Voice Talent - where to find it cheap?

by bonobo 41 replies
Hi all,

I'm looking for a CHEAP voice talent.

Really just somebody who can record his/her voice in a mic and read in a way that sounds halfway natural. Accent is ok, can be recorded with normal headset, and the reading doesn't have to be 100% perfect.

My "cheap formula":
Cheap = approx. $15 / hour of recording

Do you think it's possible to find someone like that? Where would you look?

Bonobo
#main internet marketing discussion forum #cheap #find #talent #voice
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris_Willow
    I wouldn't do it, but you can always find such people at elance.com and guru.com as well as any other freelance site...

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Lundergan
      While it is possible, it's kind of insult IMO. If I asked anyone on my rolodex to do that, they would say, "Why would I want to do that when xyz client is offering me $150 for 15 seconds?"

      There are people who do long winded projects like that for a very decent price (audio learning voice over niche)...but out of respect for their talent, I would recommend paying them decent. After all, it's one payment and in return you get a tangible product for life.

      I use a few voice over talents that specialize in this. All my customers for any of my products get major discounts off their pricing if they ever want it...but not $15 an hour
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      • Profile picture of the author Platinum Matt
        I'm looking for this also.

        Just a natural, male, American voice. Scripts completed, just need them read and slides recorded. PM me if interested.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gene Pimentel
    University students may want to take on something like this. It's something they can do on their own time and $15 an hour is appealing for just talking (as opposed to flipping burgers). You'll want to interview before you hire of course, to be sure their voice is mature and clear enough.
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  • Profile picture of the author wassim
    I really adore this service: Video Spokesperson - Add Online Virtual Spokesperson to your Website

    Awesome speakers! I don't think it's cheap, but their service is worth the money that you spend.
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    • Profile picture of the author bonobo
      Hi all,

      @Scott: I agree it is not appropriate to pay professional voice talent like that. But I just don't need that kind of voice quality for this project :-)

      @Gene: great idea! I'll try that!

      @Wassim: I think they're a lot more expensive than $15 / hour?

      Thanks all, this really helped me out.
      Bonobo
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  • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
    Go to a site like elance and look up voiceover talent/artist.

    You *might* be able to find such a rate from people who are starting off and need to add a testimonial and sample for their portfolio.

    Best of luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Another possibility is local media talent. Local news people or radio announcers tend to freelance a lot, or at least some of them do.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Another possibility is local media talent. Local news people or radio announcers tend to freelance a lot, or at least some of them do.
        yeah but not at that price!
        I work with those guys all the time- and we charge out $100-150 dollars an hour
        use students
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexKaplo
    I have found that elance.com is a bit expensive. I have had many projects done at getafreelancer.com ...you can find people that charge $4/hour there which is unbeatable.

    You can also do what John said and that is to find a local media talent but I'm pretty sure they will charge you an arm and a leg...

    Have a great and good luck with your project!

    Regards,

    -Alex Kaplo
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Lundergan
      Actually, that is true about getafreelancer for their media services..you can get much better deals/value on there IMO than elance.

      Also, the strategy someone mentioned about finding someone who needs a portfolio built and has a good voice..that is also a great strategy. I have done that before in different multimedia areas (not voice)...but surely it would work in voice as well, so both parties win.


      Scott
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      • Profile picture of the author Scott Woodside
        Hey, it's like everything in life. You get what you pay for. Most of the talent that voice books, commercials, articles, and splash pages have been doing this for years.

        I've worked for some of the largest names in the world hawking my voice. Delta air lines, Coca Cola, Gillette, Noxema, Nissan, Ford, and more!

        I'll tell you one thing, the money that used to be there to pay the talent is no longer available like it once was.

        I used to be AFTRA/SAG and make gigantic amounts of income, but with the advent of the internet and cost effective ways to build a virtual studio, all bets were off.

        I now do voice work for 5 times less than I once did, but I do it in bulk. I offer a professional product at an affordable price.

        I've even given away free audio voice production right here on the Warrior Forum and believe it or not have not always gotten that many takers.

        The problem with most marketers is that they don't see the value in audio. They don't get it. Their competitors do, but they don't. And that's OK, because the ones who do understand the value of audio marketing are the true professionals.

        So, like everything else in life, you can hire anyone who has a mic and a mouth with two lips and free audio software. And you will get voice work for "Peanuts". Garbage in--Garbage out.

        It's like everything else in life: Do you prefer Steak of Hamburger? Macy's or WalMart. Kia or Mercedes. You get what you pay for.

        Imagine saying to Julia Roberts: "Hey, I'm doing this movie and only have a few hundred dollars. Do you know where I can get someone just like you that I don't have to pay a lot for?"

        Anyway, good luck in your journey looking for something for nothing! You'll spend way too much time and effort and in the end you'll get exactly what you pay for!

        Now, I'm back to recording more voice work for some of the top marketers in the world. I wish I could tell you who they are, but they are so guarded with their products, that they don't want you to know that they know the power of audio.
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        Scott Woodside

        The number 1 Choice for Audio Production!
        Member, Screen Actor's Guild
        http://www.scottwoodside.com

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        • Profile picture of the author sylviad
          Here's an idea...

          Contact a college / high school near you and see if one of the media students would be interested in doing the voiceover. You might want to boost the price to $50 at least, just so as not to insult them. In exchange, you can provide them with the final product on CD so they can include it in their portfolio. You could even give them a letter of recommendation for a job well done.

          Best to try to talk to the course teacher in this regard. Students are always looking for field work to build their portfolios in prep for graduation. Or even for one of their course projects.

          Forget media pros. There's an extremely small likelihood that you'd find a journalist who would do it for $15 or even $50. Yes, they do freelance work, but not at that wage.

          Sylvia
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        • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
          Originally Posted by Scott Woodside View Post

          Hey, it's like everything in life. You get what you pay for. Most of the talent that voice books, commercials, articles, and splash pages have been doing this for years.

          Now, I'm back to recording more voice work for some of the top marketers in the world. I wish I could tell you who they are, but they are so guarded with their products, that they don't want you to know that they know the power of audio.
          I love undercover marketers
          I'm in the same boat- makes it hard at testimonial time- but then, I rarely need testimonials as so much is word of mouth!

          And I'm bookmarking you Scott for future needs- awesome!
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Woodside
    forget pros? A pro will do voice work for $50.00. Why would you want to hire a college student for the same price without any experience??????
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    Scott Woodside

    The number 1 Choice for Audio Production!
    Member, Screen Actor's Guild
    http://www.scottwoodside.com

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    • Profile picture of the author graphicsgenie
      You'd be suprised the prices you can get for pro Audio work.

      If you arent after the very best in the business, I reckon you would be able to find what you are looking for, for the price you are offering

      Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Originally Posted by Scott Woodside View Post

      forget pros? A pro will do voice work for $50.00. Why would you want to hire a college student for the same price without any experience??????
      Perhaps in the U.S., or here you might find young cub reporters who'd do it cheap. College students have the voices, and access to the equipment, especially media course students. They are learning the latest methods. There are some excellent TV and Radio course students who would probably jump at the opportunity. Experience? Certainly, the training they are getting is all you need for the OPs needs. Plus, their teachers can assist them with using the proper equipment for best results.

      I'm not saying this on a whim. I was one of those students. Some of them were amazingly good, with excellent voices and great personalities. Those who were serious about their career choice were anxious to find such jobs, no matter how small.

      If you're in the business and offering to do these jobs for $50, that's great. I'm not disputing that. I was talking strictly about media (TV, Radio) personalities, not pros in general like you.

      Sylvia
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    • Profile picture of the author Dixiebelle
      Originally Posted by Scott Woodside View Post

      forget pros? A pro will do voice work for $50.00. Why would you want to hire a college student for the same price without any experience??????
      Scott: You need to check the link in your sig. I tried it twice, and all I get is "This page cannot be displayed".

      Dixie
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      • Profile picture of the author IMChick
        I think you should go with Scott Woodside. Wait till you have the funds.

        Do it once and get it right the first time. No, not affiliated with Scott, don't know him, but you will have a better product with the right professional person.

        In addition, you may be able to re-purpose the content if the first time through is of higher professional quality.

        A ? for Scott: do you use standard industry contracts for this?
        What are the top questions warriors need to know when retaining voice talent?
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  • Profile picture of the author Gene Pimentel
    Scott, I'm bookmarking your website for future reference. Good quality there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Woodside
    Auckland? How cool is that? What a beautiful country. I think. I've been all over the world but have never been to India or New Zealand. Probably will never go to India unless its to see the audio outsourcing facilities they use. LOL...thanks for the nice words. Now if I can just get someone to re-do my site.
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    Scott Woodside

    The number 1 Choice for Audio Production!
    Member, Screen Actor's Guild
    http://www.scottwoodside.com

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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    I can tell anyone visiting that Scott's work is -without a doubt, a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave777
    If for whatever reason you need to work on a low budget. A great place to find affordable talent is in fashion boutiques, retail outlets and trendy restaurants. Afterall, that's where most are waiting patiently for that next big opportunity! Surprisingly, you can find all kinds of talented people in these type of places, including writers and people of many other expertise. And many of them not only sound good, but they look great too...

    Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author write-stuff
    One thing to remember when you're shopping for readers. Do they have the wherewithal to provide you with a good quailty audio file? That means they need something more than $10 computer store mic and the bundled recording software that comes on their computer.

    Even though a quality pro will likely charge you a dollar a second of finished audio, you will get a much better product. And if you're looking for something to play on your website $40-$60 for a great sounding audio clip is well worth it. Now obviously, this pay rate won't work for an audio book, but for longer scripts, the dollar/second thing doesn't apply.

    It's one of those penny wise pound foolish issues.
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  • Profile picture of the author write-stuff
    I spent a little time looking at Scott Woodside's site:
    http://www.putvoiceonyourwebsite.com

    For quality and price, I don't think you're going to beat what he has to offer. Case closed.

    - Russ
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam Kenzington
    Hey Bonobo,

    Have you ever read out loud for an hour? To do their best job, someone would have to read the script a few times to get their inflection right and sound natural, as you said that is what you are looking for. $15 is an awful low amount to offer someone for this. If, as you say, the quality doesn't have to be that great, why don't you do it? Save spending any money at all.

    Really, even a college student will probably turn $15 down. There time would be more profitably used in studying, so they don't have to accept $15 an hour.

    The Bible says "A workman is worth his hire." That means pay someone a decent wage for the value given. If your product is worth it, you would want to be paid a decent price for it. If you were selling it for $47 and I said "I'm sure it's worth that, but I'll give you $10.95. Do you take Master Card?" You would probably tell me to...emm...Well you would at least tell me to keep my money. And I'm afraid that's what your voice over guy is going to tell you, too. Offer $50, your chances are better for getting the talent and the type of finished product you would be proud of.

    Go on, man...Loosen those purse strings, just a little.
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  • Profile picture of the author bonobo
    Hi all,

    wow, what an incredible brainpool the warrior forum is! I'm really stunned!

    @Kevin_Moriarty: wow, GREAT idea! Thank you!

    @AlexKaplo: great, I'll try getafreelancer.com!

    @Scott: Thank you for your experienced advice, I appreciate that. I looked at your website - do I understand it right that I can send you 20 pages full of 12pt text (double spaced paragraphs) and it costs $100 to get a recording with the voice that I hear on the samples?

    @Sylvia: that's a great idea. I'd never thought of targeting specifically media students and doing it like a "paid project" kind of thing.

    @graphicsgenie: do you have a recommendation where to look for them? Getafreelancer?

    @Dave777: gee, I never thought of that... and am quiet surprised to find affordable talent there. After all, they should have money when they're hanging out there? I'll give it a shot though.

    @write-stuff: I understand that the quality won't be top-notch, but that's ok for this project.

    @Adam: thanks for that advice. See, I've worked long enough for less than $15 / hour, and I've done way worse jobs than sitting in front of a mic and reading. I'd have jumped on an opportunity like this a couple of years ago. And I'm sure there are other people like that too. Maybe that's not the right mindset, maybe it is - I'll give it a shot for this one project and get it done with the budget I planned for it. If I end up with bad stuff, I'll remember your words and give THAT a shot. And I'm just amazed by the amounts of ideas and creative approaches that fellow warriors brought to the table. It's a great place.

    Thanks to all you who contributed to this thread, you were of big help!
    I'm going to try the different methods to find cheap labor and do that first project. Maybe I'll learn that I could have saved a lot of time hiring a pro right away, maybe I'll find that it's really possible to go the bootstrapping road.

    Anyway, Scott Woodsides site is bookmarked. If I understand his offer right, it's great value for the money. That I see even with my tight purse. I hope he won't be booked out by then...

    Bonobo
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  • Profile picture of the author kkchoon1
    Banned
    Some nice voice over services:

    http://voice123.com
    http://www.voices.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Tuzic
    Banned
    hi,
    i wouldnt do this either, cant you ask a friend or something?
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  • Profile picture of the author kumar
    Originally Posted by bonobo View Post

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for a CHEAP voice talent.

    Really just somebody who can record his/her voice in a mic and read in a way that sounds halfway natural. Accent is ok, can be recorded with normal headset, and the reading doesn't have to be 100% perfect.

    My "cheap formula":
    Cheap = approx. $15 / hour of recording

    Do you think it's possible to find someone like that? Where would you look?

    Bonobo
    Hello Bonobo,

    Are you specifically looking for an American native for this job? I am interested, but $15/hr is a bit less. Please PM me if you think my voice is feasible for your project (I have a 5 yr. experience dealing with American and European clients, not as a voice talent but doing daily/weekly calls with them and they never complained!) and we can work out an agreeable rate
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      @Sylvia: that's a great idea. I'd never thought of targeting specifically media students and doing it like a "paid project" kind of thing.
      Bonobo: Consider, too, that by offering such an opportunity to students you are supporting your community. This approach can benefit you in the future in several ways.... next time you need help, to find potential "freelance staff" if that's the way your business goes, and to build your reputation. You could make the most of your "community spirit" by announcing on your site that you are proud to have benefited from the skills of.... (school, student). AND you are opening the door for future JV partners and opportunities. It's all good!

      As well, some communities have student-related grants that businesses can get to pay for providing students with on-the-job opportunities. Worth checking into. They are common here in Canada, anyway.

      Sylvia
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  • Profile picture of the author mardyhit
    This is a great thread. You know, I wasn't even aware that this industry existed before I started using gotvmail's professional voice studio (they have in-house voice over people to record answering messages, etc), but I think with more and more people getting into online video marketing there's probably more jobs for freelance voice talent than ever before.

    One note, most of the voices I've had the pleasure of working with charge by the page and not the hour (or in some cases even by the word). I think they factor in having to do several takes if necessary, etc. Also, if they do their own recording there's usually a slight "engineering" fee.
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  • Profile picture of the author Suthan M
    Scott did the voiceover at this website of mine: Your Simply Stupid : The World's Official Simply Stupid ( But Converting) Website !! .. He did a Hollywood-esque quality worthy of a TV spokesman (he is a radio guy though), and i cant recommend him enough..

    Really, he is good. Just get him
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    • Profile picture of the author Adam Kenzington
      Originally Posted by asianlunatic View Post

      Hey man,

      I checked out your site. One question, WTF!?! What a waste of bandwidth. Do you really get people to pay you to abuse them? If so, I guess you labeled them right...I found it hard to even stay on your page long enough to see what your pitch was. That still isn't very clear, as you never really come out and say "Here's what I'm offering"

      I wouldn't be caught dead even clicking your order button to find out how much you charge to insult people.

      I guess it takes all kinds...

      Scott, I like your voice-over talents (not on THIS site) but I have to say, you must have been desperate for work to take this gig.

      I don't get it (the appeal of being willing insulted and abused). You get off on calling everyone stupid and telling them you, on the other hand, are a genius.

      Well, genius, I'm afraid you'd think twice before saying the things you said on your webpage to my face. I wouldn't be able to help myself. I'd B*tch Slap the Cocky right off you. (or, as I like to think of it, Knock some sense into you).

      I have to admit, this just hit me the wrong way.

      I guess in the end, I'm the stupid one for reading past the first paragraph of this insulting website. I don't understand the point of it. Blatant Name Calling.
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