Side Hustle #60: I’m a Voice Over Actor!

by J. Money - Last updated January 15, 2016

voice over microphone

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I used to joke that if I could get paid to just talk all day I’d be one happy (and rich) person. Then a friend one day told me there’s a thing for that called “consulting,” and a few months later I was officially a blogging coach and soon after a money coach ;)

But the REAL opportunity, as I’m just now finding, seems to be with voice over acting. And today my friend Carrie who’s killing it with voice acting tells us how she got started, and how you can jump into it as well. Along with all the pros, cons, and most excitingly – how much it pays!

A great way to hit our 60th side hustle, thanks Carrie!

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In a matter of four months, I discovered an industry, started a business in it, replaced my day job income, and quit my job to pursue my side hustle full time. All this with a newborn baby in the house. What was my investment to get started in my new occupation? $160. Because basically, I was getting paid to talk.

The industry that I dove into was voice over. I got paid $450 for the first job I ever did. I was instantly profitable. The job was to provide the narration for a two-minute video for a company in Denmark (I recorded it from my apartment in Kansas City). I made $10,000 over the course of three months on the third job I ever got. I continue to book work with this client.

In the rest of this article I’ll tell you what voice acting is and some details about the industry, exactly how I got started, and some steps you can take if you’re interested in becoming a voice actor.

What is voice acting?

You know those voices you hear on the radio and TV trying to sell you things? Those are done by professional voice actors. Professional voice overs are also used for narrating audiobooks, product/explainer videos, educational and video games, animation, live announcing, jingles and more.

What the Job Entails

Basically standing (or sitting) in a vocal booth (or sound treated closet), and reading out loud. Of course, there is the business side as well that includes invoicing, marketing, etc. But you’ll spend most of your time auditioning and reading scripts for commercials, narration, animation, or whatever type of jobs you book.

Pros of Voice Acting

carrie derek rv trip

  • You can do it from anywhere! Well, anywhere with an internet connection that is quiet enough. My family recently went on a cross-country road trip, and I recorded many spots from the bathroom of our travel trailer.
  • You don’t need a degree, but professional training is definitely helpful.
  • You can make your own hours for the most part.
  • It’s a cool job! It’s fun, and people will always be intrigued when you tell them it’s what you do.
  • It is very lucrative. Or it can be anyway. There are lot of voice actors out there working part time or pursuing voiceover as just a hobby, but I just heard a story the other day about a voice actor who had a $20,000 payday for one 60-second TV commercial.
  • Low barrier to entry. You don’t need a bunch of expensive equipment to get started. You do, however, need some good quality equipment to get started, but you don’t have to spend a fortune on it.

Cons of Voice Acting

  • Work is never guaranteed. It’s a competitive market, and sometimes you’ve got to beat out hundreds of other voice actors to get a job.
  • Training can be expensive. While getting enough equipment and know-how to start auditioning doesn’t cost much, a good coach does — and should. But in my experience, it is well worth the investment. If the cost of training is prohibitive, there are many online groups you can join for free that are extremely helpful.
  • It can be isolating. If you’re an introvert like me, this could also go in the pros category. But you can expect to spend the majority of your time alone in your recording space.
  • Certain types of work are easier to get if you live in LA or New York.

How Much You Can Make Doing Voice Over

This varies from job to job and depends on whether you are a union member or not. You can check out current union rates here. What I’ve discovered in my short time in the voice over industry is that, outside of union rates, it’s subjective when it comes to pay. Many audition sites will allow you to bid your own price for a job. On these sites, a job may get one bid at $20 and another bid from a different voice actor for $1,000. Literally. It’s a matter of what you feel you’re worth and how much clients are willing to pay for truly professional work.

My best payday to date was $3,000 for 45 minutes of work. I was getting paid $500/spot (whether the spot was 60 seconds or 15) for a cinema ad campaign and did six spots in under an hour. I get some jobs that pay $1,000-$2,000, and I’ve taken some that pay under $100, although this is rare. At this point in my career, the average job I get pays about $300-$400.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Money magazine just came out with a list of the highest paying jobs you can do at home, and interestingly enough voice over work clocked in at 2nd place! With an average of $72/hr. So obviously those actors aren’t doing it right like Carrie is ;))

How I Got Started

It all started with podcasting. My husband and I are avid podcasters and podcast listeners. We’re always on the lookout for a good new show. At the time, I had a 45-60 minute commute to work, so I got lots of listening done.

One day, I randomly picked a new podcast I had never listened to before, the Go For It Show with Tyson Webb. I turned on the latest episode and set off for work. About half way through the episode, a light bulb went off.

The show I happened to be listening to was an interview with a voice actor named Alyson Steel. I was only half paying attention until I heard her answer the question, “What does a typical work day look like for you?” I had a baby that year and had just gone back to work. I was dying to be able to spend more time with my daughter and husband.

This is what Aly’s typical work day looks like: She gets up, goes to yoga. Comes back home and checks her email for scripts. Spends some time in her voice over booth recording spots for radio, TV, internet, telephones, etc. Tools around on Facebook for a while, does a little more recording, then calls it a day. Um… AWESOME!

At the end of the episode, she mentioned that she offers private voice acting coaching for $150 for an initial hour consultation. My husband, Derek, is a budgeting fanatic, so I figured he wouldn’t be too excited about me asking to spend $150 to learn about a job that I didn’t even know if I could do. Fortunately, he told me to go for it.

I booked the session with Aly, a 20-year voice acting veteran, and she spent an hour telling me all about the business. That night, I recorded a (very amateur) voiceover demo on the equipment Derek and I use for podcasting and sent it to Aly. She was beyond encouraging, so I hired her to coach me.

The Ball Started To Roll…

I read everything I could find about the industry and listened to every voice over podcast as well. Meanwhile, I started auditioning for jobs on a site called Voices.com. They had a special where I could sign up for my first month for $9.99. When a client on the site likes your audition, they can give it a thumbs up, or a like. I started getting likes on my auditions almost immediately. And one morning as I was leaving for work, I whispered to Derek who was still in bed, “I got my first job. $450.”

And that was that.

carrie olsen voice overThe work hasn’t slowed down. I have been consistently booking work and continuing with my voice over coaching sessions with Aly, who is amazing. Without a professional demo, I have made dozens of contacts, gained national representation from some of the nation’s most respected talent agencies, voiced television and radio commercials, and built up a hefty clientele for my voice over services.

Voice123.com is another pay-to-play site, similar to Voices.com that I recommend. The main difference between the two is that Voice123.com allows you to communicate with clients outside the site, so you don’t have to pay the escrow fees that Voices.com charges (awesome!). However, they don’t have a monthly subscription, so you have to pay the full year’s fee up front.

Here Are The Steps I Took in Detail

I’m laying out the path I took, even though I realize your path will look way different. If you’re less interested in how I did it and would rather just hear about how you can do it, skip down a section.

First, I made the decision to make a real go of it. Since I’ve been voice acting, I’ve had dozens of people ask me how to get into the industry. I think the first step is that you have to want it. And you have to want it enough to put in the effort it requires. Of the many who have picked my brain on becoming a voice actor, very few (maybe even just one) actually followed through with the steps I suggested. Voice over work sounds like a ton of fun — and it is — but it is also a business. Voice over jobs don’t fall into your lap just because you’re sort of interested in trying out VO (voice over). This leads me to the second thing I did.

I hired a voice over coach. There are so many people on the web claiming to be voice over coaches, and you have to be careful that the one you work with isn’t just trying to build up your confidence, make you a half-ass demo, take your money and then send you on your way. You only get one chance to make a first impression with potential clients/agents, and your demo needs to be awesome to make sure it’s a good first impression. Look for a coach who actually is a voice actor. Someone who knows the industry first-hand and doesn’t crank out demos for anyone who will pay their fee. Someone who gives you personalized attention and will be there for the long haul.

Thirdly, I read and listened to everything I could get my hands and ears on about the VO industry. Blogs, books, podcasts, everything. I’m really glad I did this because I ended up booking my first national radio spot in a matter of weeks, and all of the research I did, combined with my sessions with my coach, helped me to feel like I knew what I was doing when I walked into the recording studio for the first time. I lay out some great resources that I devoured in those first weeks and months in a free guide that’s available on my website (more info below).

Next, I auditioned. A ton. The first “pay-to-play” site (a site that charges you a fee in order to audition for jobs) I joined was Voices.com. I was still working full time, so I would try to do at least ten auditions when I got home from work, and as many as I could on the weekends (again, with a newborn daughter in the house).

Lastly, I never stopped seeking counsel. Along every step of the way, I consulted with my amazing voice over coach, who was (and still is) over the moon about my success. She has talked me down from the ledge, encouraged me, shared her wisdom, believed in me, and helped me to believe in myself. In a word, she is invaluable.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that “buy a microphone” or “learn how to use audio editing software” is nowhere on this list. Fortunately, I just happened to have had a hobby (podcasting) that gave me a head start in those areas.

Want to Be a Voice Actor?

Here are a few steps I recommend you take if you’re interested in pursuing a career in voice over. These are the Cliff’s notes. If you want to be overwhelmed with information or prefer to try your hand at getting jobs without getting a coach, just skip to step 3. But I wouldn’t be where I am today without Alyson, so I highly recommend getting a coach.

  1. Get a voice over coach. I recommend Alyson Steel. She’s awesome. It may sound ridiculous to hire someone to teach you how to talk. You’ve been doing that for years! But I promise there is a lot more to voice over than just talking. A good coach can help catapult your career to the next level much faster than you could on your own. They can also save you from a lot of confusion and disappointment if you’re auditioning a lot and just can’t figure out why you’re not booking any jobs. Be sure to tell her you found her through this Side Hustle series.
  2. Listen to your coach. No really, your coach will be able to tell you what your next steps should be. At some point, you’ll need to make a demo and start auditioning and/or marketing your services. Your coach will let you know when you’re ready and will make suggestions for getting started. He or she can also help you with acquiring all of the equipment you’ll need for your new career.
  3. If you want to go rogue and just get out there and see what happens, I recommend buying a good microphone, reading and listening up as much as you can, and joining Voices.com. You can sign up without a demo, and if you have a good microphone and recording environment, you can start submitting auditions for around $40/month (use the code CARRIEOLSEN349 to get $50 off if you decide to go big and purchase the premium subscription). You can also check out my super detailed, in-depth step-by-step guide to getting started in voice over without a coach, available on my website. It includes microphone recommendations and other helpful resources. But remember, you’re much more likely to get the most out of your investment if you hire a reputable professional who is familiar with the industry to guide you.
  4. Listen to commercials. Or audiobooks, or e-learning programs, or whatever it is you want to voice. I used to hate listening to radio commercials in the car. Now, I’ll actually change the station when music comes on so that I can study the commercials!
  5. Market yourself. Once you feel your skills are competitive, get a website up and running, make a demo (I have recorded all of my demos from my home studio with direction from my coach), and start reaching out to your ideal clients.
  6. Keep practicing. I absolutely love doing voice over. It’s fun, and I get to be creative and even goofy sometimes. But there are people all over the world working hard to perfect their skills, and if I want to stay competitive with them, I have to practice to keep up my chops.
  7. Register for my free webinar on how to get started doing voice overs. I give away some of my best secrets on how I fast-tracked my voice over career, as well as some super valuable resources on the webinar, so you won’t want to miss it. It’s free, and you can sign up here.

I feel so blessed to have found (stumbled upon, really) an industry I love, that pays, and allows me to spend time with my family — from anywhere. And the fact that it happened so fast is just a bonus. I discovered VO in July of 2014. I had my first lesson in August, booked my first job in September and put in my notice at work in November.

Give it a shot if you find it interesting!

– Carrie

PS: I mentioned my voice over guide full of all the steps, websites, equipment and resources I used over the last year. It has links to tons of resources to help you get started. If you’re into that kind of thing, I encourage you to check it out.

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Carrie is the beautiful half of DerekandCarrie.com, a blog (and podcast) about better marriage and money, and you can find her professional voice acting site, along with tips, at CarrieOlsenVO.com.

[Love a fun hustle? Check out all 59 others we’ve featured here: Side Hustle Series]

Top photo by drestwn

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Jay loves talking about money, experimenting, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his two beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brian @ Debt Discipline September 16, 2015 at 6:12 am

Very cool hustle! I have a friend who does the same thing locally. I hear her voice all the time on radio and TV.

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2 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 7:16 am

Fun! If she’s getting a lot of local work, that probably means she hustled and did a great job with marketing to local businesses, which is a really smart way to go. Good for your friend!

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3 J. Money September 22, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Carrie – your husband and I stayed up wayyy too late this weekend pointing out all the voiceovers on TV commercials, haha… we thought we were hot $hit :)

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4 Carrie Olsen September 23, 2015 at 6:17 am

Oh man. I can just see you guys. Was there any pillow fighting involved? :)

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5 Derek September 23, 2015 at 11:44 am

haha, I forgot about that!

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6 Ramona September 16, 2015 at 6:54 am

I worked for 10 years as a radio DJ and also did various voice acting jobs for our radio commercials. It’s indeed different to talk ‘normally’ and to talk ‘radio like’. But it can be done and with experience, you’ll get the hang of it.

My only issue with pursuing this on an ‘international’ scale is that my English accent is still not perfect (I am Romanian). And in my city the jobs are paid way too low to make it worth.

But, I could actually try to get my accent in check and see if anyone would be willing to hire me. I loved being in front of the mic, maybe it’s my chance to get some of the old groove back :)

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7 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 7:22 am

Hey Ramona, there are definitely opportunities where being bilingual comes in handy with voiceover work. And for all the other situations, there are coaches who specialize in accents, so they could help you with that area as well. One of the first questions my voiceover coach asked me was, “Do you speak another language?” :)

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8 Nichole September 16, 2015 at 11:18 am

I would have the same problem as Ramona. I have a crazy-thick Southern accent. Know of any coaches in particular that specialize in accents? I’d love to learn to “turn my accent off” or at least “tone it down” in certain situations.

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9 Carrie Olsen September 19, 2015 at 2:48 am

Here are a couple of resources, Nichole. I’ve never used either of these, but they’re worth checking out: http://www.edgestudio.com/voice-over-accent-elimination-and-acquisition and http://theaccentcoach.com.

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10 Ramona September 16, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Thank you, Carrie, for clarifying this. I do not have such a ‘strong’ accent, but I was afraid it would disqualify me. Still, I do think there are chances to get it ‘fixed’ with some work. Will definitely look more into this.

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11 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 5:41 pm

Awesome. And yeah, you never know. You may be able to get some jobs BECAUSE you have an accent. There have been jobs that I decided not to audition for because the direction asked for an accent I didn’t feel comfortable faking.

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12 Andrew March 16, 2016 at 9:35 pm

Hey, Ramona one way you could work to get a better english accent if you can afford it is to take a long trip to a predominantly english speaking country and constantly try to speak like the locals. Also you could still audition even if there isn’t as much work for someone with your accent because it might be exactly what someone is looking for. The travel and practice idea will work with anyone and any country too! Just try to work on the accent and especially slang terms which can make or break a fake foreign accent.

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13 Elise@ Simply Scaled Down September 16, 2015 at 7:58 am

What a great idea! I used to work as an Equity actor as a kid (the perfect job for any 10 year…play pretend and get paid for it!), and I’ve been wanting to flex my creative bones these days. This may be an excellent way to get my feet wet. Awesome article!

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14 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 8:09 am

Absolutely! Bring out your inner 10-year-old and get paid for it! :)

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15 Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies September 16, 2015 at 8:16 am

This is crazy cool! Though it’s definitely not in the cards for me, I’m afraid. When telemarketers call they often say, “Sweetie, can you put your Mommy or Daddy on the phone?” because I sound like a five-year-old. Ha! I love your advice about always seeking counsel. That’s so true for life, isn’t it? There’s always more to learn and having a mentor is invaluable.

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16 Derek September 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

Actually, lots of adults get paid big money to voice act for parts that are supposed to be kids voices. Most of the cartoon voices that sound like kids are really adults!

Perhaps you’ve really got something good going!!

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17 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 9:31 am

Penny, you could actually make bank if you sound like a kid. Check out http://lisabiggs.com. Adults who sound like kids are (generally) easier to work with than kids, so use it to your advantage!

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18 Andrew March 16, 2016 at 9:38 pm

Also, don’t forget the person behind Elmo is actually a bigger dude than the person inside of Big Bird!

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19 Hannah September 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

Did you love the movie, ‘In a world?’

I almost gave voice acting a try after that, but I don’t think there is a huge market for nasally midwestern accents.

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20 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 9:34 am

OMG. Loved that movie. And I know it seems like you’ve got to have a velvety voice to do voice over, but someone’s gotta play the best friend/sidekick/relatable neighbor, right? There’s no such thing as having the “right kind of voice” for VO :)

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21 Dachia September 16, 2015 at 9:54 am

There is a market for every voice. It may not be a huge market or easy to find, but just like actors of every age and shape, every voice has a home.

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22 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm

So true, Dachia! We can’t all be Brad Pitt. Some of us have to be Screech :)

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23 J. Money September 22, 2015 at 3:44 pm

I just watched that movie last month! It was great!!

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24 Carrie Olsen September 23, 2015 at 6:18 am

Pretty accurate, too ;)

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25 Audra September 16, 2015 at 10:22 am

Carrie, what a great read! My husband and I come from a TV production background, and we have professional recording gear. How would one go about seeing if their voice would attract work? I know my husband’s would, but I’m not sure about mine. I would love pursuing this. Also, how do you care for your voice? Do you avoid certain foods/drinks?

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26 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Hi Audra, great questions! I would say that your ability to act/talk convincingly to your target audience is more important than the quality of your voice. If you’re promoting a skin care product, and you can “become” the best friend sitting across the table telling your friend about this great new moisturizer you discovered — and do it so convincingly that it doesn’t sound like you’re acting — that will get you further than just sounding nice. You can do self study to get better at this, and you can also attend classes, workshops, or hire a coach. Feel free to reach out if you have more questions!

I drink tons of water, or at least I should :) I avoid sugary foods before sessions, I avoid yelling, and I try not to get sick :)

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27 Maggie @ Northern Expenditure September 16, 2015 at 10:50 am

My sister has been doing this for years! Great intro, Carrie!

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28 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Oh awesome! Yep, it doesn’t have to be a side hustle. Many people have made great careers out of VO!

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29 Janeen September 16, 2015 at 11:47 am

I’ve always wondered what the life of a Voice Over actor looked like. That is intriguing! I’m pretty sure I could never make it (I have one of those high squealing voices that men can’t hear and dogs despise). Who knows? Thanks for the peek into another gig.

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30 Carrie Olsen September 21, 2015 at 10:46 am

I like the “Who knows?” part of your comment :) You never know ’til you give it a go!

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31 [email protected] September 16, 2015 at 11:48 am

It is awesome work, thanks for sharing. I used to pay folks to voice my commercials, but then I got thinking, “I used to be in the media business, why don’t I try it.” So I told my account reps that I would voice my own commercials and they didn’t care so went in to the studio and nailed it. Practice, practice, practice and listen to your own voice. It was hard for me at first, but now I drive down the street and my daughter will say, “oh great, there is dad on the radio again.” It’s fun and people pay you for it.

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32 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Isn’t it cool to get paid for doing something so fun?! And like you said, it does take practice, but anything worth doing does, right?

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33 J. Money September 22, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Awesome! I didn’t know you did that, Lance – you ever blog about it??? You should!

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34 Jack September 16, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Fascinating. Sounds like a great way to earn a living on your own time – lucrative and flexible.

Probably not for me though. It feels to much like selling your time. I’d much rather invest my time building an asset which will generate an income stream, and having to build a while be skill set and business is a large hurdle to jump before you have the ability to create the cash flow assets.

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35 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 1:49 pm

I totally get that, Jack. It is a different model from the investing/passive income route. Although, you can earn residuals from work and get paid from the same job for years. Also, I don’t mind trading my time for work so much, if the price is right :)

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36 Tre September 16, 2015 at 2:28 pm

That’s a very cool way to make money! Thanks for sharing how you got started.

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37 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 5:19 pm

No problem! Voiceover has been so amazing for me and my family, I love sharing it :)

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38 KM September 16, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Fantastic side hustle series! This is totally up my alley and something I’ve been considering for awhile. My husband is an actor and his first voiceover job sort of fell into his lap and I couldn’t believe how much money he was getting paid to just talk! It’s criminal (but great for the household finances!).

Thanks for the info…time to start devouring it!

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39 Derek September 16, 2015 at 3:19 pm

KM-

Carrie and I laugh sometimes at how much she gets paid because it can get into the “ridiculous” range for the higher paying jobs.

But, we aren’t complaining! haha

-Carrie’s Husband

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40 J. Money September 22, 2015 at 3:47 pm

I’m so excited to see how big this blows up… Carrie’s on freakin’ fire!

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41 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 5:36 pm

It does feel criminal sometimes! But in the most amazing way ever :) I’m excited for you to dig in!

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42 Laura Harris September 16, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Well this is basically the most epic side hustle on the planet. I love the voice talent industry – or maybe I should say I’m a huge fan of the it. Audio book narrators really do a lot to impact the books they read aloud. Great advice Carrie. Loved this post.

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43 Carrie Olsen September 16, 2015 at 5:38 pm

I totally agree. Good audiobook narrators make it seem so easy that listeners don’t realize that what they’re doing is actually a skill that takes a LOT of practice to develop.

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44 J. Money September 22, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Glad you liked, Laura!

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45 Mrs. Crackin' the Whip September 16, 2015 at 7:52 pm

This is fascinating. Thanks for sharing your story! It’s always amazing the things we don’t know or have any idea about. Who would of thought?!

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46 Carrie Olsen September 21, 2015 at 10:49 am

I had NO IDEA that voice over was even a thing until I heard that podcast episode. It still seems like someone is playing an (awesome) joke on me sometimes after a recording session of literally just talking and getting paid for it ;)

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47 Steve Miller September 17, 2015 at 7:20 am

Very cool side gig and inspirational story. I always love hearing great voices but no one would want to hear mine :).

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48 Carrie Olsen September 21, 2015 at 10:50 am

You never know :) There’s a market for every type of voice…

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49 Done by Forty September 18, 2015 at 1:31 am

One of my favorite side hustle pieces ever. Thanks for sharing.

I’m giving it some thought, as momma always told me I had a face for radio…

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50 Carrie Olsen September 19, 2015 at 2:51 am

Glad to hear you’re thinking about giving it a try!

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51 Travis Tjelmeland September 18, 2015 at 9:03 pm

Carrie, I’m so thankful to have read this article. I’ve had a premium Voices.com account ALL YEAR (a Christmas gift from my folks because they love the different impressions I do when I visit) but had only done TWO auditions since January.

I just submitted three this evening.

Seeing your website was really helpful and your story is super encouraging. I’m stoked to really get cracking (and hopefully raking in some cash). Thanks so much for making this feel more accessible and doable.

Rock on!

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52 Carrie Olsen September 21, 2015 at 10:53 am

Travis, it makes me SO happy to hear this! Seriously, it’s just like anything else — hard work pays off. And if you love it like I do, it could change your life. I’m rooting for you! Keep me updated on how things are going (and so I can give you a gentle shot of motivation of you need it). Carrie (at) carrieolsenvo.com.

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53 J. Money September 22, 2015 at 3:48 pm

GOOD FOR YOU!!!! WOW!!!

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54 NDQ September 20, 2015 at 3:33 pm

I’m impressed. It’s a tough area to break into, but you’ve done it. Congrats!

NDQ

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55 Carrie Olsen September 21, 2015 at 10:55 am

Thanks NDQ! It’s been a wild ride. One that I never would have imagined for myself, but I’m so grateful for it :)

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56 Jacqlene dukes October 4, 2015 at 10:43 pm

Awesome work! I am really considering this since my baby is so young and my husband and I could use the extra income. Besides I talk so much he always say you should have your own talk show! lol

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57 Nicole Lewis October 27, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Hi Carrie.. Are you an union actor?

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58 Carrie Olsen December 24, 2015 at 10:27 am

Hi Nicole,
So sorry for the (super) late response! I am not a union actor. I do audition for union jobs, so I will join if/when I have to :)

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59 Megan October 28, 2015 at 11:00 pm

Hello Carrie,

I’m very interested in voiceover acting. I would have to start with absolutely nothing though. my family and I have had an extreme rough few years and we as of.now.have little to no income. I’m looking for something that I can be home with my kids. I’m not sure its possible to be a vo with zero income. Do you have any advice?

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60 Carrie Olsen December 24, 2015 at 10:46 am

Hi Megan,
So sorry for the late response! Is it possible to do VO with zero investment? Like most, if not all businesses, it does require some initial and ongoing investment. Shoot me an email, and we can talk about it. Carrie(at)CarrieOlsenVO.com.

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61 Missy Squire November 3, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Love this article! For years people have told me I should do this, including a Professor of Speech and Language at our local collage. I didn’t know how to start.

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62 Andrew March 16, 2016 at 9:50 pm

I am currently in the ‘searching for information’ phase as this is something I really want to do. Plus I have had some people tell me I should be on the radio/ a phone sex operator (LOL). I took a local adult class about it and I am trying to get equipment together. Seems like the hardest part so far is the computer. Next stop is to comb through your other web pages for more info. However if you have a suggestion on computer and or microphone I welcome it. :) thanks.

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63 J. Money March 17, 2016 at 6:29 am

Not sure what type of microphone to use, but here’s our article on being a phone sex operator ;)

http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2011/10/how-to-be-phone-sex-operator/

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64 Jason McCoy March 24, 2016 at 8:11 pm

Awesome work Carrie!!

I’m also a voice actor and I recently launched VoiceActing101 to help those getting started: Check out http://voiceacting101.com/ for some in-depth guides on getting started, finding work and marketing.

Hope it helps!

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65 J. Money March 28, 2016 at 11:56 am

You have a pretty cool back story, man – congrats on all your success :)

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66 Carrie March 30, 2016 at 1:05 am

Hey Jason,

Thanks for the comment! Love your site. How awesome that you got hired to do radio imaging as a teenager! All my best you!
–Carrie

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67 Kathy Rodgers July 26, 2016 at 1:26 pm

Carrie,
I am thrilled that I found your post! I have been telling my husband for years that we need to figure out a way for him to make money off of his voice! His celebrity and cartoon impersonations are hysterical so I figured it wouldn’t be too much of a leap to do voice-over acting with some training. He is going on 49 next month and is currently in the construction trade as a drywall finisher, which is heavy, manual labor. His knees are going and his back isn’t far behind, so he needs some way to be able to make money when he no longer wants or is able to run up and down multiple flights of stairs carrying a 30 lb. work belt around his waist and repetitively lifting huge sheets of drywall over his head. But after reading the information here, I may give it a whirl too! This is very encouraging and exciting.

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68 J. Money July 27, 2016 at 10:52 am

I hope you guys do!! In the past year since we posted this Carrie’s only been taking off even more :) In fact, we did a podcast with her where she went into a lot of this stuff even more if you want to check it out:

http://podcast.affordanything.com/episode-21-making-money-voice-over-actor-with-carrie-olsen/

Let us know how it goes if you jump in!

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