What was the best five dollars you ever spent? I recently discovered the website fiverr.com, which provides a platform for people to sell their services for five dollars per “gig” (the term they use for a single $5 job). There are endless numbers of people providing such services as: graphic design, language translation, illustration, blogging and a lot more. Every service is five dollars, but sellers have the option of including additional services and customization for additional fees.
Last week, I found myself browsing the services when I ran across something that I didn’t even realize I was in the market for: professional voice acting. For the last several episodes of Beyond Bossfights, I’d used my own voice on a recorded intro/catch phrase to welcome people to the podcast, but I was never really happy with it. Perhaps it’s because I don’t like my own voice very much, or perhaps it’s really not suited for that type of thing. Whatever the reason, I didn’t want it to be people’s first impression of the podcast.
When I saw that voice acting was a service that fiverr offered, I started sampling all of the voice artists on the site, looking for one who would be just right to record an intro for Beyond Bossfights. I’ve heard voiceovers on podcasts before, but I had always assumed that it would be out of my price range, just like anything else “professional”!
While searching through the filtered list of voice gigs, there were some artists who just didn’t appeal to me at all, either from a quality perspective or the vocal style. I was open to both male and female voices with either a US or UK accent. After listening to several samples, I finally decided to give misoptimistic (Alexa Rubinov) a try. I really liked the way she sounded in her sample work, which was professional and intelligent with a hint of playfulness. Many of the talents either sounded too “radio” or too cartoonish for my liking. As it turns out, she’s done voice work on instructional material for Apple. Granted, the four day turn around time was longer than some of the other offerings, but when you’re a podcasting hobbyist who releases once a month, you can afford to wait.
Today, I got the results of my five-dollar “investment”. An obvious professional, missoptimistic recorded four versions of my script, each with different inflections and tones, so that I could pick the ones I liked the best. I would not have thought to request that. The quality? Let’s just say that I would have paid about ten times what I did for this, and it’s probably worth even more than that. I’m still somewhat in disbelief that you can get truly professional voice acting at this price.
I guess you’ll have to wait until next month’s podcast to hear the results! At any rate, I thought I would share my experiences for others out there who are podcasting on a budget, but who also might be ready to take it up a notch! Give the voice actors on fiverr a shot. There are so many, odds are that at least one of them will appeal to you. It’s certainly worth a try for five dollars.
Featured image by LASZLO ILYES on Flickr Creative Commons
Microphone image by Jared Polin on Flickr Creative Commons