How Can I Do Voiceover?
Tips to getting started
A question I get asked A LOT is… “How do I get started with voiceover?”
Well, there’s a lot to do before you can start selling your voice! Voiceover requires initiative and investment so be prepared, this will not be an easy ride! But if you are passionate about voiceover you will most likely succeed. Here are my steps for you to get started:
Take a voiceover class
Whether in person, or online, a voiceover class will help you tremendously and it’s always the first step I recommend to people who want to get started. Voiceover takes a lot of initiative and if you aren’t willing to take a class you probably won’t succeed in this business. A class will help you a lot with the basics of voiceover (mic placement, finding characters, how to slate etc.) so do not skip this step! I definitely recommend an intro to voiceover class before you start taking workshops that introduce you to casting directors. Ask lots of questions, and spend some time to talk to more experienced voice actors. Do your homework by listening to voiceover talent in commercials on TV and radio, cartoons, audiobooks, video games, and even phone recordings!
Check out one of my favorite intro to voiceover classes available online taught by Susan Boyajian, a fifteen year veteran of the voiceover industry
2. Buy equipment
Now that you have some experience with voiceover you’re ready for the next important step which is to buy equipment! As I said earlier, voiceover requires investment. You want to buy a nice microphone, mic stand, pop filter, and a way to have a sound reduction booth. I say sound “reduction” because you typically won’t find a sound proof booth. I recommend to people to use a closet with sound reducing foam on the walls, here’s where I bought mine: https://foamforyou.com/commercial-foam-products/noise-control-foam.html
If you can’t afford the foam right away, some people use blankets on the walls. You will want your closet to be rectangular shaped if possible, it’s better for the sound.
For microphones for beginners I recommend the Blue Yeti or if you can afford it, the Shure. If you can afford high end I highly recommend Neumann TLM 102 or 103, this microphone is used by big name professional studios.
Also, if you can afford it there are portable booths that work very well in sound reduction, here is my recommendation: https://whisperroom.com/
3. Make your demo, or some samples
Now that you have everything you need to get recording you should make a demo of your voices. Start with your “commercial demo”. You want to show off your range, and you want it to sound professional. I highly recommend hiring someone who is professional to make your demo but you can start off with making one until you feel more confident and are more experienced. If you are going to make your own demo you want it to be 1 minute long and each “spot” be 10 seconds each. There should be no fade away or weird transitions, they should just go into each other one after the other. You should have music for each spot, and they should sound like real commercials. When I first started I wrote my own scripts, but you can hire a writer. I listened to a bunch of commercials with the style of voice I wanted, and then came up with a script and wrote it down and then recorded it. You can begin work with just your commercial demo but you may want to make a “Character” demo later on featuring your character work (think cartoons). There are others demos you can make later on as well like audiobooks and videogames. It may also be helpful to get some professional headshots and a website, but you don’t need this right away, but it will help you sell yourself. The more you invest in yourself, the more of a return you'll get!
4. Get to work!
After you have your demo ready you can start putting yourself out there on voiceover marketplaces and also start doing auditions!
My absolute favorite marketplace where I get the majority of my work is Fiverr.com
Look at other voiceover artists on the website and see how they sell themselves, look at their prices and what they put in their gig info. Try to copy what the successful ones are doing and you will be setting yourself up for success. I have done over 1,000 projects on Fiverr alone so I 100% recommend this as a place to start. I also do recommend for when you’re brand new to start off by selling your voiceovers for $5 so you can get some orders. Otherwise, if I were a buyer looking for a voiceover artist and I saw a brand new person selling for $25 I wouldn’t be interested! I would just go to someone who has over 100 reviews for the same price. So start low so you can build up some experience, then raise your prices as you get more work.
Voice123 is a fantastic place for auditions and has more of the higher paying jobs averaging between $100-$2,500. You will have to pay a yearly subscription, but I’ve always made my money back within at the least a few months and I always make at least 5x what I paid.
You can also try voices.com and castingcall.club, there are tons of other voiceover websites out there I’m sure you can find if you look! Once you have enough experience under your belt, and your demos are professionally done you can then look for a voiceover agent! These will help get you the big paying jobs like Disney animations or even super bowl commercials! Never use an agent that asks you for money, you should never have to pay for an agent! This is how you know they are a scam. I suggest looking at top agencies and also talking to other voiceover artists for suggestions.
If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to send me an email and I’ll help as best as I can :)
Good luck, and happy yapping!