Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Do You Do On A Slow Voice Over Afternoon?

Besides taking off to play hooky (which isn't a bad idea once in awhile), you can check on all those voice over web sites you've been listed on forever and update your profile and demos! If you're like me, you may have received leads from some old sites based on old rates. Makes for a sticky situation when the potential client says "but your rates on the site were...." after you quote your normal current rate. Oh, yeah, right, well..... You either have an unhappy client who may go away or you're stuck working for less than you'd really like if they don't like your explanation, and you want to be a "good guy or gal".

Some of the sites don't make it particularly easy to update your profile and demos while others are relatively simple. It's usually just a matter of finding the time or remembering to take care of it when you have some quiet time. There are sites that I'm listed on that I really just forget about until I get the occasional request from a client. I just checked on one that showed clearly printed on my profile that the last time it was updated was 2003! Yikes!

So, along with promising myself that I'm going to set aside some time during at least one day a month to double check all the downloads in my financial software to make sure all the categories are correctly listed (making it easier at tax time), I think I need to schedule regular maintenance on the many listings I have on the internet....or delete some of them. It's not particularly fun to get caught unaware!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Remember to Ask Those Questions!

Well, I have to say that I've done it again. In the heat of the moment with a busy day, a new client who was in a rush and on a budget, I agreed to "help" them out by providing an ultra quick turnaround of a short narration at a discounted rate no less! All was well, and I was aware of what I was doing. However, after providing a complete audio file - for which the client had paid via Paypal - and after having played the audio via phone for the client for confirmation......that evening I received an email telling me that the audio was too long to match the audio of their already completed video....and could I watch the video and sync my delivery to the original (client) delivery....

Ugh..well, yes, I can, but at the rate I quoted and was paid, it would have been nice to know up front that my audio had to match that timing. I should have known better, and I take responsibility for not asking that question. I knew there was a video and I knew they didn't like the audio that they had created, but due to the busy schedule that day, I didn't snap to press them on the issue of whether they could slide the audio and video to match or if it had to be absolutely timed. I mean I did discuss it to a degree, but I don't think the client even realized what they could or couldn't do. I've run into both situations in the past, and I guess, when it wasn't specified and requested by the client up front that I needed to match the exact timing of their original audio, I just didn't realize it was an issue. BUT, I should have asked and confirmed their situation before the initial recording.

So, being committed to making sure the client was well taken care of, early the next morning, I proceeded to make it work. When the client didn't seem to know whether they could even provide me with the timings of the audio, I plunged in to time them myself and match my read to theirs. To their credit, they did finally provide a script with timings, but by that time, I had already finished as I knew the client had a fast approaching deadline.

Bottom line, even if it's a very busy day and you're running in and out of the studio, it's best to try to remember to ask ALL the questions. Maybe a cheat sheet of questions to ask clients would be useful, especially on those frantic days. I asked all the OTHER questions, but forgot that very important one or at least didn't press it for a definite answer. Of course, on an already busy day, one could always just say no to the gig.....but I always try to find a way to make it work.