Julie Eickhoff has been working from home doing voice-overs since 2011. She has narrated and produced around 100 audiobooks and is an Audible Approved Producer. She has worked on a wide variety of audio projects and her voice has been used by Samsung, Best Western, GE, and many other big brands. Read on to see how this mom makes money narrating audiobooks from home.
Tell Us How You Got Into Doing Voice-Over Work.
Well for starters, I’m from Iowa. I have a BS degree in English and Secondary Education. Out of college, I was a middle school English teacher for one (really long) year. My career from there has been kind of crazy thanks to wonderful mentors and people who encouraged me to try new things.
Over the years, I have been an Employee Relations Manager at a Bank, the Chief Meteorologist at a TV Station (I went back to school for meteorology), co-hosted a morning radio show, I was an Advertising Executive at a TV station and a Realtor. While I was a Realtor, I also became a mother which led me down the trail of figuring out how to work from home.
And is where I currently am, working from home doing voice-overs!
How Did You Get Involved Teaching People How To Work From Home Doing Voice-Overs?
While I was a Realtor (and working 24/7) my husband starting traveling a lot and we had a baby at home. I reached my breaking point of stress. There was no way I could work as much as I did, manage the household, and have any meaningful time with my family.
I knew I needed to come up with a way to work from home. My broadcasting career came in handy here. I knew that voice artists were working from home and I knew I could do the work. I contacted a friend who knew about the biz, ordered my equipment, and started learning everything I could. The learning curve was steep and long. But eventually, I had a legitimate business and it’s been working out great ever since.
Along the way, I’ve had lots of friends and family ask how they too could learn how to do voice-overs. I decided to put my teaching, my on-camera skills, and my voice-over skills to work together and I developed the course, “Work From Home Doing Voice-Overs.”
What Do People Learn During Your Free Training Series?
The free course, Intro to Voice-Overs, will show interested students what’s involved in becoming a voice artist. It covers on a basic level what equipment you’ll need (which is surprisingly inexpensive!), your recording space in your home, how voice artists get paid and lots more. The goal of the free course is to give students enough information for them to know if this is a path they want to go down.
What are Some of the Benefits of Being a Voice-Over Artist?
Where do I begin? You can work from home, the flexibility is amazing, it’s creative, you get to run your own business, you can do it on the side of full-time.
I love being home when my daughter gets home from school, I love being there during holiday breaks and summer, I love not having to commute in bad weather (I live in Minneapolis now – we have loads of snow!), I love the ease of scheduling doctor appointments, my dog loves having me home. I have time to exercise and cook meals. I feel in control of my life, which reduces stress for everyone in my family.
Is Voice Acting for Everyone?
Probably not everyone, but gone are the days when the only voices you hear are booming male voices on the radio. We need all kinds of voices. Listen to all the places where you hear voices… web videos, telephone systems, movie theater ads, e-learning modules, audiobooks, podcasts, explainer videos, tutorials, video games, live events, etc. We need male, female, child, high, low, soft, loud, accents, motherly, salesy, sweet, motivating and on and on and on.
How Much Can the Average Voice-Over Artist Earn?
Voice artists are paid per project and the range can be quite wide depending on the usage of the project. A voice-over on a commercial that runs nationally is entirely different than a voice-over for a corporate office that is only going to be used internally. Many voice artists like to get their feet wet with audiobooks. So I will use that as an example.
With audiobooks, you can get paid two ways or a combination of both. There are royalties (where you get paid a portion every time the audiobook sells) or you can get paid per finished hour for narrating and producing the audiobook. Rates vary here, but you can easily find projects that pay $100-$200 per finished hour. So a 5-hour audiobook with a rate of $200 per finished hour would be $1,000.
Do You Primarily Narrate Audio Books, or Do You Work on Other Types of Project Too?
I've done a ton of audiobooks and will continue to do so, but I also do lots of other types of work… e-learning modules, radio commercials, movie theater ads, and telephone follow-up surveys.
Is There Anything Else You Would Like Readers to Know?
If you’re wanting to find a way to work from home and/or if anyone has ever told you that you have a nice voice, going through the free intro course will give you a great idea if this career is a possibility for you. Sign up for the free course, it won’t take much time, and then decide if you want to proceed.
If you do, then the full course, Work from Home doing Voice-Overs will be perfect for you. It takes you step-by-step through every part of getting up and running. I took all my research and experience and made it efficient for students to get equipment, set up their recording space, learn how to use recording software, practice mic skills, recording skills and so much more.
It’s easy to follow and fun. When you’re finished, you’re ready to move forward and I’m always willing to answer questions and help you out.
Thanks to Julie Eickhoff for sharing her story!
If you're curious about making money narrating audiobooks, check out Julie's free course here.