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How To Get Work As A Voice Over Artist Just Starting Out - All You Need Know

Jan 29, 2019

There are many different ways to get started in the voice over business these days. And getting work as a beginner is not easy, but it doesn't have to be hard. 

In this article, I will go over different ways on how you can get work as a voice over artist just starting out with no knowledge of the industry. 

- But before we go on ... I must impress upon you that your education in the field of voiceover is just starting, and won't end here. So be patient, soak up as much information as possible, and whatever you do, don't give up. 

But for the sake of brevity, I will share with you 4 different ways to get started in voice over today. 

We will cover these 4 voice over artist topics:

  1. Freelance voice-over
  2. Direct Marketing
  3. Voice over agent
  4. Pay-to-play voice-over websites

* I am specifically leaving out the Union (SAG-AFTRA). Not because I don't think it is a valid approach, but because most of the voiceover work these days is coming from non-union jobs. 

Freelance Voice-over

A freelance voice over artist is someone that works as a private contractor for businesses anywhere and anytime. You can work on websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, People-per-hour, ACX, etc. 

These are free websites to join and they give you an opportunity to sell your voice-over services to new and returning businesses. 

Also, you can work from a home recording studio and connect with businesses all across the world. 

Being a freelancer gives you a lot of freedom, but it does come with responsibility. It's the responsibility of knowing what you are doing with your voice, how to use your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), microphone, cords, acoustical treatment, and delivering wav or mp3 files. 

It sounds daunting, but with some help, like this blog and my YouTube Channel (for example), you can learn a lot. And when you are ready, you can hire a voice over coach to get practical and targeted help. 

Direct Marketing

Next on the list is direct marketing. This is where you take your communication skills and go directly to video production studios, audio production studios, small businesses, e-learning companies, etc. and sell your voiceover services.

We usually do this 2 ways:

  • Cold Calling
  • Emailing

Both of these methods work great, but they take a lot of consistency and follow-up. If you choose to use these methods to acquire voice over work, then make sure you focus on following up. 

They say the money is in the 3rd or 4th email. Today, I think it is probably more than that, but you get the idea. 

Simply ask these businesses if they are accepting voiceover demos, and send them a copy. Put their name and email address into your files, and send them a follow-up email a month later.

You will begin to build a list of possible clients that have agreed to hear more from you. 

 Voice Over Agent

 The old way of getting voice over work is through a voice-over agent. Basically, you search for agencies, usually in New York or Los Angeles, and see if they would represent you. 

At that point, they would use their contacts to find you auditions and opportunities. 

For their services, they take a cut of the work you do. 

Voiceover agents are still a viable way to get business these days and if you want to work for a large production company, like Warner Brothers, you will have to work with them. 

The best way to find the agent you want to work with is to determine the agencies that are close to the company you want to work with and reach out to them. 

* Make sure you ask about exclusivity before you sign anything. This means that you cannot work with anyone else in the region without their permission. 

Pay-to-Play Voice-over Websites

P2P websites or pay-to-play websites take a fee from you upfront, typically for the year, and send you auditions in return. 

You have the option to audition for as many as you get from them, and if you book the work, they will then take a small fee, like 20% or so. 

The idea is to pay for the platform and the marketing through subscriptions and fees. 

These websites typically generate a lot of traffic and do a lot of voice over auditions. It's important to note that there are A LOT of people on these websites, and you will be competing against them. 

So, you must approach this with the idea that you will need to do multiple auditions a day, typically 7-10 auditions in order to book any work that is worth the money. 

However, there are many people that make low to mid 6 figures from these websites, like voices.com, voice123, and thevoicerealm

The prices vary, but in the end, you are paying for opportunities, NOT JOBS! So make sure you go into these deals with the right mindset ... you are not guaranteed any work. 

What Now?

At this point, you now have 4 different options for getting voice over work when you are just starting out. 

In my humble opinion, you should try all of them. The more streams of revenue you can bring in, the more secure your business will be.

And, you can determine what parts of voiceover you like, and what genres you dislike. 

Cheers!

Anthony 

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