A survey recently caught my attention, and it would probably catch the attention of most folks involved in the voice over industry. That’s because the survey reported there are now more voice over coaches than actual voice talent in the U.S.
Wow is right. People with whom I’ve spoken have given mixed opinions on the survey, some stating there’s no way that could be true. True or not, the survey did bring up a notable point: professional coaching is rapidly on the rise.
This rise applies to professional coaches across the board, from life coaches to business coaches, spiritual coaches to recovery coaches, writing coaches to – of course – voice over coaches.
Voice Over Coaching Hotter than Ever
Not to be confused with voice coaches who focus on improving your vocal performance, voice over coaches are focused on helping you launch and develop a voice over career. Voice over coaching would fall into the same category as business coaching, which has exploded to rake in $10 billion in revenue for 2018.
Worldwide, the International Coach Federation (ICF) reports that coaching has grown from 47,500 coaches in 2012 to 53,300 coaches in 2016, or at the rate of 1,500 new coaches entering the industry every year.
Because voice over coaches share a category with business coaches, it’s tough to discern the exact number of voice over coaches that have joined the fray. But I can say I have been seeing more and more voice over coach discussions, promotions and ads encouraging people to hire them.
Why the Rise in Voice Over Coaching?
Coaching in general is believed to be on the rise because people are beginning to realize the benefits of coaches. Skilled and qualified coaches can help you make significant changes in your life to get you where you want to be – as long as you have the motivation and drive to do your part. Voice over coaching is no different.
Instead of being in a large workshop or class with training directed at a group, voice over coaches can provide one-on-one attention tailored to your exact needs. They can assess your individual talents and abilities, help you uncover your strengths and weaknesses, and work with you to establish a path of action that aligns with what you want to achieve.
A good voice over coach will also double as your cheerleader, confidant and great motivator, holding you accountable, pushing you out of your comfort zone and celebrating your successes. This type of personalized attention is a unique element of voice over coaching and, based on the rise in popularity, people appear to be benefiting from it.
How to Choose the Best Voice Over Coach for You
Good coaches can help you achieve great things, but not all coaches may be all that good. The industry is not as regulated as many others, which means anyone who wants to call themselves a coach pretty much can.
Researching a voice over coach’s background, credentials and experience can help you determine if the coach is qualified. Look at coaching experience and voice over experience as well as life experience.
And just because a voice over coach may be experienced, trained, credentialed and loved by many doesn’t mean that person is a lovely fit for you. Everyone is different. Your search for the best voice over coach starts by researching, narrowing down your list, and then interviewing the top coaches to determine if they can provide what you need and want.
Other things to look for in a voice over coach include the ability to help you:
- Generally, improve your voice over delivery and acting skills
- Understand how to properly analyze and present audition copy
- Master vocabulary and pronunciation – accent work (learning or losing an accent)
- Become knowledgeable about prominent actors, trainings and trends in the industry
- Grow in your voice over career, as well as other aspects of your life
- Gain confidence and personal insight
- Take risks, move out of your comfort zone
- Set and achieve specific goals, with your VO skills as well as marketing your career
- Discover what makes you and your voice over work unique
Depending on your specific coaching goals, you may also be looking for help with demos, auditions, marketing and other services.
Two more things to look for in a voice over coach, or any coach, may be the most important. One is honesty. You want someone who will give you an honest, no-nonsense assessment of your abilities and skills. The other is the right focus. No matter what specific elements you choose to work on, the focus should always be on you, the coaching client, and not the coach.
In the world of coaching, you are the star of the show. You’re the one who maps out the path to build your future. And that means you’re the one who has to put in your best efforts and hard work to make it happen.
While I have never offered coaching services (despite being asked on an almost weekly basis), I have worked with many good voice over coaches over the course of my career. It was especially important to do that in my early years of the business, to make sure I was learning good habits and techniques. Of course, a whole lot has changed in the voice over biz since I got my start back in the early 1990’s, but certainly, finding a great coach to work with should be top of the list for anyone looking to build a long-lasting voice over career.