Why Am I Not Making Any Money In Voice Over

Jul 30, 2019

Hello and welcome to episode number 93 of A VO's journey. My name is Anthony Pica, and this podcast is all about helping the new and upcoming voiceover artist grow their business and sidestep all the landmines that I jump on.

Tonight, I am going to be talking about a question that keeps popping up and I see it, especially with a lot of new voiceover artists, but that's not necessarily true. It's voiceover artists in general, and I think it's indicative of the changes in our industry. But the question is, why am I not making any money or why am I not making enough money when I see other people making tons of money? All right, so that's what we're going to be talking about tonight. Let's do it.

The question on the table is, why am I not making any money?

And you know, we could probably dive into a million things because there are, or there could be a million different reasons, but I think that question is actually probably the wrong question to ask. I'm gonna pose a different idea for you to think of.

Instead of asking why am I not making any money? Maybe the question you should be asking is what more can I do? And I think that question in itself really starts to open up your mind and think about, am I doing everything I can to grow my business or am I doing everything I can to get myself out there? Am I doing everything I can to show people that I really can do amazing work for them?

Am I presenting myself in a way that is showing people how professional I can be or what I can offer them? You know, that's the type of question, that you should be asking. And I find that when you focus on, you know, what can I do? What more can I do? What happens is, is that the money part, the money part will take care of itself. And of course there's always going to be, you know, people will say, well, that's easy for you to say.

Or anyone can say that. That's not right, you know, I don't believe it. I've not seen it. And that is true.

If you have never experienced it or felt it, you know, or, or been aware of it, it might be very hard for you to go on faith. But I can tell you this, and this is from my own personal experience, when I first started, doing voiceover, I started on ACX doing audio books.

And I remember as an actor learning very early on that the key to a successful acting career, in the professional world and getting consistent work was consistently auditioning week after week after week, 30 to 40 times a week. Now, this was probably, you know, 20 years ago or so. Am I remembered that, I remember learning about that and seeing that with people I was working with, uh, and other actors and how important that was.

You know? Uh, so when I first started in voiceover, I went to ACX. And of course, if you know that site, that's a place where you can go and audition for audio books and there's more than enough audio books on there to audition for over and over and over and over again. There's more and more every day you could audition until you can't audition anymore and there'd be so many more to audition for.

But here's the thing for me, I realized that if I want to get consistent work and I want to get paid to do voiceover, I'm going to need to audition like crazy. So I looked at the landscape and I said, well, there's not a lot of places I didn't have at the time. Let me rephrase. I was my, uh, significant other and I decided that we're not going to spend $500 on a pay to play site when I had no idea what I was doing.

So, you know, I looked around and there was some sites that you could get on for free, like upwork or Fiverr. Uh, but you know, for the most part you couldn't audition on many of those sites. I mean, you audition on upwork, but you know, it's a more of a bidding process and on ACX seem to be the place that you could audition as much as you wanted to.

And also had a lot more control over time, which was appealing to me because I was working a full time job and doing things quickly did not, uh, you know, I was unable to do that because of my schedule.

So what I did was, I told myself, "Okay, if I want to get work, I don't know what I'm doing." But I learned enough through watching youtube videos that I could record something and put it on Adobe audition, which I had. And I said, okay, I'm going to audition 12 to 15 times a night. And I would stay. I would, I would put my booth up around 9:30 pm, now cause I had to put it up and take it down every and every night. And I would audition, audition, audition, and then I would go to bed around two 30 or 3:00 AM in the morning. And then of course I got up for work around 6:00 AM. So I did this over and over and over again. And you know what I mean? If you, if you add that up right after 10 days, that's, that's 120 auditions minimum.

I guarantee you if you do 120 auditions on ACX, you will get work. You will get offers, you will get jobs, you will have so much work, you won't be able to do it all. What I've finding is, is that most people are asking the wrong question about why am I not making any money as opposed to what can I be doing more than what I am currently doing? A And it's also about what you are putting your at.

Like what basket are you putting your eggs in those time, eggs, if whatever that means. But you know what I'm saying? Where are you putting your time? Right? And if your time is being spent searching around for some easy way out. And what I mean by easy way out is, is that, you know, there are places where, and I'm going to and you will, you will very rarely ever, ever hear me do this because I love the platform ever.

But I'm going to pick on Fiverr for a second actually. And I'm going to pick on them in a sense that, or I'm gonna pick on voiceover artists and Fiverr because, and and, and you know what? It's good. Forget Fiverr, look at Voices.com and any of these sites that bring us work, you know, we can get really spoiled.

Now you get spoiled because you know what a dream that would be to live where you go to bed and wake up and you have five or six orders, seven, eight orders for hundreds and hundreds of dollars every day that you didn't have to do anything to get.

Okay. Someone else is getting it for you. You do the work. All right, they pay you, they take care of everything. That's Fiverr. That's really nice and some people are living that.

However, I promise you that is not how the world works. That is not how performing works or acting works or voiceover works. We got to put in a lot of stinking work. We've got to audition, audition, audition because people don't know who we are or what we are doing or what we are capable of.

Or even if they do know us, they don't know if we're right for the part because they probably don't know even what they're looking for. They have a vague idea. So it's important that we really increase the amount that we are doing and that we are doing the right things.

Not searching around for an easy way out. Now I'm not claiming that Fiverr is an easy way out by any means. I spent years, years on Fiverr and some of them angry years, like there was a whole year I was just angry and I did everything under the sun. Maybe some things I probably shouldn't even have done on Fiverr because I was determined to figure it out.

But you know, it took me years to get where I am on that platform. But I didn't start there because I couldn't, I didn't even have anything to put up.

So I started on ACX because I could audition and at least I knew that I had an opportunity to get a script, read it, record it, send it in. And I did that over and over and over and over and over and over again.

I mean I look back on and I thank God, I did a lot of auditioning constantly every single night I auditioned, I auditioned, I auditioned and I got turned down for a lot of books. But man, I also got tons of books to do.

I also got tons of work and I am still making, if nothing else, if I had nothing else of my business today and that was all I had from then, I would still be making at least $500 a month from what I did three years ago from royalties from those nights that I spent.

And you know what? $500 extra a month at this point right now for doing nothing cause I don't do anything anymore. It's royalties that come in that is directly deposited into my bank account every month. That's a pretty awesome business. Oh, that was a pretty awesome decision.

Or let me rephrase. That was some awesome hell that I went through for a couple of months. Okay. So all I'm telling, and I'm not saying that everybody is going to have that results, people are going to have way better results or some people may not have that exact results. But the thing I'm trying to say here is, is that don't ask why you're not making money. Ask what can you do more? How can you get yourself out there more? How can you get yourself into more opportunities?

How can you get yourself more exposure so that people will find you? People will hire you, people will see what you can do cause that's what you should be asking for. And also take a, take a look at your time and where you're spending it. I had a close friend of mine now, his name is Big Jim. I have some people in the group, you know, he posted a thing. It's called AndCo ... they changed their name, but it's AndCo and it's a secondary business that Fiverr owns. And the point of the business is to help small businesses or freelancers with services like tracking time, keeping up with documentation, helping them with all sorts business assistance.

So anyways, he put in there in the a Facebook chat that there was a stopwatch and that's really great thing because you should be trying to log your time if you are wondering where it's going, you know what I mean? And I know for me, I can still, sometimes I can get caught up in something or trying to look at something. And next thing I know I've, I've watched five videos, you know, cause the very nature of what we do is very out there and into social stuff and into, you know, marketing and everything. It's easy to get distracted.

But the key is as are you staying focused long enough to put yourself out there in a manner in which it's going to return you the best amount of, you know, um, exposure and, uh, clout, if you will, for the amount of time you're spending. So for ACX purposes, that was where I just dove into and I auditioned.

Like I said, 12 different auditions. That was the goal. The goal was to audition at least 12 times a night. I didn't always reach 12 I'll be honest with you, cause that's not easy guys. It's not, it's not easy, especially if you've started auditioning. It's not easy. You got to force yourself to not only stay focused, but you have to force yourself this. This does a couple of things.

By the way, this not only forces you to become consistent and focused, but it also forces you to start putting systems together, putting systems together for recording, for editing, for mastering, for submitting, for keeping files, for customer service, for how your dealing with all of these different things, your setup, your sound, all of this stuff happens through mass auditioning and now you might say, okay, well that sounds good, but I'm going to do 12 to 15 auditions a night for a Voices.com and you know what? That's fine too.

But I'm, I'm just trying to tell you from my experience of working with many voice over artists and I don't want to dis voices.com because they're an incredible platform just like voice123 and all these platforms are really amazing platforms. If you think about them, maybe think about it from the standpoint of how much business they bring to people.

But I know for a fact that if you are not succeeding on a platform or you are not succeeding, getting business or you are not succeeding in what you want to do, you either eat, you need to a double down and like I said, ask what you can be doing more or you need to switch gears and go to another place and then double, triple down and do is you know, more there.

Does that make sense? Okay. Because you don't want to just continually beat a dead horse at one place and nothing is happening for you. I know it's hard to, especially if you spent money at a pay to play site. I know I have and you know, it just, it did not work for me.

Now I could sit back and say, you know what? Maybe maybe I suck. Maybe I'm not any good because I can't get work on that platform. Or I can say, you know what? Maybe that platform is just not working for me. I'm going to go and try over here and then this platform starts working for me and I start making all this money over here. So was it me or was it the platform or was it something else? Who Cares? Right?

In the end, all we're really trying to do is help more people get ourselves out there more, right? And earn enough money to live our lives and to have a little fun. Hopefully. Hopefully this is fun for you and that's what the, that's what the joy is about, but I just, I want you to ask yourself that question over and over again.

What can I be doing more and actually add? What can I be doing more? That's going to give me the biggest bang for the buck. Okay. What can I do that is going to help me get more business than anything else.

Instead of trying to figure out the exact color for your website, maybe you should be doing 10 auditions on ACX and then after you've done 10 auditions, maybe then you figure out what that color is for your website tonight. But don't do the color for your website and then not do any auditions.

That's silly, right? Because all of the auditions and all of you getting yourself out there, that leads people to then be interested in your website, not the other way around. We live in a different era now.

It's not like I remember in 2010, 2011 or before then maybe 2008. And you know, when the internet or when websites really started to become this, you know, the, this arbitrage, you know, the, this opportunity to, uh, you know, find a, get the domain, get high rankings in Google, put in Google ads and you would be, you know, you just have an unlimited source of income. Right. I if anybody remembers that or dabbled in any of that. I did. I thought that was really cool, but I was never that successful on it because I never did anything worthwhile. I was trying to cheat the system. What I mean by that was I was trying to just find keywords and build out websites based on maybe classes or something I bought, you know, but I never took it any seriously and I never had any experience anything like that. But the point I'm trying to make to you is, is that as you, as I, as I moved along, you know, the Internet's changed as we, as we've gone in and it's not the same anymore.

Websites are not the same as they used to be. Yes they are. They are very important and they are imperative to your business. But at the same time, I would bet my entire business that you could create an entire career around not having a website and voiceover because I did it for a long time.

I was making all sorts of money through ACX and books without ever having a website. Never once did I have someone on ACX when I auditioned, asked me if I had a website. That's the power of that particular platform. Do you know what I'm saying? So now does that mean that they didn't like the authors didn't go and look for a website? No. That doesn't mean that.

All right. And does that mean it helps maybe with larger deals? Yes. but the point I'm trying to make too is all I can tell you is through my experiences and what I've seen. All right?

And I'm just trying to tell you that. Ask the question, what can you do more right now then you are currently doing and what can you do more intelligently, smartly than what you are doing, not how much you know, why am I not making money? If you start asking that question, ask the right question.

Your Business will definitely take off and the money, the money will become a byproduct. So you know, that's something that is different. But ask about how much more you can do and the right place to put all that effort. ACX is a great place to start, you guys, whether you like audio books or not, it is a great place to start and to start getting work and getting your name out there. All right. You guys have a wonderful, wonderful evening. I hope this helps. Ask the right questions.

Okay. All right ... Peace.


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