9 tips that will help you become a voiceover artist

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Voiceover as a career can be favorable and very unfavorable sometimes if you’re not strong in heart. If you are someone like a very close friend of mine who is allergic to constructive criticism and hates to fail, then voiceover as a business is likely not for someone like you. Not only that, if you find it hard to deal with rejection, or impatient, or maybe your emotional quotient is low, I’d advise you rethink your decision of becoming a voiceover artist.

The voiceover market

First of all, the market is somehow getting saturated but if you’re made for this, you must surely succeed even if the whole world is into voiceover. There’s a kind of level or stage in this business/career; there are the union voice actors, the independent professional self-contractors, the amateurs that are always on the look-out to make quick money from the newbies.

Unfortunately, most voiceover artists you see online these days are the amateurs. The professionals most times have their own websites where they promote their talent online, and these ones are the experienced ones who try as much as possible, to maintain their standards. To get gigs, follow these tips.

1. Register on talent pool websites

There are the many talent pools out there, a lot of them charge for membership on their websites. To be included in the recognized “voicebanks” is similar to trying to be a member of an executive golf club. Very few are always accepted. The same holds for the best talent agencies; unless you’re able to fill a particular “gap” they might have, you’ll be passed by in milliseconds. And of course, their first duty is to take care of those who have been signed already.

Discouraging as it might sound, looking for contracts most times leads to dead ends. Even when you’re unique enough to be approved by an agency, they’ll only do a lot for you with respect to auditions and getting you to start working. Hence, the path for some success while in the voiceover industry involves a bunch of self-promotion

2. Self-promotion

Primarily, you must get your own website where potential clients can go check out your voiceover demos.  Additionally, this shows that you’re genuine and legitimate.  Anybody can publish a page on social media about voiceover business, or publish a video depicting oneself as being a voiceover artist, which can cost less, but getting a good website will cost more so, most times only genuine artists build a business website. 

Opting to get a membership with a renowned voiceover website might be another alternative. In such scenarios, an individual could need to audition for voiceover jobs published by voice seekers, a number of which might well not be dependable or honest.  The disadvantage involved here is the possibility of not getting work, it is not guaranteed.  Creating a profile is currently free in a few voice-over websites, but artists have to pay a fee to be able to audition through them. 

Self-promotion also involves getting in contact with production firms that have used independent voice artists in their own projects. This can work because such firms don’t really on agencies in getting voice talents for their jobs. So, this is a great option for self-promotion.

3. Promotion via blogging

Blogging is yet another choice for self-promotion. Sending mails with the information about your services to advertising firms is another great option.  Building your social media network is yet another option.  Investing in Google ad-words might possibly be an additional thing to do, and several people are taking that path.  In any case, having your name and services all over the place is the main objective.

Be ready for a contest as soon as you’ve created a level of internet presence.  You’re going to be moving against lots of the major guns that are repeatedly desired by the exact clients you are seeking to work for.  If you are lucky, you are likely going to find a paying gig in a day or two, or even perhaps a couple of hours of your blog being seen as well as your demos heard and found. On the other hand, it may take much more time depending on the requirement or the level of your skill quality.

4. Gain new sources for jobs

Gaining new sources of voiceover job is somewhat difficult, although perhaps not impossible as a result of the internet which is present around the globe.  Overseas can be considered an enormous source for voiceover contracts, but you must be ready for potential communication gaps if you don’t speak many languages.  American voice actors are sought after over the pond nevertheless, therefore this might possibly be a way to pursue.

 The United Kingdom, India, China, Holland, and Japan have used American-English speaking voices.  With that competition, you are of more advantaged when your blog/website has got a good ranking in search engine result pages for a few of the significant voiceover key-phrases, you’re definitely going to be reached by foreign voice seekers. 

5. Supersede your competitors

Potential projects may include independent movies, big and small events, marriage videos, cartoons, documentaries, and corporate company websites to mention but a few.  The challenge now is; how will you supersede your competitors?  Do you sound passive? There’s no way you are sounding like you are reading; you can’t be sounding like you are an announcer either unless expressly asked, as this can be a path to downfall. 

Possessing a profound voice isn’t necessarily a plus.  Currently, there is apparently a tendency of leaning towards college-age voices; however, the conversational natural sound wins on a frequent basis.  The storyteller, “guy next door” system is no doubt the top demand now.  It isn’t quite as simple as it sounds, it also includes the skill to act or “feigns” to seem genuine, honest, and realistic.

6. Recording tools

We’ve come a long way in today’s discussion, but still, need to talk about the actual recording end of it.  You can’t solely depend on chances for you to record at a professional multi-million-dollar studio where agencies send talents to record for clients or for an audition.

 You’ve got to set up your own studio at home, or wherever you are able to put things together and have room for one, irrespective of what and where the source of business circumstances.  You’ve got to have a microphone, if possible a condenser microphone, an amplifier, a composer, and also an interface for beginners.  Then you will require editing software installed on your own laptop, preferably a PC with A good RAM capacity.

7. Recording technique

Practice reading while recording yourself; then playback for objective critique is a continuous process even for professionals, and also some else besides your mother needs to give you undiluted feedback to your reads.  This is where a vocal educator could come into play.  The microphone technique is a different art altogether and has to be incorporated correctly throughout the recording session.  It must be second nature so that it will not divert your attention from interpreting the script. 

The most important focus has to be about what’s being said, bearing in mind who it’s being said to, and how to state this in a convincing manner.  One-on-one, a term often used in the industry, in other words, sounding NATURAL, while averting breathy pops, and clicking noises while speaking.  Maintaining breath-control and trying as much as possible to stay hydrated is very vital to the process of recording with a microphone.

8. Categories of voiceover

Should you pay attention to a single genre of voiceover? There are many categories of voiceovers but in a nutshell;

  • Commercials
  • Promos
  • Narrative
  • Radio imaging
  • Movie trailers
  • Animation, etc.

Nearly any type of voice job will demand one of these concepts.  The goal of the voiceover artist would be to appraise and choose the categories where the strengths mostly lie, people in which one’s talents are ideal are best for optimum impact.   Attempting to cover them could cause an exercise in futility, so honing your skills to excel in a chosen niche may be the far better approach.  This just comes with continuous practice, and much more focus, and also becoming critiqued by a constructive party.

9. Job delivery

There should be a way of delivering finished audio files which can be through email, cloud storage or any other platform. Accepting payment from clients can be either through PayPal, Payoneer or Bitcoin. 

Final words

 It does take time and patience to eventually triumph, and many success stories do not happen overnight.  Rejection is a massive part of the industry, so be ready for that.  It’s a matter of people’s opinion anyway, so what sounds inadequate to Mr. A, can sound like the best to Mr. B.  You cannot take the opinions personally, you need to follow your guts, and believe in yourself. 

See: Qualities of a model and how to gain them

Believe you have what it takes and you’ll be able to achieve everything you put your hand to do.  When it comes to professional voiceover, then, of course, it takes a lot of commitment and pushes through.  In the event you hang in there long enough to produce a decent clientele during your pursuits, obtaining valuable experience along the way, then a realization of it all been really worth the time spent will then become your main motivation to be the best in what you are doing.  Again, there are no guarantees of success in any endeavor; you can only succeed when you try.

There you have it. Please do not hesitate to ask your questions, share your thoughts or give your own recommendation using the comment box below.

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