Why I Published My Voiceover Rates

I made a decision last week to publish my voiceover rates on my website.Voiceovers by Tim McLaughlin Rate Card

For the last few years, I had a page on my site called Rates, that basically explained that since all voiceover projects are unique it would be best for potential clients to contact me for a quote on their specific project.

There is definitely truth to the above statement that each voiceover project is unique.

  • Is the project for broadcast or non-broadcast?
  • What size market is it being used for?
  • How long will my voiceover be used?
  • What type of voiceover is needed: narration, eLearning, medical, commercial?

My thinking had been that if a potential client was interested in using my voice for their project they would contact me for a quote and I could then ask some of the questions above. I could also check on some other things such as the total word-count of the script, a need for multiple files with complicated file naming requirements, a timeline for the completed project.

Those are all important factors to consider when pricing out a project requiring a voice talent.

A Change in My Thinking

However, the more I thought about this, the more I realized that I was making things much more complicated for potential clients.

One of the things I strive for in my voiceover business is making things as easy as possible for my clients. I turn the work around as quickly as possible. I make sure I understand their needs before I start recording. I check the scripts they send me to be sure I know how to pronounce any complicated words or phrases. These are things any professional voice talent does if they want to be successful in their business.

I want the experience for my clients to be hassle-free.

So the more I thought about not having rates published on my website, the more I realized that I wasn’t making things hassle-free for people I was trying to turn into clients.

I was expecting them to email or call me or fill out my quote form and then wait for an answer back from me.

My wife pointed out that without having my rates on the site it could scare people off who think I’m too expensive. You know, the old “If you have to ask how much it costs, you cant afford it” thing.

I certainly didn’t want that.

And honestly, I realized that having my rates on my site could save me some time as well. Time that I can use to record projects for clients, market my business to potential clients, do my bookkeeping or any of the other myriad things that go into running my business.

Assembling My Rate Card

Putting together my rate card gave me a chance to really assess how much I was charging for different types of projects. It gave me a chance to be sure I was competitive with other narrators and voice-over talents.

As I went through this process, I found that I was able to come up with some pricing that will work for most projects. And of course if someone comes along with a project that doesn’t quite fit into my rate card, or they have a budget that doesn’t quite fit, I’m always happy to provide a quote.

In the end, I realized that publishing my voiceover rate card will help potential clients and help me at the same time.


Why Outsourcing Your Production is a Good Idea

My wife and I are getting ready to add a patio to a house we bought a couple of years ago. We considered a deck, but for a variety of reasons decided that a poured concrete patio would better suit the plans we have for the home.

I’m not all that handy when it comes to doing projects like this, but these days with so much information available online about home improvement projects, I’m sure that I could figure out how to pour a concrete patio. However, I’m not going to attempt this particular project.

Why not?

There are a variety of reasons, but the primary reason is that I know that a professional will be able to do a much better job than I could ever do.

I’ve never poured a concrete patio, so I would need to spend time learning the process, gathering the necessary tools and equipment, mixing the concrete, floating it, and more than anything, stressing about whether it will come out right. Plus, I can use the time in more productive ways, either building my business or enjoying my free time.

Save time by hiring a professional
Save time by hiring a professional

Instead, a professional has experience doing this, has all the tools and equipment needed, and knows all the little tricks and tips for doing  the job right.

It’s the same with audio and video production. Sure, you could  probably do it yourself but is this really the best use of your time and resources?

Let’s say you want to create a marketing video to promote your company. You’ll need to spend time planning out what you want to include in the video. You’ll need to shoot the video and then edit it. You’ll need to record the voiceover and edit the audio. Then you’ll need to put all the pieces together.

video shoot
Hire a professional video producer

It’s a lot of work and can take a lot of time if you don’t have experience producing audio and video.

Instead, if you hire a professional video producer and a professional voice talent, you can use your time more productively building your business while they put your marketing video together.

Voiceovers by Tim McLaughlin
Hire a professional voice talent

It’s all about what economists call “opportunity cost.”

Simply put, how much is your time worth? Would you get more benefit by investing your time doing something else while the professionals take care of creating your marketing video? For most business people, the answer is “yes” since the time it would take you to learn how to create a video and the time it would take to actually complete the project could be spent in more productive activities.

Before you take the DIY route when putting together an audio or video production, contact some professionals. In the long run, I think you’ll find that you’ll have a better finished product and it will actually cost you less than you think.

For some tips on putting together a marketing video take a look at How to engage customers and prospects with video.


This Might Be The Best Generic Ad EVER!

I tend to be fairly critical of advertising, especially radio and TV ads.

With many of the ads I see or hear, I’m left wondering how it ever made it on the air.

I figure that for most ads, a number of people had to sign-off on the final production. I’m always amazed that no one had the guts to pipe up and say, “Hey, this ad really stinks.  It’s stupid, it doesn’t make any sense, and it’s never going to sell the product.”

But, no, it seems like no one has the nerve to speak up.

Instead what we’re left with is cliched ad copy, video that’s meant to associate some vague idea with the product, and an ineffective commercial that wastes the client’s money, not to mention it wastes our brain power.

This one video takes all of those cliches, all of those generic video clips and rolls them into one awesome result.  Like the headline above says, “This might be the best generic ad EVER!”

Looking For Inexpensive Production Music?

Music and sound effects libraries can be pretty expensive.  If you’re looking for an economical solution check out JewelBeat which has an extensive library of production music available for 99-cents per cut.

The cuts are royalty-free worldwide, meaning once you’ve purchased the music, you can use it in any production.  In addition, JewelBeat offers automatic downloads so you can move on quickly with your production.

With more than 35,000 tracks available, you’re bound to find something you like.