I love my international voiceover clients.
So far this year I’ve had the pleasure of working with clients in Austria, Canada, Italy, Brazil, Holland, France, Columbia, and the UK. Every single one of them is a blast to work with and I sincerely value their business.
Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks to working well with international clients.
Good communication is everything! That’s critical for all clients, but it’s even more important with international clients. Often, English is a second language for both your client and the end-client so lines of communication must be strong and clear concerning all aspects of production.
The rate: if your clients pays you in a foreign currency, it’s incumbent upon you to understand the current rate exchange so you know how much you’re actually going to get paid. Most of the time I use Google. For example, if a client offers to pay me 300 Euros for a project, I Google “300 Euros to Dollars” and a calculator pops up at the top of the search results. You can see it here. As of this writing, 300 Euros equals $337.95. Oh, and don’t forget to keep in mind the PayPal or wire transfer fee!
The script: Often, the writer of the script speaks English as a second language. Most of my international clients & I have an agreement that if there is a word/phrase or two that is not proper English, I fix it on the fly and let them know. If a script is riddled with errors, give them a chance to fix it before I record. And yes, sometimes the end-client insists that you read it as is, boo-boos and all.
The direction: sometimes the client has trouble coming up with the right words to describe who they want you to narrate a script. A good trick is to direct them to your demo and ask them which track matches the read they want. This is also a good reason why you should have an online portfolio of your past work, like this one.
The little things: here’s an example. I’ve noticed that international clients prefer to hear 2015 as “20 15” and domestic clients prefer “2000 15”, with exceptions on both sides, of course.
Here’s in interesting one. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had two different international clients comment on how I say “our”. They said I pronounce it “ow-er” and they prefer “are”. So last week I go to a studio for a local client and being all self-conscious I pronounce it “are”. And of course they ask me to pronounce it “ow-er”!
TIP OF THE WEEK
If you have international clients and your scripts have a lot of errors, offer to be their proofreader! One of my international clients pays me to proofread the scripts I narrate as well as scripts of other voice talents on their roster. Just last week I proofread their new website. It’s an easy revenue stream and you’re helping yourself as well as them!
NEWS AND NOTES!
The article I wrote for Voice Over Xtra releases today! And here it is.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, GKN News…
Tom Dheere is a 19-year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a coach at Edge Studio, voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist, and is currently writing & producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.