So the tricky topic of money.
How much do you charge for your smooth silky tones?
It is one of those topics where hmmmm you don’t want to charge too much and Chase your potential client out the door or bid too low so they think your cheap and that it’s an indicator for the quality of work.
A few suggestions that I have learnt so far:
1)ask the client what is their budget if not fully investigate the matter like it says in deutro 31: 19 ,
● ask the style of work,
●number of words,
●whether pick ups are included,
● will they do the mastering and editing
●Can it ba done at home or do they need you in
Be willing to negotiate, and don’t go too low as your potential client will go lower. So be sensible.
2) always ask for a 50% deposit so you can book a time slot in your diary
3)get a rate sheet for the style of work you do, check out the one on voices.com or The GVAA Rate Guide
if you are not sure. Use it as a guide and try to develop your own. Have a price for commercial work like, 0-5 minutes then 6-10 minutes. Create a price rate for e-learning, animation etc
4) have your rates written and a payment policy on your web or a word document so that you can send it through before work starts. Once the job is done then promptly send your invoice
5) if getting payments through PayPal then make sure it is sent in your currency and the client pays the exchange fee if it is sent via international BACS into your account so you don’t loose out
Hope this is a great help and you can get hold of me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Know your script; you have to do study at the script the client wants you to read make sure you highlight and breakdown the text with keywords you need to emphasise, buzzwords, and company name. Try to establish what is the emotion, tone, who are you and who you speaking to. Try to make sure you’re reading with the right emphasis the right tone speed and emotion.
Hydrate your life you need to make sure you drink lots of water the night before an audition and even of the morning too. Smooth vocal tones start off with good hydration. Try water with mint, cucumber and even chia seeds. Drink warm water I don’t drink freezing cold water always just boiled or room temperature water.
Listen to feedback it is there to help you, guide you and get the best and right emphasis from the text. If the clients directing by Skype or Phone take the guidance e.g. speed up the text, slow it down, use more of an inflection, colour the word, change temperament. They want you to be able to follow the direction and just do it you know.
4) What are you good at?
Identify what is your field, you know where your voice fits best and apply for auditions. It could be audio books, narration, commercials, video game, explainers, E-Learning or interactive voice recognition, voice mails. You need to work out what is it that your voice actually suits and do that.
A lot of your day as a voiceover is spent talking but you need to do lots of learning, there so many books out there that you can read.
There’s “ voice over” which I’ve been reading recently by Jeff Lupitin. Now this book goes for a range of different topics about how to get started up front, your voice. Jeff gives so many good tips and hints of how to read a script how to break it down and how to pull on the emotions. It is a really helpful, concise book, straightforward with no messing about.
1) Eating and Drinking
OK to stay long term in the voiceover business; you need to have a great voice, good equipment, good teaching, and you need to stay healthy. Firstly you need to just make sure you stay hydrated which could mean drinking 3 cups of green tea, drinking warm water, try to avoid alcohol, caffeine and definitely nicotine if you are a voice over you should not be smoking nothing because those substances actually dry out your body and particularly the voice. Also I would say try to avoid dairy like I love Greek yoghurt but it does leave like a kind of funny claim phlegm on your voice cords. So avoid diary and very salty food and stuff like that before doing a recording calm down on those for sure.
1) A voice that can transmit emotion
Ok so it’s all well and good having a nice voice, but that is not enough, you need to be able to act, yes even though no one will see you. When you act out these scripts it helps to transmit the emotion. Acting also helps to provide the right emphasis and right inflections that the script that might be needed.
As a voiceover you need to be able to take direction from the client, studio engineer or the direction given by Skype. It is not wise to try to do your own thing because you think that your style or way is much better. You are paid to be a voice on the project not the brains
3) Home studio, good microphone and software
Ok so recording on your mobile phone is great for practice but not good enough quality for professional jobs for sure. You need to be able to soundproof the room or side of the room you are using to do recordings. There are many acoustic tiles and foam you can buy online to do the trick. If you are not a DIY person than there are portable sound booths online to buy too have a look at Harland Hogan. Amazon and EBay too. Some good software to record and edit your voice samples is audacity, pro tools and Garage, there are many so have a look at what suits your budget.
It is essential to compete in today’s voiceover industry business to have a home studio, there are very rare occasions that people going off to studios or meeting clients face to face. Unless it’s a huge job by Disney, universal etc. You need to get your own home studio setup and it doesn’t have to be expensive either.
So start off small and simple, it doesn’t have to be huge with all singing all dancing, it just needs to do the very basics. It is possible to set up a simple studio cheap and neither does it have to be mega expensive. It just needs to do the job you should gauge to spend in between sort of £300 to £800 get it all done if you’re making it all from scratch.