You can have the best voice, amazing demo and top notch voice training, but if you never learn where to get auditions or casting calls, or how to find voice-over jobs - it's worthless.
So, where are the best places to start looking for voice-over jobs?
Josh recently sent in this question:
"I've been a musician for over 15 years and as much as I love music, it doesn't pay the bills. Which is why I want to pursue voice-over as a way to earn a living. But I know it's going to take some work to get to that point. I'm pretty new to the voice-over world so I've been studying the past few months by watching informative videos, listening to podcasts (including yours), radio, tv commercials and so on. I even downloaded your 5-step guide which is helping out a lot so far. I just completed my makeshift vocal booth and I'm ready to start training and practicing. My question is, where's the best place to start looking for small jobs?"
There’s all kinds of ways to get work, it can come from anywhere, but one of my all-time favorite ways to get work, and it works just as well for someone who’s been in voice-over for 30 years as it does for someone just starting out, and that is direct marketing.
Specifically, email marketing. I like email, it’s less intrusive than a phone call.
Here’s how to do it:
You send an email to the right person at the company, directly offering your services to that company.
There are ways to do it and then there are better ways to do it, but it works in voice-over and really any business. You’re finding companies that could use your voice, they can be local, they can be on the other side of the world, and you reach out to them and start a relationship.
That’s how I got my first few clients, they were online radio stations I reached out to, and I still do this today as a way to work with new clients.
This is how you build up a client base.
Maybe you see a local business where your voice would add value, I would suggest reaching out to them.
There have been times I’ve hired a company to do something for me and after looking them up, realized they could use voice-over, and so after mentioning it to them, they hired me.
Reaching out directly has several benefits, but one of the greatest is that there is less competition this way, and less competition means you have a better chance at getting the job. You still need to be professional, and provide a great service, but you aren’t competing against hundreds of other voice actors at the same time.
So email marketing, by far that’s one of my favorites, but I want to mention a couple others here to help…
Another way to start looking for voice-over jobs is by leveraging the power of production company voice over rosters. I don’t use this as much today, as I did in the beginning but it’s still a great way to get voice-over jobs…
There are production companies out there that keep a list of trusted voice actors they want to work with.
These production companies have clients and projects that need voice-over. So you want to get on their list, to have a chance at getting work from them.
All you have to do is google “voice over roster” or “voice talent roster” to get started.
Some of these production companies are huge corporations and some are small 1 person businesses.
They each work differently, some will just keep your demo on file, when they need a voice like yours, they present your demo to their client and if the client likes your voice, you get a job.
Others work more like an agency, where they have a job that needs a voice, they’ll request custom auditions from all the voice actors listed on their roster. You audition, send it in, and the end client picks which audition they like the best.
Some have set rates, some will ask your rate.
Pros and cons of course come along with this, but in general you want to be on as many talent rosters as possible, since it increases your opportunities to get jobs.
Also, since there’s more competition here you need to make sure you’re able to compete…that means being trained and skilled and having an impressive demo.
That’ll give you a better chance of being approved to be on the roster.
And one final way I’ll mention here…and that is online casting websites or pay to play websites…
These are sites like Voices.com, Voice123, Bodalgo, TheVoiceRealm, VOPlanet…There are many others, but I’ve been a member and tested out all of these at one time or another over the years.
And the benefit with these sites is that they have traffic, and that traffic happens to be people looking for voice-over.
If you’re a member, it’s possible you could be found there and hired, but I think the majority of the time, a client will come to the site, and post a job. As a member, you’ll see that posting and be able to audition for the job and hopefully be hired.
Having access to all those opportunities, definitely a huge benefit.
The drawback is the amount of competition.
Pay-to-Play sites work. They aren’t scams. If someone says it’s a scam, and they didn’t get any work, it’s most likely due to their audition not being as good as the competition.
So again you have to be at the top of your game, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it. It’s competitive, you’re up against the best of the best. But if you become great at auditioning and understanding what a client wants, pay-to-play sites can a great way to get voice-over jobs.
These are just a few ways, I have an entire guide on finding voice-over work here.
Before you go, here’s a question for you - how are you going to find voice-over jobs?
Direct marketing, voice talent rosters, pay to play sites, or maybe another way? You don’t have to pick one, it could be a mixture - Leave a comment, let me know your plan below.
If you have a question for a future podcast episode, send it to me here.
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