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Is your rate set in stone, or should you charge different rates for different clients? How low should you go?
Should you charge all of my clients the same rate?
Depending on the job, if you get your job through your agent, a lot of times that rate is already set, and it's going to be negotiated for you by your agent, which is wonderful. But if you're doing any other type of job, let's say non-union, um, non-broadcast job where you are quoting a client, and they are asking you for a rate, I typically have a generalized rate guide, which by the way, I do not publish on my website because I truly feel -- and here's the, here's the kicker -- I truly feel that you have to base your rate dependent upon your client and their budget and their needs. And also a little bit of, um, a little bit of BOSS power.
So if you have a client that asks you for your rate, I actually have a rate guide which has, um, length of final audio as well as the rates that I charge, and the rates are arranged -- depending on the client, if they're a new client, I'll kind of gauge the client, do a little bit of research to find out, um, how established are they? Do they have a great website? What is their product base look like? What is it that they're asking me to do in terms of the, uh, the voiceover that they're looking for? Is it going to be something that will be on their website? Will it be an internal, um, video that they're going to be using it for?
All of these things, uh, matter in terms of my quote. I will go to my rate guide and depending on the final audio -- and by the way, this includes final audio for most of my corporate and e-learning and medical has a slightly higher rate. So for those jobs, I go to my base rate guide. And then depending on the client understanding, if it's a new client, I will typically ask if there's a budget first. That I think is the most important thing that we can ask our clients to find out where they are budget-wise, first of all. And then once they come back, if they, if they say a number, you kind of know what you're working with. You can go and see if it fits with fits within your rate guide. And then you can also do a little bit of research on that client to see if you think that you might get additional work from that client, um, if you think it's a good client for your portfolio or for your experience. And then depending on that and your thoughts, adjust your rate accordingly.
Now, I'm not saying that you need to lower your rate um, if you are less experienced. I certainly feel that in any, at any point when you are, when you're sending a rate to a client, you should always start, uh, higher, especially if they're asking you for your rate, start higher and then give them room to negotiate by saying, please let me know if this fits within your budget. When you actually put that in your quote, it kind of gives them the idea or the leeway that, that says you're willing to negotiate, and then they can come back and say whether it is too high for their budget or, or not. And then you can adjust accordingly, but always start on the higher end so that you have someplace to go.
If you happen to have a client that you've worked with before, this will absolutely help you if you've already started on a higher rate, and they've accepted it, because then the next time they ask you for a quote, you can simply go back to that quote and find out what you charged them before. If it was a few years ago, uh, you might have the opportunity to raise your rates, which I believe is a good thing for all of us to do, um, once in a while, especially if you've had a long-term client, uh, raising your rates a little bit. Especially if you started on the low side, make sure that they're within the guidelines of the GVAA rate guide, uh, or the Gravy for the Brain has a great rate guide or SAG-AFTRA.
So is there a, is there the same rate for everyone? No, absolutely not. It's absolutely customized to the client. If they're a new client, if they, if I've done my research and I feel as though these are a good client, they'll be long-term, I may adjust my rate a little bit lower to see if I can get more, uh, work from them, but I always start on the higher end of my scale so that we can always negotiate down. If it's a repeat client and you've used the same rate, again, you can use that same rate again and again and again until there comes a time when you feel that you need to raise your rates.
You wanna make sure that you value your work and that your client values your work. And if you slip below that rate, I guarantee you, you will have the opportunity probably if you just say no to that rate, to go and find a client who will pay that rate. Remember, this is your business and you can set your prices accordingly. There's no one set number where it has to be a specific number. It really just has to be your number. Just make sure that it's a rate that showcases that you value your work, because that perceived notion of your client paying for good work really means a lot. Sometimes when you are quoting something, and it's a very, very low price, sometimes it makes the consumer or your client go, hmm, why is that so cheap? So make sure you're valuing your rates and always go to a good baseline, looking at the GVAA rate guide or the Gravy for the Brain or SAG-AFTRA.
If you'd like to see more business tips on how to grow your VO business, check out my videos here. Thanks so much for watching, guys. See you next week.
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About Anne Ganguzza
Recipient of multiple Voice Arts Awards for Outstanding Narration Demo - Anne Ganguzza is California-based Voice Over Coach and award-winning Director & Producer specializing in target-marketed voiceover Demo Production. Anne's production team creates SOVAS-nominated demos across several genres, including Commercial, Corporate Narration, and eLearning, and her VO BOSS podcast is the winner of SOVAS Outstanding Podcast in 2022.