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  • Shane Elsberry

The Most Valuable Tool in Your Voiceover Ratchet Set

Successful people have a wide range of qualities that make them a hit in their field.  In the voiceover world, talent counts, but only for so much.  Ability to market yourself to businesses who can use your services is also a plus.  Having state-of-the-art equipment shows your commitment to quality, but in many cases you may be dealing with clients who are less than tech geeks, and in the end that might only be a calling card when your client is a production studio. Of everything you have to offer as a voice talent, accountant, mechanic, or any professional endeavor, what is the one attribute that can often prove to be the most valuable…….and lucrative?

Several personal examples I have over the past few weeks illustrate that the speed at which you can deliver quality work is the most valuable tool in your voiceover ratchet set.   I am sometimes amazed at how many “fly by the seat of their pants” clients I get, whether it’s an ad agency, production company, or someone who hires me directly to do their voice mail or related project.  A client I found via Craigslist called a few weeks ago with an urgent need for two radio spots.  These were direct response ads, and they had to deliver them to the stations they bought within two hours!  While I may have questioned how well-planned this campaign may have been, the fact was that I had a window of availability and could deliver a quality product when they needed it.

As I always tell you with any topic discussed here, your mileage may vary, but in every case where someone needed a fast turnaround (which I define as either something brought to you after 9 p.m. local time for which overnight delivery is needed or within a few hours within a normal business day), they have offered a very nice premium in return for the rush service…..sometimes even double or triple my rate card (which I have but never divulge)!

I should point out that if this is a repeat client with which I have an established relationship, I would not expect a premium within reason and would probably forego it if I knew I was going to get regular work.  I’ll make that extra money eventually.  If it is a first time client and they don’t offer some sort of incentive for a rush job, don’t be afraid to ask!  The shortage of available people and the urgency to have finished audio makes it a seller’s market on your end.  Remind them of that……gently and in so many words, of course.

The equation of  Speed + Quality + Availability = Lucrative Opportunities can turn a so-so month into a really nice one!

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