What Does it Cost for a Voiceover?

HouseSeveral times a month I will get an email from a potential new client or an old client asking me how much would it cost to record – say 2 minutes of audio. That’s all. No additional details.

Intellectually I think we all know that this is akin to asking how much does it cost to paint a house. There are so many particulars involved that it isn’t possible to answer that question without asking a few questions in return. The more information you can provide in the initial email, the better, especially if you have a deadline that requires a quick response.

In the case of the house, you need to know how big it is. How many levels. How many windows. What kind of surface. How much prep needs to be done. What kind of paint. What kind of budget does […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00August 27th, 2015|Categories: Business, Negotiating|Tags: , , , , |

Predicting The Hot New Flavors of Video Advertising

ChangesNo one can predict the future. Well, a few people have correctly predicted the future. In 1909 Nikola Tesla predicted that we would be carrying personal wireless devices. But in general it is interesting and frequently amusing to read predictions from 100 years ago – even predictions from 10 years ago. And the way technology is changing – even trying to predict what will be happening a year from now is daunting.

The best you can do is study what is happening now and try to respond as quickly as possible to try to ride the wave and then keep checking for the next wave. For example, video advertising. Will it be short and sweet (like a “vine”) or more traditional or will it go for the interactive approach.

We can see that video is not going away – so […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00August 21st, 2015|Categories: Advertising, Business, Technology|Tags: , |

Won a Media Award Lately?

There are a plethora of global media communications awards competitions, as well as many more local and regional competitions each year. Why do people enter?

Well, when they win, it could be for the marketing benefits – letting your clients and potential clients know that you produce high quality work. It could be that awards competitions touch our deep-seated need to be admired and respected by our peers. Social Media has jumped on board the award bandwagon and sites such as LinkedIn have special areas in your profile where you can list your awards.

If you know that something you have produced is truly fabulous, entering it in a competition could pay back the entry fee in PR. And if your clients are anything like my clients, they love the fact that your work for them is recognized as top notch.

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00August 12th, 2015|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , , |

Social Media (read – Facebook) Time Management

Facebook screen shotManaging our time online is taking more and more time. Facebook especially. I know I am missing some posts – and getting posts that I would rather not see. Combine that with all of the designed to grab you Suggested Posts, and I am overwhelmed.

No one really knows the answers, but there are a few “experts” who may be able to help. One of them was just “introduced” to me through a post thread by my friend J.S. Gilbert. His name is Robert Scoble and is touted as a Tech Evangelist. He has a regular blog (not a “regular” blog, but a social media blog to which he posts regularly) called Scobleizer – so if you are not on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, then you are out of luck. (This position raises another issue that I need to contemplate […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00August 6th, 2015|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , , |

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer…HA!

Connie recording at MediaPiu in Italy in 2010 Connie Recording at MediaPiu in Italy in 2010

It feels like summer this summer. As adults, sometimes – maybe most of the time – summer is just another 3 months – just a little warmer. Our schedules stay the same. Maybe we plan a short vacation. If you are in the US, and you work a regular job, you may get some vacation time, you may not.

Apparently we are the only advanced economy that does not guarantee any paid vacation time or even paid holidays. Most employers do give their employees some paid time off – a typical U.S. worker at a private company gets about 10 days of paid vacation and six or so paid holidays per year. If you are in France, bump that up to 30 paid days off per year. Viva […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00July 31st, 2015|Categories: Business, Life, Musings|

Common Sense Communication…What Not to Say…

Dan Leonard Dan Lenard saying something socially acceptable at a VO Peeps gathering last year.

I was thinking about something someone said to me last night at a networking meeting. The person thought they were being complimentary, and I knew that, but it just felt awkward. I’ve been working out a bit more in the past 6 months or so, but no drastic changes really. Anyway, the intended compliment came out as a comparison to some impression of me in the distant past (many many months earlier) and forced me to find some kind of a response, rather than just a thank you.

We have all been guilty of saying things to friends, acquaintances and strangers that should have been better left unsaid – or phrased differently. I would have been very happy with a “You look great!” rather than a “Your face looks […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00July 15th, 2015|Categories: Business, Communication, Musings|Tags: , , |

There is no math in Voiceover…Ha!

At many a gathering either virtually or face-to-face, voice talent has been known to utter this phrase – “There is no math in voiceover.” It has various meanings for each of us, but usually means that we are grateful that we don’t have to tackle calculus or quantum physics in order to do our jobs.

MathI wanted to be a bio major in college (loved my high school bio classes), but kept flunking chemistry. And one semester I withdrew from calculus before the teacher had to give me the inevitable “F.” OK, so I really didn’t study very hard in school and there may have been some drinking involved (Iowa was an 18 state at the time), but my brain just didn’t want to remember formulas and add and subtract large numbers – much less fractions.

This goes back to […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00July 11th, 2015|Categories: Business, Negotiating|

Wait, I left my phone in the house…

Modern telephone communication is a wonder – a boon – a time-waster and at times – a nightmare. It can also be an addiction, especially when it comes to our smart phones. In fact, it is a named anxiety disorder – Nomophobia (“no mobile phone phobia”).

From Psychology Today – July 25, 2013

Two years ago Psychology Today said that “Nomophobia- fear of being without your smartphone- affects 40% of the population.” Today, the figure is 64%, according to Pew Research Center.

I know that I feel panicked when I can’t find my phone. But it allows me to leave my office during traditional business hours and still stay connected to my clients. This is a good thing.

Years ago, before cell phones and their predecessor car phones, we all had pagers. Before that, we had no stress. OK, so we still had stress. […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00July 1st, 2015|Categories: Business, Communication, Musings, Technology|

Usage has Value

One of the lessons free lancers – independent contractors – need to learn in this Internet age is to negotiate a fair price for their work. We see it day after day – people wanting the free lancer to work – well, to work not necessarily for free, but close to it. And in fact, in some cases – people DO expect it for free. It is happening in all creative areas.

Connie_40s_Party_2014 Oh, for the good old days…

You wouldn’t ask the plumber to cut rates by half or more. The dry cleaner. The tailor. The electrician. But on the creative side of things – the graphic artist, the writer, or the voice talent – it seems like a “name that tune” experience nearly every day.

Part of it is educating the people doing the hiring. But the people […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00June 22nd, 2015|Categories: Business, Communication, Musings, Negotiating|

Alphabet Soup

When a normal person hears the words “alphabet soup” they probably think of the kind you eat with the little noodles shaped like letters. When a voiceover person hear the words “alphabet soup” it means that their mouth is going to be filled with lots of acronyms.

soupOne of the things that endears a voice talent to clients is a talent’s ability to see past the noodles in this word soup and find the broth. This doesn’t necessarily mean understanding every word that is spoken, but it does mean understanding the context and how the words relate to each other.

It helps to have a little bit of understanding about a LOT of stuff. For voice talent who do marketing pieces, informational and corporate communications work – we see scripts for IT, healthcare, the financial business, the military or the government and many other […]

2018-02-06T06:48:06+00:00June 10th, 2015|Categories: Business, Musings, Techniques|