Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

How To Use Your Time Wisely Between Voice-over Gigs

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (3)

Female hand holding a miniature red alarm clockWhat do you do when the auditions stop rolling in and you're waiting for the next gig?

Voice-over artist, Herb Merriweather, suggests that there are a number of things you can do to productively pass the time, and perhaps, even have a little fun while you're at it.

Find out more in today's VOX Daily.


How To Report Your Voices.com Earnings At Tax Time

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (1)

Woman doing her taxes at a coffee table.  Laptop computer close by, papers all over the table and a pink coffee mug.Running your own business?

What do you do when you need to report work completed via the voice over marketplace?

Lin Parkin, Customer Care Manager at Voices.com, gives you tips on how to locate your Voices.com earnings and put them in order for easy reporting at tax time in today's VOX Daily.


Investing In Yourself As A Voice Actor

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (3)

Woman and man (couple) getting advice from an adviser or consultantAre you doing everything you can to make your career in voice over amazing?

Deb Munro shares why it's important to invest in yourself and your career, especially when you feel that things could be going better for you or that your dream is fading away.

Hear more of Deb's advice in today's VOX Daily.


How To Manage Your Time

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (2)

Smiling woman holding a January 2012 calendarDo you have trouble managing your time?

Are you giving non-urgent tasks priority over urgent responsibilities that need to be done first and can't wait?

How do you manage?

Canadian voice over coach, Deb Munro, shares her tips for how to manage your time in today's VOX Daily.


How To Price Projects Exceeding 100,000 Words

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (16)

Colourful letters spelling the word Help surrounding by a border of random lettersDo you ever wonder about how you should quote for projects with enormous word counts?

We've worked out a formula you can use for preparing quotes for clients when a script's word count exceeds 100,000 words.

Take a look at what we've shared and also let us know what the word count of the longest script you've ever recorded was!

Join the conversation now!


Outsourcing Audio Editing

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (28)

Audio editing, two tracks, wave formsAre you finding that audio editing is becoming a hindrance to marketing yourself and recording work for your clients?

Many voice talent are outsourcing audio editing to capable audio engineers who can get the job done for a reasonable price and in a timely fashion working half a world away.

To learn more, check out today's VOX Daily!


Narrating Fairy Tales A Good Niche For Voice Artists

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (5)

Father with young daughter reading a bedtime storyAre you interested in getting into audiobooks?

How about taking some baby steps before embarking on a 3-week long recording marathon?

Learn how starting out with short stories such as timeless fairy tales can help you cut your teeth on audiobook narration, recording and editing.


The Canada Post Lockout And How It May Affect You

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (2)

Canada Post logoIf you're in Canada or take note of what goes on here via the news, you likely know that there have been rolling postal strikes in our nation for the past couple of weeks. Our post services, as of today, have temporarily suspended operation in terms of the sorting and delivery of mail.

While this may not seem relevant to those outside of Canada, it's important to realize that anything you are sending or receiving that goes to or from Canada will take longer to get to you.

Read more about how this might affect you in today's VOX Daily.


Is The Narrator of a TV Show Always the Star?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (21)

Patricia Heaton, The MiddleAre the narrators of television programs, be they sitcoms or dramas, always the stars of the show?

In a recent conversation, it was suggested that whoever narrates the show is generally the person whose character dominates the series. There is certainly a lot of evidence that validates this assertion that we'll explore in just a minute.

Do lead characters on TV shows always serve as their series' narrators?

What do you think?

Have your say in today's VOX Daily!


How To Replace or Delete Demos on Voices.com

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (0)

Refresh icon, blue, arrow pointing in a clockwise directionIs your demo showing its age?

Has your voice changed or are you reinventing how you present yourself?

There are any number of reasons why you might choose to update a demo or to stop using it altogether.

This tutorial will show you how to replace a demo and still maintain your Listens count at Voices.com.


Quoting Per Word

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (13)

Light wooden blocks that spell out the word Quoting for voice over work encompasses a number of factors such as the market size, distribution, the number of characters and also how much is required of you in terms of audio production.

Recently a voice artist emailed to let us know that she was struggling with quoting on a per word basis and asked for some guidance. I'd like some of that to come from you, the working voice actor!

If you quote for certain projects on a per word basis, be sure to let us know when you do it and how you determine the value of certain copy or words by commenting on today's VOX Daily!


SurePay Payment Schedule 2011

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (14)

SurePay Payment Schedule

At the beginning of January 2011, we implemented a change to how long it takes for payment to be sent to voice over talent in order to continue offering you great service and guarantee timely payments.

Why did we do this?

Find out in today's VOX Daily.


The Exception To The Rule

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (5)

Sowing wheat in a gardenHave you ever made an exception to the rules you created for your voice over business?

What about where fees are concerned?

Voice talent Herb Merriweather shares a story about one such project and how taking the work for less money initially resulted in his reaping a return on investment worth far more than anticipated.


Class Clowns Rejoice: Silly Voices Can Make You Money!

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (9)

Young girl rolling her tongue and making a silly face at schoolWere you one of those people who was constantly reprimanded for chatting in class?

Did your classmates find more pleasure in listening to your imitations of the teacher rather than listen to what the teacher had to say?

Whether you were the class clown or simply an overly ambitious social butterfly, the antics that used to get you in hot water could actually serve as assets in the voice acting profession.

Share your experiences and find out more in today's VOX Daily.


Leveraging Your Intellectual Strengths in Voice Overs

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (4)

Surgeon examining a girl's neckHas voice over been your only field of study and profession?

Most people become voice artists after they have already had a career or pursued studies in a different field.

That being said, you can consider your education and work experience, even special interests, as relevant information stored in your mind that could help you shape and define your niche as a voice over artist!

Learn more about how you can go about defining your niche in today's VOX Daily.


How Do You Measure Success?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (5)

measuring-success.jpgThere are many ways that one might go about defining success and determining when success has been achieved.

How do you measure your success?

Guest blogger Herb Merriweather invites you to consider how your efforts, and not simply financial or physical gain, can be perceived as success.


Why Not Add A "Giving" Line To Your Bottom Line?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (5)

Man holding a heart-shaped rockHave you ever given any thought to how your business could give back?

While many people donate as part of their personal giving, many businesses set aside a certain percentage of their profits to donate to organizations they wish to support.

Sound like something you could do?

I'm pleased to present one of guest blogger and voice talent David Brower's most recent postings with you in today's VOX Daily on making "giving" part of your bottom line.


Is It Possible to Overvalue Your Voice?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (12)

Businessman between two female colleaguesIt may appear that we're beating a dead horse, but perceived value is everything.

Everything is relative, right?

The question is posed and the floor is yours: Is it possible to overvalue your voice?

Let the debate begin!


When You Quote, Remember To Include Editing

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (18)

Man editing a waveformIn our previous article about rates, specifically to do with audiobooks, one comment sparked an idea for further discussion regarding editing as a separate fee to charge if you are required to provide more complex engineering services to your clients.

Editing is its own service.

The cost depends on how long the voice over is and how complicated the editing requirements are.

Learn more about why editing should be accounted for now in today's VOX Daily.


A Discussion about Rates

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (17)

Benjamin Franklin imageRates is a sensitive topic regardless of industry.

As we begin, let me first say that as a marketplace our primary responsibility is to facilitate business relationships that yield fruitful returns for our customers. A person in need of a custom voice over recording can visit Voices.com and find someone to work with quickly and cost-effectively. Similarly, a voice over professional who wants to market their voice and obtain business opportunities for work may also use Voices.com to achieve their goals.

Our role is to connect people and provide a platform for them to conduct business.

Setting rates is not part of what a marketplace does.

While we understand our unique role in the industry as facilitator, we are keenly aware of the need some talent have for establishing a rate sheet that indicates a range they may choose to quote within. Similarly, there are some clients who also appreciate resources and who have asked for a road map to follow with regard to how much they could budget for their voice overs.

If you're curious about some of the challenges we face and want to further explore the topic of voice over rates, read on.


Interesting Quotes from a Debbie Munro Voice Over Workshop

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (5)

Deb MunroWhile sitting in Debbie Munro's workshop over the weekend at Edge Studio in NYC, I was twittering fast and furiously, sharing some insights gleaned from Deb's wealth of knowledge in the world of voice over.

In today's VOX Daily, I'm going to share those insights with you!

One of my favorites had to do with making sure that the words you breathe life into are driven by clear and deliberate intentions.

Learn more about the art of voice acting in a sweetly succinct manner now.


Are You Meeting Your Prospective Clients' Needs?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (21)

Typewriter beside a MacBook ProAre you keeping up with the Joneses?

Missing out on opportunities because of something as basic as a software upgrade?

Prospective customers are valuable and it would be foolish to pass up opportunities... but if this is true, why do so many people do it?

Find out how being proactive now could benefit you in the future in today's VOX Daily.


Achieving Your Goals Day By Day

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (2)

joe-cipriano-2009.jpgWant to take steps forward in your career but can't because you feel overwhelmed?

Do you know that you are capable of doing more and reaching higher?

Where there's a will, there's a way!

If you've been procrastinating or treading water for too long, know that you can still achieve your goals and succeed.

Have I piqued your interest?

Read some excellent advice on how you can incrementally achieve your goals courtesy of Joe Cipriano.


How Do You Define ROI?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (1)

Happy businessmanPeople define ROI (that is, return on investment) in a number of ways.

Traditionally, ROI refers to a financial return on investment, however, returns can be made on various investments such as education, time, networking and personal development.

We'll discuss the different ways that you can measure return on investment in today's VOX Daily.


Does Recording VO For Nonprofits Mean Less Profit For You?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (12)

For Profit VS NonprofitI received a question from a voice over talent recently asking what I thought they should charge when doing work for a non-profit company.

Their assumption was that a discounted rate should be offered to companies who have not-for-profit status.

Not knowing offhand, I decided to take a poll on Facebook and received a number of replies that insisted a regular fee be levied as opposed to a discounted rate!

Hear more from professional voice actors who have experience working for non-profits in today's VOX Daily.


Can Success Ever Be Guaranteed in Voice Overs?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (4)

Hello, my name is OpportunityWill you succeed as a professional voice over talent?

Only you can determine that!

There are many people seeking to work professionally as voice artists who set themselves up for failure because they limit their own potential, don't invest in the fundamentals, or shy away from basic business practices.

My hope is that this article will help newly aspiring talent, whether trained or having just embarked on their journey of discovery, to work methodically through the industry's expectations of voice over talent in order to adopt realistic goals and expectations of themselves.

Even if you don't work in the voice over field, you may find this applicable in your industry... let me know by leaving a comment!


5 Mistakes Voice Talent Make and How To Avoid Them

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (6)

Caution, slippery when wetHave you ever heard that experience is the best teacher?

While that may be true, experience also happens to take the longest to accumulate, sometimes accompanied by unpleasant situations and hard lessons learned.

If you don't have time to make mistakes, and I mean, some really big ones, check out this cathartic article by Dan Hurst.

He wants you to learn from his experiences... better than finding out for yourself in addition to be mighty convenient!


Safe Business Practices For Freelancers

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (13)

Smiling baby in a car seatEver get an RFQ (request for quote) for a job that is paying way too much for what you would have to do?

Came upon any leads that made you nervous?

If something looks to good to be true, it probably is...

Your business is your baby and you've got to put its best interests ahead of those of someone else with a completely different set of priorities.

Discover 5 ways you can investigate opportunities to protect both yourself and your business.


Important Update to SurePay Service

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (11)

money-safe-buoy.jpgWhenever we make changes to Voices.com, we usually let you know on VOX Daily, and today's news is no exception.

I have some news to share with everyone who uses SurePay.

Don't know what SurePay is? Find out by reading this post!

If you already use this Voices.com service, be sure to note a significant change with regard to payment scheduling made for your protection and others using our website.


Are You Your Own Worst Critic?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (7)

Man yelling at himselfEven in your darkest moments of dread when you feel that your client won't be satisfied with your work, you'd be surprised!

Just because you feel you weren't up to snuff doesn't mean that your client thinks you stink.

In fact, sometimes their reaction is the complete opposite!

There's no need to beat yourself up, and if you are, this article may give you the courage to stop!

Join me in welcoming Richard Weirich as he shares his experience with us here on VOX Daily.


Sharon Feingold Introduces Voice Talent to KIVA

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (3)

Sharon FeingoldEver heard the saying that a little goes a long way?

New York-based voice talent Sharon Feingold has started "Voice Artists & Friends," a group formed via the KIVA website that allows you to make microloans to others in need to help them grow their businesses.

Founded on July 31, 2009 the group already has 9 investors.

Will you join them?


4 Ways to Increase Your Voice Acting Income

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (4)

Man and woman budgetingIsn't it great to be in business for yourself?

While you may be enjoying the successes you have now, are you aware that you could be paying yourself more and reaching greater financial goals?

Here are 4 practical ways that you can increase your income as a voice actor.


How Low Will You Go?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (7)

Man high jumping over a poleWhen work is harder to come by, have you found yourself lowering your rates to remain competitive, or have you been sticking to your guns to ensure that the bar doesn't drop?

How do you cope with the "out of work blues" when you hit a dry spell?

Robin Rowan presents us with her thoughts on this issue and would love to hear what you have to say!


Hidden Features: Fixed Prices and Budget Ranges Explained

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (8)

Budget ranges at Voices.com

Do you have any questions about fixed prices and budget ranges at Voices.com?

This article will go over in detail what they mean and explain how you can make use of these features.


Want To Be Paid More for Voice Over Work?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (56)

Woman screaming holding an empty purseThe online marketplace for voice overs can be a wild place, however, if all voice talent band together and commit to sticking to some standard practices, it can be a friendlier, more prosperous environment.

Quoting for voice over jobs is one of these areas where mutual respect and business acumen comes in handy. It also doesn't hurt to stick to the guidelines.

How do you get paid more for your work?

Hear about an experience voice talent Karen DeBoer had here at Voices.com.


1,850 Laid Off At Clear Channel, Layoffs in Broadcast and Beyond To Trigger Boom in Voice Over Market?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (11)

On The Air MicrophoneThe economic downturn has changed the priorities and makeup of many companies, including some in the broadcast media industry, causing thousands of people to lose their jobs, many of which are now turning to voice over as a career alternative.

I was curious to see who among those already doing voice over part-time are now finding themselves full-time due to the loss of their positions...

From what I've heard, read and been told, it sounds like there is going to be a wave of people hoping to make voice acting their primary source of income.

Hear from many people affected by this and add your voice to the mix. Anonymous comments in good taste will be approved on this article.


Voice Acting : Everybody Starts Somewhere

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (67)

Man carrying bindersLanding your first job in voice overs is always the hardest, and once you've been hired, subsequent work is easier to obtain.

But where do people start?

How do you get that first customer to validate your voice over business?

Sometimes it means working more for less.


Video Games Untouched By Economic Crisis?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (4)

Video games prove to be recession proof?What's the most stable market for voice overs right now?

It could very well be voice acting work in video games, at least for now.

As we bring 2008 to a close, I think it would be interesting to take a look at what this market is doing at how it may fare going into 2009.

Join the discussion and let me know what you think by leaving a comment!


3 Reasons Why 1 Size Doesn't Fit All For Voice Overs

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (4)

Little boy wearing an over-sized shirtHave you ever felt like customers hiring talent are always looking for the lowest common denominator?

Sometimes it's easy to think that the jobs only go to talent charging bargain basement prices or that customers don't care about what the voice over sounds like, so long as it's decent.

Not so, my friends.

Take heart in this!

Today I'll present 3 simple truths that will leave you wondering why you ever had a doubt.


Getting Voice Over Gigs In Today's Economy

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (5)

Laptop computer with money coming out of it

One of the benefits of using Twitter (you can find me here) is that you know about something quickly even before other major outlets pick up the news.

Today was no exception as I read a tweet posted by my friend Alison Pitman this morning, a voice over professional in the UK, directing me to a timely blog post she wrote raising a number of very interesting questions that warrant further debate.

Also, a couple of weeks ago I happened to be reading another friend's blog, David Bourgeois from Voice Coaches, and he wrote some commentary that I think you'll find uplifting regarding how you can make strides to push through times of difficulty as an entrepreneur.

How is the economy affecting your voice over business?

Click here to read more on what Alison and David are thinking as well as some commentary from yours truly.

Once finished, I invite you to comment with your thoughts :)


Plan Your Marketing Budget

By David Ciccarelli

Comments (0)

Marketing BudgetDo you have a marketing budget?

Deciding how much your marketing should cost - including how much should be invested in making sales grow - and how that amount should be allocated is completely up to you, the professional voice talent.

Advertising costs are a completely controllable expense.

Marketing budgets are the means of determining and controlling this expense by dividing it wisely among different strategies, marketing channels and service providers.


Beauty is in the Ear of the Beholder : Don't Sell Yourself Short!

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (11)

Sea shells

What happens when you compromise on price?

Quoting lower than what you feel your services are worth ultimately decreases the overall value of your services to both you and your prospective customers.


Billing for Retainers?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (4)

Woman using a calculatorHave you ever had to work on a retainer?

If you are into radio imaging, telephone voice over work, voice over for the web or providing voice overs for anything else that needs constant updating, you are probably familiar with working on a retainer.

Although it may be old hat to you, there are people starting out in the business of voice over who are new to the concept and need some guidance -- that's where you wonderful pros come in :)

Share your experiences with retainers and add your voice to the conversation!


Running Metrics : Are You Returning Profit to Yourself?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (1)

Kara Edwards often shares interesting tidbits on her blog, including all the voices in her head as well as those of others external to her own cranium.

Nancy Wolfson recently gave permission to Kara to share some of her proprietary coaching info on her blog and has also given me the go ahead to share this wisdom with you here on VOX Daily.

Pie Chart


Video Game Voice Actors Want Bigger Piece of the Pie

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (5)

NPR LogoWill this issue ever be resolved?

What happens when video games like Halo 3 make video game production companies millions of dollars but their voice actors only see the initial session fee payments?

Potentially a strike, that's what. Check out this interview that aired on NPR on October 11th, 2007 tackling this very touchy subject.


10 Mistakes That Cost People Work at Voices.com

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (6)

Slipping on banana peelDiscover 10 of the most common mistakes made by voice actors who use the Voices.com web service and learn how you can avoid them to make the most of your Voices.com experience.

If you're looking for a road map at Voices.com for how to improve your opportunities for success, this article is for you.


Quoting for Podcasts

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (3)

How much do you charge for podcast recordings?


Second-hand recording studio equipment

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (12)

recording-studio-equipment-voice-overs.jpgIs buying used gear just 'as good as new' for aspiring talents starting out in the business? Let's tackle the realm of second-hand recording studios, what to look for, and your return on investment (ROI).

When a business is in startup mode, usually the entrepreneur looks for ways to cut costs while obtaining all of the necessary objectives to run their business.

In the case of a voice talent, building a home recording studio is paramount to their success and fundamental to conducting business on a daily basis.


Quoting for Audio Books

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

Comments (5)

One of the enigmas in the publishing industry is quoting for long form narration and audio books. Let's figure this one out together!