Is Your Voice Raw, Ripe, or Rotten?
Many people ask me how to determine what their voice is worth, and I provide this comparison. When you’re standing in the produce section, eyeing the avocados, do you like to pick and choose? I do. I know what I like and I know when its ripeness is going to fit into my menu plans. When you’re starting out in business you clamor for every job you can get— regardless of whether you’re too green, the project is just right or the person you’re working with is rotten. You may not know what your voice is worth, but as you become more established, you also become less desperate and, hopefully, more selective — just as hungry, but pickier about what you’ll eat!
It’s Your Voice, Don’t Get Stepped Over
We who love voicing ‘over’ are addicts to the work. In fact, most creative people really do have this primal urge to practice their craft. But there comes a time when you know what you’re worth, have the confidence to ask for it (we’ll talk about rates next week), and can suss out problem people before their problems become yours.
Don’t get me wrong; we’re in the business of helping our clients solve problems. I’m talking about people who are rude, overly demanding, or outright criminal (yes, I had one of those).
It’s hard for some people to say NO sometimes so start with thank you, no thank you, then:
- I’m not an elephant and I don’t work for peanuts.
- It’s not a good sign that you’re asking for multiple revisions of a sample before you’ve even hired me.
- The promise of exposure/royalties/future work isn’t enough to convince me that I should work with you now.
Everyone Has Two Cents, So How Do You Get Dollars for Your Voice
What’s really interesting is that we’re now in a world where EVERYONE can rate each other, in a two-way transparency system that could change the customer/brand relationship.
- Not only can you rate your Uber cab driver, but she/he can also rate you.
- In Boston, you can rate your barber, and s/he can rate you too through a new service called Savanna, which launched this past March.
- The Art Series Hotel Group in Australia launched Reverse Reviews, in which staff can rate hotel guests!
In fact, all of these rating services encourage us to be on our best behavior— it’s enlightened self-interest, really.
But what’s most important is how you rate yourself. If you don’t know your voice is worth how can you ask for what you deserve? That said, I want to leave you with an excellent video on the subject from fellow creative Ted Leonhardt. He shares 10 Tips on how you, as a creative, can #BeHeard during the interview process.