1. Why do we need an organization like WoVO?
WoVO is a 501(c)(6) non-profit international industry trade organization. Our mission is to inform and educate members of the voiceover community and other business professionals about best practices, standards for ethical conduct and professional expertise as it relates to the voiceover industry. We communicate the importance of voice acting to the public and business leaders, affirm the power of professional quality voicing and recording, and inspire through articles and recognition of achievement and excellence. We represent and advocate for the profession and stimulate discussion of the industry through events, social media and websites.
WoVO is run BY voiceover talent FOR voiceover talent. This organization seeks to bring together a membership of peers to help set forth industry standards in terms of rates, best practices and technical studio approval. We advocate for best practices and seek to educate voice seekers about acceptable industry rates. WoVO is a place where peer education and knowledge sharing can take place, and industry trends can be streamlined to benefit both voice talent and clients.
2. What are the benefits of becoming a member?
Members benefit by having access to free educational materials, a mentoring program, a monthly newsletter with industry news, access to a global network of professional voice talent, and studio approval (for a fee). When you become a member, you’re welcomed to the organization by being mentioned in our newsletter, you receive a logo badge to place on your website and email signature, and you can have access to a group of peers who could be part of a meetup group, narrator community, or other groups that can be initiated under the WoVO umbrella.
3. What is involved in the membership application process?
We welcome any voice talent who wishes to become a member. The membership fee is USD $49 per year, with a one-time application fee of USD $25 upon registration the first year. This fee remains the same for any membership category.
Four membership categories exist: Associate, Professional, Industry Partner, and Honorary Member. When you apply to become a WoVO member, the vetting committee reviews your application to see how many paid professional jobs you have completed. A minimum of five paid jobs (at a rate of pay that is at or near the union rates of your country of residence) is required to achieve Professional status. If you do not have those yet, but are working on it, that's OK, we love that you are striving to achieve your voiceover goals through training and coaching. In that case, you will be welcomed as an Associate member, and once you have reached those five paid jobs, you should contact us and ask that we change your membership to Professional. If your involvement in the voiceover industry is on “the other side of the glass” such as a studio owner, coach, publisher, or you provide services or products aimed at voiceover, you will be classified as an Industry Partner. At the Board’s discretion, a member may be voted in as an Honorary Member in recognition of his or her outstanding services to the voiceover industry.
4. How are the annual membership fees spent or allocated?
The annual membership fee that we collect from you is used to pay for website development and maintenance, costs associated with the annual membership conference, liability insurance, administrative costs, printing and advertising, content and webinar development, translation of materials, and presence at trade conferences. The Executive Board members do not receive a salary. They are all volunteers within this non-profit organization, and they also pay for their membership.
5. What is the organization's structure?
WoVO has put in place committees to serve its membership. The Executive Board is composed of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, VP of Technical Standards, VP of Membership, and Board members at large. We also put in place committees that serve particular purposes, such as narrator communities, mentorship, relationship, public relations, technical studio approval, membership, international chapters, etc.
6. What are some of WoVO's recent accomplishments?
Opened up a free-to-use website for our professional members at VoiceOver.biz.
Held our first annual conference (called WoVOCon) in April 2014, our second annual conference in April 2015 and our third in April 2016.
Sponsored other voice over conferences, such as Voice2014, FaffCon, FaffCamp, and VOAtlanta 2015.
Supported several virtual meetup groups including members from all over the USA, as well as members from Israel, Turkey, Australia, and Canada. These groups meet monthly via Skype or Google Hangouts.
Developed resource materials for our members such as a form letter intended for our members to use when responding to 'low-balling' voice seekers, and another for talent to use when submitting an audition, that specifies that the audition not be published or shared without the talent’s approval.
WoVO maintains a library of documents such as industry “Best Practices” and technical standards for recording.
WoVO has also created a letter template that members can use for public relations. The letter mentions their personal value to the client, and explains the value of WoVO to the industry.
WoVO consistently represents the values and positions of voice actors in a widely-arrayed social media outreach, including twice-a-month TwitterChats, and numerous online forums in popular Social Media platforms.
Officers of the Executive Board are consistently at the principal VO gatherings on the calendar to explain the purpose and mission of WoVO and to speak on behalf of the industry, at their own expense.
WoVO develops mentoring services for those seeking guidance as newcomers to VO, as well as peer-to-peer training between pros with different areas of expertise. This member benefit is not meant to replace legitimate coaching, but rather to supplement that training.
7. What ongoing training for the voiceover community is available through WoVO?
As many of our members have expertise in the various disciplines it takes to be successful in voice over, we offer mentorship and educational resources to our members.
Educational resources consist of a library of documents (including both audio and video files) designed to assist the membership in finding answers to specific questions. All areas relating to a member’s voiceover business will be covered, with subject matter pertaining to technical issues, technique advice, and best business practices. Much of this information is available by searching the web, but with one central repository, we can offer the membership a quick way to answer their questions from a reliable source. We will be inviting the membership to submit their own original material.
Mentorship programs will provide brief one-to-one sessions for members. We rely on mentors from within the membership to make a small time commitment to make this work. This is expected to be thirty minutes per month. A pool of mentors with a range of expertise offer individual sessions to those that request help, for example, in a specialist area (should I incorporate?), or a more general one (I need a fresh set of ears on my demo). A scheduling/booking system is in place to manage this.
Apart from supplying advice to other professional members (peer coaching), one of the main aims of the mentor program will be to actively assist our associates to qualify for full professional membership.
8. How often do you release a newsletter?
We release a newsletter to our membership once a quarter. As a member, you are welcome to submit articles and content to help educate others about timely issues in the voiceover industry.
9. Where can I find information on your best practices?
You can find more information on our best practices by clicking here.
10. What are you doing to define industry standards?
Our Technical Standards Committee, composed of recording engineers, producers and experienced voice over talent, has established a set of technical standards for personal voice over studio audio quality. Our Technical Studio Approval program will ensure those who hire these technically-certified WoVO members will be getting the highest possible quality audio. We also work to educate our membership, both by offering continuing advice and peer review to our professional members, to ensure that the latest practices and techniques are available to their clients, and to educate our Associate members in providing professional level voiceover work. Our aim is to raise the bar of sound quality and clarity for any member who asks for assistance.
11. How are you defining rate structures?
WoVO does not offer any advice on rates directly. We do have member resources with pricing guidelines from others around the world, but we do not set rates. We only encourage our members to use professional pricing guidelines and to avoid devaluing our industry by pricing their services too low.
12. How can I participate in new or existing initiatives?
Once you become a member, please e-mail the Executive Board at: email@example.com and we will gladly find a place where you can contribute your time and talents.