Play to your strengths.
What do I mean by this? Well, I'll use myself as an example. My background is in pharmacy. Having been in the medical field, I'm used to dealing with drug names and medical terminology all day long. When you start to think about it, there are many applications for this type of background in the voice-over world.In order to distinguish myself, I always include this information in all of my correspondence with producers, and it has led to a number of jobs. For example, I was hired by a publishing company to voice 300 generic and brand name drugs for an audio glossary in a nursing handbook. I also voiced the part of a doctor doing dictation for the CD insert in a textbook on Medical Transcription.In both cases, I was hired specifically because I have knowledge of medical terminology.
These jobs have led to even more work with this company because once I did the first job, and did it very professionally (because I was trained), they knew I was reliable.
My medical background also helped me land my first audio book gig. The book was (and is) about environmental contaminants and contained quite a few lengthy medical/chemical terms. The Rights Holder selected me because of my medical background experience. I've gone on to narrate many other books with this publisher.
So take a little time and think about what it is that you do in your current job, and what applications there may be for your skills in the voice-over world.
One more example. A voice actor I know is a former State Trooper. He used his experience in the law enforcement field to pitch a training module concept to his State organization. They thought it was a great idea and funded the project. He is in charge of the project and does all the voice-over work on the modules.
So, whatever your particular knowledge base is, use it to set yourself apart from the competition, and create a marketing niche for yourself. This is a great way to land that first job.
All the best!
Mike Lenz is an entrepreneur, professional voice actor, audio book narrator, author, podcast host, husband and father. His ebook, Paid To Talk, is available on amazon.com, and his podcast, Mike Lenz Voice – A Journey Into Voice Acting, can be heard on iTunes. Mike is passionate about sharing stories from amazing and inspiring people from all areas of the voice-over industry, as well as sharing his insights with aspiring voice actors around the world. You can find out more information at his website mikelenzvoice.com. Mike lives in Saratoga Springs, NY with his wife and 4 children.