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If Your Voice Over Rates Are Low,
Is It Because You Lack Confidence?
August 19, 2015

By Marc Scott
Voice Actor

I’ve been thinking a lot about voice over rates. Some would like to believe it’s simply about two groups of people - those who charge fair rates for voice over services, and those who lowball.

But I don’t think it’s that simple.

Maybe it’s about education? That is to say, not everyone is educated (both talent and client) about fair market value for voice over services. Maybe.

What I’ve been thinking about, though, goes a little bit deeper.


Do you ask yourself these questions?
  • Do you have doubts about your ability?
  • Do you have doubts about your equipment?
  • Do you have doubts about your studio?
  • Do you have doubts about your audio quality?
  • Do you have doubts about your demos?
  • Do you have doubts about your training (or lack thereof)?
  • Do you have doubts about yourself?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, I can’t help but think that leads us to one of the main root causes of low voice over rates.

It’s fear.


If you were confident about yourself, your demos, your audio and studio, you’d charge what you’re worth, wouldn’t you?

If you felt like you could stand side by side with talent you look up to, you’d want to make their rates, wouldn’t you?

If you believed you could compete on ability, you wouldn’t need to compete on discount, would you?

If you answered yes, then it only confirms for me even further that fear is, in fact, one of the root cases of low voice over rates.

So what are you afraid of? What’s one step you can take today to overcome?
Marc Scott has been involved in broadcasting and voice over since 1995, including work in radio and television, and hosting the number 1-rated Afternoon Drive show in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. "When I’m not recording my latest voice over job you can likely find me at the fire hall: I’ve been a volunteer firefighter since 2000, or playing with power tools."


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Comments (2)
Mark Middlestadt
8/19/2015 at 7:11 PM
I'd say Marc hit the nail on the head!

Know your value, and if you lack confidence in your value, improve the areas that are holding you back. If you need more training/couching, get it. Seek out all you need to improve your ability/skills/equipment. When you are truly ready, have the confidence to bill accordingly.

Kudos to Marc Scott!
Debbie Grattan
8/19/2015 at 6:36 PM
The fact that I see talent agency submissions in my inbox daily, with low rates (or less than expected) along with an agent note saying "okay to pass on the low rate" lets me know that there is more going on in the VO realm than just what I'm doing, causing rates to drop.

I agree that fear can hold us back. But I don't think any personal doubts I have are affecting what I see happening even on the agency front, or with other casting studios and VO production agencies who are working with clients who want high quality for less money.

Everything is negotiable these days, and when most of the work is non-union, and they can find plenty of folks who will do it if I pass on the rate, it can't help but continue to drift into territory that is sub-standard, rate-wise.
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