Name: Jackie B
Occupation: Voiceover Artist/Presenter
How long have you been a talent on TRF for? 3 & ½ years!
1. What inspired you to become a voiceover artist/ presenter, and how did you get started in the industry?
I've always had a passion for the performance industry, but I wasn't sure how it would manifest for me. In 2012, I took my first step into a voiceover studio and was amazed by the power of altering my voice to evoke different emotions in listeners. But… my focus at that time was mostly on my dance career, so I put the idea of becoming a voiceover artist on hold. It wasn't until later, when I was seeking a change from the dance industry, that I decided to dive into voiceover work. I bought a second-hand microphone from Facebook marketplace and dedicated myself to learning and auditioning as much as I could. As for my presenting work, I took the "fake it till you make it" approach, which actually led to my first presenting job, working off a teleprompter. And as they say, the rest is history! (Please note: 'fake it till you make it' is not necessarily my career advice!)
2. Can you walk us through a typical day in your life as a voiceover artist/presenter?
Without sounding clichéd, every day is very different! Today, for example, I was editing an e-learning voiceover job and then went back to record some pick-ups (meaning re-recording lines due to script changes or technical/talent errors). In between that, I was applying for jobs, talking to a videographer about an upcoming project, and emailing with a sound designer.
3. How do you manage your finances as a voiceover artist/presenter, and what strategies have you found to be most effective?
Oooh, I love this question because not many people talk about the financial side of things when, in reality, if you're making money- you're running a business! I have two key points that really help me:
1. Something I was told very early on by my accountant was to always put 30% away from all my earnings. This means that when tax time comes around, I'm not feeling stressed out about my tax bill. If you're diligent with this, you'll thank yourself come tax time!
2. Pay yourself a wage! Open a business bank account, have all your payments go into that account, separate your 30% for tax, and then pay yourself a wage every week. This way, your business is completely separate from your personal finances, and you know you have enough money every week to live your life. (This is not financial advice).
4. What types of brand partnerships have you worked on in the past, and how do you decide which collaborations to take on?
My recent brand partnerships include Cook Islands Tourism, Cancer Council Queensland, Gloria Jeans, Robina Town Centre, Today Extra (Channel 9), Ballina RSL, Fernwood Fitness, and many others. I'll take on any opportunity that aligns with me personally, and for everything else, I'll say no. Always consider if you want your personal brand connected to that business or not.
5. Can you share any tips for negotiating rates with brands, and how you determine your own value as a voiceover artist/presenter?
I look at my track record to know that I always deliver to a standard that thrills my clients. The proof is in the pudding: if you continuously have happy and returning clients, you're a gun! I've also done a lot of work on my mindset in relation to my worth and the value I bring as a professional. I have my set prices, and while there is some wriggle room, if the client won't come to the table for a fair discussion, I'll happily walk away from the job, knowing that there are plenty of clients who do pay my worth and appreciate my skills. In the early days I would heavily rely on the rate cards from TheRight.Fit website. They're an awesome resource for quoting! I've learned from past experiences that if I don't walk away and instead say yes to lower-paying jobs, I don't enjoy doing them, and that's no one's fault but my own.
6. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices, and what resources do you rely on for education and inspiration?
Constantly working helps you stay current with industry trends, but in addition to that, I'm always participating in industry workshops and training to ensure I'm staying up to date and present in the industry. I'm also part of a few Facebook communities to help keep my finger on the pulse.
7. Have you experienced any challenges or setbacks in your career as a voiceover artist/presenter, and how have you overcome them?
Rejection is the name of the game in this industry. I get rejected from numerous jobs every single day. The way I overcome rejection is by giving my all for the audition but then letting it go. I don't dwell on the outcome or what I did or didn't do during the audition process. If you can separate your worth from the audition outcome, you'll ensure your longevity in the industry.
8. How do you manage balance in your life between work and living?
I no longer work weekends! This is a very strict boundary I have in place for myself but also for my clients. Before doing this, I would work seven days a week and only have intermittent days off or half days off... it's not enough to recharge. In the early days, I can 100% appreciate that sometimes you just gotta hustle. But knowing when to take your foot off the pedal is vital to avoid burnout.
9. How do you see the industry evolving in the next 5-10 years, and what changes do you anticipate?
I see a lot of Artificial Intelligence taking over some voiceover and presenting jobs. Does that mean I'm scared of my work drying up? Nope! AI will never replace human communication and connection. As long as AI can't feel emotions or have organic emotional reactions to situations, they'll never take over the industry.
10. Can you share any upcoming projects or partnerships that you're excited about, and how do you plan to continue growing your brand as a voiceover artist/presenter?
I'm on a shortlist for a voiceover job for a worldwide dating app, which is pretty exciting. But now that I've shared that, I probably won't get it, hahaha! I'm superstitious about talking about jobs before I've booked them. As for growing my brand, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing by attending industry events and being active on both the audition sites and social media. I'm also super excited to offer 1:1 coaching sessions for anyone who is wanting to get into the voiceover industry. I love sharing information and watching others achieve their goals.
11. What advice would you give to aspiring voiceover artists/presenters who are just starting out and looking to build a successful career in the industry?
Get really good at the skill of voiceovers and presenting, be active on the audition websites, and when you do book a job, be a pleasure to work with and do a great job. Be active on social media by posting the work you've done and the clients you've worked for. If you follow this, you can't go wrong!