Starting a career in voice over is different to just getting work or simply wanting an extra income. When people come to us we often ask them why they want to get involved in the industry.
If you have decided to do voice over as a career you will probably be more focused than if you have a main career and doing this as a ‘sideline’.
Let’s be realistic though. It takes time to build a career in voiceover so you do need to have another regular source of income while you learn the skills, develop your personal brand and get enough regular work to move over to being a professional voice over actor.
Considering A Voice Over Career?
Before embarking on a voice over career you need to consider why you want the change and whether voice over is going to be right for you. Making a career change is a big step and requires you to completely commit yourself to achieve success.
Some Considerations When Starting a Career In Voice Over
Are you are thinking of changing because you are unhappy with your current job or is it a more deep seated need to completely change what you do? You need to be sure that the reasons you are thinking of changing are for the right reasons. Before taking the leap into developing a voice over career here are a few considerations:
Figure out what you want
You could start with these simple steps. Firstly work out what you want from a job – what you want to be doing, the kind of place you want to be working, the kind of things you want to be doing and who you want to be working with. Do you want a commute? Do you want to work on your own, be your own business or do you want to work on a daily basis with people?
To help you decide you write two lists:
1. What you want from a new career
2. What you don’t want from a new career
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
– Helen Keller.
Take a look at your lists and also get your close friends who know you well to add any points in and talk it through. Often they can help you to identify what you would like or not like.
Compare Your List To This Profile of A Voice Over Actor Work
Of course so far we have assumed you have got a voice that is suited to voice over industry. If you haven’t had feedback on this then that is the first thing to check. Take time to talk to someone that can give you an honest opinion and feedback – check out our services.
Starting out as a voice over actor is much like starting your own business. Most business owners will tell you that they of course enjoy being their own boss and having control over their life. If you ask them though what it is like at the beginning they will also tell you how hard it was to get the business going.
A Quick overview of voice acting:
- Self motivated – you need to be good at organising your day and getting things done (not just procrastinating).
- Resilient – a lot of the time you will be working from home on your own. So you need to be OK with your company. You also will not get every audition or piece of work you apply for. That’s normal, but you do need to not let it get you down.
- Selling yourself – you need to be good at selling yourself, networking and making new connections.
- Organised – you need to continually organise yourself. This is not about being busy but focused. Each day you need ot move your ‘business’ / ‘brand’ forward.
- Open to feedback – your voice is a personal thing. A great instrument that needs to be tuned and practiced to deliver voice over work. Learning how to use it is important. So you need to be open to feedback and continually learn to develop your voice.
Find Out About Voice Over By Connecting With People
Look for people, not for jobs
Looking at voice over jobs is not the place to start. Focus instead on connecting with people. If you are starting a career in voice over, then a good way to understand the industry is to get involved. You can do this by joining online communities and talking with people who are already voice over actors.
If you can find someone that is willing to give your some time then why not suggest you shadow them for a day when they are working re: recording. Of course, you need to be careful you do not interrupt their work.
This can be a great way to see what voice actors do as well as provide an opportunity to really find out their thoughts and feelings about the industry.
Develop a Plan
The best way of starting out is develop a plan that will guide you and keep you focused.
An initial plan will contain some of these elements
- A check list of things you need to learn about:
- Types of voice over work
- How much you can expect to earn
- Voiceover rates
- How to do voice overs
- How to record a show reel
- How to setup a home studio
- How to get voice over work
- How to specialise
- How to get an agent
- A timeline:
- Clear objectives – what do you need to do by when
- Priorities – what do you need to do first
- What dependencies – as an example if you want to get work you need to get a showreel made first; no good planning to get work until you do this.
- How are you going to live
- What budget do you have to invest in training/equipment..
- What your need to earn as a minimum
- How long before you are willing to continue if you do not hit some financial goals
Have a back-up plan
Did you know that two out of three new businesses fail. However, successful entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes and often create businesses after having failed first time. There are many reason why you might need a backup plan. The important thing is to have one – it can help you avoid getting into difficult situations.
Everybody has a different journey through life. Some people get lucky breaks early, others work years before they get big pieces of work. If you have a plan and work hard though you will create your own opportunities. Remember to use your network of contacts, update your social media profiles e.g. Linkedin and let the world know about your new career.
We are here to help at each stage of your journey. At Gravy For The Brain if we can help you we will. We are continually building resources to help people taking their first steps into the industry. It is and can be an amazing and fulfilling career choice, we just want to make sure it is right for you.
Let us know your thoughts or experiences.