Voice-over is a versatile field that offers countless opportunities. However, you don’t have to take on the industry as a whole without direction. The key lies in leveraging what you do best. Your voice is your most potent asset, and by honing your strengths, you can unlock possibilities in the world of voice-over that are specific to your strengths. In this blog, we’ll go through how to find your own signature sound and how to leverage it to bring in more opportunities.
Discover Your Unique Voice
The first step is to understand your unique vocal identity. Each voice is distinct, and the key to success is embracing what sets you apart. Start by identifying the following aspects:
- Voice type: Do you have a deep, resonant voice, or is it light and airy? Recognizing your natural voice type is essential as it will help you target roles that align with your vocal qualities.
- Range: Determine your vocal range, from the lowest notes you can comfortably hit to the highest. This information is important when locating and auditioning for different voice-over projects, as some roles may require a specific range or pitch.
- Tone and style: Your voice carries your personality. Whether it’s warm and friendly, authoritative, or playful, your natural tone and style will determine the kind of projects you excel in.
Play around with different styles and script types to see what comes naturally to you. You can seek feedback from friends and family or a voice-over coach.
Build a Strong Portfolio
Now that you’ve identified your unique voice, it’s time to build a portfolio that showcases your strengths. Record professional samples of your voice across the various genres that align best with your voice, including commercials, animation, narration, and video games. A portfolio will demonstrate your versatility to potential clients and casting directors and identify where you might be a fit for them in the future.
Voice-over – like any other profession – requires continuous improvement. Professional training will enhance your skills and hone in on the places in the industry where you fit best. A voice coach can help you fine-tune your strengths, develop new techniques, and overcome any weaknesses. With guidance, you can refine your abilities and become a more competitive voice actor.
Target Your Niche and Market Yourself
Consider what types of projects resonate with your voice and style. Are you particularly skilled at narrating audiobooks, voicing animated characters, or delivering high-energy commercials? Focus on your niche to stand out in your best areas.
Then, start looking for people that hire voice-over in those segments. You can look into production companies, ad agencies, media companies, and more that focus on these specific areas in the industry. A lot of the bigger companies will have specific ways to submit your demos and portfolio to them.
Target What You’re Booking and Expand
Once you are booking voice-over work, you’ll start to notice trends in what you get hired for. This will give you a good idea of the areas of the industry that are a good fit for you. Then you can start looking for work in those specific areas.
For example, when I first started, I began receiving a lot of work in children’s e-learning. I then started looking for companies that booked voice actors for children’s e-learning. I knew my voice was a fit because I was already booking work in that area, I had skills and knowledge from my previous e-learning experience, and I had specific clips from previous work that I could offer as an example. This worked really well for expanding into that niche.
Digital Marketing and Self-Promotion
Self-promotion is vital for success in the voice-over industry. Create a professional website or online portfolio showcasing your work and strengths. Utilize social media platforms to share your voice-over projects and connect with potential clients. Marketing yourself effectively can help you reach a wider audience and attract more opportunities that align with your strengths.
Stay Informed and Adaptable
The voice-over industry is constantly evolving, with new trends and technologies shaping the way voice actors work. Stay informed about industry developments, emerging platforms, and the latest voice-over techniques. Being adaptable and willing to learn will ensure that you continue to leverage your strengths effectively in a changing landscape.
Leveraging what you do best can lead to a successful and fulfilling career. Your unique voice, when showcased effectively, can open doors to a wide range of exciting opportunities. So, embrace your strengths, work hard, and let your voice shine.
Check out our free PDF with pro-tips from real working voice-over actors here!
Want to learn more about voiceover? Signup for our introductory VO webinar.