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  • Writer's pictureTom Dheere

Newbs, Vets, and Voiceover Rates – GKN Weekly Update 9/17/13

Hello and Happy Yom Kippur! I hope everyone got to cast their sins into the river and start fresh. It’s like a spiritual reboot, right?

Also, I want to say thank you to everyone for the copious amount of birthday wishes and the three-day Bacchanalia that was my weekend. This was one for the books!


Voice Over Virtual is this week! Are you as excited as I am? I will be in Tom’s Tiki Lounge for as much of the conference as possible, other VO gigs and silliness permitting.

Be sure to pop in if you have any voiceover-related questions or just to hang out!

Me and the guys at 3ative Productions just finished writing the outline for Issue Two of our comic book “Agent: 1.22”. Issue One is still in production but things are chugging along!

The MCA-I Kickoff meeting is this Tuesday, September 17th at 7:00 PM on the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University – Madison where I will be a panelist for the discussion “Promote Yourself!” Click here to learn more.

Last week I taught my Edge Studio Business and Money 201 “Rates, Negotiating, and Billing” webinar. Good questions were asked about how to build a Rate Sheet, how to invoice clients, and how much to charge based on your experience level. The last question is the one that garnered the most interest. In most professions; the more tenure you have, the more you get paid. Is that the case in the voiceover industry? Sometimes, but not all the time. People hear about exorbitant sums of money that are heaped upon celebrities to voice major animated films or to be the voice of a big product or service. Here’s the thing. They’re not necessarily getting paid so much because they’re better voice talents than everyone else (though some like Morgan Freeman are among the best there is). They’re getting paid for their familiarity. You may not necessarily know who the voice of E-surance is (it’s John Krazinski, BTW) but his voice sure is familiar! That makes you more likely to listen to it.

So what about us non-celebrities? If we have more experience, should we charge more? If we have less experience, should we charge less? More or less than what? Union rates? Rate Cards you find on numerous websites? Confusing, right…?

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you are new to the voiceover industry and are trying to figure out how much to charge, here is my advice to you…

Build Your Rate Sheet. Go to,, www.Edge, and and look at their rates. Use them as a guideline.

Once you have that in place, now you have an idea of how much to quote when a project comes your way. HOWEVER, when you’re corresponding with your potential client, tell them the following:

“For a project like that I usually charge X. However, my rates are flexible and I am happy to work with your client’s budget within reason, of course.”

See that? Communicate the industry standard and that you’re willing to work with the client on an agreeable rate without undermining the industry or your integrity. Oh, and don’t worry if you never hear from them again. That means they weren’t going to pay you what you’re worth, anyway!


A struggling Voice Over has a massive ego completely out of control.

A successful Voice Over has a massive ego, for the most part, under control.

Philip Banks

STUFF!: I finally got around to seeing “In a World…” It was fun!

From Tom Dheere’s apartment, this is Tom Dheere: GKN News…


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