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 […]

Success is all in your head – and maybe in the ear of the listener

I have had a bunch of cool things happen in the past year or so. It hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine, but that is what makes life interesting.

Business has been good. I found that balance of marketing, work and another word that starts with “f” – Facebook. No, fun! (OK, maybe both Facebook and fun.) And I think my work has improved too.

A Free-lance Life for Me
For someone who is and always has been risk averse, you might wonder why I chose to be an independent business person where there is no steady paycheck.

Actually, because most of the people who read this blog are voiceover people too – or independent business people – you probably know the answer.

I don’t think I chose it, actually. My first real job was at a TV station in Iowa. I was a part-time graphic artist in the days just before computers and character […]

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 […]

2017-04-20T20:45:46+00:00 June 18th, 2013|Categories: Business, Marketing|Tags: , , , , , , |

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 […]

2017-04-20T20:45:48+00:00 August 21st, 2012|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings, Negotiating|Tags: , |

No complaints…

I am not complaining.

Sure it’s hot. But we haven’ t had the heat that the rest of the country has had this summer. And sure it gets even hotter when I have to turn off the little AC in my studio to actually do some work.

Sure there has been a small plane buzzing over my general neighborhood for the past month or so that interferes with my recording when it is in the Western most part of its loop or grid (it varies from day to day). Since it is a “special” little plane, no one can tell me how long it will be doing whatever it is doing.

Sure my recording tower is acting wonky – and Audition and W2W refuse to work with the Gina card or the onboard sound card – but WILL work with my MicPortPro, so until I can find the right tech to troubleshoot, I […]

2017-04-20T20:45:48+00:00 August 12th, 2012|Categories: Musings|Tags: , , , |

Nurturing the Garden

In my part of the world, the climate allows me to have a garden all year long. Right now I have lettuce, an eggplant, some tomatoes and a perpetual red Swiss Chard that has been growing for about 2 years now.

But a winter garden requires more attention than a summer garden. In fact, it is a mess right now! The lettuce is starting to get a little nibbled and brown at the edges and has never really grown to expectations. For some reason the little purple flowers on the eggplant have not produced anything. It is sturdy, but barren. The tomato vine is brown and the actual fruit gets to a certain redness and then stops. The Swiss Chard seems to bounce back with just a little water…but the size of the leaves get smaller and smaller. Don’t even look at my banana trees, it is simply not banana tree […]

2017-04-20T20:45:51+00:00 January 15th, 2012|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings|Tags: , , |

Priorities – Fun!

My niece (German-American) moved in with me in October. She wanted to see what life is like in the States. And life as I know it has changed forever. Well, OK that is probably a bit more dramatic than it really is, but things sure have changed around here.

The past couple of years I have been watching the balance of personal time and work time change as my mother’s needs have changed. And despite a dramatic uptick in personal time things are going pretty well with things on the work side.

Now, with a wonderfully wacky and semi-wild adult child living with me, my fun time has increased as well. It could be that the fall is filled with opportunities to party. Opportunities that I simply have not taken advantage of for a while.

Has all of this fun time impacted my business?

Yes. New clients every week. Repeat clients coming back with new […]

2017-04-20T20:45:52+00:00 December 20th, 2011|Categories: Business, Musings|Tags: |

In the Online World, Context is King…

It is hard to get any work done these days because you follow links which lead to more links and suddenly you have forgotten what you went online to do in the first place, but it is almost always an interesting distraction. Sometimes pure silliness, sometimes thought provoking, sometimes good for business. I’m always looking for interesting tidbits that will help the bottom line.

One of the mantras of video has been “Content is King.” With the emergence and tsunami of online video, it may be that the context will be driving the dollars.

Today, I was reading a post from MediaPost and it led me to an article called “Context is King: How Videos are Found and Consumed Online” packed with information from a November 2006 study by Bear Stearns Cable and Satellite analyst Spencer Wang called “Why Aggregation & Context and Not (Necessarily) Content are […]

The MacGyver Approach to VO?

A post on a Facebook thread* this morning got me thinking about what you need to start a business. Can you make it in the voiceover business with “duct tape” and creative thinking? Well, not eveyone can be MacGyver. There is a bit more to it than that.

David Cross, a man with natural talent in voiceover and a deep background in marketing and business stated:

…for anyone “starting a business – don’t think you need any investment. It’s easy to get your first sales in through duct tape and creative thinking and use that money to put back into building the business. “Never a borrower nor a lender be.”

To which I too quickly replied in a lame attempt at humor…

I know duct tape is wonderful, but I tried to make a mic with it and failed utterly.

David followed up…

Duct tape is a “metaphor for getting things achieved even though apparent obstacles […]

2017-04-20T20:45:56+00:00 February 6th, 2011|Categories: Business, Marketing, Musings|Tags: , , , |

Head’s You Win – Tail’s You Win

I have missed a bunch of Paul Strikwerda’s blogs recently, but this one caught my eye in an email update on one of my LinkedIn groups.

He postulates that you have to be many things to be a freelancer. Some things are diametric opposites and yet it is often best to do them both. He uses the Ying and the Yang concept.

His first question – should you Specialize or Generalize – big debate about this actually – but his advice – “find your own voice and be flexible” – works for me. Too narrow a focus and you limit yourself and end up doing the same thing over and over. Too broad and you risk being just another nameless faceless cog.

He ended the article with a nice long list of other “contradictions.” My favorites…

  • Be personable and keep things strictly business.
  • Be proud of your accomplishments and stay humble.
  • Be […]
2017-04-20T20:46:00+00:00 July 16th, 2010|Categories: Business|Tags: , |