Quoting for voiceover work has become more and more tricky for voice artists due to the influx of many weird and wonderful media types. Here are some simple steps to help you quote for VO gigs, and rope them in:
STEP 1: GETTING THE ENQUIRY
Often you'll receive an inquiry via email. The most important thing is to get back to people immediately. Do not try to “stall” them.
Do not email back – phone them. You will double your chances of getting the gig.
Give them something to work with – even though you might need more information to give a proper quote, at the very least you can tell them your usual hourly rates for non-broadcast work
STEP 2: THE QUOTE:
If the ad is for broadcast (ie on the radio, telly or cinema), it's pretty simple, you can just follow the standard equity rate card.
If the script is a “narrative”, ie non-broadcast, the standard equity rates are about £ 142 per hour
Web usage tends to be around £ 220 (and if you charge a studio fee of £ 104 you can also).
If it's a weird job that you're not sure what to charge (that is not-for-broadcast, or for a small usage), it's easiest to quote an hourly rate. Normally, the 1st hour would be higher, and then a lower hourly rate after that. Eg 130/175 pounds per hour for the first hour and then 90/130 per hour after that.
And if you still do not know what to charge – charge what you like. Think about what would make the job worthwhile to you, and quote that. Do not overthink it.
STEP 3: CYA
CYA stands for “cover your ** s”. In 99% of enquiries, the client would not have given enough information to do a proper quote. (Ie they do not tell you how many hours of studio time, length of the script, what's the usage, what media etc etc). The worst thing you can do is respond with a long email with 20 questions, asking all these things. I'm not saying, do not ask those questions. But when you get back to people, try to give them something to work with. (Only email them if you have no phone contact number, it's much better to phone).
Tell them your usual hourly rate for non-broadcast. CYA by saying that the quote is subject to seeing the final script, and that a usage fee might be applicable depending on which media the work will be broadcast in. In this way, you've given them something to work with, and at the same time covered yourself for any eventuality.
STEP 4: DOES THE CLIENT HAVE A STUDIO BOOKED?
It's happening more often that clients want VOs to provide finished mp3s (ie they do not have their own studio booked). Many VOs have their own home studios, so would just include it in the price of their voiceover quote. But if you do not have a home studio, you are still able to pitch on these jobs:
Just be sure to add another £ 130 per hour studio time into your quote. If the job ends up going ahead, make sure to take a £ 130 deposit upfront to cover any studio expenses, I'd recommend using Paypal.