Covid changed the landscape of the voice over industry.
As voice artists became confined to their homes, they adapted to the new normal by either installing or upgrading their home-set up, making remote recording not only a possibility but also a preferred choice.
Are you looking for a professional voice over without the hassle of finding and paying for a studio? Do you want to get a high-quality voice over recorded for your script quickly from someone credible? Then this post will help you with exactly that.
If you follow these seven steps, you might be able to close the VO side of your assignment in just a couple of days!
Step 1: Scripting
Getting your script ready before you scout for a voice-artist is a must. Try to get as close to the final version of the script as possible. This is going to be very important in deciding the voice artist’s fee and timelines.
Whoever you hire, will most likely ask you to share the script with them first.
If this is not possible due to an NDA or similar, you need to share the purpose of the VO - ad, e-learning, explainer, podcast, animation, IVR or something else. You may also have to share the length of the script either in the number of words or the length of audio output.
Be sure that the number does not vary too much when you send in the final script for recording. Get a revised quote if that happens.
Step 2: Finalising Your Brand Voice
Now it’s time to decide whether you want a female, male or gender neutral voice to narrate your script. If you are not sure, you can get auditions first to achieve more clarity. More on that in Step 3.
You also need to have some idea of what kind of voice you need for the project at hand. For example:
Voice age - child, teen, young adult, adult and senior are the usual categories.
Voice type or quality - deep, smooth, soft, rich, sweet and so on.
Emotion - Sincere, angry, playful, conversational and so on.
Do not worry if you are not completely sure about all of these. Once you start interacting with voice-artists, the picture will start becoming clearer.
Step 3: Casting and Receiving Auditions
Now begins the fun part! Browsing through the internet to look for the perfect voice-over for the job.
There are three ways you go about doing this.
Use social media! Just browse through Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube. Search for terms like “Voice artist”, “Voice over” or “Voice actor” and you will get scores of results.
You can view their entire profile in just one go. You can easily learn about how experienced they are, listen to their voice samples and see their previous list of clients.
In their ‘bio’ section or on their profile page, look for how to contact them and you can begin the first round of discussions.
Request for a custom audition of a small part of your script to get that much-needed clarity of whether the voice fits your vision. You may or may not have to pay a tiny fee for this.
Voice-over platforms are recommended for their payment security. Going through these platforms means that you do not have to worry about losing your money to scammers. These platforms make sure they safeguard both the client and the talent from any untoward intentions.
Many of the following sites will ask you to make a payment to the platform first. Once you get the desired VO delivery, the platform will then initiate the payment to the artist.
Here are some trusted websites you can choose to get a great voice-over done within 24 hours.
If you are looking for really high-quality voice-overs, this is the preferred choice of most.
Here, you post details of your job requirement like language, voice age, accent and VO type along with an audition script. The advantage of this style is that the voice artists who audition against your job posting get a good enough idea of what you are looking for.
This ensures you get reads of your script that closely match your requirement. The great part about Voices is that their roster is rich with a diverse collection of voice actors with various local and authentic accents.
Most people who are looking to hire someone on a shoestring budget, turn to Fiverr. Which can be good news if that’s exactly what you need.
But, if you are looking for quality voice actors, do not let the above factor be a deterrent. If you spend some time on the platform interacting with the talent pool, you will soon hit goldmines of experienced, professional and high quality voice-actors.
Make sure you only hire ones whose profiles have more than 4.7 stars from at least over 50 buyers. This can be a sureshot way of finding a talent who will take your job seriously.
You can book voice-artists directly from their gigs or request them to send you a custom offer.
This website claims to be the world’s first voice-over marketplace functioning since 2003.
Voice123 works similar to Voices.com. You post a job brief here along with your budget. You also get to choose the total number of custom auditions you’d like to receive.
You can then either message the talent and hire them directly or hire them via the platform.
This voice-over website has been gaining a lot of momentum in the past couple of years. Here, while you do not get in touch with VO artists directly, you can access a rich library of voice over samples.
Voquent gives its clients assurance of quality. You can choose to select artists who have professionally verified home-studios.
Once you have shortlisted the best voice samples, all you need to do is tell Voquent about them and the platform will do the rest for you.
You can even direct the talent remotely using Zoom, Google Meet or Skype.
Only a few voice artists who are serious about their job will go through the hassle of building their own voice-over website.
Having a website displaying all of your work establishes a great personal brand. It is the mark of a true professional voice-actor.
You can be certain that this talent is a seasoned artist, has diverse experience and can, in fact, add helpful creative input to your project.
These websites will have a ‘contact me’ or ‘hire me’ page or perhaps have their email ID displayed somewhere. Get in touch with them with the details mentioned in Step 1.
Step 4: Payment and Terms
Should you decide to use any of the above voiceover platforms, then you can skip this step.
But if you are hiring a voice over directly then keep reading.
After sharing all the details, request a quote from the voice talent. This is also the correct time for you to discuss the payment terms. Perhaps you have a 30-day payment policy? Or do you require the invoice to be in a certain format? Do you need any other government IDs or documents from the artist?
The voice actor will also share their payment terms. Some may ask for an advance in part, especially if you are hiring them for the first time.
At this stage also discuss other nitty gritties of the job requirement. Eg: how many takes would you like the artist to read, would you like to direct them remotely and the extra cost that you might have to incur for any additional work that may come along the way. This can be a change in the script post submission or splitting the audio files into smaller chunks.
Step 5: Feedback
Once you receive the VO, do the following checks.
Is the sound quality as promised? I.e. no background noise or static.
Are there any mispronounced words?
Is the overall delivery as per your brief?
If you are dissatisfied with any of the above, politely convey this to the artist. Be reasonable about the number of changes you ask the voice artist to make for you. If you are getting more than two revisions done, offer them extra payout.
Once you are satisfied with the voice delivery, make the payment on time and inform your voice artist about it too.
Lastly, if you can, share the final video/audio with the talent . You can expect them to add it to their portfolio to grab more voice-over work.
Remember, the first time working with a voice artist online can seem daunting. It will get easier with time. You will also start recognising the benefits of getting a voice over done remotely.
When you do find a good voice artist, hold on to them. Ultimately, you want someone reliable and skilled to deliver a quality voiceovers every single time.