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Ways to Build a Career in Voiceover  2

05 May

Question: Can you build a career in Voiceover working from a home studio?

Home studios are a reality.

Here, in Australia, it’s not as prevalent as in other countries; the US in particular, where the stats on home recording say that this is how a large percentage of voiceover work is done.

I have a couple of great clients who get me to record from home, one in Sydney, and one a local radio station.  Occasionally, when they need to, they’ll direct the job, but mostly, I’m just briefed well and they trust me to provide a professional job.

The thing is, I really love working in the studio.

It’s where I excel; real time, real people, and more importantly for the quality of the end product, a truly collaborative relationship.

Working in the studio, being produced and working collaboratively is my idea of an ideal way to work in voiceover.

But digital changes mean that many businesses now want to record voices for their websites and internal needs and their budgets don’t necessarily run to studio and high-quality production costs.

So, let’s get back to that…and you.

Quite possibly, whether you’re new to this or not, if you want to build a career in voiceover you may find yourself working from a home studio.  

But how do you know whether that job that you just recorded is hitting the mark? 

In many cases, you’re not being directed.  You’ve simply been asked to supply the job.

Thing is, it’s not simple.  It takes skill to create a bankable, broadcast quality job, but if you have the talent and tenacity, you could make this work for you.

So, I’d like to give you a few tips that might just make the whole experience a winner!

Quality control is your best friend.

*This is really important.

Do make sure that you have read and re-read, and read again every piece of instruction regarding the style, audience and delivery of the job.

The best way to build a career in voiceover and make sure that client will consider you again is to follow, to the letter, all instructions.  You’d be amazed at how easy it is to miss something crucial.

Before you send the job, go through the instructions again and doubly make sure.

Correct pronunciation is key to getting that job.

  • Never heard that word before?
  • Not sure how to pronounce the name of that company, or product?

Don’t guess. Make sure!

Google it.  Go to Youtube.  There are sites that will give different country pronunciations.  We do things differently in each country.  You need to know.

If you can’t find out, email the client and ask them to write the name/word/title phonetically.

I’ll give an example with the word innovative.  Is it innovative or innovaytive.

The word data?  Is it darta or dayta?

Writing it phonetically on your script is crucial to your remembering how to pronounce it.

Or, if it’s the company name and you’re unsure, simply telephone them.  I would imagine the person answering the phone has it right.

When you do the read, you really need to take your time and consider all the aspects of the scripts.  Deep dive the script for meaning and understanding completely the meaning in everything you read.

You need to be talent, engineer and producer.  Think about the job form the perspective of each of those professionals.

A good way to test whether the read is working is to step away from it as a performer, and listen to it as if you were the intended market.

You need to ask this question:

If I were hearing this for the first time, would I get what it was about? 

Or, if it’s information or instruction, you need to ask:

Is the pace of the read allowing the listener to take in information and process it, before I move on to the next, and the next?

Don’t underestimate the importance of quality control.

If you’re seen as someone who’ll go that extra mile to make sure your clients’ time isn’t wasted and they get just what they want the first time, you may have just picked up regular work.

The digital world is here to stay.  Make good decisions about fees you charge.  No undercutting!  Fees are available for you to look at on voiceover agents website.

A word of caution:  There are many scammy type shysters out there just looking for your money, so as you build a career in voiceover need to consider that.  Question anything that has a promise of ‘it’ll will be easy’ attached it.

This is one of the reasons why, if you’re talented and committed, you need to be part of a community.  Join a Professional Association such as your Arts Union in your area or country and join World Voices Organisation (WoVo). Here’s link to their website for information on membership.

Work with a coach, find out if there are meet-ups in your area and keep listening, watching and researching.  If you’re passionate and talented, you’ll get there 🙂

Happy VoiceOvering!

Abbe Holmes About Abbe Holmes
Find Your Voice As a Voice Over Actor And Artist With The Voice Over Coach. For over 30 years I've had a successful voiceover career. I work in mainstream voice over for radio and television, narration for the corporate sector, website content and documentaries, as well as characters for animation, IVR, ADR, on-hold and foreign film dubbing.

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