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UVT Blog

What Can I Make In My First Year?

I get this question all the time and it's a fair one! The truth is that no reputable voiceover coach will have the ability to predict what your income will be in your first year or beyond. It's good to set goals for yourself; good coaches can help you get there, but any kind of income declaration can be a recipe for disaster. Those who do only want your money for their courses. Unfortunately, you may have run into a few social media ads where someone is pushing BIG MONEY or making some outrageous income guarantee.

Is it possible to make over 50 to 100K your first year? Absolutely. Is it possible to make under 10K in your first year? Absolutely. I didn't make a lot my first year. It was my second year, where I excelled. Remember, this is a business where you'll need time, patience and perseverance. Your passion needs to be bigger than your need for money. Passion can lead to money if you put all your eggs into the voiceover basket and never give up!

At UVT Coaching, we rarely mention money. It's a distraction. If you're always thinking about income, you're never going to master the craft or become brilliant at what you do! Yes, we all want to make money doing voiceovers and that is always the end goal but when you're getting started, you need to put all your energy into becoming the best voice actor you can be. This includes mastering your commercial, narration or character script performances. Those same performance skills can lead to a comfortable living doing voiceovers, but for the first several months up to a year, study with a credible voiceover coach with multiple years of experience in the voiceover business.

Marketing is a huge factor that you don't hear about as often as you should. So many voiceover forums and blogs on social media seem to focus on recording gear and agency representation but never enough on direct marketing. In my opinion, direct marketing is vital these days to have a chance to succeed. There is no such thing as "getting discovered" in this day and age of voice acting. You have to go out and find the clients. Agency representation helps, but you need to find clients by being an independent contractor. The clients are right in front of you on your computer. If you're reading this blog, you can also do Google and Linkedin searches for agents, production companies, video production departments inside corporations, eLearning/explainer video businesses and plenty more!

I am well represented by NUTS talent agency in Minneapolis. Laura Johnson is the owner and she is incredible to work with but 75% of my annual income is a result of my direct marketing efforts. So if you can play the agency game AND get clients on your own, you're setting yourself up for success.

Finding success in the voiceover business will be a grind, but those with the drive and passion have an excellent chance to succeed. As I mentioned at the opening of this blog, keep your focus and energy on learning to be a voice actor. Yes, there will be ups and downs, but good things can happen if you stick with it. It's like that PA voice on an amusement park ride that says, "Please keep your hands and feet inside the car until the ride comes to a complete stop!" This is the mindset of learning and mastering the art of one of the most enjoyable businesses around. So stick with it and stay inside the ride!

I've been a voice actor since 1989 and still love it just as much as the day I started. But were there times when I wanted to pull my hair out? Absolutely. I was born an entrepreneur and never felt comfortable or happy in an office job or even on the air at a radio station. So I wanted to make my own hours and work from home. I hope you can one day do the same.


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