Elearning voice over jobs are here to stay.
The Elearning industry is growing. I can confidently say it is not going to tank anytime soon. The worldwide e-learning market is projected to be worth $325 Billion in 2025. In 2017, approximately 77% of US corporations used online learning, 67% of US companies offered learning opportunities via smartphones, and it was found that eLearning increases retention rates by 25% to 60%.
Companies have been forced or at least fast-tracked into offering e-learning training online due to COVID 19. This trend will only speed up the process of moving more and more trainings online as the processes are streamlined and online trainings become even more common.
What does this mean for voice actors and e-learning narration?
More potential, consistent, repeat e-learning voice over jobs.
I am a big advocate of systems. Doing voice over jobs from home (with a majority of it being e-learning narration work) forced me to take a hard look at how I manage my time, stay productive, and most of all, be a better business owner and primary marketer for my brand.
This is why I was able to develop this proven system of booking more elearning voiceover work, without using pay-to-plays.
Does this sound like you?
- You're tired of cranking out audition after audition without knowing how many you'll actually book
- You're ready to transition out of the voiceover pay-to-play game
- You would like to book more repeat voiceover work
- You would love to book more e-learning jobs but you just don't know how to find them
If you answered yes to any of my questions above, read on. This will definitely help.
My History With E-learning
Before I went full-time as a voice actor, I was a training developer for the company I worked for. I started working in the HR department in 2009 and training was one aspect of that job.
I took a more involved role in in-person training between 2010 and 2011 when the company started to shift towards delivering training online. As most voice actors know, it all began with a simple comment. A coworker said that I had a good voice and that I should be the one recording the audio for our training and the rest, they say, is history.
By 2012, I had transitioned to developing e-learning full time for a different company. It wasn't until 2014 when I really got into voiceover. When I started booking voiceover jobs online, ironically, I didn't focus on e-learning.
As most voice actors start out these days, I did the whole grind thing, doing pay-to-play sites such as The Voice Realm, Bodalgo, and Voice123. And don’t get me wrong. The “grind” was working well for me. I was booking work, but it was sporadic. I never knew how much I would book week to week. It seemed impossible to budget from such an irregular income. I also felt constant pressure to be booking voiceover work—which isn't the best mindset to be in when auditioning.
The turning point was when I was able to book a gig with Taco Bell doing their e-learning narration. It was consistent, well-paying work and provided stability. It allowed me to project a more predictable income each month. Since I didn’t have to audition over and over, I felt more at ease auditioning because I knew I had regular work coming (so it took a lot of pressure off). My Taco Bell client would just send a new script and I would return the finished files, no more auditioning every single time! What a relief.
Needless to say, I wanted more of that kind of work.
So I took my knowledge of the e-learning industry and started bootstrapping a system that would allow me to book more consistent e-learning narration work.
I created a system and called it a Dream Client List. It's a simple spreadsheet with categories I filled in slowly but surely. And my marketing efforts paid off. Slowly, I was able to book work with the following companies doing consistent e-learning work. (Bank of America, 7-Eleven, Tiffany & Co., Kiaser Permenete, At&t, Disney.)
The 5-Step System to Booking Consistent ELearning Voice Over Jobs
Here’s what you need to know first:
- The system isn't plug-and-play. It requires work.
- The system will teach you how to effectively network, but you must be consistent to get the maximum benefits.
- The system will put you in contact with professionals who can hire you, but your reads must be able to speak for themselves.
If you do this system perfectly but your reads are not quite up to par, there is only so much that good marketing can do for you. You have to have good basic training and be competitive as a voice actor. I put together 9 tips that are focused on the other side of your e-learning business -- which is performance. It’s one of the essentials to having a successful voiceover business.Pick up this resource (plus another checklist - keep reading!) by clicking the image below.
There is only so much that good marketing can do for you. You have to have good basic training and be competitive as a voice actor. #elearningvo
Elearning Voiceover Preparation:
What you need to know
To make e-learning narration your focus, you need to speak the language. Speaking the language comes in handy when you start reaching out to potential clients. If you know how to speak your clients' language, this will set you apart from other voice actors.
To prepare, you need to familiarize yourself with the different types of e-learning, key terms and concepts, authoring tools, job titles, efficiency tools that come in handy for you, and delivery methods.
Different Types of ELearning narration
- Pure video - narration
- Click-through/text-based (similar to PowerPoint presentations)
- Interactive (includes additional media and interaction)
- Simulations (highly interactive, may include gamification)
- Click-through, interactive, and simulation trainings may require audio to be split up into multiple files (sometimes dozens (or even hundreds))
- Not all e-learning requires audio narration.
Job Titles to Know
These are the common job titles involved with the e-learning industry.
- Instructional Designer
- Training and Development Specialist
- Learning and Development Specialist
- Learning Solutions Design and Development
- Instructional Developer
- And many more
Key Elearning Terms and Concepts to Know
Word count to script time calculating
This is like a voice script calculator, how you usually say or narrate an X number of words per minute. If you are doing voiceover jobs long enough, you would have a usual number. But it’s perfectly fine if you don’t know it offhand.
Uploading via FTP and other delivery methods
Most e-learning narration file sizes are too big to be sent via e-mail, so clients prefer it to be sent via their own FTP or other delivery methods. Familiarize yourself with these websites and platforms
A good tip is to be in-the-know of the industry’s standard rate. This will be discussed further in this blog post below.
Doing elearning work takes up time. Expect to narrate longer than you think it will take. This will usually involve a lot of errors on your part. You don’t have to do everything again if you do make a mistake. Instead, you can use noise gating to help you. Actually, it’s one of my favorite tips when it comes to editing elearning narration work.
LMS (Learning Management System)
This is the “school” that houses all training for e-learning, specific to an organization. It is best to know this as this will come in handy when you are going to be finding work as an e-learning narrator.
This is just another term for e-learning.
- Authoring Tools
- File Delivery Methods
- Efficiency Tools
An authoring tool is software or program that enables you to create and arrange content into a standardized course structure. This structure can then be exported in several different multimedia types. For those in eLearning, the most common output is to the SCORM format.
- Dozens more
- Uploading via FTP (some clients have their own FTP sites)
- Google Drive
- Your recording software - look at the features. The features need to optimize your work for long-form narration.
- Punch-and-roll - Punch and Roll is a method of recording that entails rolling back a short way into a recording, playing and then punching into record at a set point.Examples of software include Pro Tools, Twisted Wave, Audition, Reaper, Studio One
- Batch processing for splitting files - process varies by software
How to Find Elearning Voice Over Jobs
This is where the real work begins.
We are treasure hunters here.
Google is your best friend.
Directories are your next best friends.
There is an abundance of e-learning produced everyday. Our job is to use the tools available to find the developers who need us at just the right time.
2 Types of Companies that Will Hire You
Companies that do their own internal training
Example: Joe's Used Cars hires their own internal team to create courses
Elearning development companies that create training for other companies
Example: ABC Development Company creates training for dozens of other companies.
Online E-learning Directories
Online directories are lists, or function like Yellow Pages.
We will focus on developers because many developers are listed in online directories.
You are more likely to book more repeat work and higher quantities of work if you work with developers because that’s their main job: developing learning content for a multitude of companies.If you Google “e-learning directories”, you will automatically have a number of directories to peruse.
When using directories, be sure to read the Terms of Service. Some directories have strict "no marketing" policies. Always honor these, and ask for clarification if needed.
You can see a supplier directory based on category. This is why it is important to be versed with the lingo used in the e-learning industry. For example, the categories LMS and Authoring tools most likely do not need voice actors but they are not involved in developing online courses. They are tools used to house content (LMS) or are companies that create the software that developers use to create content (authoring tools)
The category “Bespoke Course Development” is a directory where you can find potential clients.As you can see, this one houses 367 potential elearning clients. All you have to do is to click on each one, find out if they are a fit to your preferences, style, and whether they might have a need for your services.
Once on the website:
- Make sure they actually create the courses (and don't just house them in an LMS)
- Check out some of their current work, if possible, to make sure they do use narration and it fits your style.
- Check to see if the client has a voiceover roster and how you can apply to be on it
- Check the About Us page or similar to find the appropriate person's contact information
- Once you find the company name, go to LinkedIn to find the right contact person
- Search for the person with the job title that would be in charge of hiring voice talent
- If you can't find a direct email address, use Google and/or Hunter.io to try to find one.
Directories are a great place to find e-learning developers in general, but this method puts you in the right place at exactly the right time.
Reverse-engineering the job board.
Look for companies who are hiring the position who hires you.
If company is hiring someone whose job involves working with voice talent, chances are they will be hiring voice talent for projects in the near future
The Best Job Boards for E-Learning
GET THE Good Lead vs Bad Lead Checklist
Use this checklist as you are going through leads to help you determine if the lead is a good one to continue researching, or if it isn't likely to return quality results.
Acquiring ELearning Jobs
This where you will engage in elegant marketing. You will be effective and intentional, but helpful rather than annoying.
Make yourself stand apart from other voice talents by implementing a well-designed plan.
EXERCISE PERMISSION MARKETING
"The privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal, and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them."
- Seth Godin
Here’s how you get the work:
With these tools, every touch point I make with a client is recorded. This helps me remember when I made contact, what was the response, and an automated pipeline like Pipedrive, even be reminded if I need to follow-up on a lead.
This helps me stay personal, and make every touchpoint intentional, meaningful, and helpful. This also helps me prevent overmarketing myself (such as forgetting I have already reached out to a client who said no, and sending them an email again!)
Do you need a resume?
There’s a lot of talk about needing a resume for booking voiceover work. Especially for us voice actors who mostly do work from home, we often think it is not necessary. BUT, a lot of e-learning is IN the corporate industry. And when it comes to hiring for e-learning jobs, sometimes the hiring process is more traditional.
I recommend having a resume.
It will make you look more professional.
It will make you stand out in a good way from other voice talents.
A well-put-together resume will help you shine, but a carefully crafted cover letter could make you a shoe-in. #elearningvo
I write a personal cover for each client I apply to, mentioning some of their work I've come across that I have resonated with to let them know that I actually took the time to get to know them first before reaching out. (And I’m not just mass mailing.)
Things to Have Ready When You Acquire Elearning Jobs
- 1Resume/Cover letter
- 6Terms of Service
Perform: Doing Elearning Narration Work
You’ve got the job.
This is where your voiceover performance training comes into play. This performance piece must already be in place before you begin the process.
(Side note: Editing. You'll be doing a lot of it. I've got some great elearning editing tips right here for ya.)
Side note #2: More tips on Booking More e-Learning work!
Be sure to check out the performance styles the client has used in the past if possible. Listen to e-learning demos from your favorite demo producers and voice talent.
I encountered a good question about narration styles when I was doing a Facebook live about this in my Voiceover Startup Group.
I have a very specific style of delivery. Do I look for companies that match my style or adjust my style for the company?
Both! Ideally, you have multiple styles that you can switch between for different jobs. For example, if your go-to read is moderately paced and professional, and a client wants a more upbeat, quick-paced read, you can adjust your pacing to accomodate the client’s wishes. So, as long as the requested style is within your wheelhouse, feel free to “switch up” your style for different jobs. However, if a client is requesting a high pitched voice with a thick southern accent, and you have a low voice and can’t do accents, wait for a better fit to come along.
Of course, try to focus the majority of your time on clients who want what you’re already selling, so to speak.
Do the WORK
You want to give each client the highest quality work possible.
So do the work of getting good training and practicing
Know your pricing structures
There are different pricing structures:
*** Always ask, "What's your budget?"
Elearning Work (Followup)
This is where most drop the ball - and where you stand to gain the most.
Be sure to document every touch point. You don’t want to accidentally over-market to your clients.
Stay top of mind so that when the client needs a voice actor again, you are the natural choice
Note: Any type of contact is good but sending real things in the real mail will make you stand out in a good way.
- FOLLOW-UP: The 4-Step CYCLE
- THINGS TO INCLUDE IN TOUCHPOINTS
The cycle can be modified to your comfort level, but you must be consistent.Send a physical postcard immediately after finishing your first job with the client.
- Post card immediately after project completion
- Follow-up email the next week
- Monthly touch points
1. New demo/s
2. Recent work
3. Interesting and relevant (to the client) news
4. New rates/website/equipment/terms of service
Prefer to watch the video?
Just click on the thumbnail to start watching!
BOOK MORE ELEARNING
If you're ready to really dig in and get serious about booking more e-learning work, I have a program that's called Book More ELearning with Gusto and Elegance, the complete system for finding and delivering repeat e-learning work that allows you to build up your business, while decreasing your stress and building stability.
WHAT YOU GET: