This is a great question that comes up over and over for new talents. Depending on how and what you count as a “niche” (or style/type), there are anywhere from 10-30 (!!!) distinctly different voiceover niches out there for you to choose from.
With that many niches available to us as talents, you might at first think that you have to learn how to voice ALL of them! And nothing could be further than the truth. There are plenty of extremely successful talents out there who make their living (and then some) in just a single niche.
There are those who focus just on voicing video games, for instance, or eLearning. Some just do commercial work. Others do audiobooks only.
But truth be told, the majority of successful voice talents I know offer their services in a variety of niches. Their bulk of their work may come from a particular area, as I get a lot of work in the Explainer video narration field. However, that doesn’t stop me from being offered commercials, IVR jobs, audiobooks, long form video sales letters, etc.
So no…you don’t need to simply focus on one niche. You don’t need to be “the credit card commercial voice” or the “cardio-thoracic training video narrator”. In fact, I’d argue that by doing so, you’re pigeon-holing yourself, the same way Hollywood actors do, and excluding opportunities that might otherwise come your way.
However…that’s not the entire answer.
Get A Voiceover Hook
Instead of focusing on one niche, I suggest you have a HOOK. What is an attribute that sets you apart? Are you the “excitable grandma” who sounds like a trustworthy, yet upbeat senior? What about being the “smooth guy next door”? Or the “the Baritone Barista”?
Take these ideas and think about your own voice and how you tend to read…what kind of character are you (and I’m not talking about character voices).
Think about this from a casting director’s point of view.
Understand Voiceover Demographics
Let’s say an ad agency were putting together a new spot for Starbucks. The team was coming up with the spot, and decided they wanted a 30-45, mother of 3, who drives a Lexus crossover and meets her girlfriends every Tuesday evening at the Starbucks 1 mile from her house, etc. What would she sound like? And better yet, how could you describe yourself as that person?
Think about how you fit into the market and what kind of jobs you are best suited to do. Then, communicate THAT to your potential clients, whether it’s through a snappy tagline, a logo, or any other kind of branding and communication.
What’s your hook? Tell us in the comments below!