By Stephanie Ciccarelli
May 5, 2010
Do you base your worth upon a client's word count?
How do you perceive your time, talent and skills?
In today's VOX Daily, hear from an industry veteran who knows her worth and isn't afraid to stand by her rates. Sound like something you could get into? Find out!
Submitted by Janice Downes
I was recently hired for a job where the client told me flat out "We almost didn't hire you because your bid was 3 times more than most of the other people who auditioned. But, yours was the voice we wanted and we're so glad we went with you."
Perceived Value is the Key
Are you as talent letting the clients dictate what you bid solely for X number of words or minutes, or are we bidding for the client to use our unique voice to benefit their company or product?
A huge red flag for me is when an audition starts with statements like:
à¹ "Just a few words or sentences"
à¹ "Quick Job"
à¹ "Short Script"
That client is already telling you upfront they don't value your work, and they don't plan on paying much for it either.
It's definitely our job as talent to educate each other first on having clear boundaries of how low not to go. Have a flat session rate and make it clear.
If they want you, they will pay what it takes to have your voice on their project. If they don't, you just made time for a better client who will.
Understandably, many talent will not publicly share their rates, I believe, for several reasons... one being fear of being undercut by other talent, but more importantly, because you absolutely don't want to publicly post a rate that could be significantly lower than what a potential client may be willing to pay.
Permanent Perceived Value
I remember when I sold radio advertising we always knew what the competition was charging, and then charged more. When a client would say, "But your competition offered it to me for less"...we'd reply, "that's because they have to." And it was true. They did have to charge less because they had already made the mistake of giving away their airtime for less that they should have. Their clients now had a permanent perceived value of what they expected to pay for air time, and would never consider paying more after having paid so little.
Know Your Worth
I did a :15 second read for $1000 earlier this week. I am non-union, and have never had an agent. This particular client came to me with a direct offer.
My bottom line is know what your voice is worth.
Never apologize for rate. Never low-ball just to get work. You end up lowering the standards for everyone on what clients think they should budget for voiceover, and worse, you just branded yourself forever as less valuable than your competition.
You're welcome to add your thoughts and share any comments you may have for Janice. Join the conversation and be heard!
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