My client and student, Tom, wrote me recently. He was wondering about giving an agent a commission, even when you book the job himself.
Great question. Here’s the answer.
Actually, let me show you what he wrote:
I was hoping you can give me some advice on how to handle booking work on my own vs. through my agent.
If I book new work on my own with a client I’ve worked with before I met my agent, what’s the best way to make sure my agent gets the commission? (I’m assuming here that I am obligated to give my agent 10% for voice work I do, regardless of weather or not I book the job through them.)
Do I do the job and bring in a check to the agency after I get paid, or have the producer pay me through the agency – like what would happen if I booked a job through them? Would my agent care that they didn’t get a chance to negotiate on my behalf?
And how would this apply if I book work through ACX or Voice 123?
This is my first agent. I’ve only been with them a short time and want to maintain a good relationship with them. Likewise, I don’t want to sour any relationships I have with the clients I’ve built relationships with over the years.
Thanks for your wisdom!
Here’s what I told him: just talk with them about how they’d like to handle it. They will be very useful in closing deals you shake out – and can often get you more money.
I find a lot of my clients are somewhat gunshy to talk to their agents about…practically anything. Remember, they work for you. Keep that relationship healthy, active and open. Don’t go silent, and don’t go the other way, and overburden them with calls about how the day’s going, did they put you up for blah-blah-blah – don’t do that.
But…make sure you can have conversations about money.
That’s why they do what they do.
What’s the most difficult conversation you’ve had with your agent? (Mine was when I left to go to another agency. I didn’t expect that level of violence.) Let me know below in the comments.