Here’s how to start a voice over business successfully
This section will help you understand why and what you need in order to learn how to start a voice over business today!
Why should you learn how to start a voice over 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! And learning exactly how to start a voice over business is crucial to be able to achieve longevity in the industry.
“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
Is it important to learn how to start a voice over business?
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 your main tool to create a successful vocal brand that your audience and clients can not only relate to but also easily identify. So when you’re learning how to become a voice actor you also need to learn how to start and manage your voice over business.
This is where branding comes into play. For instance, 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 notes “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 the necessary direction.
3 things you need to find
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. Find your budget: 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?
3 things you need to decide
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. Decide on your goals: What do you want to accomplish in one month? Three? Six? A year?
6. Decide on the type of business: For example an LLC. Then think of a catchy name. Try to include ‘voice, voice over, or voice actor’ as this is what clients will search for.
3 things you need to create
07. Create 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. Create a payment system: 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?
3 things you need to do
10. Do learn about different delivery methods: Will you only deliver Mp3 files or can you invest in source connect, ISDN, or phone patch?
11. Do get an accountant: This will help you keep track of profits, expenses and taxes. Or use an accounting software.
12. Do 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.”
Best practices to learn how to start a 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
Once you learn how to start a voice over business, you also have to focus on repeat business. But that 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.“
Starting a voice over business and taking on the role of an entrepreneur is the first step to having a successful career in the voice over industry.
Then, 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.
Voice over business fundamentals
You also need to craft your voice over business carefully so you can stand out from the crowd. How? By creating an authentic voice over brand and marketing it organically. But how do you find your voice over your brand? And how can you use social media professionally? In How to best improve your personal branding for artists, you’ll find trusted advice, a social media strategy checklist, and do’s and don’ts for your voice over logo, business cards, and color palette!
And then to bring it all together, we partnered up with voice over experts to bring you What you need to know when setting successful voice over rates. This section has valuable tips, advice, research, and real-world examples that will help you navigate the ins and outs of setting and negotiating voice over rates.
Keep an eye out for the two key factors that make up the foundation of determining voice over rates, along with where to find pricing examples and breakdowns.
Client Communications Checklist For Voice Actors
You’ve set up your voice actor profile, CRM, and website; now you’re ready to start communicating with clients.
But how can you be sure of what to say, how to say it, and when to say it? That’s where the Client Communications Checklist can help. Each section covers vital communication do’s, don’ts, and tips for each stage of a voice over project.
Moreover, if you’re looking for expert advice and first-hand experiences to be successful at quoting, negotiating, live direction, and creating voice over contracts, we’ve got you covered.
And the best part is that we have a Checklist Collection with easy, copy and paste templates to use for your next client communications.
We've partnered with some CRMs created by voice actors, for voice actors!
Check them out to score exclusive trials and discounts, only for readers from The Booth!
Access our client communications template for free!
We're creating a living, breathing document full of message templates that you can take and tweak for your own situations.
Boost your voice over work opportunites with a paid Voice123 membership
First-time paying members are eligible for a discount
Share this post!
A blog owner yourself? Relevant links to quality sites will help your performance on search engines. If your readers will benefit from the services or information on The Booth's Voice over Guide, please consider linking to this post or the guide itself.