Tag: voice actor
How much time do you spend working?
How much time do you spend working?
Recently I discovered I only spend between 5 to 6 hours in my studio working. That “work” can range from auditioning for a job, social networking, direct marketing, writing emails, or writing a blog for my website.
If you’re wondering how I figured out how much time I spent in my studio, it’s simple – I timed myself using a stopwatch on my cell phone.
A while back I wrote a blog about making a schedule and using your time wisely. Do you need to take your kids to school? Schedule it. Do you need to answer emails? Schedule it. Do you need to audition for voice jobs…schedule it. (You get the idea) Of course “life” can get in the way of a perfect schedule. So a few weeks ago I started using my stopwatch on my phone to see how much time I actually spent in my studio working. That’s when I figured out I only spend about 5 – 6 hours in my studio working. Of course, some days are longer than others and some are shorter. I might work 6 – 7 hours on Monday but only 4 – 5 hours on Tuesday. On average I spend around 5 – 6 hours working.
Once you figured out how much time you spend “working” then you need to add that to how much you make. If you spend an hour auditioning for jobs, 2 hours marketing, and the rest of the time doing a voice-over job but only made $50 for the 5 hours you were in your studio, then you made about – $10 an hour that day.
Or you could also look at it this way; Are you getting the most out of your time? I admit I can get distracted sometimes. I go to YouTube to copy my video demos to post on Facebook and then I see the thumbnail of a video I want to see. I tell myself, “It’s only 5 minutes, why not?” Or TikTok is a good time waster too. 60-second short videos can keep us very distracted! Somehow those 5 minutes turned into 30! So for me keeping a stopwatch going while I work has kept me more accountable for the time I spend in my studio when I should be “working” and not looking at cat videos.
Timing yourself while you’re in your studio working will help you figure out if you need to spend more time in your studio doing more work or making more money for the little time you have.
When to turn away voice work
The old saying in the voice-over industry is never to turn away voice work. I disagree with this and here’s why.
1 – What if the job isn’t for you?
I recently got an invitation to audition for a radio commercial on a freelance site. They wanted a guy who could read the script in Spanish! I don’t speak Spanish…let alone read it! I Turned that job down!
2 – What if the price is too low?
I was also recently offered a job way below my usual rate. Now for the record, I am willing to negotiate a little but if I charge $100 to voice an explainer video but the client wants me to come down to $25 for – just this one time – you can be sure the client will ALWAYS want me for only $25! I’m not going to do a LOT of work for a little bit of money! I Turned
that job down.
3 – What if you’re unavailable?
Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks. Most of us are going to spend time with friends and family. I’m sure your clients are too. Some clients…need you available 24 / 7! I usually let my clients know when I’m going out of town and I’ll be unavailable.
4 – Are you sick?
I’ve only had to turn down a voice job 3 times in the past 10 years because I was sick. Only 3 times because this client needed their job done today and my voice did not sound the way it usually did. The other times I was sick I got lucky. My clients waited until I got better to finish the job.
So to answer the question, should you ever turn away VO work? I say yes – it is OK to turn VO work away…well, sometimes.
Miro-Jobs sites have come a long way!
Back in 2011, I blogged about an up-and-coming micro-job site called Fiverr. This is what I said…
I recently discovered a website called Fiver.com. Now in case, you don’t know what this is, it’s a website where people can do just about any odd job (or silly job for that matter) for $5. There are people on the site doing crazy things like…”I will do 10 push-ups in your logo shirt for $5” or “I will review your website or youtube channel for $5”…or…”I will do a voice-over for $5”.
Those of us who have been doing voiceovers for a very long time know that some of the tops voice guys in the country get paid very big bucks for doing movie trailers or national commercials. When I saw that some people are offering a VO for $5. I was beside myself. Really, I was FLOORED!! When most voice actors charge up to $120 or more for a fully produced 60-second radio commercial. There are some people doing this for as little as $5! And get this….it’s actually only $4!! Because Fiver.com keeps a $1.
Now it’s 2022
Wow, has this site ever changed since 2011. Now I see a few of my voice-acting colleagues on the site. Some prices start at $125! And these voice actors offer more “add-ons” like background music for a fee, the “rights” to use the voice-over for whatever they want for a fee, revisions for a fee, and more. What I think happened was in the past several years Fiverr figured out that they can more money when their “gigs” can offer more money besides just…$5.
VERY IMPORTANT! I don’t use Fiverr and I don’t recommend it to anyone to use this site either. The reason I’m not on this site is that I got burned once doing a e-book. It took me over a week to record the audio and when I was done the client didn’t like my audio. So, since he was the customer, HE got his money back and he got to keep my audio too! I’ve searched all over the internet for my voice on that book and I still haven’t found it after all these years so that’s a good thing. Fiverr left me high and dry with wasted time and no compensation. That’s why I don’t use Fiverr.
So in closing, Fiverr has changed, and if you want to use Fiverr to get more voice-over jobs you can because you can actually charge a price that’s not just $5 anymore. However, be careful of the clients who (for some reason or another) don’t like what you give them and just want your audio for free.
Some of you have been asking what equipment I use as a voice actor. Here are some of the products I use as a professional voice actor and where you can get them.
1 – My headphones.
There are the Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones. I’ve been using them for a long time. I haven’t worked in radio since 2009 but I still use them today as my go-to headset for voice-over work.
You can find them on Amazon by clicking – HERE.
2 – My Microphone
For all my recordings I use the Sennheiser 416 Microphone. This is the mic that all the professionals use when doing promo work for TV ID’s and radio station liners.
You can get your own Senheizer 416 Mic by clicking – HERE.
If you’re going to use a shotgun mic for all your voice-over work you need a pop filter that’s made for a shotgun mic.
Get a Pop Filter for your shotgun mic – HERE.
3 – Soundproofing
Finally, you’re going to need a quiet space to do all your voice-over work. To make a space really quiet you need soundproofing.
To get soundproofing foam click – HERE.
4 – A Computer
Finally, you need a good fast computer. Not a gaming computer but fast enough to run multiple programs and it needs to be a solid-state computer too. No moving parts! This will prevent any noise you don’t want!
Get this fast computer – HERE.
And that’s all you need to get started. If this info was helpful let me know.