What are the most important questions to ask a voiceover artist before hiring?
There are risks booking voiceovers for your project. Literally anyone can buy a microphone and stick a social media profile up stating ‘providing professional voiceovers’. For you, the client, there are a number of crucial checks to make when searching for voiceovers online.
When it comes to hiring a voice over artist, there are several important questions that you should consider asking before making a decision. Here are some of the most crucial topics to consider before even contacting.
To kick off, here are some things to check on a voice actors’ website before contacting for a quote:
VOICE OVER DEMOS
The voice actor should have voiceover demos easily available to listen to. Check for suitability specifically for the needs of your project. Are they the right voice for the project in terms of age, energy, style, gender? You want to ensure that they can deliver the voice you need for your project.
Hopefully you have disregarded searching for an ai voice and therefore understand the value of a human voice, a natural sounding voice. Listen to examples of voice overs on the demo (showreel or voicereel) of the voice talent you are interested in. Think about the intended audience of the final product whether that be an explainer video, on hold messages or any other type of project where using the right style of voice matters.
Check out previous clients for credibility. You should see reviews/testimonials – proof of actual work and a solid career as a professional voice that fills you with confidence before contacting them. How long have they been in voice acting?
Studio facility. Does this voice-over actor have a high-quality recording studio? A good recording setup is essential for producing a high-quality voice over. They may even state the kind of gear they use, like I do on my Voiceover Studio page. Recording facilities vary wildly in quality, so you’ll want to get a custom demo (see below). I run a full production studio guaranteeing broadcast-ready audio every time.
Some voice actors promise super-fast turnaround times! You’ll still need to ask though, as they may be busy with other projects. Knowing how long it will take for the voice actor to deliver the final product is crucial, especially if you have a tight deadline. Make sure to discuss the timeline before hiring the artist.
If the voice actor is on the other side of the world to you, then bear this in mind when you contact them, in your expectations of responses by email or when arranging a directed recording session.
Contacting your chosen voice over artist
For far more detail on working effectively with voice over talent, check out my Step by Step Guide to Working with a Voice Over Artist
When you contact your preferred voice over artist, be prepared to ask questions relating to these topics below is they are relevant to your projects and needs.
Then when you start the conversation with them it would be usual to ask about:
Ask them how soon they can deliver the recordings.
I will nearly always create a custom demo especially for new clients or projects. Most voice actors will offer the same facility so you can check that they are on the same page as you or your clients.
A ROUGH QUOTE
You could help by telling them your budget. Be prepared to give details on the usage and distribution of the recordings. For more on this check out my article on voiceover rates
What’s included in price? Does the voiceover artist deliver just a wild track or fully edited audio – this will be influenced by your needs as most professional voice actors with recording facilities will take your lead on the amount of editing needed. Some will charge extra for different levels of editing.
If a directed session is needed, ask about arranging this. Not all voice actors can arrange this facility but all truly expert voice artists will offer directed recording sessions using a system to suit both parties such as Zoom, Source Connect, Cleanfeed etc.
When hiring voice artists, it’s always worth jumping on a quick Zoom or a call so both parties have the opportunity to iron out the details.
Hopefully this short summary of questions to ask a voice over artist before hiring has been helpful.
If you are interested in working with me, get a quote and custom demo today!
More on The Voiceover Industry
The voiceover industry is a field that involves using voices to deliver spoken content, in various mediums like films, commercials, videos and more. Voice work can vary from narrating documentaries to bringing characters to life on screen and in video games.
Voiceovers are commonly used to enhance the viewers experience by adding clarity and creating a welcoming and engaging tone. We often hear them in TV shows, movies, ads and even while browsing the web.
To create top notch voiceovers professionals need the equipment such as a high-quality microphone and sound-treated environment to ensure that no unwanted noises or distractions affect the experience of the listener. Speaking clearly and pronouncing words correctly is crucial as it helps viewers follow the content without any confusion.
Voiceover artists often undergo training to enhance their skills and develop voices for different projects. They might be hired to provide voiceovers for documentaries, commercials or even video games/animations. Voiceover is life-long learning and like any freelance profession, the voice over artist must commit to developing and maintaining their skills throughout their career.
In the past voice actors were commonly associated with radio and television. However with the rise of platforms their presence has expanded to other types of media. Voice over directory services and agencies offer a range of options enabling users to find voices that perfectly suit their needs.
To sum up voiceovers play a huge role in the media industry as they provide a versatile way of delivering content in various formats. Whether it’s films or commercials, videos or audiobooks, voiceovers can bring depth and richness to the message. With technological advancements at our disposal today, finding the voice and creating pro-grade voiceovers has become more accessible, than ever before.