Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

First Look : Auditioning at Voices.com

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

October 6, 2008

Comments (37)

voices-job-posting-525.jpg

As you've been reading, we've left no rock unturned and are pulling out all of the stops for this redesign and reprogramming of the Voices.com website.

Today, we'll discuss some improvements made to the auditioning process and the SurePay Escrow Service as well as how they will benefit you.


This is probably one of the posts you've been waiting to read!

In today's article, we're going to discuss how to submit auditions using the all-new Voices.com.


Public and Private Jobs

As many of you know, there have always been more private jobs at Voices.com with many of those channeled through email as direct contacts.

Considering that the email box is typically used by clients who describe their job details and request a quote from you for the work, we're now channeling email contacts through a job posting form.

Yes, you'll still be able to receive email messages, but you'll likely see an increase in the number of private jobs.


How To Tell The Difference Between a Private and Public Job

private_audition_request_525.jpg

To distinguish the difference between a private job and a public job, we're displaying a prominent banner at the top of the "Send Audition" page. The banner will say "You've Received a Private Audition Request".

It may go without saying, but if you are the recipient of a Private Job you'll want to respond promptly, however if you have a question about the project that needs to be answered prior to submitting your quote and voice sample, you'll also have the opportunity to send the client a private message BEFORE submitting your audition.

Just to be clear, sending a client a private message is an optional action to help clarify any job details should you have questions before proceeding with the submission of the audition itself.

The ability to send a private message before auditioning is also meant to safeguard your auditions and is in place so that you don't use your one shot at submitting an audition to ask a question or say "I'm busy, now, but I'll get to it tonight", as you won't be able to submit to that job again.

To reiterate, if you have a question about the project or need to contact the client about the job details, use the private message link to open up the lines of communication to ensure that you can audition in a professional manner.

Also note that Public Job Postings will not have this banner. If no banner is displayed, it's a publicly available job posting.


Proposal

proposal_525.jpg

We're aiming to make the site as easy as possible for you to use as well as maximize your productivity at the site by streamlining a number of steps for you where your proposal is concerned.

This includes an upgrade to your Templates! You'll be able to do a number of new things, specifically:

๏ See a Good Example (pop-up)
๏ Select a Template (pull-down menu of previously saved proposals)
๏ Save templates on the fly for future use


Your Proposal

When you are writing a proposal, you'll have a checkbox option to "save as template". This allows you to save what you just typed into the proposal section as a new template. We'll automatically create a title for the template, so if you use this option, you'll want to go back and edit your templates later and give it a proper title such as "Radio Commercial Proposal" or the like.


Quote

quote_525.jpg

The quote section has changed a bit and here's how.

After you enter in your fee, Voices.com will add the SurePay escrow fee ON TOP of your fee.

As many of you know, this is how SurePay has been operating for the last year, except for the fact that up until now we've been adding the fee after the client has selected the voice talent.

From our experience, most clients prefer just to see one total upon checkout, which is why we decided to make this adjustment.

For that reason, the new system gives you the opportunity to set your fee as you always have, and then show you what the client's total will be.


Demo

demo_525.jpg

This section has remained the same with the choice to either upload a new MP3 demo (commonly referred to as a custom demo) or you can attach an existing MP3 that you previously uploaded to your profile.


How Does a Client Hire You?

๏ The client click the "Select This Voice" button in your audition.
๏ The client lands on a confirmation page where they attach their final script and set a deadline for delivery.
๏ The client confirms by clicking the "Send Script" button which will send you a message to inform you that you've been awarded a job.


Any Comments? We'd love to hear what you think!

Best wishes,

Stephanie and The Voices.com Team

Related Topics: auditioning, how to, jobs, online auditions, radio, voice acting, voice over work, Voices.com, work


Comments


    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for the information. As I understand it, pretty much everything will automatically be funneled through the new site? Sure Pay will pretty much be the only option for the client to pay us - thereby increasing our chances of having them leave feedback?

    I think you had briefly mentioned feedback in previous posts. As it seems to be making a comeback, it will be helpful to have clients routed in the direction to actually leaving it. I had been wondering how we could increase the chances of clients taking the time to leave feedback, since it looked like feedback would be prominently displayed on our talent web pages. If they're required to use Sure Pay, then I suppose leaving feedback will be more of a requirement?

    Up to now, most of my clients have chosen to pay me directly via Paypal rather than through Sure Pay, so I have been left off the "Recently Hired" list. Routing everyone through Sure Pay and therefore increasing the likelihood of clients leaving feedback would seem to put everyone who is hired from the site on a more level playing field as far as recognition on the top 10 lists on the home page, right?

    Posted by:

      Hi Melanie,

      Thank you for your comment and question.

      To answer your question, yes, the communication between voice talent and clients will be facilitated through Voices.com.

      Also, feedback will be available in the new Feedback section of your profile where you'll be have the opportunity to receive feedback from people who have hired you using SurePay and another section that is reserved for comments from people you may have worked with in the past or those who commented on your demos at Voices.com.

      Feedback from SurePay clients will be displayed as is (if there's a glaring spelling mistake or something of that nature we can help edit internally). With regard to comments left for you from people who didn't use SurePay, you'll be able to approve / deny them as you see fit.

      By making these features more obvious to clients, yes, it will help to level the playing field so to speak as far as recognition on the top 10 lists goes.

      Best wishes,

      Stephanie

      Posted by:

        Hi Stephanie,

        Would you please clarify how clients who have NOT used SurePay can give us feedback?

        Thank you,
        Celia Lynn

        Posted by:
        • Celia Lynn
        • January 8, 2009 9:21 PM

          Hi Celia,

          Thank you for your question. To clarify, at present, there is no way for clients who have not used SurePay to provide voice talent with feedback.

          One way that clients can publicly acknowledge you though that does have an impact is to add a voice talent to their Favorites, basically giving you a vote of confidence on the Favorites List. Please note, however, that Favorites rankings do not factor in to the overall feedback rating as feedback is based upon transactions conducted using SurePay.

          Best wishes,

          Stephanie

          Posted by:

            What if the job is posted has budget listed but then in the detail they ask that you do the job for free ? Would I have to pay any fees to you for a job that I am not going to be paid for ?

            Posted by:
            • Helena
            • July 3, 2009 2:52 PM

              Hi Helena,

              Thank you for your comment and question.

              Whenever a job is approved at Voices.com, the client has agreed to pay the talent at least $100. We do not approve jobs that do not offer payment for your services. Our team pre-qualifies all of the job leads before sending them out to you. As a paying member at Voices.com, you would never receive public job postings that have a budget less than $100 - $250.

              If a client tells us in advance that they want to pay less or do not want to pay at all, they are directed to search for talent and contact people directly out of respect for your time and also for our job posting guidelines.

              Best wishes,

              Stephanie

              Posted by:

                Stephanie, Can you tell me why the time window from post to deadline is frequently only 24 to 48 hours It's awfully difficult to produce an audition in that time frame.

                Posted by:
                • Christopher Conn
                • July 20, 2009 11:11 AM

                  Hi Christopher,

                  Thank you for commenting and I hope all is well with you.

                  The reason why most job postings are only open for a couple of days is because the majority of talent auditioning for any given job have home recording studios and are able to audition at their convenience throughout the day. That's one of the greatest benefits of having a professional-grade home recording studio in your home. If you are treating voice over as a business, then auditions become priority, and to facilitate those auditions, a home studio is a must if not a necessity and business requirement.

                  Also, as talent are able to audition efficiently, the clients cast more quickly and fulfill their project requirements with speed and efficiency. Technology has streamlined this process to such a degree that deadlines for casting are presently a matter of days (if not hours) when it used to take weeks in the past.

                  To give you a different perspective, casting directors in prominent centers for voice over work such as NYC only take half a day to hear auditions for a voice over, mainly because decisions can be made quickly and on the client's schedule. Time means money, and bearing that in mind, things do move rather quickly.

                  I hope this response has given you more perspective!

                  Best wishes,

                  Stephanie

                  Posted by:

                    Stephanie,

                    I'm brand new to Voices and still learning the system.
                    So as an client option, should will still have optional payment methods written in the "payment terms" window?

                    Also, when will your new demo "tags" feature be put in place?

                    Thanks,

                    Rick Lance

                    Posted by:

                      Hi Rick,

                      Thank you very much for your comment and questions. Welcome to Voices.com!

                      The article that we're commenting on is an older one and the tags on demos feature has already been implemented.

                      I would indeed detail your payment options in that field as it lets clients know right away how you prefer to (or will) accept payment.

                      Best wishes,

                      Stephanie

                      Posted by:

                        Extremely useful and easy to understand information!
                        I feel clarity is one of the most strong feature of voices.com
                        Kudos!

                        Posted by:

                          Hey Stephanie,

                          I am new to Voices.com and I just had a question regarding sending custom demos to a client. If they provide the full script in a job post, is it a good idea to not include the entire script in the audition you send them, just to protect ourselves from someone simply saying "Hey that's exactly what I needed!" and running? Or are there protective measures to ensure that doesn't happen and therefore we can provide them with a complete reading?

                          Thanks,
                          Elliott

                          Posted by:
                          • Elliott
                          • August 27, 2009 5:04 PM

                            Hi Elliott,

                            Welcome and thank you for your comment and questions.

                            You should never record a client's entire script in an audition situation. I recommend recording a sentence or so.

                            You can do a couple of things to protect yourself:

                            1. Use a watermark
                            2. Change the copy in some way

                            We have articles on watermarks and also helpful tips in our Help section if you are interested.

                            http://www.voices.com/help/faq

                            I would still recommend only sending a brief portion of the script as a precaution, especially if it is a character voice, commercial, or telephone script.

                            Best wishes,

                            Stephanie

                            Posted by:

                              Good morning,

                              How do I sign up for SurePay??


                              Regards,

                              Kenneth A. Jones

                              Posted by:
                              • Kenneth Jones
                              • September 16, 2009 10:03 AM

                                Hi Kenneth,

                                Thank you for your comment and question.

                                Be sure to include on your profile at Voices.com that you accept SurePay in your payments field.

                                You can also indicate how you would like to receive your payments, either by check or via PayPal.

                                A client will initiate SurePay and all you need to do is go with the flow. You don't have to sign up to use the SurePay service per se, but you do have to be a member of Voices.com to use SurePay.

                                Best wishes,

                                Stephanie

                                Posted by:

                                  Hi,
                                  I'm new and getting up to speed. I haven't gotten any emails for public postings that I'm eligible for. I've been going to the jobs tab under my account to see what is available. I noticed you said we should get an email when a job that we are eligible for is posted. Is that still the case. I got one email for a private audition but that's all.
                                  thanks,
                                  Lee Kitts

                                  Posted by:
                                  • Lee Kitts
                                  • March 8, 2010 7:33 PM

                                    Hi Stephanie

                                    I too just joined Voices.com. and have a lot to learn about my home studio set up. As well as your website.

                                    Q: I see there's a space on the job postings that ask for certain file types. Wav./ mp3, etc.
                                    Do our auditions (and eventual work) need to be submitted in various file formats? Or can this be streamlined into just one format?

                                    Thanks for your help

                                    William D. Bailey

                                    Posted by:
                                    • William D. Bailey
                                    • August 6, 2010 11:08 AM

                                      Hi William,

                                      Thank you for commenting and for your question.

                                      All auditions that you submit need to be sent as MP3s. If the client requires a different file format for the final product (not the audition) they will let you know and the expectation is that you deliver the files as requested in the format of their choice.

                                      Best wishes,

                                      Stephanie

                                      Posted by:

                                        Hi Stephanie,

                                        I read that voices.com strongly suggests uploading mp3's only? What if you see in the description of the job that the production requires WAV format??

                                        Thanks

                                        Gerrick

                                        Posted by:
                                        • Gerrick WIsnton
                                        • September 15, 2010 9:23 AM

                                          Hi Gerrick,

                                          Thanks for commenting. Great question!

                                          Always send audition files as MP3s. Other file types will not work in the auditioning process.

                                          That being said, ff you are awarded the job and the client has specified that the final audio format be something else (i.e. WAV), you will be able to upload your WAV file(s) via Voices.com in the format you prepared as part of the SurePay process.

                                          I hope that answers your question :)

                                          Best wishes,

                                          Stephanie

                                          Posted by:

                                            Thank you for this information and the comments of others, they have been very helpful! I am new to this and eager to learn the v/o business.

                                            One example - the client had a budget for a very short spot that had a budget of $100 and when applying for the job, the $$ were filled in automatically with the bottom line $100 and the talent receiving less than $ 100 - I let it go, was in a quandry in that case. In future, I will not let it go but change it. Please clarify this situation because the other jobs displayed $ 0.00 and required that the talent fill in the blanks.

                                            Also, how "polished" would you say the auditions need to be? ALL breath and mouth noises removed or just for voice quality?

                                            Best,

                                            Liza

                                            Posted by:
                                            • Eliza Gray
                                            • September 16, 2010 9:55 AM

                                              Hi Eliza,

                                              Thank you for commenting and also for your question.

                                              I asked Laurynda to help me out with this one. This is what she shared with me, "This occurs when a client specifies their budget as fixed. When a client indicates that their full budget is $200 then the system does automatically populate the client's total as the same amount indicated by the client when they submitted their job posting form. All talent reserve the right to modify this if they prefer and we do enable all talent with the option of either modifying the Client's Total (which includes the escrow service fee) or the My Fee field to indicate how much you wish to be paid once the project is completed."

                                              Laurynda went on to say, "Any job where a client picks a budget range enables talent to quote freely without any fields being automatically populated. The primary reason for this is that the client has indicated they are open to a range of quotes by selecting a range rather than specifying a fixed budget amount."

                                              To answer your second question, I would do some general editing. Breaths and mouth noises don't make a good first impression and they may think that you are either unaware of them or made a decision to leave them in due to laziness or disregard.

                                              I hope that helps!

                                              Best wishes,

                                              Stephanie

                                              Posted by:

                                                Being relatively new, I understand you made changes to the system designed to be beneficial just before I came on.

                                                One change is showing on the Audition tab when an audition has been reviewed. This is better than not having it but it requires many clicks to view all my auditions. In the next upgrade, it would be helpful if that could be seen at a glance looking at the list of all my auditions. Perhaps just the letter R (for reviewed) behind the job title.

                                                Also, I haven't received any private invitations. Will I be able to tell the difference between that all the public invitations on an incoming email? And/or at a glance of the Open Jobs without having to go into each one?

                                                Thanks in advance,
                                                Tom

                                                Posted by:

                                                  Great FAQ session. Thank you

                                                  Posted by:
                                                  • Ron Johnston
                                                  • May 16, 2011 6:32 PM

                                                    Hi Stephanie
                                                    I'm also fairly new to this world. Could you explain the diff between an audition set-up and a bona fide home studio? How elaborate should it be to be able to actually do the job from home? Or how simple?
                                                    How can you tell if your set-up is up to snuff?
                                                    Thanks,
                                                    Mimi

                                                    Posted by:
                                                    • Mimi
                                                    • September 7, 2011 12:46 AM

                                                      Hi Mimi,

                                                      Thank you for writing! I'm glad you asked your question and am happy to help.

                                                      There really doesn't have to be much difference. If you are simply recording auditions from home and recording elsewhere, you need to consider the benefits of gaining some audio recording and editing skills. This will save you time and money in the long run. Your setup doesn't need to be too elaborate. A computer, microphone and your recording software might be all you need. I have a USB mic so it's plug and play. I run a MacBook Pro and simply use Garageband and a Samson CO1U for any recordings that I might need to do.

                                                      I hope that helps!

                                                      Best wishes,

                                                      Stephanie

                                                      Posted by:

                                                        Great info, but as a newbie I have another question. Do clients generally expect to receive two separate takes of their script, or is a single take more the norm?

                                                        Thanks!

                                                        Posted by:
                                                        • Scott
                                                        • October 10, 2011 5:16 PM

                                                          Hi Scott,

                                                          Thank you for your question and for commenting! Clients don't expect multiple takes of their script, however, it does give them an indication of how many ways you can interpret their script. One take would suffice in terms of their expectations.

                                                          Best wishes,

                                                          Stephanie

                                                          Posted by:

                                                            Hi Stephanie,

                                                            I was wondering if a potential client expects me to do all of the final mastering on a project, or am I simply providing the raw audio which they'll take to an actual studio to have mixed and mastered on their end? I understand that editing out mouth and breath noises is a small courtesy I provide for a client ahead of time, but adding things in like music or sound effects, is that my responsibility?

                                                            Thanks,

                                                            Chris

                                                            Posted by:
                                                            • Chris Stahlke
                                                            • January 15, 2012 8:31 AM

                                                              Hi Chris,

                                                              Thank you for your comment and questions! Unless the client says otherwise, they are only expecting you to do the voice over. That might mean editing and clean up the file as you've pointed out. The client won't be expecting production (music, sound effects) unless they stated so much in their job description.

                                                              I hope that helps!

                                                              Best wishes,

                                                              Stephanie

                                                              Posted by:

                                                                Hey Stephanie,

                                                                You are great with your answers ,however, I read the following in an earlier answer and need some clarification please; "You should never record a client's entire script in an audition situation. I recommend recording a sentence or so." This answer is three years old; does it still hold true? Does the client expect to receive something slightly different or less than the copy they submitted? And finally, with the above in mind, may I assume that the copy downloaded to read for the audition is not what is used by the client for their final project?

                                                                Thank you much - you rock,
                                                                Luke

                                                                Posted by:

                                                                  Hi Luke,

                                                                  Thank you for your comment and question! Yes, the advice still holds true after a few years. Also, the client will not be using your audition sample.

                                                                  Take care!

                                                                  Stephanie

                                                                  Posted by:

                                                                    Stephanie,

                                                                    As you know, there is a big difference in MP3 settings. If I'm correct Voices.com accepts MP3 @ 128 kbps.....if someone is loading their Audition @ 96kbps they are compressing their audio file X2.

                                                                    Much better to load @ 128 kbps. Why not give yourself every bit of an advantage you can get! It still comes down to the 'read', but every little bit helps.

                                                                    Not all MP3's are the same!

                                                                    Jerry

                                                                    Posted by:

                                                                      HI Stephanie,

                                                                      What are some of the things you'd recommend listing in the proposal box of the audition page?

                                                                      Thank you.

                                                                      Posted by:
                                                                      • Byron O
                                                                      • June 28, 2012 6:37 AM

                                                                        Hi Byron,

                                                                        Thank you for commenting! I hope my reply finds you well.

                                                                        Aside from customizing your proposal to the client you are auditioning for, I would include things like what makes the project attractive for you, the fact that you have uploaded a custom demo and an invitation to Like your audition.

                                                                        I hope that helps!

                                                                        Best wishes,

                                                                        Stephanie

                                                                        Posted by:

                                                                          Stephanie,

                                                                          I too am new to Voice Over, and relatively new to Voices.com. I have a wealth of research on setting fees/rate card gleaned from your website and other PFP sites, along with 4 of the key books in Voice Acting/Voice Over. I'm a little hesitant to establish templates without getting a good idea of how other professionals are populating their templates. James Alburger's book on Voice Acting has a great review of an Engagement Letter, Booking Agreement, etc., but I was wondering if it might be possible to see some real world examples/templates with critical/proprietary fees redacted?

                                                                          Rick Briscoe

                                                                          Posted by:

                                                                            Hi Rick,

                                                                            Thank you for your comment and question. I appreciate it!

                                                                            Here is a link to a number of Resources at Voices.com including resources for rates and the like:

                                                                            http://www.voices.com/resources

                                                                            I hope this helps :)

                                                                            Best wishes,
                                                                            Stephanie

                                                                            Posted by:

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