Question: who is responsible for your voice over career? Is it your agent? Casting directors? Fellow colleagues? Production companies? Your family? Your spouse? Your network? If you said no to all the above, you’re doing great, my friend. The ONLY person responsible for your career is you. And you alone. Just you. Agents, CD’s, network, colleagues, producers, family, and friends can support but none of them are responsible for your success. Only you.
Ooof…that’s a lot. A lot of pressure. A lot of things to juggle. A lot. I know, I get it. Let me break all of the ‘things’ into four bite sized how to start your voice over career tips.
Thing 1 - Talent
YOU are the voice over product. You are the creator. So hone your instrument. Study at university, in workshops, in classes and privately. Develop your signature and authentic sound and delivery. Understand technique and craft. Understand the mechanics of your instrument and how to optimize it. Warm up your voice and cool it down. Read aloud daily. Know how to pull in your plosives and control sibilance. Be curious. Be silly. Be a student.
Thing 2 - Engineer
Learn about gear and recording software (or digital audio workspace - DAW). Learn file types, compression, sample rates and EQ. What frequencies get stuck where and how to sweeten your space. What auralex is and how a bass trap works. Where to put your mic in a space and placement of your mouth. Take engineering class or watch youtube videos. There are only a trillion YouTube videos on the most optimal voice over engineering (I've even written an article or two on the subject). So much information. Practice and play.
Thing 3 - Marketing
CREATE GOALS! You will not know how to get there if you have no idea where you’re going. Get the workbook and planner for artists or a piece of paper and a pencil. Be methodical! After you create the goal, forge the path. The smaller the chunks, the easier to tackle. Think creatively about your own path and watch those who you admire.
Thing 4 - Business
The big one.
What is your product? What problem are you going to solve? Have an elevator pitch for what you do always at the ready.
Account for all monies in and out of the business. Create a rate sheet and sample contract. Budget for marketing, equipment and office supplies. Make invoice template. Keep track of income and expenses with quickbooks, voiceoverview or spreadsheet.
Office manage by maintaining equipment and supplies.
Keep track of market trends and economics because when the country’s in a recessive economy, advertising companies will adjust their budgets.
Learn to pivot. Learn to love it.