Conversations With A Voice Seeker Part 1
If you're a voiceover artist in today's day and age, chances are you've had these types of conversations with a voice seeker one too many times. It goes without saying that the buyer's climate is drastically different than it was many years ago. And it continues to change and evolve. Creatives seeking voiceover for their project want it FAST, NOW and, most of the time, CHEAP. Little do they know that not all voice talents think the same way. Some are armed with knowledge, know their worth and will stick to it.
Here, let's take this example between Jack The Producer and Voice Talent. Yeah, we'll just call him voice talent because I couldn't come up with a better name.
Jack The Producer: Hey, we came across your website and loved your voice! We're doing a TV commercial. How much would you typically charge for something like that?
Voice Talent: Hi Jack! Thanks for your email and interest. I would love to learn more about the project. But first, some specifics. It depends on the length of the spot and where it's airing. Is it Union or..?
Jack The Producer: Oh Definitely NON UNION! We have like no money! Haha!
Voice Talent: Ok. Well let's first talk about how long the spot or spots is/are and whether this is going to be local, regional or national?
Jack The Producer: umm, not sure might be one or two or three spots. we're not sure on length yet. I have to ask the client.
Voice Talent: ok. It would be best if you had all the information at hand so I could give you an accurate quote. You want to come back to me with that? I'll wait patiently.
Jack The Producer: We're kind of pressed for time. Can't you just give me a ball park figure? Like, how much would you charge if we wanted to do more than one?
Voice Talent: Like I said before, I would need to know specifics- type of spot, length, the name of company, buyout terms, budget etc.
Jack The Producer: (confused) Uh..ummm..ok, I kind of need to give them an answer in the next hour or so.. We have a deadline of, like, last week. Haha.
Jack The Producer: Ok so... Can I get that quote from you?
Voice Talent: Ok, let me understand this.. You have a spot you need voice over for.. You don't know the duration, where it's airing, how long it will run or any other specifics?
Jack the Producer: Yeah pretty much but you seem like a pro. Don't you get asked these questions all the time?
Voice Talent: Well who is the client?
Jack The Producer: Sorry I can't give out that information.
Voice Talent: ok.. Well what kind of business/industry is it?
Jack The Producer: Meat Balls.
Voice Talent: excuse me?!
Jack The Producer: Meat Balls. They're a, you know, food!!Meat Ball company. Pretty damn good too if you ask me!
Voice Talent: I'm sure they are Jack but I'm afraid I would need a little bit more information before we proceed.
Jack The Producer: Well alright. I'll try to get that info. Also- client wants to record in the next hour or so. Is that cool?
Voice Talent: Actually not cool if we can't agree on a mutually acceptable figure.
Jack The Producer: Alright. Fine. I guess.. OH, HOLD ON! I'm just getting some info.. Client says it's 3 :30's and 2 :15's if that means anything to you?!
Voice Talent: Yeah it does. That's a start. Anything else?
Jack The Producer: Yes- they're saying, hold on (to someone off the line) National is it? Ok, I'll let him know.) (Back on the phone to voice talent) National spots for 1 year!
Voice Talent: Great! Thanks Jack! Very helpful.
Jack The Producer: Sure anytime! But we're in a bind. Is that enough for you to agree??
Voice Talent: Not yet. I'm getting info for a rate quote. Calculating now.
Jack The Producer: Oh?(confused)
Voice Talent: ok. It's going to cost you $3000
Jack The Producer: What the hell?!
Voice Talent: yep.
Jack The Producer: We were thinking more like $150 TOPS!!
Voice Talent: Jack, may I kindly ask-- what was the basis for that figure?
Jack The Producer: Basis? It's everywhere dude! We normally go to those online casting sites.. What is it voice playboy bunny? Voice Over World?
Voice Talent: So why didn't you go there?
Jack The Producer: Because we wanted a real pro. Someone who looks like they've been doing this for a long time.
Voice Talent: Then pay me like a pro!
Jack The Producer: But $3k?
Voice Talent: That's going rate for this material.
Jack The Producer: Ok. Can we just agree to $300? I promise there will be much more work down the line.