The traditional industry for voice overs was only available to a select few. It was the definition of a catch 22 situation. You couldn't get a voice over agent without a string of notable clients, and you couldn't get those clients without an agent.
It was, not so long ago, an industry primarily dominated by a few top agents in NYC, LA, Chicago and London. There was little to no chance of every thriving as a full time voice talent unless you nabbed that elusive 'lucky break.' Thankfully dreams of being a voice talent are now within reach. The price of professional equipment has fallen, editing software is cheaper and the big clients are now casting their nets online to reputable voice over websites.
We've put together some tips that have been used successfully by voice talent here on The Voice Realm to catapult their success from budding voices, to actually making great and easy money with their voice. This simple check list will help you achieve a better sound from your home studio which is imperative to landing the big gigs.
We'll advise you on the best way to market yourself online and get noticed by potential clients.
So bookmark this page and let's cut through all the clutter to give you the tools to make it happen!
Microphones used to cost thousands of dollars for something half decent. Whilst you can now find yourself something 'passable' for around $200, we don't recommend spending less than $500 if you are serious about being a professional voice talent.
We've scoured the internet, made phone calls to find the best prices for industry rated brands like Sennheiser, Rode, Nuemann and more.
The best place to buy your equipment hands down is B & H Photo in New York City. They deliver worldwide, have customer ratings for all products and knowledgeable staff.
This is a package we recommend if you really are on a super tight budget:
But if you're wanting to play alongside the big boys of the industry, and work from anywhere in the world then get yourself the Sennheiser MKH-416 - Short Shotgun Interference Tube Mic.
Of course you'll need cables, a mic stand (if you've got a desk you can get a great little tabletop stand - Ultimate Support JS-MMS1 Mini Tripod Tabletop Stand/Clip.
For the ultimate in portablilty, you have to get a USB adapter. It plugs directly into your microphone then into your computer - Shure X2u - XLR to USB Microphone Signal Adapter
Get more details about working from anywhere around the world with an internet connection at our blog post: HOW TO PUT TOGETHER THE PERFECT PORTABLE VOICE OVER STUDIO SETUP
Once you've got the professional equipment, microphones and editing software, you can then start adding to your demos that clients will hear.
There's nothing wrong with ready copy from newspaper ads you see, and add in some royalty free background music (we recommend NeoSounds.)
You don't want to use commercially available tracks (Top 40 songs). One it's illegal, and two it will sound fake.
Purchasing royalty free audio tracks and sound effects from NeoSounds massive library means you'll sound polished and professional. Just like the demos you hear at The Voice Realm.
You're probably aware that most voice over talent have their own website. This is vital to work hand in hand with your social media marketing efforts.
If you're going to promote yourself on Twitter and Facebook, even in emails, you need to have somewhere for potential clients to see your work.
Firstly you need to secure your domain name and buy a hosting plan where your website will be stored.
We recommend our hosting provider here at The Voice Realm to build your 'net brand' - GODADDY.
It's best to keep everything located in the same place. They can even build your website for you. Owning your own website isn't as expensive as you think. Domain names start at just $8. So you can even purchase multiple domains.
The great thing about your website is that it can pretty much all be claimed as a tax deduction. After all you're building the site to bring new customers.
There is an amazing and supportive voice over community on Twitter.
Send potential clients messages. Use the hash tag #voiceover when you're speaking about the industry on the site. Make contacts and network with other voice talent.
You'll be shocked at how much you can learn from the Twitterverse, tips and tricks from other voices and loads more.
Create a Facebook page for your voice over business. It can even just be your name with 'Voice Overs' tagged on to the end.
The best bit about Twitter and Facebook is they are both free!