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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why Many Actors and Actresses Like Voiceover Work at Certain Ages

In recent years, I have read many articles related to the entertainment industry, which all suggest ideas for those actors and actresses looking to find work in their ‘gap years’.  What are the gap years?  They vary for different artists, depending upon when those individuals break into the industry.  For those who start very young, the gap years can occur multiple times.  There are some ages at which there are simply more casting calls.  Generally, it is the “between generations” span that can be difficult.  Consider that most shows and movies feature people that can fit into the stereotypical roles of “grandparent”, “parent”, “young adult/teen”, or “child”.  While an actor or actresses is of an age that doesn’t allow him or her to clearly fit into one of those categories, he or she may find it difficult to find work.

These are the gap years that the previously mentioned advice-articles refer to.  There are many suggestions given for those in their gap years, including getting a side job, taking more acting classes, or stepping outside one’s comfort area.  However, there is something else – or perhaps a combination of these tips – that many actors and actresses have found success with.

Voiceover work allows for all of those well-honed acting skills to be put to use, but without the pressure of “looking” the part.  Therefore, the gap years can be filled with paying work that allows the person to continue growing within the industry.  It also keeps him or her involved with others working in the entertainment field, which means more doors may open, and fewer are shut while he or she passed from one age category to another.

There are, of course, a few differences between the type of acting done for stage or screen, versus that done before a microphone.  Therefore, it is worth taking some classes or practicing voiceover acting before trying to make the jump.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Should You Hire One- or More Voiceover Talents for Audiobooks?

There are a lot of audiobooks on the market, but not all are frequent downloads.  In fact, only a small percentage of authors will see real success in the audio book market.  The rest will be lucky to make a little money after paying for the related expenses.  There are a number of factors that can determine whether or not an audio book is successful.  These include, of course, the status of the author, the topic of the book, and the marketing skills of the author and those working for him or her.  There is one other, big factor to consider though – the quality of the voiceover work. 

Many, many times, customers will completely pass by an audio book or buy it only to immediately “return” it because the voiceover work is not appealing to them. Most people know what it is like to listen to awkward audio.  It could be just the tone or the pitch of the voice that is troubling to the listener.  It could be that the voiceover artist has a tendency to sound monotone after reading for a period of time.  Or, it could be that the story is too hard to follow before there is only one voice and multiple characters in the book.

All of these situations can be very frustrating for the author, but all are preventable.  For the sake of this article, let us consider the latter – the need for multiple voices.  This can be managed in two ways:

#1. Hiring Multiple Voiceover Artists: They can work together in the same recording studio or all make their recordings separately, to have them digitally combined later.  Either way, you wind up with a distinct voice for each character.  For novels that feature many characters, this can be a good way to go, because it really can be difficult for a single voice actor to manage all of the voices while ensuring that the lister can discern one from another.

#2. Have One Artist that Can Speak in Many Voices There are many voiceover talents that can seemly transition from one style of speaking to another, allowing them to give a distinct voice to each of the characters in the book.

It is also possible to combine these methods.  For instance, some authors choose to hire both a female- and a male voiceover artist.  The female speaks for all female characters, while the male manages all masculine parts.  So, the answer to the initial question is “no” because there are multiple methods of managing the problem.  You don’t have to hire more than one voiceover talent, but you may want to consider it, if you think it will provide a more enjoyable listening experience for the consumer.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Get Customers Talking to Build Corporate Voiceover Business

Have you ever been to an art opening with just one or two people walking around the space?  Have you ever witnessed a free concert that had almost no one in attendance?  Such failures don't just occur in the art world.  On a regular basis, in this country, and surely in other areas of the world, businesses face disappointment when sales, promotions, and other marketing schemes fall flat.  In the voice over industry, a failed attempt to reach potential clients can be very costly.  The good news is that many of those failures suffered by artists, musicians, retailers, and voiceover artists in the past were likely preventable.  How do you avoid such a disappointment?  You rely on the longest standing marketing principle – word of mouth.

The era of social media has made word of mouth more powerful than ever before.  People have greater reach when they want to share their reviews of businesses and performers.  They can spread the word without even leaving their own homes.  But, how do you get your former clients, friends, and others talking about your brand?

Encourage Reviews Often, all you have to do is ask, and a former client or customer will happily write up a review that can be shared on your website, as well as on your social media feeds.

Get Chatty The best way to get a conversation going about your business is to be the one to start the conversation.  Don’t forget that the primary purpose of social media is to be social.  Really take the time to speak with former customers as well as potential future clients.  Above all else, always take the time to respond to comments or messages from others.  Not only can this turn a simple comment into an actual conversation, it will also showcase your professional nature, and make that person more likely to say a kind word about you to others.

Offer Up a Reward When someone has done you the kindness of referring you to potential customers or clients, take the time to return the kindness.  Send a thank you note, provide a small gift, or offer a reasonable discount on his or her next project.  You can be sure that this will increase the likelihood that they refer your services again.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Getting Your Talented Child into the Voiceover Studio

If you have a child who has shown a lot of interest in acting, then you might be considering getting him or her into voiceover work.  While it certainly differs from stage acting, many young, creative children have done very well in the recording studio.  There are a few things that you should consider if you are trying to break into the industry on behalf of your child.

Age Though personality and maturity will be gauged above all else, many casting directors will have an age cut-off (on both ends).  Although there is an awareness that working with children is not quite the same as working with adults, the client is most concerned with getting a good recording, and will, therefore, stipulate an age range most likely to fulfill those needs while in the studio.

Training It is not impossible to land a voiceover job without professional training, but your child is going to be much better off if he has something to put on his resume.  Stage experience is great, professional training is even better.  Acting classes are offered all over the country, many devoted to young children.  There are also professional voiceover coaches, although these professionals are more commonly found in large cities (where live auditions are most likely to take place).

Making the Transition A voice over coach will be able to provide additional input on where to look for audition and casting opportunities.  There are also websites devoted to voiceover work, where you can upload your child’s resume and demo reel.  Another option is to seek the assistance of a talent agent.  You, as the parent, will also have to take responsibility for the other end of the voiceover business – the marketing, accounting, and time management concerns, for instance. And check online for other opportunities.

With a bit of luck and the investment of some of your time, your children can start a voiceover career at a very young age.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Many Misconceptions About Voiceover

If you are new to the voiceover industry, or you are considering changing career paths in order to give your voice the chance to shine, you will want to be very careful to avoid the many myths and misconceptions related to this field.  There are many of them, but here we will touch on a few that could be very misleading and cause your new career to fail in no time.

It’s Not About the Imitations There are so many people who come into this industry who believe that the name of the game is to be able to mimic the stars and cartoon characters well known to people throughout the country.  They create entire demo reels showcasing their ability to mimic others.  This is not what voiceover is about and, in fact, that sort of demo reel can actually hurt your chances to sign with potential clients.  Why?  In most cases, the casting directors want to hear your voice, not someone else’s.  A little bit of imitation work can be beneficial, but the majority of your work will be done in your own voice.

It’s More Than Audiobooks and Cartoons While it is true that audiobooks and animation have been a source of income for many voiceover artists, they are not the only forms of voiceover work.  In fact, they don’t even represent the majority of the work.  Be sure that you aren’t limiting yourself as a VO professional.  There is work to be had recording for commercials, internet spots, video games, narration, training videos, introduction videos, and other corporate work.

Not Everyone Can Do Voiceover Anyone with a voice can be recorded, right?  While that may be true, it doesn’t mean that the recording will be worth anything.  And, more importantly, there is much more involved with working as a voiceover artist than speaking into a microphone.  You will be operating your own business, which means marketing, accounting, time management, and much more.  Not everyone can make it as a voiceover artist.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

5 Things That Make Voiceover Script Great

Just as not all voiceover artists are created equally, not all voiceover scripts are of the same caliber.  Whether you are a VO artist or you are preparing a script, there are a few things that you should be considering to determine whether it is a script worth reading.  These are the five things that you should be seeking as you do a first read through:

1.    A Consistent Message Whether it is a training video, a commercial, or an audio book, there should be a consistency to the writing.  No one is going to be happy with the recording – especially the intended audience – if the message isn’t clear or the script is difficult to follow.  Be sure, as the writer, that you know what you want to convey and keep to that theme throughout.  As a VO artist, avoid scripts that are confusing or difficult to understand, if possible. At least seek clarification before recording.

2.    Proper Formatting This is especially important if there is dialogue occurring within the script.  Whether there is one VO artist or multiple readers, the ability of the voiceover talents will be greatly hindered if the formatting is wrong or inconsistent.

3.    Easy Reading We’ve touched on this a little, but it is worth saying again.  When doing a final readthrough, as the writer, or an initial readthrough, as the VO artist, be sure that you read aloud.  This can help you pick out tricky spots.  If you can’t comfortably read the majority of script clearly the first time, it is probably not worth taking into the studio. And DO NOT WRITE IN ALL CAPS! All caps are "visually" hard on the eyes! They also don't allow room for emphasis to be placed on any particular words or phrases. So, use upper and lower case in complete sentences.

4.    No Slashes, but Many Contractions Unless this is an extremely formal script, chances are that the VO artist and the client are going to be happier if contractions are used in voicing the script.  It will sound more natural and pleasant that way, so write the contractions in, rather than expecting the VO artist to mentally make those changes in the studio.  Similarly, avoid confusion created with symbols like a slash (i.e. he/she).  The script should be written as it is to be read (i.e. he or she).  These may seem like little issues, but when they come up many times throughout the script, they can make the recording process a much bigger challenge for the VO artist.

5.    Client Notes There should be notes included with all scripts.  Undoubtedly, there will be words, names, or concepts that must be explained.  As a VO artist, you should be carefully considering those notes (or lack thereof).  For instance, if, when reading the script, you come across multiple names that are difficult to pronounce, but there are no notes provided offering pronunciation, that should send up a mental red flag.  You certainly don’t want to have your pronunciation corrected after you have spent hours in the recording studio.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Build Your Resume – Help Friends Create Winning Websites

Throughout the country, marketing managers have made the switch from focusing on written content and pictures, to placing much more emphasis on video.  All over the web, articles have popped up about the advantages of including video on company websites.

Google Loves Video Actually, it’s not so much that Google loves video as much as it is that the Google algorithm values time, as in the amount of time that the average visitors stays at a website once arriving.  Video, of course, gives visitors something to linger over, which means the average time spent at the website increases, and so does the Google ranking.

Great Way to Make the Brand Approachable Though marketers talk a lot about brand loyalty, in truth people are far more apt to feel loyalty for other people than they are to have loyalty for a brand.  Give the brand a face and a personality, and people are more likely to remember it when they are ready to buy.  Video can provide that.

Video Appeals to Mobile Users It is much easier to watch a video on a small screen than it is to scroll side-to-side, up-and-down to read the same information. Consumers spend a great deal of time on mobile devices these days.

Show the Products in Action Very often, it is difficult to really portray how great a product is in a photo.  Video may be the answer, providing potential customers a real vision of how the product would make life easier or more enjoyable.

These are just some of the advantages that you should be mentioning to friends and family members who own or operate a business.  All of the video is going to call for some voiceover work.  Offer your services at a discount, provide them a professional-sounding video for their companies, and get yourself some new additions to your VO resume. And of course, get your voice out there!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Why You Should be Writing as a Voiceover Artist

Although you may be tempted to believe that there is little need for voiceover artists to spend any time writing when their time would be better spent in the recording studio, that is a misconception.  There are many good reasons to set aside time each week to spend with your keyboard. 

Although many people would tell you that the blogging movement has died, that is most definitely not the truth.  Many businesses – even those consisting of only one or two people – have already discovered the power of content marketing.  You may consider yourself only a voiceover talent, but if you are finding- and securing your own work, if you are reporting self-employment income each year, you are much more than a voiceover actor or actress.  You are a business owner.  In order to continue to grow that business and, therefore, your income, you should most definitely consider content marketing.  Here are three great reasons why you should do so:

#1.Content is Shared Social media is now a way of life.  People spend hours each day checking in and sharing things that interest them.  Create the content that appeals to others and they will happily share it, which means your brand appears before a larger audience – perhaps some who will become your future clients.

#2. Requires Only a Modest Budget Content marketing doesn’t require a big budget, as many other forms of marketing do.  You can get away with a very modest budget if you are willing to put in the time and energy to create regular, worthwhile content.  Perhaps you may pay to boost a social post upon sharing your content or you may pay a small fee to procure photos to match your written work, but the expenses are minimal.

#3. One More Way to Establish Your VO Reputation If you want to really concrete your place in this business, the best way to do so is to establish a reputation of industry expert.  How do you do that?  You keep signing VO jobs, you read and comment on articles related to the industry, and you write your own pieces that make It clear that you are well-informed and experienced.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Good and Bad of Personality

As a voiceover artist, you are most likely working as an independent contractor.  That is to say that you are running your own business.  That makes you a small business owner and puts you in charge of your fate. For some, this is an easy role to accept, but for others, personality traits get in the way of success.  There are certain traits that can make it harder to make it as a voiceover artist, but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible.  If you are aware of this personality flaw, you can work to make it better.  On the other hand, if you have a winning personality trait, you can make the most of it to help your career along.

The Good Let’s first look at the traits often shared by the country’s leading businessmen.

Courageous Some might call it foolish to take chances, but you can’t build a business if you don’t accept the risk of starting the process.  Risk taking, as long as it is done with forethought, can be a very rewarding trait to possess as a business owner.

Confident Do not confuse this with conceit.  Confidence is the knowledge that you can accomplish your goal, but that it will require a certain level of humility. You must believe in your talents and your ability to grow a business, or else you'll be doomed to failure.

MalleableThough life would be easier if everything went our way all of the time, but no one ever said life would be easy.  You will have to make changes, make exceptions, and make concessions in order to successfully work with others.  Clients won’t always have the same vision as you do, and you must be flexible if you hope to continue to build strong relationships in the industry.

The Bad On the other hand, of course, there are those personality traits that could stand in your way, if you don’t recognize them and work to overcome them.

Narcissist The business may be all yours, but your success will depend on many.  Don’t get too caught up in yourself.  This is a business that will involve putting the wishes of others before your own from time to time.  Narcissism could cost your dearly.

Lackadaisical Self-motivation is one of the most important things you can possess when starting and operating your own business. If you are too easily persuaded to sit on the couch or to laze, you will undoubtedly miss the opportunities to grow.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Do You Stand a Chance Against a Big Name?

There has certainly been on a long-lasting trend in the voiceover industry of clients opting to pay big bucks in order to get a recognizable voice behind their work.  Those recognizable voices, of course, belong to the famous on-screen performers that we have all grown to love through their various movies or TV shows.  So, what chance do you stand of scoring a good job when there are movie and television performers willing to take on the additional work?  The truth is that your chances may not be as bad as you believe.

There are reasons, of course, to consider the big name with the recognizable voice.  For animated films, the names can help sell the movie (especially when those individuals are willing to go on promotional tours).  However, there are also major benefits for those willing to hire a voiceover professional rather than the screen actor/actress:

1.    The Cost The big name usually commands a big price tag, and that means that the client is going to pay dearly for that recognizable voice.  In many cases, the celebrity isn’t going to bring enough added fanfare to make the investment worthwhile.

2.    The Experience Surely, that television or movie star has an extensive resume and more than ample acting experience.  However, he or she is less likely to have spent much time behind the microphone.  There are big differences between screen acting and voiceover work.  You’ve already had the training and experience.  You know how to bring a character to life despite sitting along in a recording studio.  The big name may present bigger challenges.

3.    Repeat Recording There is another big risk when it comes to bringing a big name into the studio – future projects.  Hiring a great voiceover talent like you means the chance to have the same great quality recordings for future projects.  However, just because a one-time relationship has been built with the famous voice doesn’t mean that it will be possible to sign that person on for future work, especially if he or she is in big demand for TV or film.

The morale of this story is simple – don’t be afraid to try!  Even if you have heard rumors that the client is trying to bring in a famous figure, it doesn’t hurt to submit your demo.  Don’t undersell yourself.  After all, you may be far more desirable than you believe.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Using Humor to Help Your Voiceover Career

I’ve written many times about the many different roles that the average voiceover artist must fulfill in order to keep his or her career on the desired path.  In most instances, this does involve the actual business operations, because most voiceover actors and actresses are self-employed and contracted by clients to record.  This also means that there is a need for a healthy understanding of marketing.  In this day and age, much of the marketing will be done online, and this blog post is going to look at how humor can play a big role in that arena.

The inspiration for this blog post comes from an article featured in a sports publication, believe it or not.  The story, though, had a lot to do with voiceover because it was about the humorous efforts of one voiceover talent to put a spin on the OJ Simpson parole hearing.  This involved a lot of questionable humor, of course, including language that would not appeal to all.  However, for those who have been wound up in the Simpson drama since the release of the documentary not long ago, the footage is being widely shared and discussed.

Whether you love it or hate it, you must admit that the voiceover work was a spot of genius from a marketing standpoint.  It showcased the artist’s ability to show emotion, to time his recording to match the video, and to infuse humor in his work.  More importantly, it gained him a lot of exposure as the video has been viewed more than 19,000 times (at the time that this is being written) and has received more than 400 comments.

The fact is that people appreciate humor, which is something that is important to remember as you market your own brand.  You will, undoubtedly, want to release samples of your voiceover work, but not all have to be straightforward works.  There is value in engaging audiences in other ways.  People are more apt to share and engage with your content if they feel that they are getting something out of it, so give them a laugh.  And that OJ video with the VO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRfIiui9Qxw  WARNING: Foul language

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Casting Director Gives Input on Role of Social Media

Backstage released this video nearly a year ago, but it is worth bringing to the forefront again.  If there is one topic that remains a constant source of controversy in this industry, it is the role of social media.  I've written about it numerous times on this blog, suggesting over and over again that it is not something that can be ignored.  The value of social media for building a voiceover business cannot be denied any longer, yet there are so many trying to make it in this market who don’t use social media, or don’t use it well.  Now, I'm no expert but Benton Whitley explains, very well, the importance of media marketing and gives several tips that are worth consideration.

Casting Directors are On Social Media As a voiceover artist, you would be foolish to avoid social media.  This is one of the best places to make direct connections with the potential clients who may wish to hire you in the future.  They aren’t just on social media for professional reasons.  Most are also using social media on a personal level, which means that you have the opportunity to truly entertain and engage them.  Create content that will showcase your talents, but also provides some value to the individual.

Avoid Negativity This is a point made in the video that should not be ignored.  There are a lot of people, as Whitley points out, who are prone to use their social accounts to rant about the things that are bothering them.  Often, these rants pertain to their work.  It is important to remember who you are trying to appeal to online.  Complaints, criticisms, and other such negativity can turn the casting directors and potential clients away very quickly.

Keep the Content Fresh Whitley also points out the importance of adding new video and content on a regular basis.  You don’t want him (or potential client) searching your name online only to find the same videos that they were seeing a decade earlier.  He suggests cleaning out old content that no longer shows you to your best advantage.  Posting regular, fresh content can assist your career in many ways.  One of those, of course, is giving the casting directors something new to look at.  Another is providing fans something to share and engage with.  The more they see of your name, the more they hear of your voice, the more likely they are to remember you and associate you with the voiceover industry.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Designing Your Voiceover Logo

When you make the decision to follow through with your dream to become a voice actor, you are essentially embracing the life of a business owner.  For the vast majority of voiceover artists, it is necessary to work on a contract basis, which means that you will operate as a self-employed talent.  That also means that you will likely spend a lot of time and energy advertising your brand.  One great way to spread brand awareness is to create a business logo that can be used to create a consistent appearance across all platforms – website, social media, letterhead, email, resume, demo cover, etc.  There are a few things to keep in mind, though, as you set out to create that logo.

Keep It Simple This is important for many reasons.  Take a moment to think of some of the most successful logos – Nike, Apple, Pepsi, Chevrolet, etc.  All are very simple and could almost be drawn from memory.  That is what you want for your own brand.  You want others to be able to easily call to mind exactly what your logo looks like.  Simplicity is also important for the purpose of being able to manage consistency.  Large enough for a banner or small enough for an Instagram profile pic, your logo must be able to be clean, clear, and easily detected at any size.

Involve the Theme If possible, consider hinting at the type of work that you do.  That doesn’t have to be as involved as a microphone in your logo, but there are ways to give a taste of the purpose of your business.  Think about IBM and how their logo gives a hint of their legacy in the computer industry.  When you look close enough, you see it, but they didn’t include computer screen in the logo.

Attempt to Make it Timeless What is trendy today will most definitely not be trendy five years from now.  Do your best to ignore that compulsion to stick with what is currently popular and aim to create something simple that will be relevant on your business’ 20th anniversary.

Consider Hiring a Logo Designer  Hiring a good designer can be fruitful since they are used to finding the subtle nuances of specific businesses and bringing them forward into a impactful design. For voice over talent we want to show personality, brand, signature sound and experience. A good designer will know what to do when you give him/her as much information as possible about your talent and business.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

3 Better Business Practices for Voiceover Artists

If there is one thing that we must learn and accept in life, it is that there is always room for improvement.  Always we learn, always we grow, and those who will be the greatest successes are those that will use those lessons to be better.    That said, as a voiceover artist, there is a good chance that these four areas of your business could be improved upon:

1.    Social Media Profiles This is, arguably, the most difficult aspect of running a voiceover business, for the vast majority of VO artists.  Why?  Social media is time consuming.  There is no exact science to mastering social media, and yet we all know that it can offer our businesses great value.  So, what should you do to make your profiles better?  If you haven’t yet, get some really great, professional head shots taken.  People want to associate a social account with a face.  After all, it’s all about human interaction.  Also, take a close look at your introductory statement.  Most social platforms allow you to have one on your profile page.  This is an excellent opportunity to ensure that every visitor knows what you do and why you are better than the competition.  Thirdly, be sure that you are posting regular updates.  The more active you are on social media, the more likely you are to make the connections that will lead to future paying work.

2.    Scheduling For much the same reason as I listed social media, I am listing scheduling.  It requires time to sit down and lay out the schedule for the day, week, month, quarter, etc.   If you are like many business professionals, you forego the formal scheduling process, hastily writing little notes to yourself on a desk calendar or, at most, setting a reminder in your phone.  However, as your business gets busier, that becomes an increasingly risky habit.  It’s best to have a very clean calendar, on the cloud, that can be accessed from anywhere.  You should block out days and times for the administrative tasks as well, so you don’t get too bogged down and fail to complete them.

3.    Response Time I’ve already mentioned social media, but that isn’t the only place that others may try to reach out to you.  This item combines the first two.  Communication is the foundation of every great business.  You have to set aside time to answer the questions, concerns, and comments of others, if you hope to build the sort of network that will make you a voiceover success.  If it is taking you days or even weeks to respond to emails and social media comments, then you are missing what could be very valuable opportunities.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

How to Network Like a Voiceover Allstar

This is the era of social media, and that makes you a very fortunate voiceover artist.  Just think how much easier it is to build a network today because of the internet and social media.  Years ago, all of that networking had to be done in person.  That means you can, if you are a strong networker, grow your voiceover business much faster than your predecessors could have.

Not All Followers Are Equal That is not to say that they are not equal as individuals, but rather that some followers will be more inclined to interact with you.  They will share your interests.  And, some will even be able to provide you connections with the casting directors who would be interested in hiring you.  Those are the followers you want.  So, while it can be very gratifying to see your number of followers increase by leaps and bounds, having them is going to add very little (if any) real value to your network.

Build Relationships It’s wonderful to have a huge following online, but, again, that is not going to do you a lot of good if you are not interacting with that network.  You must be social in order to build trust and loyalty.  Don’t just give information, ask questions, inquire about the interest, health, and professions of others.  In return, those people will be more apt to pay attention when you talk about what you do or when you ask them to promote you.

Consider Influencer Marketing If you are still relatively new on the social media scene and you want to gain more followers who will really care about you and your profession, consider paying for influencer marketing, instead of buying followers.  Why?  Influencers in your industry have the ears of the market that you are most interested in appealing to.  With the help of these social media gurus, you can build up your brand recognition online in far less time than it would take to do so organically.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Getting Winded While Recording? How to Prevent It

There are times, for every voiceover artist, when recording must be paused, so he or she can take a breath or get a drink.  However, if you find that you are getting winded too often, it might be time to consider some changes to your routine.  There are some things that you can do that will help you avoid that desire to gasp for breath or that need to bend over to stop the winded, dizzy feeling.  Most of these tips have much more to do with your way of life than they do to things taking place in the recording studio.  That is simply a stark reminder of the fact that your voice in your instrument and it must always be cared for, even when you aren’t using it.

Exercise This is always the first tip given, but let’s be more specific.  All exercise can be beneficial for staying in shape and feeling healthier, but there are some that are better for voiceover artists than others.  Interval training, or any sort of exercise that involves spurts of intense cardio will improve endurance.  It will also help you avoid that winded feeling in the studio.

Drink Water is the best defense against the dreaded dryness that makes it harder to speak clearly.  Keeping your body hydrated will also keep your airways clearer, which means less gasping for air when speaking long sentences.

Breathe Smarter Not just in the studio, but often and on any given day, you should take time to focus on your breathing.  Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Take a few moments to calmly count your breaths and really focus on the air moving in- and out of your body.  This can help you regulate your breathing when you are finding it difficult to avoid that winded feeling.

See the Doctor Regularly If you are suddenly having more trouble catching your breath than you ever noticed in the past, it could be a sign of some sort of medical problem.  It is a good idea to consult a physician if you think you are getting too winded too often.  You should see your doctor on a regular basis anyway, because, as was said before, your voice is at the center of your livelihood and must be properly cared for.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

How to Screen Voiceover Candidates for Audio Book

Typically on this blog, I write to an audience of voiceover talents.  This time, though, I address those who are attempting to hire a voiceover artist for the first time.  This is something that is occurring more frequently these days.  Most of the questions that I field regarding uncertainty about hiring voiceover artists come from authors.  The internet and a number of respectable companies have made it very easy and relatively affordable for authors to publish their own works.  The internet and smart devices have also made it easier for people to buy- and listen to audio books on a regular basis.  Not wanting to miss out on that segment of the market, many authors are looking for voiceover talent so they can add a quality audiobook to their available formats.  If you are looking to do just that, then there are a few things that you will want to carefully consider as you screen prospective voiceover artists.

There are three things that you should be evaluating as you listen to the initial demo tapes.

1.    Strength of Voice While it can be easy to fall for the ability of the voiceover artist to work humor or impression into the demo tape, you have to remember to consider the strength of the voice.  Why is this so important for your project?  You are asking this talent to record a book.  That means that the person hired to do the job is going to spend a lot of time in the recording studio.  That voice has to endure throughout.

2.    Variation You want to really hear some variation in inflection and cadence.  An audio book can quickly turn off the listener if the narrator sounds monotone or completely lacks emotion.

3.    Pronunciation Keep in mind the setting of your story and be sure you are choosing an artist that will lend a believable element to the story.  This begins with accent and pronunciation.

Consider hosting call-backs.  This might involve a bit of an investment, but in the end it can be entirely worthwhile.  This will also allow you an opportunity to hear the voiceover artists read from your novel, so you can really get a feel for how well they will match your vision for the audiobook.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

4 Ways to Make Yourself a More Desirable Voiceover Artist

In any profession, the best way to ensure that you continue to advance is to improve your skill set, so that you become indispensable, and more desirable to those who hire- or manage you.  Voiceover is certainly not an exception.  There is much you can do to make yourself a more attractive candidate, and those efforts are entirely worthwhile.

Secure Some Work on Stage or on Camera Obviously, your intent, when advertising yourself as a voiceover artist, is to secure work that does not involve video or stage.  However, many of the casting directors today are seeking those voiceover talents that also have stage- or camera experience.  There is much to be gained by that sort of experience, and the casting directors know it. A big part of the job when reading a voiceover spot is the ability to ‘become the character’.  Also, in video game creation, for instance, some jobs may require that you physically act out the spot, so animators can use your movements to create a realistic character on screen. 

Invest in the Right Equipment at the Right Time Too many voiceover artists hesitate to invest in creating a worthwhile studio at the start.  It is important to understand that having a decent studio, and especially a high-quality microphone, can really impact the quality of your recordings – including the demos that you send out to the potential clients.  A nice studio set up will make life easier for you, but it will also help you turn out great material that will attract casting directors.

Practice at Home While acting classes are highly recommended, you can also get a lot of practice at home in your free moments.  Watch commercials, listen to advertisements, and even visit the audio book samples online. Or listen to other talents demos on their websites.  Determine what you like about them, and what you don’t like.  You can even create sample scripts from those that you favor most, and then attempt to create your own recording.  This is a great way to keep growing your skill set.

Show Up Early When it comes time to audition in person, be there at least ten minutes early.  In fact, most would say that it is helpful to be there 15-20 minutes early, because this provides time to get checked in, find the right location, and read through the provided copy a time or two.  That preparation time can really make all of the difference.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Three Tricks Kids Can Teach You for Better Voiceover Performances

Parents, teachers, and sitters spend a great deal of time teaching children new skills and preparing them for the life laid out before them.  However, kids can also teach us a great deal if you allow them to.  For instance, there are some skills that kids are notoriously better at than adults.  There are a few of those skills that would make a person a better voiceover artist.  Don’t believe it?  Consider the following:

1.    Make Your Own Hiding Spot Kids learn very early that there are certain things in life – physical possessions, emotions, and other treasures – that simply shouldn’t be shared.  Often those kids will create their own hiding place.  This could be a fort, under a bed, or in a tree.  As a voiceover artist, it is a good idea to have your own hiding spot, where you can go when you need the world to be silent.  The recording studio, of course, must be shut off to the other noises that regular surround you, but a hiding spot can also be a place you go to read through new scripts, to try new voices, and simply to destress after a hard day.

2.    Use Your Imagination Kids are wonderful at creating imaginary friends, developing entirely new games, and building worlds inside their heads.  There is much that you can learn from them in that regard, beginning with the imaginary friends.  It is much easier to read a script in a convincing manner if you imagine yourself speaking to another person or to an audience.  This is where a strong imagination can benefit you as a voiceover artist.

3.    Don’t Be Afraid to Play Most voiceover talents, due to human nature, will stick to one or two variations of their own voice when recording.  However, it isn’t a bad thing to play – just as the kids.  Instead of diving into the new project with the usual approach, schedule yourself a little extra time in the recording booth to try out a couple of new voices.  You may be surprised at what you can create when you allow yourself time to play.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Voiceover 101: Breathe Better

There are many tips to be found online that discuss various methods that can be utilized to help those with respiratory conditions breathe easier.  If you are a voiceover artist, however, you may find that reading through these hints and suggestions can actually help you avoid awkward loss of breath when recording.

Destress This is often the first piece of advice given to those who are struggling to control respiratory illness.  The same can be very effective if you are finding that you are having difficulty controlling your breathing while recording voiceover.  There are many ways that you can reduce the stress in your life, but let’s assume, in this instance, the anxiety is related to your job.  Very often voiceover artists have bad breathing habits when they are trying to rush through the recording.  You should allow yourself plenty of time in the studio to create a clean copy.  Trouble arises when you overbook yourself.  Take care to have a regularly updated calendar, so you can avoid this problem, and you can check off items as they are completed. 

Exercise Voiceover is more taxing than some would believe.  It requires a lot of lung power to read aloud for long periods of time.  You can improve your longevity in the recording studio by doing regular cardio activity.  Over time, cardio exercise increases lung capacity and helps you achieve better endurance.  All of that will extend into the recording booth.

Practice Even breathing can be improved with regular practice.  Over time, you will find it easier to do long recording sessions, simply because you are experienced.  However, you can help that process along by regularly doing breathing exercises.  There are videos online that can teach you proper ‘pursed lip’ and ‘diaphragmatic’ breathing exercises.

Decongest If you have a cold or allergies, you will find that it is more difficult to create clean, clear recordings.  Decongestants, antihistamines, hot tea, certain essential oils, and hot showers can help you break up that troubling congestion.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Six Things That Could Cost You Your Voiceover Career, Part 2

In the last post, we wrote a bit about two of the conditions that can wreak havoc on a person’s voice.  It was also clearly mentioned that such damage to the voice would cause serious harm to a voiceover actor’s career.  Those two are not the only conditions that can cause such problems for professional voice talents. 

Voice Strain It is a real thing.  If you have ever gone to a sport event, concert, dance club or other such venue and awaken the next morning to find your voice scratchy, then you already know it is.  Voice strain wouldn’t be a big problem for the average person, but when your job depends on your ability to speak clearly, voice strain can be downright terrifying.  That, of course, means that you must take proper care of your voice.  Sporting events can be fun without the screaming.  Clubs, bars, concerts, and other such entertainments can certainly be enjoyed, but you should definitely remain aware of how you are treating your voice.  In most cases, the symptoms of voice strain alleviate themselves within a few days, sometimes even within a few hours.  Some damage can be longer lasting, though, and may call for some medical treatment.

Vocal Chord Trauma While most cases of vocal strain will heal quickly, there are greater dangers associated with misuse of your voice.  Trying to give a presentation to a crowd without a microphone, for instance, would result in your speak at uncomfortable levels for a prolonged period of time.  In most cases, this might lead to a bit of soreness and a scratchy voice for the next day or two.  In worse situations, though, it could lead to vocal cord lesions or hemorrhage.  The non-cancerous growths known as lesions can actually result from vocal misuse.  Fortunately, these can be treated, but the healing process can certainly be longer than you’d like when you depend on your voice to earn a living.  Hemorrhaging can be even worse, and may also result from misuse of your voice.  The blood vessels of the vocal chords can actually rupture and fill the surrounding tissue with blood.  This is considered an emergency situation, will require medical intervention, and you will ultimately be commanded to rest your voice for a prolonged period of time.  That means no work.

Paralysis Surgery, illness, tumor growth, or several other problems can cause paralysis of the vocal chords.  In some cases, the cause isn’t ever determined.  This would be a devastating diagnosis for a voiceover artist because it can rob a person of his or her voice for a very long period of time.  In some cases, it is permanent.  Fortunately, it is very, very rare.

Cancer Obviously, this is the scariest diagnosis, but the medical community has made many strides.  The fight against cancer is getting stronger every day.  That said, any sign of throat cancer should be a reason to seek immediate medical care.  Chronic throat or ear pain, trouble swallowing, sudden vocal chances, or a lump in the neck or throat should all be considered very serious symptoms.  Caught in its early stages, this type of cancer is curable, and in many cases, the voice returns to normal after treatment.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Six Things That Could Cost You Your Voiceover Career, Part I

There are many aspects of the voiceover profession that many on the outside wouldn’t immediately recognize.  The job depends on your ability to self-promote, to manage time effectively, to network and work well with others, and more.  However, the one thing that even the outsiders understand is that without your voice, you wouldn’t have a job.  This is an undeniable truth in this industry, which is the very reason that voiceover artists do everything they can to protect their most valuable instruments.  Unfortunately, there are at least six things that could ultimately steal your voice, and possibly your paycheck.

Laryngitis For most people, this condition is acute.  That is to say that the loss of the voice is only temporary.  In that case, it would be a major nuisance, but not necessarily a threat to your job.  However, there is also something called chronic laryngitis, often caused by untreated (or uncontrolled) acid reflux or infection.  It can also be caused by smoking, which is just one more reason why voiceover actors should definitely not be smokers.  Chronic laryngitis can be very long lasting, something that a person could battle for weeks, months, or even years.  Treatments are aimed at alleviating the underlying cause, so healing times vary substantially.

Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease (LPRD) Though this condition can appear without any of the typical symptoms of acid reflux, in many cases, those diagnosed have already suffered from heartburn and other such complaints for quite some time.  This condition can cause the voice to become hoarse or raspy.  That and other symptoms can be very long lasting depending on the damage done by the stomach acid that was allowed to enter the esophagus.  Obviously, this should serve as a warning to ensure that you see a doctor about any acid reflux related symptoms you may suffer with.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Should You Take Your Work on Vacation

In the last blog post, it was highly recommended that you set aside time to take a vacation.  It was also highly recommended that you use this time to disconnect from technology, and from all those contacts that claim your time the rest of the year.  However, some of us are simply bad at taking holidays.  If that is you, or you simply can’t afford to completely disconnect, then you may consider taking your work with you.  At least that means that you go to the destination vacation with your family, without missing out on the potential to sign another job.

In order to do that, though, you will need to consider what it would take to create an audition tape from a resort (possibly hundreds or thousands of miles from home).  That said, you shouldn’t try to bring along every piece of recording equipment you own, particularly if you intend to fly. 

In most cases, you can get away with a decent microphone, your laptop, and the corresponding cords.  It is possible to get affordable, padded cases that will hold all of this equipment in a compact form that you will be able to carry on an airplane.  Do be prepared, however, for an extensive search by security. 

Although it is possible to bring your work with you, there are a few questions that you should be asking yourself before you do so:

#1. Is it absolutely essential that you take it along for the ride?  If you haven’t taken a family vacation or time off in a while, then perhaps your career would benefit more if you were simply to use the time to unwind.

#2. Can you afford to lose it?  Unfortunately, whenever you travel, there is the real risk that you won’t come back with everything you took with you.  Lost luggage, theft, hotel mishaps, and more could cost you some- or all of your equipment, which would be safer at home.  Even though we absolutely support time away from the recording studio, we do want to emphasize that you must be realistic about the risks you take when traveling with recording gear.

#3. How will you block out background noise?  What will be your method of soundproofing?  Can the hotel offer you and extra quiet location while you are away?  It may be necessary to record while hidden away under layers of blankets simply to negate some of the noise around you. The Konica Eyeball I've found is the best device yet for insulating the area around that mic from extraneous sound.

Should you bring your work along?  Yes.  If it means that you are able to sneak away with your family and enjoy a few hours of fun, you should.  However, if you can get away without it, then you should probably consider doing so.  After all, as we said in the last post, vacation time can be very beneficial to business professionals like you.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Voiceover 101: Importance of Taking an Annual Vacation

Working in voiceover can be a very rewarding career path.  Not only do you get to express your creativity when reading the various scripts for a large variety of different clients, but you can also make your own schedule and spend a lot of time in your home office.  For those who don’t love the idea of a standard 9-5 job, this is certainly an enticing profession.  However, it doesn’t come easily.  It does require a lot of hard work, networking, and patience with difficult clients.  It can also involve longer hours each day, because you never really leave the office and are likely tempted to answer emails, phone calls, and texts after the typical business hours.  In that way, it can be both rewarding and taxing.

This is exactly why it is highly recommended that you set aside time for yourself.  Whether that means traveling to an exotic island getaway for ten days, jumping on a ship bound for the coldest reaches of Alaska, or simply turning off electronics and enjoying a staycation, vacation time is important.  In fact, it has even been proven through extensive research that the upper echelon of management (i.e. CEOs) are actually more apt to receive raises, bonuses, and positive feedback if they take vacation time each year.  Why?

Vacations are a time to mentally and emotionally reboot.  There is a lot of stress that comes with holding down a job – whether it requires you to be in the boardroom or the recording studio.  That stress can really weigh a person down, making it more difficult to concentrate and make wise decisions.  Vacations wipe the slate clean, and provide you a fresh starting point when you return.
It's not just the break from the work stress, but also a bit of time away from technology.  Turning off the computer, phone, tablet, and other such devices can really be healing.  That is a large part of the reason why cruises and international trips can provide greater stress-relief.  The inability to stay in constant contact with everyone allows a person to unwind and enjoy the world around him or her.

So, take the vacation.  Not only will it provide you the chance to try something new; it may actually make you a better voiceover artist.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Give Your Voiceover Business a Boost

Building your business is very likely at the top of your list of objectives if you are a voiceover artist.  Working in this field very often requires an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as a strong understanding of business.  If you have honed your voice, but you are still struggling to build a consistent business flow, you may want to consider the following tips.

Offer a Secondary Service One of the biggest pieces of advice offered by those who have been in the business to those who are new and struggling to find their footing is to offer a secondary service.  One of the most commonly mentioned is translation service.  You can’t speak another language?  It’s okay.  Find a company that does and contract their services.  Once the piece has been translated in writing, you can do the voiceover work as usual.  You can draw in more clientele, the translation company gets paid, and so do you.  Other services you might consider, depending on your strengths, are script editing, script writing, or you could even lease out your recording studio (if you have a nice one) at an hourly rate.

Consider Referrals If a voiceover job comes across your desk, but you know that you aren’t really the right fit for it, consider giving a referral.  This can be a very effective way to build connections and a sense of loyalty, if handled in the right manner.  Don’t refer to someone who would be seen as direct competition (i.e. someone with very similar vocal range and skillset) and do make direct contact with the other voiceover artist to let them know that you’ve made the referral and that he or she should expect a call or email.  This doesn’t guarantee that you will receive referrals in return, but it does increase the likelihood that you will.

Clean Up Your Own Work Additional services were mentioned above.  Post-production work wasn’t mentioned, but it is worth considering.  If you can hone your skills on the audio editing software, you can provide the post-production services that will increase your value in the eyes of potential clients.  You may be surprised to find that offering those services, even if they come at an added price, will lead to substantial increase in the number of voiceover jobs you secure.

Stalk the Successes Not literally.  You don't want to get arrested, after all.  However, there is nothing illegal about tracking the behaviors of competitors online.  Pick out proven successes in the voiceover world and watch what they are doing online.  You may find that mimicking their behaviors (to a reasonable degree) will result in a boost to your own business.  After all, they must be doing something right!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Why You Should Consider Working with Others

Voiceover is an unusual career path, in that much of your time will be spent alone, especially if you do most of your recording in your home studio.  Even the hiring process can be done entirely via the internet, so you never actually meet the casting director or client in person.  For those who prefer to work alone, that can lead to a very comfortable routine.  However, there are good reasons to branch out and to consider the occasional collaboration.  If you haven’t yet considered it, you may want to look to join forces with another voiceover artist.  Working together can lead to great results.

Gain a Better Understanding of Your Own Objectives It is amazing how simply being forced to talk to someone else about your business plan can bring up points that you hadn’t really considered in depth before.  You will, undoubtedly, gain a better understanding of where you hope to be in the future and how you intend to reach those benchmarks, simply because you have to explain yourself to the person you may partner with.

Share Expenses There are expenses related to establishing an in-home studio.  Those costs rise substantially if you have to rent a space to do your recordings.  Sharing those expenses with another voiceover artist certainly makes sense.

Build Marketing Momentum You both have your own set of social accounts and your own websites.  If you work together, you can double your reach.  The added exposure is one of the most notable benefits of collaboration, and it can make an almost immediate impact.

Offer a Greater Range Some would be hesitant to partner with another voiceover artist, because ‘it’s like working with the competition’.  However, that doesn’t have to be the case.  Of course, if you choose to work with someone who shares similar vocal range and skillset, then it could be a conflict of interest.  But, if you work with someone who has a voice and talents that differ from your own, you can provide a greater range for potential clients by working together.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Voiceover 101: What You Should Know About Slating

If you are new to the voiceover industry, then there are undoubtedly many terms and phrases being thrown at you that are not at all familiar.  Some of those, you will learn as you go, and will be fine to do so.  However, ‘slate’ is a word that should be readily familiar to you from the start, as it is one of the most important ways to build your brand and increase recognition of your name.

Slate: The announcing of a name or assigned number at the start of a recording.  Often includes the name of the character being portrayed as well. 

The slate is helpful for the casting- or directing teams, as it helps them stay organized throughout the process, and ensures that they are crediting a work to the right actor or actress.   However, it can also be very beneficial for the voiceover talent.  This provides the perfect opportunity to put your name (your brand) in the mind of the casting director.  This also ensures that it is clear which part you are reading for or what type of reading you’re are performing.  Finally, it is a great way to ensure that a potential employer has a sample of your natural voice.

It's obvious that slating is good practice, so be sure that you are doing it correctly.  Here are a few things to consider:

Keep it Light This is just an introduction.  It shouldn’t be long, wordy, or stiff.  But, you should also sound professional.

Don’t Speak in Any Voice But Your Own The slate should absolutely be spoken in your own, natural voice.  This applies, regardless of what type of voiceover you will be performing in the recording.

Leave a Pause It is great that you can change your voice, tone, and pitch at a moment’s notice, but you should still leave enough of a pause for the person listening to process what you said.  Therefore, take a breath before you begin the actual take.

Practice There is nothing wrong with practicing slating.  It is important and the first thing the director will hear, so you want it to sound professional.  Give it a take or two (or more) before you do the actual recording.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Voiceover 101: Contending with the Misery of Seasonal Allergies

Read two lines.  Sneeze.  Read two lines.  Sneeze, Sneeze. Read two more lines…

Sound familiar?  The editing on this recording is going to be a nightmare, and you are undoubtedly cursing your family for passing on their seasonal allergy genes.  This is a tough time of year for many voice actors and actresses.  The sneezing, coughing, dry throat, and itchy eyes can make studio time more than a little frustrating.  Worse yet, for some, allergies also cause asthma symptoms, making it extremely difficult to read through a script without gasping for air. 

So, what do you do to put an end to the allergy symptoms?

There are plenty of over-the-counter medications that can be used to treat seasonal allergies.  Don’t be turned off if one of them doesn’t work for you.  The beauty of having several different options is that some may work better for you than others.  However, do read the box or bottle over thoroughly.  Some may cause drowsiness, which would be problematic in this line of work.  Also, in some areas of the country, the allergy medicines with decongestive properties are only found behind the pharmacy counter (for safety reasons).  However, those options can be best for reducing the nasal sound in your voice caused by allergies, so it might be worth asking.

If you simply can’t handle the antihistamines, then consider an anti-inflammatory medication.  You may be surprised to find just how much ibuprofen can help reduce your symptoms, because it will reduce swelling in your nasal passages and airways.  It can even help reduce discomfort in your eyes.

If you are looking for an all-natural solution, there are many recommendations to be found.  A teaspoon of local honey per day is said to stave off allergy symptoms.  Likewise, you can use peppermint oil in a diffuser if you want to naturally break up congestion.  Hot tea (particularly chamomile), lemon, and ginger are also said to help battle congestion and inflammation. And then there's Organic Throat Coat Tea. As a final tip, consider pampering yourself before entering the recording studio.  It has been found that facial- and hand massage can help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies.  Concentrate on the area over your sinus cavities, when massaging your face.  This can literally help break up congestion.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Importance of Confidence in a Voiceover Artist

In every profession, there is a need for confidence.  If you spend too much time doubting yourself, you will be more likely to make costly mistakes, and you run the risk of convincing others that you are not worthy of your position, your next scheduled raise, or consideration for promotion.  In this field, though, confidence is even more important.  A lack of it will be heard in your voiceover work, which can immediately turn off potential clients.  Walking into an audition overly nervous is very likely going to lead to a poor outcome.  And, if you lack confidence in yourself, you will miss valuable opportunities to go above and beyond for the clients who will serve as your leading source of recommendations. 

If you want to ensure repeat work with a client, or better yet, a referral to others looking for talent like yours, then you must showcase a supreme level of professionalism.  The ability to properly enunciate, to read with a larger-than-life personality, and to improvise as needed will be strongly rooted in your self-confidence.  If you don’t trust yourself, you will miss out on these opportunities to showcase your true strength as a voiceover artist.

So, how do you find your confidence, when it is lacking?  The greatest piece of advice that I was ever offered, in this regard, was to fake it until it feels real.  Here are a few ways that you can do just that.

Focus on Posture The taller and straighter you stand, the better you will feel, the better you will project, and the more confident you will appear to others.  If you don’t feel comfortable standing while recording voiceover work, then focus on sitting with better posture.

Pamper Yourself When you look good, you feel good.  This is a very true statement and something that most people have already experienced in their lives.  So, take the time to pamper yourself on a regular basis.  For some, this may mean a trip to the barber, the salon, or the spa.  For others, it could simply mean an investment in new additions to the wardrobe.  Although you don’t want to cause yourself financial hardship, it is important to spend a little bit on yourself, so you can feel your very best whenever entering a professional setting.

Follow Your Instincts When pre-reading a script, if you notice a section that simply does not sound natural, regardless how many different ways you attempt to read it, then suggest a minor edit, or just attempt to do that in your first reading. In most cases, this effort will be appreciated (or pleasantly unnoticed) by the client.  In those rare instances when a client is a stickler about wording, there is always the option to do a second reading or to dub it over later.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why Your Voiceover Career Will Involve a Lot of Writing

It is amazing how many new voiceover talents come and go from this industry, and the most common reason I hear for their decision not to continue with this line of work is because they did not realize that it would involve so much more than simply reading scripts.  Please, please, please, if you are considering a career in voiceover, understand that it requires far more than your ability to speak into a microphone.  You will have to run the actual business which means a lot of work related to accounting, marketing, and business development.  For instance, if you should start a voiceover business, you should plan to spend a lot of time with your keyboard.  Much of the content you create, you will find, will not involve any audio or video.

There are many reasons why written content can benefit your voiceover business, but for the purpose of this blog post, I’ll focus on marketing content.  For instance, a blog post.  While I do hope that this post benefits you and helps you as you build your own brand, there is another reason why I write these. 

Build a Reputation Online Blog posts, articles, newsletters and other such written content can help you establish yourself as a reliable source of information within the industry.  They can also showcase the level of knowledge that you have compiled as a result of experience as a voiceover artist.

Improve SEO This is yet another thing that you will have to consider as you build your voiceover business. You want people to be able to find your website when they are searching for voiceover artists.  That means that you need to appeal to the search engines that have the power to direct that traffic to your website.  Search engine optimization (SEO) is the way to do that and among the most powerful ways of improving SEO is to have a steady stream of worthwhile, fresh content on your website (i.e. blog posts).

Demonstrate Another Form of Communication While potential clients will undoubtedly be most concerned with your ability to speak fluently, comfortably, and naturally when recording, they will also be looking for evidence that you will be a reliable, professional person to work with. Written content, especially a blog that is regularly updated can demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively.  It can also showcase the level of dedication that you feel for your profession.