You do literally everything where performance and production are concerned, but do your fees reflect that?
As a career voice talent working from either a professional grade home recording studio or a recording facility in a business environment, you wear many hats, some of which are more obvious than others.
Here's a list of the different roles and responsibilities that you have working on your own as a professional voice-over talent:
- You have a wonderful, unique voice. An instrument that sets you apart and a keen interest in using it to your full advantage, including, keeping yourself (and your voice) healthy. In this capacity, you are a performer.
- You are responsible for finding work for yourself, whether it be through the auditioning process, networking, or marketing efforts.
- You are a business person and oversee all of the daily operations and marketing of your voice-over business.
- You are a project manager and organize your recording and payment schedules, communicating with your clients directly to ensure success.
- You are a consultant. Many clients need extra attention and advice, something that you give on a regular basis when meeting their needs and becoming a part of their vision.
- As a performer, you need to check the script for any inaccuracies, phrasing, plan your interpretation, warm up your voice, and rehearse the script before recording.
- You are a recording engineer responsible for setting up a session and recording the voice-over.
- You are an editor. Once the voice-over has been recorded, you edit out any mistakes, unwanted breaths, and create a seamless recording.
- You are a mixing and mastering engineer. Adding sound effects, synching up music tracks, and evening out the sound levels is an art form, a specialty service by most accounts.
- You are the customer service and fulfillment department. Once the work is done, you deliver the final product to the clients specifications, including formatting files appropriately. You might also need to make revisions or re-record a script.
At the end of the day, you've got quite the job description and a full plate to look forward to on a regular basis.
These services, if performed by several people at a recording studio, a talent agency, or a creative advertising firm would all have premium charges applied to them.
As a voice talent working for yourself wearing all of these hats, you might forget that the service you provide is equal to several different jobs performed by many people who are all being paid for each service they provide.
This brings us to the moment of truth... are you covering all of your costs when you record for a client?
Just because you are an entrepreneur (you own and run your own business) doesn't mean that your work is any less valuable because the client is only paying one person for the work.
Stop to think if you are being paid sufficiently and making a profit or if you are losing money, helping to fund other peoples projects.
P.S. Wow, what a response we've received from this posting! After you've had a chance to read through the comments, pop by our May 3rd post about our Job Posting Approval Guidelines.
Let's keep the momentum going :)
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