We often get asked what the difference is between a Voiceover Agency and a Voiceover Directory.
A Voiceover Agency makes its money from commission on jobs it gets from the voiceovers on its books. The agency doesn't charge any upfront fees to the voiceover artists (that's illegal in the UK by the way.) Charges are normally around 15-25% of your fee.
It's really hard to get a voiceover agent to represent you – unless you have a very unusual voice you will need a fair amount of experience working in the voiceover market first.
Your Voiceover Agent will act as a filter for Advertising Agencies. You only “pay” (in commission) once the agent gets a voiceover artist a job. Do make sure that the agent only takes commisson on work that they get or negotiate for you.
Several top-end Voiceover Agents will expect you to only work through them.
However an increasing number of voiceover agents don't expect exclusivity and are happy for you to find your own work (or be on the books of other voiceover agents) for which they don’t take a commission. However they may still like to know what voiceover work you are doing so there are no conflicts of interest between the clients you are working for. If you do a high profile TV commercial for ASDA, your voiceover agent needs to know so they don't put you up for a job for Tesco.
With a Voiceover Directory – (also known as Pay to Play sites) you pay to be listed on the website. Their annual fees vary enormously: some are even free. However very often there is no quality monitoring. As long as you pay, the voiceover directory is happy to take your money. You pay a fixed fee regardless of how much work – or how little - you get.