Monthly Archives: September 2011

Pricing for Voiceover

Probably one of the hardest things to do is figure out how much you’re going to charge for a voiceover job. Someone is always going to do it cheaper.  You don’t want to get into a race into the mud, so come up with a basic fee structure that you can follow.  Remember that it should be somewhat flexible.  At Soundswrite, we don’t have a published rate sheet because jobs have so many variables.  Quite often a client will tell us that, “It’s a small project, just about 10 pages or so.”  Then, we get the project.  Yes, it may be ten pages, but it’s full of complex medical terms and bad writing that has to be fixed and we need to spend a whole lot of time learning the lingo and going back and forth with script revisions.

Here are a few suggestions for figuring out how to price yourself for voiceover:

  • Always ask the client to see the script before you say a word.  Make sure it is the FINAL APPROVED script. Let them know that you will charge for any revisions to the script that have to be revoiced.
  • Always ask, “What’s your budget for this?”  Quite often you’ll think it’s so much lower than it is.  If the client is hesitant you can offer a range of prices, i.e. “I’m thinking for a job like this it may be between $400 and $600″.  Quite often that will help you narrow it down and find out if they can afford you.
  • Make sure you know if they want just rough tracks or fully edited tracks. 
  • You need to know if you are voicing to exact time (often the case with corporate videos). 
  • You need to know if you are finding music (a huge time waster) or if they are going to look for the music.  Let them know that if you have to look for the music that you will charge them by the hour for that service and that they will then have to pay the royalty fees on whatever music they choose. We often give our clients a list of music sites that they can listen to and get them to pick. Once they find out it will save them money, most are willing to give it a go.
  • Make sure that it’s clear whether you are giving them a one time rate – i.e. to voice one radio spot for a certain amount of air time (i.e. to run for six months) or whether you are allowing them to own the project outright to use forever.  We often include a buyout fee in our quotes.  If we are quoting $200 for voicing a spot, we would charge the $200 plus half of that as a buyout fee for a total of $300.  It depends on the project.
  • If you would like a guideline to follow, check out Voices.com.  This will give you a rough idea of what some freelance voice artists are charging. http://www.voices.com/voice-over-rates.html

We’ll post more info on pricing in the coming weeks.  It’s a tough one, but please don’t undersell yourself. People perceive value in pricing.  Think about the fashion world.  Sure Manolo shoes are beautiful, but finding out that they are $800 dollars and more gives them a higher status. 

When we first started teaching classes, we thought we’d have to cater to “starving” voiceover artists, so we priced our classes very low.  We got a fairly good attendance. But when we thought “this is crazy, we’re worth more than that” and we doubled the price of the classes, we started filling all the classes.  We started charging what we we worth and it elevated our status in the industry.

You are talented. Charge for your talent.

More to come…