I am often asked, “When will my voiceover business become profitable? When will my career turn the corner? How long will it take for me to become successful?”
The short answer; I have no idea. The longer answer is, well, a helluva lot longer.
First off, what does “profitable” mean? It could mean:
You’re making more than you’re investing in your voiceover business in a given year
You’re making enough money doing voiceovers to cover your business expenses, personal expenses, saving for retirement, and/or having fun
Another definition based on your situation and expectations
Once you have your definition lined up, now you can ask yourself; how do you become profitable as a voice talent and how long will it take?
A recent survey shows that most companies (84%) who become profitable do so within four years. Just for comparison, here’s my ‘profitability timeline’:
1994: decided I wanted to be a voice talent and started taking classes
1995: got my first demo
1996: did my first voiceover
2005: became a full-time voice talent
2007: made more money doing voiceovers than I invested
2011: covered all my personal and professional expenses doing voiceovers
Considering I didn’t build a home studio until 2006, join Facebook & LinkedIn until 2007, and Twitter until 2009, I’d say the time from when I started trying to do voiceovers full-time to becoming profitable was about right. I will say that spending 10+ years fumbling and stumbling in a pre-social media world wasn’t fun, but I did learn a lot.
TIP OF THE WEEK
How do you become profitable as a voice talent?
The vast majority of people who try to become a voice talent will fail. If you have been at this for 4+ years and still can’t turn a profit, this may not be the business for you. However, there are some things you can do to increase your chance of becoming profitable:
Be specific. What does success look like for you, specifically you? Break it down by how much money you want/need to make, which genres you want to master, and what you want the logistics of your life to look life (i.e. record from home, live in LA, etc.)
Invest wisely. Do your research on coaching, demo production, home studio construction, and much more.
Market effectively. The key being profitable is finding new clients and retaining existing clients. These require different marketing strategies. Learn how to brand yourself and effectively communicate that brand across the appropriate channels.
Be patient. Building a voiceover business takes time and requires commitment, consistency, and money. Most voice talents fail because they have no resources and don’t feel like waiting until they can do it right. If you have no money to spare: build a budget, put together a savings plan, and be patient. There is a lot of research you can do and groups you can join to learn about the art & science of being an effective voiceover business in the meantime.
NEWS AND NOTES
The new VO Strategist website is ready! www.VOStrategist.com. There are all kinds of goodies on it. 🙂 Now you can schedule and pay directly through the website. I’ve also added a Mentorship Program and a Monthly Checkup. Oh, and now there is a Reviews Page. If we’ve worked together and you were happy with my services it would be awesome if you could posts a review. A massive thank you to Nikki Saco and Sara Waters for all their hard work.
Thursday, September 27th @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Marketing 201 webinar will be “What Your Website Says About You”. We’re going to talk about everything that you need (and don’t need) on your voiceover website. Click here to sign up.
Thursday, October 11th @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Business and Money 201 webinar will be “Time Management”. We’re going to talk about how to keep your voiceover business on track on a daily basis. Click here to sign up.
SOLD OUT Sunday, October 14th @11:30 AM EST: At Arts On site in Manhattan I will be leading the conversation, “Marketing For VO”. In this 2-hour in-person-only workshop we will discuss the basics of marketing, branding, the Sales Funnel, and much more! This is a donation-based event. $35 is the suggested donation, but you are free to contribute whatever you want. If you want to get on the waiting list, just PM me with the subject line “Add Me!”
Thursday, October 25th @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Marketing 201 webinar will be “Keeping Clients Coming Back”. We’re going to talk about the real secret to making clients cast you again and again. Click here to sign up.
Sunday, November 4th @2PM EST: At Soundvine Studios in Manhattan I will lead the workshop “Learning to do eLEarning”. Seating is limited to only seven attendees so you’d better sign up fast! Tickets will go on sale very soon.
Sunday, November 18th @2PM EST: At Soundvine Studios in Manhattan I will lead the workshop “Explainer Videos Explained”. Seating is limited to only seven attendees so you’d better sign up fast! Tickets will go on sale very soon.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, The H is Silent, but I’m Not.
Tom Dheere is a 20+year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for hundreds of clients in over a dozen countries. He is also voiceover business consultant known as the VO Strategist and is currently producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.
#AudioPublishersAssociationConference #FaffCon #voiceacting #FaffCamp #VoiceTalent #EdgeStudio #timemanagement #TomDheere #VoiceoverBlog #marketing #MaleVoiceTalent #voiceovers #networkingevents #voiceover