As a commercial voice over professional, I end up fielding a lot of email inquiries from prospective clients, and one of the big questions I always get asked is, How much is this going to cost? Quoting commercial voice over projects is certainly part of my daily routine. My responses can vary depending on the situation, the client, the relevant aspects of the project and how the finished project will be used.
A new client found me online recently, looking for someone to narrate a short video for his company website. When we got around to talking about price, the amount he was offering was below my standard rate for that type of project. Even though I wanted to help him, I had to politely decline the opportunity to do the job for him. He was a bit disappointed, but understood why I had to pass.
Fast forward a few days, and this same client comes back to me with a sweeter offer. He asked me if I enjoyed tea…
I Don’t Work for Peanuts But I May, On Occasion, Work For Tea
His company is Socha Tea, and his revised proposal included a gift certificate to use on his website for a generous quantity of tea (to make up for the cash shortfall in his budget). As it turns out, I do happen to enjoy tea. It’s great for the vocal cords and is a nice change-up from my usual morning cup of coffee. Since I still wanted to help this person get what he needed, and loved what his latest offer included, I agreed to the new terms.
After completing the project, I asked for a copy of the video for use in my marketing. And I mentioned that I might like to use the story of our first job working together in a blog post. The topic of bartering for commercial voice over services is an interesting one to talk about, since it can sometimes bridge the gap when a client’s budget is below what a talent needs to charge.
Do you have any interesting voice over trade/barter stories? Please share in the comments section below!
Helping a company with getting their product to the marketplace is part of my mission as a commercial voice professional, and in serving this particular client, it seems I am getting served a little extra special treat for myself.
Socha Tea also does a fair amount of community fundraising and a portion of all their sales goes to their non-profit partner, Wells Bring Hope, to support humanitarian programs in West Africa, providing clean, safe water to those in need.
So, I invite you to visit Socha Tea’s website, partake in some lovely tea (at a nice discount) and in so doing, help bring safe water to less fortunate folks in West Africa. Sounds like a win/win, any way you look at it.
Have you ever traded your commercial voice over services?
Have you ever received something extra special and unique in exchange for your voice over services? Please share your stories in the comments below.
Debbie Grattan is a commercial voice over talent with more than 20 years of experience. She has collaborated on thousands of projects and partnered with hundreds of production companies, marketing and advertising firms, commercial voice-over recording studios and corporate/business clients around the United States and throughout the world. Check out her Commercial Voice Demos and request a Commercial Voice Talent Audition for your upcoming project.