Here’s how to start a voice over business successfully

Here’s how to start a voice over business successfully

This section will help you understand why and what you need in order to run your voice over work as a successful business.

So you’ve never thought of a voice over career as a business? Well, why not? You provide a service, earn a fee, sign contracts and NDA’s, align with legal compliance = a business!

But being a voice actor is not the same as starting a voice over business. Being a voice actor is just one part of your voice over company. Click To Tweet

“Voice acting is a business. We all think of ourselves as artists or actors, which of course we are, but at the end of the day, most of us want to be a full on business.”

- Dani States, Founder of VOICEOVERVIEW and voice actor on Voice123

Now, if you’re just starting out, or have been doing voice overs here and there, this doesn’t mean it’s too tough, complicated or expensive to start and run. It simply means you need to know the facts, be organized, and keep track.

Is it important to learn how to start a voice over business?

Doing a voice over now and then is fun, but not profitable. If you don’t see your voice over career as a voice over business, and yourself as an entrepreneur, then you’re not thinking sustainably, or long-term. Your voice over business is also a way to set yourself apart from your competitors. It’s your main tool to create a vocal brand that your audience and clients can not only relate to, but also easily identify. 

how to start a voice over business successfully

This is where branding comes into play. You might think that only tech giants like Apple or Facebook have to worry about logos, and websites, but think again! Every business, including a voice over business needs to have brand authenticity and authority.

Saundi Harrison-Cooksey, a voice actor on Voice123 with a top 10% ranking score advises “people to contact their tax professional or a financial advisor on the LLC question … you don’t want to do the wrong thing or have to go back and UNDO or REDO something.”

It does not come all in one day or one month. You grow, learn and change a lot to adapt to your current business situation … get your systems, processes and administrative or “OOTB” out of the Booth tasks together.”   

How to create a voice over business plan?

The internet is full of free online resources for business plan templates from the likes of Shopify, Wix, and FormSwift. These pre-made templates can save a ton of time and provide necessary direction. It might take a little more time and effort than you bargained for, but having an idea in your head is only a dream. When it’s written on paper, it becomes an actionable plan!

1. Find your niche: Create your voice actor identity before you create your voice over company identity. Will you be working with online platforms? Will you be focusing on audiobooks or e-learning? 

2. Research the market: What will your rates be? What expenses will you have? 

3. Find a suitable place to work: Can you create a home studio and save on an expensive office and studio recording fees? If so, what equipment will you need? 

How to start a voice over business successfully
How to start a voice over business successfully

4. Decide on your budget: Will you have to take out a loan and can you afford to repay it? Can you rather save money to avoid getting into debt? 

5. Plan your goals: What do you want to accomplish in one month? Three? Six? A year?  

6. Register your business: Decide on the type of business, i.e LLC and then think of a catchy name. Try to include ‘voice, voice over, or voice actor’ as this is what clients will search for. 

07. Set up your online presence: Create a unique logo and design to be used on your website and business cards. And set up social media accounts for exposure. This includes having an online voice actor profile. 

08. Create a marketing strategy: This will help you to reach new clients, take advantage of SEO searches and learn how to find voice acting jobs.

09. Establish payment methods: Paypal is often the easiest, but takes out the most fees. Can you rather set up a Wise account? Will you be able to accept credit card payments? 

How to start a voice over business successfully
Client Communication Checklist

10. Learn about different delivery methods: Will you only deliver Mp3 files or can you invest in source connect, ISDN, or phone patch? 

11. Get an accountant: This will help you keep track of profits, expenses and taxes. Or use an accounting software. 

12. Hire a lawyer: Together, you can establish a standard contract that you can use for your projects. This should cover aspects like delivery before or after payment and the cost of pickups or revisions.

Darrell Brown, a seasoned voice actor of 13 years notes that, “this business is unique in that it can be a very low overhead, started in a closet. It is a good idea to speak with an accountant and/or attorney … there can be advantages based on how you structure the business … so it’s worthwhile to invest in getting answers and help from the business and tax pros.”

Recommendations and Good Practices for your voice over business

-Update your voice actor profiles and website regularly

-Ensure that you have professional samples for clients to choose from

-Design a workflow that suits your studio so your turnaround time doesn’t fluctuate

-Create a proper working environment

-Source the best equipment for your voice and keep it in good shape

-Decide on the user experience that you want to be known for. Fast, friendly and reliable? Or versatile, efficient and thorough? Then become that experience for every client

-Create a mailing list of clients in your CRM to send your latest work and samples

-Be professional; this means you’d reply in a timely manner, speak or type courteously, respect a client’s time and needs, and do your best to nail their brief!

-Always try to improve your skills and services

Build and organize your client relations

Repeat business is vital, but it can only be achieved when you create and maintain solid client relationships. This can easily be done through a CRM; a customer relationship manager. It’s a simple web-based software that allows you to upload and track client and project information. This can create smoother processes and cement positive and ongoing relationships between you and your clients. 

Learning how to build client relationships and track auditions, invoices, and payments are covered in “How CRMs help voice actors build relationships with clients.

So don’t let the term ‘voice over business’ scare you into thinking that you’re not ready for this kind of commitment. Starting a voice over company and taking on the role of an entrepreneur is the first step to having a successful career in the voice over industry. It gives you direction, understanding, organization and sets a clear path.

To help you take the next step towards marketing your voice over career, we’ve got expert tips and guidance in What you need to showcase on a successful voice actor website.You’ll also learn how to optimize your Voice123 profile as a free online portfolio, and be able to access special discounts from professional voice over website designers.

Check out our Resources page to help you find useful sites to consult before starting a voice over business.

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