We see a lot of cool pictures of home studio setups on social media. Expensive mics, preamps, headphones, monitors, you name it! Impressive right? To a point, yes but what impresses me more is if I see the talent talking about the gigs they booked. You may notice you don't see those posts very often. I'm not saying it isn't happening, but when newcomers spend all their money on gear and none on learning HOW TO DO voiceovers, their shiny new gear can collect dust in a hurry. The frustration starts to build as well.
A new talent emailed me a couple of weeks ago and the entire email was about his recording gear. He had some impressive stuff, that's for sure! But when I asked him how his script reads were, he didn't seem to know what I was talking about. So I had him record a few practice scripts for me. His reads were terrible. He would be the first person to admit that. It wasn't his fault. He had asked someone how to get into voiceovers and was told he needed to invest in a home studio. While this is true, this person left out the most essential piece of advice; the acting part of voice acting! Expensive gear will never magically turn you into a professional voice actor overnight. Working with a coach on performance skills should be the priority when you're a beginner.
I made this mistake years ago. I spent a ton of money setting up my home studio, hoping clients would magically appear or start calling! I didn't realize at the time that I should have spent my money learning how to perform a voiceover! I learned my lesson. My business took off once I learned how to read commercial and narration scripts like a professional. I worked with a few different coaches in Minneapolis, who helped me with my voiceover business and my niche. Not to mention helping curb my radio announcer-like delivery!
For anyone serious about having a chance to succeed in this business, work with a coach first and then buy the gear! It's the acting that makes you money!