Voiceovers and Defining Success – The Not Silent Blog 02/19/19

What does success look like for you as a voice talent?

success photo

Photo by Got Credit

I ask because as the VO Strategist I’ve been doing a lot of free 15-minute consults (click here to get yours) and the subject has come up quite a bit. Voice talents of all experience levels have been asking me to help them build a foundation, help with their marketing, get them to the next level, etc.  When I ask them what success looks like for their voiceover business, I’ve noticed that it breaks down into one of four categories:

Hobby – they’re content to do voiceovers here and here. It’s often a college student, a film/TV/theatre actor looking to supplement their income, someone with a full-time job wanting to save up for that Disney vacation, or a retiree looking either for extra money or it brings them joy.

Part-Time – often they want to do voiceovers on nights & weekends or they want to downshift from a full-time job to a part-time job as they transition to doing voiceovers full-time.

Full-Time – let’s not kid anybody, there are literally thousands of people who want to do voiceovers full-time. They may be college grads, TV/theatre/film actors who are sick of the rat race, DJ’s who are having trouble finding work in the ever-shrinking world of radio, people who got laid-off or fired, retirees, or people who love cartoons & videos games.

Lifestyle – these are folks who are ready to pack their bags and move to NYC or LA and immerse themselves in a boots-on-the-ground voiceover career striving to book agent-driven commercial, animation, or video game auditions.

All of these definitions of success in voiceovers is totally valid. Everyone’s life and financial situation as well as their individual ambitions are different and should be respected as long as they respect the voiceover industry and themselves (see my blog entry from last week).


How can you determine what success looks like for you in the voiceover industry?

Finances: how much money do you want to make, spend, and save in 2019? The more specific, realistic financial goals you set, the better your chances of being successful.

Genre: which genres do you want to train in, produce a demo, market, and build a strong revenue stream? Do those genres require an agent to get high-end auditions? Do you need to join SAG-AFTRA? Some genres require representation and union membership, others do not.

Logistics: do you want to do voiceovers as a hobby, part-time, full-time, or as a lifestyle? What are you willing to do to make it happen? Are you willing to move? Do you want to record from home, record at a remote studio, or some of both?

Regardless of how you define success in the voiceover industry; be professional, charge industry-standard rates, and be a good human.