Its the weekend here in Sunny Cairo and I figured I’d give a few of you the heads up on finding some work through a couple of freelance sites that I know get some low paying but regular work. The term Freelancing originally came from the medieval sport of jousting where those Lancers with no allegiances to any of the Royal and noble houses would hire themselves out to lords with no budget to finance a full time Jousting champion (you’ll have to verify this info… I heard it through someone)
1. Get A Freelancer- http://www.getafreelancer.com/
2. Odesk – http://www.odesk.com/
Allot of you might already be aware of these sites so you guys can skip this posting.
For those of you who have never heard of them … they are free to register and their payment methods are a little different.
Odesk is by far the more professional of the two … basically because they are designed to cater more toward the IT world than the voice over world… but with the growing demand for Voice Over work in Multimedia presentations as well as elearning websites and video games the world of Information Technology and need for different forms of Acting Talent are becoming entangled and intertwined … which isn’t bad for us at all!
oDesk has a lengthy registration process and will require that you pass a few courses (just to make sure that your IQ is sufficient to satisfy their customer base.. don’t worry they’ll take 5 or so minutes to pass) Get A Freelancer is Faaaaaaaaaaar more lax so you’ll be up and running using their system alot sooner and with alot less hassle.
Many of the job listings that come through those sites are low paying and both sites are bidding based but at this stage of economic destitute some people can do with any work they can get.
The reason why I showcased these two specific sites is because I was able to register with them and have indeed been getting work postings for Voice Over work for the past 6 months now… So they are tried and tested. I haven’t been able to land jobs through them… but maybe you guys will have better luck.
While researching for this post I stumbled on a “Monster List” of freelance Sites… many of these are for Designers and programmers… but some might help you get a Voice Job here and there.
The other thing is… if you can’t find voice over work and you have a mortgage to pay or you have living expenses that Voice work is just not paying… then you might be able to find an alternative work arrangement until things get better… whether your day job is copy writing, programming or translating… here is the list:
Of course I am talking to a group of people who don’t have the cultural restrictions that might make you feel that there are certain jobs that are beneath you.
When I first immigrated to Canada the idea of working outside my field was out of the question… I spent 4 years in Egypt’s top Foreign Language University to work as a menial worker or in Data processing. In my culture that is a major faux pas.
But after spending 6 months going from Advertising agency to advertising agency and constantly hearing the words “Sorry you don’t have any Canadian work experience… we can’t hire you” It dawned upon me that desperate times call for desperate measures… and I finally snapped and said to hell with cultural bias… I need to pay the rent.
Of course the idea of Canadian work experience is ludicrous and very xenophobic… I just got off the plane you moron how could I possibly have Canadian work experience ? anyway maybe I’ll chronicle my adventures in the Great White North some other time… but in the end I went to a temp agency and found work as a Furniture mover.
I worked for 16 hours a day at below minimum wage and paid the rent and lost weight … and gained a crap load of muscle. After 2 months as a furniture mover I got a call from a company called Aquent and they hooked me up with some Design jobs and a much higher paying bracket.
When I say jobs that are beneath you btw I don’t mean things like pimping and prostitution… or exotic dancing… I’m talking about honest jobs like busing tables and security guards… Don’t sell your soul or your principles.
Me and the community are here to help you in whatever way we can.
Time to go tickle my daughter 🙂
I’m with Odesk and Getafreelancer, and to be totally honest, I was flabbergasted by the ultra-low bids that were made by people calling themselves professional voice-overs. Call me arrogant, but I take myself too seriously to even start considering a 30 minute job for $25. If all of us give in to these insanely low rates, we are responsible for eroding the market from within. And should the economy eventually pick up, don’t believe for a moment that the rates will increase accordingly.
Take my advice and do not sell yourself short. It’s not good for your self-respect, and it’s not very collegial either.
In the middle ages, freelancers fought one another, while the organizers of the tournament watched and had the last laugh. Very often, both knights in shining armor got away, wounded for life. Some of them did not survive the horrors of the battlefield.
Today we fight our battles on a different stage. Companies and corporations consistently low ball our work, and encourage a bidding war (while laughing all the way to the bank). I don’t blame anyone for playing that game. We all got to pay the bills. But accepting jobs at an insultingly low rate, will eventually make it harder for all of us to pay those bills.
You’re worth a lot more than what some sites are willing to offer you. Be a knight in shining armor and take what’s rightfully yours!
See, Taj, this is why I like you so much. You don’t sell out. Well said! And what a wonderful service you provide to us by researching all of these great sites and sharing it with the flock.
There is a profound difference between arrogance as opposed to respecting your talent and understanding that you are worth more.
You are not arrogant to realize that your talent is worth more than $25. That’s self-respect more than anything else.
And the client needs to respect you and us enough to recognize what we are giving them.
I agree with you 100% that we should not lowball ourselves. I have made that mistake, not in VO, but in other jobs I have held. When I graduated (right into a recession), the only job I and my fellow grads could get were minimum wage jobs! That was a real slap in the face, because after all that time, money, and hard work to get through school, there seemed to be no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Talk about frustration!
The biggest problem with this is that you actually come to believe that that is all you are worth. What’s worse is when you apply for other jobs and they see your previous income they say, “Well, if you were willing to work for $8/hour for them, that’s all we’ll offer you too.” And you get stuck in a vicious cycle.
It’s worse for women because employers think we don’t actually need to make a “living wage.” They figure we have boyfriends/husbands who are supporting us, and therefore they don’t need to pay us what they would pay men who are responsible for supporting families. (How do I know this? I actually had an employer who said it outright!)
When I started my own little business doing freelance work, I was commanding up to $50/hour – and no one batted an eye. I established my worth and everyone I provided my services to was extremely satisfied, so I went from $8/hour to $35/hour and then to $50/hour!
I learned a very important lesson here: if you lowball yourself, so will everyone else! If YOU don’t believe you are worth more, (and you know yourself better than anyone knows you), why should anyone else think you are worth more?
The moral of the story is this: Believe in yourself, know what you are worth, research what others doing comparable work are being paid, and demand the respect and pay you deserve!
You have earned it and you should have it!
These indeed are difficult times. The economy is in an unprecedented free fall…at least in my memory; and I’ve lived through two previous recessions.
I can certainly empathize with the dutchman. I participate in a few freelance sites and have earned a fair amount on one of them. I don’t mind doing discount work for some of these buyers. Especially if they’re small, honest business people trying to plow ahead just like most of us. As a result, I’ve managed to engender quite a few close business relationships from which I glean repeat work. However, many more of these buyers are purely predatory beasts, using the reverse auction feeding frenzy template to steal deals.
On the periphery I am concerned about continued participation in these modalities eroding the overall value of our profession. As more and more buyers, and artists venture in, it can only lead to further erosion. But when the bills come do, you do what you have to do.
However, what is forefront in my mind is how I wind up feeling about myself when I do one of these gigs. Yeah, I can rationalize, that at least in these challenging times, I’m meeting my obligations to my family. But still, I can’t help push back this growing feeling of self erosion. And when you feel cheap…you attract cheap.
Just today I was offered a highly labor intensive project for a ridiculously low rate. It would certainly pay the grocery bill for a couple of weeks. But after a little research, I discovered this particular buyer won’t accept less than $5,000 plus expenses for a speaking engagement; I stopped short.
So, I wrote back and politely declined the offer saying that while I could certainly meet or exceed her requirements, It simply wasn’t cost effective for me at this time.
Sometimes you just have to say, “No.”
Comments are closed.