How to Earn Extra Working from Home as a Voice Over Artist

How to Earn Extra as a Voice Over Artist

Perhaps someone has told you that you have the perfect voice to become a voice-over artist. If you have an enthusiastic, unique, or silky smooth tone, they may not be wrong. As a voice actor, it is your job to bring a script or character to life. Working as a voice-over actor can be extremely rewarding and flexible. With a little time and luck, you could earn extra working from home as a voice-over artist.

Necessary Skills for a Voice Over Artist

Even with the right voice, it takes more to become a professional voice over artist. It is your job to bring the words to life. You must be able to make the characters relatable and real. It is also important that you can create distinct voices and personalities for each role. You need to be able to act and interpret the script through the characters. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need acting experience, but it will definitely help you land your first job.

The second aspect of working from home as a voice-over artist involves technological know-how and communication. Most scripts and recordings are exchanged digitally. This means emails will be a top priority. You don’t want to lose out on opportunities due to missed correspondence. Additionally, you are going to need a workspace and quality recording equipment. The last thing you want is faulty equipment preventing you from getting a potential job. While it may require a small initial investment, it could pay off in the long run if you find the right gig.

Types of Voice Over Work

Voice artists are used for a wide range of recordings. Here are the most common types of paid work in the industry.

1. Commercials and Radio

Advertising is one of the largest employers for voice actors. Since most voice-over spots are under a minute, they don’t take long to record and produce. If you pursue this kind of job, it is essential that you understand the heart of the script. You have a very limited time, so you must interpret the copy and create a believable character. As an added bonus, commercials are also a great way to develop your character range.

2. E-Learning

Educational recordings are another great way to get into voice acting. This type of work requires less characterization, but a greater investment of your time.  You won’t need to vary your voice according to characters, but you will still need to deliver the material in an engaging way. Therefore, if you are a natural-born teacher, this could be a great option for you.

3. Audiobooks

If you are an excellent storyteller or enjoy reading to your kids, then you might consider recording audiobooks. These are usually long-term projects which generate more income as well. The voice-over style is largely dependent on the subject matter. No matter what genre you are lending your voice to, a gifted storyteller can keep their audience captivated.

4. Phone Prompts

This last option is one that is widely used in the corporate world. Large and small businesses frequently hire voice artists to create automated voice prompts. These are usually for answering services to help direct call flow and deliver announcements. If you have a friendly and conversational tone, then this could be your ticket to earning cash from home as a voice-over artist.

Where to Get Hired as a Voice Over Artist

Breaking into voice-over work can seem like a daunting task. This is especially true if you don’t know where to look. The fastest way to find your first paying job is by auditioning online. There are tons of online casting sites that recruit new talent. Spend some time developing your voice and creating a demo recording. If you are still uncertain, find a blog or video tutorial to help you prepare for your first audition.

It may take a while to find your first paying job. You will likely encounter a lot of competition and rejection in the beginning. However, don’t get discouraged if you truly want to pursue a career working as a voice-over actor. There are tons of opportunities out there just waiting for you.

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Starting Your Own Business on a Budget: Tips & Tricks

starting your own business on a budget

Starting your own business can seem unattainable, especially when you have limited funds to work with. When thinking about launching, you might feel as though you need a large sum of money in order to even begin. But, I have good news; this is not always the case. In fact, I was able to start my own business for roughly $650, including the paperwork to register as a limited liability company (LLC). I still have yet to take out a business loan. So, fret not; starting your own business on a budget (and without a loan) is possible, and the following are some tricks and tips to help you launch:

Starting Your Own Business On a Budget

Don’t quit your day job:

Normally, “don’t quit your day job” implies you should not pursue anything more than what you are currently doing for money. But, when I say this, I mean maintain your full-time job as you develop your dream. Spend a few hours every night after work (or at your leisure, depending on your level of motivation to start) developing your business plan. Know that you want to start a business but unsure where to begin? Pick something you are passionate about or very knowledgeable in.

As you start the process, plug away some money from your full-time job each month for your business. Even if it is just $20 a month, every little bit helps and will make launching more of a reality.

Reach out to friends:

Assuming you have already done your market research and developed a business plan, you can reach out to supportive friends who may be willing to help you with certain services you may need to move forward.

For example, if you are a copywriter needing a logo, see if one of your friends in graphic design would be willing to do a trade for service and/or a discounted rate to create your identity. Most of the time, you will most likely find someone willing to help. Even your friends with a background in law may be available to provide some tips on getting started with paperwork or offer a lower rate to help. You can also use the money you’ve been saying from your full-time job to pay for these services up front. Never assume your friends will do it for free; they are, after all, also in business and need to make money too. Also, don’t forget to refer them and spread the love! They will appreciate your word of mouth referral more than you know.

Start online:

The internet is full of amazing opportunities. You can easily start your business online through the creation of a website. Sites like Weebly, Wix, and even WordPress.com all are great platforms to begin on a budget as they all offer templates you can work off of with zero web design skills. With these, you’ll also need to purchase a domain name (AKA your business web address), a process they each walk you through when you sign up. When using WordPress, you will also need a hosting site, which is basically a home for your domain name. Weebly and Wix have theirs built into their platforms, but their customization is not as advanced as WordPress. Bluehost or GoDaddy.com are both examples of where you can find hosting sites. Again, you may want to reach out to a friend or use a consultation with a marketing company to help you get started with this particular process, as it can sometimes be complicated.

In addition to a website, you can now sell items on Facebook. If you do not want to upgrade your site to be secure enough to sell items (all websites need to have what is known as an SSL certificate when selling items or even collecting emails, which protects private information of site visitors), you can create an account at Shopify.com and connect it to your Facebook page or use Facebook as your store. You will need, however, a PayPal or Square account in order to move forward.

Starting online allows you to save on initial overhead costs (other than your website) on a brick-and-mortar. But, you can surely invest in a physical location after getting your feet wet. This all depends on whether your business would benefit on a physical address or if you can survive solely online.

Make it a side hustle and have supplementary income:

Starting your own business on a budget does not mean you have to wait until you are no longer at your full-time job to begin. You can start with it as a side hustle and continue to grow it until you are ready to be full-time. By all means, you can also make it your primary focus and help your financial situation with a supplementary income until you start seeing a profit in your business. House sitting, dog walking, and freelancing are all examples of easy ways to get this going. You could also use the money from your supplementary income to invest into your business if you needed the extra funding for a special project.

Grow through networking:

Networking is an especially cost-effective way to grow your business. No matter what industry you are in, everyone can benefit from networking. Check your local events calendar to see where opportunities may be for you to meet prospects. You can also utilize your existing connections or memberships to grow. For instance, if you have a gym membership, and you are starting a catering business, you can reach out to the gym manager or members who work at local businesses to see if they would be interested in your services.

All in all, know that starting your own business on a budget can be done. No matter what, though, it always takes consistency and a lot of work in order to make it happen.

Have you been dreaming of starting your own business or have you already? What tips would you add to the list? 

Top Sites to Sell Your Arts and Crafts

Top Sites to Sell Your Arts and Crafts

In the days before the internet, artisans had limited venues to sell their arts and crafts. We now live in a world where billions of people connect online at the click of a button. Artists are moving beyond trade shows and local art fairs to sell their products online. With more than 62 million Americans participating in crafting activities each year, it’s the perfect time to create an online presence and build your brand. Whether you are looking to expand your business or turn your hobby into a money-maker, here are some of the top sites to help you sell your arts and crafts.

Top Sites for Arts and Crafts

1. Etsy

Since its launch in 2005, Etsy has become the industry standard for online artisan marketplaces. Shoppers can browse through multitudes of handmade and vintage items ranging from décor, jewelry, apparel, toys, art, and craft supplies. With reported sales topping $3 billion, it is definitely one of the top sites to sell your arts and crafts.

Etsy is ideal for first-time venders since the name draws a lot of internet traffic. The website hosted 2.1 million sellers and more than 39 million buyers in 2018, growing more each year. Their platform exposes you to potential clients from around the world in ways that were not possible before. This lets artists focus on their work instead of marketing and promotion.

The site operates like a traditional craft fair where vendors setup a personal storefront to sell their goods. The seller pays a $0.20 listing fee per item and 5% commission on all sales. There is also another small payment processing fee, but it does guarantee secure online transactions. Many sellers agree that these fees are a small price to pay for access to Etsy’s user-friendly marketplace.

2. Handmade at Amazon

You know you are in the right marketplace if Amazon is involved. The world’s largest web retailer is now venturing into arts and crafts. Vendors must submit their application to Handmade at Amazon and receive approval. If you get approved, you will receive an invitation to create your Artisan Profile where you can sell your arts and crafts. The process ensures all the items are handmade and enforces strict bans on anything that violates intellectual property rights.

Advertising through Amazon grants you access to the largest online shopping platform, but it does come at a cost. They deduct 15% from each sale in addition to shipping costs. This means you will have to give greater thought to how you package, price and promote your work. However, there is unlimited earning potential if you can claim a slice of the Amazon pie.

3. Shopify

If marketplaces aren’t for you, consider hosting your own site through Shopify. The site is great for small businesses and established brands, boasting more than $82 billion in sales. With more than a million businesses in 175, it truly is a global presence.

Shopify allows you to build your own store makes the initial setup a breeze with professional templates, business tools, and support. The app store also offers a ton of options to customize your page. The simple interface connects to other social media platforms to help promote your work.

Maintaining your own online store gives you more creative control and direct customer contact. There are no marketplace rules about what you can sell or commission and processing fees. However, it’s up to the seller to attract web traffic. Shopify requires more daily updates, but it also puts you in the driver’s seat.

Choosing a Site That’s Right for You

Launching a website and sharing your work with the world can be both frightening and exhilarating. With the endless online marketplaces to choose from, you can easily become overwhelmed or discouraged. Before joining a community, take time to consider what it is you hope to achieve and which platform is the best vehicle to get you there.

If you feel lost, seek out other artisans to discuss their first hand experiences with these sites. There are many online messaging boards and communities of artists facing the same questions and concerns. Once you have chosen which site to use to sell your arts and crafts, you are only clicks away from becoming a legitimate online retailer.

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