What do you think it takes to be a successful voice actor? While there's no one-size-fits-all blueprint for success, truth be told, it's so much more than just reading words on a page. It requires skill, talent, and the right approach, not only in your performance skills but in your business skills as well! That said, here are some key habits of highly successful voice actors that are worth following...
Look at the Big Picture
This business takes time to master, so don't expect overnight results. If you're in it for the long haul, you'll likely have better results than if you're just trying to get rich overnight. Be willing to learn and grow! Successful voice actors don't just think about this month or even this year; they think about where they'll be in 5-10 years from now. They invest in their education and business so they can continue to grow their income into the future. They know that they have to work hard now to reap the benefits later on down the road.
Invest in your Business
As mentioned above, it takes time and effort to build a successful voice-over business. It also takes money to make money. You will need to invest dollars in things like your studio, equipment, coaching, demos, and more - but you should also be willing to invest your time into learning about the industry and how best to market yourself. People can't hire you if they don't know you exist. You don't have to be a marketing guru, but it's important that you understand how everything works together for your voice-over business to grow. Then, you can invest in outsourcing your marketing if you want, with the understanding that it is a necessity for success.
"The truth is, taking risks, is an essential part of growing your business. " - Anne G
Don't be Afraid to Take Risks
Successful voice actors are not afraid to take chances on new opportunities or new roles that might be outside their comfort zone but still offer great growth opportunities. Yes, trying something new can be scary, and that includes taking a risk on your business as well as those character roles! You might be afraid that you'll lose money or clients if you make a mistake or try something new, but the truth is that taking risks is an essential part of growing your business. By being open-minded and willing to learn from your mistakes, you'll be able to expand your skillset and grow as a professional in no time!
Take a Customer-centered Approach
Your customers should come first, always. They are the reason why you are in business, and so they deserve your full attention and care. While this might seem like an obvious point to make, many voice actors forget that they have clients and focus only on their own needs or interests. This leads to unhappy clients and less work for yourself. Instead, try to focus on what your clients need and want. If your client wants something specific, cater to their needs as much as possible. If they are vague or unclear about what they want, ask questions until you fully understand what they need. Then go ahead and give them exactly that! If you nurture the relationship, you'll have happier customers that keep coming back!
Put Money Away in Savings
This industry definitely has its shares of ups and downs - it's the nature of the beast, and successful voice actors have weathered the storm enough to know this is true. Sometimes you'll have so much work you can barely keep up, and other times you'll wonder if you will ever book again. It's important to have a savings account, so you can weather the storm when it comes, whether that means buying equipment or paying the rent. Not having to depend on the jobs to pay the mortgage and bills can allow you to focus on the things that matter most. It can also be a motivator. When you've got money in the bank, it's easier to say no to the jobs that aren't worth your time and energy. Instead of constantly looking for ways to make ends meet, you can focus on building your business so it becomes more profitable and sustainable.
Build Multiple Income Streams
Successful voice actors build multiple streams of income into their business so they can diversify their income sources and not rely solely on one source for all of their income needs. This could mean doing commercial copywriting or script writing, producing audiobooks, acting in commercials or movies, directing theater productions, teaching yoga classes, working as an artist's agent, creating apps, or even starting your own podcast network. This gives you more control over your financial future, so you don’t have to worry about making ends meet at the end of each month. It also gives you the confidence to make bold business moves for growth, negotiate jobs better, and allows you to be pickier about what projects you take on — because you will have other sources of income as well as savings —and then focus on projects that are right for you rather than taking just any job that comes along.
So, what do YOU think? Are these habits ones you can apply to your own career? Do you have tips that have helped in your success that you would like to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
Keep on rocking your business like a #VOBOSS
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Anne Ganguzza is a professional voice actor and award-winning director and producer who works with students to develop their voiceover and business skills - including voice over Coaching and Genre-based Demo Production. She specializes in conversational Commercial & Narration styles, including Corporate, eLearning, Technology, and On-Hold Messaging. Located in Orange County, California, Anne offers private coaching and mentoring services to students via ipDTL and Zoom.