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Why Experience is Worth It

Why Experience is Worth It

May 23/The_Garan/Quick Thoughts

Sharon Kwon actually shared this video with me, but it speaks to a great couple of questions that come up pretty frequently in our industry:

"What's your hourly rate?" Or, "Why are you so expensive?"

Now, this applies in a pretty straight-forward fashion when discussing simple jobs. However, when you get to bigger, more complex, and higher skill projects, this gets a little hazy.

For instance, I just recorded roughly 6 hours of audio for an international client's video-game, without supervision. Now, I did end up breaking the pay-rate down for them by hour when submitting my bid for the project mainly as a tool for estimating my personal time cost, and my estimate ended up being on the high side for them. However, they agreed to it in the end.

So what did this higher-than-they-expected-to-pay rate get them? One week after delivery of my recordings, they haven't had to request one single correction.

Not one.

This means they don't need to contact me and ask for, wait for, and check again, any re-recorded material. This saves them time and energy that they may have wasted paying someone with less experience a little bit less. This gets their project out on time with fewer headaches.

And that's why paying more for experienced performers is worth it.

But maybe you don't have 10 years of experience, maybe you don't feel comfortable asking for that much. That's fine, we all have to start somewhere. However, you should ask yourself every so often which benchmarks are you hitting:

1. Do you know how to do the following consistently and on command?
* vary your vocal characteristics
* vary your tempo/rhythm
* vary your pitch
* do accents
* break down a script and make character choices on the fly, etc.

2. Using the above factors, how many different characters can you convincingly produce in a session setting?

3. Can you incorporate new characters on the fly, or have you developed a library of stock characters you're comfortable modifying according to client requests?

With those criteria in mind, if you can do five or fewer voices, keep to the lower game rate. If you've gotten to the point where you can do 10 or more, stick with the intermediate rate. However, if you can reliably produce 15 or more characters in under an hour, go full freight and ask for that maximum rate.


Because your abilities save the client time, energy, and headache, and you can't put a price on that kind of satisfaction.