You’ve put in a lot of hard work, and you’re ready to hear your creative project come to life. Now, it’s time to post your Voices job, and start gathering auditions from the best voice actors.
The more details you provide in your voice over job posting, the better.
This chapter will walk you through several tips about how to confidently express your vision and create a fine-tuned Voices job posting that will attract the best voice actors to audition for your creative project.
What to Include in Your Voices Job Description
Voices makes it easy to hire for your creative project by equipping each job form with pre-existing fields, so that you know the variety of details that can and should be included in your posting.
To give auditioning voice actors ample material to work with, and the opportunity to show off their ability to interpret your vision, you’ll want to incorporate a few lines of artistic direction into your job description. Brush up on how to provide artistic direction for your job posting.
Your job description ought to include the following:
- Project Title
- Client’s Name
- Usage Category
- Job Description
- Script Word Count
- Voice Age
- Talent Budget/Deadline
Let’s break down each of the considerations to have in mind as you craft the Voices job posting for your creative project.
Crafting a Job Title
In the entertainment industry, a voice over job posting is also referred to as a “casting call.” The title that you bestow your job posting or casting call with is the first thing that talent browsing the marketplace will notice, and it plays a significant role in determining whether they feel they’re a fit for the role, and that it will be worth their time to audition. A lot is riding on that title being well-defined, relevant, and engaging.
Your job title should normally include the ‘what’ (e.g. Explainer Video), and the duration of the finished project (e.g. 2 minute Explainer Video). While some brands opt not to advertise ‘who’ they are, in order to avoid being flooded with auditions, it’s still worthwhile to provide as much context as possible (e.g. 2 minute Explainer Video for Productivity Software).
If your project is in need of a specific skill set, your job title should instantly communicate that. Voice actors scan through a multitude of job postings very quickly, and they have to be selective about where they place their effort. So, if you’re in need of an Urdu voice, your job title should read: “Urdu 2 minute Explainer Video for Productivity Software.” This way, you’re far more likely to catch the attention of voice talent who possess that specific ability.
Depending on the generosity of your character count, you may need to flex those creative muscles and reduce your title in order to succinctly capture what you’re casting for.
Voice Over Job Usage Categories
When you sit back and consider voice over, does your mind tend to gravitate toward radio and TV commercials? The world of voice over extends far beyond those two categories. There are 14 main categories of voice over work, divided into Broadcast and Non-Broadcast based on their usage. They are:
- Internet Ad
- Internet Video
- Movie Trailers
- Video Games
- Voice Assistant
Before posting a job, you must know how voice over will ultimately be used in your project. As you can see from the categories above, understanding if the voice over will be broadcast, or not, is critical. Ask yourself, will the voice over recording guide listeners through a company training video destined only for corporate internal use, or will it be used as the voice of a talking toy to be distributed globally? Will a spot be broadcast over local radio for a single month or two, or will it serve as, say, the main narration for a documentary program that airs regularly on a major TV network?
How voice over usage affects rates and pricing
Not only will voice actors want to know where their voice will end up after they record it, but distribution and duration of usage can also affect voice over rates and pricing.
A voice over produced for broadcast purposes will take into account factors such as market size, costing differently depending on whether its listenership is local, regional, or national. The number of ears a message will reach impacts the amount of money voice talent will charge.
The wider the audience that will hear the voice over, the more it is bound to cost. A short recording that lasts only 30 seconds may ultimately be heard by millions of people. 30 seconds of voice over for a Super Bowl advertisement would, for instance, command a far larger fee than a 30 second commercial airing at almost any other time.
In addition to that, the amount of time and effort that the job requires will directly factor into the pricing. Hiring an actor to record the audiobook for the next Harry Potter series won’t, understandably, mirror the price of hiring an actor to read the contents of a Dr. Seuss story, because the higher the word count, the more work that is required of the narrator. Your payment will thus account for the time that voice talent spends both narrating and editing the audiobook.
That being said, despite the amount of time that recording a certain project requires, the expected audience for non-broadcast work is almost always lower than standard broadcast work. That reduced audience size is reflected in the cost of hiring a voice actor to narrate your audiobook. However, there are deviations: if you’re procuring narration for a New York Times Best Seller, you’ll likely find yourself paying more for the read than a publisher normally would for lesser-known titles or authors.
How to Provide Artistic Direction
Artistic direction serves as a roadmap to guide the talent to the perfect vocal delivery.
It is far better for your brand, prospective voice talent, and you, if you present your voice talent with clear instructions and a vision on how you’d like them to sound and breathe life into your script.
This is called giving artistic direction, and it’s an essential component of the hiring process if you want to get anything close to the read you are looking for.
If you’ve never provided artistic direction before, here are a few questions that will help you flesh out the character you’ve created and get the best possible auditions. You can use your answers to these questions to write some lines of artistic direction that will appear in the Job Description field of your job posting.
- Who is the character?
- Who are they talking to?
- What are they talking about?
- When will the message be heard? Is it time sensitive?
- Where is the audience/where will this message be heard?
- Why is this message important?
- How can I best convey the essence of the brand?
Here is how the answers to those questions could translate into artistic direction for a fictional transportation company, looking for a voice for their commercial:
The character is a middle-aged man from the South of Georgia, who is speaking to young families located within state, who are in search of safe, reliable transportation for their families.
Specifically, he wants them to know about a new bus carrier that provides easy transportation between major municipalities in the state of Georgia.
This message will be broadcast throughout the summer months in order to promote affordable family getaways and day trips within the state.
Ultimately, this project intends to capture the spirit of the state of Georgia, bring families together, and support local businesses and tourist attractions. As such, we are in need of a middle-aged voice that is both personable and authentic in order to convey that the new state bus carrier is an easy, dependable mode of transportation.
Conducting an analysis of the themes and characterization in your script is one solid way to determine how a voice actor may also go about approaching it. Whatever details are readily apparent in the script will provide insight on the way the voice actor conducts their vocal delivery.
Selecting a Language and Dialect
Selecting the language you want for your voice over is often a no-brainer. You already have a handle on your target demographic and the languages that they communicate in, so now all you need to do is find the talent who can speak it fluently.
However, one chief consideration that you ought to have on your radar when selecting a language is whether there are multiple dialects associated with the language you require. Choosing the right dialect will put you in a better position to locate native speakers of that particular language who can best communicate to your audience. For example, did you know that there are 10 major dialects of Spanish spoken in the world today?
There is the Spanish of Spain (often referred to as Castellano because it derives from the Castile region of Spain), the languages spoken on its Peninsula and variations on the Spanish language spoken in Latin America, with each country and region adopting and evolving their own version of the language. If Spanish audiences are of interest, you can even train your ear for different Spanish accents.
Once you understand the nuance of a language’s dialects, it becomes clear that you must identify which dialect of that language that you want to move ahead with.
Ensuring Your Script is Localized When Necessary
Localization involves the process of adapting your content for a particular audience, whether that be text, imagery, or broader concepts, so that the audience understands, in their own language, culture, and lexicon, what you’re trying to say in a way that relates to them.
Localizing a message means that you don’t take the ‘one size fits all’ approach to communication, but rather a narrower, more strategic approach to speaking to a group of people in meaningful, accurate ways.
Localization involves so much more than using the accent or dialect that a group of people possess. It means that your writing is carefully aimed at a certain culture, paying heed to context and communicating in the words that will resonate most with that group.
Choosing a Gender
Often, gender selection is guided by the target audience and the effect that you’re trying to have on them. So, you can start by considering whose voice your audience would most respond to. Would they expect that the voice over for this particular message be delivered by a male or a female voice?
Additionally, certain fields of voice over tend to use either female or male voices more prominently than the other. For example, male voices are more commonly employed in movie trailers, and female voices show up more regularly in telephony and voice assistants.
You may also consider the unique capabilities of the female voice when it comes to casting children’s roles. In the voice over industry, it’s become a norm for adult female voice actors to voice young male characters, generally between the ages of 7 and 14. There are a few reasons for this.
Female voice actors:
- Possess the vocal capabilities to deliver a performance that resembles the sound of male youth
- Sound more convincing than adult male voice talent in this area
- Are able to maintain continuity because their voices won’t change over time (unlike young boys whose voices change as they age)
Despite these tendencies, you’re bound to find that all voice artists, no matter the gender, are able to voice work produced for any medium that you are casting for.
In cases where you can’t decide whether your creative project requires a male or female voice, there is always the option to accept auditions from any gender. You might be surprised by what you get back.
Sometimes you’ll just know it when you hear it. That’s one of the beauties of online casting: you’re granted the opportunity to listen through a multitude of auditions before deciding who you’d like to work with.
In many instances, the age of the voice you cast can make a huge impact on the audience.
For instance, if you’re producing a toy store commercial, your target audience may be mothers or fathers. This means you’ll be on the lookout for voice actors who are roughly the same age as your typical young mother or father.
As you search for a voice actor or listen through auditions, keep in mind that looking at a voice actor’s headshot often isn’t the greatest indicator of how old their voice sounds, nor is it a good gauge for what their voice may sound like. The age of somebody’s voice, or ‘voice age,’ doesn’t always correspond to their legal age. Sometimes, voice talent who outwardly appear older may still sound ten or twenty years younger than they appear. That’s one of the fascinating things about the human voice and the rates at which different individuals’ voices mature.
Men’s voices mature faster than women’s voices. To give you an idea of how that plays out, a woman’s voice isn’t fully matured until the time they reach about forty years old. There’s a lot of time in between for the female voice to grow from childhood to maturity in terms of her instrument’s growth.
Some talent are able to voice more than one age range. A young adult may have the capacity to modify their voice to produce both an older teenage sound as well as a middle age voice.
In your search for the perfect voice, set your chosen voice age in your Voices job posting, and then let your ears be your guide. This will free you up artistically so that you can be a better listener and prioritize your one true goal: finding the best voice actor to represent your brand.
Describing the Work
Your final task is to build upon all the aforementioned details and explain the essence of your project inside the job description field of your job posting.
Here, you have the opportunity to introduce yourself to talent, offer a brief backstory about the project’s origins and motives, and outline your requirements. Talent often prefer to know more details than you may expect, and are generally looking for ways they can be the solution to your problem. Talent pay close attention to all of the information featured in a job posting in order to best bring your vision to fruition, so don’t be afraid to go into details.
Here’s an example of what you might find outlined in the job description and artistic direction fields of a job posted on Voices:
Our classic rock radio station is known for being crazy and way out there. We’ve been doing radio our own way since we started on the airwaves in 1972. And while our morning show format may have changed a few times since then, 95.7 WFPK (The Jackal) still is the gold standard for radio morning shows in the Southwest.
Charlie and Nick in the Morning is Reno, Nevada’s #1 most-listened-to radio morning show since 1997 (the first year Charlie and Nick started).
Charlie ‘The Cheese Factory’ Torino, ‘Slick’ Nick Brown and their producer Dave ‘The Recluse’ Baker will need a strong TV promo campaign to keep listeners locked into Charlie and Nick in the Morning, and not tune in elsewhere.
We will produce multiple 15 and 30-second commercial promos that will run on TV stations across Nevada and Northern California.
Our main demographic is men aged 30-55 years old. 85% of our listener base is male.
For these promo commercials, we need a classic radio announcer voice that can be outrageous and goofy.
We need a voice that has the classic polish you’d expect from a radio morning show TV promo, but able to add to the quirkiness of the script.
We really want the voice actor to have fun with the script, as their tone and approach will add the color these commercials need, in order to have the desired impact.
When your creative project calls for specific technical requirements, such as file format, or a particular piece of equipment is necessary to complete the job, it is critical that you outline these in the body of the job posting.
If you need talent to deliver the files within 24 hours, say so. If you’re hoping to direct the recording session via Skype or FaceTime, make that known so that talent will only reply if they have those specific capabilities.
Spelling out these details as early on in the hiring process as possible will ensure that you foster a relationship of open communication with the voice actor, from the moment they’re hired until the job is completed.
Setting Recording Session Location Expectations
If you need voice talent to come into your studio, it’s best to make this known at the job posting stage.
While you may not require talent to fly to remote locations to do the recording, you may prefer that they be already located near your Los Angeles production facility or New York City recording studio. Telling the talent in advance that this is your preference eliminates any surprises and ensures that only those talent replying to your job are 100% able to be on site for the recording.