21 Jan Online Voiceover Explained
There was a time, less than a decade ago, that access to the voiceover marketplace was completely controlled by Talent agencies and casting offices. There was no point of entry into the marketplace outside of these channels. All of that has changed in the past ten years as it became possible to do voiceover online. No longer is there a gatekeeper preventing the individual dream of, at the very least, pursuing a voiceover career. Talent can put together a demo and a home studio and begin their career in voiceover online at websites such as VOICEOVERS.com.
These online voiceover marketplaces have become more common, and there are an array of possible outlets to pursue voiceover online, to promote your voice, seek opportunities to connect with Buyers (Producers), to do auditions for their projects, and be booked on their jobs. Sites such as VvOICEOVERS.com have become direct to buyer conduits and the tools of building lucrative careers in voiceover online.
Exciting as that is, it is important to raise some key questions when considering diving into the fray of pursuing voiceover online and selecting the outlets that make the most sense for YOU:
- What kinds of Buyers does the site or marketplace I am signing up for gather, curate?
- How do they find these Buyers? Do they actively promote the platform or site? How?
- What are other Talent and Buyers saying about the site? What are the reviews?
- What kinds of jobs do they provide? Commercials? Narration? IVR and Voice Prompts?
- What are your signature sound and strengths and does the type of buyer and projects on the site fit your sound and skills?
- What are the payment policies and transparency of the platform / site?
Beyond these questions, there are some important steps you need to take to be ready to compete in voiceover online:
- Your DEMO(s) – you need professional grade demos produced in the specific categories of voiceover you are going to compete within, eg: Commercials (Announcer or Character), Narration, Books on Tape on Tapes, IVR.
- Your HOME STUDIO – you need to be able to generate professional grade auditions in order to compete on projects posted on the sites. A great mic, a sound proof space, a computer or tablet with effective software to be able to edit your recordings.
- TECHNIQUE and KNOW HOW – you need to know WHAT you’re doing with a script. How do you address it, prepare it? What is your signature read, your point of view? What works and what does not?. Some of this is personal choices and talent and some of this is basic technical knowledge. A good Coach or workshop can cover many of the basics. As you do more research about voiceover online, these resources are easily found. Apply the same questions from above about type of voiceover and reviews when seeking an effective Coach or workshop.
- WHO and WHAT – Once you know “your sound” and verticals of competition, the question is: Who are your competitors and what are they doing, what are they booking? The great thing is that all of this is readily available. You can hear their demos, their bookings and see what is working in the market anywhere your ears can go.
- WHY – Why are you doing this? What is the motivation? What do you bring to each script, each project? Seems like a strange point. This is the magic, this is the secret sauce as to why one talent books over another. It is point of view, an organic electricity that resonates through a read and compels the listener to “lean in”.
The barrier of entry into voiceover online is much lower than it was a few years ago before the proliferation of sites, platforms and online outlets. That said, it also means the competition is fiercer than ever. Yes, you can pursue a career in voiceover online. But can you gain actual traction, get noticed, get booked and make a living? That comes down to smart work – developing technical skills, artistic technique, understanding the market and your competitors and delivering an end-product that stands out from the white-noise of average deliveries.