How much does it cost to hire a voice over talent?

The voice over industry is one where only a small percentage of those working actually bring in enough to perform their craft full-time.

Whilst you’ve probably read articles or seen television reports about those Movie Trailer Voices bringing in millions of dollars per year, the reality is most voice actors earn a lot less than that.

Rates for a voice talent’s services may appear to be exorbitant at first glance, it needs to be remembered that they are working as a contractor. Paying their own medical, marketing, taxes, insurance, new equipment etc.

Furthermore, the voice talent rates are generally the cheapest part of any advertising campaign.

Some clients think, ‘why should I pay someone a few hundred dollars for 15 minutes work?’ The fact is you are paying for the use of the recording as well. If your product is cola, and a voice talent records for you, it may limit any other work that may come their way for the duration of your campaign.

To answer the question posed in the title of this blog post, the answer is anywhere from $125 for a non-union recording up to tens of thousands of dollars for union voice over jobs.

Just like doctors learn and perform their craft over years and years, voice talent are no different.

Trust me when I say ‘there is a difference between using a budget voice and a professional voice.’

At the end of the day, the voice talent is going to be an extension of your brand. It’s the sound clients will hear as representing you. A professional voice will be able to take your feedback on board and provide you with a clear sounding, correctly pronounced recording in a short amount of time, with the least technical errors.

If you try and save a few dollars by using a cheap or budget voice talent, you’re likely to end up disappointed and dealing with a recording which is unusable.

It’s true, you get what you pay for!

Next time you’re in the market for a voice over talent, please heed this advice; always deal with a reputable website with established voice over talent and clear voice over rates, just so you don’t get burnt.

If the front page of their website looks like it’s geared to signing up anyone as a ‘professional voice talent’, then avoid it at all costs. You may just get your local plumber recording an amateur piece for you.


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