James Earl Jones has one of those unmistakable voices. Yes, he was the voice of Darth Vader in “Star Wars.” But whenever you hear Mr. Jones, in whatever role he’s playing, you stop and listen to his commanding voice. You almost can’t help it. That’s what you want people to do when they hear your podcast, your business jingle, or even your voicemail greeting. Alas, perhaps you don’t have Mr. Jones’ voice, but you may find just the voiceover talent you need, at an affordable price, at Voices.com.
Voices.com calls itself the “voice marketplace” and offers a Web-based service that caught my attention recently. I had been working on an animation project, and it took us hours and hours to find just the right voice talent to narrate this short animated video. We didn’t know about Voices.com; the agency did all the searching for our project. This service seemed ideal for the small business owner with a busy schedule and a tight budget.
Voices.com is a pretty straightforward service: You can create an account for free and search for talent based on a wide range of categories or needs. From audiobooks to jingles to podcasts to telephone, you can search via the Voice.com directory or just enter some keywords in the search tool. I searched terms like Friendly, Warm, Funny and Conversational, and got plenty of results each time. I tried the free account as an employer for this review.
Voices.com has a global network of over 25,000 voice actors in over 100 languages and currently serves more than 107,220 users online. The company claims to create 6,911 job opportunities on average every month.
Easy enough, but you still don’t know if the person you’re hiring can do the job. Voices.com has that covered with their SurePay Escrow service where your funds are held until you release them, but the individual can see you’ve deposited the payment, giving them some comfort, too.
What I liked:
- I could go direct to the Shop the Store link (under the Hire nav tab) and find pricing for certain types of voiceovers. For example, a simple commercial or voicemail message starts at only $99.
- I liked the narrow niche focus on finding just voice talent. There are many freelancer and contractor directories and matchmaking services out there, but they have a wide range of providers.
- The article directory is terrific and had articles or posts about audio, audio search engines and what Google is doing in audio, such as Google Voice and Goog-411 (which I use all the time and love).
To get your creative imagination going, here are some examples of situations where you might use audio and voice recordings:
- Recorded business presentations and voice messaging systems
- Scripted radio spots and television commercials
- Films and documentaries
- Voices of animated characters in games and other new media
- Narration for educational recordings such as e-learning software
What I would have liked:
This is a small, small point, but I would like to see the “How It Works” link more prominent on the home page and not have to dig for it in the help section. As someone new to the concept of hiring voice talent, this overview (in video and text) is helpful and might get me to post a project faster. Overall, though, I had a hard time finding any challenges with using this site. It is very intuitive and well thought out.
Who Voice.com is for:
If you are a professional who is looking for a place to market your voiceover talents, this may be a place to consider. If you are a marketing agency or small consulting firm that needs to add voice to a project, it is definitely worth a look, or listen I should say. If you are a small business owner who wants to add that special touch to an outbound customer service message or another contact point where a customer hears your message, Voices.com can be a very affordable and direct way to find just the voice you need.
Learn more about Voices.com.
Seems like a very practical way to get good voice talent without having to work your network or pay a fortune.
While this seems like a great deal for people looking to hire a talent, it’s not so great on the talent’s end. I do not recommend voices.com or any P2P website where you have to pay a subscription to be able to bid on work. On the web, as in real life, you should never have to pay to work. There are other downsides as well.
Please reference this article for more information:
I should say,…..that if the website takes a cut as a fee IF you are awarded a job, then that, in my mind, is fine. But to pay a monthly subscription just to have the chance to submit auditions is a waste of money and ultimately, valuable time.
This reads like an ad for the website. I’m trying to find feedback on this site because Im tired of wasting my time looking online for opportunities and getting the run around with decent looking sites with big promises to deliver as long as I pay the fee. Who has the money to hand over a minimum of 40 bucks a month for possibly nothing? Not me. Thank you Voiceguy for your opinion. Paying an unknown person on the internet smells like a scam. Im not saying it is, and I understand that they are a business and need to make money, but its fishy. All the searching on reviews for the site bring up only things done by the site themselves and it seems to be only a few months old as far as what I could find. I saw real jobs posted on the site, but the pay didn’t seem very good sometimes and since theres only so many jobs for thousands of potential hirees Im trying to figure out if this is worth it.
Hi Katie, Thanks for your feedback. I have re-read this review several times and I do not think it reads like an ad. It simply explains what the site is and what you can do with it — whether as an independently employed voiceover actor, or more likely, as a company needing voiceover services.
It sounds to me like you are a voiceover actor looking for opportunities, and you object to the premium offering. Well, one way to think of it is that it’s the equivalent of advertising or paying a publicist to find you work. If you were advertising anywhere, you’d pay in advance an advertisement fee. And you’d pay a lot more than $40/month. Same goes with a publicist. A publicist or agent would not work for free.
One way to investigate the Voices business, is to check out their Better Business Bureau listing. They have prominent links on numerous pages in their site, to their BBB rating. Here’s the link: http://www.bbb.org/western-ontario/business-reviews/television-stations-and-broadcast-companies/interactive-voices-in-london-on-1045736
All the Best,
Thanks for sharing your perspective. I guess my answer and thoughts would be similar to Anita’s. This article was written mostly for the business owner looking to find voice talent for small projects. At the end, I mention that it “may” be a place to look for work, too, if you sell voice talent services.
If you’re looking for projects, paying $40/month to get access to jobs, gigs, projects, is a reasonable fee. You can lower it by buying an annual plan, which brings it to less than $30/mo. When I was looking for project work, I routinely paid the premium fee level at Guru and other service bureaus (which is what Voices.com is)because it ultimately helped me get better gigs. Anita is spot on — it is a low cost advertising expense and I would add that it can bring in a lot of work.
The pay isn’t huge at these bureaus; that’s true. There are a lot of people looking to contract people at a super lower price and you have to decide if you want to bid. It is the simple reality of the recession and the worldwide pool of talent. It is happening in every industry. I will share that I’ve landed projects at these places and they have almost always resulted in more work down the road.
I’d rather pay that flat rate than Scott’s (VoiceGuy) suggestion of a commission-based slice on total fee earned. I would be interested to hear about your work/business as you don’t list a website of your own (are you working on one to represent your voice? This would be a good place to share it). People read these comments and even though I missed VoiceGuy’s comment last year — I usually don’t miss the chance to respond.
Hope this helps.
Can anyone tell me if the pricing structure has changed at voices.com since this article was published? Thank you.
Anyone thinking about registering on Voices.com should read this, especially the section about brokering:
I myself got a few jobs at voices.com, but fee were low and I had to take tons of auditions.
If you do want to audition hundreds of times to get an average of 4 to 6 % of these jobs (and these are not just my numbers but numbers by pros with 20-30 years experience), then subscribe. Not to mention the ‘talent’ population nearly doubled over last year.
And guys, stop saying it doesn’t look like an ad. We’re in the 2000’s. Ads take different forms then ”2 pizzas for the price of 1”. This is ”Satisfied customer testimonial” 101. There’s not a single negative point. Also, TJ you’re on their payroll, so, credibility speaking, not the best person to offer an unbiased review. Just sayin’.
Not sure what you mean about TJ being on the Voices.com payroll. You are mistaken. TJ is not employed by nor did he receive any financial consideration for his review.
Given that you post somewhat anonymously, I have to say that it is likely you who are on someone’s payroll. As Anita points out, I have never been on anyone’s payroll while serving here and wrote unbiased reviews (this post you are commenting on is from 2010). A lack of negativity in a review does not imply anything, really. I simply find there is enough negativity in the world and focus, for the small biz owner’s sake, on the bits that can help them get to a decision quickly. Voices.com is a good service for the SMB owner who needs voice talent.
Is it the best service for voice talent? Perhaps not always, but I am also a freelancer and these services are the new world in which we live. This is life. Restaurant owners complain loudly about Yelp, but tons of restaurant owners use it wisely and get new customers from it. There are many people finding a way to use these brokering services, these matchmakers, successfully. Spending $50/month (just checked) to market yourself is a pittance. Try marketing yourself without the service and let me know how much it costs, please. I am not trying to diss you, but simply know that it is expensive to market, to find new customers.
As for the slight on my credibility, well, I’ll just have to leave that up to the Internet and to the many publishers and editors who hire and pay me. Publications like Forbes, the Harvard Business Review, and this fine site, Small Business Trends.
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