I have a confession.
Or, really, it’s a reality check. A little bit of [over]sharing to do.
We all make assumptions and guesses about people we know online, and I don’t know what assumptions you’ve made about me, but I’ll just assume all your assumptions are good. 😉
I don’t earn a full-time living from voice acting.
Last week I did (thank you, audiobook!), and there have been a few other weeks that I did. There was one really great month at the beginning of this year – before the pandemic!
I am a professional, full time, freelance voiceover artist. I work regularly and have a bunch of lovely clients. I haven’t yet got to the point where it’s paying all my bills. That’s okay. It will, one day.
And I just felt like a few other voice actors might need to hear that. In case your mother is on the phone, asking “so when am I gonna hear you on TV anyway?” and “maybe you should stick to your day job!”
My mother did actually tell me to keep my day job.
She meant well.
Have you read the stats about how long it takes most freelancers to start turning a good profit from their craft? (pssst – it’s usually at least 3 years.) Have you read about how many small businesses go under within the first few years? (Hint: most of them.)
I’ve been running this voice acting business for just about two years now, and only left my part-time library job in March, thanks to the pandemic. I’d be one of the big exceptions to the rule if I was already raking in the voiceover moolah on the regular.
What I AM doing – and what I hope you’re doing too, in your freelancing / entrepreneurial / sole trader / family business – is:
- Practicing. This includes formal practice sessions with peers with training programs, but also just mucking around playing with my craft. “Doing voices”, I think they call it. Yeah, I talk to the TV a lot.
- Learning. Learning voice acting, voice care, accents, business skills, marketing techniques, networking strategies, accounting, and more.
- Marketing. This is what I do most of. Cold calling, emailing, researching companies I’d like to work with, promoting myself on social media, helping my partner with my website, creating demos, creating video and other content. So much to do! No wonder people hire marketing professionals!
- Auditioning. There are so many places to find auditions and so many different kinds of projects to try! I could probably spend all day doing this if I wasn’t also doing those other things.
- Networking. Kind of like marketing, but a little friendlier. And don’t underestimate the power of networking with others in your same position. Oh my goodness, I get SO much encouragement and help, not to mention actual work opportunities, from other voice actors. It’s LOVELY.
- No doubt I’m going to hit Publish on this blog post and then remember loads of other things I do for my business…
Okay, so I guess if you’re a totally different type of business, you may not be doing auditions. But you probably send proposals for work in some fashion, and that all takes time, and is all valuable work. Don’t let your mum tell you otherwise!
Also, another minor note – we’re going through A PANDEMIC.
I’m pretty darn proud of myself for the huge progress I have made towards my voiceover goals in 2020, and I’m proud of you, too. Doesn’t matter if I don’t know you and you’re older than me and find that extremely awkward, I’m proud of you anyway.
Stay tuned for my big announcement of a voice role in a movie for a major animation studio… One day!
Please comment and tell me exactly how awkward I a… I mean, tell me all the fabulous, amazing, progressive, goal-hitting stuff you’re doing in YOUR business. Voiceover or not voiceover.