'Budget' Is Not A Curse Word ...
Always Ask Your Clients @ Money
By Terry Daniel
Voice Actor & Trainer
Wait, WHAT? Budget is not a curse word!
It’s a term that we should all become comfortable with using frequently.
All clients have budgets to work with and we should get used to getting them to talk about it. Remember, this is not a hobby that we are doing for free – voice over is our business!
WHERE'S THE MONEY?
Since money is a necessity that all people in business have to deal with on a daily basis, it should not be an uncomfortable topic that we try to avoid when speaking with our clients.
Based on responses that have been gathered from my conversations with other voice talents, we all get a little reluctant sometimes when it comes to asking a client about their budget, and even more so when it comes time to discuss our rates with them!
JUMP THE HURDLE
So how can this hurdle on the track toward closing a deal be effectively overcome?
First, when it comes to a project, you never want to oversell or undersell your services to your clients.
And the only way to accomplish this is to know the client's project budget for voice over.
Otherwise, you more than likely will not get the results that you are looking for.
RISKY BET ...
For example, if your client sends you a 10-page script and you immediately give them a rate off the top of your head, you are taking a huge risk that could only be of benefit to the client.
They would either be joyful because you have made their selection process a lot easier by removing yourself from their list, or because you just gave them the deal of a lifetime that would end up costing you more than what you’ll make from doing the job!
Just the other day, a client sent me a three-page script for a narration.
Since I wanted to ensure that I gave her a fair and friendly rate, I politely asked her about the budget set for the voice over.
To my surprise, it turned out that her budget was about $500 MORE than I was originally going to quote her.
Of course, you don’t want to come back and say, "Sure that sounds about right!” However, you can certainly come close.
TAKE THE JOB?
Unfortunately, it does not always work out this way. Sometimes the client’s budget is far lower than what you were going to quote them.
At that point, it is up to you if you want to work within that budget.
Much has been written on how to set voice over fees - and about the proliferation of lowball rates. (See VoiceOverXtra articles.).
If you haven’t done so already, read over those articles and educate yourself to be prepared when these situations arise.
BE FAIR TO YOURSELF
We all need to work, but it is also important for us to try to set and maintain the standards for fair and reasonable rates in this industry.
Therefore, please be careful when agreeing to do a five-page script for only $50.
"Budget” is not a dirty word. Get used to the word and implement it into your daily vocabulary!
Our clients are comfortable talking about money for their businesses, so we need to be just as comfortable (if not more so) when talking about money for ourselves.
ABOUT TERRY ...
Terry Daniel has been in voice overs for more than 20 years, today specializing in technical and medical narration. He volunteers his services for ASPCA - the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and is managing partner and creative director for the Voice Over Club, a voice over training organization.
Voice Over Club: www.voiceoverclub.com
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