I came across this article from Voquent.com about "How To Hire a Voice Actor Online – The Definitive Guide" the other day and had to share. And I have to say, it is a brilliant post. From the very first line, the post says always hire the best [voice over talent] you can afford and its true.
Look, we all get it. Voice over talent can be...well, pricey and when it comes to shopping around, there are tons of options. You can go rock-bottom cheap for $5, $10, or even $15, but you do get what you pay for then. You can go full on professional (which I recommend) in which you will pay the bucks, and again you get what you pay for! Talent isn't cheap. Those who demand higher prices have been in the biz for a while.
Now, that's not to say that you have to spend a fortune to great quality. I personally know many voice over talents that are reasonably priced and deliver outstanding work. Shameless plug here, I feel I do a pretty great job myself and I'm always improving.
The post does mention four basic resources that are easy to use and quite effective:
General freelance marketplaces
Dedicated voice-over marketplaces
Voice-over agencies/Casting agencies/Production companies
I agree with that list. Do note that the costs do go up from 1-4. In fact, I will add in a fifth into the mix: 5. Talent's own website. Simply doing a google search or reading a talent's blog (hint hint), is a great way to not only hear the talent's work but maybe, but just maybe see how dedicated they are to the craft. But I digress.
When we talk about costs and budgets and quality, there is an old chart that I was introduced to many moons ago and the post brings that up again!
I have an old saying "Do you want it right, or right now. And if right now, how good do you expect to have it?". Somewhere in that triangle is the point where the client and the voice over talent meet either via direct contact or via an agent.
Some questions to ask before even thinking about hiring are:
What is the voice-over for?
What level of quality does it need to be?
What time-frame do you have to deliver?
What cost constraints do you have?
Once you have those answered, only then seek out a voice over talent. Also in my opinion, make sure the job for the voice over will work in terms of copy, timing, and your expectations before you hire! Get all the job requirements down first. Don't leave anything to chance or interpretation.
I'm not going to paraphrase the rest of the post in terms of the "Fast v Cheap v Quality" arguments because I think that most of us here understand that relationship - or at least can see that in the chart above. However, its a point to really drive home.
One thing to be aware of and I cannot stress this enough. When choosing a voice over service, stay away from the computer generated (AI) voice over services. If you were to place them on the chart above they would be way outside of the chart somewhere between Quality and Cost. The quality is dreadful at best and your customers or target audience will immediately pick up on the fact that its computer generated. At that point, the customer won't even bother.
Want an example, go here and listen for yourself. You can easily pick out the fact that its computer/AI generated. While can 'pass' for general information dissemination, using computer/AI generated voice over in a commercial setting is death on a stick.
For more information on what a real voice over talent can do, contact me here or to read the post, visit https://www.voquent.com/how-to-hire-a-voice-actor-online-the-definitive-guide/