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5 Things Voice Actors Wish Voice Seekers Understood About Casting Sites

We get it. When you’re not a production house or ad agency, knowing where to go to find a voice over isn’t instinctive. So you do a Google search. That’s natural. Everybody google’s everything all day.

Thanks to the tens of thousands of dollars (or more) casting sites spend on pay per click ads, when you search for basically anything related to voice over, your top results will be any combination of a half dozen or more casting sites.

So you post your job.

Some of us are there waiting to help you with that job. We’ve got our demos uploaded. Our microphones warmed up. Our Granny Smith apples to resolve mouth clicks. We’re primed and ready to deliver exactly the voice over you need! Unless you go to Fiverr. All the good VO’s won’t be waiting for you on Fiverr. But that’s another blog for another day!

Now that you’re on the casting site and you’re ready to post your job, here’s five things that us voice actors would like you, as voice seekers, to understand about the process. Getting these five things will help you get a better voice over and make it easier for us to provide it. So really, everybody wins!

5 Things Voice Actors Wish Voice Seekers Understood About Casting Sites

Give Us Your Best Take: Generic directions such as this or other statements like, “we trust you.” “We don’t really know what we want.” “You’re the professional, we’ll leave it to you.” Or simply saying nothing at all, is a really great way to ensure your casting process will be tedious and torturous. Give us something. Anything. A couple of words. Informative. Upbeat. Conversational. Casual. Authoritative. Post a sample of another read you’ve heard that you like. Anything!

With nothing more than a script, it can be really hard for us, even as professionals, to truly get in sync with your vision for your project. A little bit of direction can go a long way to making the process better for everyone involved.

Budget Breakdown: None of us voice actors really want to say it, so allow me to just go ahead and throw it out there. There are certain casting sites (that start with voices and end with dot com) that take significant portions of your budget, often without you even knowing. Like 40, 50 or even 60% + of the budget that you’ve intended for talent sometimes simply goes into their bank account without disclosure. This makes us sad. So many of us won’t play in their sandbox anymore.

If you want to get the best talent for your project, and make sure they’re getting the whole budget you intended (because sometimes budget determines the level of talent you’ll get), we’d like to suggest you post your projects elsewhere. We’ll find you there. We promise!

Ranking Matters: Voice123 has a ranking system for auditions, and it’s one of the most misunderstand and misused features we’ve ever seen. What you, as a voice seeker, may not realize, is these rankings actually impact us. So, for example, if you listen to 40 auditions and mark one of them with Four Stars and 39 of them with One Star, those 39 talent take a hit from the casting site.

Ranking can help you sort through auditions. We get it. We expect it. We just want you to know that how you rank us matters, and can impact our ability to be invited to future projects. Take the time to understand how it works, and please, unless we really stink (and admittedly, sometimes we do miss the mark), please don’t hit us all with the one star!

What’s The Usage: Voice Actors don’t like it when we see things like, “full buyout for all mediums in perpetuity” on casting site auditions. Here’s why. Let’s say you’re a local pizza restaurant and we voice a commercial for your pizza restaurant. Then one day a pizza chain comes knocking offering us five-figures to voice their national pizza chain commercial. Only, they find out we have a full buyout for all mediums in perpetuity deal with your pizza restaurant. Guess what… we just lost a five-figure VO job.

Most talent want to work with you on your projects and we try really hard to be reasonable. All we ask is you understand the other side of the coin (that would be the side our head is on). If we give all rights to your pizza restaurant, we may never be able to voice another pizza project ever again! And if you’re only offering $250 for your project that could cost us work for a lifetime… well… I think you understand. All we ask is that you be clear and reasonable about usage and let’s all work together to find fair solutions.

Please Listen To Auditions: Nothing is more discouraging for a voice actor than to put a lot of effort into delivering a quality audition for your project, only to find out later that audition was never even listened to. It ends up being a waste of time and that can be frustrating.

Casting sites let you choose audition numbers from 10 to 200 (maybe more). Many people, especially people who are new to casting sites, just set the number to 200, assuming that’s the best way to get the most options. On one hand it is. For sure. On the other hand, think of how long it’ll take you to listen to 200 auditions. Let’s assume every one is :30. Plus you need another :90 to click through the site to access each one. That means two minutes per audition. At 200 auditions, that’s 400 minutes. That’s nearly seven hours to listen to them all. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

In order to make sure everything gets listened to, and you’re not missing a potentially great voice actor for your project, consider setting the audition number to something more reasonable for you and your available time.

The voice over community is filled with many amazing, talented, creative and professional actors who are ready, willing and able to deliver the goods for your project with grace and ease. All we need to make the process as smooth as possible is a few simple steps from you up front that aren’t always made clear in the casting site instructions.

Take these five things into account, and you’ll be well on your way to top notch voice over the next time you need one.

Oh, and as a parting note, if you’re looking for a database of vetted, trusted professional VO’s (and you don’t want to hire me directly *wink* *wink*) please visit!

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.

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Giving Back To Your Voice Over Clients

The relationship between a voice talent and a voice seeker can be a very simple one, if we so choose. A talent provides a voice. A seeker provides a payment. Sometimes it ends there. Sometimes it repeats.

But what if that relationship could be more? What if, as a talent, it doesn’t just stop after the delivery of the audio and the receiving of payment? What if there was more that you could do for your client. More that you could offer?

Giving Back To Your Clients

Do-moreSince we’re rolling into the holiday season; deny it if you wish but we all know it’s true, it got me to doing some thinking. Christmas can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But I believe we can all agree that one of the messages at the core of the holiday is that of giving.

With that in mind, here’s a few ways you can give back to your voice over clients, not just during the holidays, but all year around.

  • Post their project on your site with a link back.
  • Share their video throughout your social networks for free promotion.
  • Buy their product.
  • Use their service
  • Post a review on Amazon, iTunes, Yelp or wherever appropriate.
  • Blog about your client, their product, their service or their brand.
  • Give them a tweet or a retweet, a status update or a share.

This list is really only the beginning. A mere scratch at the surface of possibilities limited only by your imagination.

Customer Or Partner

You could choose to treat your voice over clients simply as another customer. A cash for service transaction. Or, you could choose to invest in that relationship. To come along side them. In essence, become a partner with them. And many times, it doesn’t have to cost you a dime.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a lot of fantastic client relationships where everybody wins, than a long list of one off customers that gave me a one time payday.

Don’t be afraid to give back. To do more.

QUESTION: What other ideas have you got for giving back to your clients?