It would be wonderful if you could find a way to start doing national commercials for Ford or McDonald's. However, that's pretty illegally. There are gifted professionals already handling these campaigns who have paid their dues for many years getting to that level. It's much more likely that you'll be able to pick up smaller jobs in your local market or via the Internet while building a portfolio and a reputation.
Here are some ideas that you might want to focus on:
- On-Hold Companies – There are many companies across the country that provide on-hold message services for large and small companies. Many of them work with voice talent from all over that have home studios and broadband connections. The pay is often as low as $ 5-15 per script … but it can be a great place to cut your teeth. You'll have to contact them, submit a demo if they are willing to listen, and most likely will be added to a waiting list for the next time they have some turnover. But … there's a lot of this kind of work out there. At that level of pay, you can help pay for your home studio, etc. And, hey, it's real experience!
- Talk to Friends That Own Businesses – It's hard enough to be alive and not know someone who has a home business or small business of their own. It's in their best interest to make themselves sound bigger than they really are. Ask if they're tossing you a few bucks to have someone with some talent to do their voice mail system or on-hold message.
- Sing for Your Supper – Consider approaching locally-owned businesses about doing their on-hold messages. Pizza shops, movie theaters, gift shops, etc. Would they willing to pay something for you to do their voice mail or on-hold messages? If not, what about bartering some goods for your services? Gift certificates for food or movie tickets, for example? Nationally-owned chains already have something in place. But small businesses can be good targets.
- Serve the Community – Same as above, except with churches and community organizations. Even if you do some work for free, it can be good for the work portfolio.
- Help the Less Fortunate – Get some valuable experience by participating in radio reading services for the blind, in areas where they exist.
One thing to remember about doing on-hold work: You're going to need music if you're doing finshed tracks at home. One recent development on the net is downloadable production music.
It's not legal to use your favorite instrumental piece by Yanni or whomever, so it's best to do this the right way … by purchasing a royalty free music cut from a suitable production music library like Sonic Imagery, with a variety of styles available for purchase one cut at a time.