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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Voice Over Jobs: Raise Your Fees, Not Your Clients Eyebrows

Want to earn more money doing voice over work? Simple - put up your prices. Yes even in the middle of the deepest recession in living memory, a few upward tweaks can dramatically improve your bottom line. 

I wrote in my last post that there is strong downward pressure on fees from voice over clients. Anyone booking a voice over artist will try and achieve a lower quote and who can blame them? We looked at how just a 10% reduction in your VO jobs played out over the financial year can really hurt your pocket.

Now I want to explore what happens when you actually raise your fee.

It sounds a mad thing to do in these tough times. Surely reviewing your ratecard skywards is going to put off clients. Bear with me on this and hopefully you might be inspired to take action.

Let us revisit the example I gave in the earlier blog:  £200 reduced by that 10% is, of course, £180. Let us assume you are having a good year and you do 100 jobs in the year at this price (I know some gigs will pay more and others less, but I want to keep the maths simple.... for me if no one else).

That good year should yield £20,000, but with your across the board 10% discount that means a gross profit of £18,000. No surprises there, but you wanted to achieve your target of £20,000.

On my simple scale, a 10% increase (that is only £220 a job, so not a fortune) will be £22,000. That is a full four thousand pounds more than your discounted rate. Worth having methinks.

Ah you say, but surely you are going to lose some clients because of the increase. Yes perhaps you will, but you could still be on target.

Let us say eight clients refused to pay the increase. Here is how you would still be ahead of our target:
92 jobs (instead of 100) x £220 = £20,240. That is over £2,000 above the £18,000 discounted yield and £240 above our target.

The really good news, though, is that you will have done less work (only 92 jobs) for more money.

All sounds great in a perfect world, but you are probably thinking no one is going to pay your increased  fees. And how can you possibly justify the rise in these difficult times?

Firstly keeping your rate at £200 means you are losing out every year. Inflation in the UK is currently running at about 4% per annum. Even if you do not discount and hold your prices at £200, in twelve months time you will only be earning £192 per job in real terms. All things being equal this will be reduced to £184 in just a couple of years. This is before any discount and assuming inflation stays the same.

So make sure you at least keep pace with price rises in the economy.

You will be surprised how many clients will pay your increased fee. Most will quite happily fork out an extra £20 for the voice they really want. True they could search for someone cheaper, but price is only one consideration. Getting the voice they feel is apprpriate (ie yours) is usually of far greater importance.

A few quid here and there will not make much difference to their overall budget, but it will make a positive contribution to your profits. So face the fear and put up your fee.

Gary Terzza provides teaching and voice over mentoring at his VoMasterClass

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