If you are trying to set yourself out on a path to a career in voiceover bliss, you are probably asking yourself, “Do I REALLY need to get voiceover coaching?” I mean, how important is it? Well my Loves, I hate to break it to you but it’s actually very important! I can almost hear the groans after that statement but don’t let it get you down! You can still do this! A reputable coach will work with you, to include possibly allowing you to split up the payment or maybe even give you a slight discount if they see potential in you and they are in a position to do it. However, in life you don’t get what you don’t ask for, so it doesn’t hurt to pose the question if money is an issue. The good thing about coaching is that you can do as much or as little as you can afford at the time. So just do it, even if you are taking baby steps.
When it comes to voiceover coaching, I like to think of it like this; would you go see a doctor who hadn’t been to medical school? No! Voiceover, like any other career, requires a basic foundation. Then, you gradually build upon that foundation with more coaching throughout your voiceover journey. It should be a continuous process, but in the very beginning I think it’s even more crucial since that is your starting point when you know next to nothing. Of course, you can do almost any creative endeavor by self teaching but that is going to be your slowest route from point A to point B. Don’t you want to speed up your success? I know I do!
This does not mean that as soon as you take some voiceover coaching you are going to be an expert (Obviously!). Honing your skills is a progression. You will get better the more you do it. Getting a good coach to work with you initially, will set the foundation. I can tell you from my own experience with a coach, that it taught me things I could not have gotten elsewhere, such as terms widely used in the industry, to how to tackle a specific type of copy, to how to develop and understand your character. Plus, you get solid, constructive feedback in real time. You don’t get that if you go it alone. A coaches’ professional perspective is so helpful!
The other piece of having a great coach guiding you is that it’s SUPER MOTIVATING!! It gets you EXCITED about this new adventure you are embarking on! And who doesn’t love that?! The key is, finding a reputable coach with a strong track record, who you jive with. Did I just say jive? Yes, I did. Trust me on this one, you need someone coaching you who you are very comfortable with because when you are acting like a goofball in the middle of your session together, trying to get into character, you want someone who will help build your confidence. Major points if you can find a coach who will join in on the goofiness with you! My coach was great and set a comfortable tone from the very beginning. This really made me able to open up more and get better results. A good coach will do this for you, and much more.
The other major plus to hiring a great coach is that they are a resource to other things! If you are new to voiceover, you probably don’t know many people and really aren’t even sure where to begin. A good coach will have been in the industry for a while, which means they know people! Do you need to understand how to market yourself? They know because they have already had to do it! Are you unsure about your editing skills? They probably know where you can get help with that too! Having trouble figuring out where to look for work? They know where to look! So bottom line is, if you do end up hiring a coach, don’t just robotically go through your sessions and sign off. Take the opportunity to ask them all these types of questions. They are a great resource even after your coaching sessions are completed. You can always go back and ask them questions.
Lastly, coaching will set you on your way to making a great demo. Personally, if I had to do it over again, I’m not sure if I would have my voiceover coach be the same person that produces my demos. I would separate the two. The ideal scenario is to find two people who do each thing extremely well.
When it comes to the demo piece, DO NOT hire some fly by night person to make you a “killer demo” for a huge discount. This another area that is worth the money you put into it. You can save on other aspects of your voiceover journey, but not this part. Okay? OKAY!! 🙂 Do your research. When you think you’ve done your research well…..DO MORE! The bottom line is coaching is a great investment in your career at any stage of the game. If you are able to do it, you should. No regrets!