10 tips to help your voice over career
Updated: Jun 21, 2018
If you are just starting out in the voice over industry or if you think that voice over might be for you, here are some tips that I hope will help you on your journey!
1.) UNDERSTAND YOUR VOICE
What projects and or markets could your voice fit into? Does your voice sound more like a sexy perfume commercial than an excited kid’s toy commercial? Would you be able to keep someone interested in learning about “underwater basket weaving” for more than three hours? These are just examples, but your voice is a “product” and you will need to understand that product in order to market yourself correctly. I recommend researching what type of tone and what type of read would be best for your voice and then practicing.
Learn from those who are already successful in the business. I was very lucky that Thomas Dormoy opened his door to me (Thank you again Thomas!). Please check out his website for his voice over acting business.
I was able to shadow him for a week and I watched and learned the way he operates his voice over business. Thomas is very professional and creative.
Thomas has years of experience and has a very wide comedic range. I learned so much during my week with him and the best part is that I also made a friend. It is great to meet people that are passionate about what they do.
Thomas has many helpful videos in French on YouTube (here is the link to his voice over advice videos)
I do understand that it isn’t always possible
to get to know someone personally. If that is the case for you, then there are many videos on YouTube, there are Podcasts, and there are loads of helpful websites out there. You will just have to do a little research and find the teacher and mentor that fits your personality.
Your demo is the most important marketing tool that you have.
The professionals in the industry will listen to it anywhere from 5-30 seconds on average. They listen to demos every day and they will quickly be able to tell if your voice will work for their project or not.
If your demo is of poor sound quality or if it isn’t produced correctly, there is a risk that they won’t take you seriously.
When you are just starting out in the voice over world, having a professional demo created is the best option. It will give you the opportunity to work with professionals and to have artistic and professional feedback. The most recent demo I did was during a voice over perfection class I took with L2S Conseils and Plaît-Il Production Studio in Paris, France.
“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation” – Zig Ziglar
When you have a clear set of goals with a plan of action it helps to keep you not only organized but motivated. Your goals should be small, measurable, achievable, realistic, and have a deadline. Once you have reached your goals, don’t forget to celebrate!
Sometimes marketing gets bad publicity and some people don’t feel comfortable doing it. However, marketing is only promoting your product or service.
How can you get new clients and jobs if you are not promoting yourself?
How do businesses know that you exist and that you are available for hire?
There are many methods of marketing and promotion, so I won’t go into all the details here, but a couple ways that work are: social media platforms and the good old fashion cold calling.
Don’t be afraid to think creatively and outside the box with your marketing strategy. What solution could you bring to the table? Once you’ve figured this out, propose your services.
Reading out loud will help you with articulation and anticipation. Reading out loud uses different sections of your brain at the same time and it is a practice that you will need to develop for voice over work. You could also try reading with a pencil in your teeth so that you will have to work harder to articulate.
Practice makes perfect, and in order to be ready for your next client, you will need to ensure
that you are “on top of your game”.
Try choosing a theme for each week and dedicate a certain number of hours to practicing that theme. For example: one week practice e-learning reads, the next week practice narrations, the next week practice commercials, etc…
8.) VOCAL HEALTH
Your health is very important and will have a direct impact on what you sound like. Warm up your vocal cords before any recording, drink lots of water, limit coffee and tea, limit alcohol, and eat healthy.
Everyone is different so you will have to test what food and drinks affect your voice the most.
For me, anything dairy causes lots of phlegm so I have to stay away. Once you start to pay attention and start practicing, you will be able to know what works best for you and your body.
You will need to research what the going rates are for voice over talents in your marketplace. You can do this by checking with other voice over talents, agents, or unions.
There is a plethora of information on the internet, so you will have to research. If you take the time in the beginning to set up your standard rates it will help you in the long run and you will appear like a professional for your clients.
10.) HAVE FUN
The voice over business takes a lot of effort and yes there is competition, but in the end we are doing this because it is a passion and we want to jump out of bed in the morning and say “YES!!!! I get to do this!“
Having fun doesn’t mean that you aren’t a serious professional, but it does signify that you enjoy what you are doing and your attitude will reflect this.
I hope these tips help! If they helped you, they might be able to help someone else, so please feel free to share. Talk to you soon!