Believe it or not, your voice can make you fortunes if you use it correctly. Especially if you have a unique voice, well, you’re in luck! Make use of that while you’re at it. This article is for anyone looking to profit off of their voices and turning it into a business. Now the advantages of voice acting is that this business is typically very low on expenses and costs. Other than training your voice and purchasing a mic for proper training, it is mostly just vocal exercises. You may also want to hire a vocal coach to have an unbiased view on your voice. However, if you want to build a full fledged studio for voice recording you can check out our other article on that here. So now that you’re a confident voice actor, you’re going to have to price your voice. Let’s see how this can be done!
Finding Your Market
There are A LOT and by that I mean a TON of markets out there in terms of voice acting jobs. If you’re new to this, you might think that it’s mostly just voicing for TV shows or cartoons. However, voice acting jobs range from audio books to advertisements for big companies. Considering how there are a lot of markets, it’s extremely vital to find your place. What kind of voice actor do you want to be? A cartoon character? An audio-book professional? Maybe a “voice-of-god” professional advertisement voice. This should be your first step in discovering your niche.
Some tips to help you in finding your niche market is to listen to a recording of your voice. Think to yourself: “What kind of voice does this match?” Once you come up with an answer, try asking for outside opinions and see what they have to say. The moment you find your voice, try voicing over something on your own and have others give you their opinions on it. With enough practice you will be able to do a simple job.
Now that you’ve found your niche market and have practiced a little on your voice, it’s time to set a value for yourself. A lot of voice-over beginners typically have a hard time finding out how much to charge for their voice. This entirely depends on your abilities and how much time and resources you are willing to allocate to your voice. The amount of money that you can charge also depends on the market that you’re going for. TV show voices for example will obviously earn more than audiobook covers. It is reported that the average pay for a voice actor would be around $31,400 a year. Some other factors that come into play would be union work, your self-marketing skills, your level of skill, and much more. If you also find an agency or a sponsor that would make your life way easier.
Now let’s assume that you decide to go the solo route and focus on making a proprietor business out of your voice. This is often more difficult than working with an agency or working for an employer, but if you’re the type of person who likes to manage themselves and work during their own time then this is the strategy for you. With a sole proprietorship there comes the challenge of pricing yourself instead of being given a straight up salary. Again as mentioned previously, setting a price for yourself depends on multiple factors. Depending on what you do you may choose on pricing your voice-over services per-time or per-job.
If you’re planning on going for audio book covers, it is common to go with a per-page pricing strategy with the rates found here. The reason this is done is due to its consistency and accuracy, audio book readers often do their work without needing any third party recorder’s help and if so, the voice engineer is typically included in a different transaction.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to go the professional route and do voice overs for shows and such, that would pay way more. However, it would be astronomically more difficult to find such a job with the market being extremely filled and competitive these days. Disregarding the amount of experience, cartoon networks for example pays voice actors approximately $95,000 a year.
Commonly, however, the median salary for a voice actor in general is about $38.67 an hour.
While it may be difficult to land a decent job as a novice voice actor, it will sure be rewarding in the long run. Voice actors with above 20 years of experience tend to enjoy exponential increases in their salaries at around $98/h. So even if you are a voice actor that’s just starting out and feel yourself not being paid enough, that will increase for sure. With dedication, training, and seeking opportunities it won’t be hard to land a solid salary somewhere, especially if you market yourself correctly. For more information on marketing and articles surrounding audio engineering, visit Mello Studio’s website. If by any chance you might want to send us voice samples to add you to our list of voice actors, head over to this link.