Voice Acting

Tips to Manage a Voice Over Business

Tara Parachuk | August 22, 2018

High Fidelity headphones resting on an audio recording mixing board in a voice over studio

Successful voice actors gain their success by going above and beyond. They consistently look for ways to improve their vocal skill, their reputation, and their ability to manage a growing business.

Successful voice actors also value the voice over industry, and want their fellow voice talent to be successful too! In fact, in a Voices survey, 60% of voice actors said that if they were approached to do a project that wasn’t quite right for them, they would recommend another voice actor better suited for the project.

In this article

  1. Improving Your Vocal Skills
  2. Marketing Yourself as a Voice Actor
  3. Managing Your Voice Over Business

Thanks to that sense of community, we’re able to publish the “pro tips” that successful voice actors are happy to share.

Improving Your Vocal Skills

At the end of the day, what most impacts your brand are your vocal performances. To shine bright in everything you record, here are some pro tips on preparing for every vocal performance. From warm-ups just beforehand to vocal care well before the performance, these pro tips will help you nail every read to the best of your current ability.

There is so much science behind how our voices are produced, and how different sounds are made. Understanding the basic physiology of the mouth, nose, and throat can help you increase the control you have over your voice. Vocalist Tyley Ross’ video showcases how different placements of the tongue and shapes of the mouth can make the projected voice very different. Being able to control your voice to this degree will take a lot of practice. Yet, it’s worth pursuing because it offers you flexibility in the jobs you can audition for, and provides you with safe ways to project your voice differently on command without risking harm to your greatest asset.

Marketing Yourself as a Voice Actor

Marketing looks very different when you compare the strategies of beginner voice actors and developed voice actors. From the initiatives employed for self-promotion to the amount of time spent on marketing, to the amount of money spent on advertising, etc., beginner voice actors are playing a different ball game than voice actors with developed careers.

Because of that, the advice for beginners reflects those differences as well.

Before getting into the weeds of marketing, voice actors need to understand marketing basics to truly make the impact they need to stimulate business growth and success. Setting a marketing strategy, corresponding goals, and analyzing your uniqueness aren’t just “make-work” tasks. They’re essential to building a solid base for your marketing initiatives, and from there, the creative juices can flow into areas that will prove themselves to be more fruitful than others.

You can find specific ideas and examples here, Your Marketing Mix – Putting the Pieces Together

International voice actor and producer at True Tones Studios, Brian Thon, offered his advice on how voice actors can launch their careers. From the first steps, to casting your net, to understanding how to approach clients, Brian provided a great starting point for any beginner voice actor looking to venture down the marketing path.

Managing Your Voice Over Business

No matter what line of voice over you end up excelling in, the general business practices will remain the same. You’ll be working with producers and other creatives who live by tight deadlines and lightning-speed turnaround times, and sometimes, you’ll experience the ‘hurry up and wait’ game too.

Putting together a business plan never goes amiss and will help you outline and better understand where you are, what you have, and what you need to do to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. If you’re not sure where to start, look for guides like Sage’s “How to Write a Business Plan.”

Keep in mind that managing relationships is another key to success as it helps you build trust and repeat business. As producer Jim Kennelly told voice actors while on an event panel, nurturing relationships with producers will create the repeat business you’re looking for.

This panel of producers weighed in on more topics like the best and worst things a voice actor can do when working with producers like themselves. These quick videos are loaded with takeaways. Though the article suggests it’s geared towards animation voice actors, the tips apply to every voice actor no matter what niche they tend to work in. You can watch the rest of the pro tips from producers here.

As mentioned in the Pro Tips section of the Getting Started in Voice Over post, providing voice over is just the tip of the iceberg of the services you can provide. Learn how post-production services enhance your value and how to manage all the moving parts when you begin to act as a production partner to your clients, and not ‘just’ their VO talent. Audiobook narrator Tavia Gilbert shared how she manages all of the aspects of her voice over business in this Q&A piece.

Pro tips from successful voice actors are always being shared here on the Voices blog. Subscribe to the blog today to receive weekly digests of new posts containing all the hands-on tips you’ll need to make your business flourish!

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