I Turned My Passion For Voice Acting Into A $108K/Year Business [India]
Hello! Who are you, and what business did you start?
My name is sandeep salwann, A professional voice actor based out of New Delhi, India, and I operate from my recording studio. I have been in the voice-over domain since 2005.
In 2015 I registered a company name voice-over mehak, and since then, we have been working with voice talents worldwide in almost all the major spoken languages.VoiceOverMehak.com is a voice-over marketplace. We are still trying to improve and find ways to benefit voice talent and buyers.
We are almost close to $100,000 this year and hoping for more sales in the next financial year.
We aim to provide the best voice-over projects to our voice talents so that clients can get thriving benefits from their products and services.
What's your backstory, and how did you come up with the idea?
I have done my schooling in medical science since my father is a pharmacist, so his impact on me was natural during my school days, but along with this, I love doing an impersonation, acting, and observing people's behavior and mannerisms.
Since childhood, I have loved playing with my voice by changing my vocal tone and performing monologues on business designing people in our community.
I came up with this idea when I realized that I am very good at observing people’s voices, which helps me find good casting for projects or films.
The idea of starting a voice-over marketplace business does not happen in a day. Initially, I did freelance work where I got projects related to my mother tongue. While working with those clients, I learned that they needed some other casting in different voices to help clients. I introduced them to other voice talents, which gave me the idea of why not to work as a casting director globally.
Yes, of course, I have been playing and observing the voices since I was ten during my schooling.
Because I was getting the results in real-time, as I mentioned earlier, I worked as a voice talent, so the point and goal were quite clear.
I have done a few projects that were done well, so the path was almost transparent.
I worked for a National television channel, so after work, I used to plan things like designing a website, finding voice actors and content writing, how work on the daily marketing task, and understanding more detail about the voice-over marketplace.
Initially, I did not spend too much on the infrastructure, but managing the business and the day job was challenging.
Take us through the process of turning your passion for voice work into a business.
Our first website was made through free resources available on the internet. As I graduated in computer applications, I designed the thing myself, which helped me a lot.
The process was smooth as the first website was developed using pre-installed HTML templates. The big challenge was to manage the large audio files on the server. We did not load too much on the server, so things were handled manually.
While developing the first recording studio that costs us $8k.
Describe the process of launching the business.
Going through many testing processes, facing bugs, finding reliable servers, and handling a large number of audio files is a big challenge for all of us.
Our website is still developing to improve its better versions for the clients and voice talents.
We are running the business using the revenue generated every month.
Luckily our first client was from a Hero group, an international 2-wheeler manufacturing company.
It was a tv commercial aired in Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
We charged $2000 for that project. It was a fantastic start for all of us who have been involved in that project.
In the early days, I used to get clients through local business directories like “ Just dial “and paid agents. But we were not getting good leads from the local service providers, and we also tried freelancing websites to get the initial work and boost up. We got some good projects.
And tried reaching out to the recording studios and got some minor jobs. And faced challenges in collecting our payments from those clients. So, manually contacting the local studios and pitching the clients was time-consuming.
Another problem was that they were offering a below-the-market rate. We presumed that we have to choose a way so that customers should reach out to us dynamically.
We built a freelancing SEO team on a commission basis and worked on how to get clients directly through search engine optimization. After 2 years of working on the SEO part, we started getting calls and got a call from a big adverting agency in India, Mccann, T-series.
We got Long-term clients, which helped us expand our services into more languages. Because these clients were delighted with our services, they recommended us to more customers.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
First thing after the launch of our website voiceovermehak.com we noticed that clients liked the way we worked with premium voice talents around the world. And we don’t charge any joining fee for the voice talents or did not take a commission from the talent’s fee.
That’s our USP, and we worked both offline and online.
We must make our clients happy; that’s the only rule of running a business, and we are also learning from our competitors.
Voices.com and Voicebunny.com were significant influencers for us, and we took help from these established companies.
From voices.com, I learned how to make things simple and effective in running a marketplace. They are committed to their services and exceptional in the market. And they charged their clients and talents both.
Their business model is B2B and B2C, which is fantastic and shows hope for us.
On the other side, voicebunny.com is keen on maintaining a high quality of work; if the work is excellent, they accept it, and if not, they reject it and provide a way to improve their services.
So, VoiceOverMehak.com is a mix of both of these marketplaces. Of course, with the help of these two giants, our website comes up with an excellent standard and is beneficial for our customers and voice talents.
I believe that your competitors are the real teachers; they teach you how to improve business, so I consider them friends or teachers. So observe them and learn from them.
If you serve a good product in the market, leads are coming your way automatically, although we use google ads to promote our business.
The customer is king, and we bridge the strong business relationship or connections with the customers. We have a way to communicate after the sale with a client and a feedback mechanism that helps bring them back whenever they require us.
How are you doing today, and what does the future look like?
We have a good lineup for voice-over casting in Indian films.
On average, we are getting 50-70 leads per day from our website, and the conversion rate is 15% from the clients; and also used to get many inquiries from the new voice talents.
We have a youtube channel with 34k +subscribres, and we also spend on google ads to gain more leads after a specific interval of time.
We work with both offline and online markets; while working offline, we provide free-of-cost project coordination.
We are targeting American markets to target more business from the local areas.
Our short-term goal is to create regular opportunities for the new voice talents looking for voice-over work, and in the future, we are planning to cast our services for feature films as well.
I believe your mind cannot handle many tasks at once. Therefore, making notes of daily tasks is crucial and essential in achieving goals.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I have learned how one can fulfill their dreams if every task assigned is organized in a perfect schedule and execution.
Good results require patience; nothing is achieved in a day. I used google ads to get results, but I realized that one should have a result-oriented effect or services before running or promoting your product. I don’t expect fast results. Sometimes it causes pain and fetches your energy.
We decided to also serve our clients offline and online businesses.
Sometimes we have no option. Despite working hard on one task, we did not get the results.
It happens. Let nature or luck do their jobs.
Whenever an idea strikes your mind, just implement it so as not to cause a delay.
Get up early in the morning, Execute the schedule on time. If I miss or delay any task, I jump on to the next job.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
We use asp.net and SQL Server and planning to use some SEO tools for more improvements in the industry.
We are now developing our own tools for lead generation and digital marketing.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
The Magic by Rhonda, I have a Dream by Rashmi Bansal and Sandeep Maheshwari’s video.
Thank and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to start or are just starting out?
We tend to forget things. To remind yourself, let’s make a goal what is your purpose in life. We have only one life, don’t lose the opportunity in this birth.
I saw many people who did not make any notes of daily tasks or goals. I believe your mind cannot handle many tasks at once. Therefore, making notes of daily tasks is crucial and essential in achieving goals.
I was sluggish and always thought that business was meant for rich people only, so,
If I can do this, why not you? All the best!
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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