When I meet new people and acquaintances and tell them I’m a voiceover artist I sometime receive the following comments. “Oh, so do dubbing”, to which I respond ‘No, I haven’t done any dubbing yet”. “Oh, so you do cartoons, then?”. Or “Now you’re famous!! What TV commercials have you done?” Or, “So where can I hear your voice?!”
I haven’t done cartoons or dubbing and I’m not famous (yet)!! I have done a few TV commercials for TV in England but they weren’t those that everyone necessarily saw!
There are many genres of voiceover out there! From video games, anime and TV continuity, to corporate training, eLearning and audio description (accessibility for the visually impaired). Some of these are not in the public domain, so of course you probably wouldn’t have heard my voice!
Genres of voiceover that I have narrated include audiobooks, adverts, eLearning, corporate explainer videos as well as a smattering of other miscellaneous projects.
Another comment I get when I meet people and tell them I’m a voiceover is, “Oh that is niche”, “That is unusual”, “You’re the only person I’ve met who is a voiceover artist.” Which is fine to hear, these are neutral comments or even compliments! Though to my mind, when I hear this is, I don’t find it unusual at all! Once I decided that I’m going to pursue voiceovers, it felt so normal! I immersed myself in the voiceover industry! I have taken workshops, coaching, listen to a lot of webinars, podcasts and YouTube channels about voiceovers, attend script workouts groups, joined the VO (voiceover) Facebook groups, so VO is part of our lives!
If you are looking to be a voiceover artist, this is one of the first things you need to do - you need to research the industry, know what’s going on, know what the trends are, know what genres of voice over are out there and discover which ones you enjoy and think you’ll be good at. You don’t need to be good at every genre. In fact, most voiceovers end up finding their niche in a few genres.
Aside from my time actually recording projects and submitting auditions for said projects, there is the whole business side of things to take care of. As a voiceover artist, you are a solopreneur, and for the most part, it is freelance work, so you have to run your own business and find your clients. You’ve got to have a website, you need to keep reaching out to new voiceover agencies or productions companies to get more gigs, network, keep in touch with current clients, which means quite a bit of email marketing and social media. I actually love the marketing side of the business, too. I could actually spend 9-5 on all of the above every day!
But fear not, you don’t need to spend all day everyday working on all these things. There are plenty of voiceover artist who have another job, because voiceover work is not always consistent, especially at the beginning. You may well need another stream of income. You can work at your own pace, and spend as much available time as you have on building up your voiceover career.
The more time you invest in your VO career, the more likely you will be successful in gaining clients. And as with most freelance work in the creative industry, or any industry for that matter, it’s about building relationships with your clients and prospective clients. Repeat work is, of course, what we’d all like and once you build those relationship, you can often have it!