Fiverr. Upwork. Mandy. Guru. I’ve been revisiting my entire structure lately, figuring out how to make something more sustainable and consistent, and less reliant on commercial work. Which is fantastic, of course, but not the most…well, consistent. Or reliable.
And reliable is what I need now that I have a baby and I’m kinda freaking out all the time.
It’s wise to have a ‘diversified portfolio’ of sources for your VO work, as a wise person once told me. Commercial work is great in the places you can find it, but there’s direct marketing, P2P’s, building your own website/web presence…
…And those freelance sites you (I) may have frequented in the past, but have lately all but ignored (like me). Are they worth revisiting?
Let’s find out!
Using Fiverr For Voice Over: Is It Really Only Five Dollars?
Evidently you can charge whatever you want on Fiverr nowadays, debunked a common criticism of selling yourself for five dollars. I’ve heard enough hullabaloo around the internet about people making most of their VO income from tons of short ‘n’ sweet, low-paying gigs from Fiverr, and from looking at some of the profiles on there, it definitely looks to be working for some folk.
Back when the default rate was $5, I and most of my ilk and creed turned our collective nose up at Fiverr, but you know what? I have a daughter to feed now. I have a mortgage.
Plus you can charge whatever you want, effectively making it Whateverr (which I think is a better name anyway). So, it’s all fixed now?
Well not entirely. The possible reputation hit taken by being associated with Fiverr can still bite you in the butt in some situations. Plus, the ridiculous number of hoops needing to be jumped through just to make an honest product available is too much for me. There’s a weird science to making cheap looking VO rates, but padding them with tons of little add-ons in order to build it back up to a standard rate. It feels disingenuous.
Ultimately, I’ve decided to keep away for now.
Upwork Increases Its Support for Voice Over Actors
Upwork now has the ability to save much more specific service profiles than in the past, giving you the ability to make a Voice Over profile complete with samples, spaces for testimonials, a client list, certifications, and more, much like a LinkedIn or VDC profile.
It also displays an hourly rate, which is where Upwork hasn’t changed.
Quoting clients on Upwork feels a bit like cramming a round peg in a square hole. As my projects tend to be charged per finished minute, per word, or per project, only one of Upwork’s two rate models is really usable for VO actors, unless you make an agreement ahead of time what ‘hours’ really means. Currently I have a project where the finished minute, how I usually charge for e-Learning voice over work, is represented by an hour, for example. It’d be nice to see this aspect of Upwork expanded upon, but it’s still workable if you get a bit creative with it.
Mandy and Guru Profiles for Voice Over
I’ve honestly never seen any real leads come through either of these sources. I’ve had profiles up for as long as I’ve been in business, and for whatever reason, they’re both ghost towns in my experience. It’s very possible someone else’s experience has been different, but I did not find the activity available on other platforms here.
There’s a lot of potential out there, and it feels like the competition has really stepped up, so it’s time to recheck the ole game plan and fortify those marketing efforts.
That, and maybe I’m feeling a little ‘conscious incompetent’ and realizing the transition from that to competence is scary and hard. Hoo boy.
Did I mention I had a baby recently?
[update: this blog was updated on April 27, 2021.]