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  • Writer's pictureBash The VO

Getting Paid as a Voice Actor: Managing Money

So you want to be a voice actor? You want to do commercials and cartoons? Want to make some solid extra money or even make full-time voice over your primary source of income?


Well, its definitely possible but there will be some things that may come as a surprise along the way. Things that someone that is more focused on the art form or on the voice over community may let go by the wayside or may even drive them to quit if its too much of surprise or if the stress as a result is too much to handle. If you're serious about making money in voice over or developing a career in voice over, you need to be prepared to deal with unforeseen obstacles and frustrations.


You'll need all the basic business necessities like business cards, a separate business account, a registered business with the appropriate government entity (usually the state), and/or an LLC should you desire to have one. However, I want to tell you about all things that I didn't know about or wasn't prepared for when I took my voice over career full time. The "unknown Unknowns." Things I didn't know that I didn't know.


Things like payment schedules, invoicing, credit cards, and late or delayed payments.


Voice Over Actors and Invoicing


Invoicing might be the most important continuous task a voice actor has as a business owner. Its how we get paid. Its how we keep track of large jobs that might be broken into sections, current and past clients for marketing purposes, and of our income for tax purposes.


There are great free resources available for creating invoices using templates you can personalize with your logo, address, billing information, payment preferences, etc. I personally just use a google doc template I added my logo and certain other pieces of information like my PayPal and Venmo information. There is a field to add line items, extra fees, taxes, and of course a total due.


Make sure you make it as easy as possible to get paid. I'm signed up on PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, Google Pay, BILL, and I provide ACH or wire information upon request. If you're getting paid via check make sure the client is making the check out to the name of the account owner. CHECKS MADE OUT TO BUSINESSES CANNOT BE CASHED OR DEPOSITED TO PERSONAL ACCOUNTS. If a client makes a check out to your business name it muse be deposited into a business account with that name.


Payment Schedules and Delayed Payments


Parallel to invoicing are payment schedules. You and your clients can agree on a preferred timeframe for payment (net-30, net-45, etc) however it might not work out as perfectly as you plan. One of the greatest unknown unknowns I've encountered was the idea that a client is a company and I am a vendor for that company NOT AN EMPLOYEE. More often than not this means you are not a part of their payment system and consequently delays the payment. You may literally be a sticky-note of the accounting departments computer. And you can even fall behind the monitor sometimes.


Having your savings in order is the best way to avoid the stress that comes from delayed payments or, in the worst situations, non-payments. Making sure you have enough money saved to ensure your bills are payed and life can continue is paramount. If it gets to the point that your savings is starting to look depleted then its time to look at your spending and what you can afford to save on. You don't need to collect coaches or classes. You don't need to invest in platforms that are not performing for you. Save money where you can and keep track of the invoices that have been paid and are still due.


Contacting your clients about delayed invoices is not a bad thing. Just be courteous and professional and all will be well. You can simply say you "can't remember if you sent this invoice so here it is again just in case." Remember your a business contacting another business about a business agreement. This is not personal.


Credit Cards


CREDIT CARDS!! - Cue the Ominous Music - DUN, DUN DUUUUUN!!


Credit cards can be a scary thing for many people. Business credit card can be even more so. The credit card companies prey on people who feel this way. And its unfortunate because most of these people have a misunderstanding of how to use and take advantage of credit cards. They are not meant to be ran up and then paid of by paying the minimum payments.


Credit cards are also great for rewards. Some offer great cash back benefits or airline miles. Credit cards are also more secure for purchases than one's debit card. If your card were to be compromised, at least you wouldn't lose any of your money.


Unless you have the money to spend or at the very least already have it on the way, meaning you've sent your invoices and are going to get paid, then you should not put purchases on your credit card unless absolutely necessary. I'll go back to working a regular job before I let things get to that point though.


SO! What am I trying to say?


- Whenever possible, Make sure you have enough in your savings to cover 3 - 6 months expenses.


- Know that things come up that might delay getting paid. . . Natural disasters delay the mail, post-it notes fall down, dogs eat homework, and power outages happen.


- know how to truly take advantage of credit cards, their rewards, and their downfalls.


Bash The VO



About Bash The VO - Bilingual Latin-American Voice Actor


Bash is a bilingual Colombian voice actor based in the United States. He provides a wide range of voice overs in Spanish and English for video production companies, ad agencies, marketing agencies, and to various clients directly.


Studio quality audio and Source-Connect: Standard for efficient recording and fast-turnarounds! Select projects can be completed in less than an hour!


Affordable voice over in Spanish and English with full-time availability!


A youthful but authoritative, Informative and still conversational voice over for video and audio productions including audio dramas, animated series, corporate videos, explainer videos, and e-learning videos.


Visit www.BashTheVO.com for more Demos and Samples and Follow @BashTheVO on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok!


Want to get started right away? Email Sebastian@BashTheVO.com Right Now!

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