They are making it harder and harder for regular (Premium) members to audition for, and book jobs.
How does “Voices” do it?
By creating yet another exclusive membership level, limited to a group of very special people who get preferential treatment. But before I get to the new program, let’s talk about the current situation.
As a voice-over blogger and coach, people often share their frustration about voice casting sites with me. One of my students wanted to know: “Why does it seem almost impossible to land a job on a site like voices.com? I pay them $399 per year, and I audition like crazy. This year I have yet to book a single job. What I am I doing wrong?”
I told him: “You might not be the problem. It’s the system that is rigged against you. On purpose.”
“We’re all about empowering you and your voice in this world of opportunities. (…) The Premium membership is designed specifically with the voice-over professional in mind.”
What many “ordinary” voices-members don’t realize, is that they’re being treated like second-rate citizens. Their annual fee does not give them access to all the jobs and exposure the site has to offer. That privilege goes to 100 Platinum members who pay a whopping $2500 each per year.
What does that get you? Supposedly this:
- the highest rankings in the Voices.com search engine
- a one-on-one consultation with your very own Success Manager
- two press releases per year
- being invited to audition for select Professional Services jobs
- Google marketing
- higher directory rankings
- bonus eBooks available for download
- VIP customer service
A GOOD INVESTMENT?
The question is: Is such a membership worth it?
Here’s the problem: no one knows, because we don’t have data that can be independently verified. All we have is anecdotal evidence, and a multitude of marketing messages.
I spoke to one Platinum member who asked to remain anonymous. She said:
“I have auditioned over 700 times in the past 12 months, and have been hired about 16 times. Out of those 700+ auditions, around 270 of them remained ‘closed’ with no action taken.”
By the way, these numbers are purposely vague to make sure the voice talent cannot be identified. What I can reveal is that she more or less broke even. In other words: she made as much as the cost of the Premium membership… by auditioning over 700 hundred times.
Imagine spending all that time trying to land a few jobs, and ending up making no money at all. Is that a good return on investment? Of course this is just one example of one member, so keep an open mind.
A NEW MEMBERSHIP PLAN
Now, are you ready for this?
The same person recently received a new offer from the Canadian company:
“I’m happy to tell you that we’re releasing a new membership called the Platinum Unlimited membership on September 1st, 2015. The Platinum Unlimited membership includes all of the features and benefits of a regular Platinum membership. (…) Additionally, the Platinum Unlimited membeship (sic) will include a Voices.com branding recording that would be provided to clients via email to give you excellent exposure while showing clients how impressive our talent can sound.
Currently, we have a system called VoiceMatch Invitations that controls the number of jobs you’re invited to. With the new Platinum Unlimited membership, we will essentially be turning this off. You will be invited to approximately twice as many public jobs postings. Our original Platinum membership gives you the opportunity to receive more private invitations because of the boost in your search ranking, while the Platinum Unlimited membership will allow you to choose from a larger amount of publicly posted jobs.
The Platinum Unlimited membership will only be available to our Platinum members. As always, we limit the Platinum membership to 100 people. This means that some people will have the Platinum membership, others will upgrade to the Platinum Unlimited membership, but in total between the two memberships we will never exceed 100 members.”
And how much is this Platinum Unlimited membership going to cost you?
How about five thousand dollars?!
No, I’m not kidding.
THE TRUTH COMES OUT
Here’s what I find particularly revealing.
In the invitation above, Voices.com admits that they are purposely controlling the number of auditions members get invited to, and they’re curtailing the number of public jobs their members receive.
The only way to turn that system completely off, is to fork over five grand. As of September 1st, even Platinum members won’t be receiving all the job postings anymore. Remember, Platinum Unlimited members will receive “approximately twice as many public jobs postings.”
With this move, Premium members are relegated to a third tier position, making it even harder for them to compete with colleagues who get preferential treatment.
Talk about stacking the cards against you!
Let’s briefly look at a few other perks a Platinum and Platinum Unlimited plan have to offer. First off, there’s the highest voices.com search engine ranking, and higher directory ranking.
This whole spiel about increased search engine ranking sounds very much like the snake oil sales people who are inundating my inbox with ridiculous claims and outrageous offers: “For only $500 a month we can get your website a top ranking on Google!” Everyone knows it’s bogus.
But let’s assume the creative minds at Voices can manipulate their search engine to give the Platinum & Platinum Unlimited members top spots. What this means is that neither competence nor experience matters if you want clients to see your name first. It’s all about how much you pay.
In the world of Voices.com, money trumps talent. It’s a clear indicator of where their priorities are.
ARE YOU A VOICES-VIP?
Secondly, only Platinum and Platinum Unlimited members will receive VIP customer service, whatever that means.
I don’t know about you, but I teach my students to treat every client like a VIP, regardless of how much they’re paying. Why?
Because it is the right thing to do.
I believe these overpriced Platinum programs are a slap in the face of all the regular paying members who expect to get a fair shot at booking voice-over jobs. What’s more, these schemes are only guaranteed to fill the coffers of Voices.com.
So, if you are in any way tempted to go Platinum Unlimited, take a moment and think of all the things you could do with 5K that would help your business right now.
This is five thousand dollars YOU control, and not some greedy company in Canada.
I wonder what they will come up with next.
Paul Strikwerda ©nethervoice
PS Be sure to read the follow-up story, and find out how colleagues and clients respond: Voices.com: Unethical and Greedy?