I know. You read it online.
A VOICE TALENT MUST HAVE A NICHE! Well, I don't always agree. Here's why.... 100% True story... Last month, I met a newbie voice talent and we chatted. Here is how the conversation went down:
VO Newbie: “I’m so excited! My goal is to become a full time voice over talent. I already have my niche. I plan to be a children’s educational narrator.”
Me: “That’s a very specific niche. Would you consider broadening it?”
VO Newbie: ‘Nope. I’ve researched it online. A voice talent must have a niche.”
Me: “Well, it’s just that…with your strong British-Swedish mixed accent…and such a very specific niche…you might be limiting the amount of work you can obtain in the beginning. Broadening your niche might give you more opportunity to reach your goal of working in VO full-time.”
VO Newbie: ‘Nope. I’ve read that you should have a niche and that’s my plan. Children’s educational materials it is.”
Creating a niche is a fantastic way to become an expert by focusing on one area! And, with so many voice acting genres, you’re likely to have natural stronger talents in specific areas. Having a niche is great for marketing, too.
Here’s why not….
Less opportunity in the beginning
A niche such as ‘children’s educational narrations’ has specific clients. There will be opportunities in all genres. As a new voice talent who is playing the audition game you may find yourself waiting for opportunities.
Limited skill set with less to offer potential employers
Here’s a real-life example.
One of my first jobs for Delta Dental was to narrate 2 enrollment manuals…yes…those big thick books about benefits. This type of job was considered ‘industrial’ voice acting, such narrating as training materials.
Then, they asked if I could I narrate commercial material. Yes! Commercial voice acting was in my skill set so I could do those jobs, too. As a result, I now narrate commercial style videos for them.
Some of these videos required both a commercial voice talent along with character acting. Could I narrate for animation? Yes! Voice acting for animation was ALSO in my skill set. As a result of this broad skill set, I’ve been able to voice the grouchy rabbit and the tooth fairy for them along with commercial and industrial material.
Where did this broad skill set come from? Being open to voicing all types of material and never getting stuck in a niche.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Is there enough narration work in ‘children’s educational materials’ to make a full-time living as a voice over talent? YES
Is a new voice talent likely to grow a full-time career just focusing on that sort of specific niche? MAYBE
Is that likely a longer road than it has to be? YES
I would have never developed the above skills if I’d only worked within a niche. I might not have been a candidate for the expanded voice acting roles. As such, I might have not obtained them as a long-term client.
Sticking with a niche in voice acting is ok! Go with your strengths.
But remember, there is a lot of work out there in many different styles of voice acting. Continue to challenge yourself and grow your skill set. This will ultimately help grow your voice acting business.
Niche if you must. But, think outside the niche. Think big and keep growing!
Thanks for reading this. I hope it was helpful!
I’m a national voice talent who brings over 20 years of experience in voice acting to my clients and students. I’ve been heard on hundreds of narrations for clients such as Disney, Microsoft, The Rockefeller Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Schnucks and Alliance Residential.
I also provide private voice over training for voice acting students as well as for corporate communicators across the country. I’m a recommended voice acting coach of Voices.com and Big Fish Talent Agency. My studio is located near Boulder, Colorado.
Feel free to reach out to me directly regarding voice acting or voice talent coaching.
“A dream is a dream until you take action. Start somewhere, no matter how small.” ~Author unknown