An adage says that there is power in your words. For most voice-over artists, this power tends to come in the form of money. Hundreds of thousands around the world have identified the potential lying in this $4.4 billion industry. With such figures whetting the appetites of potential artists, you too can look forward to earning a lucrative voice-over salary.
However, this $4.4 billion cake is not open for everyone who has a voice. Only artists who can master their sound have a chance at feasting on the billions.
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This post has been updated in October 2021.
What Does It Take To Be A Voice-Over Artist?
The voice-over industry is highly competitive: considering you become the signature sound for a brand. The industry is ready to pay top-dollar for a premium.
While this industry offers an opportunity for everyone who can speak, there are standards that a voice over artist must meet to gain a share of this pie.
What does it take for you to be a competent voice artist?
1. Voice Control
A voice will only communicate effectively if the artist behind it can manage its production.
Controlling your voice production involves how you breathe, plus the pace, volume, and tone of your voice. These will aid you in adapting to a particular character.
Moreover, effective voice control will enable the artist to handle a long script without fatigue or loss of tone.
Controlling the voice takes training and practice.
Most voice-over clients demand the clearest execution of words and sentences in a script. Having a precise performance of the text also helps you to pass the message to listeners effectively.
If listeners of an advert, podcast, radio show or whichever voice project you are handling cannot hear your voice well, the objective of such a venture will fail.
3. Mastery of the language
a voice-over artist will tend to use a particular style in their communication. The best voice over talents must understand pronunciations, diction, and emphasis. Failure to comprehend a language may result in miscommunication.
4. Character adoption
All voice-over gigs require artists to take different characters. You will be a businessman today and tomorrow, a foreigner. Learn to twist your voice to adapt to the role you are taking during the current assignment.
the world has billions of people who can speak exceptionally. However, voice-over jobs require unique voices that can make a brand stand out. The uniqueness could be in the tone, diction, or mastery of character, among other aspects. A unique voice aids in capturing the attention of listeners, helping sell the brand.
No single voice-over artist possesses all the above qualities. The secret to success is in identifying your strengths and market them to potential employers effectively.
Remember, rising through the earning ladder for voice-over artists will take time.
Companies Paying Voice-Over Salaries?
Companies and clients are spending more on voice-over salaries than ever before. The money is going into producing audio and visual clips in different languages, for various markets worldwide.
For instance, a single video clip can be dubbed over by actors using different languages. It means more money for voice artists, even if the projects are similar.
Enterprises looking for voice-over artists are, therefore, increasing by the day. Once you have grown your voice talent, it is essential to direct it to an industry that will offer a reasonable salary. The industry should also allow you to exploit and grow your expertise.
Industries to Earn Handsome Returns as a Voice-Over Artist
- Television Commercials–voice-over artists make the ads seen on TV, heard on radios, and interacted with on social media platforms. A unique and skilled voice artist is usually chosen to be the voice of a particular brand. There are millions of brands advertising on different platforms provide opportunities and a fortune for voice artists with different skills and capabilities. If you get into such advertising, you will be accessing a share of 8.9% of the revenue in the voice-over industry.
- Animation –animation is the second-largest sources of money for voice-over artists. It takes up 23.3% of voice-over revenue globally. The voice-over artist will be producing audios for cartoons, animated movies, adverts, books, and such other graphics-related materials.
- Corporate promotions– corporate organizations take up 24.3% of global voice-over revenue. They are the biggest spenders in the industry, and will, therefore, provide the bulk of the salaries. These corporate organizations tend to advertise on multiple platforms. Their Budgets differ based on their desired outcomes. Thus, a single corporate organization may engage tens of voice talents at the same time; providing opportunities for amateurs and experts alike to earn from their expertise.
- Internet videos and audios-internet video advertising is estimated to spend $61 billion by 2021. Furthermore, there are more than 1 billion hours of content consumed each day on YouTube. Just look at the potential of these numbers employing voice-over artists.
- Audiobooks– Recent studies show that listening is more comfortable to learn by than reading. Audiobooks production is, therefore, taking 13% of voice-over revenue globally. You will be working to produce audio copies for old books or help new authors to voice their books.
- E-learning– the rise of internet-based learning is opening more opportunities for voice-over artists. Your responsibility will be to voice-over learning materials for distribution by colleges, professionals, and freelance content developers.
- Others– the voice-over industry is dynamic. It is impossible to classify all gigs into the above categories. The situation leaves the sector with an 8.9% unclassified voice-over expenditure.
What Determines Your Voice Over Salary?
A voice-over artist may work for free or earn a fortune from the engagement. Some voice actors will earn millions because they have already made a name as actors, TV personalities, or radio hosts. An organization that requires just a sound will typically determine how much it pays without regard to the popularity of the artist.
The difference between established voice talents and those starting their career is in their ability to command pay. Some artists will determine their salaries and those who take any amount offered by clients.
What then determines how much you take home from a project?
- Who Initiated The Contract?– some clients are specific on the artists to voice-over an audio clip. If you are head-hunted for a project, you might have the power to set your salary. However, other clients will advertise the gig with a fixed voice over salary. The client, therefore, determines the price, leaving you with no option on what to earn.
- Experience and expertise– seasoned voice-over artists will always make more money than amateurs: They have established networks with clients, a reliable track record of excellent performance, and are easier to manage through the production process. Like all other industries, the voice-over sector also rewards them over time. Earnings will grow as you master the loops around voice-over.
- Special skills required– voice-over projects serve different purposes. The project may target English speakers while another targets a Spanish audience. A voice-over project may also focus on different characters like children, youth, and women, among others. If you can offer the specialized skills needed for a project, your remuneration will be higher.
- Nature of the project– each voice-over project is different in terms of length, parent company, recording logistics, and the need for training, among other factors. Some projects require travelling, role play like drama, or combination of video shooting, among other elements. These factors will ultimately affect the cost of a voice-over project.
Returns from any voice-over gig will depend on:
- the client
- the skills or talent required
- budget for the entire project
- among others.
A voice-over artist usually starts with low remuneration like all other professions. Later, the money slowly grows as you gain experience, create more networks, and clients begin to approach you for gigs.
How To Set Your Voice-Over Salary?
Each artist has a limit on how much to ask for a project. Such boundaries will help you avoid exploitation, that is, selling too low below your level of expertise. A voice artist must thus know the minimum he or she can charge for any project.
Here are a few tips on how to set your salary when taking any voice-over gig.
- Study the market rates– what are the other voice actors charging for their services? While your skills and level of experience will vary, you must quote a reasonable figure that is within the market range. Talk to a mentor or agent to determine the most reasonable price to quote for each project.
- What is in the project for you?– the voice industry is dynamic and growing at a breathtaking pace. One opportunity may open many doors for you to exploit your talent. For instance, you may take a low paying gig to start with if it will expose you to better-paying jobs. Some opportunities will raise your profile so high that other companies might not turn to you. You have to reap maximum returns from such engagements.
- What are you bringing to the client? Some clients might ride on the popularity of artists to raise their profile. Do not be exploited if the company stands to gain more from your voice. Once you are a high profile artist, you must demand commensurate returns for every voice gig you take.
- How engaging will the project be? Some projects take a lot of time such that you miss other opportunities. Compensate for the extensive engagement by asking for a higher fee. A long-term commitment is lucrative because you have a chance to make more in the long run.
The salary of a voice artist should be negotiable and flexible. It should reflect the intricate details of each project so that you do not get a raw deal.
Remember that clients will be uncomfortable with overused voices, meaning that you must maximize the opportunities that come your way.
Tips For Growing Your Voice Over Earnings
The voice-over salary is not static. You must endeavor to grow the earnings over time. How can you increase your earning potential?
- Train on voice usage, management, and artistry to turn the talent into a profession
- Work under a coach who monitors your progress
- Enrol at an agency that will help you find lucrative gigs
- Learn another language or art to increase the scenarios you can be useful
There is no definite figure for the voice-over salary. It will depend on individual skills, projects handled, and the league you are playing.
Continuously improve your skills to boost your earnings while becoming the best at what you do!
Find the perfect voice for you today at Bunny Studio!