From the novice small business owner putting together his first radio or TV commercial to the most seasoned multimedia producer, frequent communication is key to heading off many potential issues before they arise. Coming from any other background outside the audio/video/media world, it helps both the business owner and voiceover talent to get a grip on expectations, deadlines, and technical specs. Most importantly, it can also firm up financial terms so no one is caught off guard when revisions and/or pickups are requested. It can turn a one-shot project into a long term relationship.
As a voice talent, what should you be asking your client?
1) What style of read are you looking for? Do you have an example (YouTube clip, commercial, etc.)?
2) When do you need the finished audio?
3) What is the budget for voice talent for this project?
4) What are the technical specs (sample rate, stereo/mono, Kbps rate, etc.)?
5) Do you want me to edit and QC the finished audio or will that be done by an outside party?
6) If it is a long form project (which I define as > 10 minutes of finished audio), how do you want the files divided? Or would you prefer one long file?
7) What are your general terms for payment upon completion of the project and the submission of a final invoice? 8) How frequently do you need to hear from me throughout the length of the project?
Number 4 & 5 are especially crucial due to the time consuming nature of both editing and number of files you’ll be creating. Failure for both sides to understand the time involved can lead to you getting shortchanged on your rates!
As a client, here are the questions you need to ask the voice you’ve chosen……..
9) What is your policy on re-takes, revisions, and pickups?
10) What forms of payment do you accept?
Have I left out any important questions you always ask your client or voiceover talent? Add them here and we’ll make this a work in progress!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shane Wilson is an award winning broadcaster and voice talent. His voice has been heard worldwide across commercials, audiobooks, corporate and industrial videos, e-learning modules, and explainer videos. Among the companies and brands who have trusted him to tell their story…..Wal Mart, Papa John’s, John Deere, Mass Mutual Life Insurance, and Cracker Barrel. Reach him at ihearvoicesonline.com or at (205) 201-1454.