Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Client Experience Report 2009

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

June 4, 2009

Comments (31)

client-experience-report-2009.jpgDo clients using Voices.com want to hear custom demos?

How many auditions on average are reviewed?

What's the most important factor when picking a voice talent to record?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in the most recent Voices.com Client Survey published by our CEO David Ciccarelli and Product Manager Laurynda Pasma.

HIRING METHOD

voices-most-frequent-hiring-method.jpg

How do clients prefer to hire voice talent?



At Voices.com, people can hire voice talent by posting a job, searching by keyword or browsing the directory by category. In our survey, we asked clients which approach they take when hiring voice talent at Voices.com.

Take a look and see how people hiring talent go about doing what they do!


AUDITION QUANTITY

voices-did-you-get-too-many-responses.jpg

How many auditions do clients receive per job?



A question often asked by voice talent is how many auditions do clients receive for any given job posting?


NUMBER OF AUDITIONS REVIEWED

voices-do-you-review-all-responses.jpg

How many auditions do clients review?



A similar question is how many auditions do clients actually listen to. The encouraging news is that ¾ of clients are listening to over 50 demos. Clients who are listening to 1-25 demos are posting private jobs where only a limited number of people were invited to respond.


HIRING FACTORS

voices-influential-factors.jpg

Which factors influenced the decision to hire a voice talent?



As you can imagine, your voice-over demo is the single most important factor to clients hiring voice talent at Voices.com. This is followed closely by a combination of the demo and quote.


CUSTOM DEMOS VS. GENERIC DEMOS

voices-do-you-consider-generic-demos.jpg

If the script is provided, do clients consider generic demos?



The debate continues. If given a script, the majority of clients prefer custom auditions, however, it would appear that this isn't a make-it-or-break it factor.


SHORT LISTING BY ADDING TO FAVORITES

voices-do-you-use-favorites-list.jpg

Do clients use their Favorites to Shortlist voice talent when listening to auditions?



A popular feature among clients, we are finding that they are using their Favorites as a means to shortlist the auditions, narrowing it down even further to a few top picks before to making a final casting selection.


SUREPAY ESCROW SERVICE AWARENESS

voices-do-you-use-surepay-escrow.jpg

Are clients aware Voices.com offers an escrow service called SurePay?



More than ever before, clients are hiring voice talent using Voices.com's SurePay escrow service and online work system to complete their projects online.


SUMMARY

The last several months have proven exceptional, validating the decision to redesign Voices.com from the ground up. Read between the lines and you'll recognize that a great demo, a completed profile and being active on Voices.com through auditions are the keys to winning more jobs.

David Ciccarelli, CEO
Laurynda Pasma, Product Manager
Voices.com


Comments


    Very interesting information. Thank you for all your helpful information. That's one of the many things I love about voices.com.

    By the way... are there any stats that might indicate how many takes a client is willing to listen to when submitting custom auditions?

    Thank,
    Paul

    Posted by:

      Quite interesting! Thanks so much for taking time to compile this info...very helpful indeed.

      Posted by:

        @ Paul Hernandez

        A client will typically listen to the first 15 seconds of an audition demo before moving onto the next. Clients will typically listen to a full demo once they've shortlisted their responses. So submitting more than one take at the audition level is not the best use of your time. If you wish to point out your versatility to a client you should direct them to listen to your other demos through your profile (client's can click through to your profile without you having to give them your website URL).

        Posted by:
        • Laurynda - Product Manager
        • June 5, 2009 8:19 AM

          THANKS so much for putting this info into our hands. SO informative and helpful. The more we know about HOW and WHY we are hired (or not hired) only helps us on the way to that next level in our vo careers.

          Posted by:
          • Robin Rowan
          • June 5, 2009 8:35 AM

            Thanks for the insight into the voice over hiring trends. Looks to me that it really pays to be one of the first 25 auditions.

            -Jason

            Posted by:

              Info is interesting. But like your survey it only really matters with all the survey info. Info you neglected to supply.
              For instance: How many surveys were sought? That is - how many clients did you solicit for replies. And, how many were returned? What percentage of those returning surveys are actually clients who hire Voices.com talent when they post a job?
              Doesn't negate the info you provide, but it would color the quality of the respondents. Also, if hypothetically, you sought a thousand surveys and received only 10 that also is pertinent to the quality of the responses. Just curious.

              Posted by:

                @ Wayne Thompson

                Thanks for your question. The survey was sent out to 334 of the most active clients who had project deadline date in April 2009 and 60 people had responded. The clients had posted a job and were either in the hiring process or completed their job, so we believe their responses to be well qualified.

                84.9% of respondents to the survey confirmed hiring a talent.

                Posted by:

                  As usual, thanks for going the extra mile Stephanie! Very insightful.

                  Posted by:

                    Good info insight David. One point regarding SurePay: Your question & answer only points to "awareness" of SurePay while I'd be interested in knowing what percent of jobs secured thru voices.com are actually paid using Surepay.

                    Posted by:
                    • Tom Dolan
                    • June 5, 2009 1:37 PM

                      @ Tom Dolan

                      Thanks for asking. In my response to Wayne Thompson, I shared that 84.9% respondents have confirmed hiring a talent by providing us with their payment method. Of the clients who have paid talent hired via Voices.com 50.9% paid using SurePay, the other percent paid talent directly. This payment outside of SurePay has not been at the request of the client and is often the result of talent suggesting the client pay them directly. Many of our clients are pleased with the Escrow service that we provide and are happy to use it if talent enable them to do so.

                      Posted by:
                      • Laurynda Pasma - Product Manager
                      • June 5, 2009 2:34 PM

                        Great info! In regards to the awareness of SurePay, I'd like to know, not only what percent of jobs secured thru voices.com are actually paid using Surepay, but also, of those who said they were aware of this service, what percentage of clients say paying the escrow fee in addition to the talent fee is not a factor in hiring.

                        Posted by:
                        • Michael Montgomery
                        • June 5, 2009 2:37 PM

                          David, Stephanie...

                          I'm not sure I share your conclusion about custom demos. You observe that if a script is provided, "the majority of clients prefer custom auditions, however, it would appear that this isn't a make-it-or-break it factor."

                          If I understand the question and the responses, sending only a generic demo to these clients means you won't even be considered 44% of the time. That's pretty "make-or-break" to me, especially since I find that nearly all the jobs that interest me provide sample scripts.

                          It's also sobering to consider what combinations of multiple factors do to your odds. If you miss being among the first 100 in to a posting which includes an audition script, and also don't include a custom demo, your chances of having your submission considered drop to about 17%.

                          Regardless of its statistical accuracy, this is very useful. Thank you!

                          Posted by:

                            Is there anyway of adding an option to your profile for the client to show that they listen to your audition and what their feedback was? Some other voice over websites do this? I realize this may not necessarily happen but if a client has narrowed his/her search to a few and has the time to do a feedback, it's nice to provide that option for both parties. Rhonda

                            Posted by:
                            • Rhonda Duncan
                            • June 5, 2009 2:57 PM

                              Hi Michael,

                              Thanks for your comment and questions! Laurynda covered the first one (with regard to the percentage of jobs that go through SurePay) which is 50.9% at present.

                              While I don't have the particular statistic with regard to the percentage of clients who say the escrow fee has no bearing on their decision to hire, the people who use SurePay, and the numbers represented in the previous statistic, more than suggest that they see it as a cost of doing business and a safeguard worth paying for.

                              Does that help to answer your question?

                              Best,

                              Stephanie

                              Posted by:

                                Good to know! Great information to improve our service too. Please continue sharing this kind of surveys.
                                Thanks!

                                Gonzalo

                                Posted by:

                                  Again, Voices.com is ahead of the game. Great improvements! Thank you for keeping everything simple! If there is any way talents can promote you to producers and those in search of talents, please let us know. Voices.com should be getting more of "the big boys" and not those voice services who make us suffer through a "Quota System". As one who hires talents, as well being one, I hate the quota system that tries to "make it all fair". I run a business, not a social service. May free market competition always rule!!!

                                  Posted by:

                                    Stephanie & David,
                                    Thank you for providing this information, and also Laurynda for the supplementary factoids.

                                    I'd like to see a list of voice talents ranked by in order of descending income received from the Voices.com site, say over the pervious year to date, instead of who's been recently hired, which can skew ranking results that only pay attention to the short term. My suggestion could demonstrate a better snapshot of the overall level of professionalism and quality of talent here who are not only being hired often, but to acknowledge and include those voice talents who are awarded the higher paying jobs, which are frankly fewer in number than the numerous $100-250 category job posts.

                                    As things are right now, I also feel clients should be able to rank talent they have hired through Voices.com whether or not they use Surepay. Just my 2 cents. As always,
                                    Thanks for "listening"
                                    Bobbin Beam, Voice Actress

                                    Posted by:

                                      Thanks for the hard work!
                                      But one thing I am concerned about is the undercutting of jobs by low bidders. A friend of mine says he continually gets underbid, once (he found out somehow) he was underbid because someone bid just $5!!!

                                      So I am interested in what Voices.com is doing about or thinking about doing about this problem. Of course, clients want the lowest prices, but that is ridiculous, and if this is the climate, it wont be for long for voice professionals.

                                      What I'd really like to know are the statistics for how accepted bids compare to proposed prices for projects in general. Are they 10% over? 15% under? 90% under?!?!

                                      Also, how do we know that when we submit a custom demo, that they just don't take the one they like best, use it, and don't bother to pay for it? Listening statistics should be much more robust so we at least know who is listening, how often they listened, and maybe more importantly, how many downloaded our custom demo.

                                      Thank you very much.

                                      Posted by:

                                        Thanks for all the info - giving some insight into hiring practices makes it feel less like autitions are simply disappearing into the void.

                                        I did ask Stephanie what a client sees in their 'inbox' when auditions mount. She indicated that she would check into it. If they simply see the talent's name, that might not be too appealing - however, if, in the subject line, they were able to see a quick listing of the talent's recent or equivalent jobs that might make them more likely to listen.

                                        I'm trying hard to figure better ways to get onto the 'selected audition' list as opposed to the open auditions, which often does feel like I'm sending my auditions into deep space.

                                        Let's keep talking.

                                        Posted by:
                                        • Neil Intraub
                                        • June 5, 2009 8:07 PM

                                          Hi Stephanie,
                                          And just to clarify my suggestion above, the ranking for the highest incomer-earners at the Voices.com site would NOT include actual amounts earned, but only the talent's name and ranking in descending order. Thanks again. :)
                                          Best,
                                          Bobbin

                                          Posted by:

                                            I have always wanted to get feedback on my demos ref how many others applied, how did THEY sound, what did the winner sound like, what flaws were in my demos, etc. Of course, this was never going to happen.

                                            I figured out a while back (without these charts) that to increase your chances of landing the gig, you should (just my opinions here) -

                                            1) be in the top 20 demos (ie, submit asap so yours will not be one of the ones ignored just because it was so far down in the pile)

                                            2) submit your very best custom demo if you have time (best delivery, best audio quality - don't use a headset mic if you have a better one) You'll land more jobs with a great demo than an average one. Yes, clean it up, remove breaths, lip smacks, maximize the volume, etc.

                                            3) read more than just one sentence of the script. I'd say a paragraph or two would be good. It can indicate to them that you are not afraid to invest your time on their project from the start.

                                            4) do a 2nd take if you are unsure of the style. It won't harm your chances and MAY help.

                                            5) if you do send a stock demo, at least tell them you'll be glad to read their script if they want to make a final decision

                                            6) apply to as many jobs as you can, keeping in mind your strengths (if you know you totally suck at movie trailer style, maybe don't apply to those, etc.) IOW, spend more time on those jobs where you know you sound the best.


                                            Now, if my tips are correct, and you act on these, I've just hindered my own chances of landing jobs! hahahaha DOH!

                                            And thanks to voices.com for compiling these stats. It's nice to confirm something you suspected or thought you knew.


                                            Tim

                                            Posted by:
                                            • Tim
                                            • June 6, 2009 4:19 AM

                                              Stephanie,

                                              This was really useful information. Thank you. I too, however, would highly value a monthly summary report, which tells me the difference between how many of my auditions were viewed and what percentage were rejected.

                                              Posted by:

                                                Hi Bobbin,

                                                Thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts. We are considering all ideas that come to the table and appreciate that you took the time to let us know what you'd like to see!

                                                Thanks,

                                                Stephanie

                                                Posted by:

                                                  Hi Mark,

                                                  Thank you for commenting and it is nice to hear from you. Thank you for appreciating the hard work that goes into all of this. It is a great effort :)

                                                  Interesting that you should mention that. Laurynda does send emails to talent who have underbid on projects, asking if they were aware of the budget minimums. In some cases, talent reply to say that they did not know that the client was prepared to pay within the budget range and note that in the future they would not underbid again. Others know full well that what they were doing went against the guidelines. Some are even resentful when they are followed up with, stating that we have no right to tell them what to charge.

                                                  It has been suggested in the past that talent should not be able to input any values less than the budget minimum. While this sounds good in theory, in practice there is a loophole wherein someone could say one thing to not trip up the quoting field and quote an entirely different amount in their proposal. This is why we have not instituted a feature that would do that. If you know of any other way to accomplish that goal, we are all ears!

                                                  As for the statistics you are asking for, that information is not available to me at present (this is not my department), however, what I can say to your other question is that clients lifting custom demos is extremely rare. I've only heard of a few cases where this has happened over a period of 5 years at our marketplace.

                                                  Situations such as this one often occur because a voice talent has entered into an agreement with a client and has chose to work outside of the safe parameters Voices.com has in place to protect you from non-payment. If a client does not follow through, and a talent has decided to leave the save environment at Voices.com, we are unable to assist, reason being that we have no record of the agreement or any of the other communications.

                                                  Thank you for your suggestions as per the listening statistics. They will be taken into account when we discuss the feedback received from this posting.

                                                  Best wishes,

                                                  Stephanie

                                                  Posted by:

                                                    Hi Tim,

                                                    All very good thoughts! Thank you very much for sharing them. You have an acute sense of how to succeed. I trust that some people will try out your formula for auditioning.

                                                    One thing I really liked about what you said is that you realize certain things, such as feedback and other information regarding casting, are not pieces of information that one is likely to receive on a regular basis, or for some, at all. It is far better to audition as best you can for a job and then forget about it. A great number of professionals in my acquaintance are of that mindset. They audition, push the audition out of their minds, and move on to the next one.

                                                    When do you get feedback? When you find out that you got the job! That validation tells you all you need to know about what the client was looking for.

                                                    There's an article on VOX Daily (Philip Banks and I both contributed) about this very dilemma of some talent constantly needing feedback. Here's a link:

                                                    http://blogs.voices.com/voxdaily/2008/11/philip_banks_teaches_you_how_to_prospect.html

                                                    Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins have a way of explaining how casting is all about selection, not rejection. When someone goes out to buy a dress, they aren't thinking, "Hmmm, which of these dresses do I not want to buy?", they are thinking, "Which of these dresses do I want to purchase?"

                                                    If anyone is interested, listen to this podcast, "The Myth of Rejection" here:

                                                    http://podcasts.voices.com/voiceoverexperts/2007/07/voice_over_experts_episode_06.html

                                                    Thanks for your comment Tim. I really enjoyed hearing your insight.

                                                    Best wishes,

                                                    Stephanie


                                                    Posted by:

                                                      Hi Rhonda,

                                                      Thank you for your question and comment.

                                                      The reason why we don't allow clients to leave feedback for talent auditions is because the feedback could be completely out of context.

                                                      Let's say you were auditioning and had a great interpretation, the right voice type and also were quoting appropriately for the client's budget. It may come to pass that while your audition was heard and appreciated, the possibility still remains that because you weren't the client's #1 choice, they may rate you lower to help sort through the auditions by their given ratings. This is what happened a few years ago when we allowed clients to rate talent demos and auditions.

                                                      After further discussion and feedback from talent who had been rated poorly for perfectly acceptable, professional reads and demos, it was decided that not just anyone could rate a voice talent or demo, only people talent had actually worked with at Voices.com would have that privilege. Talent and clients, if they have worked together and the client paid using SurePay, are able to give each other feedback in the form of a written review and a star rating.

                                                      If a client likes your read and wants to show in some tangible way that they appreciated your talent, they can save you to their Favorites List at Voices.com for future reference. There is a Top Favorites list that people are featured on who have accumulated these client-generated boosts in ranking. Any talent may be added to a client's Favorites regardless of membership subscription level.

                                                      Do you have any client testimonials that you'd like to add to your profile? You can add them in a special Feedbacks section on your profile. People who visit your profile will also be able to read what clients have said about you and get a better idea of your credibility in that manner, too. You may also include a client list in this section.

                                                      I hope this has helped to answer your question and also give you more information on how you can receive feedback from clients at Voices.com.

                                                      Best wishes,

                                                      Stephanie

                                                      Posted by:

                                                        Hi Christine,

                                                        Thank you for your comment and suggestion.

                                                        Just so I understand, you are asking to see the percentage of jobs where your audition was reviewed and also a percentage of auditions where you were not hired?

                                                        Best wishes,

                                                        Stephanie

                                                        Posted by:

                                                          Hi everyone,

                                                          I wanted to thank you all for your comments and questions. It is important to us that we keep all lines of communication and dialogue open which is why we do our best to present you with information such as this giving you more to work with from a client perspective.

                                                          If you would prefer to ask us a question directly instead of commenting here to receive a response from one of our representatives at Voices.com, all you need to do is contact Customer Care through this online form:

                                                          http://www.voices.com/service/customer_care

                                                          Thank you!

                                                          Stephanie

                                                          Posted by:

                                                            Not sure if this has already been addressed - but wonder if it is possible to see if clients have actually listened to or at least clicked on voice talent's audition.

                                                            I understand that when checking 'answered auditions' talent can see if clients have already made a selection - but for those that never seem to make a selection, I question whether the spot ever got made or if client wound up selecting outside of voices.com. Any insights on this?

                                                            Posted by:
                                                            • Neil Intraub
                                                            • June 6, 2009 10:00 PM

                                                              Neil,

                                                              Thank you for submitting your questions. Ideally these types of questions or requests should be submitted via our Feature Request form at http://www.voices.com/service/customer_care or through our recent Spring '09 Release - http://blogs.voices.com/voxdaily/2009/06/spring_09_release.html, as these requests really are more ideally suited to the other article.

                                                              With the added feature of clients being able to mark their jobs as completed when they have not gone through our SurePay service I would suggest you revisit the Overview tab of your answered auditions. If the job is marked as completed yet there have been no talent selected the client has opted not to hire a Voices.com member or has hired and paid a talent offline.

                                                              At this time Voices.com has not introduced a tracking function for whether an audition audio file has been listened to or not. This is currently in queue for possible future implementation.

                                                              Thanks,

                                                              Laurynda

                                                              Posted by:
                                                              • Laurynda Pasma - Product Manager
                                                              • June 8, 2009 1:38 PM

                                                                Wow, that is great information and I am so glad that I checked it out, thanks!

                                                                Posted by:

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