Do You Pay Your Clients or Do They Pay You?

Many voice talent understand they are extremely blessed to be doing a job that they love. They go above and beyond to ensure their clients are happy and return to use their services again. It’s called customer service.

But then there’s a small number of voice talent that must honestly believe that the client should be honored to have them recording their script.

Working at a voice over casting website like The Voice Realm, I get to see it from both sides. I deal with the most wonderful and friendly voice actors, clients who are thrilled with getting a professional recording, and then there’s clients that are a little picky, but then again they are the ones paying.

And then….. there’s the voice talent that “don’t have time for this. I have other clients that are paying more that I need to attend to.” Ummm didn’t you look at the rates before you joined the website? Wouldn’t that be the ‘professional’ thing to do?

I asked the client this and that before I recorded.” Actually you didn’t because we can see every message that you have sent them.

It’s been two days and you still haven’t paid me.” The email you received to say that the job was completed also said that you’ll be paid within 72 hours. Two days is 48 hours.

Ok I’m getting carried away here…. But all these quotes are legit!

It’s a sad fact that there are voice talent that love to complain and moan about anything and everything. It is extremely rude to clients who are paying them, and even worse it reflects on the industry.

TOUGH LOVE

Some voice talent just aren't ready yet to call themselves 'professional'
Some voice talent just aren’t ready yet to call themselves ‘professional’

Part of my job at The Voice Realm is to watch over jobs and make sure everything runs smoothly. Essentially to be a mediator and look out for the voice actor and the paying client.

I remember one of my first eye-opening moments was when I saw a voice upload a file for a client along with the text “Here’s the file now please release the payment.” I was well and truly floored!

Who’s to say there’s not a mistake in the file? There could be a pronunciation error. But more importantly what sane paying client would want to ever hire that voice ever again with an attitude like that?

On the flip side, the voice actors that I see getting booked over and over again, are the ones that exert a friendly demeanor from the first communication with the client, right through to the end. Nothing is ever too much, their main goal is to make the client happy. And you know what? It works. They get booked over and over again.

Voice actors online are providing a professional service, just like in many other industries. Now there is a grey line between how far a voice should go in records to editing files and production, but surely a basic clean up and removing errors should be part of that?

I recall one voice took huge breaths between every single line in the script, and sent the audio file unedited to the client. The client contacts Support and questions the file. We contact the voice, and the response.. “If they want the breaths removed then that costs extra.”

So because you’re unprofessional, the client should pay extra? OOOOO-Kay.

Another example is the voice talent that thinks a two minute recording should take 30 minutes to clean up. Really? Because you’re slow the client should pay extra? Maybe you shouldn’t add ‘Production Services’ to your profile!

Backlash

Now I know I’m going to get pulled over the coals for this post, and it’s only a very small number of talent that carry on like this, but it’s one issue that can be detrimental to all talent working remotely.

The days of making demands are gone. Unless you’re under contract and paid a very hefty sum, I’d think twice before talking to a client like they owe YOU a favor.

What are your thoughts on dealing with clients? Do you go out of your way to make them happy?

Lauren Maree

Lauren Maree has been working in advertising, media and marketing for over 15 years. Her experience as a casting director allows her to provide inside information of the voice over industry.

  • Dave Landon

    Thanks for that post, Lauren. Yes, professionalism should work both ways, but we can only control our side of the relationship. It’s unfortunate that there are voice talent who, for whatever reason, are either unaware of what it means to be a professional, or worse, don’t care. I was reared in the old-school, “the customer is the reason for your job, and they’re (virtually) always right” mindset. I like to take a win-win approach to every project, with the view of how important it is to the client. It’s in my best interest to leave them with a positive impression and glad they hired me – and glad that they used The Voice Realm.

    Before they hire me my hope is that my clients will see me as an ethical professional of high integrity. The real test of that picture’s accuracy is how I treat my clients after they hire me. (Professional behavior as a voice talent certainly includes polite, civil behavior, reasonable expectations, and flexibility, but editing out breaths and delivering a ready-to-use, broadcast-quality audio file? That should go without saying with a ‘professional’ voice talent!)

    As for the other side of the relationship, while I can’t say that it’s always been the case elsewhere, the clients for whom I’ve worked on The Voice Realm have all been professional, had reasonable expectations, and paid promptly. I’ve had no complaints whatsoever. One thing that helps that interaction here is – the ability to interact, via the text feature. The only suggested improvement I have in that regard is that it would be nice to be able to continue communicating with the client for at least a short period following the closing of the project – primarily so that I can thank them for their payment. (The way it is currently, I feel like they might get the impression that once I get my money in my hot little hands I suddenly lose all interest in communicating!)

  • David Pattillo

    Thanks for that post, Lauren. Yes, professionalism should work both ways, but we can only control our side of the relationship. It’s unfortunate that there are voice talent who, for whatever reason, are either unaware of what it means to be a professional, or worse, don’t care. I was reared in the old-school, “the customer is the reason for your job, and they’re (virtually) always right” mindset. I like to take a win-win approach to every project, with the view of how important it is to the client. It’s in my best interest to leave them with a positive impression and glad they hired me – and glad that they used The Voice Realm.

    Before they hire me my hope is that my clients will see me as an ethical professional of high integrity. The real test of that picture’s accuracy is how I treat my clients after they hire me. (Professional behavior as a voice talent certainly includes polite, civil behavior, reasonable expectations, and flexibility, but editing out breaths and delivering a ready-to-use, broadcast-quality audio file? That should go without saying with a ‘professional’ voice talent!)

    As for the other side of the relationship, while I can’t say that it’s always been the case elsewhere, the clients for whom I’ve worked on The Voice Realm have all been professional, had reasonable expectations, and paid promptly. I’ve had no complaints whatsoever. One thing that helps that interaction here is – the ability to interact, via the text feature. The only suggested improvement I have in that regard is that it would be nice to be able to continue communicating with the client for at least a short period following the closing of the project – primarily so that I can thank them for their payment. (The way it is currently, I feel like they might get the impression that once I get my money in my hot little hands I suddenly lose all interest in communicating!)