So, You Want to Be Paid, Huh?
By Caryn Clark
While recording voice-overs IS fun, we don't spend time auditioning and producing voice-overs JUST for fun, do we? The goal is to make some money, right? You're selling your talented voice, and you should be compensated in a manner in which YOU feel comfortable. You wouldn't go to the grocery store, pick out some items, get to the checkout counter, and then dictate to the clerk how and when you're going to pay the store for those items, would you?
So, how do we make sure we are paid?
The first rule of thumb: Make sure your client is aware that you are to be paid BEFORE you will send them the audio.
When you send your audition to the client you should include, in writing, your terms for the job. This scenario would include if a client calls you back and would like you to re-record part of the job. ALWAYS put your terms in writing. It could be something like this:
Hi Mr. Smith,
Attached is my audition.
My rate for this job is $xxx. This price is inclusive of studio fees. Payment is due prior to the release of the audio. You can pay via PayPal at janedoe.voice123.com or by EFT directly to my bank account. Please let me know which method you prefer.
I also ask that I receive a final copy of the produced spot for my files, and your permission to use any part of it for my demo.
I look forward to working with you! Please let me know if these terms are agreeable to you. Id be happy to discuss them. I can be reached at (123) 456-7890 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, Jane Doe
But, what if in the lead, the client has specified when they will pay? For example, there are often notations in leads such as payment will be sent within 30 days upon receipt of audio. In these instances, respond to the client in writing that you would like part of the payment (for example, 50%) prior to the release of the audio, and the remainder of the payment after they receive the audio. The amount you specify to receive before and after the release of the audio should be an amount you're comfortable with. Once the job is complete, send them an invoice for the remaining amount. The invoice should include information such as the date the job was completed, how much they paid before the job and when they paid, the balance of what they owe, and the address they should send the check to (or if you prefer it via PayPal or your bank account, include that information), and any other information you think would be useful.
Another example when you might not be paid before you release the audio is if you have a contract with the company for whom you're recording the audio. In that case, the terms of payment will be noted. For example, XYZ Company will issue payment on the 15th and the last day of each month. You and your contact at the Company will both sign the contract, which makes these terms binding.
Regardless of the situation, don't be afraid to state your terms. Remember, you're selling YOU, and your talent and time are worth compensation!
By: Caryn Clark