It’s always sad when a relationship ends. Personal relationships are the worst to get over but even business relationships sometimes can be as upsetting when over.
I used to have an agent in Denmark… they have offices in the UK but their base is in Denmark. When I first got my voiceover business online they were the first people I contacted and the first to give me some good feedback regarding sound quality and delivery.
I remember back then the sound engineer in charge was a brilliant guy called Jacob.
Jacob has since left that agency and gone on to bigger and hopefully better things. But for the past 2 years these guys have sent me work relatively steadily. My agent in charge had left to live in Copenhagen with her boyfriend and a new set of people where placed in charge of me.
The Break Up
During the past 2 years a few things had happened that bothered me. First they had changed their payment policy from payment upon receiving the invoice to net 60… they skipped net 15, net 30, net 45 and went straight to 60. Blamed it on the economic situation and how that SOB Madoff had made our global collective lives hell.
At the time they were a lucrative source of work so I had no option but to say … fine. I hated it to be honest… I hated the fact that they forced this upon me… that by the time my payments came through I had forgotten for what job I had done them for… but hey I’m a professional… these things happen.
A few months after they changed their policy I got an accidental email from one of their agents telling me not to forget to add my paypal fees to the total so they can expedite the payment. The email was supposed to go to someone else.
Wait? So you guys did that? But you never told me that! So now I knew that you can request that your client pay for those transfer fees if this is their preferred method of payment. They said that was not our agreement with you so we will not be adding transfer fees to the total.
Today one of the new handlers contacted me telling me that unless I standardize my payments to their system that they would take me off their roster of talent.
By this time it had become clear to me that losing these guys as a client wasn’t going to be such a bad thing.
I still remember that their initial agreement with me stated that their recommended talent would make at least 10,000 euro annually.
I never made that… at best I might have made 1/4 of that so either these guys are making stuff up or they weren’t really marketing me as well as they said they would.
So today when I got their email telling me that I either change my rates or ship out… I decided its time to leave.
What Does This Mean?
Well it could mean a number of things:
- They are facing more competition from other voiceover casting sites
- They are trying to improve their bottom line
- They want to cut some of the more expensive voice talent from their roster
- They want to establish a uniform payment method for all talent.
All valid reasons… but if all these reasons are targeted toward benefiting them and none of them toward improving my life then we have come to an impasse and it is time to say goodbye.
The Next Steps
I’m not the kind of person that burns bridges. Which is why I didn’t put that company’s name in this blog post… We have agreed that if I decide that their reduced rates work for me that I only had to contact them and they would put me back on their “Recommended” list.
And I have also told them that if they are stuck for an Arabic Voiceover Artist… that they know where to find me.
Having said that … it seems like this is more of a mutual… don’t call us… we’ll call you situation.
The time has come for me to find some new agents. Which means that I have to wipe off the dust from my communication skills and start going through my list of 243+ casting sites directory (https://www.voiceemporium.com/directory) and start emailing these people … maybe even redo my commercial, narration and corporate voice demos.
Taking It For Granted
All things change… and as such we must change with them. It was wrong of me to stop looking for new agencies to represent me in new locals. It was lazy and unprofessional.
Then again I did start a new voiceover business during that period (http://www.vopavilion.com) and that does take a chunk of my time.
I think that breaking up with this agent is a good thing… at the least… it means that I don’t have to knuckle down to their draconian demands and it means I am free to seek out new voice agencies and agree with them on a rate card I am content with.
The future is bright… and its time to move on.
You scared the crap out of me with that headline!!! I thought you were writing to say good bye to loyal readers like me. That you were not going to blog anymore.
My hands were shaking as I move the mouse to open your post…maybe he’s just too busy with vopavilion, I thought. Maybe he’s run out of things to say… nah, that can’t be!!
Thanks goodness it was only a bit of business turmoil. The VO world would not be the same without you and all that you do.
And don’t scare me like that again, huh? I’m a little too old to have my heart skipping a beat 🙂
Love ya’ Taji.
Doug My Friend,
My apologies for the unintended drama. I considered other titles… like “The Parting of ways” and “When to split when someone is trying to take advantage of you” but the first was too Lord of The Rings and the second was just too long.
Although I haven’t been writing as often as I used to … I am still very much here and observing the industry. Recently my day job has involved me with a huge project that demands about 110 % of my time… and as we get closer to the launch of our new project… I have less and less time to blog and contemplate the VO industry.
Hopefully with the launch this coming few weeks I will start having a little more time for myself and a little less work related stress.
And Doug… regardless of whether I do or don’t blog… you’re both my countryman … and my friend 🙂
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