Be Optimistically Cautious With Voiceover Clients

Regarding payment, it pays to be optimistically cautious with voiceover clients.

And keep a cool head.

What do I mean by this? Assume that everything will go smoothly when it comes to being paid for your voiceover work. Most of the time, that is the case. However, sometimes the path to receiving payment is a little bumpier. This is where patience and a cool head prevails. Don’t immediately assume the worst and believe a client is out to take advantage of you.

A talent of ours recently completed several voiceover projects for a client. Project one posted. Voiceover completed and uploaded. The client was happy. The project closed out. Payment is scheduled.

Repeat for project two.

Repeat for project three.

You gotta love repeat work from clients!

Project four appears in the inbox. The rate is for ONE non-broadcast social media video for the same end client. Great!

However, the single Word document sent has FIVE video scripts…all of them commercials. Whoa there!

Now, this is where the cool head prevails. Don’t jump to assumptions that the client is trying to pull a fast one. Yes, that does happen sometimes. I still remember when a random slide in the middle of an eLearning narration project made no sense to me, and I asked about it…and received very odd answers. I pressed on about it – only to find out that the client tried to sneak in a :15 video script for a DIFFERENT CLIENT into the eLearning script. So, yes it does happen. But don’t go there first.

In this situation, the voice talent reached out to the client but received no answer. The talent tried over and over to address the situation. No response.

The talent then held on to the audio past the project deadline. When money terms haven’t been worked out, it’s not always a bad idea to do this. Many times, this is how you finally get a client to respond.

When the client expressed initial frustration, the talent calmly asked if he has received his note about the project scope. The talent explained the value of the project, and after some negotiation, the client then increased the budget to accommodate multiple scripts. The voice actor hated doing this, but the entire time he ALWAYS ASSUMED THE CLIENT WAS NOT TRYING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIM, but merely didn’t realize the value.

Who knew what the real story was on the client end. But the takeaway here is that if the talent immediately assumed the client was trying to take advantage of him, he would have negated the positive experience from voiceover projects one through three, and possibly angered the client – damaging a reputation and potentially stifling future work. It is always a smart move to be optimistically cautious with voiceover clients. You can establish firm boundaries on a professional, friendly level to begin a conversation on tough subjects.

The lesson here…give clients a chance to remedy situations first, before assuming the worst.

If you are looking to take your voiceover career to the next level, or start a career in voice over, then give Radio Lounge a call. 281.494.4680. We provide virtual voice coaching, in-person voice coaching in Houston, and voiceover demos that get results.

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Being Optimistically Cautious With Voiceover Clients

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