Voiceover Talent Scams: How They Work
Crooks have been running scams since the beginning of time, but the types of fraud generally keep evolving along with society. With every new development in technology comes an opportunity to be scammed. It almost feels like the more we advance in technology, especially the internet, the more exposed we become. Most of the schemes can be attributed to the fact that the world is now a global village. You are a click away from the next person even though they are thousands of miles away from you. Reality check.
People get fooled by simply surfing the net for job opportunities. The same can be said even for the entertainment industry where many aspiring voiceover actors became lately victims of scams. How? In this article, we are going to discuss some voiceover scams and how to identify them.
1. Unclear Rates
Typically, the most common scams happen when voiceover actors are being taken advantage of and paid less than what they should earn. That could be because of the lack of clarity when agreeing on the services. Charge per minute? Per word? Per page? Crooks may mislead you to believe they offer a fee for one, only to say something else when time for payment comes. Be concise from the beginning.
Imagine doing all that work to ensure that you deliver an amazing recording only to be paid half of what you should get. Setting your rates will ensure that you are not taken for a fool and your payment is a fit for your abilities and experience. A well-structured rate will save you from working for less.
2. Tricky Voiceover Agent
The second scam we want to expose is the Agent Ripoff. You may be approached by someone claiming to be a famous agent for voiceover artists. He may even give you some big names he worked with in the past. How does he scam you? Let’s take a look:
Let’s say he connects with a major company that needs to produce 100 online training videos with voice overs. He gets a quote for $16,600 from the company with the big-budget, but comes to you and hides that, saying they offer a great $5,999 fee if you provide the VOs. You’re happy because you’ve never had such a great order, but in reality you never know what the real budget is.
3. The Royalty Short Hand
This is another one of the most common traps that many voiceover artists fall for. The royalty scam is tricking you into not receiving the full remuneration that is due. This is a common scam that is worse because you don’t notice it right away. It could take years before you realize you have been scammed. It happens quite a lot in the voiceover industry and many actors fall victim.
These scams are usually targeted at beginners who just joined the industry. They are usually more vulnerable and make an easy target because they do not have the experience to detect the scam.
On the other hand, the promise of royalties in place of full remuneration should be a red flag. Look out for agents and clients that make such promises.
4. Contract Misleadings
The importance of voiceover contracts should never be looked over. Don’t sign a release or a waiver, sign an actual contract. Not only do contracts protect you from being exploited, they clearly state where and when your recordings can be used. Many beginners are too eager to get their foot in the door that they will sign anything, unknowing to them that a bad contract can slow down their career progression. If you sign a bad contract, you can lose all your rights to your recordings, royalties, and your voiceover recordings could be used by anyone across the globe.
If you find yourself in the position where you do not mind signing away your rights to your recordings, then you must ensure that you receive adequate compensation should such a situation arise.
5. Questionable Clients
While it is important to think twice about working with questionable clients, the question is, how do you spot one? As a voiceover artist, the last thing you want is a voiceover scam hovering over your head, but at the same time, you want to be polite and friendly so that your new client can hire you again.
There are a few ways to protect yourself from problem clients. In the early stages, make sure that they agree to all your terms and conditions.
The terms of the contract must state clearly that they cover everything including your rights, set up electronically, with signed quotations. Visit Voquent to find the perfect client and voiceover agents who are genuinely interested in your voiceover skills.
Voiceover Artist Scams: How To Report Them
Warn your family and friends about these voiceover artist scams by sharing this article on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How To Protect Yourself More
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1 thought on “5 Must-Know Voiceover Artist Cons”
I have been in this industry as a professional voiceover, coach, casting director and producer for more than 30 years now. I’ve coached more than 10,000 talent, and produced more than 5,000 VO demos, and I can honestly count on one hand how many bonafide scams generated by talent agents, or the like. I have witnessed talent who have tried to become the Swiss Army knife of voice talent (in other words, trying to be everything to every one) only to have that blow up in their face.
Best rule of thumb is: stay in your lane. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Under promise and over deliver. And work with the best from the start in order to create the best possible business habits to sidestep stupid mistakes. That said, we ALL make mistakes. Your mission is not to avoid mistakes so much, but to own them and LEARN from them when you make them, bc you will. It’s just a fact of life, pure and simple.