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6.1 Working With Clients: Manage Expectations

Congratulations! Someone heard one of your productions and wants you to record a voice-over for their project. In this lesson you will learn the things you want to go over with your client so that the experience is positive for everyone involved!

6.1 Working With Clients: Manage Expectations

Congratulations. Someone heard one of your productions and wants you to record a voiceover for their project. In this lesson, you will learn the things that you wanna go over with your client so that the experience is positive for everyone involved. Working to create a voiceover for someone else can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. The path to success is to make sure that you are going over as many details as you can, to make sure you and your client have the same expectations. Here are some of the things that you will wanna talk about up front. When is the deadline? You wanna make sure that you have adequate time to record, edit, and make any revisions to the project before you say yes. It won't matter how good the recording or performance of your voiceover is if you miss the deadline. What is the VO for? Understanding the project in a little more detail can help you dial in your performance. What is the tone and the speed of the read? Is this a friendly, slow read, or does it need to be a little bit quicker and have some attitude and edge? You may wanna ask for a reference so that you can get an idea of what the target sounds like. If you can't get a reference, you may wanna record a five second portion and send it out to make sure you are on the same page. As you get more experience recording voiceovers, you will probably have amassed material of your own to use for references. What sample rate and bit depth are they looking for? 44.1K or 48K? 16 or 24-bit? You can still record to 48K and 24-bit, and render out your tracks down to the specs. This is something that you don't want to assume, as that can cost you time re-rendering tracks and sending out new files. Along those same lines is, what types of files should be sent out? Are they looking for WAV, AIFF, MP3, AAC, FLAK, or something different? If you are recording a long voiceover, you may wanna send out a compressed file along with the master file so that they can get it faster or listen to it while they're on the road. In this situation, I would send out a 320 kilobit per second MP3, as it's the most universal and can be played in a browser on many mobile platforms. Just make sure they know that the mp3 version is not the master file. Ask about any file naming conventions. Some people need a very specific file naming system to integrate with their work flow. You may have your own clever naming system for files but you want to make sure you are sending out the files with the proper name the first time around. How much editing needs to be done to the recording? You are probably going to want to edit out all of your mistakes, remove any areas of silence, and do some very light EQ and processing. But, you want to ask how much more processing they want done to the files before it goes out. If the files are gonna be used in a larger project, they may have their own editors that are going to work on the tracks. Or, you could be giving them files that are going to be used in something like a website or a mobile application just as they are. In this case, you wanna make sure that they are processed appropriately. How is payment being handled? First you wanna make sure that everyone is on the same page with the financials of the project. If you usually charge a flat rate for recording, and an hourly for revisions, make sure that is in writing and sent to the client. This can be a hot mess to try and sort out after you have sent out the final files. You also wanna make sure that you can accept the payment that they are going to use. And they might be using net 30 to pay you, which is 30 days from when you invoice. This gives your client time to invoice their clients and get paid, and then break you off your cut. Finally, do not record until you get the green light from your client, and hopefully, a deposit. I know you are excited to record, and you wanna do a great job for the client, but hitting the record button too early can lead to extra work more times than not. Personally, I like to get a deposit in hand before I start work, unless I have a personal relationship with the client, and can make a personal visit if they don't pay up. Asking for a deposit shows your time is valuable, and it gets the ball rolling in the right direction. Getting these details sorted out before you start on a project is just smart. This way you have an expectation to meet and the client has an expectation of exactly what you are going to do for them. In the last lesson of this course you will learn about some final tips and tricks that you can use to make all your voiceovers a success.

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