Voice Acting Tips for Beginners

“Oh, you’re a voice actor? That’s so cool; how can I get into that?” I get this question monthly from friends, family, and acquaintances. I thought I would write an official article on this topic to refer whoever is interested in starting a career in voice acting to a single resource with all the information they require. Before anyone is interested in diving into this fantastic, fun, competitive, and crazy industry, here are four main components to consider. 

Talent

Natural voice talent is an amazing starting point for anyone interested in the voice over industry. However, it’s not all that matters.

One of the voice acting tips for beginners is to develop the signature voice you will use in most of your work. If you have not done this, address it with urgency. Keep in mind that the more your voice sounds authentic and relatable during your performance, the more in demand you will be. Don’t try too hard to deepen your vocal range or fake an accent. Of course, this point excludes character and caricature performance since they require extremely stylized vocal delivery.

This tip applies to advertisements, documentaries, or narration. If you’ve already mastered your signature voice, you are already on your way to a successful career in this industry.

To nail your signature voice, record yourself performing a script using different voices. Listen to the recordings to know what you sound like. Use this information to determine which voice you are most comfortable doing. When you are less resistant to performing this voice, you will sound more natural. Remember, your uniqueness will make you stand out.

Artistic Ability in Voice Acting

The second most crucial ability is artistic. But, wait! Shouldn’t this be the first? Well, no, talent can be learned, trained, and crafted, but the majority of voice acting falls under the business ability even more than the acting itself. Auditioning and recording jobs for clients is a small fraction of all the other tasks involved in running your voice acting business.

I will say that some have a natural ability to act or perform, and that certainly comes in handy and will set you apart from the rest. This talent will help you to book better jobs. However, if you don’t follow up with them for payment, send them marketing emails, and audition again and again you will not be successful. 

Background and Experience

Most voice actors fall into this industry from previous roles and backgrounds. While some children live on cartoons and dream of being the next Daffy Duck, that isn’t the usual trajectory. Most grow up and get into the world of business, technical roles, or acting. Each background is unique to giving the new voice talent the skills they need to succeed in their new career. Many feel that their knowledge isn’t sufficient to make them successful. However, when you begin to peel back the layers of your experience, skills, and background, there are things you can use in your new career.

If you were a manager in a previous role, you are undoubtedly organized, have good time-management ability, and can set goals and prioritize throughout your workday. If you had a technical role, you are detail-oriented and have a high aptitude for learning new hardware and software tools, and can break down complex problems into more manageable pieces. If you have an acting or musical background, you can perform at a moment’s notice, understand rhythm, pitch, and dissect a script quickly.

Training

Aside from insight, consider getting trained. Think about your favorite athlete. Do you think they could win a gold medal if not for their countless hours of training?

Whether or not you already have a great voice, you need a professional approach, pronunciation, editing, and mic techniques. Greater training translates to greater confidence. No matter your skill level, you can gain benefit from coaching. Voice over coaches can help you with a wide range of services, including accent training, demo production, and character voice development. They can provide a wealth of voice acting tips for beginners.

Professional Demo

If you want to come off as professional, creating a professional demo is essential. To avoid unnecessary expenses, one of the most important voice acting tips for beginners is to have a simple yet reliable home studio set-up. After all, going to professional studios for demo production can be expensive.

Thankfully, technology has made it easier for professionals to get equipment affordably. You don’t have to purchase the best materials to start. However, you have to be familiar with the right tools since little imperfections in your work may prevent you from landing a job. Consider investing in good quality headphones so you can catch any imperfections in your work. And don’t worry. There are many products that can meet both your quality and budget needs.

Business marketing

A good voice over talent knows how to be a good marketer. This skill is critical since most of the time jobs will not come knocking at your door. Even if you have an agent, you still have to know the business side of the industry. You have to make an effort to market yourself. If you simply stay in the comfort of your home and wait to be “discovered,” your big break will not come. A voice talent usually divides his or her time completing their booked jobs and auditioning for more work.

Create a personal brand. Think of yourself as a product and ensure that you are “packaged’ in a way that gives your audience the right impression. When people think of a brand, they think about the logo. However, this is the easy part of branding. Keep in mind one of the most important voice acting tips for beginners in this industry: A powerful brand identity is not just focused on the visuals, but also the language that aligns with who they are. So be sure to accommodate this aspect in your work.

This quality will come once you understand your skillset and how it fits in the market. Unlike your favorite product, you already have your own talent, personality, and experience. Use these qualities to stand out in the competitive field.

Start by printing out business cards to hand out to people during social and business gatherings. Engage individuals and tell them about your profession. Talk about the work you’re doing on your social media accounts, and use them to establish your brand and credibility.

Voice Acting Tips for Beginners: How to Land Clients

There are numerous ways to get clients, even for voice over newbies. While it’s tempting to get as many jobs as you can in different genres, it’s not the wisest decision for those just starting out. Building a loyal client base who is happy with your work is more advisable than forcing yourself to clients in which your style isn’t a great fit. The foundation of a good voice over career is a client base that trusts the work you do. Here are some steps you need to follow to start getting job offers.

Make a professional profile

Creating a voice over is a professional job. So try your best to pique the interest of your clients. It is integral to set up a page to promote yourself, such as LinkedIn. Use professional shots that make you seem approachable and keep your party photos on your private social media accounts. On your profile, describe the kind of work you can do and complete all required sections with details about yourself.

Showcase your demos on your website. Also, describe what you offer. This step is important because a lot of potential casting directors will search for specific keywords. Also, list your contact information and website, if available.

If you’re part of online groups, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to clients around the world. The beauty of voice over jobs is that they can be done remotely. You may also search for job roles online and simply send a cover letter to apply.

If you’ve worked with clients previously, you can insert their testimonials on your page. To get the ball rolling, a helpful voice acting tips for beginners is to do free local work initially to gain experience and exposure.

Audition for an agency

One surefire way to get more clients is to get represented by an agency. This step may seem old fashioned, but it works. Many companies prefer to book with an agency they have developed a relationship with for several years. Working with an agency will also grant you exclusive job opportunities.

When you’ve created a demo reel, look for an agency and share your work. Chances are, all you need to do is a simple Google search to find voice over agencies near you. Visit their websites to know more about them before you approach them. Through this, you can figure out if they are the right fit or you. Also, research about their application process.

First impressions matter. Since you may not get a second chance to introduce yourself, get in touch with them the right way. Submit your complete details and follow their instructions. This way, your application won’t be discounted.

Local opportunities

Job offers for voice over rookies may depend on their location. In your town, there may be hundreds of businesses looking for a voice over talent. This opportunity is a great starting point. Local businesses will help you meet people and do more personalized work. It is also an awesome opportunity to widen your network.

To look for potential clients in your area, ask your friends and attend networking events. You may also give presentations and hand out your business card at business centers. When you do talks, explain how a company can benefit from a voice over. Finally, contact charities. Although you may not earn much, they might recommend you to businesses in their network.

Be the Best Voice Talent You Can Be

By now, you may already know that the voice over industry can be extremely competitive, especially for those trying to break into the industry. It may take months, or even years before you make a name for yourself. Just like any career, practice, dedication, and effort will aid you to establish your brand. And remember the voice acting tips for beginners for career success.

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