Working as an Independent Contractor in the Voice Over Industry

Most voice over artists work as independent contractors. It’s important to know what this means, especially if you’re hoping to make this a full time business.

Independent Contractor: What It Means

An independent contractor is someone who earns a living from their own businesses. Independent contractors work with many clients. Generally, the person who pays the independent contractor cannot tell someone what to do or how to do it. They can only tell the person what they want the result to be, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

As an independent contractor in the voice over industry, you can take advantage of:

  • Being your own boss
  • Setting your own rates
  • Tax-related business deductions
  • Flexibility of when you work

While these benefits may seem great, there are a few disadvantages you should know.

  • It can be difficult to bring in clients.
  • It’s possible not to get paid by some clients.
  • You’ll have to pay self-employment tax.
  • You won’t receive benefits like you would working as a full time employee.

Rights as an Independent Contractor in the Voice Over Industry

You will have many different clients as an independent contractor. Some clients will try to take advantage of you. They will try to negotiate your rates for projects to get you to do the work for the lowest price possible. Be careful when you negotiate. You are a professional voice over artist, and your time and voice are precious. You don’t have to take clients who don’t want to pay you what you deserve.

Some clients will try to tell you that you have to work on the project at certain times during the day. You do not have to work when a client says he wants you to – you set your own schedule. You just need to produce the project in its entirety by the due date. How you decide to do that is up to you.

Projects should have an end date. That doesn’t mean you can’t work with that client again on another project. What it means is that you don’t work indefinitely for the client.

An Easy Way to Explain It

When you use a photographer to take family photos, you expect them to be high quality. You don’t tell the photographer what to do, and you don’t tell the person when to take the photos. You make an appointment or walk in when the studio is open. The result is what you’re asking for and expecting. If you don’t like the result, you probably won’t use that photographer again. The photographer doesn’t owe you anything, and you don’t owe him anything except for any fees you agreed to pay for even for unsatisfactory results.

This is how your voice over business should be when working as independent contractor. You manage everything and your clients only tell you what they want from you.

Is It for You?

Being an independent contractor in the voice over industry isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer working for someone because it’s structured and there’s more job security. You may want to try it for a while to see if it’s something you like, and if not, you can then look for opportunities in which you can work exclusively for an employer.



Voice Maintenance Tips for Voice-Over Talents

Some people are born with exceptional voices and the innate ability to act, making them natural voice actors. But in an industry that demands vocal quality, acting ability, and versatility all at the same time, talent is just one factor.

As someone who has worked in the broadcasting and voice-over industry for over 15 years, I can offer you the following voice maintenance tips: 

Be Mindful of What You Eat or Drink 

Since you will be using your voice the entire time during a recording, you have to be careful about your food and drink choices. Certain beverages like coffee, tea, and even milk can either dry your mouth and throat or contribute to mucus formation. The caffeine in coffee and regular tea usually results in mouth dryness, and although you may not notice this, the “dryness” can be audible during recordings. Milk and sugary juices can increase the presence of mucus in your throat, something which is not advisable when you’re working as a professional voice artist.

The Importance of Rest and Exercise 

Sleep and rest are two of the most vital pillars of overall health. In fact, you can tell by your voice when your whole body is feeling sick. If you want to be a reliable and professional voice-over talent, or a professional in any career, health is something you will want to prioritize. If you can let go of your smoking habit, please do so. Next to rest, exercise is should be a clear priority for voice actors. Vocal exercise or practice is essential, but physical exercise is just as important. When you feel physically well, you are bound to have better lung power, vocal abilities and improved confidence.

Hydration Is Everything 

The last thing your client will want to hear is a wispy, dried-out voice that fails to make any script come to life. To keep your throat and mouth from drying out, make a habit out of hydration. Drink lots of water and stay away from caffeinated beverages. A handy tip in lubricating the mouth a few minutes prior to recording is to munch on a green apple. 

If you want to be successful as a voice-over talent, you need to be able to maintain your voice. Practicing your voice is just as important, but there’s nothing to practice if you don’t have healthy vocal chords to begin with. By taking care of your voice, you are actively taking responsibility for the positive direction of your audio recording career, no matter who or what company you work with. 

Voice-overs are definitely serious business. If you’re looking for a voice actor for your next Spanish voice-over, look no further. Get in touch with me as early as today!


A Look into the History of the Voice-Over Industry

Did you know that the history of the voice-over business started with weather reporting? Yes, that’s right. More than 100 years ago, a Canadian inventor and mathematician Reginald Fessenden delivered the first voice-over weather report test for the United States Weather Bureau. A couple of decades later, Walt Disney and Warner Bros. popularized cartoons and the voice actors behind the characters. The industry also saw several prominent voice acting greats in the persons of Mel Blanc and Don LaFontaine.

From the 1900s to the present times, the history of the audio-recording industry has definitely come a long way. Here’s a quick look of the timeline of the voice-over industry: 

The Man Who Started It All — 1900’s

As stated above, it was Canadian Reginald Fessenden who recorded the first audio weather report as a test when he went to work for the weather agency in the U.S. An avid fan of inventor Alexander Graham Bell, Fessenden looked for a way to communicate remotely through a wireless set-up. His efforts paid off when he became the first radio announcer around Christmastime of the year 1906, hosting a Christmas program of music and messages that was broadcasted to ships that had already set sail during that time.

The Legend of Mel Blanc — 1936 – 1960’s 

Anyone who’s been seriously working as a voice talent will get to know the legacy of Mel Blanc at one point or another. He was known as a comedian and a talented, highly-versatile voice personality who worked for Warner Bros. as a cartoon voice. While Walt Disney holds the prestige as having introduced the first cartoon voice in 1928, Mel Blanc is considered to be the first outstanding voice actor in the history of the industry. Best known for his moniker, “The Man of a Thousand Voices”, the versatile Blanc played voices for the characters of Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Porky Pig, the Tasmanian Devil, and many other Warner Bros. cartoon characters.

The Modern Scene — 1960’s – 2000’s 

As the need for outstanding voice actors steadily progressed, especially for projects like movie trailers, commercials, and promos, the industry also saw a growing number of professional voice artists. One of the most famous voice personalities for the modern generation is Don LaFontaine, who recorded hundreds of thousands of commercials and promos by the end of his career and death in 2008.

These days, voice actors are not only needed for English-language recordings. With Spanish considered as a world language as much as English and Chinese, the need for Spanish voice actors is also growing.

Are you in need of professional Spanish voice-over services? Get in touch with me today so we can talk more about your upcoming audio recording project!

What You Need to Make It Big in the Voice-Over Industry

The voice-over industry is rapidly expanding as an increasing number of projects, from commercial voice-overs and documentaries, to audio book narration and standard radio announcing, require voice actors who can perform and deliver. Nonetheless, the sheer number of people offering their voice talents is also on the rise, which makes competition a huge factor to consider for many novice voice artists.

As someone who has had media and broadcasting experience for 15 years, I have learned that a clear, high-quality voice is just the starting point. When it comes to succeeding as an audio narrator or storyteller, a number of factors come into play. Here are some of them:

Practice Makes Perfect 

Whether you’ve just started out in announcing or have been doing it for some time, there is always a reason to practice. As a novice, you will want to take note of what you hear on TV, over the radio, or on the Internet. You can study the various styles and techniques that these experienced voice actors use in their delivery. You will also want to listen to yourself read or speak aloud, which you can do by recording yourself when you speak and see how your recorded voice sounds. Oftentimes, your recorded voice will sound nothing like your speaking voice, and vice versa. 

Build on your Experience 

Like any career, a voice acting job will require experience. This is not to say that you will not land a job if you’re new to the industry, but experience will hone your listening, speaking and acting skills over time. This makes your voice suitable for a wide range of recordings so you are able to take on more voice acting roles. As a professional voice-over talent, moreover, you need to be attentive to mistakes so you can correct them instantly. You develop this skill along with your listening proficiencies. And considering that most narration and recording projects require character voices, you also need to build up on your acting abilities. These valuable experiences will lend your voice with a rich, compelling authority that won’t be missed. 


You cannot compromise professionalism and a good, working attitude if you want to be known as a professional voice talent. Since you will be dealing with different clients on different projects, you need to possess the right people skills. You also need to constantly remind yourself that you have chosen a career as a voice artist. Therefore, you need to treat every recording or narration as a performance, and nothing less.

Expand Your Contacts

It pays to get to know more people in the business. Inevitably, as you grow in your experience as a voice actor, you will also expand your contacts, gain more connections and, hopefully, land more voice-over jobs.

Clearly, not all voice talents have been successful in their chosen craft. In an industry where competition is high and clients are looking for no less than flawless delivery, it’s important for any voice over talent to go beyond just talent. Technique, experience, and attitude all dictate whether your voice acting career will take you places or otherwise.

The best professional voice-over talents are known for their voice qualities and creative voice acting abilities. If you’re looking for an experienced Spanish voice artist for your upcoming project, don’t hesitate to contact me or check out the rest of my website for my services!