Building Strong Client-Voice Actor Relationships: A Blend of Creativity and Collaboration

12th May 2023

We’re excited to be bringing back our Spotlight blog series, and in line with Mental Health Awareness Week (15th-21st May), our US based British Voice Actor Charlie, shares how ‘anchoring’ has helped her as a professional voiceover artist, to connect with clients and communicate their messages effectively.

So, how can ‘Anchoring’ help clients and voiceover artists alike?

Charlie explains …

ANCHORING

By Charlie at Great British Voices.

What is an Anchor?

Anchor | an·​chor | aŋ-kər

Well, unsurprisingly, an anchor is defined as “something that serves to hold an object firmly or that gives a feeling of stability”.

What does anchoring have to do with us and more importantly how does this factor into Mental Health Awareness Week?

When life gets crazy and chaotic, having something that anchors us, that steadies us, is vitally important. It can be significant big things like our family, our faith, our past, things that have shaped us and continue to shape us as people. Or it can be small and what to others may seem mundane like working out, reading, cooking, writing, journaling, our daily working routines, our down time.

Why do we need Anchors in our working life?

A little background:

Without an anchor we are mere ships floating on an unknown ocean, in a literal and figurative sense. These anchors form the basis of who we are.

You would be surprised how having things that anchor us in the physical are the vital core requisites to our mental wellness, which in essence forms our ability to propel ourselves forward, to feed our ambition to move towards our goals, to shape the way we work and connect with others, facets that are vital in ensuring we are working with our clients to offer them the best part of us.

Clients don’t want to work with frazzled, flustered, harried, stressed or disorganized voice actors. We owe it to our clients to show up, ready to do the work.

How can we, as professional voiceover artists utilize these Anchors in our work to help you; our clients?

As voiceover artists and voice actors we work within so many different genres, navigating the differing seas of animation, commercial, corporate, trailer, video games… the list is endless, but we need to be flexible to switch on a dime. So having a tether, or an ”anchor” is important to us, and ensures our clients have faith in us as the “talent”.

Tips for Voice Actors;
From the ground up – foundation is your anchor

We as voice actors are the steadfast anchors for our clients, which in turn ensures you have trust in us. We take on the projects for you from start to finish, we put in the background the polished version of ourselves and dig deep into our toolbox to embody the read. This often includes;

  • Knowing our studio set up and tech inside out to be able to troubleshoot any issue on spec
  • Having some genre specific voice acting training so we have the toolbox to dip into when a client asks for varying reads
  • Being organized and ready, showing up to do the work:
  • Hydrated
  • Prepped
  • Ready mentally, emotionally and physically

Recording long hours needs physical stamina, especially when locked in a sound booth, so it’s important for our own mental health to keep physically active too!

Tips for Clients hiring Voice Actors
Communication is Key:

For the most part, us voice actors love planning, routine, structure, and clear concise communication. Which is ironic given that acting is a free area for creative inputs. However, when working with new clients or current clients on new projects it is important to have some basic anchoring ground rules, so the ships don’t wander off into destinations unknown.

  • Communicate the budget, planned usage, longevity, and location of the project in writing.
  • Discuss the option of adding the NAVA AI Rider to contracts – this shows the actor you respect them enough to protect them and the voice from future misuse.
  • Clarify how you want the project to be recorded and delivered.
  • Offer any directorial advice and notes and if possible share sound bites, images, music. Anything that can aid the creative process for the actor
  • If needed explain how the remote directed session will run and how long this will be and by which format – Zoom, Skype, Session Link Pro, Source Connect etc.
  • If an NDA is involved clarify the terms of use and when the NDA will be completed so the actor can share the work respectfully within the guidelines of said NDA.
  • Discuss the retakes rates for any pick-ups and what the expectation is for delivery pickups within the first year. Is this a percentage of the script or a new one? Those differences matter to the actor and how rates are set.
  • Respect the voice actors working hours and how they wish to be communicated with for this and future projects.

The main benefit in working with a real (human) voice actor is the ability to take on a whole slew of emotions and bring the work to life. It also means you get a to speak with a real person and maybe discuss your needs in other areas that require voice actors.

Finally…
Trust your instincts.

Voiceover artists are here to help you, so it is important for you as the client to have the confidence to speak openly if things need to be changed, we are here to do your work, we won’t be offended.

Be fully transparent about your requirements and how you intend to use the audio –

The more information you can share, the better. Be fully transparent with the talent as to where their voice is being used, and the budget you have to acquire the usage you’re after. Most voiceover artists will always be happy to negotiate on rates, but once the trust in a Client is gone, it’s often tricky to build that relationship back up again.

Using a Voiceover for Mental Health Projects;-

Combining Mental Health Awareness Week and voice acting is like a match made in heaven. We are like unicorns, offering our voices to bedtime stories, meditations, mindful moments and more. Ask your voice actor what they can do for you, aside from working on this project they are booked for. I guarantee that they are open to helping you and your staff. Maybe you have an internal website that needs voicing – offering mental health advice and support in house.

There are many actors who voice apps such as Headspace, Calm, Liv Lab, Hoom Band, Insight Timer and more – not to mention the countless podcast and audiobooks we voice. We are more than willing to share resources for you to use, or if you want, to develop your own. We love being part of a new world where we collaborate with you, our clients.

And as you move forward, remember the word “anchor”, and ask yourselves:

  1. How do you feel when you hear that word?
  2. What does that word resonate in you?
  3. How can you utilize anchoring in your day to day to ensure you have stability?
  4. How can your voice actor be YOUR anchor?

When life gets chaotic, lean into your voice actors to tether you to a place where you can find calm in the chaos. They are YOUR anchor.

Leaning of the skills of your voiceover by voice actor Charlie at Great British Voices

I hope this helps you and if you now feel ready to work a professional voice actor, get in touch with Great British Voices to see how I can help you with your next commercial, narration or corporate video project.

Discover more about Charlie and listen to her voiceover demos via her profile page HERE

 Call +44 1753 439 289 to book or make an enquiry

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