With hundreds of websites and companies offering voice over services and thousands of voice over actors to choose from, deciding how to hire a voice actor seems like a lot of work. It is, in some ways. If you don’t know where to look, it’s easy to hire voice actors who tie you into feedback loops, underdeliver, or barely communicate with you.
You can hire a trustworthy and high-quality voice actor easily enough with some guidance and knowledge of some reputable sources. Here’s how to hire voice actors where to find the best voice talent.
How to hire a voice actor
Write a script that includes notes for your voice actor
Complete your script and finalize it internally before starting your voice talent search. This video from Rued Riis will help lay the foundation for one scriptwriting style.
As you write your script, be sure to prepare it with voice performance details. Include notes such as “extend a pause after this line to sound mysterious,” “emphasize this word to sound more heroic,” or “use a sarcastic tone for this line and a happy customer service voice for this line”
While often overlooked, these notes on reading certain lines are the difference between receiving a good voice over and an excellent voice over that conveys exactly what you’re looking to communicate.
Determine what additional services you’ll need from your voice actor
A voice actor’s voice over experience is one of several variables to look at when hiring talent for your voice over. The industries they’ve worked with, the voices they specialize in, and the services they provide all play a role in your voice over’s quality.
Let’s say you’ll pick one of two voice over actors to record a voice over for an explainer video: one specialized in explainer videos and one who isn’t. While both can deliver a high-quality voice over, the one trained in explainer videos can propose changes on enunciation, words, and voice style that will benefit your video; a non-specialized voice actor is less likely to offer such services.
Define your brand’s voice profile and create a job description
Your brand’s voice profile is a set of characteristics and emotions that listeners associate with your brand. Defining your brand’s voice profile will help you locate a voice artist to consistently record voice overs in the same style.
Describe each emotion, trait, or characteristic of your brand’s voice in detail to avoid ambiguity. List your brand’s emotions, feelings, and voice characteristics and support each of these with an example. For instance, if you want your voice to have a British accent, sound young, transmit excitement, and appear genuine, reach a team consensus on what each of these means before hiring a voice over actor.
Your voice over job description will be a blend between your script, additional services (audio editing, for example), and your brand’s voice profile.
Give feedback to your voice actor
Even after sending a script and job requirements, your new voice actor may not record every line in the tone and style you want.
Send them detailed feedback on lines you aren’t happy with, highlighting what went wrong and right. For example, you can tell them to sound more energetic during a specific line while providing a detailed explanation of what energetic means for your team.
Through quick, detail-rich feedback, they’ll be able to record new lines and send you improved audio files shortly.
Where to find professional voice over artists
Voice actors offer different services, price packages, and levels of expertise, depending on where you look for them. Overall, there are four types of places to find the most professional voice over artists. With this guide, you’ll learn how to hire a voice actor for your next project.
The video above is voiced by Laura Schreiber, a super happy full-time, professional voice over actress who does commercial, character, eLearning, narration, and promo work. Some of her advice about searching for a professional voice over artist is included below.
Professional search sites
Professional search sites are websites where you can access a pool of experienced voice actors. These sites help you find, manage, and make sure your voice over project meets your standards.
Besides exclusively offering experienced voice actors, the benefit of professional search sites is their vast number of filters. Most of these sites let you narrow your search by industry, voice type, and services they offer, among other filters.
Bunny Studio is a platform that assembles professional voice over artists. Each voice actor is pre-vetted so companies can exclusively hire top talent to be the voice for their video game, advertisement, learning, movie trailer, or other situation.
On Bunny Studio, you can browse voice over samples from the artists on the site, narrowing by filters like language, keywords, and purpose of the voice over. From there, you can submit your job description to choose a voice actor you like.
If you aren’t a fan of browsing through samples, you can hold auditions or let AI pair you with a voice actor based on your voice over’s needs.
GM Voices is a team of over 1,000 contracted voice actors recording voice overs for eLearning, explainer videos, audiobooks, and six other formats. Their voice artists use the company’s 18,000-foot production facility, ensuring every voice over meets your quality standards, allowing them to produce engaging, high-quality voice overs like the one below.
In GM Voices, you can follow the standard procedure of browsing through voice actors and choosing one. Alternatively, one of their associates can shortlist voice actors based on your preferences and budget.
Then, after adding your script alongside special notes on pronunciation or emotion, you can either wait for the recording to be over or dial into their phone bridge to listen as the voice over is recorded to provide real-time feedback.
Voiceover.biz is a website where worldwide companies can hire professional voice over actors to record in dozens of languages. Their voice talent is part of the World-Voices Organization (WoVO), an association of voice artists that rigorously evaluates each potential member’s expertise before letting them in.
To find a voice over actor in Voiceover.biz, you need to browse through their list of qualified professionals, review each voice actor’s experience and samples, and then contact the one you like the most directly. Since Voiceover.biz doesn’t mediate the relationship, it’s essential to send a detailed job description and build a contract you both agree on.
Still looking for more? Voice123 and Voice Archive are two more search sites to try.
Voice talent agencies
Voice talent agencies know the nuances of the voice over industry, so they can find voice actors who exceed your expectations. These agencies depend on their voice artist’s performance, so they make sure to follow meticulous steps to guarantee customer satisfaction.
In exchange for a fee, usually between 10% and 20% of the voice actor’s earnings, these agencies will hold auditions for you, saving you time in the search process. Other agencies, like Stars, have a pre-selected roster of professional voice artists you can hire through their directory or auditions after submitting your script and requirements.
At Vyond, we used Stars in San Francisco to help us locate and audition voice actors for this company explainer video:
Freelance marketplaces are platforms where millions of worldwide independent workers signup to offer their services. Because of its freelancer diversity, you can easily find voice artists with the qualities you need.
While some freelance marketplaces like TopTal vet their freelancers, but most don’t have a rigorous selection process. Therefore, you have to research candidates more than you might on professional platforms where voice actors are pre-vetted.
Fiverr is a freelance marketplace where anyone can offer services to companies and individuals. As a result, you’ll find voice actors with various accents, tones, pricing packages, and experience levels. Inside the platform, voice artists publish their skill sets and services, and you, the company, contact them to work together after seeing their work.
Fiverr’s platform is intuitive. Once you log in, type “voice over actor” and any word that helps you narrow the search, like explainer videos, female, or French Canadian accents. When looking at freelancers, focus on those with numerous positive reviews or Fiverr’s Pro badge, a certification of the freelancer’s expertise in what they are offering.
Voices.com is a marketplace exclusively for voice over actors. Unlike in regular freelance marketplaces, like Upwork or Freelancer, you’ll find experienced voice over artists who make a living from recording voice overs, without needing to search through hundreds of amateurs searching for their first gig.
After creating an account, you can fill in the job posting and information from your job description, including a portion of your script. Voice artists from the platform will then read your script as part of their audition so you can sense the entire project’s quality.
Google is the world’s largest search engine, so it’s impossible not to find a voice over actor in its database. However, their size can also work against you, hiding potentially great voice over actors and prioritizing the search results for those following SEO best practices.
While searching on Google, take information from your brand’s voice profile to avoid broad searches like “voice artist” and write more specific queries like “millennial male voice artist” or “mature feminine Spanish accent voice artist.”
Hire a voice actor for your next animated video
Now that you’ve found a professional voice actor, it’s time to create your video. You can easily create videos with intuitive animation tools, like Vyond.
With our platform, you can create a storyboard, that is, a visual representation of what’ll happen during each of your script’s scenes. Then, you can create animations that are perfectly synchronized with your audio, even if you don’t have previous animation or audio editing experience.
See where your creativity can take you with a free 14-day trial of Vyond.
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Great voice actors we recommend
- Andrea J Pierre – With a background in Instructional Design, Behavioral Health, and Social Justice, Andrea is uniquely qualified for a variety of projects
- Galena White – A multi-talented voice actor for West African English, British English, kids voices, animated characters, and eLearning videos
- George Washington III – An authoritative political voice with a range for sports, upbeat and inspirational content, commercials, and even classical singing
- Laura Schreiber – A super-happy, conversational, millennial-sounding voice
- Lauren Nicole Goode – The voice of many Vyond videos since 2013; highly recommended
- Martin Talbot – An energetic British actor with over a decade of experience
- Paul Boucher – An expert in unaccented Canadian French, Canadian English, and American English
- Sanjo Ogunseye – A soothing African-accented voice talent with a wide variety of experience; based in Nigeria
- Samuel Flemming – Someone you may recognize from Marriott and HP
- Sophia Cruz – Specializes in English to Spanish voiceovers in Mexican Spanish, LATAM Spanish, or neutral Spanish
- Susie Valerio – A global voice with a tropical touch in English or Brazilian Portuguese
See where your creativity can take you with a free 14-day trial of Vyond.
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