3 Things to Consider When Looking for Voice Talent in this New Digital World
Technology has changed everything. The world of audio is no exception. When you listen to music, commercials, podcasts or when you hear the sound behind movies, television shows, and YouTube videos, you are experiencing the digital revolution in sound.
In my last post, I wrote about how much audio has changed during my career. From expensive analog gear to cheap digital gear you can buy online, the barriers to entry into the world of sound have been lowered tremendously.
The impact of these changes is massive. However, I want to focus on what all of this means for you if you are a business or organization looking to purchase voiceover services. In short, everything has changed, and nothing has changed.
There is a greater need for professional voice talent than ever.
There was a time when professional voice talent was only needed by other professionals. In the days before YouTube, podcasts, explainer videos, and other user-generated content nearly everything was created in professional studios. If you wanted a radio commercial, you had it produced by a radio station, an agency, or a recording studio. Big-budget television commercials were produced in big-budget television studios. They had access to voice talent either through their staff or talent agencies.
Now, content is being produced 24/7 by anyone who has something to say and anywhere there is a computer or smartphone. Even organizations with the means to hire large agencies and production companies are moving some of their production in-house.
Here are three things to consider if you are looking for voice talent in this new digital world.
1. You have more choices than ever.
There was a time when choices for voice talent were limited. As mentioned above, the talent was usually brokered through the agencies and studios producing the content.
Today, you can go online and choose from thousands of options. You can scroll through the offerings on Fiverr, UpWork, or Voices.com (to name a few) and listen to what thousands of people have to offer. There are still options available through talent agencies and studios, but they are no longer the only choices.
2. Not all of those choices are good.
I like to listen to some of the many demos available at my fingertips. There is some incredible talent out there. There are also some people who bought some equipment on Amazon and jumped right into the business. For a trained ear, it is relatively easy to tell the difference. However, with all this new tech, it can be easy to put together a decent sounding demo. However, a decent demo doesn't mean that someone can turn around the quality work you need for your project.
3. Talent and experience are still the most important factors.
It doesn't matter if someone is standing in front of a $3000 Neumann microphone in the top production studio in the country or tucked in a spare bedroom with a $150 Blue Yeti, it still comes down to talent. If you are looking for a voice to represent your brand, business, or organization, talent and experience are going to be the most critical indicators of the quality of your end result. Using experienced, professional, talent will ensure quality delivery and exceptional sound quality. Working with a talented pro will also usually save you time in the long run and increase the chances of a high-quality final product.
However, none of this is to dismiss the excellent opportunity created by the growing pool of available "semi-pro" talent. If you are just looking for a voice intro for your new podcast, you may not have the money or connections to hire "a list" voice talent.
In my next post, I will share some of the advantages of working with the new vast pool of talent available online.