Do you have a decent microphone and a unique voice? Have you considered possibly giving voiceover work a try? There are many ways to make money with your voice online, and most of them don’t even require you to leave your home at all.
First, this isn’t a good idea for everyone. It is harder than it looks to master the vocal tone required to grab the interest of the audience and accomplish whatever it is your voice is needed to accomplish. Voiceover actors rarely make big bucks (though they certainly can) doing contract work here and there. If you’re dedicated, and your voice has a quality that casting agents are looking for – you may be able to make money on the side as a voiceover actor (or actress).
You also need to invest in some decent recording equipment. A standard USB microphone might not be enough to capture the rich tones and create a true representation of your natural voice. The WAV files you send in need to be as clear as possible of any background noise or distortion cheaper setups can create. A prosumer or professional-grade condenser microphone, USB or FireWire interface, and sometimes a mixer should be considered to allow you to capture rich, vibrant sounds.
Alright, so you’ve got your equipment in place and you’re ready to start getting jobs? Well, you could find a talent manager and pay them to manage your career (maybe getting you a job, or maybe not). You could also start working now and build up your resume through a few methods online.
oDesk is a service offered online to help people find freelance workers in a hurry to fill certain business needs. Companies or individuals needing help with a website, businesses looking for extra members of a remote development team, data entry services, content-driven sites, and agencies looking for voice talent regularly use oDesk to find the right person for the job, quickly. You can post your resume, portfolio, and link to some samples of your voice as you apply for various positions posted on the site. Once hired, your time and/or fees are all paid through oDesk which, in turn, pays you. This service is a quick way to find work, but it does have its downsides. For one, you aren’t likely to find long-term jobs here. This is primarily a site that helps companies find people to work on specific tasks for short periods of time. If you happen across the right employer, you may have further opportunities, but that isn’t the norm.
Another way to find voiceover work online is through a more traditional online classified system such as Craigslist. This can be a great way to find local employers and increase your chances of finding long-term employment. Radio stations, advertising agencies, and other media-related companies are often looking for voiceover talent.
Do you know of a podcast or show that could use some voiceover work for a frequent segment? Voiceover actors and jingle writers often submit free content to high-profile podcasts on the off chance that they might start using the contributed work. This is one way to build your portfolio without having to go through the frustrating process of tireless interviews and low-profile jobs. This shouldn’t be a primary strategy, but it could help you on your way to something great. Believe it or not, some of the best-known podcasts on the web are using jingles and voiceovers they picked up from emerging artists using this very strategy. Who knows, they may pay you to for more content down the line themselves.