How to Become a Voice Actor 2022
Essential tips for voice acting students
Learning how to become a voice actor in 2022 is a different ballgame than it was even just a few years ago. Now more than ever, aspiring voice actors need to adapt as the industry evolves. Otherwise, it will be much harder to break into the industry.
That said, a big part of becoming a successful voice actor is knowing how run a business effectively. If you can set that foundation, and you’re willing to learn the ropes and put in the time, then you’ll be on your way to a career in voice acting.
Below, I’ve compiled some of my most important voice acting tips for beginners, along with specific tips for how to become a voice actor in 2022.
How to become a voice actor
Define your goals
Without a doubt, this is one of my most crucial tips for people learning how to become a voice actor. Before you even step up to a microphone, you need to set goals and create a plan for achieving them – much like a business plan. Do you want to learn voice acting to make it a full-time career? Or, just a side hustle? How long are you willing to work at it? How much will you need to earn before you can do it full-time? These are all questions that only you can answer.
For example: when I first started voice acting, my goals for the first year were different than my goals in the third year. In the first year of pursuing my voice over career, some of my goals were:
- Take a 6-week course in commercial voice over with a voice acting coach.
- Learn the basics of setting up my professional voice over home studio.
- Find a mentor to coach me through some of my business questions.
In my third year as a pro voice actor, some of my goals were:
- Build the homepage of my website so its compatible with Google’s needs.
- Build a relationship with a new regional voice over agent.
- Learn to perform better on different microphones and settings.
As you grow in your voice over career, your goals will/should also. Be patient. Be specific. Keep track of them.
In 2022, some of my/your goals can be:
- Grow my presence on TikTok and YouTube shorts. Short form audio/video is trending.
- Improve the SEO on my voice over website so it ranks better on all search engines.
- Work on my client relationship management goals. Connect and nurture my voice over clients.
Identify your brand
What makes you (and your voice) different from other voice actors? By identifying your own brand, you differentiate yourself from other voice actors, which in turn makes it easier for producers and potential clients to see why you stand out as the right person for their VO jobs.
Your voice has to be yours. It is the uniqueness in the way you express yourself that makes you standout. Learn to create an authentic voice that can be described to anybody that’s curious. Then build your brand, meaning your website and graphics, etc., so it encompasses your voice. Your voiceover demos should also accurately reflect your brand. The nuances of labeling a voice can get tricky in today’s socially conscious environment. However, in order to preserve your career in voice acting you must make space for your unique voice. Be real. Be honest. Be willing to make mistakes and learn.
Market yourself professionally
Create a professional website and social media accounts for your voice-over brand. In the beginning, this will mostly be a basic profile, but over time you can use these outlets to showcase your portfolio and achievements. (Check out my tips on creating a voice over business plan.)
Being professional will help you stand out amongst an infinite amount of amateurs pursuing this career. I was also an amateur voice actor at one point. You must transition into a professional voice actor by improving your skills, by conducting business with respect, and a host of other attitudes and reflections.
A few professional voice over business tips:
- Marketing yourself professionally through a voice over website that not only looks good but contains valuable information and saves your client time is crucial.
- Making sure you have a professional voiceover demo when you submit to agencies is crucial.
- Having a voiceover studio and connection that allows for live sessions and is seamless to use for your clients is a sign of a professional.
- 2022 seems to be all about short form video. Spend some time on TikTok, YouTube shorts, etc. and see what ways you can create your brand specific to your niche.
Learn the technical side of voice acting
Put simply, you need the right audio gear. But that doesn’t mean you need a high-end recording studio from Day 1. Research your options to create a basic setup that you can upgrade and improve over time.
In 2022 your voiceover studio is your number one asset. Spend as much time and money as you can to improve it. Learn as much as you can to make sure you depend on no one else for your voiceover needs unless you have to. You have to be a master of your studio. Source Connect is your number one tool to live sessions. Get familiar with it and build your studio around its core competency.
Find your first gigs
To learn voice acting (and the VO business overall), most freelance voice actors will start their careers by using online casting and P2P platforms. These allow you to connect with paying clients who are looking for VO work. As a beginner, you probably won’t be able to fetch the biggest rates, but it’s a good place to start. A few platforms to consider are Bodalgo, voices.com, Voice123 and Voice Money.
Important tips for voice acting success
Grow, improve & learn voice acting from the best
As you take on more jobs, you’ll naturally find ways to improve your voice, your business and your communication with clients. Always be working to improve what you do, which will help you build rapport with clients and set bigger rates over time. Additionally, whenever feasible, I strongly recommend consulting with more experienced VO talents and producers in the industry who can lend you valuable advice.
Build long-term relationships
You don’t have to have the most interesting voice in the world to be a successful voice actor. But you do have to do a good job – always. That means being professional and building relationships with clients, who will then be more likely to send you more gigs in the future.
Adjust your rates over time
As your portfolio builds, you’ll be able to increase your rates over time. But keep in mind this is usually a gradual process, and there will often be negotiation involved. (See my tips on how to become a voice actor by setting fair rates, fees, etc.)
Stay customer focused
Remember: your clients are your customers. I could give you all the best tips about how to become a voice actor, but if you aren’t delivering great customer service to your clients, then none of my other advice will matter. Even long after you learn voice acting as a beginner, you must maintain professionalism and quality if you want to sustain a successful long-term career in VO work.
In 2022, I’ve been incorporating the use of a new CRM customer management tool – HubSpot is a great tool. It’s simple to use but you can take some time to incorporate it in your voiceover business and daily routine. Stay focused on nurturing your client relationships. Finding ways to connect with them and build your relationship will be crucial as you become an independent voiceover professional.
Additional resources to learn voice acting
For more information on how to become a voice actor and grow your career, check out these resources to to find valuable voice over coaching, industry tips and more.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tips from professional voice over artist, poet and philosopher Kabir Singh.