Updated June 18, 2020
Hello and thank you for finding your way to my article on voice over work from home. Have you ever thought about doing this? Well, given recent global events it seems that now is the perfect time to explore this opportunity. In my article here, I would like to share with you the things I have learned and maybe give you some ideas to help you get started in this fun and potentially lucrative industry.
When I was in my mid-fifties, I decided to get into voice work because it was something I knew I wanted to try but wasn’t sure where to begin.
There are opportunities out there but there is also a lot of misinformation. My goal with this article is to encourage you to check out your options and the resources I have detailed for you and decide if this is something that might be of interest to you for making some online income.
With the internet, we are free from having to take long drives, fighting traffic, to recording studios and back again. Nobody has any time anymore and clients want a fast turn-around with their voice over projects. More and more employers will be looking for people to do this work remotely in light of the obvious recent events.
Your Voice is Marketable
Don’t imagine that because you are now approaching, or in, retirement that nobody wants to pay you for your voice.
At my agency, we had a lot of people from their 50’s into their late 80’s who were doing voice work. The Baby Boomer population is the biggest that has ever been and therefore a huge target audience. Who do you think they need to sell to this demographic?
Right, people our age! This lends authenticity to a product or service because it is people in our age group who will be the buyers.
Just think about it. At my agency, where I also worked as a Talent Agent assistant, we used to have clients contacting us for voice actors to advertise health insurance, retirement plans, hotels and resorts, and even casinos.
Every Voice is Unique
People sometimes think that you have to have a naturally “perfect voice” for doing this type of work.
What the heck does that mean anyway?
There is no such thing as the “perfect voice”. Every voice is unique and you never know who may be looking for a voice just like yours.
If you stop and think about it, when we are being sold something on the radio, for example, the advertisers are trying to connect to us as ‘real people’. Therefore ‘real voices’ are needed to convey these messages. We want to hear someone who sounds like ‘us’ telling us about a product or service that we need, right?
The trick is, identifying the ‘type’ of voice you have, developing it and improving it through training, just as you would do with a musical instrument.
Learn the Basics
If you have no experience whatsoever, that’s okay. Don’t worry. Everyone has to start
somewhere, but you definitely need to learn the basics.
For example, you will need to understand the voice over industry, what type of voice you have and how to best market it. You need to learn how to record and edit your work, how to negotiate fees with clients and of course, how to find voice work opportunities.
I found a resource I like that can teach you these basics for a reasonable fee. You can read my review of this program here.
Create Your Recording Space
One of the subjects covered in the program I recommend will give you advice on how to set up a suitable recording ‘studio’ in your own home.
Of course, you could spend thousands, but the way I used to do it was to take my microphone and laptop into the closet and shut the door! Believe it or not, this works just fine, as long as you don’t have lots of other distracting noises or sudden or intermittent sounds going on outside that space such as barking dogs, kids playing and shouting or a grandfather clock chiming on the quarter-hour!
Consider Working With an Agent
Agents are great, mine was for sure, but you have to consider this if you would like to work with an agent.
While not strictly within the definition of working ‘online’, you could also consider partnering up with an Agent.
If you did, then you will have to have a high-quality home recording studio to be able to submit your voice work from home. Agents are happy enough to promote you but only if the product you deliver is of high quality.
It’s not as expensive as you might imagine. You can actually set up your own, high-quality, professional recording studio with a complete kit for around $300.00. If you can create your own home studio, you can submit and record all your work online.
My ‘closet’ studio that I set up at home was for submitting my auditions, through my agent, to the clients. I actually went in person to do the final recording.
However, this would not be the case for marketing yourself on a platform such as Fiverr. You can start at home with some basic recording equipment in a quiet place and build out from there.
But I wouldn’t discount the idea of working with an agent or even signing up with several agents, which is what a lot of voice-over actors do. They will find potential jobs for you and you can audition at home. If chosen, you can also record in your home studio. This means you can work with agencies all over the world! That really opens the field to you.
Just remember, some agents might want you to be exclusive to them.
My suggestion is to do an internet search of agents in your area to see what their criteria are and how they submit and do their recordings. Also, check whether they would want you to be exclusive to them because if this is a requirement you would not be allowed to market independently on other platforms such as Fiverr.
Other Helpful Resources
If you are going to market yourself, and you are new to this, here are a couple of resources.
This a global marketplace of freelancers that provide services in many fields, including voicework. It is free to join, so you can check it out and see what other voice over artists are doing.
You will see people of all ages offering their voice-over services for things like radio commercials, audiobooks, online projects, narrations, and animations to name a few. You start your price at just $5.00, then, as you gain more experience and confidence, you can charge more. You can also charge more and negotiate your fees if the client needs more work from you.
There are voice-over professionals charging $35, $50 and up per project on the Fiverr platform. It’s a great way to get started, in my opinion, without a lot of pressure to be ‘perfect.’ Over time, you will become better and could then charge more or choose to partner up with an agent. Or not! You can read my review of Fiverr HERE.
Upwork is another great global freelancing platform that connects businesses and freelance professionals in many industries, including voice work.
It’s free to join and the way it works is that you look at the jobs listed in the category that interests you, voice-work in our case, and you submit yourself as a candidate to the client to do that particular job. The client then chooses who they are interested in (many people could submit) and may ask for an example of your work.
Upwork makes its money by charging you, the freelancer, on a sliding scale based on your lifetime earnings with a particular client.
Upwork is a well-known, authentic platform and is a great resource to find voice work for yourself. The more work you do and the better you become, the more clients see it and will come to you and thus you can command a higher rate.
Also, don’t forget that if you can speak another language, this makes you even more marketable. The whole world is open to us nowadays!
My brother, (now fully retired) who has done voice-work for many years, has used this company and he really liked working with them.
They have a few payment options for voiceover artists, including:
- Standard-which is free and enables you to build your online presence by getting you invited to some auditions and you will show up in some search results. It has limited support.
- Premium – $395 for a year (this is their most popular plan) and gets you ranked higher in search results and gets you invited to auditions sooner. This option also has Premium support.
If you would like more information, take a look Voice123’s: “The Voiceover Guide“. It will give you some great information and tips about the industry.
I like this company because they are transparent about what they do and they are very helpful. They have also been around since 2003.
Here is another resource for you. Flexjobs is a very well-known and highly rated company. They screen every job before they post it on their website to validate that it is authentic and real and not a scam. They specialize in remote, freelance, professional jobs.
Access to their full-time membership starts at$14.95 a month and they also offer a satisfaction guarantee.
Please understand that you are not going to make thousands overnight as a voice-over actor. This is not to say that you cannot do well over time, but this is a competitive business and as in any other business you will need to invest your time and your energy to practice and improve your skills as well as invest some money in basic and more advanced training as well as things you need such as a good microphone and perhaps a home recording studio kit.
Think of it as a part-time gig at first. Your voice could be in high demand in time if you market yourself correctly, or work with an agent.
Yes, there is a lot of competition out there, but this can be said of anything in any business.
If you have the passion and this is something you have always wanted to try, why not just give it a shot? Think of the thousands and thousands of products and services being sold globally on the radio, YouTube and television. There are projects such as business training tutorials, PowerPoint presentations and even on-hold messages and phone greetings (you hear these all the time).
Start by submitting yourself on platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork and then, if you like it and want to take it to the next level, set up a good home studio and brand yourself as a full-time professional if you want.
Your voice could be a way to generate some extra income online. After that, who knows where it could take you?
If you decide to give voice-work a try, I would love to hear about your adventure! Please either leave me a comment below or contact me through our ‘contact’ page. I am always here to answer questions and I am open to suggestions, too.
As they say in the industry, “break a leg”!
For more options for creating income online from home, read my article Money Making Ideas for Retirees.
If you are curious as to what Philip and I do to generate an online income from home, please look at this.
You can read here about true success stories using the program we recommend.