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Most people associate voiceover with commercial voiceover gigs. Commercial voice acting is a significant element of the voice over industry, with numerous channels. First, let’s look at the many types of advertising used by businesses. These are broadly classified as follows:

  1. Radio Commercials
  2. Television Commercials
  3. Internet Commercials (we cover some of this in a separate section)
  4. In-Store Commercials

One of the most influential parts of any commercial is the voice you hear. The voice actor needs to be able to fit the tone of the brand as well as provide sell the product or service. Depending on the target market and demographic, the voice may sound like the guy next door, an educated professional or a fun and lively teenager.

The main job of the commercial voice-over professional is to promote and influence the audience. This can be anything from a luxury holiday to a vacuum cleaner to beauty products. Commercial voice over jobs are applicable to nearly any industry. These commercials may be broadcast on the radio, on television, in podcasts, over the Internet or, more recently, through smartphone applications.

There are obviously some industries that use advertising more than others. Most of these relate to products we all buy on a day to day basis and see advertised on TV. Household products, food, holidays, entertainment e.g. film releases and cars attract big budgets.

The chosen commercial voice over actor and script direction is the result of careful planning and decision-making on the part of the company, ad agency, or director. The actor is specifically selected to effectively reach the target audience most likely to be interested in buying the product or service. Case in point: a commercial voice over for a rugged four-wheel drive truck is going to sound very different from the voice you’ll hear selling a luxury sports car.

  • Radio Commercial Voice Over Jobs

Radio stations continually have a roster of advertising that changes. Radio commercial voice over jobs can be national or local. If you want to find out more about radio commercial voice over jobs then visit your local radio station.

Read Also: How to Credit Voice Actors

Radio commercials are sometimes produced in-house by radio stations, but often by independent production companies. Some prefer to direct and record VOs using ISDN or other remote recording methods. Voices read a script to time, which usually is for a short ad. There are a huge number of ads produced on a daily basis for the hundreds of radio stations. This is a great way for a voice actor to get regular commercial voice over jobs.

  • TV Commercial Voice Over Jobs

Advertising agencies work for brands and smaller companies. The client will agree a budget for advertising that is then used across many different media. The advertising coordinates every aspect of the advertising or marketing campaign. They come up with the initial creative concept, write scripts…and much much more. TV Commercials now are no longer just seen on TV, many are also distributed across the Internet. Some examples of large global advertising agencies are BBDO, WPP, JWT and TBWA.

  • Internet Commercial Voice Over Jobs

Some advertisements are made specifically for Internet only use e.g. a pre-roll ad for a YouTube channel or programme. These ads may reach millions of people. Other forms of Internet voice over jobs involve explainer videos. These have become an increasingly popular way for a company to simplify their marketing message.

How to find commercial voiceover auditions

Browse through open casting calls for voice actors. High-profile auditions will often come from an agent, but there are other ways to find commercial voiceover auditions, as well:

  • Research production companies. Make a list of the companies that maintain a roster of voiceover actors, and reach out. There may be a vetting process, or it might be as simple as adding you to an email list of upcoming projects.
  • Network with advertising agencies and media outlets. Selling your voice as an actor is personal, and making those individual connections with decision-makers might open doors or nudge your audition ahead of an unfamiliar name.
  • Maintain an active social media presence. You may already do this, but you’ll want to make voice acting a prominent element. Follow other voice actors (and follow whom they follow) and build connections. Following tags like #voiceover, #voiceactor, and #vo can point you toward auditions and connect you to other industry pros.
  • Create and maintain profiles on online voiceover marketplaces. In addition to freelancer marketplaces like Fiverr, you can find marketplaces specifically for voiceover work.

Once you have your auditions lined up, how do you land roles? 

  • Know your vocal type. There are auditions in which your natural vocal type will not be a great fit. Go in knowing whether the work calls for your everyday voice or something different. Tailor accordingly.
  • Work with your coach(es). Good coaches bring in an outside perspective on which of your reads fit the casting call, and can help train you in a specific direction.
  • Prepare yourself. Every audition is different, and you’ll have the most success if you prep for each individually. That means reviewing the company and its past products and ads, reviewing the casting call, and knowing what the casting director expects.
  • Follow directions. It can be tempting to throw some extra flair into your audition, but the casting director knows what they are looking for. Your reel can show them your range. Unless they specifically ask for you to improvise or adapt the material, just follow their directions and try to give them what they want.
  • Keep going. Unless you have an agent, you’re most likely the one bringing work in for yourself. It can be easy to let a rejection or two slow you down, but the surest way to succeed is to keep looking for work and continue auditioning.

ZipRecruiter estimates the average annual voiceover actor salary to be $76,297, but its range spans from $13,500 to $217,000. In short, the income of an average voice actor varies significantly. A short radio ad in a local market might earn you $35, while Jon Hamm is estimated to make up to $5 million per year as the voice of Mercedes-Benz.

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