“How much does it cost to hire a voice talent?” you ask? Well, I’ve got the answer.
It really varies! Voiceover talent charge different rates, but the majority of them, if they’re smart, go by a sensible “rate guide”, which, again, if they’re smart, is based off of the GVAA Rate Guide. Not everyone quotes by this, but they should. It’s the gold standard for the industry, and frankly, it’s what voice talent should be paid today.
You might be asking yourself, “but how much does it REALLY cost to hire a voice talent?” And that’s a great question. Rate GUIDES are one thing. Actual costs are another. But hopefully the gap between the rate guides and the actual rate cards adopted by professional voice talent isn’t so gaping. We do want there to be a verisimilitude to the rate card, and want it to be as true as the rate guide.
When you’re on sites like Fiverr, specifically (I’ll intentionally pick on them), you have to be careful. Sometimes, you really get what you pay for. Ultimately, anytime you pay bargain basement pricing for something, you can expect bargain basement level of quality. Why are Apple iPhones priced so high? Because they’re awesome, and they work. Why are Lamborghini’s so expensive? Because they’re designed so exquisitely, with attention detail, form, and functionality. They’re sleek and precise and beautiful. And with voiceovers, you want to pay a decent price for a decent service. You don’t want to pay a poor-man’s price for a poor-man’s level of service. You sometimes can find a really good bargain for something, but ask yourself, do you want to bring down the expectations for a whole industry’s rate scale by contributing to voiceover work on a site that facilitates such a plummeting of the rate scale?
Just like on an airplane, you can pay different fares. You can fly coach, or you can fly first class. But there’s a lot of difference in the service that you can get between the two. And the comfort. And the ease. And the expectations are different. When you fly first class, you get the best. But you had to pay for that. So again, the question “how much does it cost to hire a voice talent?” is answered simply with “what kind of service do you really want in return?” What kind of comfort? What kind of ease? What kind of expectations? It’s really totally up to you. But if that’s the question, then the answer is really a question back to you: “What level of service do you truly want in return.” That’s the litmus test. As voice talent, we’ve worked hard to perfect our craft, and to hone our skills to offer you nothing but the best.
Let me cite for you an example I recently explained to a customer, furthering the airplane illustration, because sometimes, clients will come to me and say “We have no budget for this.” Or “we have a very limited budget.” And I completely understand! You want to work within budget and meet or exceed certain budgeting requirements for your projects. Makes total sense. When I was approached by a client who said they had no budget, but wanted me to offer top-dollar service, there was a disparity, and I needed to stand up for the actual rates that I deserved, and meant no offense in doing so. Here’s what I wrote them:
“…But when I see [big well-known company name here], or [other big well-known company name here] or something like that, that’s a commercial project, and that’s a big name candidate to voice. I’d LOVE to voice for them, but as the name is big, the fee should correspond, if that makes sense. The GVAA rates have been standard for quite a while and they’re honestly very fair. And I’ve run a non-profit before; boy can I appreciate how funds are dependent on contributions from your peeps! I do however have to also encourage people to look at it as an investment, rather than an expense. An airplane flight takes you from one place to another and the base “coach” fare isn’t any cheaper for one person over another…unless you’re a lap child, haha! That vehicle gets you from one place to another, where you want to go, and the price is competitive and industry-standard. When VO talent audition and secure “steeply reduced rates”, it brings down the whole industry salary expectation for those of us who are *also* trying to make a living and also have put a lot of time into perfecting our craft. We love what we do, but “the worker is worthy of his wages” if that makes sense. Far be it for me to tell one client that I’ll work for a steeply reduced rate, only then to set an expectation industry-wide that we should all work for steeply reduced rates for any one client. The rate is the rate is the rate.”
Does that make sense? Ultimately, you have a budget, and I’ll try to meet or beat that. Ultimately, you want to make a project pay for itself. And I applaud you for that. I would love to partner with you and I think you’ll find, once you visit my rate guide, that I’m affordable, proficient, and eager-to-please, with a high level of customer satisfaction behind me. But because of that, and because of my longevity, the question “How much does it cost to hire a voice talent?” is answered, with Joshua Alexander as your voice talent, with “well, do you want the best or not?” However, that being said, the minor caveat that I would want to add is “but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by my rates.” I’m told I have some of the best in the industry, and clients come back again and again because of it.
Seattle Voiceover Artist / Voice Talent / Voice Actor for hire