What's the best resource to find professional voiceover services?
Have you stopped to think of how many things we do online? We pay bills, research, buy tables, connect with friends, purchase gluten-free all organic dog food, and even find your future spouse! The paradigm of web based solutions and content driven marketplaces is thriving. So it's natural to reach for the online marketplace when it comes to finding voiceover talent as well. But the question remains, where's the best place to find the perfect voice actor for your project?
In basic terms there are 3 ways to hire voice talent:
There are other more subcategories that we could get into, but I'm only going to stick with the basic 3. Each of these has been a valid choice for me both as a voice talent, as well as a creative director.
As a voice actor the relationships I have with my agents are invaluable. Agents are strategic partners that work hard for the talent, as well as the client, to make sure their project is cast perfectly. In the same regard casting directors and producers normally have a pool of talent they go to, or sometimes leverage a talent agency. Either way, you're getting professional support and normally a very high caliber of talent. Agents will help guide you through the process and make sure you get the absolute best . It's like having your own project manager or voice talent concierge. It doesn't mean it will cost more. That's a misconception. Just think of this like the red carpet treatment.
Researching and hiring voice talent direct can be a great way to source good people, but it takes some leg work on your part. Wading through Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc...can yield a ton of choices. A quick search of "voice talent" will get you over 29,000,000 results! Treat this like anything you would buy online. Does the voice actor have a site? Is it easy to navigate? Does the voice talent talk about their studio, or past clients? Are demos listed and easily heard? Are there videos to see some actual projects? All of these help with buying decisions and will give you a glimpse to the caliber of talent they are. My clients who find me on this site are the ones I end up holding closest. They know I will be a trusted resource for them, and at times even recommend colleagues when I'm not the right talent for a project. For you to hire direct, it will take more time, but in end you could have a lasting partnership.
Pay to play websites are a unique entity that have really taken off in the last 10 years. There are a few major ones, then it trickles down from there. Some sites are specialty (ie radio imaging, audiobooks , etc..) while others are a repository of thousands. Working through these sites to find the best talent can be a curse and a blessing all wrapped up into one. The major issue with most pay to play sites, is a lack of vetting. Anyone with some resemblance of recording gear can put a profile online, call themselves a voice actor, and start bidding. I've heard plenty of horror stories from my clients who have tried to use someone on a casting site and not only could the talent not deliver, but it also ended up costing the client more in time and money! As a voice actor, I've had success being hired and retained by clients for great projects from pay to play sites. The ones that worked out best were always organized, respectful, paid good rates, collaborative, and professional. If you're just starting out with finding a voice actor, you might struggle with finding and working with the right voice talent when utilizing a casting (pay to play) site. It still takes pre-work on your part.
Regardless of the way you cast voice talent, keep in mind you're getting a strategic partner to help you through the final touches on the project you've worked so diligently on. Don't cheapen your work! Hire a professional that respects the work you've done just as much as they respect the voice acting craft.
BONUS! FREE EBOOK!
My friends over at Agent 99 Voice Talent have just put together a free ebook talking about using pay to play vs an agent. Great read and they're some great folks too. If you're thinking about hiring voice talent, this book is a must read! Check it out!
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Tips, Tricks and Insights for casting, producers, agents, managers, creatives, and talent in the voice over industry.
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