During the start of my career, I was fortunate to have booked a few clients right away but I hit some bumps in the road and started questioning if I had made the right decision. But then I began to think about why I left corporate America. Eight hours in the office, mandatory meetings, micro-management, etc. That was enough to keep me hungry enough to keep this new career VO moving forward. I am grateful for everything I learned in my corporate radio gig and still have many friends from that era but I was born an entrepreneur, and an 8-5 job in an office was never going to work for me.
I've been in this business for over 30 years total and while we all hit our snags, I can't imagine doing anything else. One of my favorite things about being a voice actor is learning something new about a business or product. With all the medical narration I have done, I feel like I could perform open-heart surgery on someone! Scary thought, right? I also learned quite a bit about SEO and Internet marketing due to several VO projects I had produced for web companies. The money you earn from VO is excellent but the education you receive is often taken for granted.
It's important that you grind out the sluggish months. You will run into them often and during these slower times, it's imperative not to get frustrated or down on yourself. Trust me; I came close to having a full-on panic attack a couple of times. I'm already dealing with an ADD issue, so anxiety is something I have to manage daily. And when it gets slow, it can be challenging to keep your sanity! Thankfully, the busy months more than made up for the sleepy ones! When I start to get stressed out, I have learned to step back, take a deep breath and remind myself why I made this decision in the first place. I was either going to make this work or I would have to find another corporate gig. The choice was easy.
Surrounding yourself with a support team helps as well. Working with a voiceover coach and having a few accountability buddies will help keep you moving in a positive direction. Whenever business gets slow, try and come up with new innovative ways to get clients. Linkedin was a game-changer for me earlier in my career and remains a fantastic platform for getting voiceover clients. To this day, I will get at least a dozen brand new clients every year from relationships that started on this platform.
Give yourself the best chance to succeed by hiring a voiceover coach and getting a demo produced. Then, continue working with that coach and surround yourself with plenty of support once you're off and running. This is not a business for the faint of heart. You'll need to work extremely hard and keep your head up during the painful months. I've had to do this several times throughout my career and every morning, I wake up thankful that I never quit. This business is far too much fun and I would be lost without it.