That’s the age-old question, isn’t it? You have a project, a movie, an explainer video, some labor of love you’re putting out into the world. But there’s a catch. Your baby needs a voice, and it’s not going to start speaking on its own now, is it? That’s when knowing where good voice actors for hire are starts to seem like a good idea!
But hey, there’s good news and even better news; you’re on a website that’s dedicated to creative outsourcing, so I may have a few pointers for you! When it comes to leaving your upcoming voice-over in good hands, I believe you’ll be well-served by reading this article.
Here are a few points we’ll go over today:
- What’s a voice-over and why do I need it?
- Where do I find voice actors for hire? What are my options?
- How do I know I’ve got a good voice actor for my project?
If you prefer to watch a video instead, click here:
This post has been updated in August 2021.
Voice overs are a production technique where a recorded voice (that is not part of the original narrative) is used in media; they can be used in film, TV, radio, video games — you name it. Via the power of the human voice, and their flexibility and immediacy, they’re a great way to reach an audience. Why communicate just with text when you can reinforce your message through audio?
No matter what your medium of choice is, voice-overs are a great way to engage an audience. Let’s take audiobooks and the e-learning market as examples. There used to be a raging debate in some segments about the value of audiobooks. Purists saw them as “cheating”, not engaging audiences in a genuine reading experience.
But, in recent years it’s been proven that there’s a link between reading and listening. Apparently, yes, listening activates the same areas of the brain as reading. How’s that for the cool little novel you’ve been listening to during your morning commute?
It turns out that humans are primarily visual and auditory animals. During childhood, it’s easier to internalize a new language by listening. Then, reading comes into play, but it takes some time to build up its effectiveness to equate listening.
The same happens with e-learning. Generally, platforms for learning online combine the might of reading and listening for something called multisense processing. The whole idea basically entails that learning through more than one sensory stimulus is better for overall results. Meanwhile, information about the reading-listening connection keeps coming.
And these are all just basic examples about the power of the voice over! Find a pro that will give good results, and you’re in the game!
Finding voice actors for hire — Auditions
Say you’ve got the time, means, and proclivity for sifting through hopefuls. You’ve got your script and your project’s voice down pat; it’s time to make the mountain come to you!
No matter what the role your voice-over pro is aiming for, they should approach it as a role; it’s unimportant whether we’re talking about a dramatic part or a by-the-numbers corporate voice over. They still need to be able to understand the needs of the script and have the tools to bring it to life. In fact, this audition guide will make their, and your life easier.
Now, auditions can be held in several places. You can have one in a physical space and get local talent to come in and read for you. Of course, this is both time-wasting and not exactly cost-effective.
The other option would be to put out an ad or job search. For instance, getting talent through freelancing platforms is an idea you should look into from the get-go. Now, I’ll give you more info on how to find talent below. Right now, you should focus on how to effectively convey your intent through a job search.
So, right off the bat, you’ll want to have things as spelled out as possible.
There are no two ways about it; you will need to have studied up on your demographics. Without a clear understanding of who you’re targeting and what they like, you might as well get back to bed. Then, once you have grasped those ever-slipping insights, there’s another challenge for you.
You have to convey this information to your aspirants! (And yes, I totally used that word because more people should know it. Look it up.)
- What the script is about.
- The intended tone and voice for the script.
- Who you intend to reach.
- The ideal gender, tone, and age range of your actor or actress.
- The fee that you intend to pay. This also helps if you tailor your search to particular experience levels.
Now, a hopeful should look at your ad and know whether they’ve got the goods for the project or not. It should be crystal-clear to all but the most ignorant of would-be voice-over artists. And yes, D – auditions will happen to you.
We all know where roads paved with good intentions lead. It’s always warm, but it ain’t California! You will have to go through a lot of rock in order to find diamonds. That will mean that even in the best-case scenario, you’re going to be dealing with bad auditions. Just assume that comes with the job!
The only thing you can do from your perspective is to provide the voice actors for hire with good directions. Even if you get some bad apples, a clear job posting will minimize the chances of bad auditions.
In fact, you’ll find that clarity is still a must even for the next (in my opinion, better) option!
Having voice actors for hire come to you — Freelancing and outsourcing platforms
Now, I know I’ve covered this before, but allow me to expand on it. Posting job searches is a time-consuming affair; as with auditions, they’ll produce plenty of unwanted, unneeded attention. If you’ve got a massive project in the pipeline, maybe you should consider them, yes. Depending on your intended scope, you may want to funnel talent down your own prescribed path for entry.
That’s great if you’re a Hollywood or mid-level studio, for example. But if you have a low-tier or small, indie project, why not start out by looking talent up yourself? This is not as crazy, nor as difficult as it sounds.
Today, freelancing platforms and voice-over agencies are replete with voice actors for hire. You could grab your favorite mug, fill it up with hot Joe, and browse actors from your bed! Believe me, you won’t be wanting for options.
If you more-or-less have a defined idea about what you want, it can still be a dizzying job! You can hire anyone from anywhere! Agencies and voice-over sites have exhaustive lists filtered by:
So yes, if you’ve got the basics down, finding a voice actor for hire is about checking all the boxes! It’s a game of preference, as you’ll be listening to samples and reading reviews for a while. It will still take less time and effort than an audition and may save you a ton of grief.
What to look for on freelancing sites
As I said, it’s a game of preference. Still, there are some things that I would consider of primary importance. It’s important to learn the difference between freelancing platforms and voice-specialized outsourcing studios. Agencies would be included in the latter category.
Freelancing sites often have pros of all stripes. It means the content isn’t curated, so you may have a harder time getting to freelancers with actual experience and portfolios that showcase the skills. As these platforms aren’t geared specifically for people looking for voice actors for hire, this is standard. It may take a little prodding, but hopefuls should be able to provide proof of their work and qualifications. If not, that’s a big red flag from the get-go. They’re also much more open to discussing rates.
Still, don’t skimp out when it comes to money. Freelancers will rarely give great performances if they feel they’re being shorted on. If you feel that the rates they’re offering are consistent with the service provided, bank on your peace of mind.
Another issue that may come up is guarantees. While these freelancers will gladly produce as many revisions as necessary, you may still feel they’ve not performed to your satisfaction. If they disagree, the work may enter a mediation phase, holding it up for even longer. Nobody wants that.
If you want to try them out, try Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, and Upwork. The talent tends to be great, and they take care of both the clients and freelancers.
Actual platforms with voice actors for hire
In my mind, the correct alternative would be to go for specialized platforms. Places like our own BunnyStudio, Voice123, or other specialized agencies. You’ll still get pros, you’ll still get good rates (which are set by the pros themselves), and you’ll get all of the options I enumerated in the above section:
- Pros divided into different categories.
- Deep portfolios you can click on instantly.
- Good rates.
- A curated selection of talent (this is the game-changer for me).
- A quality guarantee. You don’t like the result, you don’t pay. End of story.
These things help you make your selection and protect your investment. You’re free to go whichever way you think is the wisest. All can yield great results but will be dependent on the level of commitment and effort you want to put in.
Finding voice actors for hire is easier than ever. Depending on the complexity of your subject matter, searches may only take days instead of weeks or months. You’ve got an enormous selection of curated talent at your fingertips.
It’s all a matter of having your content outlined clearly. That clarity of vision will also afford you the necessary tools to plan your voice over outreach — whether it’s by auditions, job postings, or finding them yourself.
One thing’s for sure: follow this guide, and success is the only option!
Find the best voice actors in minutes with Bunny Studio!