Are you an Independent Contractor? Maybe. Maybe not.

Connie at KCOE-FM Early radio days – KCOE-FM. Their tools, their schedule. MY MIX!

If you are not being paid W2 wages, then you may fall into the category of self-employed, freelance, or independent contractor. Or, you may simply be being paid incorrectly. If this is the case, then don’t be surprised when the red flag goes up and the IRS comes knocking.

The Business Dictionary defines independent contractor this way…(I added the bold.)

Self-employed person (architect, consultant, engineer, etc.) who provides certain services to a second-party called the principal (or client or owner), or to a third-party on behalf of the client. An independent contractor is not under the control, guidance, or influence of the client and, unlike an employee, does not owe a fiduciary duty. The client neither deducts the payroll (or the withholding) taxes from payments to the independent contractor, […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00 October 24th, 2015|Categories: Business, Marketing|

Won a Media Award Lately?

There are a plethora of global media communications awards competitions, as well as many more local and regional competitions each year. Why do people enter?

Well, when they win, it could be for the marketing benefits – letting your clients and potential clients know that you produce high quality work. It could be that awards competitions touch our deep-seated need to be admired and respected by our peers. Social Media has jumped on board the award bandwagon and sites such as LinkedIn have special areas in your profile where you can list your awards.

If you know that something you have produced is truly fabulous, entering it in a competition could pay back the entry fee in PR. And if your clients are anything like my clients, they love the fact that your work for them is recognized as top notch.

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00 August 12th, 2015|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , , |

Social Media (read – Facebook) Time Management

Facebook screen shotManaging our time online is taking more and more time. Facebook especially. I know I am missing some posts – and getting posts that I would rather not see. Combine that with all of the designed to grab you Suggested Posts, and I am overwhelmed.

No one really knows the answers, but there are a few “experts” who may be able to help. One of them was just “introduced” to me through a post thread by my friend J.S. Gilbert. His name is Robert Scoble and is touted as a Tech Evangelist. He has a regular blog (not a “regular” blog, but a social media blog to which he posts regularly) called Scobleizer – so if you are not on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, then you are out of luck. (This position raises another issue that I need to contemplate […]

2018-02-06T06:48:05+00:00 August 6th, 2015|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , , |

Marketing. It’s part of the job.

Most small businesses struggle with balancing time. How much time you spend working vs. how much time you spend seeking the work. There is no magic formula, but you have to be aware of the fact that no matter how talented you are, if no one knows about it, you won’t have a business very long.

That means marketing what you have to sell to the people who want to buy it. global plug

Putting up a website and just hoping people find you is simply not going to happen. My business is global and as each day passes and more and more people buy domain names and throw up websites, it becomes harder and harder to get the right eyes on you and what you offer. Even if you throw a lot of money into SEO, there are larger companies out there using the […]

2018-02-06T06:48:07+00:00 May 17th, 2015|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , |

June Came and June Went…

What the heck just happened? The month of June just sort of disappeared in a vortex of VO work. Which is a good thing, but makes it hard to find the time to compose something interesting, relevant or amusing as a blog post.

And that is the goal of keeping a blog – at least as I understand it.

My class blog is easier to keep up to date, but can become a tad boring and even repetitive for people who are not active students in the class. If there was a way to filter OUT the homework assignments, and only keep the interesting videos and articles that would be different, but I haven’t figured out a way to do that yet.

One of the things I talk to my introduction to voice acting students is that just because you are hired to record […]

A Plan for the Future

I think I have mentioned it before, but I have never really planned anything significant in my life. It has been one foot in front of the other with common sense, curiosity and initiative forging a steady yet unexpected path.

Last year, my new year’s resolution was to start to plan. By that I didn’t mean a business plan or a marketing plan, though I am constantly reminded by my compadres, blogs, experts that I should probably do that – especially a marketing plan.

No, it meant planning to meet people for dinner, or the movies, or a dinner party. Yes, that basic people kind of planning. My usual MOO (method of operation) is to be hard a work doing whatever I do all day and suddenly look up at the clock and realize that it is about 4 PM and wouldn’t it be nice to go out to dinner with someone? […]

2018-02-06T06:48:08+00:00 December 29th, 2013|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings|

I Have 3 Lawn Mowers and 5 Mics

Scattered in the storage area behind the garage are three (yes, I said 3) lawn mowers. Two gas mowers and an electric mower. None of them work. Well, one can be coaxed into mowing, if you know the secret sequence of events that involves lots of starter fluid sprayed in the spark plug socket and the carburetor in just the right order. Only one person knows how to do that.

I should probably get rid of all three of them and get one that works right the first time you yank on the starter.

I have two weed whackers. One is gas powered and I don’t think that one works. The battery operated whacker works, but not for very long on a charge. That one I got on Craig’s List.

I had a couple of loppers to cut the branches off the fig tree every year in August when the figs have turned […]

2018-02-06T06:48:08+00:00 December 1st, 2013|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings, Negotiating, Recording, Technology|

Software – One of the Great Money Monsters

How much money have you spent on software that ends up gathering dust (anyone have a good computer reference?) because it just didn’t really work the way you wanted it to work? I can’t pinpoint the $ exactly (they told me there wouldn’t be any math in voiceovers), but I know that I have purchased lots of software that I stopped using in frustration.

As an aside, because I have always been an early adopter of technology, I have been asking software to do more than it was designed to do since about 1987. I spent hours on the phone with the developer of a piece of writing software working with him to make it possible to write a dual column script and keep the video and audio tracking together. When Word came along and with it the table function, all was right with the world, but it simply wasn’t possible […]

2018-02-06T06:48:14+00:00 June 18th, 2013|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , , , , , , |

Voice Actors – are we stepping out from the shadows?

A friend sent me a link to an article published by CNN.com about voice actors (mostly cartoon voice actors) getting more recognition now because of the Internet. The fan base is increasing. Which makes sense. These famous A-lister voiceover actors – were mostly unknown for the most part, until the Internet. We’re not talking about the movie stars who have transitioned to animation, but the voice actors who stay mostly behind the mic, not the lens. And if they do appear on-camera, it is usually a character role.

The article focused mostly on voices like Frank Welker, Seth McFarlane, and Peter Cullen. One quote caught my eye – from Frank Cullen…

“The respect level (for voice acting) is climbing and climbing faster than it ever did before in the last few years. The studios are recognizing they don’t have to hire a big name actor. People don’t know […]

2018-02-06T06:48:15+00:00 November 3rd, 2012|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings|

The Value of a Voiceover

Just what does it take to be successful as a voice talent in 2012? Treat it like a business. (This of course, assumes that you have some talent to start with.)

The Internet has changed what we do in many significant ways. It has 1) increased the number of people offering their services as voice talent (whether they should be or not), 2) cut out the middle man in casting (the people who know the value of voiceover), and because of a lack of truly understanding that this is a business like any other business it has 3) driven rates down down down.

Many people just getting started fail to see the big picture. Sure, the come on for so many of the endless voiceover classes screams “make $300 an hour,” but … can you live on one hour every few months?

One recent discussion centered on whether $25 per hour was a […]

2018-02-06T06:48:15+00:00 August 21st, 2012|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings, Negotiating|Tags: , |