The following is the third in a series of open letters from David Ciccarelli, CEO and Co-Founder of Voices.com, discussing Voices.com’s products and services, as well as the company’s vision for the future.
We realize that not everyone understands how Voices.com works, so I think it’s important to share information about how we operate.
From the beginning, we’ve offered voice talent a means of marketing themselves on our platform and have provided access to clients seeking voice talent services. Our brand promise is simple: in exchange for a subscription fee, we provide you with access to an ever-increasing number of job opportunities. We understand Voices.com is an important tool, but not the be-all-to-end-all for a talent looking to secure jobs.
The opportunities on our site range from small businesses looking for a friendly voice for their phone system, to game developers needing voices for their characters, all the way through large, multi-voice projects for corporate training programs and national radio and television campaigns.
For those of you who have worked with us for a while, you know we’ve made significant investments in our technology platform. We have added mobile apps to make it easier to work with us, and we’ve invested in advertising and marketing to attract clients from around the globe who now bring their voice and audio projects to the site.
How We Charge for Services
Our pricing model is fairly simple, and not dissimilar from other marketplace platforms. For the ability to market yourself as a voice actor on the site and access a huge range of job opportunities, the most popular annual subscription is $399/year. Talent can typically expect to see dozens and sometimes even hundreds of job opportunities in their inbox on a daily basis with this Premium-level membership. Of course, there is also a free version available, which gives talent access to learning opportunities and the ability to view the sorts of jobs that come to the site, in addition to being able to receive individual job invites from clients.
For voice talent wanting additional visibility in our search engine, we offer a Platinum membership, which is $2,499/year. This is limited to 100 people and it’s been sold out ever since we first offered it five years ago.
Return on Investment
Just as our brand promise is to provide you with access to amazing job opportunities that match your profile on a daily basis, the value proposition is pretty compelling, too.
As a talent, you set your own rates. You determine your value, and, often, landing even a single job covers the entire annual membership fee.
There have been tens of thousands of successful talent on Voices.com. We’re proud to support actors in this way – and we’ll continue to support voice actors.
Keys to Success
Like anything in life, you get out of it what you put into it. The most successful talent audition several times a day for the jobs that they are best suited for. They don’t waste time on auditions where they aren’t a perfect fit. Your VoiceMatch score, a recommendation of how well matched the job is to your profile, is a signal to help you determine if you should go for that job.
So, how do you make VoiceMatch work for you? First, have a complete profile. The algorithm is only as smart at the information it has to work with. If you have an empty profile, then it can’t “match” you to anything. On the other hand, if you have a complete profile with demos uploaded in each category, properly titled and tagged, you’ll get full points each and every time.
Is VoiceMatch effective? In short, yes. Voice talent who actually land the job consistently score in the 80-100 range, with the highest proportion of work going to those who score 90 or higher.
Rates for Voice Over Work
Determining your rate for any given project is one of the most discussed and debated topics since our inception, and in fact, in the industry as a whole. We used to receive hundreds of requests asking for advice on what to charge in each scenario. Taking the long view, we set out to establish a resource that we could refer voice talent to.
The most knowledgeable people when it came to rates were you, the working voice actors. This is why we reached out and conducted a survey gathering input for how work is categorized and how much each job is priced. We then averaged out the responses, rounded off the numbers and published the results on the Voices.com Rate Sheet.
Another key finding we’ve observed is that while clients select a budget range on their job postings, talent who win the job are the ones who quote in the middle of the range. Contrary to the opinion of some, it’s not a race to the bottom. I’d characterize this phenomenon as a “race to the middle.” The data proves this.
I call this the “The Goldilocks Effect.” For a moment, put yourself in the shoes of a client, the producer tasked with hiring a voice talent on Voices.com. When the auditions roll in and you listen to performances from a variety of actors, each providing their own interpretation of the script, their eyes turn to the rates. If a talent quote is at the bottom of the range, it can send a certain message, as can a quote at the very top of the range. Our data shows that the average quote from talent who win the job, falls almost directly in the middle of the budget range that a client set. Having said that though, there are situations where talent quote much higher than the budget range, and win the job.
The above graphic illustrates the average quote from talent who win the job, as per each client-determined budget range.
Which brings us to the next topic –
How Clients Make Hiring Decisions
When we asked clients to identify the factor that is most important when hiring a voice talent, it is consistently in this order: vocal performance is most important, then the quote, and finally the proposal.
In fact, 78% of clients who responded to a survey said that the voice over demo is the most important factor when making a hiring decision. The quote submitted by the talent is a distant 12%, with the remaining 10% being a variety of other elements such as the proposal, the reviews, and the profile.
That illustrates another reason why we always encourage talent to quote what they want to get paid; if a client feels you are the right voice actor for that project, your quote is a secondary consideration for most. And again, what you quote is what you will get paid if you are selected by the client to complete the job.
Wrapping It Up
Our pricing model is simple, and we want to be clear about how that works. We don’t want to be confusing or ambiguous; we want you to understand the value members get for the services they pay for. And to the extent we can help you be more successful using the platform, we want to do that too.
Here are the top 6 suggestions for landing jobs using Voices.com:
- Make sure to have a complete profile
- Prioritize jobs where you score high on VoiceMatch, in particular between 90 and 100
- Respond to the email notifications the same day, within hours if possible
- Record custom auditions, reading a portion of the script and upload it promptly
- Write a brief proposal as to why they are best suited for the project
- Quote in a way that best reflects what you want to be paid for that job
The pricing model on the client side will be broken down further in the next post in this series.
The team at Voices.com is still committed to the same goal as when the platform was first started; to connect voice talent with a means of marketing themselves and with job opportunities. We’re excited to still be doing that, and to find new ways to better deliver on that promise as the industry continues to evolve.
Note: To read other articles in this series, see:
- Voices.com CEO, David Ciccarelli: An Open Letter On the Acquisition of Voicebank.net
- Voices.com CEO, David Ciccarelli: An Open Letter on Voices.com and Unions