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Voiceover Business Mix

Voiceover Statistics are a welcome sight with NAVA’s Voiceover Survey  and Voices Trends Report giving the voiceover industry much needed statistical trends and forecasts.


Looking at one’s personal statistics is also an important part of voiceover small business planning. Analyzing where the business mix is coming from can help identify the progress being made and identify patterns, both good and bad.


Ask yourself questions like - who are you booking with? Are you more consistent through one type of casting source than another? This can really help focus in on marketing efforts or identify areas you could coach in to become more efficient.



My Business Mix Stats from last year

Agents - 45%

Returning Clients- 29%

Online Casting – 13%

In-House Rosters – 11%

Direct Inquiries – 2%


Compared to my mix from 5 years ago, agent bookings have increased dramatically and my reliance on online casting has reduced. Returning clients has steadily grown. These numbers also made me take a closer look at direct enquiries and what I could do to increase these numbers.  

Online Casting Sites

Online casting sites are the most common way for newer voice actors to audition and find work. Mind you, it will take a great deal of auditioning (around 10 a day) alongside a variety of quality demos and good recording space/equipment. Of course, that is true across the board for all VO work put out there, but there is loads of voiceover work on offer, alongside loads of competitors. With online casting, sometimes little things can make a difference. For instance, being able to record with tight deadlines, being one of the first to get your audition in or even just finding that’ slightly’ different interpretation on a casting. Even being competitive or original with your quotes might be a consideration. It’s not the be-all, end-all but it is where I got started and I think it is a viable way to find some voiceover work, regardless of what the nay-sayers say.   


In-House Rosters

Many production houses have their own in-house rosters. Just as networking or finding referrals help with securing agent representation, the same applies to production houses.  Some production houses hire directly, others use online casting or social media platforms to scout talent. It is also easier to form a connection and camaraderie with these casters which can sometimes lead to repeat access to castings. There is a lot of searching and investigating to do but once you build a relationship with a business that runs a small casting roster you can reasonably expect to see a steady stream of work and a smaller pool of competition.


Returning Clients

Once a client always a client, takes time. Using CRMs to keep track of clients to post a quarterly postcard, newsletter or email outreach is one of the most popular ways to do this. Also showing support for the work they hired you for or they are working on, by following or commenting on their social media doesn’t go amiss either. Almost a third of my business comes from returning clients so I spend a good deal of time making sure the relationship is maintained. This is always marketing time well spent.   


Direct Inquiries

Direct inquiries are the icing on the voiceover cake. Having someone hire you off your website, IMDb, Google page or social media can be one of the most challenging but also one of the most satisfying ways to do business. I've even had a few emails saying they found my profile on an Online Casting site, so make sure those are kept up to date. Trying to secure trending SEO in your blogs and at least some socials helps to make sure you are a more searchable commodity. There are some voice artists that have more than one website in more than one country to try and be found more often. The more places you can find to hang your voiceover hat the better!


Agents

Not all agents are created equal. Some are smaller and generally work in their own state or region, others work nationally and a select few internationally. Some have open rosters and some are only approachable through referral. It's likely that you will need to have built your business and demonstrated that you are bookable before getting signed with one. At the very least, you will need a competitive commercial demo as this is the area that is generally where most agents secure volume work. Some voice artists get all their work from agents, but most find that keeping a portfolio of different client relationships is the way to go.


Voiceover work is like the soundwave that it makes, there are some definite peaks and valleys. If you spread out the ways you put yourself out there and are hired, it can help to keep the workflow flowing. 

As in any success in the entertainment industry, there is no magic bullet - only some magic bullet points to help motivate, guide and steer us all along the way.  


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Ian Russell

Ian Russell is a British Voiceover Artist specializing in commercial voice over, narration, video game, character voices, animation and more. He is a frequent guest speaker on conference panels and podcasts, sharing knowledge about voice over. Read More >>

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