On my blog, I write a lot about the different voiceover jobs I do for different brands, but I probably don’t talk enough about myself and how I got into voiceover work. As well as being a good place for people to check out my abilities and see if I’m right for the job, I hope my blog is sometimes read by aspiring voiceover artists who want to learn from someone like me — someone who has managed to make a really successful career out of voiceover work, voicing a huge range of commercials, explainer videos, game trailers, and so much more. I did a little research and found out some of the most common questions people have about working as a voiceover artist, and I’ll try to answer as many of them as possible below.
I fell into voiceover work by accident. I was originally working in a hotel and then a skateboard shop, and then I won an impressionist competition on the radio. From there, an accidental career as a radio presenter came about, and that lasted 19 years. During that time, I thought I’d explore the world of voiceovers, realising that all the character voices I was able to do were able to make me some money. And the jobs just kept coming and I continued to have fun doing it. And the rest was history.
Like most people who work for themselves, it’s the ability to make your own destiny that attracted me to voicover work. I liked the freedom of being able to choose how much or how little work I’d like to do. To be honest, with amount of work and opportunities that present themselves to me everyday it’s hard to say no. After 19 years in the voiceover industry now, and the way I’ve marketed myself, the work I get is perfectly suited to my favourite voiceover styles — so that makes everyday a pleasure. Having a studio at home and being able to walk downstairs in the morning with no commute is also a real joy; it’s something I feel very lucky to be able to do. I’m able to make some great money without jumping on a train somewhere and can earn a living in my shorts and tee shirt This job has also allowed me to make some good financial decisions and make investments to look after the future too.
I generally get up around 5.30am every day and, whilst I’m not a big social media user anymore, I quickly check my phone to see if any work has come in on social channels over the night (I work with brands from all over the world, it’s not unusual to have requests come in throughout the night). I generally respond quickly and if one of my regular clients is four hours ahead of the UK, I’ll get up in the middle of the night, go down to the studio and record the voiceover they’ve asked for. I do this so that his day can progress quicker without waiting for me. I’m then off to the gym for a one-hour workout, steam room, and cold shower. This really sets me up for the day so that, by 7.30am, I’m ready for the day. This also gives me a little time to spend with my little girl, taking her to three different classes during the week. I don’t want to miss any of her life as she grows up, so I make sure Daddy time is there.
Most days, I may have one or two jobs booked, but often nothing pre-booked. This may sound a little scary to someone wanting to get into this career, but as the day goes on, work generally comes in. I get a mixture of work: from TV & radio commercials, to web videos, corporate films, in-store voiceovers, and on-hold recordings — to name only a few. I also get some random jobs, such as best man speeches and the voice of god (for conferences and conventions). I work quickly and efficiently throughout the day, getting audio back to people as quickly as I can. I understand that by not making people wait, it allows them to continue the project at their end much faster. Generally, during the day I don’t eat as I’m a fan of intermittent fasting and I eat at the end of the day. Drinking water all day is enough to keep me going. My day finishes around 5-6pm. The evenings I have my daughter, I stop working, ignore the phone and I’m all hers. After she’s in bed, it’s not un common to have jobs in the early evening. As I’m not a fan of TV, if I’m not cooking or listening to audio books, I’ll jump back in the booth and voice a few jobs. I’m not a crazy workaholic but I do understand nothing is forever and as a follower of Gary Vaynerchuk, I like to work hard now in my early years to look after the future. As Denzel Washington also said “ Do what you have to do, to do what you want to do.” Bed comes around midnight and it all starts again the next day.
I started out as a character voiceover artist, but my natural style is the one I’m asked for most these days. It’s not that I miss doing more character work; I just let the work dictate my style. Although some claim to do “hundreds” of voices, I have a huge range but have honed my website to promote my core styles. I do love to do my David Attenborough voiceover style. I do a lot of corporate jobs with that voice for many large brands who use it internally. I am very selective what jobs I take in that style and I always make sure it’s respectful (of David) and fun. Other styles include my football commentator voice , my Pathe Newsreel voice, gameshow host voice, my pirate voice and of course an awesome spooky Halloween voice and I do help the festive fat man Father Christmas with my voice of Santa. Hey, he can’t do all the jobs! These are ones I can do easily and maintain consistency with a longer script.
There aren’t really any styles that come to mind. I don’t get jobs beyond my range as clients tend to come to me as they know what I’m capable of. One thing I will say is that I am happy to pass on work to others if I’m asked to do something out of my comfort zone. I’ll never take a job unless I know I can do it 100% and I know the client will be happy. I do make this clear to people and I believe you gain more respect for not taking the money but helping the end user get exactly what they need. This always helps in the long run as other voiceover professionals send work they can’t do my way an the brands leave with a very positive impression of me.
Having a British accent has never held my voiceover career back. Never. I actually get a lot of overseas work with clients specifically looking for a British accent. I think it helps that my voice is region-less, giving me a more neutral sound. It’s certainly something I’ve never worried about — especially on days where I’m booked for 20+ jobs. A region-less English accent seems to be one of the most sought-after accents for voiceover work.
Of course! Every voiceover artist would love to work with Disney, Pixar, and Apple! And I was lucky to work with Apple on some iPhone adverts a few years ago which launched my natural style a little more. But, after having my daughter, my priorities changed. Whilst I always dreamed of going over to the USA and putting my voice on an animation, my business model changed and I realised that they only pay the top money to known actors. And you know what? I’m actually really grateful with the level of work I get here, working at home. That’s not to say I don’t get dream jobs. I do get to work with amazing brands on a daily basis.
Yes I do. Understand that the voice you choose is your brand’s audio identity. It’s easy to go out and find the cheapest voice, but if you actually care about your brand and image then the sound of your brand should also be respected. Booking a professional voiceover will cost you more money but with that comes years of experience, the credibility that your brand is represented by a voice trusted by other global brands. On top of that, it will be recorded in a professional studio environment with pro equipment, so the final voiceover will sound as good as you look. Don’t go cheap; go with the best!
Don’t steal my clients and style… Ha ha. Yeah, understand that it’s more than being told you have a great voice. In this day and age, while there are more more brands using voiceover, you also need to understand this is a business and you have to run it as such. Expect quiet days and no guarantee of work. Even 19 years in, I’ll get quiet days and that’s with over 2000 clients in my contacts. Find your style and make it your USP. Get a professional demo made and don’t put yourself out there on these sites like FIVERR. The moment you do that, you’re telling people you are cheap and you will always be expected to charge fees unacceptable to the job you are working in. You will attract clients looking for the lowest possible price. Be the voice that clients want because of what YOU do.
Well, if you got to the end of this blog, then I’d like to thank you for reading. I hope you’ve found my voiceover story interesting. If you have any questions for me, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m always happy to hear from new brands who would like to work with me!