Opportunity Road Sign
What does it take to get work in the voice over business?
It certainly takes more than a voice, a computer and a microphone.
Discover the three basic elements that you need to build your success upon and learn how you can set yourself apart from other voice actors in this increasingly competitive field of work.

I received a question from someone getting started in voice over this morning that inspired me to write a new article about the keys to success in voice acting biz.

How do you get voice over work?

It’s an easy and attainable task if you have all your ducks lined up in a row. You’ll also need to be proactive, have passion, and be persistent.

To succeed in pro voice over you need to have three basic elements working for you:

1. Talent

You need to be able to act! Having a pretty voice, a big voice, or a “great” voice is not going to get you further than the compliments you receive from those around you.

2. Business Skills

Voice over is a business and needs to be treated like one. This means you need to wear as many hats as it takes to own and operate your own business successfully.

3. Technical Skills

In this day and age you need to have technical skills and be able to meet all of the requirements expected of you. Audio engineering is an incredibly important aspect of this equation.
Those fundamentals paired with your demo, and a combination of great PR, good timing and the right opportunities and you’ve got yourself a foolproof method of getting work.
Being able to present yourself, communicate, pursue success and maintain relationships will set you apart as both a voice actor and businessperson.

If there’s one piece of business advice you pass along to someone, what do you tell them?

Share your advice as a comment below!
Best wishes,
©©©iStockphoto.com/Geoffrey Holman

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. Thank-you for sharing this Steph.
    I would like to add something that I have found very useful. Love yourself and be thankful for every opportunity. Always do you very best by being prepared and allowing yourself to be open to spontaneous creative inspirations. Focus on your positives. There is no use beating yourself up over not landing a gig. Don’t get caught up in the dwelling on ‘why wasn’t I good enough’. Let it go and move forward.
    I am a huge fan of The Secret and visualizations are very helpful in creating opportunities. There is enough for all of us.
    Best wishes to all, know how fantastic you are!
    Smiles, K

  2. Stephanie,
    Right off the bat you said “have passion” and I think that’s important. As with the other performing arts, you really have to need success rather than just want it. It takes a powerful commitment.
    Fred Keeler

  3. I’ve been self-employed for twenty years as both a writer and voiceover talent. Just in the last year or so, I gave up the writing biz because voiceovers were so much more fun (writing is hard, as anyone will tell you!), there are better opportunities than ever before, and it is MUCH more lucrative!
    What I would add to Stephanie’s terrific blog today are three more “assists to success”:
    – Be extremely organized (keep impeccable records, invoice promptly, follow up on past due payments, keep receipts for taxes, etc.);
    – Have the grit and determination to push forward even when you haven’t had a job in weeks. BELIEVE how good you are!
    – And–doing ONE THING each day to market yourself, whether writing a blog entry, sending a new demo to current clients to say “Hey, I’m still here!”, creating a new avatar or updating your demos, keep on top of it. Success won’t always come easily, but persistence pays off!

  4. My piece of advice is network! You’ll be amazed how much help is available from your colleagues. When I first started this venture, I was worried about someone “stealing” my ideas. I’ve recently learned that the more you help others, the more you’ll learn in the process.
    Keep up the great work, everyone!

  5. This may be the first time I have posted a reply on this blog and I have to say I enjoyed the other’s comments too. I would normally like to encourage voice actors as the others have done but this time I want to place my concern and frustrations online that maybe I can get through this very tough time and also help others.
    The big #3! Technical skills.
    I started in this amazing profession about 2 years ago and have spent many thousands of dollars trying to get this business off the ground. I have a great home studio and have had many VO and acting courses but when it comes time to record a script my skills in the software are lacking terribly. Now add technical troubles and I have big troubles! My comment is the frustrating lack of tech training that should come along with the software packages bought for our purposes. Finding someone to get to the bottom of the issues is also very difficult. I don’t know the answer but maybe someone out there does.
    Any suggestions?
    Greg Hamilton

  6. Remember that this IS a business… and
    1) Take your ego out of it. If you aren’t landing work, don’t blame the industry, or marketing sites you may subscribe to. Be willing to look at the possibility that your skills may not be up to par. It’s hard to see the you’re not “good enough” at what you do to get much work. But you have to see how competitive you are in the marketplace in order to make changes to become more competitive. Remember, if you refuse to see your own shortcomings, you give up your power to change.
    2) You are opening a business. Don’t expect it to be free. There will be equipment expenses, training expenses, marketing expenses. You’d probably have to shell out at least $30,000 to buy a cheap sandwich shop franchise… VO isn’t that expensive… but you DO NEED MONEY to start a business.
    3) Invest in yourself. Most good managers take professional development courses. Theirs may be on managing teams, or time management, or how to close a sale. But they DO take courses. Professional development is essential as a form of
    a) keeping up with the industry
    b) network
    c) refine your craft
    d) learn new skills
    The talent who doesn’t believe in professional development, who thinks he has “arrived” and needs no further training because he’s been working for years at this (on the side since he can’t make a living at it) isn’t as good as he thinks he is… because we ALL learn from each other.
    And it’s not always expensive. The VoiceOver Experts podcasts by voices.com are awesome. There are numerous resources at voiceoverxtra.com as well.
    4) Find FREE ways to connect with other talent. Get the free VoiceOver Insider Magazine (www.voice-overs.com) Subscribe to VoiceOver Times (www.Voiceovertimes.com) and this blog. Join the forum at http://www.voiceoverforum.com, and VO-BB (http://www.vo-bb.com). Go to workshops like Voice 2008, and other talent gatherings that happen locally. The people you meet through these places can help you find agents, encourage you when you’re down, celebrate your successes, and become your support system.


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