- Jun 14, 2018
Have you ever heard that creative insult “he/she has a face for radio”? That’s right - it means the person being described is judged to be less than attractive But because I’m such a positive human being, I try to put a different spin on that description to make it mean that someone is actually attractive on radio...at least to the ears. So if you know how to voice act, it doesn’t really matter what kind of beauty standards other people use to measure up anymore, because chances are they’ll like the sound of your voice once they hear it, anyway.
That being said, today, we’re going to discuss how to make money from doing voice over work. It’s gotten more popular among those who have a pleasant-sounding or animated voice to use as an additional means of income. Now, it is no longer a job meant solely for radio DJs or commercial talents, but to anyone who fills the bill for clients that need them to narrate their brand in a distinctive manner.
Oh, and the really great thing about it is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home, and won’t have to travel to a recording studio for it! Are you ready to wow the world with your voice? Then read on to know how!
First, decide what kind of voice talent you want to be
It’s important to get an idea of the kind of voice over work you want to do. To do this, you must familiarize yourself with all aspects of your voice, including accents (natural and put-on for character acting or roleplaying) you can do, how “old” you can make your voice sound like (can you play the role of a child or an older person, etc?), and if you can sing, whistle, yodel, etc. The only way you can sell your voice is if you’ve gotten to know it inside-out.
Then ask yourself this: do you want to do voice overs for certain brands in commercials? Or do you like the idea of lending your voice to films, TV spots, video or mobile games, or narrating in audio books? Knowing where your strengths and passions lie and how your voice best suits certain job descriptions can really help you snag the right kind of clients and build your portfolio steadily.
Sign up with a voice over “marketplace”
The next vital step on how to become a voice actor who gets paid for gigs is to create a profile, preferably in a well-known voice over platform. This is where sites (and mobile apps) like Voices.com can be of great help to you. Basically, they match you up with clients in their vast database, who can then browse the directory of voice over talents and pick the ones that best suit their needs.
Before you get picked up for an audition though, you must first sign up, then create a profile with the kind of information that will get you noticed by potential clients. Aside from your name, gender, age, location, spoken languages, professional background, and a headshot to go with all that basic info, it’s also important to upload demo audio files to let clients know what you’re offering aurally. Think of it as providing a sampler to clients so they can have a “taste” of what you’re selling before deciding to buy the whole package!
After creating your profile, you will now be entered into Voices.com’s directory of voice actors. You can then look at job postings or have clients find you by category, age, style, accent, role, language, city, or if you have representation via a talent agency.
Determine your talent fee or rates
If you’re new to the entire voice over scene, you might be wondering “How much do voice over actors make?” It really depends on the experience, skills, and portfolio of the VO talent, but voice over actors can make at least a hundred dollars on doable projects for a variety of uses.
However, if you have no idea how to charge clients yet, Voices.com has a handy Rates and Pricing table to help you out. There is a “typical talent fee range” in US dollars categorized into broadcast (radio) for local, regional, and national markets, as well as broadcast (television) for the same kind of markets. There are also non-broadcast rates you can use as a guide if you land a client for such things as business or educational audiobooks, animation, film projects, video games, etc.
Do voice over auditions for potential clients
So what happens when a client sends you a message because they are interested in you doing a voice over audition for them? Depending on the kind of project they are proposing, you can, in turn, quote your professional rates, and if they agree to it, you can record a short part of the script they sent you right there in the comfort of your own home (yep, another sampler, so make sure it’s of topnotch quality!). Afterwards, you can send the recording back and if they like it, they will sign you up for the full project.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a career doing voice overs, and now I have an idea. I’m really glad there are platforms and marketplaces that make it easy for VO talents to get discovered and hired by companies that need their skills and talents. Signing up for an account at Voices.com is totally free and can be done by anyone, wherever they may be in the world. This makes them legit in my book!
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Have you ever lent your voice talents to a paying client, and did you use an online marketplace or app for it? Please tell us all about your VO experiences so we can learn from them!