Voice Actors for Hire: Important Tips for Producers
See the best methods to find and hire a voice artist that is perfect for your next project.
How to Hire a Voice Artist
Finding voice actors for hire can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. These days, there is no shortage of “voice talent” out there – but the quality of that talent can vary significantly.
When a producer is looking to hire a voice actor, they often go down a deep dark hole of options, ranging from amateurs to professional voice actors. After narrowing down their options and finally getting approval from the creative director to hire voice actors for the project, the producer must be careful to ensure they’re getting a professional that is worth their time and money.
Common Pitfalls When Choosing Voice Actors for Hire
If a producer chooses to hire a cheap voice actor online, they may not be happy with the end result. Typically, the result is:
- Poor communication
- Lack of sophistication of studio quality
- Latency in deliverables
Producers are thus strongly encouraged to stick to professional voice actors for hire, rather than taking a gamble on inexperience.
What to Look for
A professional voice actor for hire is going to communicate in a timely manner and ask the right questions to ensure your project needs are met. The voice talent hiring process can be a tedious task. However, if the right questions are addressed to and by the voice actor in question, then the result of authenticity and professionalism will reveal itself quickly.
Producers are encouraged to hire voice actors that have:
- A working professional website
- Video and audio voice over demos
- Studio pictures and equipment
- An easy way to get in contact with the voice overs directly*
Time is money in this business, and things need to move quickly. Amateur voice actors will lack these sophisticated offerings.
*Note that some professional voice actors for hire may have professional representation, in which case you may need to speak to the agent. Still, if the voice talent is truly for hire and accepting work, then it should be easy to reach the agent. If it’s not, then it’s probably best to hire elsewhere.
Using Freelance Sites to Find Voice Actors
There are many companies that offer voice actors for hire and freelance voice over services. A few of the big ones are Fiveer.com and Voice123.com, but there are numerous others. So the range of voice actors for hire online are endless.
The key here for any producer is to sift through the amateurs to find the right professional. Communication is key. When communicating with the voice talent, make sure that he or she understands your needs prior to any discussion of usage, contracts etc. For the right communication, it is imperative that a producer lay out the needs of their clients in a timely and concise manner each time.
My Own Methods as a Voice Actor for Hire
When clients come to me with a voice over project, I ask a series of questions in my initial correspondence.
For example, I might ask:
- Do you require a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?
- Can you provide script samples?
- Any preferences or requirements for invoicing?
- Where will the spot be used, and for what time period?
These are just a few examples of the many important questions that should take place between producers and voice actors for hire. This correspondence (whether over the phone, email, video call or chat) helps to ensure that communication is efficient and timely.
As a professional voice actor for hire myself, I am often in the booth recording. I like to stay ahead of client needs by getting to the details quickly and with respect. This professionalism benefits both the producer and me, as it helps me to keep things clear and efficient.
Questions Producers Should Ask
Keep in mind that communication should also be reciprocal. Voice actors for hire will naturally have their own questions, but the producers and clients are the ones that need to be sure they’re hiring the right person. As such, they should have their own questions to start off the conversation and quickly determine if it makes sense to continue the dialogue any further.
Here are some examples of questions that producers may want to ask:
- What is your experience? Can you provide samples of your work?
- Which clients have you provided voice over services to previously?
- What kind of audio equipment do you use? How professional is it?
- What are your rates for organic web usage vs. paid web usage vs. OTT?
- Are you part of a union?
- Any existing conflicts of interest or exclusivity clauses?
These questions apply to virtually all types of voice actors, whether you’re looking for video game voice actors for hire, anime voice actors for hire or other types of talent.
Evaluating their Work
Communication is extremely important, but ultimately, if the quality of the voice actor’s work is poor, then their professionalism won’t really matter in the first place. This is why it’s so important to carefully evaluate their samples and experience. An experienced producer will often be able to tell if the voice actors for hire will be a good fit by listening to their previous work.
What to look for:
- A range of experience across different clients, project types and industries
- Quality of the audio samples
- Diverse vocal range
- A voice “sound” that fits what you’re looking for
- Experience with recognizable companies or brands
Producers will typically already know what “sound” they want before they hire a voice actor. For example, some might be searching for “black voice actors for hire,” a “male voice over,” an “urban” or “rural” sound – and so on. Listening to samples and actually speaking with the voice actors for hire is the only way to gauge whether their voice will be the right fit.
When in doubt, ask the voice actor to read a few lines of the script and see how it goes. A professional voice actor will be happy to provide a quick read to help you determine whether to move forward or not.
The voice talent hiring process can be a fun endeavor if you don’t fall in the pit of amateurs first. Do yourself and your project a favor by sticking to voice actors for hire that have a track record of experience, professionalism and of course: talent. The end result will be a professional voice over that is a perfect match for your needs.
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