The Only Voice Acting Strategy You’ll Need In 2023
Do you have a plan to grow your voice over business in 2023? Going into the new year, you’ll need to be strategic to advance your professional goals.
A strategy is commonly defined as the choices you make that position you for success. This article outlines a number of opportunities that you can commit to; choices that you’ll make to be successful in 2022. These choices include the things you will do as well as those you won’t do. Being clear on which is which will help you navigate opportunities as they arise, helping you to realize the success you aspire to.
Set Achievable Goals and Write Them Down!
Before you do anything else, it’s time to set some realistic and achievable goals. While it’s not for us to say or define what success should look like for you in 2023, we hope the guidance provided here helps you be successful over the coming year. Depending on where you’re at in your career, your goals may be very different from the next voice actor. Whatever those goals happen to be, you are in a much better position to achieve them if you make yourself accountable.
Write Down Your Goals
Start by writing your goals down. Research shows that if you write down your goals, be it at the beginning of the year or really at any time, you dramatically increase the likelihood of success.
Create a goal card for yourself. This could be as simple as jotting your goals down on a cue card, or a full blown vision board (if it works for Oprah, it can work for you). Put it somewhere you can’t miss so you can keep your goals top of mind. Career coaches encourage their clients to read their goal card first thing in the morning and as the last thing they do before going to sleep. If you’re not going to read it daily, at least actively reflect on your goals throughout the week to give yourself encouragement and create meaning and connection to the activities you’re engaged in.
If you’re struggling with how to write a goal in a clear and concise manner, consider the tried and true SMART goal approach. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Update Your Voices Profile
One of the easiest things you can do is update your profile. Focus on ensuring your About section is accurate, your Client List highlights the biggest brands you’ve worked with (specifically putting them as the top three in the list), and be sure to include your Education to document courses, workshops, or degrees that you’ve completed in the last year.
Since you’re in your profile updating the written portion, don’t overlook your studio equipment. With all that online shopping and e-commerce activity in 2021, you may be among the many people who added some new gear to their studio. Did you upgrade your microphone? Learn a new piece of software or perhaps subscribed to Source-Connect? If you find yourself doing recording sessions with clients, list out those software tools in a new section we added last year called “Live Directed Sessions.”
FYI: The most commonly listed software programs are Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.
Update Your Headshot
Many voice actors don’t want to believe it, but a headshot is a necessity in this day and age. The truth is, people (that is, clients and producers) want to do business with people they trust and have established a relationship with. And, as superficial as it is, the first impression that’s made is not from your voice-over demo, but rather from your profile picture.
Don’t believe me? We’ve run tests to determine where people click in the search results, the Top 100, and yes, on the profiles.
As a general rule, you want to update your headshot every 2-3 years, and certainly after 5 years. Aging is a natural part of life, and it is best to embrace it! Update your headshot so that it is a reflection of what you see in the mirror everyday. This will feel more authentic to you and should you have directed sessions over video, the people you’re working with easily recognize you.
We’ve written an entire article with ideas for what you can do if you’re looking for tips on how to update your headshot. This may go without saying, but have someone else take the photo (no selfies!), use good lighting, wear solid colors, have a simple or non-distracting background and crop the image into a square.
Produce a Demo in a New Category
There’s a reason why producers come to Voices is to hear demos from professional talent like yourself: it’s a platform like no other and an opportunity for you to showcase your best work.
Ask yourself, do you have your absolute best voice samples showcased as one of your top three demos on your profile? If you’ve been sitting on a demo, waiting for the right time to upload it, now’s the time. If you’ve been waiting to update one of your top three demos, get it done before the end of the month (by making a S.M.A.R.T goal about it and reminding yourself every time you walk by)!
While we often recommend that you find your voice over niche and stick to what makes you money, if you wish to grow your V/O career in a new area in 2023, make a demo in that category and get it up on your profile!
Update Your Demo Titles and Descriptions
If you’re not ready to create a new demo (at least not yet), then get a quick win by editing the titles of your existing demos. In 2023, nobody will want to listen to a demo that’s labeled as being from 2017, 2018, or worse, even older.
If the content on your demo is still current, there’s no need to replace the audio file. Simply tweak the title. If you do have a spot or two that needs to be replaced but don’t want to lose the “demo listens” metric, you can revise your demo and then upload the current demo to your existing demo listing!
Accurately describing your demos will make it easier for prospective clients to find you via search. Go take a look at your demos now and see how much detail there is. If you see that there could be more, now’s the time to update them! Don’t put off something as simple as this until tomorrow. Do it today.
Find a Voice Coach
Even if you’ve been voice acting for years, taking lessons from a voice over coach every now and then to stay on top of your game is beneficial. Top actors, just like athletes, make it a point to study or train with voice over coaches to refine their skills and remain sharp.
If you’ve just entered the voice over field, studying with a coach will help you to better understand the industry and where your vocal talents fit in. They can help you to identify and develop your signature voice, establish your brand, and introduce you to voice work you’re most suited to. A great coach may also be able to help you produce your first voice over demos.
Good news: Coaches are often comfortable providing services remotely, so finding a coach outside your local area has become very easy. Visit our coach directory for a place to start browsing your next V/O coach.
Go Deep on Internet Videos
YouTube is an incredible resource for learning all manner of skills. Looking to expand your knowledge of your recording software? There are countless tutorials on Adobe Audition, Audacity, ProTools, GarageBand, and so many more.
Perhaps if you’re looking for more general skill development, you can gain ear and listening training from our own Randy Rektor, an audio engineer by training who also studied at the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART) and is Voices’ lead Audio and Video Content Producer.
Randy has put together more YouTube videos for you to use in the coming year, as well. Check out these playlists:
Get an Agent
For those who want to complement the voice over work they source online, make it a goal to get an agent in 2023. Know that agents often require exclusivity within their geographic area (for example, all work in NYC must be run through them) so to maximize your coverage, aspire to have a talent agent in each of the top markets: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Check out our chapter on getting an agent in our Getting Started Guide.
Upgrade to Premium
If you’ve been considering a Premium membership with Voices for a while, now might be the time. Kick-off the year with dozens of new opportunities rolling into your inbox each day.
If you’ve reached the top tier status of completing more than 100 jobs on Voices, you’re eligible for a Platinum membership. As a Platinum member, you’ll gain access to each and every job that matches your profile. This is a feature that’s been in play since 2020, in case you’ve been following the Platinum membership for some time.
Master Your Recording Software
Next to your microphone, your audio recording software is the next most important thing for you to master. On one end of the spectrum, Audacity is a free digital audio workspace (DAW) that certainly does the trick. All recording software records precisely what comes into the computer from your microphone and audio interface (the piece of hardware that you plug in your microphone to and then into your computer). Audacity does this job as well as many other recording software programs on the market.
On the high end of the spectrum is Pro Tools, generally regarded as the professional standard in audio recording software. At OIART (Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology), it was—and after 20 years running—still is taught as the gold standard in digital audio.
Whatever audio recording software package you have, 2023 is the year to master it. This means become an expert by learning:
- All the main features
- Use keyboard shortcuts
- Set-up templates for quick audio recording
- Defining your sound with presets on equalizer, compressor, and noise gate
Take a read through our roundup of audio production mastery tips to help you achieve this aspect of your 2023 voice over business strategy.
Upgrade Your Studio
Pick one aspect of your studio and commit to upgrading it. I’d recommend improving your sound proofing if you haven’t already.
Take a look through this piece on recording studio upgrades to make as you grow your voice acting career. You may find it helpful in understanding what aspects of your recording space are due for an upgrade.
Pause, Reflect, and Applaud Yourself
A new year filled with limitless possibilities only bound by what you believe you’re capable of is the perfect time to give yourself kudos for being awesome already. As a final tip, subscribe to our blog while you’re here. Every week, you’ll receive the latest posts filled with voice acting takeaways and insights from us as well as other voice actors who contribute to our pieces!
Step up your game and push yourself in the areas you see fit. We can’t wait to see and hear how you’ve grown this time next year.