Pick the best voice for your job
What does your company sound like? First you need to ask yourself some simple questions.
- Who is your audience?
- What are you selling?
- What is the message?
- What are your expectations?
- Who does your audience want to hear from?
Deciding on the voice for your project depends heavily on the audience you are targeting.
Set the stage by answering the questions just asked of you. If your script were being targeted at you, which gender would you prefer delivered the message?
Can you envision a particular accent? Does the voice sound a certain way? Some markets do well to use male voices while others use predominantly female voices, like selling beauty products, for instance.
Which voice is best for your company? It all comes down to the individual voice actor's ability to convey your message clearly, with purpose and charisma - and additionally, they need to possess the vocal qualities that your audience innately wants to hear delivering your message.
If you're still not sure about the sound you are looking for, ask some people who work with you about how they think your company sounds or poll your customers. Your company should sound the way you wish your customers to perceive you and should immediately connect with them while incorporating your brand. Write down those preferred qualities (adjectives) and then find the perfect voice to match by posting a job that details what you are looking for to receive qualified responses to choose from. It's a simple, speedy process that can be accomplished online using your client account at Voices.com.
Where to find templates to help you complete your script
If you need help with your commercial scripts, you don't have to start from scratch. There are plenty of resources online or simply listen to a few radio commercials or tv ads to get the ideas flowing.
To get started right away, find some inspiration by downloading the script collection that best suits your individual needs for the project you are working on.
How to make sure your script doesn't run away on you
When writing ad copy for a radio or television commercial it's easy to get carried away. How much is enough? The short answer is enough to get the message across. OK, but how does that translate into a word count for a 30 second spot or a 60 second spot?
Great question. To help give some guidance, we've created a handy chart for you to reference the next time you're writing some ad copy.
The 30 Second Spot Word Count Guideline
30 seconds, 65 words = lots of inflection, sincere read
30 seconds, 78 words = typical, straight read
30 seconds, 90 words = fast read
30 seconds, 100 words = hard sell, maximum speed read
The 60 Second Spot Word Count Guideline
60 seconds, 130 words = lots of inflection
60 seconds, 155 words = typical, straight read
60 seconds, 180 words = fast read
60 seconds, 200 words = hard sell, maximum speed read
Note that numbers (such as a phone number), symbols (@ symbol or www) , etc., count as one word each. We've even built some handy tools to help you in these calculations. Try the Words to Time conversion tool and the Workload Calculator.
It is also advised that you spell out numbers and words so that there is no confusion as to what you mean. The meaning may be very clear to you but it needs to be crystal clear to someone else who hasn't written the script, for example, if you are mentioning a website, spell it out, ex. Voices dot com instead of Voices.com.
Budget for a professional voice over talent
When it comes down to it, a voice-over is a voice-over is a voice-over. Each voice-over is a call to action, whether it be for sales, customer retention, or for educational purposes. The voice talent is your salesperson, and it is their voice that works tirelessly to promote a product or service, raking in the sales for your organization or company.
The voice talent is also your organization’s audio ambassador and is often the first point of contact between you and future customers. People come to trust the voices they hear and associate them with your brand, building brand equity for you and correlating your offerings with honesty, excitement, or great tasting food, depending on your business.
The cost of a voice-over is calculated by not only the performance, but factors in production costs, how the audio is used, how often it is heard, by the size of the audience, market size (local, regional, national), and also if the audio will be used in perpetuity, in other words, as long as it is available for consumption and you are making a profit off of the voice-over.
Budgeting for voice overs should include more than just the time it takes for the finished audio to play. Although your voice over recording may only be a few minutes long, the actual time it takes to get the job done on the voice talent's end is quite extensive!
Here's a rundown from a professional voice talent of the time it takes to produce a fully edited, dry voice (no music or effects) audio file 30 minutes in length:
Preparing the script: Up to twice the length of the final audio (30 minutes)
Recording: Up to twice the length of the final audio (45 minutes)
Editing: At least two to three times the length of the final audio (60 minutes)
Total Time: A minimum of four times the length of the final audio (135 minutes)(2' 15")
Rule of thumb is it takes at least four times the length of the finished audio to record and produce.
Take a look at this standard rate sheet compiled from feedback received from hundreds of freelance professionals. This is not a union rate sheet, however, the fees in some cases are similar. If you know your word count, try the Voice Talent Quote Generator tool.
How to present your job to get the best responses
When you post your job, you want to hear from the brightest and best that the industry has to offer to represent your brand.
If there are two things that immediately set the tone, it's the amount of detail you include and also the budget range selected. If you don't give enough detail, many qualified voice talents will shy away because your request is too vague. If your budget is too low, you've eliminated the majority of professionals who could be the next voice of your company if only you presented a reasonable budget for the work you are commissioning for.
To check out some standard rates for non-union talent, click here, otherwise, continue reading for some handy job posting tips!
As was said earlier, the "make it or break it" points are about details and budgets.
Let's tackle details first.
Here are 3 good examples of job postings that will be of interest, perhaps critical, to voice talent applying for your job.
Hi there, I am seeking a young, exciting, upbeat female voice with a 'real person' sound to voice a 30 second ( :30 ) radio commercial to be aired in the Peoria, IL market. The commercial will air locally for 13 weeks. The script is below. I look forward to receiving your demos!
Simply Storage provides efficient self-storage solutions for anyone whose belongings have outgrown their living space! From ski equipment, to furniture, to your summer clothes, you can store it with us... Simply.
Just Widgets Inc. (a fictitious company) is a widget distribution company based in Winnipeg, Canada. We ship widgets to manufacturers worldwide.
We are looking for a professional, mature male voice for our telephone system. The system has 20 prompts that will need to be recorded as separate files (MP3s). The total word count for the prompts is 618 and includes recordings for our IVR and various voicemail boxes. We would like to establish a relationship with a voice talent so that changes can easily be made in the future using the same voice.
Please submit a generic demo of your IVR work.
Thank you, Jane
I am looking for a voice to record an audiobook. It is a fictional book with inspirational and spiritual themes. The target market is women ages 35 and up.
You can find the book listed on Amazon.com at this URL: http://www.example.com
The ideal voice is female, with a mature voice (within the target market age range). I would be happy to hear demos from both British and North American accented voices.
The book is 150 pages in total, with a word count of 27,000. I have included a sample excerpt (attached) and would appreciate your custom demos. I will require the final copy on CD.
Thank you in advance, Amanda
What to look for in a voice talent
When you are hiring a voice talent, you'll want to look for the kind of things you would when hiring any freelance professional, including professionalism, dedication to your job, skill sets, talent, turnaround time, and pricing.
Regardless of what your job is, whether big or small, you need someone who can best represent your company and be an audio ambassador for your organization. Oftentimes a voice over is the first point of human contact that your prospects and customers encounter when learning about your company, so make sure that the voice talent you hire understands what you are looking for and can embody your brand when recording the voice over.
Look for someone who is passionate about your job and what they can do for you. A voice talent who expresses a deep interest in what you are doing is more likely to deliver the performance you desire and develop a relationship that will go far beyond this particular project.
Pay voice talent safely and securely online
SurePay is an online payment system developed by Voices.com especially for the voice over marketplace. It allows you to quickly and easily hire voice over talent for job opportunities.
Along with a payment and file transfer service, we've also made it even easier to offer a job to a talent, or to invite talent(s) to audition and quote for your work.
Using SurePay protects you and the voice talent you choose to hire, ensuring that you are completely satisfied with the work delivered before releasing payment while also providing confidence to the voice talent that they will be paid the quoted amount.