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Hiring a voice actor? Here are 10 factors to consider

Are you interested in hiring voice actors? Perfect! This article is just for you. Why’s that you ask? Well, choosing the right voice actor is about more than just matching your voice requirements to a checklist. Commercial; check. Audiobook persona; check. Promotional business video; check. TV narration; check. You get the picture. Voice acting is about infusing vital qualities, abilities, and assurances that contribute to a project’s success. With that in mind, here are ten key factors to consider when hiring voice actors.

hiring voice actors, woman speaking into a microphone
Image: Shutterstock

1. Hiring voice actors with experience

Hiring voice actors with experience can help you reach your projects’ expectations. This is because, voice actors with a large portfolio of voice work, offer assurances. You can trust that they’re pretty good at what they do, which is evident from their past hires. Even though, great voice samples serve as their form of validation, referrals and testimonials, also contribute to making your job of hiring voice actors that much easier.

However, we do still recommend that you listen to all the project auditions you’ve received – there could be a hidden gem of talent lurking in there that’s a perfect fit for your project. And even if the voice actor is not nearly as impressive at the initial audition, if they’ve got the right tone and voice type, there’s great potential. You can also give them detailed direction to get exactly what you’re looking for out of your project.

2. Importance of vocal range

If you expect your chosen voice actor to slip into different characters seamlessly, then they need to show off a wide vocal range. This caliber of talent makes a huge difference to the success of your project, so review their recordings carefully. The same goes for YouTube playlists, or voice audition samples on Voice123 or their personal website to establish if they’re up to the job.

If you haven’t yet found a voice persona that speaks to you, Voice123 has an exceptional portfolio range of global and versatile voice actors to help you zero in on the right one for your project. We also have one of the very best search functionalities available to help you narrow down the process of hiring voice actors. You can use, the filter to specify the type of voice you want. For example, if you’re on the hunt for old-school charm, simply search for Morgan Freeman, with the filter, English – USA and Canada and Male adult. This will give you 180 search results that offers exactly what your project needs.

3. Focus on enunciation

Pronouncing and expressing words clearly is a vital VO skill. Sometimes, great voices are held back by insufficient vocal clarity. As you peruse voice actor samples, keep your ear out for clear and confident enunciation. And if the voice actor provides links to their work on YouTube or Vimeo, listen to the mastered soundtrack and imagine that voice reading lines from your own script. If you project requires voice actors who can pronounce words that reflect a certain ethnicity or regional origin, you should include the required words and phrases in your audition requirements. Voice actors can then provide custom audition samples to give you a better idea of what your project will sound like in real-time.

hiring voice actors, woman standing in front of a microphone
Photo by Daniel Brubaker on Unsplash

4. Hiring voice actors based on rates

Rate guides can give you a better idea of what you can expect to pay when hiring voice actors for their services. Many of the professional artists on Voice123 now publish their rates on the site, so you’ll know what to expect right at the outset of the hiring process.

Of course, the gig economy has opened up employment opportunities for people regardless of their skill level. While access to a large talent pool is an added advantage, the downside is having to screen vast numbers that aren’t necessarily qualified for the job.

In the voice over industry, you will likewise find novice artists that advertise very low rates. This could be a result of less experience or even training. On the other hand, experienced voice actors may quote exorbitant rates per project. So, start by knowing the market rate for your project, and then focus on hiring voice actors with impressive portfolios of work that don’t quote you pie-in-the-sky rates. At the end of the day, the voice actor and client form a partnership and both parties should walk away with a feeling of work satisfaction.

5. Correct pacing is essential

Rhythm and tempo are two other key elements that contribute to an effective voice-over performance. Along with enunciation, try to assess the voice samples you listen to for accurate pacing. This will help you determine if it’s the best kind of narration for your project. If it’s close, but not there yet, you can always work work with the voice actor to achieve the fluidity you’re after. Think of it like an orchestra. You’re the music conductor and the voice actor is the instrument. Essentially, the voice actor lends their skill and talent to your project, but it’s you that guides the process to achieve the desired outcome.

6. Hiring voice actors with training

Voice actors who can show training credits are preferable to peers without training. Hiring voice actors that have undergone coaching with reputable teachers, showcases a lengthy period of perseverance and hard-work. Anyone willing to put in the time and effort to enhance their VO skills to bring more to the table can be expected to add value to your project.

7. Pay attention to clientele

Voice actors with continuous voice acting employment should have no problem sharing their VO client list. This is also true for voice actors who worked a couple of years in the industry and then took a break for various reasons like raising their family or working on improving their talent. Professional voice actors will also have worked with well-established names and local businesses. Take a look at their recent projects as well as their work portfolio. This will help you to understand their level of experience in relation to the particular project you need their voice for.

8. Consider service quality

Client reviews and testimonials on VO actors’ websites are another great way to get some behind the scenes info. You can even get a few of the voice actors clients on the phone if you want first-hand knowledge about the voice actors timeliness, reliability and attitude in the recording booth. In this way, you’ll have the opportunity to form a long-standing relationship with a talented voice actor that’s a real pro in their field.

hiring voice actors, recording equipment
Photo by WillSpirit SBLN on Unsplash

9. Hiring voice actors with acting skill

In the past, it was considered the norm for voice actors to sound a little ‘announcery’ during recordings. Today, however, the industry has made a complete turnaround. Now, the focus is on hiring voice actors who can slip into character without blinking. So, acting skill is an integral part of the voice over industry. Although the voice actor can’t be seen on-screen, their voice has to carry the full weight of the character. And acting skill is an important aspect of capturing the essence of a scene. There are also tons of different voice over types and it’s always a plus for a voice actor to have experience in multiple voice acting fields. Viewers today expect to be spoken with, not talked at. And acting skill is a tool the voice actor uses to bring the character to life.

10. Discuss availability

Hiring voice actors who work full-time is a good bet simply because they have one job that holds their focus. It also means that they would have invested their time, effort, and ability in perfecting it. Part-time actors on the other hand may have other professional priorities. This could mean a struggle on their part to meet your deadlines.

Before hiring voice actors, doing a thorough assessment is imperative. You need to choose someone with the time and ability to create an engaging experience for the audience. If you’re unsure about which voice actor to go with, take a little time to really think about what you want from the voice actor and if the one you’ve chosen really understands the value of your project. This will contribute to the overall experience of hiring voice actors! You can also, post a project for free on Voice123. This is another great way to become more familiar with the process of hiring voice actors. You’ll also come across different voice types, and speaking styles in the voice over industry that you can eventually add to your own talent pool of voices.

Final thoughts on hiring voice actors

Hiring voice actors is something that helps fill the gaps in various projects. Having a script although important is just a single step in a list of requirements. It’s the voice actor thats the real star of the show. Their voice has the power to breathe life into the printed words, brining the characters to life, using their voice to make the project more appealing to the audience.

Consequently, putting in a little extra effort when it comes to hiring voice actors will be well worth the time spent in the long run. Voice actors have various abilities, rates, experience levels, and skills like enunciation and pacing. So, hiring voice actors is more than just choosing a name and clicking book. Making a success of your project really depends on what you’re looking for and what your desired outcome is. Once you know where you’re headed, you can factor in the ten key points to determine which is the best voice for your project. And on that note, we’d like to wish you well as you go about hiring voice actors for your future projects.

Voice123 is also overflowing with professional voice talent that can magnify any project. Find a voice actor here!

FAQ’s on hiring voice actors

How do I hire a voice actor?

You can start the process, by posting a project on Voice123. Once you receive different audition samples, you can choose the voice that best resonates with your project.

Where can I hire a voice actor?

Voice123 is a great platform you can use to find voice actors. We connect clients with numerous multi-skilled professionals, that can assist with much more than just voice over.

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