Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

First Look : Finalizing Business Terms

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

October 7, 2008

Comments (6)

voices-work-agreement-525.jpg

Looking forward to the all-new Voices.com?

Another new element I'd like to introduce to you is the addition of Work Agreements when you are awarded a job.

Take a look!

FINALIZING BUSINESS TERMS

As with any business contract or arrangement, you will need to have a work agreement as well as a schedule for payment including the estimated delivery date. Now at Voices.com you'll be able to include work agreements when you are finalizing terms.


How Does This Work?

voices-talent-download-script-525.jpg

Once you are selected by a client to record their voice over, your next step will be to download the final script.

Then, you'll create and send a Work Agreement for the client to review. In traditional commerce, the seller of services always has the project agreement/contract and has the buyer agree to their terms.

Work Agreement

voices-work-agreement-full-525.jpg

A Work Agreement will describe your services and outline the price, turnaround time, delivery method (for instances where it may not be a file upload), number of edits, file format and so on.

We'll have a standard Work Agreement Word doc for you to use as a template, so if this is unfamiliar territory for you, you'll find a helping hand from Voices.com.

Milestones

As we discussed earlier, milestones can be a great management technique.

Larger projects are often broken up into smaller, more manageable pieces with their own deadlines. These are often referred to as a milestone and include a deliverable, such as a chapter of an audiobook or a set of modules for an e-learning application.
Milestones typically include a deliverable (what's to be sent to the client), a payment (the amount you'll be paid for delivering the goods) and a deadline (when the due date is for the deliverable).

On the page above, you'll confirm your fee for each milestone. If there is only one delivery date, then you'll only need one milestone.


What Else Can A Work Agreement Do?

A Work Agreement will also get around all those other situations that aren't anticipated for because of the fill-in-the-blank offer form that we currently use. If there's a dispute, we simply need to say to the client, "hey look, you agreed to the work as described in the Work Agreement".


Here are the steps in detail as they pertain to the Work Agreement:

๏ The client then Accepts / Declines the Work Agreement.
๏ Should the client need a change to the agreement they can also request an amendment to the Work Agreement in which case the talent would need to upload a revised version.
๏ Once the client has accepted the Work Agreement, they are prompted to make a deposit for the job.
๏ Deposit is held in escrow and Voices.com notifies you to complete the work.
๏ You upload the files under the files tab within the Jobs section and Voices.com informs the client that their files are ready for download.
๏ Client "Accepts / Declines" the files are complete.
๏ If you send the files in a different way (by email, FTP or ships a CD), then the client will still be able to mark the job as complete by clicking "Release Payment".
๏ Upon the client accepting the files, the funds are released from escrow and you are paid out for the job.


Any Comments?

Best wishes,

Stephanie and The Voices.com Team


Comments


    Hi Stephanie,
    The changes you are making to Voices.com look great. I appreciate all the thought and creativity your team has put into the re-design.

    I was wondering if the Work Agreement step was mandatory? To be honest the milestone and work agreement steps seem a little cumbersome and most of time unneeded. I always tell my clients no payment it needed until they are 100% satisfied and I never get stiffed. My large clients, like Disney and Intel, have their own work agreements they want signed, but if I sent them one of my own to sign I know it would take days for them to send it off to lawyers. If someone was doing a long audio book for an individual that was self publishing (something I don't do) the agreement and milestones would be very important. Other than a project with a very large scope I would probably want to skip the process.

    Anyway, just my thoughts. I really appreciate all that you guys do. This morning I'm starting another nice project that came through Voices.com. Thanks!

    David K Jones

    Posted by:

      Stephanie this is fantastic. I love the work agreement form. I could have used something like this yesterday. (not kidding).

      My background was as an actor and my income was supplemented by retail and restaurant work. I was out of the marketplace when I had a baby at age 43, 12 years ago and I became a stay at home Mom and worked part time as an on camera talent through my agent. I’ve never worked in an office. I have had to catch up to the new work world of computers, digital technologies for recording as well as learn proper business practices. Business practices that my agent had always done for me in the past.

      Thank you for giving us access to templates that we can use as Voices Talent.

      Colleen

      Posted by:
      • Colleen Ann Barrett
      • October 8, 2008 10:07 AM

        David,

        As with most things on the Internet, they are better experienced first hand. I assure you the process is much easier, and will literally take you less than 5 minutes to do. For the client, they simply need to click "I agree". There are no signatures required.

        Again the purpose of the work agreement is to clearly state the expectations of the project, so both parties understand what's required for a job to be considered complete.

        It's the smaller projects and those from new clients you haven't worked with before that I would think you'd want a 1-page work agreement for.

        Having said that, clients can also purchase your services through your store (covered last week) to by-pass the work agreement.

        I think you'll be pleased with these improvements.

        Hope this helps answer your questions.


        Posted by:

          Stephanie,

          The only thing missing is the sound of my agent's voice pushing for the better deal. This is leverage and accountability. Cool.

          Steve Day

          Posted by:

            @Steve,

            In fact we do push for a better deal. How do we do this? Through education, tips, tutorials about the value of a professional voice talent recording a script.

            Plus, through our thousands of conversations on the telephone, live chat and email, we're often suggest that clients increase their budget to attract more experience and qualified voice talent.

            While we're not anyone's agent specifically, we aim to increase your income through tools, software and services as well as acting as your ambassador in our communications with clients.

            Posted by:

              I'm familiar with agreements/contracts from when I was a consultant in a different field. Here's a few things I learned...

              Some professionals are hesitant to use contracts because they feel clients will feel offended or sense a lack of trust. In actuality, it protects both artist and client from misunderstandings or unmet expectations. (See David's comment earlier.) The key is to present the contract as a customary and beneficial tool to the client rather than as a legal weapon for ensuring payment. It's all how you present it. "It describes the work I'm providing you, when you can expect my deliveries, the level of service you can expect from me, and how we arrange payment for my services."

              What I like about this voices.com feature is that it helps the artist by making the work agreement feel customary and natural as part of the process. No awkward confrontations.

              One last note... for the client who does become offended or adamantly refuses to enter into an agreement... you have to ask yourself why someone won't put the deal in writing. Perhaps that client is one who will argue with you, default on payment, or otherwise become a problem that you can live without.

              Posted by:

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