Starting Your Voice Acting Career: Understanding the Voice Over Business
Beginner's Guide to Voice Acting

As a voice actor, in order to be successful you must understand the importance of voice acting and how the voice over industry functions as a whole. This includes learning who voice over clients are, understanding the kinds of jobs that exist, and how voice over projects work.

However, the real first step is to learn what a voice over is and how it enriches a variety of projects.

What is a Voice Over?

A 'voice over' is an audio narration provided by a voice actor for a project or production. Voice overs help content creators convey information, bring stories and characters to life, and most importantly, connect with audiences.

The demand for voice overs comes from a variety of industries, such as advertising, gaming, marketing, education, and animation.

If you are bilingual or multilingual, other opportunities open up as well, such as providing voice dubbing and localization.

In other words, voice over opportunities are abundant and content creators are quickly realizing the importance of voice in today’s data-driven world.

Understanding Voice Over Clients

Content creators and producers who require voice actors for their voice over projects are called ‘Clients.’ Such clients may be advertising or marketing professionals, audiobook publishers, filmmakers, advertising agencies, video game creators, and more. You can see the kinds of jobs they post and the voices they look for by hopping onto Voices.com.

Tip: Learn more about our voice over clients and their industries.

Recent voice over industry reports show that most clients believe that voice overs are critical for their project. Most importantly, over 71% of clients agree, using voice over helps them capture their target audience’s attention for longer than not using a voice over at all.

Building Your Voice Over Business: Types of Voice Over Jobs

The voice over industry is always evolving with a variety of interesting voice acting jobs. The categories of voice over jobs include traditional voice overs for radio and TV commercials, voice acting roles in animated films, audiobook recording, podcast and dubbing projects, as well as new categories of work that have been created by the advancement of technology, such as elearning and voice tech projects.

To establish yourself as a voice actor, you must understand the kind of voice over styles these projects include, and practice your voice acting skills to make yourself diverse enough to tackle these projects.

Tip: Browse the wide variety of the types of voice acting jobs available on Voices.com to familiarize yourself with the categories of voice over work.

Union and Non Union Voice Over Jobs

While looking through all the exciting voice over jobs, you will notice that they fall into two major categories:

  1. Union
  2. Non-Union

The unions that exist in the voice over industry include SAG, AFTRA, ACTRA, and Equity. Only actors under these unions are allowed to audition for jobs that fall under the union category.

In contrast, non-Union or freelance voice over jobs are open for all voice actors.

Grow Your Voice Acting Career: Understand How to Get Voice Over Jobs

You can find voice acting jobs through agencies, casting calls, newspaper ads, and online marketplaces. Some options may be more time consuming than others. For example, auditioning at casting calls may be hard for voice actors who work full time jobs. Similarly, going through a bunch of newspapers to search for relevant voice acting projects can be a very difficult task.

An online marketplace like Voices.com allows you to tackle multiple auditions at once, increasing your chances of landing amazing voice acting jobs and increase your voice over experience.

Getting to Know Voice Over Terminology

As a voice actor going through a variety of job postings, you will notice industry terms that you may be unfamiliar with. Understanding terms like ‘announcer’ and ‘narrator’ will help you recognize voice acting opportunities, and get a sense of the kind of voice over work each project entails.

Voice Actor Terms Commonly Used in the Voice Acting Business

The following are the most common voice acting terms you will come across in the industry, especially in voice over job postings. It is important to understand them, so the next time you look at acting jobs, you can determine if the project suits your skills or not.

Announcers

Announcers may be voice actors who introduce segments on live television, radio broadcasts, sporting events, podcasts, etc. It’s important to note that ‘announcer’ is also a style of voice over delivery, which tends to be highly engaging, and easy to understand. Some announcers are fast-paced and may provide a loud delivery. Any voice actor who has a strong command of the announcer style voice can be an announcer for a voice over project.

Narrators

Narrators are voice actors who specialize in audiobooks, documentaries, educational videos, business videos, medical videos and guides. They can narrate a variety of exciting content by taking on various roles and characters, creating great stories for listeners. Learn more about the different types of voice over narration.

Voice Actors, Voice Over Artists, and Voice Talent

Terms like ‘talent,’ ‘voice over artist,’ and ‘voice actor’ are used interchangeably in the industry. They all refer to talented voice actors like you. These terms are an easy way to reference all types of voice over performers and are mostly used by those hiring voice talent.

Differentiating Your Voice Acting Business and Landing Jobs

As a beginner voice actor, we realize that the voice over business can seem quite intimidating. However, online marketplaces like Voices.com allow both clients and talent to easily take part in amazing voice over projects.

For clients, hiring voice talent online saves them time, money, and hassle. When a client is facing tight budgets and looming deadlines, your goal should be to provide a simple solution for getting the work done on time and within their budget.

So, how do you stand out in a sea of voice talent?

Your online brand serves as a key differentiator, outlining your unique skills and background, while also helping you to appear exactly where clients are looking.

So, even as a beginner voice actor, you should have (or be in the process of creating) a personal website and profile in a marketplace, somewhere that you can point clients to so they can learn more about you, listen to your demos, and hire you.

How Voices.com Works in 5 Simple Steps

Here’s a simplified breakdown of how Voices.com works:

  1. A client posts a voice over job.

  2. Voice over talent audition (often by recording a portion of the client’s script).

  3. The client selects which talent to hire, and they deposit their funds into Voices.com’s SurePay™ service.

  4. The voice over talent accepts the job, records the script and uploads the finished file.

  5. The client reviews the file. If no revisions are required, the file is approved and downloaded, and the client releases their funds from SurePay to the voice over talent.

Everything from the audition, to the file delivery and payment, are all completed through your Voices.com account.

Learn more about how Voices.com works, and how voice over talent build a successful career on Voices.com, by browsing through the Help section.

Get started today by signing up on Voices.com, and easily connect with voice over projects that appeal to you.