As someone who is an entrepreneur as well as a voiceover actor, I realize the importance of being able to create your own income streams rather than waiting to be cast. If you’re on an ongoing series like the Simpsons, you probably don’t have to worry about this. However, I know for a fact, the actors in that show, have other business ventures going on capitalizing on their fame. It would be dumb not to. Many actors, however, wait for the phone to ring, get depressed, and think the world is totally against them simply because they aren’t getting called to audition and work as much as they want to.
The whole world of casting has changed. Now there’s tons of competition from online voiceover “pay to play” sites, actors working below union rates in other states or countries, and the fact that the audition process has become impersonal because actors record from the isolation of their home studios. On the other hand, there are many more opportunities out there to build your income by creating your own projects using the Internet.
I have several other websites, one being a foodie blog for Baby Boomers. I decided to record an Affirmation download to be used as a sign up incentive. I did it using my home recording equipment. I added a licensed music track and simply uploaded it to my website. Because I don’t consider myself to be a fabulous recording engineer, I decided to find someone to clean up the sound and master it. Believe it or not, I connected with someone on a site called Fiverr and they did a great job for almost nothing. I also found a person to design the cover art.
After it was finished, I took the download off my site as a free incentive, and uploaded it to a site called CDBaby. CDBaby is an aggregator who will distribute the download to sites like Amazon, Itunes, Spotify and more. They take 9% of the sale and then pay you directly so you don’t have to wait for each individual site to payout. I don’t know if I’ll become rich doing this, but more passive income will always help. It was so much fun to do, I plan on adding more singles down the line. There’s a fee to use CDBaby, but it was very little. I started out paying $17.95. $12.95 was for the single album submission and $5.00 was to receive a UPC barcode.
Of course, you can also upload mp3’s and WAV files directly on individual sites, but using CDBaby made it much easier.
CDBaby has an API to connect to your Facebook page so you can create your own Music Store. This is very cool. It also gives you embed codes to add pay buttons to your website and other sites.
I’m excited to see what happens. For the low cost of getting my download distributed, it will be fun to receive little checks. or maybe even big ones, in my sleep.
Check out my page on CDBaby and let me know what you think.
If you’re a voiceover actor, stop sitting by the phone and create your own projects. All you have to do is start recording.