Want to become a voiceover artist? Here’s how, in 2024.

Are you interested in getting into voiceover (voice acting)?

Sumara Meers

Excellent. Yay you! Read on:

This is an updated (for 2024!) version of a “how to become a remote voiceover artist in Australia” post from a couple of years ago. I do voiceover (and some acting/video presentation) full time now… not much of my daily work has changed, but the world has moved a bit since 2022, right?

I’m an Australian voiceover artist, working from my home studio in a teensy little place called Woodstock in NSW. I can tell you what worked for me, and maybe some of it will work for you, too. I can tell you what didn’t, and maybe that’ll help too. I’m just your everyday fabulous Aussie voiceover artist who’s making it work and making a decent living from voice acting.

So how does one achieve this particular fabulousness? Especially in the middle of an AI revolution that is scaring some people, irritating many, and changing creative and freelance opportunities in many ways?

Well my first suggestion, always top of my list, is: don’t worry about the shit you can’t control. And you can’t control what other people do with AI, so don’t worry about it. Focus on what you can do and what you do well, and stay positive about your own life and choices.

No worrying! Got it? Thank you.

I’ll give you a handy little bullet-point list of what I did (and do), from vague to specific, and I’ll send you to some equally-handy resources to find out more and get going.

First, the vague: do a bunch of research.

Use google, youtube and social media and answer these questions: What kind of voice acting interests me? What kind of skills do I need for voiceover? What kind of equipment do voice actors use? What kind of training do they have? Where do I find training and reputable coaches? Where does one find voiceover work? How much money and time am I going to need to invest to do this work? (NOTE: please don’t go to a voiceover group on facebook and ask these questions. They have all been asked many, many times before and you can find many, many answers online without making the members of those groups roll their eyes all the way outta their heads.)

Now you have a whole lot of information and you’re not sure what to do with it. But hopefully after all that research you’ve come across lots of voice actor sites and communities online (there’s an Aussie group on Discord which is delightful!) and found the kind of voice work that’s available – and you’re still interested. Yay!

So, decide on some equipment.

I started with a Rode NT2A, which was a few hundred dollars with a shockmount, pop filter and cable. A Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface (you need this to use an XLR mic) was another couple hundred. And a set of KRK KNS-8400 headphones for a hundred and something. This is a good price range to have professional equipment and still retain your own arms and legs. There are SO MANY places to find info and recommendations about mics and interfaces (and cables, shock mounts, headphones, laptops, stands, boom arms, pop filters… so much stuff…), and there are workable options for different budgets.

I later upgraded to a Shure KSM32 which I love – but even then, I bought it 2nd-hand for a great price. Try to avoid getting sucked into spending more and more on gear. Beyond a certain point, the gear hardly matters.

Now, this bit is even more important than the equipment: your studio space.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen an expert say “don’t worry so much about your mic, TREAT YOUR SPACE!”, I could…. um… buy my friends a really, really nice dinner. (edit: not in 2024. In 2024 I could maybe afford a dozen eggs. Cossie lives*, baby!) The point being, experts say that a lot. Because they’re right, because they’re experts. The basic gist of it is: you need to find the quietest spot you can, then get rid of shiny hard surfaces that will reflect sound and cause echoes, replacing them with soft uneven surfaces that will absorb and deaden sound. You can do this by using a wardrobe with clothes and blankets around you, or by creating a little room made of blankets and mattresses, or by buying cool acoustic stuff like panels and wedges made of foam or rockwool. Depends on your budget! (If you’re rolling in it, you could buy a Studiobricks, Whisper Room or even a custom-made booth. Live your best life, darling.)

The software.

You’re going to need the type of ones and zeroes in your computer that know how to record and edit audio. This is called a DAW – Digital Audio Workstation. I use Adobe Audition, because it’s fabulous. I found it hard to learn (but not as hard as the other DAWs I tried!), and I still don’t understand a lot, but I’ve learnt what I need to for voiceover. Some VO’s recommend Reaper, Audacity (which is free!), Pro Tools, and various others. If you are technically un-savvy like me, find some Youtube tutorials to start with, and then invest in some lessons from someone amazing like Jordan Reynolds or Roy Yokelson.

Okay. Probably even MORE more important: Coaching. Training. Lessons. Workshops.

LEARN STUFF. And then PRACTISE it. I started with a weekend course at NIDA in Sydney. It was wonderful. Loved it. Aaaahhhh, in-person acting classes. Nothing like it. Sigh. Excuse me, okay. Then I signed up for a few private lessons with J Michael Collins. JMC is expensive and worth it (I mean, look at his website and socials – everything he does is gold-class). There are plenty of more and less affordable options for great coaching out there. I’ve recently done a lot of coaching with Deanna Cooney, an Aussie performer and coach who’s been acting, voice acting, presenting, and climbing colourful walls, for a LONG time. And there are subscription programs like Gravy For The Brain. Just, you know, do some coaching, and do the work it takes to build your skills.

Next: DEMOS.

Your coach will (should) lead you on this. You don’t necessarily have to get pro demos straight away, and you should probably start auditioning first, but this is the next big thing to think about. As with coaching, good professional demos are worth the financial investment. “Financial investment” sounds much better than “bank account drain”, don’t you think? Start thinking like a business-person, that’s what you are now!

And now for the part you’ve been waiting for

(what the HECK, Sumara, all this preparation?! Hush, this is a business you want to build!)


Yes, this step deserves way more than one bullet-point paragraph but this is a summary, so that’s all it’s getting. By this point you should have realised that you have a shitload of work to do and the only way through is to DO IT. You got this. Love your work. GO YOU. Good ways to start:

  • Sign up to pay-to-plays such as Voice123, Bodalgo, CastVoices, etc. These charge a monthly or yearly fee to allow you access to audition listings. Some allow you access to whatever’s available, some rely on personalised invitations, some have tricky algorithms and ranking systems. You will find many opinions about all of these sites. Some people hate them as a matter of principle. Some rely on them a great deal. I see them as a decent tool in a large toolbox. Do your research before paying a lot of moolah.
  • Create an account on a freelancer site such as Upwork, Airtasker, etc. This takes WORK, because you have a lot of crap to sift through. I have booked a lot of work on Upwork, but it takes a lot of time to find the decent ones. There are a lot of low-paying time-wasters on there. Don’t even bother with the people offering 10 or 30 bucks a pop; scroll on by and keep looking for the well-paid projects. And then stick to good, high quotes (Look at rate guides at GVAA or GFTB for what you should be charging!)
  • Use social media.  Social media like insta, fb, X etc have great networking and advertising potential for various genres. Search and use hashtags to find clients and casting calls.
  • Social media direct marketing – using DMs. Messaging potential clients on socials is not as annoying as you think, if you do it right.  LinkedIn has been very lucrative for me, especially for corporate and eLearning voiceover, and I even use a messaging automation tool called Dripify to up my numbers of leads. Check out Dripify here if you’re ready to start direct marketing with LinkedIn. (note: that is an affiliate link.) Feel free to ask me if you have questions about how this works!
  • Direct marketing using email. This can be terrifying, let’s be honest. But once you’ve sent approximately seventy bajillion marketing emails you’ll be fine, I promise. (Very few people will bother wasting their energy to tell you to fuck off). Search for companies that would use voiceover, search for the people who work for them, find a way to contact them, and then – be friendly, helpful, polite, and let them know how your fabulous service can help their wonderful business. And then don’t get depressed about only a few percent of them being opened. That’s normal. It’s a numbers game, baby!

A little Australia-specific note:

Being “Australian” has got little to do with any of this. All of these steps are the same no matter where you are. EXCEPT. As an Australian, it’s going to be a bit weird in the online voiceover world. Online voiceover communities – as with most online communities – are very USA-centric or UK-centric, with some noticeable presence from some parts of Europe, Asia and Africa (hello my busy Nigerian VO friends!)

Add to this that, as of the beginning of 2024, the Aussie voiceover industry is STILL a little bit behind the rest of the world in terms of remote opportunities – when I was coaching with JMC he reckoned we were about a decade behind, because in Australia there is still quite a focus on in-studio, agency-organised work, almost exclusively in the bigger cities. We’re not THAT far behind anymore, but those of us working exclusively from home, remotely, still aren’t quite part of the cool kids gang in the Australian VO industry. It is what it is: in-studio recording is an excellent way to get excellent work done for big campaigns! 

There is still plenty of work to be found, just be aware of the differences. If you’re active online you will notice how much more work, and how much better rates, are available to Americans, especially. Remember the American market is SO MUCH BIGGER, simply because they have about 12 times our population. I once had an American VO argue with me that a rate being offered for an Aussie commercial was nowhere near high enough – not understanding that a national commercial in Australia is reaching maybe 13 million adults, as opposed to 200 million in the USA. In commercial voiceover especially, you can’t expect to be paid the same for a different audience.

Then there’s corporate and eLearning work – and many American and European companies are simply bigger and richer than most Australian ones; often the amount and type of work available will reflect this. And finally, animation and gaming is primarily made and cast in the States – but some remote Aussie voiceovers are getting their feet in those doors already, and it can only open wider in the future. Meanwhile, there are plenty of indie studios making great stuff too.

The good part about this is that you can get yourself a piece of that overseas pie! Do NOT let your location hold you back. Once your studio is set up well, Bob’s your uncle. You can find clients wherever there is internet and a need for voiceover.

Remember: look after yourself and your work: 

As a freelancer, you’re running a business. You know what businesses do? Lots of cool fun stuff like quotes and schedules and accounting and marketing and CONTRACTS. Oh look, “contracts” is in all caps, maybe you should pay attention!

When you record a voiceover for a client, you are selling them your time in the studio, and a LICENCE to use the recording for an agreed purpose and an agreed length of time. This means they do not have permission to use the recording for any other reason, and you should always have these details in writing, signed by the client. Sounds scary and complicated but you can find agreement templates online that will apply in your jurisdiction. Make sure your agreements say that your recordings may not be sold to 3rd parties and may never be used for AI purposes.

Wait, what about AI?

Darlings, what about it? I already told you: don’t worry.

I’m not pretending AI isn’t affecting voiceover. It is. Some work that was lower-paying and less creative has vanished and been replaced by generative AI. Some voice talents have had their voices cloned non-consensually and had to fight to be recompensed. That sucks.

It also can’t be changed by worrying or being afraid of it. Fear is for sabre-tooth tigers, not software systems with increasingly weird names trying to learn how to emote. So do your marketing, get your agreements signed, quote good rates for the good work you’re doing, and carry on your business.

(and, just quietly, I reckon AI voices will have a pretty small impact in the longer overall scheme of things.)

So, what now?

JUST DO IT. Start where you are, take one step at a time, and keep going. Ask questions and practise lots, but don’t ever NOT do the things you gotta do to move forward. Like everything fabulous, your voiceover career will take time. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen, it’s a marathon not a sprint, a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, etc etc, you know the drill. DO THE THING.

Alrighty darlings, have I missed anything? Do you have questions? Arguments? Creative insults? Gimme your best shot.


* “cossie lives” : Aussie speak for Cost of Living Crisis. We love it.

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