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3 Reasons It’s Ok To Raise Your Rates

Why are we so afraid to raise our rates?

The answer is actually in the question. It’s rooted in fear. Different fear for different people, mind you. Still, rooted in fear nevertheless.

  • A fear of losing a client?
  • A fear of unworthiness?
  • A fear related to skill?
  • A fear of competition beating you on price?

All of these fears can keep us from raising our rates. All of them are holding us back in business and success.

All of them can be overcome!

The key is confidence. Confidence in ourselves. Confidence in our service. Confidence in our product.

Don’t think you’re good enough. Don’t try and believe you’re good enough. KNOW you’re good enough.

With that in mind, here’s 3 reasons why it’s ok to raise your rates.

3 Reasons It’s Ok To Raise Your Rates

1) Cost of Doing Business: You can’t buy a car for $1,000 anymore. You can’t buy penny candy for a penny anymore. The fact of the matter is, due to countless economical factors, including things like inflation, the cost of business rises. Not just for voice over! How many of your clients do you think are charging the same rates for the products or services as they were 10 years ago? Or 5 years ago?

Walmart may say they’re price dropping daily, but all those price drop items still cost more than they did a few years ago. So why do we accept is as part of life from other businesses, but refuse to think we’re worthy of increases in our own business?

2) You’re Better: If you’re serious about voice over, then I’ll assume you’re also serious about improving. If I could go back and permanently wipe old projects from the face of the interwebs, I’d happily jump in a phone booth with Bill and Ted and head back in time!

Over the years, I’ve worked hard to improve my craft. To get better with my reads. To learn how to provide different deliveries. That work has made me a better voice talent, and that opens the door for charging a higher rate. As your skill level grows, so to should your rates.

3) You’ve invested: When I look back over the past couple years, I could probably produce nearly $10,000 worth of receipts that are directly connected to my equipment and studio space. I’ve spent the money to improve my sound. To deliver a higher quality product.

When I was recording in my living room, I didn’t feel worthy of charging higher rates. Now that I’m in my current studio space, and my sound reflects the investment I’ve made to get it where it is, I know it’s worth more. The higher quality the product, the higher the price tag attached.

Before any of this matters, though, you need to face your fears. I’d encourage you to spend some time honestly thinking about why you’re afraid to raise your rates. Write those concerns down, and one by one, begin to address each of them until you’re satisfied and confident.

* Need help raising your rates? Check out the Live Training Event I’m hosting June 16 @ 7pm EST – CLICK HERE *

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3 Tips For Getting Paid

Is there anything more insulting and discouraging than doing a great job for someone on a voice over, and then having to fight with them to get paid? It happened to me a few times in 2012 and it really ticked me off. Can you relate?

Convinced there had to be a better way, I set out to find a system that would help me never experience an unpaid invoice again. This search included a lot of research on the subject, and even took me into some of the psychology involved.

In my research, there are a few things I learned.

3 Tips For Getting Paid

1) Assume Nothing: On one particular invoice, which had gone unpaid for a couple of months, I began to send some slightly aggressive emails to the “offender.” Imagine my humiliation when I came to find out the reason the invoice had gone unpaid was due to a death in the family that occurred right around the time I sent my invoice. It was innocently lost in the shuffle. Sometimes, there really is an honest, innocent and reasonable explanation.

2) The easier you make it to get paid, the easier it is for clients to pay: One frustrated talent came to me explaining that they’d only accept certified cheques after having been “screwed over” a time or two in the past. It’s never a good idea to make all clients pay for the errors of a few. Most won’t jump through those hoops.

3) Be Professional. Always: How you conduct your business matters. It matters because people talk. Especially now, in the days of social media. If you call out clients, subject them to public humiliation, shame them on social media, or send angry and offensive notices, trust me… you’re NEVER getting paid.

The system I’ve put into practice in my voice over business has lead to 100% payment for three years running. I’m closing in on nearly 1,000 invoices paid in full. Out of that number, only one time did I have to hire outside counsel to assist in collecting – and even then, it was an extreme circumstance.

Want To Learn More? Join Me Live!

raising-rates-and-getting-paid-500x500Want to dive deeper into this topic and learn specific strategies for getting your invoices paid and for raising your voice over rates?

You’ll learn how I’ve maintained 100% payment in my business. You’ll even get to see the exact emails I use for collecting late payments. Proven emails that get it done!


Click Here For The Training

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Talking Voice Over Rates With The GVAA Part 2

Monday I released the first part of my two-part interview with the GVAA regarding their brilliant voice over rates guide. If you missed it, you can read it here – Talking Voice Over Rates With The GVAA Part 1.

Now, for the rest of it. Here’s part two.

Talking Voice Over Rates With The GVAA Part 2

Marc: Comparatively speaking, the GVAA rates are higher (and more fair) than most of those offered on casting site (which many talent use as a guide when quoting projects). Do you have any tips for talent negotiating fair rates and helping clients understand the value?

GVAA: Know your value and show the client that. What sets you apart from other talent? Do you offer editing and mastering for finished products? Offer quick turnaround on projects? Determine what will provide the most value to your clients and make them aware of it!

As voice talent, we are also problem solvers. Present your services as a fix to your clients problem. On most projects, the VO is just one small piece of the puzzle. Making that piece as easy as possible for the client will provide value and repeat business.

We also recommend showing clients our rate guide as an industry resource for fair rates. What clients feel is a “good rate” can be arbitrary especially when dealing with clients via P2P/online casting sites. Some clients lack the education and all they know are casting sites rate cards, which as you’ve mentioned are on the lower side which obviously helps those casting sites gain business and additional clients.

We’ve had feedback from talent that have shown clients the rate guide and helped educate the client as to what fair rates are within the industry and the client response was great. Sometimes we need to help our by educating them. This is a rapidly changing industry especially with the explosive growth of internet/streaming content and we can’t expect clients to keep VO talent fair rates at their forefront.

Marc: Will this guide be a “living, breathing” guide? If so, how often do you expect to refresh it?

GVAA: The rate guide is a living guide and is updated often. There is no schedule for updates as we update it once we receive new rate information. Of course, we verify the information given to make sure it’s proper.

We are always seeking new rate information and the rate guide will have gaps in it as we are continually seeking additional information. If anyone has rate information they’d like to contribute, we welcome it! Information can be sent to me –

Marc: Any other thoughts on the guide you’d like to share… feel free.

GVAA: I like to use an analogy when talking about rates: When you call an Electrician to get a quote, you don’t set the rate, the Electrician does. The Electrician has a specific skill set that you don’t have so why should you tell them what their services are worth? With the increase in the barter/gig economy, the purchasing power has been put in the hands of the consumer/client. This shouldn’t be the case for professional services.

VO talent have dedicated years to work on their craft, countless hours and money in education, learning, practice, studios, equipment, websites, etc. Professional VO talent didn’t just jump out of bed one day and start booking work. This expertise and experience comes at a cost and this is where the need fair rates come from.

If clients want a cheap vo, there’s places to find that. We encourage VO talent not to be one of them and to command fair professional rates. It only helps themselves and our industry as a whole and it’s the only way to raise the value of what we do.

Thanks To GVAA

I’d like to extend a special thank you to Cristina Miliza, David Toback and the rest of the GVAA team for taking the time to answer my questions, and more importantly, for putting together a comprehensive voice over rate guide that will be a go-to resource for us all!

Once again, if you’d like to check out the guide for yourself visit

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Talking Voice Over Rates With The GVAA Part 1

No topic is more heavily discussed and debated in the voice over business than rates. Trying to settle on an “industry standard” seems to be almost impossible. There are plenty of rate guides out there, but most of them don’t jive with each other. Some of them are low. Some seem reasonable. Many are incomplete, in that they offer suggestions for staples such as commercials, but little else.

Enter the GVAA… Global Voice Acting Academy.

They recently released what I’d consider to be the most comprehensive rate guide our industry has ever seen. To find out a little bit more about it, I reached out to them directly for an interview. I’ll be sharing their responses over two blog posts. The first half of the interview is below. The second half will be posted Wednesday June 8, 2016.

Talking Voice Over Rates With The GVAA

Marc: For those unfamiliar with GVAA, give us the “elevator pitch” so to speak, on the organization, what you do and what you’re about it.

GVAA: The Global Voice Acting Academy is an online voiceover school providing career building, high quality education for professional and aspiring voice over talent, all within a caring, active, and creative community.

Central to our philosophy is a collaborative “team teaching” method that allows for the most expert, well-informed, learning environment possible. All of our coaches communicate regularly with one another, allowing us to both keep each other informed about a voice actor’s progress, and at the same time, work in partnership on demo production, home studio creation, and business strategies.

A talent can easily study different genres within the GVAA, work on a demo, create a branding and marketing plan, or optimize their home studio, all while experiencing the same personalized, community-based service.

We have a lively Facebook group, weekly workouts, and daily discussions – all via webcam, so that students and pros alike can come together and share their knowledge and experience with like-minded spirits.

Marc: The Rate Guide you’ve created is brilliant. Why did GVAA decide to take on such a monumental project?

GVAA: It started when I (David Toback) had trouble pricing a project I had secured via my own marketing. Almost everything I had auditioned for either through my agent or P2P I was “told” what the rate or rate range was. When it came time to price a project for myself I realized I didn’t have a “price list/rate card” to refer to in order to make sure I was quoting a fair rate for both myself and client.

At the time I was a GVAA student and I had struck up a relationship with Cristina (Milizia) and she became my mentor. I asked her for help regarding rates and ironically she had been looking into fair rates and developing standards. She sent me some information and I created a “rate sheet” for myself. I shared it with Cristina and she saw the opportunity to expand on it and create a rate guide that could be a resource for the industry.

From there it exploded with the help of many pro’s in the industry contributing rates and practices. We quickly realized that this was something that was needed in the industry and our goal was to help standardize rates and ensure all talent levels would know how to price projects in this ever changing industry.

Marc: How many people did you survey to come up with the rates in the guide? What level of experience did they have?

GVAA: We originally started with the Sean Caldwell survey, SAG-AFTRA scale, and a handful of established pro’s Cristina knew from the VO Collective including Jay Preston. From there, we solicited and received rate information from a host of working professionals from around the country through our networks and personal connections. We purposefully reached out to working professionals that specialize in certain genres that are well known in the industry with years of experience working with their own rates.

Marc: For some talent, particularly those starting out, they question if they’re worth the same rates as more experienced VO’s. What do you say to them? Does the number of years of experience matter? Or is the main factor whether or not they can deliver the goods?

GVAA: We say, if you are getting paid for your voice you are a professional and you should command professional rates. I think there’s an issue in our industry where new comers and beginning talent don’t think they’re good enough and should charge less. In fact, I was one of these people.

The fact is, professionals want to work with other professionals. By lacking the confidence in your talent and capabilities and thinking you’re not worth a good rate, it only does a disservice to yourself and can appear as you’re not viable professional.

However, we understand that there is a difference between a newer talent and someone who has been a full time working professional for years. This is why we’ve included a rate range – Low, Avg, High – with the intent that talent can use this range to charge what they feel is right to secure the work.

Talent have the knowledge of what a fair rate should be from the Low to High end and can decide what type of pricing model works best for them at the current stage of their careers. This can also be a factor when quoting for a large company who would have a larger budget as compared to a small company that has a tight budget.

If you are getting paid for your voice you are a professional and you should command professional rates. Tweet This

Part Two on Wednesday

The remainder of my interview with the GVAA will be posted on Wednesday June 8, 2016.

In the meantime, you can check out the GVAA Rate Guide by visiting

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The Root Of Low Voice Over Rates

Since the Voice Over Rates Roundtable hosted by World-Voices, I’ve been thinking a lot about voice over rates.

Some would like to believe it’s simply about two groups of people. Those who charge fair rates for voice over services. Those who lowball.

I don’t think it’s that simple.

Maybe it’s about education? That is to say, not everyone is educated (both talent and client) about fair market value for voice over services.


What I’ve been thinking about, though, goes a little bit deeper.

Do You Ask These Questions?

  • Do you have doubts about your ability?
  • Do you have doubts about your equipment?
  • Do you have doubts about your studio?
  • Do you have doubts about your audio quality?
  • Do you have doubts about your demos?
  • Do you have doubts about your training (or lack thereof)?
  • Do you have doubts about yourself?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I can’t help but think that leads us to one of the main root causes of low voice over rates.

The Root Of Low Voice Over Rates

fear-300x260It’s fear.

If you were confident about yourself, your demos, your audio and studio, you’d charge what you’re worth, wouldn’t you?

If you felt like you could stand side by side with talent you look up to, you’d want to make their rates, wouldn’t you?

If you believed you could compete on ability, you wouldn’t need to compete on discount, would you?

If you answered yes, then it only confirms for me even further that fear is in fact one of the main root cases of low voice over rates.

So what are you afraid of? What’s one step you can take today to overcome?

How can I help you?

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