When it comes to hiring a voice over artist for your project, understanding voice over costs involved and asking the right questions can lead to a more successful collaboration. In this article, we’ll explore the factors that influence the cost of hiring a voice talent and why it’s crucial to avoid quick rate quotes.
How Much Does a Voice Over Cost?
The rate you pay for a voice over (commercial, corporate, and more) depends on various factors, making costs for the VO as diverse as the projects themselves. Rates can be calculated by word, by minute, by session time, or by usage. For those hiring talent, it’s essential to navigate these variables wisely. Talent often rely on voice over rate cards found on the GVAA website, the Union rate card, and on “Gravy for the Brain“.
The Diverse World of Voice Over Rates
Voice over professionals, whether union or non-union, operate as independent contractors, which leads to a range of rate options. While it’s tempting to go for the lowest rates available, it’s crucial to remember that in the world of voice overs, “cheap” can often translate to “expensive.”
To determine a reasonable rate, it’s essential to consider the intended usage of the voice recording. Voice over work can range from local commercials and voicemail recordings to major brands airing national TV campaigns and advertising on YouTube.
Factors Influencing Rate Quotes
Understanding the scope of your project is vital. Questions surrounding the purpose of the script, word count, and presentation details need answers:
1. Script Purpose: What will the script be used for?
2. Word Count: How many words are in the final script?
3. Presentation Details: Where and for how long will it be presented?
The Global Voice Acting Academy Rate Guide has become a standard reference for setting rates in the industry. However, many “everyday” voice-over actors are flexible and work within a client’s budget while maintaining quality.
The Pitfalls of Providing Quick Rate Quotes
One common mistake in the voice over industry is providing rate quotes without sufficient project information. Just as a mechanic can’t accurately price a job without inspecting the vehicle, a voice talent can’t provide an exact quote without understanding the full project scope.
Why providing a rate quote isn’t beneficial to your business
In an attempt to be efficient in the past, I would respond to rate inquiries FAST…and in doing so, realized that providing a quote is not in my best interest, nor in the best interest of the potential client. Questions need to be asked before even an estimate can be provided in order to create a win/win scenario.
- Where and how will the voice file be used? (Something I used to RARELY ask. Yikes.)
- What are the technical requirements, for both recording and delivery of the files?
- And, also important – what is the word count?
When a potential client says they need a voice for their video, the production could encompass a broad range of factors. And, though people may have ideas of how long they ultimately want their video to be, when it comes to the script, editing out text is like cutting out a member of their family.
A “2-4 minute” video could actually be four minutes and thirty seconds of non-stop talk, peppered with technical words that need to be matched up with video images. That would take A LOT more time for voice talent than a two-minute video that reads at a leisurely pace and includes long pauses between paragraphs.
Key Preparations Before Requesting an Estimate
To ensure a smooth process and avoid surprises, consider the following:
- Prepare the Script: Have the script as close to the final version as possible, especially in terms of word count.
- Clarify Needs: Understand your creative and technical requirements, including voice age, read style, pace, and any unique technical requests.
- Set a Deadline: Be specific about your deadline, allowing the talent to prioritize and confirm if it’s achievable within their schedule.
Understanding the world of voice over costs and the importance of detailed inquiries can lead to a successful collaboration. Avoid quick rate quotes, focus on providing comprehensive project information, and work with your chosen voice over artist to achieve the best results for your project. By following these guidelines, you can navigate voice over costs more effectively, ensuring a win-win scenario for everyone involved.
Here are some other fantastic resources on the topic while we’re at it! (Thanks Voquent, Voicecrafters, and Kim Handysides!)