489
7 min 6 sec

Doctor Does Off-Hours Voiceover Work to Pay Med School Bills

A doctor with a voice worth listening to teaches himself the art of voiceover, then goes on to earn thousands of dollars working for some of the world’s biggest brands.
International Low Startup Potential Service Student Hustles Voiceover

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What It's About

When faced with the overwhelming debt associated with going through med school, this post doc student turns to one of his best attributes to pay the bills—his voice.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Voiceover & Communication
Complexity
Low
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

"Getting good at voiceover work, Anatol says, "is as much about listening as speaking. A good ear makes all the difference." He listens back to old recordings, checking for flaws in quality or intonation that he might not have picked up on at the time. And he trains his ear by spending time listening to ads, to study the voiceover artist’s approach and its effect.

It’s also important to be attuned to what the client is looking for, so Anatol has learned to pay careful attention to the brief and take artistic direction on board.

Fun Fact

Anatol’s favorite voiceover project so far was for the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. He helped create three videos about three men from the Netherlands who were retracing the steps of Van Gogh’s life. Getting into character for the voiceover had Anatol nearly in tears!

Check out the videos at #FollowVanGogh to hear him in action.

Notes from Chris

Episode 489

In 2016, Anatol Silotch was a recent med school graduate with an abundance of bills to pay. With his funds running out, he needed to earn some extra cash in between medical work experience and studying for his next board exams.

A friend in the music industry suggested voiceover work, so Anatol figured he’d sound it out. A few Google searches later, it was clear that voiceover artistry was a booming industry—albeit a competitive one. Anatol decided to try his hand, and see if he really had the voice for the job.

His first step was to figure out the equipment he needed. Some online research taught him the basics of creating a mini home studio. He was on a tight budget, so he didn’t splash out on buying high-end gear, and cleverly makeshifted the rest. He headed over to Best Buy and bought a microphone (which was $150), an acoustic foam (which was $90) and an Audio Interface (which was $230). He used an old box to make a booth and fashioned a pop-filter out of a wire hanger and a cut up shirt. He already had audio software from his days as a DJ, but he mentioned that Audacity and Pro Tools would have been good free alternatives.

Now that he had the tech set up, he needed clients!

Anatol’s first gigs were tiny, and not well paid. But knowing he was brand new to the world of voiceover, he used them as experience—and within a couple of weeks landed a spot with a national client. With his confidence boosted, he went on to grow his list of clients to include the likes of Corona, Samsung and Dell. He now brings in between $500 and $2,000 per month. With no significant outgoings and upfront costs that totaled $570, those numbers really talk some sense!

Both revenue and time needed can vary a lot month to month—but over time, with more experience and a growing portfolio, Anatol got quicker at auditioning and saw a steady increase in income. He saved time by learning to focus on auditioning for jobs that really made sense for his voice and style.

Anatol had always wanted to run a business, but assumed his first and only shot at it would be the medical practice he plans to open in the future. He’s surprised to find himself with a side-hustle business along the way! His focus now is to continue using voiceover work to fund his medical dreams. And as his client list grows, so does his profile. So while he’s taking more medical board exams, and shadowing people in the medical field, he’ll keep using his voice to earn the cash he needs to support himself.

One thing’s for sure—this is definitely a side hustle worth shouting about!



MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Doctor Says Voiceovers: Learn more about what Anatol, and check out some of the organizations he's done voiceover work on his website
  • Voices.com: The online marketplace for voice actors that Anatol subscribed to
SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"Everyone wants the end goal, but you have to realize there are many steps you must meet along the way. Like anything in life, you have to work for it, and realizing your small successes will prove a greater positive influence than only focusing on the big goal that may take too long to get to."
—Anatol Silotch #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau