When work is harder to come by, have you found yourself lowering your rates to remain competitive, or have you been sticking to your guns to ensure that the bar doesn’t drop?
How do you cope with the “out of work blues” when you hit a dry spell?
Robin Rowan presents us with her thoughts on this issue and would love to hear what you have to say!
How Low Will You Go?
Taking jobs for less money
By Robin Rowan
I spent two weeks in February looking for a job. I am a full time voiceover talent, and this was the longest stretch without a job in eight years. It was scary. Finally, one of my regular clients came through with a hefty job, but everyone hits panic phase occasionally.
You immediately start questioning your talents, your rates, your abilities, and finally, your decision to get into this crazy business and think that maybe it’s time to get out. Okay, so I never got that far, because I simply cannot imagine doing anything else.
What do you do when your regular clients are nowhere to be found? Most of us (maybe all of us) subscribe to one or more web sites for job leads. How can you be selective when you just need work? What’s the lowest you’ll take? $200? $100? Any amount??? Sometimes I feel as if clients on these sites are taking advantage of our desperation. Are you biting?
I remember one job lead recently where the posting stated that they were already on their third voiceover talent and still couldn’t find anyone who was competent. Read on a little farther and you’ll see that the job, which was something like 6 1/2 HOURS of finished work, was paying $1000. Do they not understand WHY they couldn’t find a competent voice talent for that kind of money?
When no work is coming in, do we sacrifice everything we’ve worked so hard to get? Maybe. Because if you were a top-level executive and got laid off and spent a few months looking for a job, you just might accept that construction job paying $12 an hour to have something coming in. So it is with voice work. If I didn’t take that $200 job, I’d be sitting here with my business principles intact and not working.
I always use the example of being a newbie on one of the voiceover sites and finally auditioning for a job that paid what I considered to be chump change. I got the job, and the client turned out to be CitiMortgage, CitiBank’s real estate arm. The price for the job was the rate per minute, which suddenly looked a whole lot better. That was 2005, and I’ve been happily doing all of their online training since.
So how do you cope with the “I got no work” blues?
All the best to all of us who have the best jobs in the world!
Robin Rowan has been a full-time voiceover talent since 2001, self-employed as a writer and voiceover talent for 20 years and in the voiceover industry for more than 30 years.