Have you ever realized how most of the famous voices in the history of movies and advertising are the same people? Do you also enjoy the deep voice of Don LaFontaine whenever you see a trailer in the movies, and he says in that low key “This summer in your favorite movie theater.” Well, he started from scratch and made a fortune based on his vocal attributes.
It is not impossible to make money doing voice over work. In fact, it is way easier than you think. If this resonates with you and your dreams, then you came to the right post.
You are about to learn everything you need to know to get you started on this profitable, fun, and growing business of voice-over acting. We are going to go through the details about who can do it and how to get it done so you can start being a voice-over actor in no time.
Table of Contents
What is a voice-over job?
A voice-over job is basically to lend your vocal talent to any piece of content that is lacking one. There are many types of content that this statement can be applied to; in fact, voice over jobs are in exponential growth. More and more audiovisual content needs voice over to be posted in all kinds of audiovisual platforms, including social media.
There are steady work opportunities, like, for example, doing the voice for an entire series of videos or audiobooks and others that are just eventual gigs. For example, you can be part of a commercial ad or a marketing campaign for a particular brand. What is true is that more and more people are creating professional content to promote their products and need video directors and audiovisual creators just as much as they need voice-over artists.
Who can do a voice acting job?
Any and everybody can perform a voice acting job. Indeed, you are not going to be Don LaFontaine and make that kind of money with no previous experience, but you can learn and develop your talent while making money and having fun.
Having a pleasant tone of voice is a great start. Dedicating some time and money to perfect and grow your skills is another great start. Most academies offering these kinds of courses and knowledge can act as a direct link between you and your first clients. If you happen to be one of those people with a natural talent to make voices, then it will be easier for you, but we recommend you work on your skills and keep on learning as much as you can.
Many acting academies also form actors to be able to perform as voice over actors. If we look at Hollywood actors who play voices in animation, we can find movies like Shrek featuring Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz in the lead roles.
How much can you make with a voice over job?
This is a question that has a very varied answer because voice-over jobs are very varied. According to the prestigious page Payscale.com, the average hourly income for voice acting work is $39.87. This might not be the case when you are just starting, but it can be an excellent goal to set for yourself.
As a freelancer, the more gigs you land, the more money you will be paid. There is also a chance of applying for an advertising agency and working for them on a steady basis, being the voice of their brands. To reach that level, you will very likely need some excellent skills and/or some serious experience and credits. Applying and asking never hurt anyone. If you land that job, you can be closer to getting the $39.87 proposed above and having a steady paycheck at the end of the month.
This is how to get started
If you´ve read this far, it means this job sounds like something you would like to do, but how do you go about getting started? Well, first things first, you need to create a voice-over worker profile and get the right tools for the trade. If you are going to go for the DIY approach, then read on because this is the list of what your new home studio needs.
What equipment do I need?
Spending your money is going to a professional recording studio can cut your paycheck smaller. With the technology available today, it is straightforward and possible to do it from the comfort of your home with professional results. Other than these elements, you need to watch many YouTube tutorials on how to make the dedicated software (ProTools and other similar ones) work.
- Condenser microphone – This is a category of products that can go from a few dollars to thousands. If you are getting started, you need an entry-level microphone. Why does it have to be a condenser? Because that is where the low-end and the sound quality comes from.
- Microphone stand and anti-pop filter – These two can be considered accessories, in fact, inexpensive accessories that will change the sound of your work. The anti-pop filter cancels the P sound that is so annoying, and you don´t hear in any professional work. The stand is for obvious reasons, but it must include a shock mount. This is a type of mounting for your microphone that isolates the floor movements, and hence you can walk, and it won´t be heard on the recording.
- Software, audio interface, and a computer – This is a huge no-brainer, but it is also very real; you need the right software and a capable computer. Besides these two elements, you need to be able to turn an analog waveform into zeros and ones (binary language) for your computer to understand it. You can´t just plug a microphone to a regular computer and record (except for specific models). This can be done with an external audio interface. Many condenser microphones are sold with this audio interface inside and can be plugged directly into your computer via a USB cord.
- Headphones – When recording voices, you need absolute silence but also need to listen to the track you´re putting your voice on. There´s no need to buy no fancy ones, and you can even do it with the ones you listen to music with (as long as they don´t have that crazy Apple plug).
Many brands are offering all these elements (except for the computer, of course) as an inexpensive kit like Samson and Behringer. Besides these elements, what you need is a quiet place to record at. Otherwise, it´ll come upon the recording, and you´ll have to edit severely or do it over and over again.
Best Voice Over Jobs & Platforms
These are the dedicated pages where you can find your gigs to do voice overwork.
This is, hands down, the industry leader when it comes to voice acting jobs. Here you can find gigs from many sources and of different kinds. They have over 200,000 voice over workers active in the platform, and gigs go anywhere from $100 to $1,500. You need to create an account and then apply to the jobs you think look good. You can pay for a premium account and get some extra benefits, but it´s not necessary for applying to jobs.
2. Snap Recordings
This is a company that specializes in doing telephone greetings and not always, but sometimes hires people to do voice over gigs from home. They hire worldwide and will ask you for a demo reel before they can hire you. Landing a gig with Snap Recordings is a great thing to put in your resume since they are very picky in terms of who works for them; if they accept your reel, you´re on the right path.
This is a site dedicated to all the freelancers who work with the film industry. Voice-over actors are among the most needed, and once you log in, you can find several good-paying gigs. If you have more than one skill (for example, you know how to use video and sound editing software), you can land several simultaneous gigs, and your possibilities of having a larger income are increased.
One of the best things about Voice123 is that it doesn´t take any commission from your paycheck, and you are paid by the client itself. Just like Voices.com, there are several options for memberships that you can opt for, and that will give you different benefits. There is also the option of getting a free one, which will grant you access to applying for the posted jobs and getting paid commission-free.
5. The Voice Realm
This is a site that will take some time to review your profile before uploading it to the site and allow you to bid for any projects. It is not a small platform since it has over 5,000 registered voice-over artists ready to take action. They will ask you for a demo of your skills and then for permission to publish your profile once you get accepted. Between you submit your demo and you get accepted, it can be a while, so don´t hold your breath and diversify your proposals as you wait.
6. Voice Bunny
In this platform, you can bid on projects and set your rate for every gig. You will get paid for everything you do, even auditions. There is also a lot of work available, and with the chance of setting your rates, you have something to compete with against those with more experience or a more extensive resume. Just create an account, submit your demo, and go through the scanning process to get access to all of the benefits. The platform is very picky about the audio quality. They have their quality team that gives you feedback on the rejected projects.
This is another example of a platform that puts their fees on top of yours and doesn´t take a cent of your cut. They have an extensive database of over 7,500 voice-over artists to cover a wide range of projects. You´ll have to create an account, submit your reel, demo, or sample, and once accepted, and you can start applying for different clients. Unlike other platforms, the membership is free upon acceptance and remains free of charge all the way. If you have some experience and a killer demo, this is one of the best platforms to get gigs from.
8. Other freelancing platforms
There are a vast amount of freelancing platforms in the world, like Freelancing, UpWork, Fiverr, FlexJobs, and many more. These are great to land gigs of any kind, including voice over jobs. The only drawback they have that differentiates them from the seven mentioned above is that they are non-specific and usually work with clients looking for diverse services. The time invested in filtering and looking for the clients who want your specific services are not paid and can be a lot.
On the other hand, they are great for freelancers who are starting and that have more than one skill to work with. For example, if you are a writer or a musician as well as a voice-over artist, you can benefit by having all your skills in the same platform and bid on projects that might even include all of them.
Being a voice-over artist can be a great way to put your passion for working for you and generating money in a way that is fun and relatively simple. You need a minor investment to get you going (if you are reading this, you very likely have a computer which is the most expensive piece of gear), and the income you can make out of it can be excellent.
As a side job, primary income, or even a paid hobby, voice-over jobs are a fun way to make a living with your vocal talent.