Podcasts Voice Over Experts 7 Steps to Becoming A VO-preneur
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7 Steps to Becoming A VO-preneur

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Stephanie Ciccarelli
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Without a proper foundation, you’ll find yourself going from one gig to another without any particular direction. David Tyler encourages you to build a professional support team, trademark your business name, setup a business banking account, a business phone line, website, develop branding and more. Use David’s tips to help you establish yourself and promote your voice in the global marketplace.

Links from today’s show:

David Tyler
Ultimate Voice Over Guide

Your Instructor This Week:

David Tyler, teacher and voice talent, 2015David Tyler has been doing voice overs for more than 30 years doing commercials, narrations, video games, documentary films, eLearning and broadcast radio and TV.
Most recently he was hired as the voice of CTV News in Canada.
He has started teaching everything he knows about voice over from the business and marketing, to interpreting scripts and winning auditions.
Learn more about his course at:

Welcome to Voice Over Experts, brought to you by Voices.com the number one voice over marketplace. Voice Over Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom, and techniques from top instructors, authors and performers in the field of voice over. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voice over talent. It’s never been easier to learn, perform and succeed from the privacy of your own home, and at your own pace. This is truly an education you won’t find anywhere else. Now for our special guest.
David: Hi, I’m David Tyler. I’m a voice talent and coach based on Montreal, Canada. I’ve been doing voice over for about 20 years now, and have voiced, I’m guessing, around 5,000 TV and radio commercials that have aired on stations mostly in North America, but worldwide as well. I do radio imaging for stations around the US, the Caribbean, the UK, France and the Middle-East. I’m the promo voice of TV stations in the US, like KGUN9 in Tucson, Arizona, and KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas. Also, I recently signed on as the national voice of CTV news in Canada. I do all of the news promos, bumpers and billboards for each CTV affiliate across the country. I’m the voice of the CTV National News, Canada AM, CTV News Channel, and the voice of the iconic current affairs program W5. I recently started teaching everything I know about voice over, which you can get the details about at the website alternatevoiceoverguide.com. Now, I say that I started in voice over 20 years ago, but in fact I started more like 30 year ago, but I had no idea what I was doing the first 10 years.
I just, kind of, stumbled around during that time, doing 2 or 3 jobs a year, but 20 years ago, when I decided to get serious and started thinking of what I was doing as a business, that’s when everything changed for me. I went from being a voice over artiste to a voice over entrepreneur, or to use the term that I’ve coined, a VOpreneur. It’s not just a way of seeing yourself, but it’s also a way of projecting a sense of trust to your prospects and your clients. A VOpreneur. So what I want to show you today are the steps that you need to take to get your voice over business moving forward. Without a proper foundation you’re going to find yourself going from one gig to the next without any particular direction. So here are my seven steps to becoming a VOpreneur. They say that behind every successful man is a shocked mother-in-law, and behind every successful VOpreneur is a team of people who are dedicated to your success. So step number one is to build your team.
It’s going to take you a while to build your team, but you should start with a lawyer and an accountant. Later on you’re going to want to add an agent, a web designer, a vocal coach, financial adviser, and during my course I talk about adding an ear, nose and throat doctor to your team. Yeah, an ear, nose and throat doctor, which most people laugh about, until you have an important gig the next day and for whatever reason you can’t talk today. So who do you think you’re going to call? So build your team, a team for every occasion. Step two, register or incorporate your company. Each of the two have their own benefits and tax implications, so talk with your lawyer and your accountant to figure out which one is going to be best for you. If you decide to name your company something like Voices are Gus, you should also get the name trademarked to protect it. That’s right, your lawyer can do that for you, or you can go to an online service like trademarkia.com to get that done. Step three is to open a business bank account.
At the end of the year, when it’s time to file your business tax returns, having a dedicated account, where you can track expenses and income, will make it much easier. When you open your business account, talk with your banker about setting up a business credit card to go with that account. You should also set up a PayPal account that deposits your online payments directly into that business account. Trying to comingle your personal expenses and your business expenses is a disaster in the making, and I’m not just talking about tax time. Now, step four will become more evident if you have kids or if you live with somebody. Set up a business phone line. The only person that’s allowed to answer that phone should be you, and you should have a planned welcome when you answer as well. Voices are Gus, I’m ready to Gus up your next project, or something like that. When a client calls you, you need to sound as professional as you are. You should also have an outgoing voicemail that reflects the character of your business.
As an added touch of professionalism, you should get a toll free number. From the customer’s point of view, if you have a toll free number, it makes you seem even more professional and trustworthy with their project. I continue to be shocked by the number of voice talent who do not have their own website URL. Relying, instead, on their voices.com page as their only web presence. So, step five, register your URL and set up your website. Whatever the name of your business, should be what you register, depending on where you live, it’s going to cost around $35 a year for the name, and less if you register it for maybe ten years. Web hosting could cost around $100 a year. You can also have the benefit of branded email. Instead of your name at gmail.com you will have your name at voicesaregus.com, which will reinforce your brand. Speaking of brand, step six, create the look of your brand.
Sit down with your graphic designer and decide on colours and fonts and graphics that you’re going to use in your web design, business cards, CD demos that you may want to send out, and any print or online advertising that you do. These days, creating a brand identity is a must if you want to stand out from the crowd and, finally, something that every VOpreneur needs to do is create a marketing plan. You may think that this is something that small businesses do, and as a voice over artiste you don’t really need a marketing plan. Well, if you want to be successful at voice over, you need to change your mind, and start thinking of yourself as a small business owner whose product happens to be voice overs. So create a marketing plan. Well there you have it. Seven steps to becoming a VOpreneur. To recap, step number one, build your team. Number two, register or incorporate your company.
Number three, open a business bank account and all the fun associated things with it. Step four, set up a business phone line, maybe even an 800 number. Step five, register your URL and set up your website. Step six, create the look of your brand and, finally, step seven, create a marketing plan. It seems like a short list, but it’s a list that’s going to take you some time to finish. Take your time and do it right, but the sooner that you get working on those seven items, the sooner you’ll be a successful VOpreneur.
Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this voices.com podcast, visit the Voice Over Experts show notes at podcasts.voices.com/voiceoverexperts. Remember to stay subscribed. If you’re a first time listener, you can subscribe for free to this podcast in the Apple iTunes podcast directory, or by visiting podcasts.voices.com. To start your voice over career online, go to voices.com and register for voice talent membership today.

Stephanie Ciccarelli
Stephanie Ciccarelli is a Co-Founder of Voices. Classically trained in voice as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. For over 25 years, Stephanie has used her voice to communicate what is most important to her through the spoken and written word. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, Stephanie has been a contributor to The Huffington Post, Backstage magazine, Stage 32 and the Voices.com blog. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.
Connect with Stephanie on:
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  • Steve Suekey
    May 30, 2014, 12:44 am

    I had the honour of attending Dave’s course in Montreal in March of this year
    He is the kind of mentor/teacher you need in your corner, on the way to being
    a VO-preneur as well! Great guy, knows his stuff and very humble and pleasant.