Entries Tagged as 'voices.com'

gaudeamus hodi olivia ciccarelli

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I don’t remember after 800+ posts whether I’ve done too many baby announcements and at the moment I am too lazy to look.

The important thing to note is that Olivia Ciccarelli was born into this world on July 27, 2011.

From Facebook posts, I believe mother and daughter are well and speaking as a father, I know nobody cares how the father is doing after the birth (although with three kids at home already and a biz to run, he’s firing on all cylinders at the moment I would imagine).

The O’Connells wish only the best for the Ciccarellis and especially baby Olivia. What happy news!

a recent review of the voice over business

David Ciccarelli from Voices.com sent along to me a summary of his company’s past year in business, including how many voice over jobs were awarded, average payments, highest payments and total voice over earnings for voice talent who secured business all through Voices.com.

A couple of disclaimers here: I consider David and his wife Stephanie to be my friends and that both are highly ethical in their company’s operations. I trust what they say to be true and I think they run an above board operation. I have said in the past that if I subscribed to any pay to play (P2P) service, I would immediately subscribe to Voices.com based on their credibility alone. I respect the owners and their company.

I am not a paying member of Voices.com. I do have a free profile page. There is another service in the P2P industry where I had a free listing but I had it removed because I believed that group’s credibility to be so suspect that I didn’t want my name or brand associated with them in any manner. And there are other companies in this category whose reputation also precedes them and also not in a good way.

In short, the “pay to play” voice over business model does not work for me. I don’t believe or financially support any service in which voice talent “pays to play” i.e. pays a subscription to receive auditions. I believe such services lower the rate expectations of potential clients because so many voice talents who swim in the pay to play pool low ball their rates out of what I feel is a kind of sad desperation for revenue of any kind.

The pay to play model negatively impacts the voice over business and its practitioners, in my opinion.

While each individual has the right to run their business has they see fit (even or especially in desperate times), that low balling adversely affects my business and is degrading to my industry. I choose to play elsewhere.

The results of the Voices.com survey are:

• $39,290,580 in Total Earnings by Voice Talent at Voices.com

• 155,915 Voice Over Jobs – This figure represents the total number of public, private and direct message job opportunities that have been awarded to voice talent at Voices.com.

• The Highest Paying Voice Over Job awarded via Voices.com that the company is aware of was $37,000

• $252.97 Average Payment for a Voice Over Job (among all possible VO job categories): David noted that projects posted at Voices.com range between $100 and $500, thus resulting in average payments of $252.97.

This last figure illustrates my point better than anything else I might say regarding how ALL pay to play services lower the rate expectations of potential clients. I also have a sense that at other services, that average fee might even be lower.

Taking the Voices.com figure ($252.97) though, as a P2P industry average – that figure, I believe, doesn’t reflect what the voice over customer market “dictates”.

I believe it reflects what the voice over customer market “can get away with” with the help of the pay to play (P2P) business model.

There is no filter of voice over quality or talent abilities within the P2P model – legally I don’t think there can be and as a business model I don’t know why the P2P owners would want there to be. Anyone can sign up, pay the subscription fee and audition with P2P companies. It’s assumed that if someone has no talent, that fact will be reflected in their audition submissions and therefore the talentless won’t get the work (survival of the fittest).

But the nasty truth is, regardless of any supposed audition filter or cut off limit a P2P service may ascribe to, the sheer volume of auditions combined with lower average quality of the combined auditioners (note: they ARE talented and highly compensated voice talents in the P2P mix…somewhere…I guess) means that all the power is in the client’s hands…they can smell the desperation in the auditioning herd and they capitalize on it…to the determent of the voice over industry as a whole.

Think about not just the local or regional radio commercials…but the 10-20 minute narrations, e-learning projects, sales and marketing videos. These long form pieces are a vital part of the industry. Take a minute to do some average calculations on what those fees should be in addition to the local and regional spots.

Then add national commercials, TV promos, radio imaging fees, bigger message on hold projects.

By my calculations, $252.97 is well below what I would expect an overall average fee to be. And for those who would say that’s on par with “my” fee structure or that “I’d” be lucky to get that for a fee, I guess I’d ask you to take a long hard look at your business model. And even dare to say – self worth as a voice over talent.

To mis-quote the old hair commercial, I’d say, “You’re ‘not’ worth it. You’re worth more.”

And for those who’d say it’s none of my damn business – I’d say on that count, you’re probably right. We all have to choose our own paths and mine may not be right for you.

terry daniel and dave courvoisier star on voice over experts

This week on Voices.com’s Voice Over Experts, Terry Daniel and Dave Courvoisier discuss how social media and the use of online social networking tools can promote your voice over services and help you to get work.

embarrassed, humbled or jealous?

I learned one thing about the internet early on – unless you are a savant at making viral videos, you had better be good at promoting yourself cause as much as they might like you, others will never promote you as well as you can promote yourself.

Well, I must change my opinion of that, having now been distilled through the Voices.com PR machine. Others, it turns out, can promote you as well as you can promote yourself…in this case, better.

Hubris or ego or savvy marketer (I’ve been accused of all three), I was never really comfortable with having to directly promote myself as much as the internet dictated I would have to, if I was to help my business. I did it (and do it) strictly because it does help my presence on the web – period. But it is awkward to do it – that’s truly how it feels to me. I offer that as background.

So fast forward to recent times, having been hounded (maybe just “asked” a number of times) for a few years by Stephanie Ciccarelli at Voices.com to do a podcast for them, I sent her “The First 15 Seconds” (about voice talents should approach their voice over auditions) before Christmas, 2010. Stephanie published my podcast the first week of January, 2011.

Then their public relations flood gates opened. It was torrential and impressive.

First Voices.com was kind enough to say in their release “Peter K. O’Connell is one of North America’s top voice over coaches and voice talents.”

As God as my witness, I never, ever recall claiming that in any of the stuff I’ve written about my work ever (send me a document I wrote if you can prove otherwise and I’ll admit my mistake…cause I don’t think I did so). I think Voices.com wrote that on their own (thank you for your kind words, folks). I’m also thinking all the really good voice over teachers are pretty pissed at me right now for soiling their talent pool…but I didn’t say that, Voices.com did.

Then I was sorting through some of my normal Google Alerts to see what if anyone is saying about me, my business or my industry. There I realized that Voices.com flushed their press release about my podcast through every public relations pipe the web has!

Truly, I thought I had this web promo thing worked out but now I see I am a pathetic rookie compared to these crazy (in a good way) Canadians (I can say that because I am part Canadian, which explains my affinity for Tim Horton’s donuts).

So thanks to Stephanie and her team for the plugs and good on them for their web marketing machine. If you’re going to go – go all out or go home!

voice over experts with peter k. o’connell

Well I bet of all those seven words, you never thought you’d see “expert” near my name.

Me neither.

But I am this week’s Voice Over Expert on Voices.com‘s regular podcast.

Stephanie had been after me for almost a year and maybe longer to host one of their podcasts and there was no good excuse for not having gotten around to it except to say life got in the way.

But I look at it this way: THIS was the time the podcast was supposed to come out and so it did. Fate now, explanations later.

The topic is “The First 15 Seconds” and while you might think it a review of my wedding night, it is, rather, an overview of how to look at voice over auditions in a more critical way.

Specifically, to try and tie in all that you can about every aspect of the script and your performance into the first 15 seconds of your audition; that’s likely the amount of time it will take for a producer to listen to your audition and know if your voice is the right voice for the project the producer is working on.

This is stuff I work on all the time with folks at the Voice Over Workshop but the overview in the podcast will give you a good start if you want to work on this on your own.

Voices.com was very nice to include me and while I don’t believe listenership to my podcast will be so large as to fry their servers, I hope it gives the Voice Over Experts podcast a good start to the new year…please give it a listen. Thanks!

happy boxing day, canada and happy anniversary to a proud canadian blogger

December 26th is Boxing Day in Canada (and the U.K. too as I recall).

December 26th is NOT the anniversary date for the start of Voices.com’s VOX Daily blog. That I believe was December 20th but since Stephanie Ciccarelli forgot the anniversary date too I guess I can also be forgiven.