-to-play website to find good quality auditions.
Once you’ve done your good solid research of this fantastic industry, the next step would be to prepare a budget for your start-up costs. Are you planning on purchasing the top industry microphone and computer equipment? Sure, that would be amazing after you’re successful, but it is much more realistic and cost-effective to start with mid-range equipment. Voiceover coaching, hardware, and marketing also come at a cost. Setting a budget can help you prepare for what’s ahead in setting up your new exciting business.
Creating Voiceover Career Goals
I did set a budget when beginning in voiceover. My research allowed me to make various lists for each item that would cost money. I had a price list for microphones, studio foam, an interface, pay and play websites, website costs, etc. My motto is to always start with mid-range equipment. I never go cheap, and I never go top of the line; in the middle is where I was comfortable. This way, I wouldn’t outgrow my equipment in a short amount of time. I used my equipment proudly each day for the last three and a half years.
I have no regrets about my initial budget in voiceover. I purchased good quality professional sounding and performing equipment that gave me an initial competitive edge. I felt the need to sound professional right away to compete with the best in the biz. I invested about $1250 into my initial costs and promised myself that I would make it back within six weeks. Well, I was close, and I made it back within 8.
Coaching and Demos
There is commercial, in-show narration, corporate narration, animation, IVR, etc. I had no idea where I wanted to start. The most important advice I can give is to begin in commercial voiceover as they typically have the most significant budgets. From there, you can branch out into other genres.
I did start with coaching for Commercials. But this was about 1.5 years into my voiceover career. Initially, I began making my demos, posting them online with little to no experience of the proper techniques needed to perform commercial, narration, and animation work.
Voiceover Career Hindsight
I feel that if I were to do voiceover all over again, I would have begun coaching sooner than 1.5 years into my career. After trying and practicing on my own, I did pick up bad habits that I had to unlearn. I chose to wait to receive coaching because I knew it would be expensive, and I wanted to save up enough money to pay for a good coach. But, if you’re serious about this as a career, it’s essential to budget for a good professional and reputable coach right away to become proficient. That way, you are seen as credible to your clients.
From the outset of my career to just before receiving my professionally cut demo (1.5 years), I did relatively ok financially speaking each month for having voiceover as a side-hustle. The moment I received my professional Commercial demo and began to promote it and add it to my online profiles, my career completely changed within four weeks. My voiceover trajectory sky-rocketed, and I was able to turn this side-hustle into a profitable full-time job. It’s astonishing what a professionally cut demo can do. Again, your clients see you as credible, and it can completely change your business.
Looking Beyond Today
Where do I see my career in the future? Each year I set goals for myself and work hard daily to slowly but surely achieve them. I still learn new tactics, strategies, and skills each week, and the goal is to always keep up to date and never stop learning about this fantastic industry. I can honestly say it has changed my life, but it wasn’t easy. It comes with a lot of hard work. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, I’m confident you can see it change yours.