One of the biggest myths in the voiceover business is that you absolutely need a talent agent to succeed. This could not be further from the truth. Talent agents are terrific and I have a great working relationship with my agent in Minneapolis. Still, most of the business I get booked for is directly with producers, business owners, video production directors inside corporations, eLearning companies and more.
You can go through your entire career, never get on a talent agency roster, and still make a great living doing voiceovers. Now, will it be possible to book a national TV commercial for Cheerios without a talent agent? Chances would be slim, which is why I would still recommend getting an agent if you can, but there are still endless opportunities out there to work with a client directly. Make sure you get a professionally produced demo because whether you end up with agency representation or not, a potential VO buyer will always ask you for one.
eLearning narration is a huge business right now. Many of these clients like working with talents direct. It's quicker for them to find someone like you or me than work with a talent agent to find the right voice. If you're not familiar with eLearning, it's a structured course or learning experience delivered electronically. It helps organizations manage training events, self-paced courses, and blended learning programs. Many of these projects are produced in significant corporations' video production departments, and the decision-maker is often just a phone call away!
My annual billing comprises 60% direct business and 40% agency bookings. I am grateful to have had success on both sides of this business and you can too! So, don't run into a corner feeling deflated if you get turned away from a talent agency. Instead, use it as motivation to get work on your own. It's out there!