How Do Clients Hire Voiceover Talent?

Being a successful voice-over artist requires so much of us on a daily basis, not the least of which is a strong familiarity with the way the business works as a whole. It’s truly not enough just to be talented or capable in the booth. Understanding the ins and outs of the industry can make a big difference in how well we navigate our careers. A question I often get from folks who are new to voice-over is how clients hire voice-over talent in the first place. 

Before we jump into the how, it’s important to go over what, or who, I mean by “clients.” Clients are the people seeking out and hiring voice-over artists for various jobs. A client might be a creative director at an advertising agency or the director of a commercial or animated series. Whatever their official job titles may be, it’s helpful to understand that in the case of voice acting, clients are the people hiring you.

There are many ways in which a client can find solid and appropriate talent for each job they need to cast. The first, and perhaps most obvious, answer to the original question is that clients can access voice talent through agents and managers. Many clients in creative fields have established relationships with talent agents and managers from whom they can get voice actors that fit a variety of specs at any given moment. By going this route, a client can pass on notices and specs directly to agents and managers who will then return their request with a short or long list of voice actors who may be right for the role or project. This is a quick and efficient way for clients to access highly professional talent, but there are many other methods to finding new talent as well.

In some cases, clients hire voice actors as the result of direct marketing or networking. This would mean that the voice-over artist reached out to the client directly through a cold submission or email outreach or connected with them through a class, workshop, or voice-over event. Often, positive connections are made through this kind of outreach and networking, and clients will reach out to voice actors when a need arises for their specific voice type or abilities. Keep in mind, in order for this to happen, the voice-over artist would need to spend deliberate and organized time building these connections. Having a website and demos or clips to demonstrate your talent and abilities will also be crucial for the success of your email marketing.

There are also, of course, many casting sites that give clients access to a countless number of voice-over artists. Examples include pay-to-play sites like Voices, Voice123, and Bodalgo, among others. These sites act as databases of talent for clients since each allows voice actors to not only create profiles that feature their previous work and demos but also allows them to submit custom auditions directly to clients through audition notices that are regularly updated. 

In a somewhat related area, sites like Fiverr and Upwork also provide clients with the option to hire voice talents through their willingness to search for voice-over artists offering their services as freelance artists, though they will often be looking to pay less than industry standard rates that can be found through GVAA or Gravy For The Brain. 

Finally, clients may discover new talent on social media and through referrals from voice actors, coaches, and casting directors they have worked with previously. Although there are many different ways that clients seek out and find voice actors, it is important to remember that so much of it comes directly from the efforts of the voice actor first. If you want to be found, be sure you are putting yourself out there with an active social media presence, an up-to-date website, a positive agent relationship or regular participation in a pay-to-play or freelance website, and regular access to classes and workshops. Laying the groundwork for your career can lead to easier networking and a higher probability of receiving voiceover auditions and booking more work!

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