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Your Voice Over Rates Examined: Every Job Is Different

This week I’ve been expanding on some of the responses I received to a question I asked last week. “Do you post your voice over rates online? Why or why not?

Keep in mind, these posts are not intended to make up your mind for you on whether or not to post your rates. They’re merely here to give you another perspective to consider in making your decision. Always do what works best for you and your business.

One of the most popular responses I received about why not to post voice over rates was, because every voice over job is different. It’s impossible to have a rate card.

Every Voice Over Job Is Different

Every Voiceover Job Is DifferentI suppose it can be argued that each voice over job is unique. But does that mean they’re different?

Is a :30 regional television commercial for one client different from a :30 regional television commercial for another?

Is a 4,000 word eLearning module the same regardless of what it’s content is about?

Is a 2 minute web video a 2 minute web video regardless of whether it goes on YouTube or a clients homepage?

These are all questions you’re going to have to answer for yourself. If you ask other talent for their opinion, I promise you’ll get arguments in every different direction. They’re all the same. They’re all different. It depends on the client. It depends on the usage. The list, really, is endless.

Do We Over Complicate?

Sometimes as a voice talent, I can’t help but wonder if we over complicate the subject of rates.

Let’s say Client A wants voice over recording for a 2 minute web video and he needs it delivered in MP3. The video will be posted on YouTube. Let’s say Client B also wants a voice over recording for a 2 minute web video. Only, he’d like a copy in MP3 and WAV. His video will be posted on a high traffic site and YouTube.

Are those two jobs really different? Do they really require a different rate? Will you really charge Client B more money for a second audio format, even though it takes you roughly 0.5 seconds to create that file? Did one two minute vo take any longer to record than the other?

Remember, I’m just playing devil’s advocate.

What’s Your Base Rate?

unique-vs-differentTo say every voice over job is different, and therefore it’s impossible to have a rate card is actually a rather intimidating thought for me.

If it’s impossible to have set rates because every job is different, how do you even know where to start?

Consider a new car. You pay a base rate for the car. It’s a set rate. A sticker price. As you add options and features the price begins to climb. This makes sense to me. At least I know the starting point and the value of the extras I’m adding.

Why can’t your voice over rate card work under the same principle? I don’t think it’s unreasonable to set a base rate and then leave room for negotiation for additional requirements such as multiple formats, number of retakes, additional production requirements, etc.

Every job is unique, but they’re not all that different. Posting my base rates has given my clients peace of mind, knowing that I’m not just pulling random numbers or taking them for a ride. It’s one more way to provide exceptional customer service.

QUESTION: What do you think?