Everything is voiced nowadays; explainer videos, cartoons, anime, animated features, websites, audio ads – you can barely go two clicks without something calling out for your attention. If you’re thinking about joining in on the action and voicing your brand, you could do worse than seeking talent on a voice acting website.
- What’s all this voice acting thing about?
- What are some great examples?
- Is there any need for voice acting?
- What are the pros and cons of looking for professional voice talent on these sites?
- How do you know you’re not getting scammed?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! I know your time, money and peace of mind are important. I want to cover the basics with you and lead you, bit by bit, to voice acting success!
But if you prefer to watch a video instead, click here:
A short primer on the voice acting website craze
Voice acting is probably our bread and butter around here. Well, we handle all kinds of creative outsourcing, but it’s hard to argue with the numbers. BunnyStudio has over 28000 voice artists covering more than 50 languages. That’s an incredible amount of managing. It’s also part of an ever-growing industry valued at over $4.4 billion. Remember when I said it was everywhere? That wasn’t hyperbole!
So, what’s this voice acting thing? Easy! Voice acting takes place when an actor or actress records their performance for a character, narration, dub, etc. It’s called voice acting because the recording artist is not onscreen for their performance, so everything has to be conveyed vocally. Simple enough, isn’t it? Right off the top of your head, you can probably list a few voice acting performances that made a difference for you.
I’m sorry! I didn’t want you to feel like I was pressuring you into remembering. Here, try these on for size.
James Earl Jones as Darth Vader
Darth Vader is such an iconic film presence that it’s hard to think that he was actually a composite. While another actor (David Prowse) supplied the physical presence, it was veteran theater performer James Earl Jones that provided the deep, menacing tones of the Dark Lord of the Sith.
Through the magic of the actor’s delivery, his voice has become synonymous with the character. No one else could have handled it with such aplomb, gravitas, or control. Good voice acting performances can elevate characters from cartoonish villains into humanized, multilayered people.
Now, here’s one for the ages. Mel Blanc was known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices”, and with good reason. Throughout the golden age of animation, he voiced practically every iconic Looney Tunes character. From Bugs Bunny to Elmer J. Fudd, it was all him. Incredible to think that all that magic happened with a guy talking to himself in the 40s. To top it off, he also voiced some A-list Hannah-Barbera characters as well.
Truly, a man who’s done it all. His voice work still counts as the gold standard of the cartoon industry. An eternal icon in history, and inspiration for future generations.
Another voice acting eminence. While the younger crowd (you whippersnappers!) will recognize her as Bubbles, from The Powerpuff Girls, she’s been in a lot. And when I say a lot, it means you may have listened to so much of their work and not have known it’s her, it’s ridiculous. Here, try on some highlights.
- Timmy Turner in The Fairly Oddparents.
- Raven in Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!
- Paz Vega in the Metal Gear Solid
- San in Princess Mononoke.
- Rikku in Final Fantasy X, its sequel, and Kingdom Hearts.
And that’s probably doing her a disservice. She’s been in many, many animated features, video games, and live-action roles. She’s an incredibly hard-working individual who likes challenging herself with a variety of roles and characters. And thus, she’s super well-loved by the cartoon, video game, and anime fans.
What do I need a voice acting website for?
Chances are; a lot. If you’ve got a brand or a company that you’re looking to take to the next level, read this article on audio branding. I’ll sum up some of the most important points below if you don’t feel like an edifying read.
- You need to learn how to humanize your brand. No two ways about it, voice is going to be an important factor in creating empathy with clients and users. A voice is going to provide people something to latch on, a representation of your company, app, or business.
- Are you looking to strike a particular feeling in your audience? Is it what your company is today, or what you hope it to become in the future? Think about your image!
- You must know what demographic you’re speaking to. This may seem like a huge “duh”, but a lot of people who haven’t done their homework have had rude awakenings. Selling Trap-themed apparel using a Mr. Rogers soundalike may sound like a cool subversion. It’ll likely make people scratch their heads and lose you sales, though.
- Having said this: does your company already have any identifiable sonic or audio identity? Is that something you can build on, or are you looking to take things in another direction?
The cold, hard fact is that some marketing strategies are going to be different for international brands than for Mom-and-Pop stores. That almost goes beyond saying, but it doesn’t mean that businesses don’t face some of the same challenges regardless of scale; voicing brands is no longer an option, it’s a requirement. What works for MegaCorp can also benefit Mrs. Rosa’s Corner Store in this case.
Having a sonic identity makes your brand or business immediately identifiable.
Of course, not just your typical brands need voice acting websites. What if you’re in the cartoon, anime or video game industry? Those still need the talents of voice actors to breathe life into characters. In a way, they are the soul of this artistic and commercial endeavor. Audiences will connect to them emotionally in droves, and their voices will be stuck in their heads. It’s not quite the same as voicing your brand, but it’s a key ingredient in making you successful.
Voicing characters doesn’t quite require the same principles as branding unless you’ve got the resources to focus-group your feature to perfection. Hey, if you’re Disney, that’s great. The mega-blockbuster territory doesn’t work by the same book as lesser-known indies.
But, it’s still important to know whether your voice actors will resonate and create a positive association with audiences. Run a few small tests, call up your friends, get the early versions out to trusted critics! They’ll let you know whether you’re on the right track. With art, common sense is not such a surefire way to success as with other ventures. One man’s art will be another man’s trash, and all that.
The takeaway from this is that, while the same guidelines don’t exactly apply, it’s still about connecting with an audience. If you can produce positive overall associations through voice acting, you’ve got money in the bank.
And, as a caveat, it’s not about your characters being positive themselves! Bad guys and villains get a lot of love from audiences. Memorable, committed performances will go a long way, don’t forget!
A small voice acting website breakdown
So, hopefully, you’re convinced about why you should include voice acting in your undertaking. Great! Now it’s time to move on to what voice acting websites I recommend.
In general, you’re going to want to go with specialized hubs. That’s agencies or voice-centric websites. More on that in a minute.
Voice acting is a profession that encourages freelancing. You can do it from anywhere if you’ve got the gear with you or access to a studio. That means that a lot of voice talent is going to choose to go with freelancing platforms like Upwork, Workana, PeoplePerHour, and others. There is a wealth of talent to choose from in freelancing platforms. There are only three really bad points, in my opinion:
- These platforms aren’t voice-centric. That means that content, and performers, are not curated. Everyone who claims they can do voices will get there. You can bet that inexperienced buyers will get scammed, or get second-rate services because they work on the cheap. Performers are also not organized, so you have to scan on a case-by-case basis.
- On that note, many pros don’t accurately represent their portfolios. That makes it hard for you to know whether they can deliver on their promises.
- There’s also no quality assurance whatsoever. Sure, you can go into mediation with the platform if a conflict arises, but there are no guarantees. There are also no standards that are enforced by any ruling authority.
The flip side
In a contrast, voice hubs and agencies curate their professionals and their portfolios. Simply put, you don’t get to work there unless they’ve checked you out first. Moreover, there are QA teams continuously working as a liaison between pros and clients; they’re checking out audio files and performances to confirm that they apply to the platform’s standard of quality. If work doesn’t cut it, it gets sent back for a redo. If the client’s not happy with the final product, they get their money back.
Also, if you’ve done your homework, then you’ll know what you need for your project. Voice hubs and agencies make it easy to search for the type of voice you need. They normally divide their professionals by:
- Voice type
And some even have further subdivisions!
To make a long story short, just go with voice hubs or agencies. If you want specialized work, go with specialists. All-rounders are great, sure, but you don’t have the time to pick out the good from the bad.
I hope I’ve given you a decent idea of why you must go with voice acting websites to enrich your projects. It’s not just about voicing stuff willy-nilly; it’s about connecting with audiences in a human, emotional, direct way. Immediate engagement through a voice beats a wall of text any day.
Whether you’re in the artistic or corporate sector, the same compelling reason still applies. Create, connect, expand, and profit by voicing your brand or characters!