Voice Acting

How You Can Book Your First Voice Over Job

Tara Parachuk | December 14, 2018

booking voice over gigs

Whether you are new to the voice over industry or have just signed up on Voices, you are probably wondering how you can increase your chances of booking your first voice over job relatively quickly.

While there is not an exact formula that will guarantee you book the gigs you want, there are measures you can take to set yourself up for success on the platform and ensure that you meet the ears of potential clients.

In this article

  1. Booking Voice Over Gigs Tip #1: Start Somewhere – Anywhere!
  2. Booking Voice Over Gigs #2: Standing Out From the Crowd
  3. Booking Voice Over Gigs Tip #3: Audition Often
  4. Booking Voice Over Gigs Tip #4: Deal with Rejection Professionally and Don’t Give Up!
  5. Booking Voice Over Gigs Takeaways

We’ve rounded up some tips from talent on how they booked their first gig, and the strategies they are using to ensure they are consistently booking work.

Booking Voice Over Gigs Tip #1: Start Somewhere – Anywhere!

A lot of times, the fear of starting something new actually prevents us from getting started in the first place! You have to put yourself out there, get some demos created and start auditioning to jobs. Don’t let the fear hinder you from trying because you never know what you can achieve if you simply step outside of your comfort zone.

“I had no idea what I was doing, I just kind of threw myself out there,” says voice actor Katie Harrington – within a week, she had booked her first job on Voices.

John Kubin took a similar approach to starting his career as a voice over artist. His advice? “Jump in and start recording and you’ll eventually find your voice and see what works and what doesn’t,” he says. “You don’t need a top of the line mic […] it doesn’t take much to get yourself going.”

Although it may be scary to try something new, you have to start somewhere. As voice actor Zach Hoffman says: ”Don’t be afraid to suck. You don’t know and that’s okay. To get in there and say, ‘Okay I love this, I love the idea of this and I want to do it. But I don’t know what I’m doing.’”

Voice actor Antonio Greco booked his first large project with more than 56 different scripts after he upgraded his voice over equipment. At first, he started out with less expensive equipment – the point is to start somewhere, learn the ins and outs, and then upgrade as you go (should you need to).

Perhaps a lack of experience is holding you back from pursuing work as a voice actor. But don’t be dismayed, it is possible to book jobs without any experience.

“Within one week of receiving my equipment, I booked my first job for $200, which more than covered the cost of my equipment,” says Miel Roman.

Booking Voice Over Gigs #2: Standing Out From the Crowd

When you sign-up for an online marketplace (like Voices) the competition can be tough. There are a ton of voice actors with similar qualifications and (possibly) even more experience booking jobs. So how will you set yourself apart from the crowd?

Filling out your profile to highlight any special skills (e.g. languages, accents, training, previous clients you’ve worked with), communicating with the client effectively, and getting auditions submitted in a timely manner are some of the ways you can create a great first impression with potential clients.

“When I first started I would take an hour to audition, and most of the time you’re dealing with agencies who need it done quickly,” says John. “Being fast and efficient at what you do, knowing your voice, knowing what works and what doesn’t and what you should audition for [are crucial to success].”

Sometimes standing out from the crowd means knowing your own voice and being 100% confident that you are the perfect voice for the job you are auditioning for.

As Antonio says, “There is a lot of stress when it comes down to what is going to make you different [from other voice actors]. What it really comes down to, is [to] stop trying to emulate other people and do what [you] would personally do for [your] own creativity,” he says.

You can also differentiate yourself by being careful about the descriptors you use in your profile to describe the sound of your voice. Your voice is unique, so make sure to describe it as such so that you will be matched by VoiceMatch™ with jobs that are suited for you.

“[VoiceMatch] seems to help the whole [process],” says Zach. “And that all depends on the descriptives you choose for your demos. Understanding that [you] may need to choose and have a wide variety of those descriptors [in order to book jobs],” he says.

Booking Voice Over Gigs Tip #3: Audition Often

In order to book the gigs that you’ve set your sights on, you want to make sure that you keep your ‘audition to booking ratio’ at 2:1 (auditioning to working on booked jobs).

But how do you do that?

A common misconception is that the more you audition, the more jobs you will book. This is not necessarily the case. If you are simply auditioning for every job that comes into your inbox with little regard to whether or not the job is actually suited to your voice, your success rate may not increase.

Take it from Katie Harrington who has learned to audition for jobs that are within her wheelhouse.

“I was auditioning more often when I first started,” says Katie. “But I kind of backed off a little bit because I’ll read a script and think ‘that’s not for me,’” she says.

On the other hand, Zach finds that auditioning more often means he is more likely to land a job. “I’m trying to clear my inbox every day. So that could be 40 auditions. I’ve found that I do [about] 42-43 auditions to book a job,” he says. “So if I’m doing that every day, that could potentially mean one job per day.”

Although Zach and Katie appear to have slightly different strategies, what they both have in common is that no matter how many jobs they’re auditioning for, they’re making sure that their voice is suited to the job first. Read more on how to master the art of the audition.

Booking Voice Over Gigs Tip #4: Deal with Rejection Professionally and Don’t Give Up!

There will, of course, be times when you are really excited about auditioning for a job and then never hear from the client again. The important thing to remember is not to let those ‘rejections’ get you down, and instead to move on to other jobs that may be better suited to your voice.

“You get fewer rejections if you cater to auditions that are looking for your kind of voice, which comes from doing more auditions […] even if you don’t get them, you can really take home lessons from [those auditions] once you put yourself out there,” says Katie Harrington.

“You shouldn’t put yourself out there for rejection if [the audition] is not for you or if you wouldn’t be able to replicate it, if you got hired for the job,” she continues.

John Kubin shares a similar sentiment about setting yourself up for success and not rejection. “Knowing what you should and shouldn’t audition for,” he says is key to helping to ensure that you have fewer rejections to deal with.

The key point here is that rejection is normal. Even the most seasoned pros have been rejected for jobs, but don’t give up.

“I was putting auditions through for a couple of weeks or a month before something happened,” says Lisa Unrau. “I didn’t give up because I kept getting ‘likes’ periodically [on my auditions].”

Lisa is proof that you shouldn’t give up. Stay motivated and inspired by little things, like the ‘likes’ on your auditions, which can serve as proof that you are on the right track.

Antonio feels that following your instinct is the way to go. “Just go with it, trust the process and focus on [your] talent more than anything else,” he says. “And make sure that you’re giving the best performance that you possibly can, and if you do, it’ll fall into place.”

Booking Voice Over Gigs Takeaways

Booking your ideal job comes with practice and thoughtfully planning out your strategy for auditioning. Remember that auditioning for three jobs that are 100% suited for your voice is way better than auditioning for 100 jobs where you may not be the best-suited voice artist for the role.

Don’t be afraid to expand on your skills. As you grow, update your profile to it accurately reflects the skills and services you can offer to your clients.

Let us know how you landed your first voice over job in the comments.

Happy auditioning!

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  • Avatar for Rodney F Griffith
    Rodney F Griffith
    December 15, 2018, 6:45 am

    Hi there,
    I’m a couple months in with auditions, getting a few likes and listens of my demos. Havent been able to land that first job yet,though- I’m more curious than discouraged at this point. I also am looking to network with other VO’s at this juncture.

    • Avatar for Tanya
      December 26, 2018, 11:09 am

      Congrats on embarking on this journey! Listens and likes can certainly be encouraging, though (of course) landing a job would also be very exciting too. I’ve forwarded your comment on to our support team in case they can recommend any tips, although it sounds like you’re well on your way to landing work! All the best & wishing you much success, now and into the New Year.

      • Avatar for Anthonia Anana
        Anthonia Anana
        September 22, 2022, 3:31 am

        Please I was asked to send a voice demo but the truth is I really don’t know what I’m supposed to say,please I need your help

      • Avatar for Tara Parachuk
        Tara Parachuk
        September 27, 2022, 10:49 am

        Hi Anthonia,
        We have a large variety of sample scripts you can read as a demo. If you search ‘scripts’ they will show up.
        Happy auditioning!

  • Avatar for Michael Mitchell
    Michael Mitchell
    December 28, 2018, 5:57 pm

    I have auditioned form more than 600 jobs on Voices.com and have not received one single booking. I am a professional performer and recording artist with over 5,000 concerts to my credit. I have been taking voice acting training for the better part of a year, and have a professional designed and equipped vocal recording booth. Repeated attempts to contact Voices.com to ask them to provide some feedback or advice on what I might be doing wrong have fallen on deaf ears. I have even had my audition pieces reviewed by a professional sound recording engineer, who determined that the quality was remarkable. What gives Voices.com???

    • Avatar for Tanya
      January 2, 2019, 11:54 am

      Hi Michael,
      Thank you for your comment and for reaching out. We certainly take requests for feedback seriously and I’ve forwarded your comment on to our Support Team. In regards to your previous outreach, I’m not sure what channel (e.g. social media, phone, email) you tried, so just in case (and for future communications) here is the link to our contact page: https://www.voices.com/company/contact

      • Avatar for Scott
        January 31, 2019, 3:24 pm

        I am in much the same boat. I have just decided to retire from teaching (early) because I am getting so much work in audiobooks and another online voice over website that I can start to do this full time. With that being said, I have not booked one job yet and have over 300 auditions.
        I think you should offer an incentive to your clients to hire people without reviews so that we can break in a little easier.

    • Avatar for James Sherrill
      James Sherrill
      January 21, 2019, 1:43 pm

      I have been working on voices.com for two and a half years and i have booked one job. I got 5 stars from the job. Is this typical? I had one voice over class and got some advice , that i took. The coach said that there is no reason that i can’t get work. I get rave reviews from audiobooks I narrate. Still i book nothing. I am so frustrated i am, again considering quitting. Any advice?

    • Avatar for James Sherrill
      James Sherrill
      January 21, 2019, 1:48 pm

      i am in a similar situation. I was looking in the comments to see if there was one that was not so upbeat. Your comment I can relate to. The fact that you sound perhaps even more dilligent than myself may allude to the issue. A lot of competition.

  • Avatar for Bonnie Trost
    Bonnie Trost
    December 31, 2018, 5:56 pm

    There were some great suggestions in this article. I have been auditioning for nearly a year though, and getting some likes, but have yet to land job. I was ready to walk away but my husband encouraged me to stick with it, “you’ve put to much time and money into this to just to give up, keep trying!”
    So I’ve persisted, I’ve been taking more audio editing courses and when I started implementing new techniques my “likes” started increasing.
    I will keep persisting and hopefully my goal of booking that first gig will be met very soon!!

    • Avatar for Tanya
      January 2, 2019, 11:49 am

      Thank you for sharing your journey Bonnie! I’ll forward your comment on to our account managers to see if they are able to supply you with any additional tips.
      All the best now and into the New Year!
      – Tanya

  • Avatar for Dianne Grace Sy
    Dianne Grace Sy
    January 7, 2019, 9:40 pm

    I have never done an audition yet. I received a job invite during the new year unfortunately I wasn’t able to audirtion because I was busy with the festivities! I’m so sad! I wish I could have tried! I hope to get more opportunities soon!

    • Avatar for Tanya
      January 10, 2019, 7:49 am

      Getting invites sounds really encouraging! Too bad it was during such a busy season. Fingers crossed the timing lines up for you next time!

  • Avatar for Álex Maciel
    Álex Maciel
    February 1, 2019, 1:44 am

    After a couple of weeks I landed my first job! I think the key was that I gave my most deeper feeling to the audition and as natural as possible. After reading what the client wanted, I just thought “how would I express this” not, what would the client expects.. That landed me the job I believe… and hopefully more to come…

  • Avatar for Chris Borden
    Chris Borden
    June 25, 2019, 7:09 pm

    Hey, there. I’m a 63 year old with 3000 auditions on this site and not one booking; in fact, not ONE thumbs-up. I am not a beginner, I have good equipment and a pro studio, but something is very wrong. No one listens to more than half my auditions. Can someone tell me what I’m doing wrong? I’ve been trying to break into this field for 20 years and after tens of thousands of dollars on demos, classes, marketing, equipment, watching videos, etc. (No, I’m not kidding.) It’s like shouting from the moon to be listened to.

    • Avatar for Tanya
      August 13, 2019, 10:00 am

      Hi Chris,
      I’m really sorry to hear about your experience so far. No doubt, that would be disheartening!
      I’ve reached out to our talent success specialist who regularly consults on issues just like this, and provides guidance. You’ll be reached out to shortly, but in the meantime, if you have any other urgent support questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected] as well too.
      Wishing you all the best & hoping things turn back around for you soon!
      – Tanya

  • Avatar for Lola Sinclair Mc Kenzie
    Lola Sinclair Mc Kenzie
    December 7, 2019, 10:49 am

    I don’t know how to go about it