Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

April 7, 2012

Matching Your Delivery

Filed under: Musings, Techniques — Tags: , , — connieterwilliger @ 11:40 am

The other day I had three sessions in a row with repeat clients for whom my delivery is just slightly different. Pacing, placement, energy, warmth, etc. just a bit different for each project.

One client found me 3 or 4 years ago because they had lost track of the voice they had been using and wanted a voice match. Actually, they THOUGHT I was the same person and after I told them that I wasn’t, they asked me if I could match a sample they provided. I did and we have been doing updates every 5 months or so. This voice is in a slightly different place in my head than my usual signature sound.

Another project was 3 word changes and a new paragraph for a project originally completed about a year and a half ago. The read on this was soft and comforting.

And the third project that day was the 4th iteration of an eLearning project where I needed to match the other half-dozen projects for the same company in brisk tone and perkiness.

I keep everything in folders on my hard drive of course, just for times such as these. All it takes is a 2 or 3 second listen to what we did before and I slip right into that particular zone.

Most of us do this, of course. Really – it’s simply part of our jobs. Something we need to do to keep our customers happy. Remarkable only in the fact that it was three repeat clients with three different approaches.

January 26, 2010

Eggs

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Musings — Tags: , , , — connieterwilliger @ 2:47 pm

You’ve heard the saying – don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I’ve been thinking about that the past day or so.

I am currently in Orange County at the beautiful Pelican Hill resort doing a live backstage announce gig for a biotech company. This is the 4th year in a row that I have been asked to be the voice of the company for this particular sales meeting. It is a fun job. The people are nice. The food and accomodations are always more than good. And the pay is quite good as well. But each year, I try to not think about the next year. Because next year may not come.

Early in my voiceover career – or perhaps I should call it my free lance career, because I was doing other things besides voiceover at that time (producing and writing and some on-camera spokesperson) – I had a very large regional client for whom I recorded 4 radio and 4 TV spots every month. They went out of business suddenly and – boom, I lost half my income in one fell swoop.

This taught me a big lesson and to this day I not only try to provide excellent service my regular clients, but I am always looking for new relationships to develop. You just never know what will happen. Budgets get cut. Companies go out of business. Decision makers decide to go another direction.

If you know that you are good at what you do, you won’t take this personally. But you must be prepared for these changes.

July 14, 2009

Was there a lesson to be learned?

Filed under: Negotiating — Tags: , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 5:06 pm

Negotiating rates is the hardest part of my job. I much prefer to have an agent involved in this process, but more and more of my work comes directly to me from my website from places outside the range of my various agents. So more and more, I find that I am providing quotes. Add in the auditions from the P2P sites and a LOT of time is spent figuring out rates.

I have a set rate card for most projects now that I use as a starting point, but there is always something that makes the rate card difficult to apply. The nature of the material may require additional dollars (or not). Or the turn around time is short necessitating a rush charge (or not). The project may be for a really good cause that warrents a discounted rate (or not). The project may actually be more than one project, but will be done at the same time which could indicate a reduced rate for the extra projects (or not). There are so many variables.

Additionally, there are other factors affecting the negotiating process.

  1. The economy is making it hard to know which of my clients are able to maintain the established rates and which will want to negotiate something lower.
  2. Many clients refuse to work through agents – thinking (perhaps rightly so) that they will get a better deal going directly to me.
  3. Clients who are working as the intermediary between me and the end client. This can cause a communication breakdown

I had a communication breakdown over the weekend with a returning client (well, a new person working for a company I have worked for before). The script was pretty straightforward corporate communications and we agreed upon my standard rate for that kind of work. From the beginning though, the arrangement was slightly more than the usual routine. They expected two completely different styles of reads.

Normally, at the beginning of the job, a style is determined and you may end up doing two “takes” of that style to give them something to edit, but two completely different styles of delivery is unusual. But, given that the project was for a returning client with potential for more work, this was a high profile end client, only a few pages long, and for a good cause – I agreed to provide the two different reads.

We agreed on the rate late in the week and then at the end of the week, I received additional scripts for two separate intros and outros for podcasts related to the project. Because they were separate projects, I sent an email back with a discounted rate (because I could record everything during one session) for the additional work.

The end client was very upset with the additional charge – and instructed my client to cancel the project. As long as I have been in the business, this is the first time I have had this happen. I called my client and asked that he pass along my willingness to include the podcast intro/outros in the original quote and would have the tracks to him today – so there was no need to go looking for a new talent or arrange for someone in-house to record. He told me he would speak with them – so far no news.

Was there a lesson to be learned here? Well, perhaps to try to glean whether there was a budget issue to begin with? If the client was only interested in spending half of my fee in the first place, but was convinced that my professionalism was worth the extra dollars, that would probably have been good information to know. Perhaps encourage a phone call or an email before sending something off to and end client if the middle client expects blow back?

I’d hate to lose a client over a misunderstanding that could have been avoided. We are all learning how to communicate again.

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