Wait, WHAT? Budget is not a curse word! It’s a term that we should all become comfortable with using frequently. All clients have budgets to work with and we should get used to getting them to talk about it. Remember, this is not a hobby that we are doing for free – this is our business! Since money is a necessity that all people in business have to deal with on a daily basis, it should not be an uncomfortable topic that we try to avoid when speaking with our clients. Based on responses that have been gathered from conversations held with other voice talents, we all get a little reluctant sometimes when it comes to asking a client about their budget and even more so when it comes time to discuss our rates with them! How can this hurdle on the track towards closing a deal be effectively overcome?

First, when it comes to a project, you never want to over sell or under sell your client. The only way that this can be accomplished is if they have informed you of their budget beforehand. This is why it is imperative that you always want to get them to the point of discussing their budget with you. Otherwise, you more than likely will not get the results that you are looking for. For example, if your client sends you a 10-page script and you immediately give them a rate off the top of your head, you are taking a huge risk that could only be of benefit to the client. How so? They would either be joyful because you have made their selection process a lot easier by removing yourself from their list or because you just gave them the deal of a lifetime that would end up costing you more than what you’ll make from doing the job!

Just the other day, a client sent me a 3-page script for a narration. Since I wanted to ensure that I gave her a fair and friendly rate, I politely asked her about the budget set for the voiceover. To my surprise, it turned out that her budget was about $500 MORE than I was originally going to quote her. Of course, you don’t want to come back and say, “Sure that sounds about right!” However, you can certainly come close.

Unfortunately, it does not always work out this way. Sometimes, the client’s budget is far lower than what you were going to quote them. At that point, it is up to you whether or not you want to work within that budget. Many blogs have been created (including some of my own) that have been focused on lowball rates. If you haven’t done so already, it is recommended for you to read over those articles and educate yourself on this so that you can be further prepared whenever these types of situations arise.

We all need to work, but it is also important for us to try to set and maintain the standards for fair and reasonable rates in this industry. Therefore, please be careful when agreeing to do a 5-page script for only $50.

“Budget” is not a dirty word. Get used to the word and implement it into your daily vocabulary! Our clients are comfortable with talking about money for their business, so we need to be just as comfortable (if not more) with talking about money for our own.