How to get Voice Over Work.
So, you want to be a Voice Artist. That’s great. You’ve probably been told you have a great voice and you should be on radio.
Unfortunately, a lot of people think this is an easy career that they can do in their spare time and make bucketloads of cash. The reality is far from it. It takes years to “break into” this industry and most people are just looking for a quick side hustle and are not up for the long game. If you want to be a voice artist, you must be a full-time marketer too. You are taking on the role of the CEO of your company and it is up to you to make that company successful. No one else can do it for you.
Being a voice artist is a full-time career if done properly, and having a great voice is a very small part of the actual job. The most successful voices have experience in drama, theatre or on-screen acting or have studied performing arts to a high level. The ones that don’t tend to struggle, and will need to work and market themselves a lot harder to get gigs.
Step 1 – Coaching and Training
There are no shortcuts. You’re going to have to put in a lot of time and effort to get yourself sounding professional. And that doesn’t only include your actual voice. You will need to learn how to interpret scripts, understand target audiences, take direction and modify the way you speak to deliver the best sounding voiceover for the job at hand. This takes practice.
Working with a coach is definitely a good idea and you absolutely should do it, but training and learning about voice is ongoing, and you will need to work on your craft daily throughout your career. One or two coaching sessions will help, but not get you very far unless you keep it up.
Here are some places to consider to get you going:
South African Voice Over Academy (SAVOA) – Craig Ross – http://www.savoa.co.za/
WTG Media House – Weza Matomane – https://www.wezathatguy.com/
Speak Easy – Fiona Ramsay – www.speakeasy.co.za
Think of coaching as studying a degree. It’s going to take time and work over a few years before seeing results. And even after that, it’s a daily grind contacting clients and leads for work.
Step 2 – Demos
Your VO Demo is your CV. It must be excellent in order to get you hired. I can’t stress enough how important quality demos are to your voiceover business. If you can’t prove to a client that you can deliver the right voiceover for their project, they are going to hire someone else.
Your coach will be able to tell you when you are ready to record demos. There’s no point in rushing to this stage if you are not yet up to scratch in your training and performance. You don’t want to be marketing to clients with demos that sound amateur. You have to make a good impression the first time you contact them, so that you stay top of mind.
Record demos in a proper studio, with a good mic and a voice booth. The last thing clients want to hear is a recording from your phone or a whatsapp voicenote. This will automatically make you sound unprofessional and amateur and you’re likely to never hear from them again.
Step 3 – Marketing
In the beginning you’re going to spend 90% of your time marketing and emailing clients and leads, and only 10% doing the actual work. This is where most aspiring voices will fail. They want to do all the “fun stuff” but aren’t prepared to do the grunt work of building those relationships with clients.
Waiting for the phone to ring with a job is not going to cut it either, especially in today’s oversaturated voice market. You need to be approaching clients directly, every single day. Start small, aim to reach 10 leads a week. Then aim for more, and more. It’s a numbers game, the more people you contact, the higher the chance that one of them is looking for a voice like yours.
Marketing is about building relationships and is more effective when it’s personal. Consistency is key. Marketing isn’t one email and done. The success in in the follow up and patience makes a difference. Be prepared to play the long game. Over time you’ll find that you’ll be spending less time marketing and more time working because you’ve built those client relationships properly and personally from the start.
How VoiceMe can help you
What VoiceMe does is a provide a platform to help with your own marketing, a place where clients are already looking for voices, and can find you before you find them. We’re a matchmaker, a place that can springboard those client relationships. VoiceMe is a tool in your marketing kit, and the more tools you use, the better your “company” will do.