Here at The Penny Hoarder, we’re not too keen on websites that make you pay to access job opportunities. On most of those sites, the odds of earning back what you paid to get access are slim.
But are there cases when it’s worth it to pony up the cash for exclusive access to jobs? Carrie Olsen says yes in a guest post on Budgets are Sexy.
In about a year, Olsen developed a lucrative career as a voiceover actor. She tapes commercials and other audio recordings from home, leaving her plenty of time to spend with her new baby.
And while many voice-over actors do this type of work as a side hustle, Olsen makes an average of $300-$400 per job — enough to make voiceovers her primary income source. Her biggest paycheck so far? “$3,000 for 45 minutes of work.”
Why This Voiceover Actress Pays for Audition Sites
Olsen had experience as a podcaster, but was a novice when it came to hiring out her voice to others. So she paid a voice coach to talk her through the initial steps and listen to her demo recording (an initial $150 investment).
Then, Olsen signed up for two voiceover audition sites, Voices.com and Voice123.com (editor’s note: we have no relationship with these sites). Since Olsen didn’t have any voice clips to prove her skills, she joined these sites for quick access to auditions.
“I was still working full time, so I would try to do at least 10 auditions when I got home from work, and as many as I could on the weekends,” Olsen writes. About a month later, she had booked her first job — and soon built up a catalog of work to help her land additional roles.
Voice123.com and Voices.com both cost about $400 per year for full access to auditions and networking features, but both sites have free plans for people just getting started.
If you consider that Olsen makes about $400 per job — and that job could be taping a 30-second commercial — spending two jobs’ worth of pay to access thousands more dollars worth of work seems like a small investment. Olsen’s career has grown so much in the past year that she now has an agent.
To read more about how Olsen got started as a voice actor, head over to Budgets are Sexy.
Your Turn: Have you tried voice acting?
Lisa Rowan is a writer, editor and podcaster living in Baltimore. She needs someone to talk her out of trying voice-over work as a side gig of her own.