Doing Voice Over Work Online
Building a voice over business has never been easier, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take work. Every savvy voice over actor knows that finding voice over work online takes time. Booking voice over work doesn’t simply involve auditioning for every voice acting job under the sun, but instead requires that serious effort is invested into scoping out the right jobs for your voice in particular.
Here are some handy tips and tricks to effectively find voice over auditions and voice over jobs online. This insider’s look at how the industry operates will guide you through the process of embarking on your career in the voice acting world.
Freelance Voice Over Work
The freelance professional lifestyle is often held up as an ideal. On the face of it, being a freelancer appears to possess an amount of freedom and flexibility that others yearn for. And while this is certainly true in many instances, what often goes unmentioned is that those who work gigs tend to spend far more time looking for employment than traditional employees might suspect.
Working as a freelance voice actor is akin to running a small business. Like any other entrepreneurial endeavor, it takes talent, time, dedication, grit, ingenuity, and a passion for lifelong learning.
Your typical voice actor’s job hunt may take as much as one-quarter to one-third of their work time. This includes sending out emails, submitting voice over auditions, attending networking events, creating demo reels, and maintaining a website and/or talent profile on sites like Voices.com.
Find more tips for understanding your voice over business’s marketing mix.
8 Steps to Getting a Voice Over Job
Step 1: Take a Voice Acting Class
Before you get too far ahead of yourself and buy studio equipment, get some training. When you’re exploring voice acting as a potential career, taking a class or two, or enrolling in voice over coaching can help you to determine whether voice acting is the right business for you.
Step 2: Practice Reading out Loud
Read out loud often, so that you can really feel the copy, hear your voice, and play with the interpretation. Overcome any inhibitions by practicing your reading on a regular basis either on your own, with a teacher, family member or a trusted friend.
Step 3: Seek out Pro Bono Gigs to Build Your Resume
Consider apprenticing under an established voice actor, or volunteering your talents for charities, not-for-profits, or student projects. As you are building your voice over portfolio, it is important to make the distinction between volunteer work and “giving your voice away for free”—your future colleagues will thank you.
Step 4: Network With Other Voice Actors and Build Your Network
While coaching and training are a great place to start, don’t let your networking activities end there! Look for local Meetups, conferences, and online communities. Not only will you find kindred spirits and moral support, but you’ll also become part of a powerful referral network. When a fellow voice actor is presented with a job opportunity that they aren’t well-suited for, you can count on these peers to recommend other vocal talent in their network, including you, for said opportunities.
Step 5: Practice Proper Breathing
Remember to breathe properly. This means being able to control your breath and shape it to create flowing phrases and energetic, articulate performances. Breathing deeply from your diaphragm, breath support, and proper placement can work miracles and keep you conditioned to deliver in top form, even through sickness.
Step 6: Produce a Voice Over Demo
Making a voice over demo is a very personal, artistic, and technical process. You can go about this on your own, but it is advisable to consider the possibility of having a demo professionally produced for you. Your voice over demo can be your ticket to success, and often serves as the first impression of your voice that a prospective client will hear.
Step 7: Create a Voices Talent Profile
When you’re ready to pursue voice over work, you’ll need to have a web presence and a steady source of auditions. Registering for a Voices talent account is an optimal way to get your name in front of clients, market your talent on a global scale, and most importantly, gain access to our vast job board full of amazing voice acting opportunities.
Step 8: Follow Up and Be Persistent
When you are pounding the pavement on your own, be sure to follow up with the prospects you have submitted your demos or marketing material to. Do everything you can to keep your name front of mind. You may not receive a response from every person you deliver your promotional materials to, but that shouldn’t deter you from marketing your services. When someone needs your voice, they will get in touch!
Be Selective When Auditioning for Voice Over Jobs Online
No matter whether you’ve been in the voice acting business for a while or are just starting out, when you’re looking for voice over jobs online, it pays to know both where to look and what to look for.
For instance, when you’re reviewing a voice over job posting, you’ll notice that a variety of criteria are included, including vocal requirements, artistic direction, and more. The key to determining whether this is the right job for you comes down to how well you know your own voice and your brand.
What to Look for in a Voice Over Job Posting
When you first spot a job posting that interests you, you’ll want to double-check a few key specifications, including:
- Language, Accent, and Dialect: Be honest about the languages, accents, and dialects that you can fluently perform, because many clients can distinguish an authentic sound from one that’s not as polished. If you’ve received language training or dialect coaching, indicate your level of fluency or comfort with the required language when submitting your audition and proposal.
- Gender: Make sure that the job posting’s requirements reflect the gender that you sound the most like.
- Category: The different categories of voice over projects can range from radio and television, to animation and audiobooks, and even includes podcasting, internet video, and movie trailers.
- Deadline: Consider when the client has set the audition deadline. If it’s not possible for you to audition in time, or you’re booked solid when the client needs the voice over recorded, you’ll need to pass on the opportunity. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re available when you aren’t, causing you to come across as being unreliable.
- How the client needs the work delivered: Ensure that you’re able to deliver the file in a way that works for the client. This may include the audio file format, or even the prospect of taking part in a live directed recording session via ISDN, Source-Connect, or another connective technology.
- Pay rate: This may be your deal maker (or breaker). Does the pay line up with the amount of work required? Look for a budget range and compare it with the amount of time it will take you to complete the work. Note that you can quote whatever you choose for any voice over job, but never settle for any rates that you feel aren’t in alignment with your worth.
Submitting Auditions for Voice Over Jobs Online
When a script is supplied, it’s best not to read the whole thing in your audition. Read approximately 15 seconds or so, and then move on.
Learn more about how to land voice over jobs without having to leave the comfort of home by auditioning online.
If you want to try your hand on some voice over scripts, Voices has an abundant library of original, royalty-free sample scripts that you’re more than welcome to use as practice to stay in fine form for auditioning, or to serve as the script for your next voice over demo.
When you’re on the lookout for voice over work and different job opportunities, some due diligence on your part can help inform whether it’s a worthwhile decision to submit an audition or not. In addition to numerous other factors, you also need to weigh the opportunity with your own values and beliefs before pursuing it. Your integrity is far more important than making a quick buck.
Watch this video for some extra insight on the best practices for submitting voice over auditions.
Writing a Strong Proposal
Along with your audition, you should submit a cover letter—also commonly known as a proposal—which will inform the client why you believe you’re the best candidate for the job. It’s easy to dismiss this step because it doesn’t seem to have much to do with your voice. However, if you pause and recognize that the client can only see a few things when evaluating your submission—your audition, your quote, and your proposal—you’ll realize that it’s one of the three aspects up for consideration.
Learn how to write a clear and compelling proposal (and make use of proposal templates) to wow clients and communicate why you’re the right voice for the job.
Bonus Tip: Ask for the next gig and a referral.
After you’ve booked the job and delivered the final files, that’s the absolute best time to ask your client how you can be helpful to them in the future. Strike while the iron is hot! If you sense that another job isn’t immediately available, at least ask for a referral to one of your client’s colleagues within the organization, by politely throwing out a suggestion like: “Is there anything else at your company that might benefit from my services? I’d welcome the introduction.”
Launch Your Career in the Voice Acting Industry
You’re now fully equipped with the essential knowledge to get started with Voices and start landing voice over work online. Sign up for a Voices talent account, begin submitting auditions, and you’ll be well on your way to making it as a voice actor online. Happy recording!