A Lot of eLearning Trends In 2020
Whether it’s because of the Covid 19 Pandemic or the industry just continues to boom, there is more eLearning work than ever! The demand for female voice over roles is continual, and as a full-time professional voice actor, every time an eLearning job arrives in my inbox I am delighted. I have always loved working with the instructional designers and project managers to bring their content to life. Before I became a voice actor, I was a teacher, so perhaps that it was I feel so at home with this genre. At the moment, there is a huge amount of eLearning content and based on the work coming in I have noticed a lot of trends in the type of work being sought, rates, tech needs, and what books the work. If you are looking to expand your eLearning bookings or to work more in this genre, these are questions you should be asking:
What gets your foot in the door with eLearning content creators?
You need a solid demo that represents both a range of your abilities and your understanding of the industry. My vocal range is from teen to middle age, and that is demonstrated in my eLearning demo, which goes from tech industries to pharma to medical. My demo switches gears from upbeat and engaging to serious and professional. My demo is set to music, which is controversial is often eLearning is dry. I wanted my demo to standout and by pleasant to listen to, and I believe it meets that goal.
What are you typically asked for when cast in an eLearning role?
It has been a while since I was cast as a generic third person narrator in eLearning. Instead, for the last sic months, ever booking to land on my desk is a character role, where the instructional designer wants an authentic, genuine role that is believable for their training. For example, this week I was cast as a college student who had gone down the wrong path and had a drug problem and was now in recovery. I had to be sensitive and relatable. It had to be believable. I was telling this girl’s story in this university’s training scenario. Last week I was a caller in a pay roll company’s HR training. I was the good caller this time, but in the past I’ve been the bad caller. In both instances the character had to be believable, authentic, and sincere. As a female eLearning narrator, this is a big responsibility: to continue booking work for clients you have to be able to switch gears and maintain whatever character you are playing for them that day. The character must be consistent throughout and must have nuance.
What Rates are you booking at?
Rates are really important. My bookings typically range between $0.25/word and $0.45/word with a $150 minimum and $1 per split. I charge for splits if there are more than 10. I prefer to quote the price per word and not per finished minute as I speak quickly. Last week I had a potential client reach out and ask me if I was on Upwork. I told them I was not. They wanted to know if I would honor Upwork’s rates, and I explained that at this point in my career I could not work for those rates. I then referred the client to GVAA and Gravy for The Brain, in hopes of keeping the conversation going. They did come back to me that if they had flexibility they would let me know, but in the mean time it is important to be willing to walk away. The next day I had a job come in that was 617 words and paid of $400. It is important never to settle.
What technological requests do you get from clients?
Most typically, my eLearning clients want MP3s that are split and fully edited. I typically add EQ, compression, and a d-esser. If you are booking eLearning work for big companies, it is expected that you should have a professional grade studio at this point. Especially because they often do not have music or effects behind their training, the quality of the audio that you provide matters more than ever.
There is a lot of eLearning work for voice actors at the moment. If you intend to be booking it, you need to have great sound and be able to maintain a character consistently for the duration of the script. Your demo gets you in the door, but if you can’t sound as good as that on every single job, then you are not ready to work.