Leighanne Turner - Voiceover Artist
I love to share tips on how to have success or avoid the hurdles what I have learnt in my own voiceover journey.
Hope you enjoy the FAQs and check our the free resources by clicking below.
How do I become a Voiceover?
I've always been told I have a great voice. Does that mean I can be a good voice actor?Being a voice actor will require many different skill sets. It’s not enough to just have a great voice; you basically have to run a one-person business. It is tough, but very rewarding when you get your groove on in the right way.
Once again you don't even need to have an amazing voice to succeed in this industry. What you do need, faith you can make it, grit, hard work, drive and perseverance to succeed. You got to love the grind on some days and I say develop multiple streams of income too.
You also need to be comfortable with sales, marketing,admin, finance and being your own best friend to motivate yourself on the slow days…or hire someone to take some of the tasks off your hands.
What is a voiceover?
A truly talented voice actor knows how to bring your copy/text to life, putting colour, images and a personality to the words on the paper. You gotta be able to play with pace, inflection, tone, and emotions in your voice to do well in the business
What type of work is there?
There are so many styles of voiceover work. I do a mixture of commercials, narration, my own audiobooks, elearning and explainer videos too.
To Demo or not to demo?
This is your audio CV to help potential clients hear your sound and book you. Do not record this too early. I say get a few auditions and practice scripts under your belt so you can see what style of work suits you. Do not make a demo yourself, it needs a professional who will guide you in this decision and what you should focus on to bring about the best return on the investment. Once more do not produce your own demo. Just as you should not take your own headshot if you were a model or send selfies in for your passport. You need an external ear that is not emotionally connected to you or your voice. Get a director, producer or engineer who can help bring out the best voice range for you and to create the polished finished product.
When can I Audition?
Audition daily, read scripts out loud. Even if you don't match the whole description, apply anyway the client might like your sound or use your voice for future work.
Is it worthwhile joining the Pay To play websites?
OK so do you do the pay to play sites or not? I have used a couple like voices.com, vocies123.com and booked more work on mandy.com to be honest. You create a profile, put up a few sample readings of the genre you can do eg commercial, audiobook, plays etc then audition for relevant jobs. Jobs are advertised daily, you apply by doing a sample read of the client attached to the advert.Then you agree on the terms, how many pick ups/corrections you need to do. Some clients pay through the site but others require you to invoice the client directly.Mandy is a UK site and its about £120 per year to be sent daily alerts of suitable jobs, others are American so can be $200-500 per month. More you pay more access to jobs earlier than others etcI am not a fan of fiverr.com I was on it and too low payments but big demanding clients…not a good combination.
Here are some key ones to get started.
These two blogs are helpful on how to use the sites
Helpful blog here about the pros and cons of these sites
Do I need Coaching & Training ?
It might be wise to get a voiceover coach at some point to help you use your full voice register. It is helpful to know how high or low your voice can go and to know your voice's full range and where it can go.
I have a brilliant coach, mega helpful and always ready to give advice. I found him on voices.com. My coach is American but based in Europe called J Michael Collins. He does it online and sends you the recording of the session to revise.
How often should I practice?
Improv classes are great to help you develop your voice speaking range.
Read different styles of text daily for 10 -15 minutes of different genres.
Do I need an agent ?
It helps but so does hard hustle too. You can get work from a number of ways emailing, cold calling, your network, contacting old clients from previous industries, the pay to play sites and agents.
This page has 161 voiceover agencies over the world, join a few and see what response you get.
What software & mic & equipment do I need ?
You need to use a mic that suits your voice, whether it's a condenser or a dynamic, they can range from £100 to £1000 or more. If you can test them out in the shop and see how you sound before buying, I recommend this.
I use Rode NT1-A and Focuscbrite Scarlett 2.i, You can get them on amazon for maybe around £200-£250 for the set up. You can start with the blue yeti but I found it had a funny humming sound going through the recording. I initially started recording with a huge fleece blanket and curtains in the corner of a room. You can buy acoustic tiles from amazon to reduce the voice bounce. Now God blessed me with a purpose built studio which is where I do all my work unless booked to go to a studio by a client.
I use audacity to edit my stuff, there are many others like Pro Tools, Garage band, adobe etc. Pick what works for you and in your budget.
Use a pop shield to reduce the harsh sound or the “P” and “B” sounds when you speak.
I usually listen to my recording multiple times, debreath the recording, add in the pick up words needed, and add a little effect if needed. Then use Audacity to cut out parts of the recording that are unnecessary and reduce background noise.
This web has good tips on how to set up your recording space.https://www.movavi.com/learning-portal/best-voice-over-software.html
Let me tell you about one of my favourite Voiceovers Kabir Singh. He started recording in his wardrobe for 5 years and booked big jobs like Coca cola, nike etc. He is big in the game you know! So it's not about getting all the expensive stuff, it's about using what you got and making it work until you start booking more work that allows you to level up your game. Check out his work on https://kabirsvoice.com/
How much do I charge ?
It depends on the work, the client and your experience. No two voiceovers are the same. It might be around £300+ for an explainer video for 0-5 minutes recording. But then you always need to factor in when and where the video will be used, how many pickups are needed and who will do the editing etc.
Be wise and get lots of advice on the fee before agreeing and I think you can have a reference point Gravy for brain to match sure you are charging the going rate.
Create a rate card that you can send to people when they ask you for a quote.
Do I need a website?
Yep, you sure do as it helps agents and potential clients to hear if your voice is suitable for their project. You could set something up on wordpress etc and have a photo of yourself, your studio setup, a little blurb about you and most importantly about 3- 5 minimum styless of your voice. So I might have up my commercial, learning and corporate demo up .
How do I know when to go full-time with voice over?
There are lots of things to consider..one of the big ones for me is money. Are you booking enough to live on. If not, have a few other sources of income bubbling.
We all have different standards of living and expectations when it comes to money.
Let me be real with you: don’t quit your day job until you can replace the income from you 9-5 on a consistent basis.
What’s the average workday like for a voice actor?
It can vary, to be honest.. One day back to back auditions, recording. editing or picks up. On other days it's all about creating content for my social pages or contacting new clients and touch base with agents and don’t forget the admin and invoicing that ended so be done too.
How do you keep your voice healthy and prevent it from getting tired or strained during long recording sessions?
Voiceover artists often record for long periods of time, so don’t shout or scream, eat and exercise healthy.
Example: “I always warm up my voice before I start recording. This helps me get into character and prevents any strain or soreness in my throat. I also drink plenty of water with cucumber, mint and a bit of honey in there. If I got some Jamaican Sea Moss I drop some of that in there too. Irs you money maker so look after it.
Stay hydrated. Always.
If I’m feeling tired or strained, I rest and relax my voice by not speaking…text message only from me for a bit.
Let me stop here as I need to crack on with some other things.
If you liked these tips, I have top 10 tips on how to use your voice effectively as a voiceover. If you want the pdf just drop your email below and you can get a copy. It's free so why not get it, my dear.
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