I’d been thinking about it forever. But honestly? The idea of building a home voice over business was utterly intimidating. Even though I had many friends who’d done it already I was still procrastinating.
Every time I found the courage to look up one aspect of it – like building a booth – I fell down deep internet research rabbit holes where I wasn’t even sure if what I was looking at was the best or most accurate information. So I would give up and continue scrolling endlessly on Facebook.
It’s no exaggeration to say that I spent two whole years working myself up to getting my butt into gear.
Then I had a major work disaster. The new job I was supposed to be starting got delayed by three months and I had already given my notice on my current gig. Suddenly I was in a giant financial hole and I was terrified.
I had nothing but time. So I put on my big girl pants and reached out to a couple of people I knew who had actually done what to me seemed hugely intimidating – built their own home voice business.
They pointed me to a bunch of resources that were legit. From there I slowly got the confidence to start building my booth.
I began with an empty, unfinished closet in my basement. I ended up with a pretty sweet mini studio! (Click the images to enlarge them and scroll through.)
It felt risky, financially. Because I was spending money to create my home voice over business with no guaranteed income for three whole months. However, I was determined. And one of my friends assured me I could recoup some of my costs by reselling my gear if I changed my mind.
After that came a pretty steep learning curve as I started using my editing software. Above all I was extremely grateful for the help I got from Gravy for the Brain! Because without them I would have felt frustrated and confused.
Then came the actual business….of building my home voice over business! Firstly I started off with a couple of the online job listing sites. I booked a few gigs which gave me confidence.
In addition I reached out directly to video production companies and other business that use voice actors.
I started slowly and kept building on my success. On top of booking more jobs on the online job sites I was getting repeat work from previous clients. At the same time I kept working on my craft, learning new things and continuing to grow my business.
And then came a day I’ll never forget. Because it was the day I realized I was making more money than I ever had in my entire adult life. My home voice over business had overtaken even my ridiculously well-paid job in TV where I often worked 60 hour weeks for ten month stretches.
I was thrilled, but also kind of mad at myself for not having started sooner. I guess hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Most importantly I felt incredibly grateful for all the help I’d had along the way and I wanted to pay it forward.
First it was just friends who started coming to me to ask my advice. Then came the friends of friends. And after that the friends of friends of friends! There were only so many lunches people could buy me…I needed to formalize my help.
I began holding monthly workshops at my house for people interested in building a home voice over business. The classes were popular so I increased the frequency to bi-weekly.
The problem was there were people who didn’t live in my city who couldn’t access the course. So I decided to create an online version and Is Voice Work From Home For You was born.
Friends…and friends of friends…and friends of friends of friends were able to attend wherever they are in the world!
Then Covid hit. Suddenly all tv and film production, theatre and other live entertainment was shut down indefinitely. All I had was working from home as a voice actor.
And you know what? I not only survived – I thrived. Because I doubled down on my marketing efforts, invested in Source Connect so large studios could record me remotely through my equipment and I just kept going! I was able to pick up jobs other voice actors couldn’t do because they weren’t able to go into someone else’s studio and they didn’t have booths of their own.
I will be forever grateful for the financial stability my vocal booth has given me and my family.
If you’ve ever been told you had a lovely voice and thought “Well that’s great, but how do I make money from that?” or you’re an actor who’d like to not have to rely on agents for work – do yourself a favour and look into creating a home voice over business.
Whether you learn from me or figure it all out on your own you owe it to yourself to at least consider this wonderful side hustle or full-time gig. Because it’s something you can do anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection.
eLearning is growing exponentially. Audiobooks are more popular than ever. There are so many opportunities for work, both locally and globally.
And you can access it all from the comfort of your home (pants optional).
Thank you for guest-starring in the presentation with Joel Pettigrew on 30 November. I look forward to the course and meeting you online!
It was so lovely to meet you today, Lucas!