Free Voice-Over Talent? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

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Although the idea of “free” everything is appealing, voice-over talent that is free will often have more downside risks than the cost savings. It applies to Free Voice-Over Talent as well.

Take your item to the cashier and go into any store. Tell him/her that you would like to receive this item free of charge, and promise to return to buy more.

You think the cashiers would go for it? They can’t if they want their job to be kept.You may even be lucky to get out of the store with no personal security guard.

This is a common scenario in the creative industries, especially in the voice-over industry. It is absurd to ask VO talent for work for free in the business world.

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This can hurt their business, but it could also harm yours. Some companies still request it and some VO actors continue to oblige.

Free Voice-Over Talent Might Be able to Work for Nothing

It may not be as difficult to find free voice-over talent than you think. This is especially true with more competition appearing in every corner on the internet.

You should be cautious about those who offer to do work for free. Not all reasons may be valid.

New or inexperienced.

It can be difficult to land your first voice-over gig. It is possible to land your first voice-over gig for free.

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It doesn’t matter if the voice-over actor is talented, it might be quite inexperienced. Inexperience in the business can leave the final product incomplete or worse.

Your company will save time, money, and headaches by hiring a fulltime pro VO talent right away. This can help you land the job quickly and accurately.

Talent believes in the promise of more work.

Although your company may have the sincere intention of giving more work to the employee, if the first offer is a goody, you are not legally bound to keep the promise.

If you look at the deal from the perspective of the talent, additional work from companies that are too low to pay for the first job might not be so bad.

Talent needs exposure and professional samples

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This isn’t a bad reason, since it’s always a smart move to stock a voice-over portfolio with outstanding samples of your work.

It also serves as a learning ground. If the voice-over talent contributes at no cost to the project, it can lead you to wonder about how much other aspects are valued.

This could lead to a less-than-stellar gig sample.

This is the way the industry works.

Yes, even in the age of information, many people are still not well-informed about the basic aspects of voice-over.

Attention talent and clients: Working for nothing is not how the industry works. Brooklyn may have a bridge for you if you believe someone else.

How it Can Hurt Your Business

Here are some reasons why you might not be convinced that hiring voice-over talent for free is the best way to go for your business.

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You get what your pay for.

This is a universal truth. Sometimes, cheaper services will result in lower quality results. You can’t get any cheaper than free.

It doesn’t make any sense to add a voice-over talent to your video marketing or video campaigns.

A reputation for being a cheapskate is possible.

It can be difficult to erase a bad reputation if your company offers low-cost or even free gigs.

Even if your future plans include increasing the rates of professional services and paying fair rates, talent may still be suspicious of you.

In the long-term, you could end up paying more.

Technically, a free recording costs nothing. At least not in theory.

In reality, you need to consider the possibility of multiple redos and the training and editing that may be required.

Anecdotally, a friend owns an event-planning firm.

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She has often had to clean up after her non-paid employees by correcting their mistakes, retracing their steps and apologizing for any business partners she’s alienated.

It’s much easier to hire one person with a good job and who is knowledgeable than nine people who aren’t.

Regardless of how many voice-over artists you have, your results might still be disappointing.

You must also consider the additional time, effort, and resources required to find and hire a skilled, versatile, and professional voice-over talent to do the job right the first time.

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A company could end up with lots and lots of bad karma.

Freeing people to work for you is unethical and can be illegal under certain circumstances.

Voice-over actors may be legal classified as independent contractors which exempts you from federal and State labor and wage regulations. However, the definition is not clear.

Karma is a positive force that tends to bring good fortune. Although you may not immediately notice the negative effects, they will eventually come your way.

Although the idea of karma may sound mystical, it is also a lot of common sense. Bad karma can have a huge impact on your profits.

  • Customers will abuse them and flee when they find a better deal
  • Employers who abuse employees will quit as soon as they find a job that’s better. Talented people will not tolerate you.
  • You’ll get arrested, boycotted and even sued if you abuse the community.
  • You’ll be caught and punished if you violate the law, regardless of how long it takes

It is difficult to make a profit when your customers flee, your employees are disgruntled and trying to escape, or you have to deal with court cases and boycotts, monetary penalties, or time in prison.

Voice actor and audio producer Chris Mezzolesta mentioned one final reason not to use free voice-over talent.

He spoke of the amazing feeling that comes from creating something extraordinary and watching it come to life together with a talented voice-over talent.

It may be impossible to find that type of creative partnership with someone who has no stake in the game.

Remember that the actor’s voice is your voice. You will sound better and feel better over the long-term if you treat the talent with respect.

Contact me today if you need high-quality voice-over services for very reasonable prices. Give me a call to discuss your project.