This is a group to share ideas on marketing (y)our VO biz. What works? What doesn't?
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  • Everyone should be cautious about reading CAREFULLY the specs on jobs on the online casting sites. The money figure can be large but when you truly read in-depth, you see that the job has a 5000 word list to be recorded etc. Bad bad. I get phonecalls and emails regularly from people who are sadly surprised.
  • I too was interested in this posting and thanks John. I thought you might have a laugh about an Indian company who wrote to me thinking I would be honoured to be given the opportunity to record 45 minutes of audio for $135. I politely declined and indicated I might do it for a sensible budget. They wrote back and said that was as far as their client would go, but they would do the editing! I don't look at it as having lost $135, but as time I could more usefully use on other matters.
  • John, thanks for the great post about pricing. I have been struggling working on my new rate sheet but feel much better after reading your very insightful comments.
  • Dan, Thanks for the kind words. I'm honored to be on your "Hit List"! ;-D

    More soon!

  • Oops, sorry ... it's at
    Dan Bailey
  • Hey everyone, I updated my website. Please, feel free to check it out.
    Dan Bailey
  • This is a topic I am passionate about. This that know me know I have strong opinions so here goes.

    I agree with Dan that price is typically NOT the primary factor in getting a VO gig.

    That having been said I believe that the VO community needs to value itself more than it generally does. We shouldn't be positioning ourselves as the "Wlamart" (sic) of Voice Overs. As my Mom used to say to me as a kid: "Put a price on yourself." And I would add - Make it a Premium - YOU'RE WORTH IT!

    Here's an example. Several years ago I was an approved Ad Creation Specialist for Google Radio Ads. Google was buying unsold radio inventory around the country and reselling it to their AdWords clients and having approved producers produce the spots.

    I'm happy to report I didn't land a single gig. Why? Well I had priced my services at $1000 to write, voice, edit, produce and master a spot. In my mind very reasonable.

    There were maybe 2 or 3 others in my price range. The rest were priced between $50 - $200 tops. I was even contacted by Google directly and they asked me "Why don't you lower your fees? You might land more gigs."

    Here's my reason. My Time. To quote Neil Peart: "We're only immortal for a limited time."

    At $50 a spot I would have to market, be hired for, write, voice, produce, master and correspond with 20 clients until they were happy to earn the same income I get from a single $1000 client.

    To me, this is a no-brainer. And frankly - people with small budgets will suck more of your time than someone who is willing to spend a little more. That has been my experience.

    With that time I can spend more time working on the script, voicing it just right, picking out the perfect music and sound effects and creating a :"WOW" experience for my client and a killer piece of production. (read my article in this forum on "How Scarce Are You" for more on this.)

    So back to Google Radio Ads. Guess where the program is now?

    It's Dead. Google killed it. I wonder why...? I'll bet part of the reason was there were a bunch of folks slapping a voice track over a music bed and shipping them out the door as fast as possible to make it worth their time.

    There's something to be said about using price as a positioning tool as well. Studies have been done where athletes have been given energy drinks with essentially the same ingredients. One group was told the drink they were given was really expensive and the other was told their drink was about average with the other drinks in the market.

    Guess which group reported having better workouts after the drink? You guessed it - the group given the more expensive drink.

    You can use price to your advantage when positioned effectively. Price can help create the perception that "Hey, they charge $XXXX. They must be really good." Of course you have to back that up with your service and a killer guarantee (whole other topic).

    Bottom line... Price can be used to position you as a credible expert in your industry and help you be more selective with the clients you choose to work with. It can also help you leverage your time more effectively.

    'Nuff Said. Have a great weekend everyone!

  • Normally, price is not the reason people don't get voice jobs.

    It really comes down to two things: Are you the right voice and are you worth it.

    So it's critical for you to know what your client, or potential client really wants.

    Of course they have budgets, and of course they have a voice in mind.  But your client is more interested in the final product.  You're just one of the colors on the easel.

    Your job is to make your client AND your client's client smile.  That will make you a very wealthy person.
  • Good advice Dan. I've recently been contacted about narration rates and I carefully examined rate sheets and my own time/value. I have not been contacted since i gave my rates, but also suggested I'd give a better rate with bulk work. I'd rather over quote for a clients budget than do the job for peanuts. Respect comes to professionals with self value.
  • Stick to your guns!
    I just had a rather vindicating experience that I thought I should share with y'all.
    Several months ago, I put together a "rate sheet" so I'd have one to provide to clients when they ask "what do you charge for ...?"

    There is a client with whom I've done a few projects, but it had been about 8 months since we had worked together, and he asked me to quote a project for him - so I did - using my brand new rate sheet (which ended up to be about $25 more than I had been charging.

    Almost immediately he came back and told me I was too expensive and could I do it for $35 less. Cordially I said no and we parted ways.

    Today, about 2 months since we chatted last, he came to me and said he had been using one of those "$55 chop shop VO places and that the quality was in his words "hit or miss" and that he'd like to continue using me and "respect my rates."

    I just finished voicing a commercial for him.

    I did tell him that if he keeps me busy, I can cut him a deal. We'll see.

    If there is value in what you do, people will return to you.
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