If you’re thinking it’s easy money, think again.
Starting a career in voice-over may seem easy. After all, you only need a good voice, a microphone, and a computer, right? Wrong. Sure, that is a part of it, a very small part, and the rest is actually simple. However, it’s important to remember that simple and easy are 2 different things. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve all been here — wanting to do something life-changing before realizing it’s easier said than done. When it comes to breaking into the voiceover industry, there are many things to do and consider that can make or break your success. Talent is required, but it’s also about the time and effort you’re willing to put into this work. Anything worth having in life requires hard work and dedication. Of course, you need equipment to record, edit, and publish your voice-overs, but before any of that, you’ll need to take a class to learn the business basics. It’s not difficult to find local classes, but keep in mind there are some pretty good online options as well, like gravyforthebrain.com, which I have used in the past. During the class, you will get familiar with your abilities and start building confidence. It’s also a great idea to find a beginner voiceover coach. Dan Friedman enjoys introducing new talent to the VO world in his spare time and can be found at sound4vo.com! From there, you can decide the type of voice-over jobs you think you’ll like. This is where it starts to feel real!
You’re almost ready to give it a test drive… but not quite yet!
You need to find equipment and a good space to record in. I know many people think that fancy equipment equals success, but that’s not necessarily true. It’s better to start small with some quality, reasonably priced equipment. There are many resources to help you understand what’s good and what’s not. Here is a quick list of products that helped me get started:
- Audio Technica AT2020 Microphone
- Rode NT1-A
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Interface
YES, I did commercials on GarageBand! LOL. Always keep in mind that voiceover work should be fun for you, so don’t allow this career to cause you financial stress. Once you begin earning money from booking voiceover jobs, THEN you should improve the quality of your equipment. Remember – this is a marathon, not a sprint. This career does not work like an ATM. You have to start somewhere before those high earnings and consistent bookings come rolling in. Once you have a demo, hop onto a pay 2 play site like voice123.com and start auditioning. This is where the magic happens!
But wait, there’s more…. We haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg!
Aside from purchasing equipment and recording your voice-overs, you will need to become efficient in editing them, this way you can compete in the marketplace. You also need to audition a lot, invest in continuous training, attend some VO conferences, start marketing, get headshots, take acting classes, set up your invoicing, and more. The list really goes on. As a beginner, this is all much easier when you have a network to ask questions. That said, consider joining an online community with other voice talents. Use social media to your advantage! Start by finding a Facebook group to practice with other like-minded individuals who will help you improve.
It’s your time!
So, you have the information you need to get started, and now the ball is in your court. Are you ready to do this or, are you going to just keep thinking about it? No judgment here! Take your time because voiceover ain’t easy, but it’s an absolute hoot IF it’s a fit for you.
P.S. One last point to ponder…… when you get to audition 63 with no response, keep this in mind. Rejection is not refusal. Voiceover is art. Your voice may not be the creative impetus needed for one specific project, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be perfect for the next! Stay inspired and be resilient.