So you've got a project. An animated video. Or a corporate explainer. Or a voicemail for your new company. How do you hire a professional voice-over talent to record your script? Can you afford it? Where do you begin? Here are some basic things you need to know to make your project a success, make your voice actor happy, and get it right the first time.
Budget I: How much does voice over cost?
There are voice over actors working on fiverr.com who you can hire for a few bucks. And there are seasoned actors who work exclusively through talent agents, only accept union work, and will cost you the moon. But despite this variance, there is an "average" rate that will apply to most voice over projects. The best place to find current non-union rates is the Global Voice Acting Academy (GVAA) Rate Guide. This fantastic resource has a breakdown of recommended fees per project length and usage, which will give you an idea of where to set your budget. And speaking of project length and usage...
Budget II: How does the voice actor calculate their fee?
Generally speaking, all a voice talent needs in order to provide you with a cost proposal are two pieces of information: project length and usage. Length can be in minutes or in words. For most projects, 135 words of script = about one minute of recorded audio. Usage means where the project will be heard. Online? On TV? On your company's voicemail? With those two nuggets of information, a professional voice talent can quickly send you a quote.
What does the voice actor need in order to record?
Revisions: How many do I get?
Well, that depends on the voice actor. If the recording sounds nothing like what you had in mind, let your actor know, and see what they say. Generally, a professional voice talent will get it "right" the first time. If there are a few lines or words that strike you as not quite right, the actor will probably be happy to send you another version of those sentences, as long as you give good direction (i.e. "I was hoping that the words Marketing Performance could sound more exciting in the final sentence, would you mind giving me an alternative take?"). If you change parts or all of the script after the recording has been performed and delivered, there will be an additional cost for that. Because it is new material.
Go get 'em!
So that's a breakdown of how to hire a voice actor for your project. Good luck!