If you need a voice over for a project, you may be tempted to turn to the cheapest option. Everyone likes to save money, and you can find thousands of artists who offer their services at incredibly low prices. However, there is a correlation between price and quality, so it may be tough to find a good artist who doesn’t charge much. Honestly, I can think of only one inexpensive service I’ve ever used that was decent, and that was Fiverr.
Platforms like Fiverr can help you find experienced and highly-reviewed artists that fit within your budget. There are also lots of artists who won’t deliver good work, though, so you have to be extremely careful with your choice. Here are five issues you may run into if you seek out the cheapest voice over artist:
1. Choose Two: Time, Quality, Cost
The Project Management Triangle is a commonly-used tool to describe the limits of project management. The three points of the triangle are time, quality, and cost. In almost all cases, you can only choose two of these three characteristics.
Projects that are cheap and high-quality won’t be fast. Projects that are fast and high-quality won’t be cheap. Projects that are fast and cheap won’t be high-quality.
If you’re committed to creating an inexpensive project, you have to choose between time and quality. In some cases, you’ll have to sacrifice both. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a cheap voice over service, but you must manage your expectations for the project.
2. Cheap Voice Over Is Harming the Industry
As inexpensive voice over services become more and more common, we may see a decline in the overall quality of the industry. This is because cheap rates cause the value of the service to decrease.
Quality should be the most important factor in your choice, but services that offer extremely low rates may not offer much of value. There will always be a market for low-cost voice over services though. Inexperienced voice-over providers will offer their talent for cheap because they can’t compete with higher-quality providers, and some people will always seek out the cheapest option.
When enough providers offer voice over services at a low cost, other talent will start to lower their rates to compete. They can’t maintain a high quality of service at such a low rate, though, so they’ll rush through projects without putting in their best effort.
If cost is the priority in the industry, it eventually leads to a race to the bottom that harms both the providers and the clients. Instead, the focus should be on value so that the customer gets a higher-quality service and the talent can make a sustainable living.
3. No Differentiators
Quality isn’t just a matter of experience or talent. Low-cost voice over artists usually don’t offer any differentiators, which are the qualities that set someone apart from their competition.
In the voice over industry, equipment plays a major role in quality. Experienced artists typically have high-quality microphones and sound-proof environments in which to record. Cheaper voice over artists may record on their cell phones in less-than-ideal environments. Since they charge such low rates, they probably can’t afford to invest in better equipment.
Some professional voice over artists also use specialized software that allows the client to listen to the recording and offer feedback in real-time; this is a great way to streamline the process, but you probably won’t have this feature if you hire a low-cost provider.
4. You’ll Do Extra Work
There are far more people offering inexpensive voice over services than high-quality talent, and the cheap services will be hit-or-miss. You may have to listen to dozens or even hundreds of auditions to find a decent voice over artist at a low rate.
You can usually tell within a few seconds whether or not a voice over artist is a good candidate for the project. Listening to all of these short clips can be tedious, though. Your time is valuable, but if you go with the cheapest voice over service, you’ll probably spend it poring over lackluster auditions.
It is definitely possible to find a good fit for your project at an inexpensive rate, but it will be a big time commitment on your part. Be prepared to spend at least a few hours listening to auditions and demos.
5. You May End Up Spending More
Choosing the cheapest option may seem like a money-saving move at first, but you may actually spend more money in the long run. There are a few ways this can happen. For example, if you’re unhappy with the first take of the project, you may have to pay extra for a do-over.
If you can’t get what you want from the voice over artist, you may scrap the project entirely and hire someone new. By this point, you’ve probably paid at least as much as you would have for one take from an experienced professional.
Editing costs can add up, too. A lower-quality voice over project will require more time and effort from your editor to get into good shape. If your editor charges by the hour, you can expect a sizable invoice.
Like you, we believe in the “time is money” philosophy, and hiring an inexperienced or cheap artist will be especially expensive. You’ll spend more of your valuable time sifting through auditions, coaching them through the performance, and editing or adjusting the final product.
The Hidden Cost of Suspiciously Cheap Voice Over Talent
Hiring a low-cost voice over artist can be a risky move. The quality can be hit-or-miss, and you may have to invest more time or money into editing. Voice over work is a specialized skill, and the best artists have years of experience as well as high-quality equipment. If you’re on a tight budget for your project, it will be hard to find someone who offers that level of expertise and professionalism; this doesn’t mean that inexpensive voice over work is never adequate, though. Plenty of people have been satisfied with their low-cost voice over projects. If you manage your expectations and are willing to dedicate time to finding the right artist, you can end up with a good final product.
It’s important to choose your platform wisely. Some budget voice over platforms are more transparent and trustworthy than others. One of the most popular options is Fiverr, which is home to thousands of voice over artists. Fiverr lets you narrow down your search by budget and delivery time, and you can read reviews from other customers. The talent pool is broad too; you can hire everything from a graphic designer to someone who can help you create 3D models.
Take the time to research your options thoroughly so that you don’t waste your money on an artist who doesn’t deliver. Fortunately, with Fiverr, you can learn a lot about an artist from their listing. If you’re careful and thorough, you can find a quality artist within your budget.