Learn to say NO! Or YES when it is the right thing to do.

You just never know whose eyes will fall upon what is freely posted to the online world. A random search of some odd word combination could pull up my blog and either enhance or destroy my image as a professional.

But sometimes you have to push the envelope. With my sense of decorum that sometimes borders on Pollyanna cast aside momentarily, I have to pass along this very clever, yet somewhat “blue” chart created by Jessica Hische.

She steps you through the Yes and No questions you should ask yourself when deciding whether or not to work for FREE. And don’t we all need to be reminded that our time is valuable!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3514540/workforfree.jpg

There is also a “clean” version – http://shouldiworkforfree.com/clean.html

You start right in the middle with your four basic scenarios of who is doing the asking – a business, a charity or non-profit, your mom or your friend. […]

2017-04-20T20:45:57+00:00 January 14th, 2011|Categories: Business, Negotiating|Tags: , , |

Yes, Virginia, there is a Non-union Reuse Fee

One of the things that we love, as professional working voice talent with agents – or other similar working arrangements with production companies – is when said agents/producers are on top of their game and negotiate fairly with the end clients on behalf of us – also their clients.

And one of the nicest ways of knowing that this is happening in the background is when you get the email or phone call telling you that a reuse fee is coming for a job – union or non-union. A nice little bonus came to me recently and two others who provided the voices for a national spot. Thanks to Voice Talent Productions for the chance to audition for this in the first place.

Doesn’t happen with every job, but with non-union broadcast work, you sure do hope that someone is going to bat for you and negotiating additional payment for […]

2017-04-20T20:45:57+00:00 December 23rd, 2010|Categories: Business, Negotiating|

The Free Lance Mindset Helps Bridge the Gap

I have always been risk averse. Never was a dare devil. Never did anything “wrong” when I was growing up. I was a good kid, because I didn’t want to get into trouble. I couldn’t imagine gambling, or playing the stock market. So how did I end up in the kind of job where  you never know from day to day if you are going to earn money?!

It could be due to the fact that I saved the peanuts from the Peanut M&M’s during road trips so I would be able to spread out the goodness for a long time. It could be because of my parent’s example of creative eclectic thriftyness. It could also be due to the number of places I lived while growing up – my stability was in being flexible. The ability to jump in and make things happen in pretty much any situation.

And due to the […]

2017-04-20T20:45:58+00:00 October 17th, 2010|Categories: Business, Marketing, Negotiating|

Round and Round and Round She Goes…

The voiceover world is abuzz! Not sure where this ride will stop, but let’s hope a twist on the adage “what goes down, must go up” comes into play.

Less than 10 years ago, a lot of voiceover casting moved to the Internet. The Pay 2 Play sites appeared and suddenly the role of the agent was bypassed and assumed by the talent who entered into a bidding war against other talent – most of it completely blind – with no ability to vet the potential client. Remember the old TV game show “Name That Tune?” That’s what it is like – someone else tells the client that they can do that job for less than you will do the job – much less. Well, at some point we have to be able to say, name that tune and move on.

Is there a bottom to the falling rates? I hope so. And our […]

2017-04-20T20:46:01+00:00 May 8th, 2010|Categories: Business, Marketing, Negotiating|

Fast! Good! Cheap?

You know this adage – Fast, Good, Cheap – Pick any Two? Technological advances are putting this saying to the test – with people wanting (and many times getting) all three. The principal of the “Long Tail” – originally used to describe a retailing concept of selling a large number of unique items in relatively small quantities – is another factor in the evolution of this axiom. Apply the long tail to voiceovers and it means creating lots and lots of product that will be seen or heard by fewer and fewer people. Think about the growing number of niche television, radio, YouTube channels. Fewer eyeball and ears? Maybe. Maybe not – considering the population of the world.

So how is this affecting Fast, Good, Cheap?

Fast

When it comes to the voiceover business, particularly at the first stage – voiceover auditions – Fast reigns supreme. With online casting (either through agents […]

2017-04-20T20:46:02+00:00 March 2nd, 2010|Categories: Auditioning, Marketing, Musings, Negotiating|

Gosh I Love Schick’s Schtick

Todd Schick may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he really is sharp and I recently ran across his “rate” page on his website. He also recorded the content of the page so you can hear what he sounds like.

Check it out! Interesting, irreverant, controversial. That’s Todd.

http://www.toddschick.com/VoiceoverRatesForVoiceTalentServices.htm#R1

2010-01-19T15:57:01+00:00 January 19th, 2010|Categories: Negotiating|Tags: , , , , |

The Decline of Network TV?

A friend in the advertising biz sent me an article from the New York Times titled “The Decline of Network TV.

The big three broadcast networks are not so big anymore – and major “stars” are jumping ship over to cable. The networks are having a hard time charging more for ad rates as their ratings sink. This, as the big cable networks (USA, TNT, TBS) get money from advertising AND subscription fees – which translates to more profit.

So my question. With more and more eyeballs moving to cable coupled with the proliferation of niche channels on the cable systems – most of which run the same ads that run on the broadcast networks – do you see this affecting the budgets to make the ads?

It certainly has created more work for the time buyers! But will it affect us, as talent, postively or negatively?

2017-04-20T20:46:06+00:00 November 21st, 2009|Categories: Business, Musings, Negotiating|Tags: , , , |

Was there a lesson to be learned?

Negotiating rates is the hardest part of my job. I much prefer to have an agent involved in this process, but more and more of my work comes directly to me from my website from places outside the range of my various agents. So more and more, I find that I am providing quotes. Add in the auditions from the P2P sites and a LOT of time is spent figuring out rates.

I have a set rate card for most projects now that I use as a starting point, but there is always something that makes the rate card difficult to apply. The nature of the material may require additional dollars (or not). Or the turn around time is short necessitating a rush charge (or not). The project may be for a really good cause that warrents a discounted rate (or not). The project may actually be more than one project, […]

2017-04-20T20:46:10+00:00 July 14th, 2009|Categories: Negotiating|Tags: , , , , |