These steps are oriented towards complete beginners, but even if you are a pro I’ll be there is something here you didn’t realize you could do.
Begin: Get Samples of Your Voiceover Work
If you need scripts to work from, start here. You can record from your phone, computer, home studio, at an event such as the Voice Acting Expo, or in a Voiceover class. Obviously also get some training at some point.
Whatever kind of voiceover you do, or want to do, if you’re any good, you should also do commercial and corporate voiceover. Everyone does commercial and corporate voiceover, because that is where the most high-paying work is.
When letting people know you do voiceover, it’s best to concentrate on commercial first, because (1) that is where the money is, (2) most corporate buyers will assume you can do their type of work if you are successful in commercial and (3) it’s expected in the industry that you will have commercial samples.
Ideally, share at least three commercial clips (rules for commercial clips).
Here are three very easy things you can do yourself to let hundreds of people know you do voiceover, easiest first:
Create an Auto-Playing Video of your Voiceover
When ready, combine your picture and whatever audio you have of your voiceover free in a couple of clicks by using ez-converter.com
The picture in your video should simply be text (e.g. light gray letters on a dark gray background is fine) such as:
You could say “Commercial Voiceover Demo” but if you don’t have a perfect, complete demo, don’t—and no one is going to miss the word “demo” either way in most cases. You can create a picture by typing the words into any program and taking a screenshot of it, then cropping it to only show the words. Search Google for “How do I save a screenshot” for more info.
Ideally, you should post this on a free website through a service such as yola.com, wix.com, weebly.com wordpress.com, embed the video, and put a link underneath to an MP3 of your audio. Call the link Download.
1. Start Auditioning for Work
You can post your video or the audio by itself on an online marketplace (depending on what they want) to start working. You’ll eventually want a home studio, but you can start by using the microphone on your phone. If you want to work in animation/anime/gaming, get started on one or more of the “Five Blue Butterfly” sites at How to Work Online. If you want to start somewhere where it’s easy to get work, try the low-paying site Fiverr, but move up to a better-paying site as soon as you are ready by looking through the guide to online work.
2. The EASIEST Ways to Let People Know You Do Voiceover
Passive: Set Up Once and You’re Done
Give all your emails an automatic signature with a button like this one at the bottom (make your own button if you wish):
Link it to your website, or just the autoplaying YouTube video
When someone asks “What you been up to lately? say (causally) “I’ve been enjoying recording voiceover”.
That’s it. Super easy! Just introduce the topic of voiceover. Don’t try to sell anything.
Don’t explain first: No one cares. Move on if they’re not interested. If they ask questions, answer them. Don’t sell yourself, just chat about voiceover! Don’t obsess over presenting your ability accurately. Just say “enjoying recording voiceover” and answer questions if there are any.
Read How to Negotiate Rates if you’re concerned about what to say in case rates come up.
Post on Social Media.
When you have a few samples of your work, let your friends and followers know! When you update your samples, post again. If you’re on social media but not active, join some Facebook groups about voiceover and ask questions. Don’t just post audio, post it and ask questions, ask for feedback about it. Make sure the rules of the group allow uploading or posting a link to your work.
3. After You Have Training and Experience
This works best if you already have an agent. Even better if you first research the company and send an email complimenting their work, sharing recent gigs you have done, and asking to call.
However, if you just want to try it, start calling! To whomever answers the phone, say “I do voiceover in [your city.] Have any use for a voice like mine?” There are more complicated approaches, but this works. 95% of the time the person who answers is the decision maker, so keep it simple!
Who should you call? Start with Advertising Agencies and Recording Studios near you. For example, there are over 560 (see below for links) just in the downtown areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul, where the School of Voiceover is based. 650 or so if you expand your search to nearby areas.
Tip: Call from your home studio. Tell Skype or whatever service you choose to call via that the device to use as a speaker is your headset, and that the microphone for the call is your studio microphone.
- 📌 231 — “Ad Agency Minneapolis“
- 📌 171 — “Ad Agency St Paul“
- 📌 122 — “Recording Studios in Minneapolis“
- 📌 34 — “Recording Studios in St Paul“
How often should you call? Experienced salespeople know the answer: Continuously.
But simply: Followup as needed. “Okay if I check back in six months?” (Then check back in four months.) Most calls will be less than a minute. So you could do hundreds a day.
You have to call a lot of places because you’ll have to get lucky: small places either rarely need voice talent, or already have a few they call on. You have to catch a place that could use you.
Start with places you could drive to. Later try places that you’d have to work remotely for (same search in cities farther away).
People change. Businesses change. Keep calling.
Get An Agent
Everything you do will be more credible if you have an agent, and buyers can find you through the talent agency website. Read How to Get an Agent for more info.