Don’t sell yourself short
When you’re first starting out as an actor, it’s important to get used to negotiating rates fairly quickly. The first years’ worth of jobs likely won’t be the best-paying on the planet, but make sure you aren’t selling yourself short!
Here are a couple of tips to help you get through the hurdles:
Avoid sites like Fiverr or Upwork which offer high-volume/low-money talent engagements
Sites like these are notorious for underselling talent at ridiculous rates, and for requiring long commitment hours. Often, a talent may not even be paid for their work, and reports of poor customer service are rampant. If you’re going to find work from an online casting site, do your research on which sites you sign up for.
Make sure you know current project market rates
The Global Voice Acting Academy (GVAA) has a great rate guide for use as a base when negotiating prices with potential clients. The rate guide shows you average pricing for specific job types, and includes comprehensive breakdowns of many media types.
Be kind, yet firm, and be willing to negotiate!
Check rates, know the value of your work, and negotiate appropriately, deciding when to lower or raise your pricing according to the amount of work requested or usage required. As you grow your profile and build a solid voice acting career, you’re likely going to come up against some great clients that genuinely don’t have a budget to pay the best rate (like students working on independent projects, charities or startups). In the end, negotiating your rates will be all about building the types of long-term relationships you seek in your career, and pulling together a working group of repeat clients.
Now go get that bread! May the auditions be ever in your favor!