By Stephanie Ciccarelli
June 16, 2009
When you first get started in voice overs, what sort of things should you be spending your money on (and in what order) when building your business?
I was asked a question similar to this at the Voice Coaches Marketing Expo on the expert panel, and due to the panel's immense popularity, I'm going to be including the five most interesting and applicable nuggets of information shared that day from industry panelists representing various branches of voice over.
Yesterday, we talked about how proficient a voice talent should be when working with audio, and today we'll talk about which areas you'll need to invest your money in business wise and when it's appropriate to do so.
What should you invest in first when getting your voice over business off the ground? Find out!
Sometimes it's easy for people entering the voice over industry to treat voice over like a hobby or as a creative outlet. When they're getting started, they see it as fun, challenging and perhaps, instantly rewarding (sacks of cash, right?) having unrealistic expectations for this hobby, not realizing that it's a business like anything else.
With this frame of mind, spending money may not be on the top of the list, although it is a necessity if you want to reach your goals. Having a business costs money! You'll need to invest in a number of things, it's just a question of what those things are and in which order you'll need to get them.
In my opinion, here's the most logical order of items you'll need as a professional voice talent and in which order you need to invest your money:
2. Home Recording Studio
3. Promoting Your Voice
If you are in business you need to be investing in your business. I would say the first place you should be spending your money is on your education. There's always more to learn, and if you're just entering the business, you've got a whole lot of learning to do!
When I say education, I mean it in the universal sense, encompassing anything you might need to learn about in business, voice acting and technology. As a voice talent working from home and running your own business, you'll need training in all three of those categories to succeed.
Places you can turn to for educational resources:
à¹ Voice Over Experts Podcast
à¹ VOX Daily Blog
à¹ Voices.com's Getting Started in Voice Overs Guide
à¹ Voices.com Voice Coaches Network
à¹ Harlan Hogan's Coaches List
à¹ VoiceOverXtra's Workshop Calendar
Some of the resources I've mentioned above are free to consume, however, note that if you are studying with a voice acting teacher privately, ordering books, or attending a workshop, there are expenses involved. Most workshops cost hundreds of dollars for a day or two at a studio with a teacher. These prices vary.
To find the right teacher for you, listen to podcasts or read blogs. Ask people for references to teachers they have studied with who have made a positive difference in their lives and careers. Teachers can help you work toward planning and recording your voice over demo.
Before you do anything else invest a healthy amount of money into your studio, because if you don't have a studio at home, you really stand no chance of competing with everyone else who is equipped with a home recording studio.
If you have a home studio, you are positioned to record on the fly and you won't have to check in with a studio to see what their availability is. In the long run, you'll be saving time and money by having your own studio. This is also one of the best and most convenient ways to develop your audio engineering skills.
Ideas for where you can get studio equipment:
Once you have the first two taken care of (Education and Home Recording Studio) and are prepared to confidently enter the ring, this is when promoting your business becomes a top priority.
Auditioning daily for work yields more benefits than just potentially being hired... auditioning helps to keep you vocally fit, in practice, and serves up diverse copy to interpret that you won't find anywhere else.
If you aren't focused on building your business, don't have a studio in your home, haven't studied and don't know how to act, you're at a great disadvantage and are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Does that makes sense?
Educate, build your home studio, get some experience and then sign up for a membership at a voice over marketplace.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
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