Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Voiceover
(but were afraid to ask)
So, why do I need professional voiceover? Can’t I just get my intern to do it?
I mean sure. Of course you can. Plenty of folks do! But if you’re going to the trouble of telling people about yourself, don’t you want to present yourself in the best light possible? Hiring a professional voiceover talent confers quality and authority on your brand. I’ve trained a long time and I’m really good at this – you’ll hear the difference, and so will everyone in your audience.
But how much does it cost?
Well that depends on a lot of things... but that isn’t a very satisfactory answer is it?
Like a lot of pros I rely on the GVAA Rate Guide as a framework for my rates. The four factors that have the biggest impact on rate are: 1) length (is it a :15 spot or a five-minute narration?) 2) media (radio? TV? web only? Facebook? paid ads or just living on your site?) 3) territory (local? regional? national? and 4) duration (how many media cycles? in perpetuity on your site?)
In general you can expect a video narration to run you about $350-500, a national commercial to run you about $2000, and everything else falls in-between. Discounts are given for multiple spots or for ongoing series, or usage of the same voiceover across media.
How do I know if you’re the voice actor for me?
Honestly? I might not be! A voice actor’s voiceprint is highly personal and idiosyncratic, and mine may not be right for your brand. I’d be happy to record a portion of your script “on spec” so you can hear how my voice works on your project. I can also connect you with my wonderful agents at Stars the Agency who can find you exactly the right talent for your job! I’d also be delighted to provide you with referrals to other excellent voice actors who specialize in different areas, or you can always take your chances and post a job on one of the pay-to-play sites.
What the what now?
Agencies work only with reputable high-quality talent and my particular agency (Stars) has an amazing roster of voice actors. As a client you can also post for free on a reputable site like Voice123 or Bodalgo or Voiceovers.com (there are others but I strongly urge you to steer away from them) and ask for auditions from the talent there, but you will probably spend a fair amount of time wading through files from people that aren’t quite ready to go pro yet.
So I get what I pay for?
Ain’t that always the way?
So I like your voice Claire and I’d love to hire you for a job. Where do we go from here?
Great! We have a couple of options. You can send me the script and I’ll record a small portion (if I haven’t already) so we can make sure we’re “on the same page” when it comes to tone. Once we’re both happy with the direction I’m going in, I can generally turn around a script of 20mins or less in 24 hours. You can also direct me live in my booth via Skype, conference call, Source Connect, Zoom, GoToMeeting…
What do I receive?
You receive a cleaned-up file in the format of your choice (usually .wav) that you can now integrate into your video, etc. If we’re using SourceConnect then you’ll have the raw file to do with as you wish.
Uh-oh, you missed a word Claire.
Huh, that’s unusual… but it happens ;) You get two rounds of revisions included in your rate so we’ll get it absolutely perfect for you!
Uh-oh, *I* missed a word Claire! We need to revise the script.
No problem! Minor script revisions are included in that two-free-revisions policy. But if it’s a major rewrite or something that requires a complete re-record then we’ll negotiate an additional rate, usually 50% of the original price.
So actually we need a little more than just voice, we need help with audio/video production and maybe even some script doctoring?
One of the services I provide (at a small additional rate) is script revision, I’d be delighted to take a look and find way to tweak your words to help you get your message across. But here’s a pro tip that might save you the additional cost: get someone to read your script aloud. Someone other than the script writer. Really listen – does this sound like natural speech? Does it trip easily off the tongue? Is this how actual humans talk? 99% of the problems I see in scripts are because someone *wrote* their brand message but never took the time to speak it aloud. So try that first, then hire me for revisions if you need a little more help.
I don’t do production myself but have many wonderful people I can send you to, they’ll take good care of you!
I have lots more questions!
That’s awesome, I have answers! Hit me up at email@example.com or call me at 617-416-2641. I’m your friendly neighborhood voice actor and I’m here to help.