Thinking of hiring a voice actor? No matter what you are creating—a film, a promotional advertisement, podcast, or any other form of video content—the voice overs you use are what will create the desired impact on your audience. You want it to be a memorable experience.
If you’re looking to hire a voice actor, you’ll find hundreds of thousands of them. Literally. Naturally enough, some of them are true professionals, while others are not. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try out someone new. In fact, we encourage you to.
Voice123 has a huge selection of voice actors at every level of experience. You can check out the profiles and samples on the platform and make a pretty well-informed decision.
However, given the number of voice actors available, when hiring a voice actor you don’t want to waste your time wading through a heap of wannabes who might not be able to deliver the kind of pro voice over you need. A true pro is one who takes their art and craft seriously. Those who do, will have their own website apart from their profile on Voice123. Allow us to suggest you take a look at their website as well. It’s bound to give you a very good indication of how committed to the art and craft of voice over a voice actor is.
Once you land on a voice actor’s homepage, it’s a good exercise to determine what s/he is trying to say about themselves. The clarity of the message on the website is important. What sort of voice overs do they do? What is their area of expertise? Check their experience in the voice over industry and gauge whether they’ll fit well with your project. Be aware of websites that look fancy and sophisticated but reveal nothing meaningful. The more bluster there is, the more careful you need to be.
The “About me” section
After you get an idea of who the voice actor is and what he or she does, delve deeper into their character and personality. Jump straight to the “About me” (in case of an individual) or “About Us” (in case of a voice acting company) section of the website to find a more comprehensive write-up. A well-crafted, detailed bio section will give you the kind of information you need to judge the person’s talent, experience, previous and current portfolio, certifications, and background.
Samples of voice overs
Even if reading the bio of the voice actor convinces you to work with them, you shouldn’t pass on the opportunity to listen to their work. And we don’t just mean listening to the vocal quality. Listen out for manner, tone, and versatility. Audio samples can help you develop an understanding for their style of working.
Particularly important is recording quality. These days, most voice actors work from their own home studios. True pros invest considerable time and money on building a decent recording environment and using great equipment. Listen out for samples that don’t have background music — ones that are nothing more than the voice on its own. If there’s background noise, room echo or other issues, a warning light should start flashing.
It may seem like the obvious thing to do, but not all voice actors have client testimonials. Any experienced professional is likely to list testimonials on their website, just as they’re likely to have them on their Voice123 profile.
Check ’em out. Reading them carefully will often reveal more about the voice actor than might meet the eye at first glance. Turnover time may be important to you. So may versatility and trustworthiness. Such traits are bound to be mentioned in testimonials. Depending on the scale of your project, it may even be worth your while to contact one of the clients listed and get first-hand feedback.
No matter what project you undertake, hiring a voice actor will cost you money. Many voice actors provide a pricing guide on their website. Those who don’t may argue that pricing can be negotiated, which is true. However, pro voice actors know what their services are worth and shouldn’t have a problem indicating that. It doesn’t mean they won’t be open to a measure of negotiation, but they’ll definitely have a bottom line.
Interestingly, it’s often a good idea to be very cautious of voice actors who seem to be cheap. As a general rule, you’ll get what you pay for. If the price charged by the voice actor seems unreasonably low, it could be an indication that they’re just starting off or aren’t anywhere near what they claim to be. Both reputable online platforms like Gravy for the Brain and the Global Voice Acting Academy provide pricing guides. ‘Guide’ is the operative word here; the prices aren’t cast in stone.
Overall website quality
Last but not least, you need to check the overall look and feel of the voice actor’s website. An outdated and neglected website could signify that the person isn’t very professional. He or she may still be a novice trying to establish a foothold in the voice over industry. The website should at least have a responsive design so that it can be viewed on mobile devices as well.
In the final analysis, follow your gut. If the website and it’s contents radiate commitment, confidence, and professionalism, that voice actor could well be the one you need to take your marketing campaign to the next level.