Setting goals and expectations for yourself for the year ahead is a great way to ensure that you achieve your successes and make your dreams come true. For many of us, this time of reflection and renewal arrives on the heels of the New Year, but in truth, this exercise can be done anytime – on your birthday, on the anniversary of your entry into the voice acting world, or any other time you choose.
As freelance voice actors, there are specific goals you may want to achieve both this year, and in the years to come, to ensure the longevity of your career.
After surveying over 50 voice actor respondents, we’ve discovered some of the goals and achievements that these professionals are looking to work towards for the new year. Maybe some of their aspirations and resolutions will inspire you.
Here is a list of 4 resolutions to help get you started on your path to success this year.
Voice Over Resolution #1: Book More Voice Over Jobs
If your goal is to book more voice over jobs this year, you are not alone. Over 67% of voice actors surveyed cited ‘booking more jobs’ as one of their top goals for this year.
There are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you are booking more jobs. The first is ensuring you are auditioning frequently enough throughout the week. For instance, a Voices.com study found that voice actors who auditioned 7 times or more each day make approximately $20,000 more annually, than those who don’t.
There is a certain art to auditioning that will help you to ensure you are using your time wisely, and that all of your hard work will not be going to waste.
Another common area of interest voiced in the survey is wanting to ‘improve audition to booking ratio.’ This can be done through a number of ways, such as properly labelling your demos, as well as ensuring you have a demo for each voice over skill/strength. This will help you make sure that the clients you want to attract are able to find your voice.
Remember: Only audition for jobs that your voice is suited for and not just every job that lands in your inbox. By auditioning for the jobs that your voice is perfect for, your probability of booking that job will go up. It can be tempting to audition for jobs that seem exciting, but if you don’t have the proper skills yet and need to develop them, make sure you train and practice in order to catch the ear of the client.
Voice Over Resolution #2: Diversify Your Voice Over Language Skills
Even if you are a pro voice over actor with many years of experience, there are always new skills to learn and add to your profile to book new jobs.
Often booking more jobs means improving upon some of the skills that are already in your repertoire or learning a second (or third!) language.
Voice actor Cynthia de Pando is one of the many talent who says she wants to work on her accent. The voice over skills she wants to hone in the new year? “I want to get better on my second language [which is English],” she says. “And take an accent reduction course.”
Mary Van De Velde echoes a similar train of thought. If she could be provided with any voice over gift this year, she would love to “speak another language or be able to do accents.”
If wanting to pick up a new accent or language is part of your wish list this year, there are a variety of ways you can add an accent to your list of ‘can-dos.’ One way is through hiring a voice over coach. Take it from Voice Coach Sammi Grant, who teaches students how to master accents for a living. It is possible to learn a new accent as long as you are willing to put in work and are up for the task!
There will be new challenges that come with learning new accents and languages, such as ensuring how not to flip flop between the different accents. Find out more on how you can be a successful multilingual voice actor and maybe by next year, you can add fluency in a another language and more skills on your Voices.com profile!
Voice Over Resolution #3: Enter Into a New Area of Voice Over Work
If you desire to enter into a new area of voice over work, maybe this is the year to get started. Being open to different areas of voice over work can really help you book more jobs.
It seems that many voice over talent surveyed are looking to test out new waters in the voice over industry.
Voice actor Tim Heller, is looking to tap into his creative side this year. “I would love to be working either on an animated series or larger scale video game because I’d be able to use my acting training along with creature noises to bring an imaginary world to life,” he says.
While some voice actors cite animation and cartoon voice over work as their dream jobs, others are looking to dive into more lengthy projects.
“Recurring long-term elearning or documentaries,” is a dream job of voice actor Philippe Deraymaeker.
You can find all sorts of inspiration from talent who have crossed over into an industry that they have always wanted to break into and became successful cartoon voice actors. The key is to practice and ensure that you have demos on your profile that reflect the category of voice over work you are seeking jobs in.
For example: if you want to work in video games, make sure you have a demo showcasing your ability to sound like a video game character and label it as such.
Voice Over Resolution #4: Put Work Into Your Home Studio
From the survey respondents, 12% rated upgrading their home studio as their top wish for this year.
Let’s face the facts – as a voice over artist, you will need a home studio to be able to record your demos, auditions and voice over jobs. Since you are going to be spending a lot of time in this space, you will want to make it comfortable so you can produce quality content.
VO talent Rory Morris realizes that setting up a great home studio can be the key to success in the industry. “[I] need better equipment to compete at higher levels,” he noted.
Clients really do take sound quality of auditions and demos really seriously so if you are hearing any background noise in your recordings, it may be time to upgrade some of your equipment so that you can stay on top of your game in a competitive industry.
A common roadblock to updating a home studio is budget. If you are working with a tight budget and updating your home studio is one of your resolutions this year, there are plenty of studio building hacks that can help you set up your ideal space on your ideal budget.
Achieving Your Wishes and Resolutions
Whether your goal is to book more jobs, upgrade your studio, dive into a new category of voice over work (or all of the above), a new year is a great time to set yourself up for success.
It helps to write down your goals and resolutions so you can see both what you are working towards improving and accomplishing for the year ahead. And you don’t have to wait until the end of the year to start your goals: Your new year can start whenever you want!
What goals are you working towards this year? We want to know! Share them in the comments.