Does it matter?  Not really.  You don’t need ME to tell you if ‘n’ when you are a professional.  But increasingly, some people want to know if they’ve “made the grade”. 

World-Voices Organization was inspired by the FaffCon criteria for passing muster as a “professional VO”.  For the record:  here’s the WoVO criteria: “To qualify as a Professional, applicants must demonstrate a commercial industry involvement by submitting five recent paid voice jobs, at industry-standard rates in the last 13 months, not completed for a member of your family.” 

If you want to go to FaffCon (and who doesn’t?)…the requirements go further.  Here’s a portion of their website explainer: “We consider you to be a working pro if you’re hired by others on an ongoing basis to do professional-level voiceovers;  being paid spendable money, by non-relatives, to work on recorded, spoken word projects

For the record, it doesn’t hurt to have a VO website, lots of good references, a professionally-prepared demo (or two), a home studio, and a long list of satisfied clients.

A good many people do voice-over AND another job.  I wish I wasn’t one of them…but I am.  I think my “other” job hinders my growth in voice-over, but we all have our reasons, right? 

Interestingly, the above criteria does not discriminate against me.  I’m still considered a professional voice actor, even though a case could be made for calling it a “part-time” job.

But there are other, less formal and dead giveaway indicators that you’re a voiceover pro.  Below is my slightly tongue-in-cheek, but absolutely valid list of 11 Ways to Know if You’re a VO Pro [not exhaustive or definitive]:

  1. People are regularly calling you for advice on how to get started in the business.  They typically have GREAT pipes, but no clue that it takes More Than Just A Voice (ahem…please direct them to my book).
  2. You are absolutely satisfied with your choice of mic, pre-amp, DAW, and audio chain, and feel no compulsion to change it.
  3. You no longer feel compelled to answer every newbie question on the VO social media forums.  When you do, you tend to answer quickly and definitively.
  4. Similarly, you know longer feel the urge to take every Tom, Dick,’n’ Harry webinar/seminar/phone conference coaching session being offered.
  5. You’re having trouble finding a coach you HAVEN’T yet studied with.
  6. You’ve been asked at least once or twice to be a participant on a panel as a guest contributor, or an “expert” for one of the above webinars/seminars/or phone conferences.
  7. Your marketing plan is working (often to your amazement), and you’re getting good-paying jobs regularly…sometimes even making more than you’re spending on your business!
  8. Colleagues regularly tell you your recordings have a really “tight” sound.
  9. Coaches are sending YOU private invitations to come to their workshops, ’cause you make them look good.
  10. You’re considering adding a new niche to your VO toolkit so you can market to even more clients.
  11. Your mobile set-up sounds just as good as your studio set-up (almost).

There are other indicators, to be sure.  Do you have one?  Let us know by commenting below.

CourVO

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