A cheap voice over is bad for your business!

3 min read

Have you heard the expression robbing Peter to pay Paul? Well, we’ve been told by a great many businesses that the current economic downturn has been wreaking havoc on their bottom line.

They’ve sometimes been forced to stagger payments to their suppliers because of cashflow issues. They’ve had to cut expenses everywhere. Of course, it’s common sense to cut costs where you can at the best of times. But you still have to advertise to maintain word of mouth and stay top of mind. So, when it comes to putting out an ad, it’s okay to save on expenses by using a cheap voice over — or even a free option, right?

cheap voice overs: man walking past sale sign
Photo by Justin Lim on Unsplash

Well… maybe. If ‘okay’ is as good as you need to get. Be aware that when you opt for a cheap or a free voice over, you may be doing more damage to your business than good.

A cheap voice over can (and usually does) affect the quality of the overall advertising project and can cost you more in the long run. Why? Because — inevitably — dollar-store options go hand-in-hand with dollar-store quality.

Good, professional voice actors know what they worth, and in keeping with the maxim that one shouldn’t do what one is good at for free, they won’t commit to your project without payment. Don’t make the mistake of insulting them by suggesting your job will add fairy dust to their demo reel either. Pros are long past that.

High quality, low prices?

Nope. High quality, low prices are virtually a contradiction in terms in the voice over industry.

Remember, professional voice actors invest considerable amounts of money into improving their service. Classes, coaching, equipment, and the life behind it all — it can cost a lot of money to support a good service.

What that means is that when you pay for a cheap voice over, or ask the over-eager James in Accounting to do it for free, you’re probably not going to find someone who has what it takes to match your needs or your vision.

Imagine your perfect video. The visuals are stunning, the movement carries the audience on a journey, and the musical underscore fits really well. 

And then you hear the voice over.

It sounds as if James is on a Zoom call via their webcam mic.

Broadcast quality?

For a studio-level, broadcast-quality performance, a professional mic can cost $1,000 — and then there’s the other equipment to account for.

You can tell if a voice-over’s production was on the cheap when the voice over sounds tinny and thin, there’s background noise, or a buzz from the self-noise of the microphone.

Cheap mic = cheap voice over = a bad sell on your product.

When it comes to cheap equipment, there’s a chance the editing tools might be bad too.

You might hear jagged cuts in the audio, or parts of the voice over where the sound drops and picks up again. You can end up with a very mixed bag when you don’t choose a professional voice over.

You’re also paying for skill level. Can the voice actor act well? Do they have the proper pacing, pronunciation, clarity, tone, and emotion? A cheap voice over is unlikely to deliver what you want in all of those areas.

More costs and work for you

With all the ways a voice over can go wrong when it’s cheap or free, you can guess why it’ll end up as more work for you.

There’ll be more back-and-forths with the voice actor, more adjustments, more training, and maybe even some serious babysitting.

And there might even be the pain of having to find a new voice actor after you realize the current one just won’t cut it.

If spending that time is what you’re prepared for, then fine. But in today’s fast-paced markets, speed can take priority over quality and cost. You know how the triangle goes; speed, quality and cost, unfortunately you can only pick 2. With speed taking up a spot, you’re likely to compromise on either quality or cost.

Speaking of costs, the time and effort put into revisions or finding a suitable replacement voice actor can be astronomical.

A matter of reputation

Cheap voice overs: inside a broadcast studio
Photo by OCV PHOTO on Unsplash

Another — perhaps unforeseen — consequence of using cheap voice overs is developing a less-than-favourable reputation for your business. Much depends on reputation in today’s social media-driven environment. You don’t want potential customers pulling up their noses at your product offering or just clicking on by because your ad is dreadful.

What’s more, if your business has a cheap reputation, good voice actors may not want to be associated with it down the line to protect their own reputation.

Be careful!

You get what you pay for

Photo by Daniel Brubaker on Unsplash

From a business perspective, it might seem like a viable option to go for a cheap voice over. But if you take a look at what cheap translates to in the voice-over industry, it’s easy to see why it can be bad for your business.

That’s not to say that there can’t be a diamond in the rough. All professional voice actors were amateurs at some point, so there’s always hope.

Whatever the case may be, as an open marketplace, Voice123 caters to everyone’s needs. We have great-sounding newbies on the platform as well as grizzled pros. Come and take your pick to find the best voice actors available anywhere!