You've decided to make the leap and become a voiceover artist. Awesome! But how the heck do you get your first job? Welllll, that's a little more tricky. You're in the right place. While it's nice to dream of rolling around in millions of hard-earned voice over paychecks, we all start small.
Here are some websites and ideas for getting your first job.
Casting Call Club
Casting Call Club is a perfect resource for beginners. The basic membership is free (woot!), and allows voiceover artists to audition for projects (mostly character voices) posted by project managers. Many of those projects are small and unpaid, which, well, kind of stinks, but is is a perfect opportunity for new voiceover artists to practice auditioning for roles, learn the ropes, and support creators following their dreams. And hey, if you're lucky, you may even win a paid job!
Local Nonprofits or Organizations
The first few jobs I got as a voiceover artist were offering free voice over work to nonprofits and charities that meant a lot to me. I found local groups and emailed them asking if they needed any work, pro bono. Eventually these clients actually wanted to pay me, so it worked out for both of us! (Note: Even nonprofits have budgets for marketing and voice over work- do your research and be sure you're supporting the right organizations.)
Your Friends and Family
While it's obvious that you can ask friends and family if their businesses need any voiceover work done, it's also a good opportunity to do some less formal work to get experience. In my case, a couple of friends reached out to me and asked that I record them a new, ridiculous voicemail messages, as if I was their office assistant. These were super fun and allowed me to get in some much needed practice.
There are a variety of freelance websites that allow you to create a profile and set your own pricing for voice work. While websites likes these allow you to gain experience and make money without having a ton of experience under your belt, many say the low prices can also devalue standard industry rates.
Many people get their first paid jobs on "Pay to Play" websites, also known as P2Ps, like Voices (also known as VDC) or Voices123. These websites allow voice over artists to join the platform and audition for roles that are posted by companies and project managers. This is a great way to learn how to churn out auditions, practice a variety of genres, and fine tune your editing process. However, as the name suggests, these websites require you to pay for membership, in addition to them taking commission from every project you win. Many times you are competing against dozens of others for the same role, and if you're not at the same level as everyone else, this process can be soul-crushing and time-consuming, to say the least.
To give you some stats, according to Voices, the very highest earners on the platform book 5% of the jobs they audition for- I will let you do the math. Keep in mind, those top earners likely have decades of experience.
If you do choose this route, I recommend going into these websites thinking it will be a learning experiences versus a way to make a lot of money.
(Side note, Voices often runs sales on membership. If you plan to join but don't want to pay full price for a membership, sign up for a free account, then wait until a coupon blesses your inbox. I often see discounts for $300 off.)
Sometimes getting a job comes down to knowing the right person. Tell your friends and family that you are training to become a voice over artist. Reach out to former colleagues or classmates and ask them if they need a voiceover. Go to industry events. Work your magic!
If you frequent a business or company, pitch yourself! Send them your demo and let them know you're beginning your voiceover career. Maybe they need a new phone recording or were thinking about running an ad.
One last note: as a new voiceover artist, it can be tempting to take on any jobs offered to you, either out of excitement or desperation (oof). Know your worth. Know the difference between being kind and getting taken advantage of. Put your foot down when you're being overextended or a client is not respecting your time.
Now get out there and get some voiceover gigs!
If you have any questions about voiceover or want to book me for your next project, contact me at Alice@AliceEverdeen.com.