Finding Paid Voice Acting Work
Voice acting is a passion. It’s an art. All artists like working for free. Right? Nope! Pay me. In this video, we’re going to talk about three places to find paying voiceover work. Here we go. For more great hints and tips about how to become a voice actor, click Like and Subscribe on this video and hit the bell icon so you get notified every time I post something new. I’m Joe Zieja, former Air Force captain and now a voice actor and author in the Los Angeles area. I’ve done thousands of videos, commercials, promos, cartoons, animations from my home studio, and you bet I got paid for it all.
We all want to find work that’s creatively fulfilling. They say that whole thing about, find something that you love doing, and you’ll never work a day in your life. We all want to be fulfilled. We want something that feels easy and free and is rewarding. But you know what else is great? Eating. And you can’t do that if you’re not making money. voiceover is a unique industry. It’s freelance, but it’s its own specific kind of freelance. We’ll talk about some of the nuances about how to find that work today when I give you three places you’re going to be able to find voice acting work today.
Source number one, marketing. Now, I’m going to be completely honest with you, here. Marketing, not my thing. Never has been my thing. But there are many talent I know who have made their entire career out of marketing. They have complicated CRMs. They had Excel spreadsheets. They follow up. They’re extremely diligent about the way they contact their clients and potential clients and it really works out for them. So marketing is one of the three ways that I recommend people look for voice acting work. Essentially, you’re looking for someone that you think would need voiceover. Look for production houses. Look for people that are making videos. Look for people that are making cartoons on the web. Look for people that are making video games, independent video game studio. Reach out to them. Don’t be afraid, because the worst they can do is what? Say no. Right?
Honestly, 95% of them are going to say no. You have to be okay with that before you start doing marketing. In order to do effective marketing, you’re going to need a couple of tools. As a matter of fact, you’re going to need tools for all three of these sources. Namely, some good communication skills to make a pitch letter, and a good demo. We’ll talk about that stuff in a later video. What’s your one biggest fear about marketing? Post it in the comments below.
Source number two, agents. Do you absolutely hate the idea of doing any marketing and going out there and getting rejected and shmoozing and calling and emailing? Good, because that’s what agents are for. An agent’s job is to go out there, find the people that need voiceover, and then bring you the opportunities. They build a roster of highly skilled talent that can fell a whole number of different … solve a whole number of different problems for people who are looking for voice acting. Then they bring those opportunities to you. Note one important thing. I said opportunities. I did not say jobs.
An agent’s purpose, an agent’s job, is to bring you opportunities that you then have to audition, and audition well. You need to be working on your craft. You need to be making sure that your home studio setup sounds good enough so that someone isn’t distracted by it when you get an audition. Agents typically take a 10% commission. That means who is going to do the 90% of the work? It’s you. Finding an agent could be tricky business. I’ve got another video out there that shows you how to navigate the agent marketplace, how to present yourself, and how to know that you’re ready for an agent.
Source number three, online casting websites. Hoo boy. I saved this one for last for a couple of reasons. There’s a lot of controversy surrounding online casting websites because of the way that they bill people, the way that people think it becomes a bidding war and drives down prices in the industry. There’s all sorts of stigma to online casting websites that make it difficult to talk about. But I will say that when I started out, online casting websites represented about 95% of my career. You may be familiar with these kind of sites already if you’ve ever done any freelance work, because we are freelancers. Sites like Fiverr, Elance, and Upwork, those are all kind of … I won’t say that they’re casting websites because they’re not casting anybody, but it’s the same kind of format. Casting websites aggregate needs from all over the world into some kind of online database where you can then go, probably pay a membership fee, and then have some opportunities to audition.
By far, the most powerful of these websites are Voices.com, Voice123, bodalgo, and VO Planet. There are lots of them out there and I encourage you to explore them all and form your own opinions. Each one of these websites has something about it that maybe makes people uncomfortable to talk about, whether it’s the way that they bill their clients, the way they structure their membership fees. It’s something that you have to decide for yourself how you’re going to build a career. Don’t let anybody else browbeat you into not using something that’s going to get you paid, going to get your family fed. What I will say, is if you are going to use these sites, bid what you are worth. Do not undercut. Do not work for five dollars. The idea of a voice actor on Fiverr is absolutely ridiculous. If you can speak properly, you’re worth more than five dollars for your voiceover.
If you’re looking for a guide on what to charge, check the description in the links below and I will give you what’s called a GVAA rate guide, Global Voice Acting Academy’s rate guide. They’ll break things down for you there. I’ll also break it down for you in a future video. That’s it. Those are the three main sources of voice acting work that I know of and that I use in my career. Now, each of them have their won pros and consumers. Again, I encourage you to figure out what works for you. Probably some kind of hybrid model, like it is for me. I know talent that have made each of those sources an exclusive representation of their careers and have done very well. So no two careers are the same. The most important thing is you get out there and start spitting on some microphones. Try some stuff and see what works.
Have you already started finding work? Post some places in the comments where you’ve found some success. That’s a wrap. I encourage you to follow me on social media for more hints and tips on how to be a voice actor, some behind-the-scenes looks, and, of course, some funny stuff because I like to joke around as much as anybody. Those links are in the description below. If this video helped you, let me know by leaving a comment below. Hit the Like button and make sure you dot forget to subscribe. Thanks very much for stopping by and I’ll see you in the booth.