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Voiceover Artists: Why you Should Become a Strategic Thinker!

Why do 10% of Voiceovers command 80% of the work?

Most new entrants to the voiceover market, and even those that have been around for a bit can get very focused on a narrow path. If you have been around the online groups, every week a person is asking “What mic do I get?” or “What is the best DAW? (Digital Audio Workstation or Audio Editor)” In the proper sequencing, these can be useful questions. But they are not the most important. Yet, they seem to be the focus of a lot of energy. That’s ok, If you want to end up where most voiceover artists end up.

Around 20% of the voiceover market commands 80% of the work. This is based on the Pareto principle. It works in any field, in any endeavour, in any vocation or thing that is being studied, with the focus usually on input (work) and output (results: revenue, clients etc):

In voiceover we can easily narrow it further and say that around 10% are commanding 80% or the Lion’s share of the work. Leaving the other 90% to say commonly posted things like:

“I can only find lowballing clients”

“I can’t find any e-learning work”

“There is no work out there”

What is the difference? What are the 10% doing that the 90% are not?

For one thing, they are not focusing on what mic or DAW to get. They may have long settled those question, but they realised something important. That voicing well bears no relation to finding clients and booking work if all you can do is voice well.

That 10% are, consciously or unconsciously, strategic thinkers. They think deeper, more penetratingly about the one thing that all voiceover businesses must be thinking: Business Development. How to constantly evolve, innovate and generate more business as a consistently evolving and innovating voiceover business. What strategy can I enact based on my goals in order to take daily actions to realise that strategy and those goals? It’s a topline or macro mode of thinking rather than the granular and highly specific focus of mic or interface. Time is spent thinking and strategizing in order to determine the course forward.

This is why Anthony Robbins (a success and peak performance coach) says that success in any endeavour is 80% mindset (how you think, feel and believe) and 20% the action elements of doing the thing.

So, strategy, thinking, mindset are far more important. In the beginning they are not on the radar, but for those that have been around they have become the most important. Hence the results and large imbalance between the 10% and the 90%.

Taken into the day to day of being a voiceover, and that 10% also know that it is about doing the work consistently. It’s no good turning up tomorrow. Then taking the rest of the week off. They show up daily and don’t get deterred by day to day results. They trust in their conscious or unconscious system of strategy, planning, review and strategic thinking. So they work that system daily. And it works. Over the long term.

These are things that have come into my radar more consciously as I have been designing and writing “How to Thrive in Voiceover” the Advanced follow on course to “How To Get Into Voiceover”, the course designed to give those new to voiceover a strong foundation to start with.

At the core of all those concepts I just mentioned is becoming strategic. Planning and strategy is part of that. But I am talking more widely. It is summed up in a quote I refer to often:

That person in the online groups asking what “Mic I should get” is rushing in before they understand some foundational principles. They would take the axe and chop away furiously in a bid to get the tree down as quickly as possible. Though there is a good chance that they bow out and don’t finish the job because their energy is all over the place, it is diffused. Whereas Abraham Lincoln is preparing, and preparing well to get the job done efficiently and effectively with focused and laser like energy.

So it is about becoming a strategic thinker in your approach to voiceover. This means your strategy for achieving outcomes, how you think and your beliefs around yourself and your voiceover business. That makes the biggest difference over the long run. You give yourself time and space to strategise. Where are you now? Where do you want to be? What needs to happen to bridge the gap?

The result: more clarity, less wasted time and energy and movement towards where you want to head.


Taking the cue from this month’s post, sit down. Where are you? Where do you want to go? How will you strategically bridge the gap to get there? What upskilling, coaching, gear purchase, practicing do you need to do to get there? If you love gaming and have your eyes set on The Last of Us Part III (part II was released June 2020), but haven’t got a solid bank of gaming characters to pull out then you have work and thinking to do in order to develop.


Round 3 of “How to Get Into Voiceover” the jam packed 3 week Online and 1-2-1 coaching course is coming later this year. 3 weeks of immersion in the foundational principles of voiceover with a group of your peers. Cohort size is limited to 20 and included private 1-2-1 sessions. Email me to find out more

The Advanced course “How to Thrive in Voiceover” is also coming later this year. Going deeper into all the aspects required to run your voiceover business effectively at an advanced level, including core principles to run any business in Week 1, multiple audition demo challenges in Week 2 in every genre, and a deeper dive into taking your home studio to the advanced level including using Source Connect, along with private 1-2-1 sessions. Admission criteria required with places limited to 20. Email me to find out more

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Paul Mclaughlin © Versatile Voiceovers

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