Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

A New Website is Coming to Voices.com

By David Ciccarelli

June 3, 2013

Comments (50)

responsive web design Over the past year, the team at Voices.com has been working hard on creating a new website with an updated look-and-feel.

We refresh the site every couple of years to be sure we're giving you the best experience possible by taking advantage of new technologies.

Plus, it's important for us to create a positive first impression which can be achieved through good design, simple navigation and a memorable experience.

This weekend, on Saturday June 8, 2013, the new Voices.com website will be going live.

How Does It Look Different?

responsive_design_home_page.png

1. Responsive Design

I've introduced the concept of responsive design a few times now. In a nutshell, responsive web design is a design technique where the content on the page adapts to the screen size and resolution. This means the site works equally well on your mobile phone and tablet as it does on the desktop. You can read about responsive design or watch a demo of responsive design in a recent webinar I hosted with Ashley.

2. Touch Enabled

When accessing Voices.com through a browser on your mobile phone or tablet, you'll notice that the buttons are larger and that menus are hidden - but only a tap away. We've touch-enabled the site as much as possible because we live in a touch screen world. While we conducted extensive browser testing, let us know if you find some oddities in your web browser.

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3. Flat Design

Flat design is a design trend you've probably seen on Facebook and Google. Buttons are often square boxes, icons are grey or white and the overall look seems very modern. We like this and have moved towards a flatter design.

What Has Changed Location?

4. Help Menu

Voices.com offers a lot of material including articles, rate sheets, videos, podcasts, ebooks and more. We also offer help and training material including FAQs and user guides. To simplify navigation, we've merged the Community and Help sections into one (1) menu, called "Help" just like you see at the top of this blog. Now, all this wonderful information will be one click away from anywhere on the site.

What Works Differently?

5. Search Engine

The search results look different and now display three (3) descriptive tags for each talent listing. We've eliminated the flags showing the country of residence. The photos are larger and there is an obvious "Request a Quote" button beside each talent.

6. Profile Photos

For best results, your profile photo should be cropped as a square. Ideally, the image would be at least 500 pixels high and 500 pixels wide. You'll sometimes see this setting as 500x500. With larger photos on the home page, search results and in your profile, it's more important than ever to make sure you're lookin' great! Here are 19 ways to create a profile picture.

7. Demo Details Page

Each demo you upload has its own unique page. These are called the Demo Details pages. Now, you'll see an option to embed your demo into other sites. It works just like embedding a YouTube video. All you need to do is pick the size and style of audio player and then copy/paste the code into your website, blog or Tumblr account.

8. Membership Settings and SurePay Settings

A new page has been created where you can upgrade or manage your membership with Voices.com. You can also click to view all the features and benefits of the Premium Lite and Premium memberships.

We've given SurePay it's own settings page. If you haven't done so already, select your payment preference so when you're hired for work, we can get the payment to you quickly.

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9. Messages

Messages has been completely redesigned to behave more like a conversation. Similar to chatting on an instant messaging app, Voices.com Message will now be a joy to use.

responsive_design_hiring_jobs.png

10. Jobs List

The Hiring view is a list of all the job postings which are currently open for auditions and the client is actively hiring. The page looks very much like it did before, only the VoiceMatch graphic is slightly different. Note the bar graph behind your score indicating how well matched your profile is for a given job. Also, private jobs, those jobs which you were directly invited to by the client, are also identified with a ribbon.

11. MP3 Audition Uploads Only

After receiving more than 2,500,000 auditions, we came to a startling conclusion, which is actually quite obvious. Clients have only hired talent who have read a portion of the script when a script is provided. Said differently, generic auditions have never won a job if there was a script attached. With this finding, we've decided to remove the ability to attach an existing demo from your profile if there is a script. We firmly believe that this small change will reward all of you who perform amazing auditions and give clients more of what they are looking for, auditions of their script from incredible voice-over talent.

responsive_design_answered_jobs.png

12. Answered Jobs

The Answered view is a list of the jobs that you have already auditioned for. You'll notice that we're now using the same icons already on the iPhone and iPad apps to represent when one of your auditions has been listened to by the client (an ear icon) and when the client has also liked your audition (a thumbs up icon).

More To Come

Those are the big items, but there are plenty of other goodies that you'll discover as you use the site. Be sure to send us your feedback by email, phone or using the Send Feedback button you'll see on the new site.

Happy Surfing!

David


Related Topics: Google, hired, iPad, iPhone, SAG, YouTube


Comments


    I have one concern about the audition section. You said that "generic auditions have never won a job if there was a script attached." I beg to differ as I have won a few jobs with my generic demo and there was a script to read from and/or there was a script attached. I don't like the idea of not being able to submit a pre-recorded demo if, for example, I am away from my studio and want to submit something for the client to hear. Thanks for reading.

    Posted by:
    • Eric
    • June 4, 2013 1:21 PM

      This looks great!! Looking forward to it :-)

      Posted by:
      • Cromerty
      • June 4, 2013 2:34 PM

        The changes look great, and as a talent I especially appreciate that you will no longer allow generic demo submissions for a client that has posted a script.

        This will prevent clients from being instantly flooded with generic demos as soon as the job is posted, and make it easier for talents like myself to get those custom auditions heard!

        Cheers,

        -Brian

        Posted by:

          Great new look. All changes should improve the overall experience for voice artists as well the clients that use the site.

          Posted by:

            I'm working on a better website. I will get my new URL to you when it's ready.

            thank you,

            Cynthia Gaedy Davidson

            Posted by:
            • Cynthia Davidson
            • June 4, 2013 2:50 PM

              Thanks for all of these great updates.

              I do have one piece of feedback. I am a voice talent AND a producer, so I use both ends of the site. Recently, I've had several discussions on LinkedIn and with other professional voice talent/colleagues who are disenchanted with the site, and their biggest complaint or dissatisfaction with Voices.com is that the prices have continued to go down - down - down. I don't believe this is because clients or Voices is trying to exploit us or to do the wrong thing or de-value our very hard work, but rather see that sometimes it's just a situation lack of knowledge on the clients part or following suit.

              My suggestion and very earnest request is to add a "suggested" or AVERAGE industry rate based on the size of a project when a client is submitting. A simple algorithm added that says, "Most clients would offer $xxx amount for this size project," but then still allowing them to put in their budget. Obviously, the type of projects vary prices greatly (though I would say nearly all Voices jobs are buy-outs in perpetuity, and most are determined on length of script, self-directed and delivered).

              The professionals I've spoken with or listened to or read about lately are all feeling the same it seems. If clients understood that a job with more content *should* have an average budget of say $500 or $1500 or $5000, then perhaps they will take a moment to consider their "$100-250" budget because that's what they're seeing as "acceptable."

              Without having this, many people feel this wonderful site is making everyone - but - the voice talent prosperous, as well as bringing down the quality of voices offered on the site and slowly but very certainly bringing down the value of our work. I'm only sharing this from a place of kindness and sincerity, hearing from more than 1/2 dozen colleagues that they won't be renewing their voices.com membership again this year.

              Thank you for hearing us.

              Kindest regards,
              Crystal

              Posted by:

                Very exciting! :)

                Posted by:
                • Amie Breedlove
                • June 4, 2013 3:08 PM

                  The biggest change is certainly the Audition Uploads only requirement. And while it will certainly reduce total submissions to postings (which may benefit talent and clients --we'll see) It's certainly not fair to say "generic auditions have never won a job if there was a script attached." On dozens of occasions, sending a reel (specific to the type of read the client has requested) has resulted in the client messaging me to send a custom demo, even when a script is posted. At that point the client has shown genuine interest and my conversion rate from my existing demo to a booking has been about 40%.

                  On at least two occasions, I've been booked on the existing demo alone. And talking with my colleagues who also use this strategy on the site, my experience is not uncommon.

                  One of the benefits to sending a reel is it allows me focus my audition efforts on higher paying jobs without having to ignore lower paying opportunities due to time constraints. It also allows the client to decide quickly if they'd like to hear a custom audition from a talent they may not have otherwise found through a search (assuming they'd even take the time to do a search.)

                  I understand the desire to reward talent who provide custom auditions, but perhaps there's another way to do it -- maybe listing them higher and/or flagging them in the client's review page -- instead of doing away with the "submit existing demo" option.

                  Thanks!
                  Dave

                  Posted by:
                  • Dave Braxton
                  • June 4, 2013 3:09 PM

                    All looks good with the exception of the ability to attach a reel to a job with a script. While its true that a reel doesn't win many jobs I submit reels and ask the client if they'd like a custom audition from me to please contact me if they like my voice. That system HAS lead to jobs.

                    I'm not able to custom audition for all jobs because of my schedule and submitting reels is an effective way to stay in the running for jobs. Not to mention custom auditioning for jobs that never get listened to, acknowledged by the client or the job not even being awarded. I have custom auditioned for jobs going back months that total over 800 that haven't been awarded.

                    Aside from this my experience with Voices has been great. Hoping you'll reconsider the reels thing.

                    Posted by:

                      It looks great. Question: Can you find a way to get answered auditions to clear out on their own following talent selection. I have jobs listed from April that say CLOSED so I kinda need to leave them...but I feel that opportunity has actually passed. Thank you

                      Posted by:
                      • Rick Regan
                      • June 4, 2013 3:36 PM

                        These are amazing changes, David. A sight that is more visually pleasing and easy to navigate is so important to keep clients active on the site. But by far, the choice to disable generic auditions when a script is provided is the most forward thinking. I believe it will not only be better for voice talent, but give clients a much better experience in finding the right talent, and keep them coming back to the site for future work.

                        Some talent may decide to upload their generic auditions to 'bypass' the new rule, which is so ridiculous. You made the most important point.... NO ONE gets hired from their demos (when the script is provided). Taking the clients wishes into consideration on this, and not just a voice talent's convenience of blitzing all the jobs with generic demos is absolutely brilliant.

                        In the end, I think it will mean better, higher-paying jobs for everyone because clients aren't overwhelmed by navigating through reams of incorrect audio.

                        WELL DONE!!

                        (where's the 'applause' button on this computer?... can you also add an applause button to the site :) )

                        Posted by:

                          I would love to be able to hear the winning audition. It would be of great help in future auditions to be able to maybe hear what clients are after and if there is anything I'm doing that I need to change or improve on.

                          Also, how we are/have ranked the submissions given.

                          Thank you for your time and can't wait to see the new site up and running!

                          Posted by:

                            How about allowing other types of audio auditions other than only MP3's? Some jobs request auditions in different types of audio formats. Demo audio auditions should also be allowed in other types of formats as well.

                            Posted by:
                            • David Giza
                            • June 4, 2013 6:48 PM

                              Can't wait to see it LIVE! I really like #7! Thank you for that option. :)

                              Tom

                              Posted by:

                                I was expecting to see a new logo!! Why didn't you change it? The green and blue gives a cold impression.

                                Posted by:
                                • Carol
                                • June 4, 2013 8:27 PM

                                  Hi Eric,

                                  Thank you for your comment and observation. From what I understand, is it possible that the jobs you are talking about were completed off of the Voices.com website? If so, those jobs would not have factored into jobs completed at the site.

                                  If you are away from your studio and an audition comes in, might I suggest using the Voices.com app? That way you can record a custom audition directly from your mobile device and not miss those opportunities should you wish to submit while out of the studio.

                                  Kind regards,
                                  David

                                  Posted by:
                                  • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                  • June 4, 2013 8:53 PM

                                    Thank you for your support, Cromerty! I'm glad that you're looking forward to the new site.

                                    Kind regards,
                                    David

                                    Posted by:
                                    • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                    • June 4, 2013 8:55 PM

                                      Hi Brian,

                                      Thank you for your comment and positive feedback. I appreciate your insight and am grateful that you shared your thoughts.

                                      Kind regards,
                                      David

                                      Posted by:
                                      • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                      • June 4, 2013 8:56 PM

                                        Hi Mckenzie,

                                        Thank you for your feedback! It's good to hear from you. I'm glad you approve of the changes. We're excited for the launch.

                                        Kind regards,
                                        David

                                        Posted by:
                                        • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                        • June 4, 2013 8:58 PM

                                          Thank you, Cynthia.

                                          I appreciate your comment and look forward to hearing from you when your website has been redesigned.

                                          Take care,
                                          David

                                          Posted by:
                                          • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                          • June 4, 2013 8:59 PM

                                            Hi Crystal,

                                            Thank you for your comment and for sharing your thoughts. Thank you also for your suggestions on how we can better educate clients on what is typically budgeted for a job of a certain scope.

                                            You're right to say that there are variables that would need to be taken into account, and from what we've experienced, not every job will conform to an algorithm and may require human intervention so far as budgeting goes. In fact, just today we were working with a client who is the executive producer of a specialty cable television channel. The channel, although available by cable TV, in the producer's words, reaches fewer people than many local radio stations. Technically, it's a national commercial but really he just needed 6 words read as liners. As you can see, it's difficult for us to broadly establish rate guidelines as there is no size fits all solution.

                                            We strive to provide valuable work opportunities for our talent and have successfully negotiated higher prices for the work to be done.

                                            As you may know, we do provide clients with a link to our standard non-union rates sheet and if a new client does not budget enough at the outset, we do follow up with them to share more about the market price for a given voice-over and encourage them to increase their budget in order for their job to be approved. Certain jobs do go through automatically (i.e. the client has successfully used SurePay in the past) and if a budget is lower than expected on a per category basis, the onus then falls on the voice talent to let us know that the job's budget may need to increase to better reflect the work required.

                                            Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and ideas. We appreciate them!

                                            Kind regards,
                                            David

                                            Posted by:
                                            • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                            • June 4, 2013 9:21 PM

                                              Hi Amie,

                                              We're glad to hear of your enthusiasm! Thank you for commenting and for letting us know.

                                              Kind regards,
                                              David

                                              Posted by:
                                              • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                              • June 4, 2013 9:22 PM

                                                Hi Dave,

                                                Thank you for your comment and for sharing your experiences. On a similar note to what I replied with to Eric, might it be fair to say that those jobs you're talking about were not completed via the Voices.com website?

                                                Thank you also for your idea about giving priority ranking to talent who have submitted custom voice samples versus generic demos. In theory, that's a great idea! In practice, even that system could be manipulated. Not everyone who sends in an audition, even though a manual upload would be necessary, would definitively upload a custom read. Given that everyone would be uploading a new file of some sort, the system would not be able to differentiate a custom voice sample from a generic demo. Even if special naming conventions were used for the file, someone could name their file accordingly but still submit a generic instead of a custom read. In that scenario, generic demos could be perceived as custom voice samples and ranked as such when in actual fact they are not.

                                                An interesting discussion!

                                                Thank you for your feedback, Dave. I appreciate it.

                                                Kind regards,
                                                David

                                                Posted by:
                                                • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                                • June 4, 2013 9:30 PM

                                                  Hi Chris,

                                                  Thank you for your comment and for sharing about your strategy. I appreciate it!

                                                  I am not surprised that such a strategy can lead to jobs, but as you've noted, there are a number of jobs on the site for which you've submitted custom reads that haven't been awarded. Perhaps this is due to talent executing similar strategies to what you described as having worked for you when submitting generic demos. Some food for thought.

                                                  Thank you for letting me know that your experience at Voices.com has been great. We're humbled to be of service to our customers and look forward to many more great years working together with you.

                                                  Kind regards,
                                                  David

                                                  Posted by:
                                                  • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                                  • June 4, 2013 9:38 PM

                                                    Hi Dave,

                                                    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! We appreciate your support and enthusiasm. We too think this will make things better overall for everyone.

                                                    I'll look into adding an "applause" button :)

                                                    Kind regards,
                                                    David

                                                    Posted by:
                                                    • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                                    • June 4, 2013 9:42 PM

                                                      Hi Zane,

                                                      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, ideas and for joining the conversation!

                                                      Something we have been thinking about is presenting case studies on why someone worked with a particular talent and playing their winning audition. This would require the express permission of the client and talent. Keep in mind though that this would only provide a glimpse into the who, what, and why of a specific casting and would not generally reflect all clients, jobs, auditions and the like.

                                                      We have conducted case studies in the past about why clients chose to work with particular talent that you may find interesting for the interim. Here's a link to the Buzz blog. You'll find that it is interspersed with client and talent success stories:

                                                      http://blogs.voices.com/buzz

                                                      Thank you again for your feedback!

                                                      Take care,
                                                      David

                                                      Posted by:
                                                      • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                                      • June 4, 2013 9:48 PM

                                                        Hi David,

                                                        Thank you for your comment and suggestion.

                                                        The media player at Voices.com only plays MP3s which is why it is the only file format permitted when auditions are sent in. Once a talent books the job, the final files can be delivered via Voices.com in the preferred file format as indicated as the client in the job posting. Another reason for only having MP3s sent in as auditions has to do with bandwidth. Those files are smaller than files such as WAV or AIFF which makes them faster to upload and download.

                                                        Thanks for your suggestion. I hope my answer has helped to explain why we only have MP3s for audition purposes.

                                                        Take care,
                                                        David

                                                        Posted by:
                                                        • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                                        • June 4, 2013 9:51 PM

                                                          Thank you for your feedback, Tom. We like #7 too :)

                                                          Can't wait to see Voices.com talent embedding their demos around the web!

                                                          Kind regards,
                                                          David

                                                          Posted by:
                                                          • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                                          • June 4, 2013 9:53 PM

                                                            Hi Carol,

                                                            Thank you for joining the conversation. We weren't in the market for a new logo but if you have any suggestions, feel free to let us know!

                                                            Green and blue have always been Voices.com's colours. What colours would you pick instead?

                                                            Kind regards,
                                                            David

                                                            Posted by:
                                                            • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                                            • June 4, 2013 9:54 PM

                                                              David,

                                                              Did you receive my previous comment?
                                                              If not I can re-post it.

                                                              Posted by:

                                                                Hi Jason,

                                                                Sorry, can't seem to find it here. Why don't you go ahead and repost it?

                                                                Posted by:
                                                                • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                                                • June 4, 2013 10:44 PM

                                                                  Hi Rick,

                                                                  Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it.

                                                                  I've logged your idea as a Feature Request for review. Just out of curiosity, where would you want to see those Answered jobs that were awarded to a talent other than yourself saved to? Perhaps the Deleted folder?

                                                                  For the time being, you could delete jobs that you've answered to remove them from view.

                                                                  Thank you kindly,
                                                                  David

                                                                  Posted by:
                                                                  • David Ciccarelli Author Profile Page
                                                                  • June 4, 2013 11:13 PM

                                                                    I am glad to see the "generic" audition is being removed when a script is on offer. If people who do not bother to audition send an existing demo - this clogs the system, probably annoys the client and stops the proper auditions from being heard quickly. Good change, guys!

                                                                    Posted by:

                                                                      I didn't realize so many people were 'blitzing' auditions with generic demos in order to just get in the pile while spending time providing custom demos for the higher paying jobs. That explains a lot in adding to the sheer volume of responses and the high percentage of auditions that never get listened to. Kind of wish I had known about this blitzing game before. I would have submitted my generic IVR demo to all those needlessly long phone system auditions that pay 100 bucks! But I was under the impression that a custom demo is required when a script is provided.

                                                                      So, with that being said, I am very happy with the new policy to dis-allow this kind of behavior.

                                                                      And I agree with Crystal's comments about prices. I have seen some downright ridiculous budgets for huge projects lately and it seems to be getting worse. I agree it may help sway, or at the very least, educate voice seekers about what the appropriate rate should be. I was contacted today through this site by a producer who wanted a radio commercial for NY/NJ/Chicago/LA and various other markets- full buyout in perpetuity for $100. He seemed surprised when I had to politely pass on the job. But the best one lately was the one needing 525,000 words for $100-$250. My eyes just about bugged out of my head. LOL.

                                                                      Anyway, looking forward to the new site.

                                                                      Posted by:
                                                                      • Lane West
                                                                      • June 5, 2013 4:35 AM

                                                                        David,

                                                                        The new site looks terrific!!! Best wishes for the launch on Saturday.

                                                                        Yours,
                                                                        John Florian

                                                                        Posted by:
                                                                        • John Florian
                                                                        • June 5, 2013 9:15 AM

                                                                          A while back I suggested a button to sort the jobs according to existing responses. Is this something we'll see on the new site?

                                                                          Thank you!

                                                                          Posted by:
                                                                          • Adam
                                                                          • June 5, 2013 9:29 AM

                                                                            Good luck with the launch!

                                                                            Posted by:

                                                                              I'm hoping we can still submit a generic demo because I've been awarded MANY jobs that way.

                                                                              The one issue I had a problem with previously, was when an audition sample was submitted, there was no option of editing it.

                                                                              Looking forward to the new design though. Much more modern.
                                                                              Congratulations!

                                                                              Jamie Hill
                                                                              Voicesbyjamiehill.com

                                                                              Posted by:

                                                                                Hi Jamie,

                                                                                Thank you for your comment, interest and question about being able to edit auditions. Good news! In the near future, you will be able to edit auditions on the site up to the point that you are awarded the job.

                                                                                What does it mean to edit your audition? You will be able to replace your audition file, change your quote or edit your proposal.

                                                                                This feature is not slated for inclusion in the launch on June 8 but we are excited about it and can't wait to implement the feature.

                                                                                Best wishes,
                                                                                Stephanie

                                                                                Posted by:

                                                                                  Hi Adam,

                                                                                  Thank you for your comment and question!

                                                                                  I spoke with David and although your idea is a great one, we're limited by the amount of screen real estate for presenting information about the jobs at that high level view.

                                                                                  What piece of information would you remove from the job list in order to add in the number of responses?

                                                                                  Thanks!
                                                                                  Stephanie

                                                                                  Posted by:

                                                                                    Hi Lane,

                                                                                    Thank you for your comment and response. I appreciate hearing from you.

                                                                                    After reading about the jobs you referred to in your comment, I need to ask for more details from you to give an informed answer. Were the jobs posted publicly or were they private invitations? If you were to supply our customer service team with the Job IDs in question, we'd be happy to take a closer look at the jobs to learn more about how and why they were approved. A voice-over calling for 525,000 words with a budget of $100-$250 would not be approved manually by someone on staff. Two possible explanations for why a job with a budget significantly lower than what the work calls for would get through are:

                                                                                    1) If the client has previously used SurePay and had completed all of the fields on the job posting form (including an attached script). These clients receive automatic job approval because of trust that has been established with our company.

                                                                                    2) If the jobs were posted privately and only open to you or a small group of talent. Private jobs are not subject to manual approval in order to facilitate faster service for clients looking to get a job done with an individual talent quickly outside of office hours.

                                                                                    If you could, please email support@voices.com and let us know what the Job IDs are for the jobs you are most concerned about. We'd be grateful to you for pointing them out so that we can further explore why they were approved in the first place.

                                                                                    Thank you,
                                                                                    Stephanie

                                                                                    Posted by:

                                                                                      Thanks, Debbie!

                                                                                      Best wishes,
                                                                                      Stephanie

                                                                                      Posted by:

                                                                                        Thank you for your comment and kind words, John! That means a lot coming from you.

                                                                                        Take care,
                                                                                        Stephanie

                                                                                        Posted by:

                                                                                          Thank you, Kara! It's great to hear from you.

                                                                                          We are looking forward to this as part of improving our service :)

                                                                                          Take care,
                                                                                          Stephanie

                                                                                          Posted by:

                                                                                            David & Stephanie,

                                                                                            While the site changes are great - it appears that the site will have an improved look, feel, and functionality - I would like to see more substantive changes. You don't want to lose your top talent to sites like voice realm (their rates are fixed - no bidding!).

                                                                                            If producers had to provide a fixed rate for a project, as opposed to the current budget range, the site would have a lot more appeal for me. I dislike having to bid against other talent for a job (it's already bad enough that we must play "beat the clock" as it is). Instead of producers focusing on getting the best talent for their project, many are focusing on the lowest price. This change alone would greatly change the site's image from one favoring the producer - to being neutral (not favoring talent or producer).

                                                                                            Frankly, currently Voices.com is beginning to resemble a "bottom feeder" site (e.g. elance, freelancer, guru, odesk) where talent bid against each other for jobs. As Crystal mentioned in her comments, this is negatively affecting your talent (after-all who are your real "clients"; on the bottom feeder sites there is no membership fee required to bid on a job, and also no custom audition is required, even if a script is provided).

                                                                                            Now, with that being said, let me play devil's advocate (from the talent perspective). Having owned several businesses, I understand your perspective/dilemma; namely, where is your biggest revenue source - talent or producers. Like any smart business owner, your decisions are based on your bottom line (sorry guys, voices.com is not a charity). Obviously, I don't know your numbers but, as objective as I can be as a voice talent, I believe you can strike a happy medium between talent and producer. Please consider the following changes/UNchanges:

                                                                                            1. REQUIRE all producers to provide a fixed rate for their project (both talent and producers, at least who want the best product, will be happy); but don't stop there, as Crystal also stated, have a suggested, or recommended price. Continue to allow producers to include a range, but make it difficult ("dis-insentivise" it); perhaps even a mandatory minimum rate schedule (with built-in bonus's for early delivery - now that would be a win-win).

                                                                                            2. Continue to allow talent to provide generic demos (for all the reasons Crystal eloquently stated) after all, let the talent make the choice. Yes it does provide an increase of early submissions and, even though I seldom provide a generic audition submission (the operative word is "seldom"), I want to continue to have that option; after-all anyone submitting auditions has paid their membership fee.

                                                                                            David & Stephanie you, have built an excellent business - with an obviously great model. As a member of voices.com I think the changes I mentioned would increase your market share, by improving your image among both talent and producers in the industry.

                                                                                            Remember, great businesses are built one customer at a time - and are conversely lost one customer at a time.

                                                                                            Sincerely,
                                                                                            JasonCulver.com

                                                                                            Posted by:

                                                                                              The Very best of luck to you with your new website. Looking forward to seeing it all up and working- Roll on Saturday, then we can get a real demonstration of how it all hangs together!

                                                                                              Rick Whelan

                                                                                              Posted by:
                                                                                              • Rick Whelan
                                                                                              • June 6, 2013 11:55 AM

                                                                                                Hi Jason,

                                                                                                Thank you for your comment. I apologize for the delay in answering you. Thank you for sharing your observations, ideas and feedback. We're glad that you think the site changes are great.

                                                                                                Thank you in particular for your suggestion about the minimum rate schedule for a given application of voice-over. To confirm, we will be keeping budget ranges for clients posting jobs. We will also continue to provide the option for clients to select a fixed rate. From what I understand, there may be a perception that Voices.com does little to educate clients on what they should be budgeting. This couldn't be further from the truth. Recommendations to increase their budgets are made to clients if their stated rate or budget range is not in line with what is required to complete the work. If a client is not willing to meet us budget wise when posting a public job, the job does not get posted on the site. What you and Crystal have suggested (recommended minimums, etc.) requires more discussion internally before I can give you a conclusive answer. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

                                                                                                With regard to your comment about beating the clock, the default order that auditions are presented to clients is from highest to lowest VoiceMatch score, not first come, first served. This means that if you have a high VoiceMatch score, your audition will show up higher on the list than other auditions. Every client is different with regard to when they decide to log in and start reviewing auditions. The notion of beating the clock has merit if the client immediately jumps into their account once alerted that their job has been approved or their first submission has been received. Not everyone listens to auditions within the first hour of their job being approved. Many wait for a day or two and let the auditions come in with the intention of reviewing them closer to their deadline or after their audition submission deadline has passed.

                                                                                                Lastly, thank you for your comments about the audio component of an audition. We will do as we said we would do and only allow for voice samples to be uploaded to the site. We came to this decision primarily based upon our own casting experiences at Voices.com and feedback received from clients posting jobs. We also appreciate that talent who take the time to submit a read of a client's script should be honoured for doing so. The expectation clients have is that if they attach a script, a portion of their script will read by talent auditioning for their job. Speaking for myself, I have a zero tolerance level for generic demos if I expressly ask for samples to be read from my script. That could be just me, but you never know. If a client asks for a generic demo for some reason, the option exists to upload the file should the need arise.

                                                                                                We are doing our best to serve our customers and improve our service as we continue to deliver upon our brand promise. Jason, our team appreciates your feedback and support as we move forward with the launching of our new site.

                                                                                                Thank you again for keeping a dialogue open with us.

                                                                                                Best wishes,
                                                                                                Stephanie

                                                                                                Posted by:

                                                                                                  Stephanie & David,

                                                                                                  I appreciate your response. It's good to know that my concerns are being heard. I am encouraged to know that you will give further consideration to moving from a budget based fee structure to a fixed fee system. That is the central element of my argument. I realize it would be a semi-paradigm shift but - as I pointed out in my initial comment - I feel the benefits would prevail.

                                                                                                  Regarding demo reel auditions, you do realize that an enterprising voice actor will simply provide a "canned" script submission, so you're merely picking a "different poison".

                                                                                                  Thanks again,
                                                                                                  JasonCulver.com

                                                                                                  P.S. In fairness to you, I will post your response on my LinkedIn discussion page regarding my initial comment.

                                                                                                  Posted by:

                                                                                                    David & Stephanie,

                                                                                                    Thank you!!! As a talent that actually enjoys the process so to speak, I'm thankful that you have chosen to remove the generic audition option.

                                                                                                    Unlike the posted comments of a few bitter people (not sure if you've seen the LinkedIn post by Paul Strikwerda and my loooong reply in your defense), I recognize the hard work and effort you and your team are constantly doing. The new design is great!!

                                                                                                    Keep up the good work!

                                                                                                    Posted by:

                                                                                                      Hi Mike,

                                                                                                      Thank you very much for your comment, support and words of encouragement. We're thrilled that you are in step with our vision for the site and we're grateful that you joined the conversation on LinkedIn. You're a great advocate and it's greatly because of people like you that we keep moving forward to fight the good fight of improving our site, leading the industry and making an impact on the world for how business is done.

                                                                                                      Thank you again for walking alongside us!

                                                                                                      Best wishes,
                                                                                                      Stephanie and David

                                                                                                      Posted by:

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