You’ve heard there’s money to be made from voice-over. Good. You consider yourself a capable solopreneur of sufficient linguistic skill and decide to test your business acumen by bootstrapping your own international voice-over agency. Even better! But what’s next?
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A diverse archive of voice offerings won’t hurt your chances of grabbing the attention of potential clients. Having a background in broadcasting or theatre is certainly a plus. However, unless you’re the next Dee Bradley Baker, odds are you’re going to need help populating your roster. You’ll need samples. LOTS of samples.
Access to voice-over samples is easier now than at any other point in *recorded* (winky face) history. The internet is full of amazing performers. Freelance platforms and social media provide a gateway into an effectively unlimited talent pool.
Before you head off to Fiverr for your pick of the crop custom sample galore, consider this:
Horses for courses. Different voice-over professionals have different sample policies. Find the former and ask them about the latter.
DON’Ts of asking for a custom voice-over sample
- DON’T issue a request aimed at enhancing your business’ voicebank value without (at the very least) having a semblance of a contractual agreement. Asking for a custom sample right out of the gate while offering nothing but a promise of potential work, might come across as pushy.
- DON’T misrepresent the nature of your script. Asking for a 2-3 sentence sample from a ~10-minute corporate narration is reasonable. Asking for 2-3 sentences from a 15-second ad spot is a red flag.
DOs of asking for a custom voice-over sample
- DO tell the contractor you’ve chosen where and how you intend to use the sample. If you’re on the fence on tone, accent, pace, or want to gauge the VAs audio quality for yourself or a client, most colleagues, myself included, would be happy to provide you with a free one.
- DO answer any follow-up questions they may have and ask yours in return – it pays dividends! Check out this post on how poor communication can cost you a voice actor.
- DO see if a watermarked recording of your lines is something they are open to. You get to know what you can expect from the talent. They get peace of mind that you won’t pull a Gone Girl on them.
- DO negotiate for value. If a free custom sample is not on the table, ask for the voice actor’s standard demo(s).
For free downloadable voice-over demos in English and Bulgarian, visit the homepage.
Need a custom sample for your project? I’d love to have a look at your script!
Drop me a line at services[at]voinovvoiceovers.com