How To Find Voice Over Work. Finding voice over work is key to practicing your skills and gaining valuable experience. In this post on how to become a voice actor we explore the main ways to find voice over work.
How To Find Voice Over Work
As a beginner in voice over it is important to quickly turn your attention to getting work. The internet has changed the voice over industry and so many jobs now can be found online. The internet though is also your best friend for finding out about potential clients.
In this post we will share with you the top ways to find voice over work. Remember, every job market is competitive. Even if you have a great voice talent, if people don’t know you, don’t find you, then that is all you have. To carve out a career in voice over, you need to be focused and use your time well.
The hard part like any new career is getting established. Think of your voice over career as a rocket ship. Most of the energy is in launching the rocket. After a certain height the big engines get released. Then the rocket needs less energy and can rely on the momentum from the launch. The more energy you put into launching your voice over career the easier it will become later.
There are four main ways to find voice over work.
- #1 – Pay To Play Sites / Internet Sites
- #2 – Local Businesses
- #3 – Advertising Agencies / Production Houses
We will cover these in more detail below. However, before you apply for jobs you need to be able to have a good show reel. It’s a good idea to spend as much time as you can producing to produce a professional show reel. Your show reel is often the first impression that clients will have of your voice talent. To find out more about how to create a high performing show reel join Gravy For The Brain as a member.
#1 – How To Find Voice Over Work – Pay To Play Sites
We’ve written some useful blogs for you all about Pay To Play sites. In fact some of the best Pay To Play sites have also written blog posts for Gravy For The Brain.
Here is a list of the top Pay To Play Sites:
#1 – Voices.com – Global (and expanding) – arguably the biggest player in the market currently.
#2 – TheVoiceRealm – UK-based
#3 – Voice123.com – Global
#4 – Bodalgo
#5 – VoiceBunny
#6 – Cheap Voiceover Talent
#7 – Voices Pro
#8 – Voiceovers.co.uk
#9 – Elance – Not strictly a P2P site but you can get VO work from it
#10 – Voice Jockeys
#11 – Fiverr – Again, not strictly a P2P site but lots of VO work happens here
#12 – Voiceover.Biz
#13 – VoicesUK and VoicesUS – Sister P2P voiceover sites on each side of the pond
How To Find Voice Over Work – Optimise Your Profile
Dan Schawbel from Forbes suggests that your online presence will replace our resume in the near future. Given such an emerging trend, it is high time we become aware of what the Internet has to say about you. This is true for your own website and all the other places on the internet that potential clients find you. Pay to Play sites are no different. One way to look at these casting sites is as if they are search engines specifically for voice over talent.
Here are a few tips on how to help you get the most out of using Pay To Play (P2P) sites.
#1 – Profile Picture
First, make sure the presentation of “you” is as professional as possible. Get a professional headshot taken. Do not use a selfie or other photo that does not make you look professional. Your profile should give the impression that you are likeable, trustworthy, and competent. Try to use an asymmetrical image. Symmetry makes a picture less interesting, so don’t stick your face exactly in the middle. Divide a picture into thirds and place your eyes near one of the vertical lines. Face the light source of light should come from in front of you. If the light comes from behind you, your face will probably be underexposed unless you force a fill flash on your camera or use a photo editor. When you upload a picture make use the biggest size you can. Some sites reduce the image but if big it will still good.
#2 – Show Reels
Your commercial and narration demos posted on a PtoP site should be professionally produced to the highest standards. If you want to get the best standards then work with a professional studio engineer to produce your showreel. You also need to make sure you produce it to the current trend for show reel. Your reels are the cornerstone of how to find voice over work.
#3 – Voice Description
On all P2P websites you are asked to describe your voice. This is crucial because potential clients e.g. casting directors, will search the site using these keywords. Describe your voice but be specific. Another key point is not to not exaggerate. Check on the site how others describe themselves, but use common search terms, not simply your own words.
#4 – Profile Description
When adding your biography, focus entirely on voice over or related skills e.g. acting, theatre work, singing. Do not mention that you are currently a waiter or car salesman hoping to break into the business. Do not mention anything unrelated to the arts, unless you humorously mention how your cat insists on being at every audition.
#5 – Types Of Projects
This is where you can describe the projects you are interested in voicing, or the kinds you have already voiced. Keywords like Commercial, E-Learning, Radio, TV, explainer videos…Try and connect the types of voice with the ones you use on your demo reel. This will then reinforce your voice talent and interests.
#6 – Contact Information
You also want to make it easy for any client to get in touch with you. It is also a great idea to have the URL of your website, and your direct email address listed in your profile. While some sites may restrict this contact information, you can provide it in your proposal.
#7 – Testimonials
Try as quickly as possible to build up some testimonials from clients. If you are new then it is easy to do some voice over work for a charity or some loval business. This is a good way to get some initial work as well. When writing your testimonial make sure it is clear. Instead of writing John Smith or Alphabet Production Company, write “John Smith, Alphabet Production Company, ‘Lawnmower TV Commercial”.
#2 – How To Find Voice Over Work – Local Businesses
The number of opportunities for you as a voice over actor locally will depend on where you live. If you are in a large city then local can mean within a 1/2 to 1 mile radius. Even on this scale you might find hundreds of potential clients. Smaller rural towns might present far few clients. When you are looking to find voice over work though local businesses can be a great starting point.
Local businesses allow you to meet people and deliver a more personalised service. It also allows you a greater opportunity to sell yourself. You might also find that you have mutual people you know as well.
Some simple ways to find voice over work locally:
#1. – Attend networking meetings
#2. – Give presentations at local business centres on how businesses benefit from voice over
#3. Ask friends in the area for help in reaching out to local business people they might know
#4. – Contact local charities to see if they need any work. Often they can’t pay full rates, but they are still able to give you a recommendation. You also find that many significant business people volunteer or are connected to charities as governors.
How To Find Voice Over Work – Making Contact
#1. – Cold Calling To Find Voice Over Work Locally
There is one thing that tends to horrify voiceover actors, it is cold calling. There are a number of definitions of cold calling, but Wikipedia describes it best:
Cold calling is the process of approaching prospective customers or clients, typically by telephone, which weren’t expecting such an interaction.
The word “cold” is used because the person receiving the call is not expecting a call. If you are looking to quickly find voice over work, cold calling can be one of the best methods. Most voiceover actors though will come up with lots of reasons why not to cold call potential clients.
- “I’m not comfortable doing that!”
- “Cold calling takes too much time.”
- “What if they hang up on me?”
- “I don’t like talking about myself.”
WHY COLD CALL
Well, first of all, marketing your services is not a neutral thing. We’re either moving forward or we’re moving backward. You need to consistently be doing things to create momentum with your personal brand and voice over business. Good reasons to cold call are:
- cold calling is one of the least expensive.
- it to one of the most effective methods.
- it quickly identifies opportunities.
- It quickly builds a relationship with a client.
- it gets you work.
HOW TO FIND POTENTIAL CLIENTS
Remember that research is critical to cold calling. So building up a list of calls prior to making your cold calls is important. You need to at least know the company you are calling, what they do and some of the key people in the business. This was covered earlier in this guide.
An example search in Google would be “video production company” + London. This would help you identify a list of video production companies in London.
Some steps to preparing to cold call:
- Prepare a list of potential clients to call
- Have the list in front of you and a notepad and pen – this is to make sure you take notes during the call.
- If you prefer you can record your calls to listen to how the call went and how you could improve.
- Prepare a script to help guide you when you are new
- Have a clear objective for each call – what do you want the person to do after the call.
- As a minimum leave doors open – take contact details and ask to follow back in 3, 6 or 12 months time.
- Follow up quickly – if you agree to send people details, ideas of a show-reel, then follow up quickly.
- Make sure your website and branding looks good – people will take a look if you send them your details.
#2. Using Email To Find Voice Over Work Locally
WHY USE EMAIL
Email is by far and away the #1 form of communication in business. If you are looking to find voice over work this can be a good way to make initial contact. Emailing may be an inherently more convenient way to contact people. However, it’s by no means the perfect vehicle for cold contacting. Being able to email a busy person and get the response you desire is literally a skill.
- Competition – the person you’re trying to reach already has hundreds of emails in their inbox. Many of them won’t even be opened.
- Easy to ignore – it only takes a couple of seconds for someone to delete your message. And those are the lucky emails. Think of all the emails blocked by spam filters or sent directly to junk.
- Conversion rates – most salespeople cold email, they have an even success rate of about 1-3%.
- Potential – cold emails have potential. With the right research techniques and the right message, you can connect with anyone.
- Simple to learn – email is very simple to learn, anyone can send an email.
- Low cost – emails are low cost to send out, but they it does take some time to prepare a great email.
- Speed – email is quicker, more direct, more modern and business-like.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD EMAIL
A good email is brief to the point and focuses on offering a clear value to the person. Almost every body these days is short on time; they receive a lot of emails and letters so make it easy for them to understand the why – why they should read it.
What does ‘brief’ mean? Anything over a couple of short paragraphs and you are probably pushing it. But if you follow the structure below you’ll be able to write a very readable set of three or four precise, information-packed sentences.
#3 – How To Find Voice Over Work – Ad Agencies / Production Companies
There are many companies that produce media which require voice over talent. Many of these have a regular roster of voice talent, but it is alwasy finding out if they will list you. Sometimes it is a question of building relationships with these companies over time.
Some companies that require voice talent for their projects.
#1 – Advertising agencies (including Radio)
#2. – Video production companies
#3. – Explainer video companies
#4. – E-Learning companies
#5. – Audiobook companies
When you are looking for these type of companies Google can be your best friend. Again you might want to start locally first. Some of these types of companies are very large and manage big clients. It is better to wait until you have at least established yourself before you contact these.
There are lots of different ways to find voice over work. As a beginner you will need to try all of them. For more guidance and support on your voice over career become a member of Gravy For The Brain.
BONUS: HOT TIPS ON IMPROVING YOUR VOICE OVER MARKETING
#1 – Audition on VoiceBunny (It works differently to Pay To Play sites)
VoiceBunny is part of the same group that own Voices123. However it works very differently. You can apply to become a voice actor on VoiceBunny and if accepted you become part of their roster of voice actors. Be aware that only 2% of applications succeed. You will need to have some high quality demo reels to apply. Also be aware that they test your knowledge and response time and use that to either accept or reject your application.
#2 – Radio Stations and Advertisers
With all the new media channels available, fewer and fewer people listen to the radio. The result is that the industry is a lot leaner these days and there are few stations. Those that exist often use their own voice talent to produce commercials. The problem with that is that all the commercials can sound the same.
If you applied to get work from a station you would probably be turned down, or not get paid much.
However, you could listen to the station and make notes of the top (most frequent advertisers). Use this to contact the advertiser directly. Produce your own voice over of their ad and show them how much better your voice is that the standard voice over used by the station. The station voice over might be good, but who wants to have their ad sound the same as all the others.
#3 – Apply for Auditions on BackStage
Backstage has regular set of auditions posted on their site check this link – https://www.backstage.com/casting/open-casting-calls/voice-over-auditions/
#4 – Use Google and contact potential clients directly
See our post on voice over marketing for more details on how to find potential clients. The key to contacting clients is to understand how you can add value.
For more information on voice acting visit our series of posts on how to become a voice actor