One of the most fascinating aspects of voice acting for me is the chance to meet new clients who want to use my voice for their projects. I’m curious to find out the details about the project and their vision for the end result. I also like to get an understanding of how and where my voice will be used. More times than not, clients are excited about what they’re producing and appreciate that I take an interest in their needs beyond the cost and turn around of my services.
There are five important communication necessities that I believe should take place between my prospective client and myself during the initial stages of the booking process. These easily apply to a any number of freelance jobs and for me, make the process of working remotely smooth and easy.
1. The Handshake
The initial e-mail contact from a client usually comes in the form of a request for an audition and proposal. I consider this similar to an old-fashioned handshake, an introduction that’s friendly and informative. The e-mail usually includes specifics about the project that help me audition properly and prepare a fair proposal. These details typically include project type, length of approved script, target audience plus how the script should be read (tone, pace, cadence).
2. Audition and Proposal
In most cases, I respond with an MP3 file that contains my audition read of the script and a proposal that details estimated cost, services included and payment terms. At this point I make sure that I clearly understand the timezone differences between myself and the client. This will help establish expectations to e-mail replies and immediate availability should the zones be significantly different.
3. Come to Terms
After my client listens to the audition and reviews the proposal, they might reply with questions or want to negotiate a different rate. When I’ve answered their questions and we’ve come to an agreement on the rate for the project and payment details, I ask for their acknowledgment that we’ve successfully come to terms.
4. Project Confirmation
Following the talent seeker’s agreement to terms, I send a project confirmation that outlines the job as understood by the client and me. This is to make sure that we are on the same page and clearly understand the project. I make sure that the confirmation contains all the necessary contact information for myself and request that they provide theirs when they reply.
5. Schedule Studio Time
After all the documentation and terms are agreed to and understood, I feel confident that we have the basis for a good working relationship. At this point I’ll schedule time to complete my new client’s voice over project.
The Bottom Line
Nobody likes unexpected surprises, so get it in writing!!! Doing so will reduce the chance of misunderstanding and will make the process of completing the job more efficient.
This process works well in my voice over business and I hope that you find something in what I’ve written to be helpful. I’d like to hear about what you’ve done that has made working with remote clients easier?