Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

First Look : Voices.com Store

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

October 1, 2008

Comments (11)

Voices.com Store

THE VOICES.COM STORE

Coming up this fall, you'll be able to sell products in the Voices.com Store as well as in your own store located within your Profile, an innovation that we're pleased to offer to you that will make it easier than ever before to be hired based upon work you've already done.

From our market research, we're confident that the Voices.com Store will leapfrog any other web service for voice over professionals when it comes to promoting your services and giving you the power to control pricing, your own ad copy and product descriptions as well as product samples.


PRODUCTS

Voices.com Store Search Results

What Are Products?

A product is any kind of voice over that you count among your services, for example, :60 radio commercials, or voice mail greetings, movie trailer voice overs, and so on.

These products are presented individually to the buyers as ready-to-order and are purchasable immediately online at your Voices.com store, facilitated by SurePay, the voice over industry's trusted escrow service.

Here's what a single search result could look like for your product listing:

Voices.com Store Search Result, Single Product

What's more is that you can sell products that are related to voice over, let's say copy writing or music production, but why stop there?

You could even sell audiobooks that you've narrated and produced or prefabricated products that are available for download.

Just as you have particular demos that you feature for the directory, you also will be featuring product samples of your voice that are representations of what the final product is for the buyer.

What I mean is that if you are selling a :30 radio commercial with dry voice, you would upload a sample that demonstrates your abilities without any production (music, sound effects, vocal effects, etc.). If you were to include music but say that the product price only includes dry voice, that would be misleading and confuse your prospective customer.

It's better to build trust and give them exactly what you say you're selling in the sample than to overdo it just to be flashy.


CREATING YOUR OWN PRODUCTS

You'll want to consider the following when creating your products:


๏ Product Title:
A 1-line field for the title or name of the product

๏ Product Tags:
Comma separated keywords (adjectives) used to describe the product.

๏ Product Language:
The language that the recording will be done in.

๏ Product Category:
Radio, television, business and so on.

๏ Product Demo:
A sample MP3 file used to help demonstrate what will be delivered for the product price.

๏ Product Description:
A large text area used to describe the product, service description, deliverables and other technical or detail information.

๏ Product Price:
USD price of the product sold.


WHERE WILL YOU SELL THESE PRODUCTS?

Voices.com Store

Clients who come to Voices.com will have an exciting new way to buy voice over recordings, specifically purchasing voice over products organized by category type, in the Voices.com Store.

At a glance, your prospective customers will see product titles, their descriptions, and prices as well as seller feedback ratings (based upon past transactions completed at Voices.com) with the ability to add products to their cart for purchase.

Products will be automatically placed in the store upon creation.


Your Personal Store

This is where it gets fun!

Your profile will have four (4) unique sections:

๏ Profile
๏ Demos
๏ Store
๏ Feedback

In your Store, clients can see which products you offer and can add these items their cart. Note that the same products that you have listed in the Voices.com Store will also appear in your personal store located at your Profile.

While viewing your products, clients have the option to email you about a product, or save your profile to their favorites, making it easy for the client to return to your store to complete the purchase at a later date.


PRODUCT PAGES IN YOUR STORE

Voices.com Store Product Details in Voice Talent Profile

Each product will have it's own unique URL. Likely something like this :

http://www.voices.com/store/products/1234566


Page Details

Product pages will be where the client user can view:

๏ The full product title
๏ The full product description
๏ More information about you including your services as pulled from your profile (payment terms, about us etc.)
๏ Complete feedback history


THE SHOPPING CART

Store Cart at Voices.com

Cart

One very important aspect of this whole process is the cart. Clients can fill their carts with products that they want to purchase.

They also have the:

- Ability to see products currently in cart
- Ability to add/remove products from cart
- Ability to increase the quantity (number of hours purchased of a certain voice talent)
- Instant price adjustments to reflect changes in cart


HOW CLIENTS CHECKOUT

Voices.com Store Checkout

Here are the steps a client goes through when purchasing something from the store:

1. Sign In or Sign Up
2. Work Order
Clients attach a script and provide artistic direction and outline any technical requirements.
3. Payment
Client make a full deposit in the already familiar SurePay Escrow service.
4. Verify
In the final step, the clients verify their details and click "Place Order" to place their deposit and send you the work order.


ACTION PLAN

You can get an early advantage by thinking of the types of products you may want to sell in your Store.

Here are some ideas:

๏ Radio Commercials, products sold by market size (National, Regional, Local) and length (:60, :30, :15)
๏ TV Commercials, products sold by market size (National, Regional, Local) and length (:60, :30, :15)
๏ Telephone Package (Auto Attendant, IVR, On-hold, voicemail), sell by word count for packages / offer products without music and products with music; more expansive products for larger projects such as extensive phone trees, global entities, conglomerates
๏ Copy writing services, by word count / per page (word count / font stated)
๏ Short narration (5 minutes or less) for business
๏ Long form narration (based upon number of words); could offer products that go up in price incrementally to reflect longer scripts.
๏ Podcast Promos
๏ Website Intros


COMING SOON!

These are just some of the ways you can promote you voice and make your services known using Voices.com. Testing the new version of the Voices.com website will occur in late October (the exact launch date is TBA), so prepare now for success by thinking of ideas and creating products to include in your very own store and in the Voices.com Store.


Any Comments?

Best wishes,

Stephanie and The Voices.com Team

Related Topics: hired, industry, Products, radio, Shopping Cart, TV, Voice Actors, Voice Overs, Voice Talents, voicemail, Voices.com Store


Comments


    Hi Stephanie...

    I really like the store idea. I remember sometime ago when the thoughts were twirling about doing this, we were asked about whether we would like to offer products with pre-set prices according to the voices.com rates. Is this still the plan or is it up to each of us to set our own prices in the store. If we are setting our own, I have a concern that some may share: I'm worried that as perspective clients start to browse, they will be more apt to go with someone with a lower price if voices are similar. That's fine but I'm worried it might lead to low balling. Thoughts?

    Tom Conklin

    Posted by:

      Hi Tom,

      Thank you for your comment :) I appreciate hearing from you.

      To answer your question about set rates, after much debate, it was decided that Voices.com would invite talent to set their own prices rather than us institute pricing for products. This makes the marketplace truly a marketplace. Setting rates would do the opposite.

      To address your concern about low-balling:

      There will always be people who charge higher, those quoting median prices and people who will charge lower fees than the perceived standard for particular jobs.

      Setting prices site-wide will not stop people from low-balling or quoting below what some may deem to be a standard price.

      This is not something that is unique to voice overs... it's an issue that every industry encounters.

      My advice to any of you who are concerned about this is to charge rates that you are comfortable with that pay your bills and fulfill your needs for a healthy home / business.

      If voice over is truly what you want to do and how you want to pay your bills, make sure that your rates reflect that desire and commit to charging fees that not only sustain but free you.

      It's when you believe in yourself, your work and your prices that others will too and honor you for sticking to your convictions :)

      Best wishes,

      Stephanie

      Posted by:

        Tom,

        Glad to hear you like the idea of a Store. We've definitely put a lot of thought into it, and the feedback from everyone has been overwhelmingly positive. Even those who aren't in the industry understand the concept and can see themselves using the store as it can be an easier option for shorter projects.

        We did explore the idea of pre-set prices, but ran into several challenges.

        First, everyone would need to agree to those prices, which was proving to be a bigger task than first anticipated. If we set the prices high, it's great for the talent, but may discourage clients from even using the Store. If we set the prices too low, we'd not be honoring you or the value of your services.

        Second, there is as you know a variety of skill level, business practices and availability -- so again, suggesting that everyone work for the same price was unreasonable.

        Giving you the option to set your own prices is similar to submitting an audition online.

        A few thoughts on setting prices. If a particular product is selling well, consider increasing your rate. If a different product isn't selling, perhaps you can adjust your rate. Alternatively you can change the title, edit your description or update the sample to make the product more appealing.

        Finally, while products will be automatically approved and listed in the Store, we'll definitely be monitoring the prices, titles and descriptions to ensure they match the samples provided.

        We hope that many of you take advantage of this new opportunity as we believe it will be a huge benefit for those who choose to participate.

        David

        Posted by:

          I'm really excited by this and totally agree with your thoughts on pricing. I believe that in voice, as with most things, you get what you pay for. A client will not keep returning for a low price but will keep returning for quality and professionalism. The store idea is smart, forward thinking and will be a real asset to this site. Once again, you outshine the competition so brightly that putting my money into any other site is seeming more and more like a waste. Congratulations - I can hardly wait for this to launch. Thank you for your excellent work.

          Posted by:

            Stephanie and David,

            I see where you are coming from. I guess ultimately it is up to us as the talent to as you said believe in ourselves, our prices and our product. Thanks for allowing us to have some input in your thinking guys. You're the best!

            Tom Conklin

            Posted by:

              Hi Stephanie and David,

              Like Tom, I am not very fond of the store concept for voice talent. As you know I am from the world of negotiating and this would tend to set things in stone with little room for one to negotiate a better fee for the added value. The use of material varies and would depend on the medium, market, time period of use, among other things. This harkens to the negative piece on the industry's future by one of your competitors. I am afraid this would go along with the buyers who are looking for the cheapest not the best (no pun intended.) Please give this idea some serious thought before implementing it. Frankly, I don't like the idea of a store for what we do. I do not want to get pushed into it because others are doing it. That’s my 2 cents.

              Greg

              Posted by:

                Hi Gregory,

                Thank you for replying to this post and sharing your thoughts.

                First, I want to assure you that companies who care about their brand image are not seeking out the lowest price but the best voice for the job. The old adage "You get what you pay for" rings true in voice over just as it does in anything else, and the adage is even more relevant when hiring freelance professionals in the marketplace online.

                To address your comment that this harkens to a post a competitor made, I have to wonder why you feel that what we are presenting is in any way correlated with what the competitor noted on their blog? Are we not doing something entirely different from what they're doing?

                You are correct to say that there are a variety of different uses for voice, audiences and duration of use and each of you will have your own rate for those services which is one of the fundamental reasons why we reconsidered pre-set rates and chose in favor of the sellers setting their own, not adopting fees they may or may not have felt comfortable with simply to participate.

                Lastly, if you feel that you do not want to participate in the store, you are welcome to decline the opportunity. No one is going to push you into doing anything, it will be your decision to make. If you set prices that you are comfortable with and specify what each product includes (application, market size, duration, etc.) the store should serve you and your business well.

                Best wishes,

                Stephanie

                Posted by:

                  Greg, I think you meant to say "UN-like" Tom... because I actually like the idea of the store. :) No harm.

                  Tom

                  Posted by:

                    Stephanie and David,

                    I'm very much looking forward to taking part in this innovation once you have it rolled out. I appreciate your on-going efforts to find new ways for us to market our voice recording services.

                    Be well,
                    Bob

                    Posted by:

                      I am confused. I still see no difference between the DEMO and the Products. Are the products completed original works? If so, are they copyright protected? If not how do achieve that?

                      Posted by:
                      • Tyrone Williams
                      • April 12, 2009 2:31 PM

                        Hi Tyrone,

                        Thank you for your comment and question.

                        The demo is a sample of the product. Let's say you are selling a 5 minute narration package.

                        If you provided a 30 second to 1 minute voice sample of what you sound like narrating something from the public domain, for instance, people can get an idea of what your voice sounds like and then go ahead and purchase your product (which isn't the demo). This includes uploading their script for your review. Once they have purchased your product, you will be notified of this purchase, will be able to download the script for review, and if it all looks good to you, you can take things from there to complete the project and be paid out.

                        Best,

                        Stephanie

                        Posted by:

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