What is Voice123 doing to help talents get better pay? What can you do?

Posted on April 25, 2007 by

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Many would argue that supply and demand should drive the rates of the market. Unions help as well, significantly, by making sure rates are fair. So, why should Voice123 get involved? Voice123 started because of a dream Tania Isabel, my wife, and I had. She was a voice over and she wanted to make a better living. As a result, we consider one of our goals to work hard to help all voice over talents receive better pay. We try to achieve that on several fronts:

Finding Voice Seekers. Along with our goal of seeking higher pay on each job, it’s necessary to have a large market to drive up the rates and in turn get more jobs! We work hard at finding more and more voice seekers to use Voice123 so that talents bill more hours per day and at a higher rate than ever before.

Voice Seeker Screening. Every project posted on Voice123 gets approved after a tight screening process. We try to make sure the voice seeker is a legitimate and serious business. Every day we discard dozens of projects that do not meet our basic requirements.

Voice Seeker Education. We split our Customer Service Team so that one group of people focuses specifically on voice seekers. This group has now developed techniques to make sure voice seekers understand how rates work and what a fair price may be. For example: we attempt to call every new voice seeker registered in Voice123 and, if needed, we work at increasing the budget they have for their projects. We have also extended our customer service hours so that we can make direct contact with all new voice seekers.

A New Voice123. We are working on a new version of Voice123 that will improve the experience of both the talent and the voice seeker. Voice seekers will have more information on hand to determine what a proper budget is.

Voice123 SmartCast. The new Voice123 will feature Voice123 SmartCast. It will help drive rates higher by intelligently reducing the amount of auditions each project gets, thus reducing competition, and increasing the rates talents and voice producers can charge.

Project Rating. The new Voice123 will allow talents to rate several areas of a project, including its budget. In the near future, when you rate a project, you will teach Voice123 and the rest of the community how you feel about the budget for each project. We will be able to use that information to teach new voice overs and new voice seekers if their rates are good or not. Those who are now undercharging and driving down rates will hopefully learn to work for the proper amount of pay, and voice seekers will not find it so easy to hire talent for less than the standard rate.

More Information. In some instances, the name of the voice seeker is not displayed when they post a project because, unfortunately, some talents used to take the voice seeker’s name, Google it, and then do direct solicitation. Voice seekers value their privacy, and by allowing them to protect their contact information, they come back to Voice123. The new Voice123 will provide more detailed information about the rating record that each voice seeker has earned within Voice123. Talents and voice producers will get to know details about the voice seeker like when it registered, how many projects he/she has posted, percentage of auditions listened to, etc. Talents and voice producers will be able to use this information to determine how serious a voice seeker may be,and adjust their rates and payment agreements accordingly. This, of course, goes hand in hand with our screening process.

Better Matching. The new Voice123 will be able to track if a talent or voice producer submits proposals with high or low prices when compared to other proposals. Eventually, Voice123 SmartCast will be able to match higher paying jobs with talents that charge higher rates. This will motivate talents to charge more, instead of less.

Special Categories. Some of the low budgets we get are for non-profit organizations, student projects, etc. A few months after the new Voice123 is released, we will create special categories for these projects so that only talents that want to help these voice seekers get matched by Voice123 SmartCast.

Working with the Unions. We are working with unions such as SAG and AFTRA, to help voice over talents take advantage of the many benefits unions offer. We know that the more talents join the unions, the higher the overall rates of the market. We are ALL for that!

A New Rate Guide. We are working on a new rate guide for non-union projects. The rate guide will showcase recommended minimums, and will be determined by surveying all premium talents in Voice123. You, the talent, will decide how much fair pay is.

Voice123 Talkback. Voice123 screens dozens of projects every day. Sometimes we make mistakes, and a few get through that are not what we want on our site soliciting the help of our talents. We are working to alleviate this problem. We would also like to hear your ideas to keep this from happening and to better our service to you. That is why we have created a section in the VoiceOverSavvy.com forums to get feedback from the community.

And Much More! We are also working on some other areas that will help, you, the talents to increase your income. Stay tuned!

What Can You Do?

You can do a lot! It is ultimately in your hands to drive the prices higher:

• Don’t submit auditions to projects that you consider are below budget; that will teach voice seekers they will have to pay more if they want to get good talents or voice producers. If you get invited by Voice123 to participate in a project that is below your desired rate, you can simply disregard the invitation. This will actually help you get more invitations in the near future (when Voice123 SmartCast is released), as the system will know that you are selective when submitting auditions. If, in the other hand, you get invited by a voice seeker directly, and you consider his/her budget to be low, you should reply explaining your rate requirements to the voice seeker. By doing this, you can help teach voice seekers what fair prices are.

• Answer the rate guide survey whenever you get it (we are planning to send it periodically).

• Support the unions and help make them better. You have more power within the unions than you may think. Speak out and make them what you want

• If you find Voice123 made a mistake screening the budget of a project, please let us know in Voice123 Talkback, at the VoiceOverSavvy.com forums.

• Spread the word and teach other talents that their support is needed.

• And finally, please have some patience – We are working very hard to get the
new Voice123 online. Your kind words motivate our development team. Your harsh words hurt them. We are humans trying to do our best, and we’re here to serve your needs.