Isn't that literally just a lot of hot air? Talking for a living?
Surely ANYONE can be a voiceover artist and I shouldn't be paying very much for a voice recording?
These are questions I come up against from time to time when people are tying to understand the value of my work.
I get it, it's a tricky one and if you've never had cause to hire a professional voice before it may well seem like money for old rope - money you could have spent on a new logo, a software package or maybe a new mobile phone.
But let's bust a few myths!
1. Anyone can do it
It might seem that way, as most of us talk to some degree every day. But being a VO isn't about you talking and saying your things in your way. You need to be able to take a script, understand what the purpose of the project is, who it's to be heard by and to know how to deliver that script in exactly the right ways. You might think you know where to put the emphasis, but DO you, really?
2. I have a mic and a laptop at home so I'm sorted
That's great, but I wonder what the sound quality is like.. you wouldn't want a cheap sounding recording being heard by people you want to impress would you?
Professional voiceover artists spend a LOT of money and time on their studio set ups which makes sure they are able to deliver something from their own studios (often at home) that sounds as good as VOs you'll hear on the telly.. heck many of the VOs you hear on the telly ARE recorded from their home studios.
You might not think there will be much difference, trust me (as a former sound engineer), there is.
Even if you DO have a great mic, a good computer and an amazing recording space.. can you edit the VO file perfectly, knowing the industry standards and demands?
3. Someone has written me a script, I know what to say
It's not only about sounding like you aren't reading from a bit of paper.. that's a part of it, it's about making those words leave your mouth in a way that is utterly believable, undeniable and authentic that makes people take action on whatever it is you want to happen.
It's a kind of acting but it's also about digging deep into your own authenticity. It takes years of learning and practice to master HOW to say it
4. It's a waste of money
I wonder how long it would take you out of your day job to put together a recording set up, work out how to to deliver the script perfectly, edit it and save it to the right format? Who is doing your day job while you are doing this? In reality this represents a financial loss.
5. I need it now and I'd never get a pro VO to work that quickly
Tracking down a VO artist online or via an agent is actually pretty quick and those of us who are full time can usually turn work around that day - sometimes straight away! go ahead, ask us:)
The thing is when you hire a professional VO, is that we are here when you need us. Because it's our actual job, we are here to work for you, when you need us. Hire us, and we will make your life easier.
6. I can get a cheap VO on sites like Fiverr
Well, you could, but since when have you preferred a cheap option for anything you need in life?
You may not get the great studio you like the sound quality of, that VO probably has a day job if they charge so little so you'll have to wait for them to get home from work, charging a fiver means that you have to be voicing CONSTANTLY to scrape a living.. will they be able to fit you in, or have the voice left to make you sound good?
Maybe they don't feel confident enough in their skillset to charge properly.. red flag?
7. My customers don't care about what voice I use
Does your business and your brand matter to you? Do you want to be seen as providing a professional service or product? Your audio brand is as important as your visual identity. Your tone of voice is precious to you and you'll want to make sure it's treated well.
I care about brands.. I even studied brand strategy and identity to make sure that I'm able to embody who you are and what you stand for to my absolute best.
By now you will hopefully have a better understanding of the value of using a professional voiceover artist to bring your script to life.
I'm always happy to have a chat about what you might need and to let you know how much your project would cost to voice.
Please do drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
While you are here, why not have a look around - have a listen to some of my Corporate Voiceover work
Clare Reeves has been a professional Voiceover Artist for the last decade and works with the likes of Mastercard, Deloitte, Facebook, Mitchum, Clearblue and Colgate