Two specific times in my voiceover career, I’ve heard something along the lines of, “I made six figures in my first year of voiceover. You can too!”
Now, I haven’t had a super lengthy career in voiceover, business YES, but not in voiceover. So to hear that kind of statement twice seems excessive to me. And if I’m honest, I get very frustrated with it on behalf of myself and any other new voice over artist who has to listen to that garbage. Yeah, I said garbage...hot garbage.
Now, if it’s true that someone made six figures in their first year of voiceover, I am thrilled for them. Truly! I am so glad that the universe decided to shine down on you.
But, dear heart, you are RARE. As in, 99.9 percent of folks in voiceover will not even come close to six figures in their first year. Or their second year, and maybe not even their third or fourth years. And saying that you did it and they can too is setting up expectations for those new to the industry that is outrageously unreasonable.
And it’s those kind of expectations that frustrate me. Those kind of expectations breed disappointment, imposter syndrome, and defeat.
No one should feel like that when starting out in a new career! Just getting started is challenging enough without those expectations.
here's what you can realistically expect as a voice actor...:
Voiceover is HARd
Voiceover is not just reading. It’s not imitations. And it’s not a get rich quick scheme. It’s a career path that takes investment, hard work, and diligence.
You are a BUSINESS OWNER and you must consistently behave like an entrepreneur and wear alllllll the hats to be successful.
Auditioning is the job
When first starting out, you may need to do 200-300 or more! auditions before landing your first gig. It’s a game of numbers and you gotta crank out the quality auditions to land the job.
Landing the gig is rare
And that’s why auditioning is the job.
Even the elite voiceover folks who’ve been in the industry forever only book about 14-18 percent of their auditions. If you’re just starting out, the booking rate may be around 1-3 percent.
Knowing that the percentage of booking is that low should remove a lot of the disappointment you may feel when you consistently don’t land the gig. It’s far more normal to never hear anything about your audition than it is to land the gig.
You have to have a brand and market yourself
A talent agent is great, but they will not magically make your career. You are running your own business, so you must come into the industry knowing who you are and what you do. And you have to consistently reach out those who are looking to hire you. Don’t know how to market yourself? Check out my Crack the Code to VO Marketing course!
Launching any business is tough.
It takes hustle, hard work, and a tough mental attitude. And in voiceover you are failing your way to success. What does that mean? Time after time, you’ll fail to land the gig. BUT, you are putting in the work. And if you put in enough quality work, over time, you’ll see the results of your labor. Just don’t expect those results quickly or in 6-figure amounts.
Can you live life and pay your bills off of a voiceover career?? Absolutely!! But you have to be wise and patient in the ways you grow your business.
Bustin’ that 6-figure bubble,