In the last 150 plus years, there have been a few periods of madness in the USA that were called a “gold rush.” The most famous was the California gold rush in the middle of the 19th century.
As you may or may not know, there were only a relatively few people who actually struck riches during any of these gold rushes. No, the people who most consistently made good money were the merchants who supplied the miners with tools and supplies. And at the time there were no certification bodies for safety or quality. So, when buying a pick or axe or shovel, the miner was on his own to determine if it was of an appropriate quality to do the work and last long enough to actually get some results.
So what does this mini history lesson have to do with voiceover?
In the last few years, there’s been quite a rush into voiceover. I can’t count the number of emails, calls and other messages I’ve received from people who have heard that there’s “good money in voiceover.” Here’s a quick thought on that subject before I continue:
“Voiceover is a great way to make a living, but it’s a terrible way to make a living quickly.” – Bob Souer
Look, voiceover is a business so, yes, you need to pay attention to making money. But, it’s also art. So, if you’re in voiceover just to make money, there are probably a lot better avenues to pursue. It’s a long, hard slog to build your business to the point that you can make a living doing just voiceover work. Only a tiny fraction of all the people who start out to make a career in voiceover ever make any real money at it. A very tiny fraction.
Meanwhile, you’ll find loads of folks with “advice” or seminars or workshops on how to make money in voiceover. I have no fear of being wrong when I advise you to run in the opposite direction from anyone who wants to sell you something or some plan to help you make money in voiceover.
There are many legitimate coaches. But there are a host of people more interested in separating you from your hard-earned money than they are in actually helping you make any real progress toward your goal of working in voiceover. I sincerely wish this were not true, but it is. Be very careful who you start studying with. Ask questions. Here’s one: What are the names of 5 people who have studied with you who are now working full-time in voiceover?
Assuming you get the names, contact these individuals and ask them about their experiences.
The coaches with whom I’ve studied have my explicit permission to use my name and share my contact information. I’m happy to give an honest evaluation about my experiences. And I do.
When you find a coach who is helping people actually make a living in voiceover, and you’ve talked with several students, then go for it. The money you invest (assuming you’re willing to do the work to actually learn and put into practice what you’re learning) will pay substantial returns in the long run.