Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Monday, January 4, 2021

Chat with Susan Berkley: The Billion Dollar Voiceover Industry

Susan Berkley                                                       Judy Rodman

NOTE: The audio player should appear below, if not, please click on the title of this post and go online to hear. 
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Did you notice the 'B' word in the title? Billions of dollars are now being made in the multi-niche field of voiceover. Even when the wounded music industry gets going full steam again, professional singers of all stripes (recording artists, backing vocalists, session singers, club singers, jingle singers, etc) are always going to have to deal with potential financial insecurity. There's a reason Tammy Wynette famously kept her hairdressing license renewed!

This interview I did with veteran voiceover talent and coach Susan Berkley offers you a glimpse into the real possibilities of a successful vocal career where it doesn't matter what you look like, what you're wearing, how old you are or where you live. (Except as Susan says, you need broadband, baby:) I think you'll enjoy it, and you might want to sit with the idea of at least a side alternate income stream using your voice. 

Some topics of our conversation:

  • Susan takes us into her own ongoing voiceover career
  • How the requirement to have 'the voice of God' for success as a voice talent has morphed into the preference for more diverse, normal every-day, authentic voice.
  • Susan takes us int o many of the 14-plus niche markets she's identified as now actively seeking voiceover talent... including broadcast and non-broadcast roles. For instance:
    • commercials
    • political ads
    • cartoons
    • terrestrial and satellite radio
    • store P.O.P. (point of purchase) radio 
    •  E-learning (teaching anyone how to do anything) - now a $150 billion niche!
    • computer telephony
    • traffic/weather/siri, etc
    • medical professional training narrations (a huge field)
    • audio books (last year alone 40,000 were recorded, now raking in $1 billion with a skyrocketing demand for more)
    • video gaming character voices ($250 billion niche market with as many as 90 voices per game, all ages.)
    • Simulation narration for projects including military fighter pilots.
  • We talk about the skills needed (and not needed) for a successful career in voiceover
  • We discuss ways of deeply connecting to the person you're talking to, and delivering the script
  • Susan gives examples of how to make small and sometimes very weird stories important with empathy for the person you're talking to.
  • Susan shares some tips for actually marketing and promoting your voiceover career like a business. We chat about the entrepreneurial spirit, empathy that makes selling a 'holy art', and 
  • We also talk about gear, plugins, iso booths, and how singers can be especially good candidates for voiceover.
  • Susan shared some links to her training.

About Susan Berkley

Susan Berkley is a veteran voice talent, radio personality, author of ‘Speak To Influence: How To Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Voice” (avail on Amazon) and creator of her ‘Mic to Money – voiceover training system. Her credits include being the signature voice of AT&T and the branded telephone voice of Citibank. She is the founder of The Great Voice Company, which today is a full-service audio production company providing voice talent for projects including large, complex multi-language, mission critical applications. Her clients include Citibank, AT&T, Google, Home Depot, Principle Financial Group, Express Scripts and tons more.

Susan is also a renown teacher for voiceover talent. 

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  • At February 1, 2021 at 5:14 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

    Hello Judy,

    Thanks for posting the interview you did with Susan Berkley. I have been considering looking into voice over for quite awhile and had researched several companies. After looking through their websites and reviews, I did not come away with a feeling of trust in them.

    I had seen Susan on Facebook from time to time, but for whatever reason, I did not research her company. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw you had interviewed her, and I was able to spend time this past weekend to listen to it.

    The interview was very informative and also quite entertaining. I liked how Susan brought it back to a point you always talk about, that point being to speak to the heart of your audience. This is something I have learned over the years of following your blogs and from speaking with you. The other point that was a big takeaway was when Susan spoke about treating voice over like a business in which you need to be proactive and go after customers. That is something I have done for many years and am quite good at. The fact that you know Susan for a number of years and took time to present her to your audience has led me to feel confident to reach out and explore the possibilities.

    I hope all is well for you and your family. Thanks again for the great post and keep up the great work that you do.


    Phil Wildstein

  • At February 1, 2021 at 5:30 PM , Blogger Judy Rodman said...

    Oh that is terrific, Phil, please let me know how your experience goes if you do take Susan up on some of her training. Thanks for the kind words; I'm so happy you enjoyed this interview!


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