|Posted by frankjamesbailey on March 26, 2018 at 8:10 PM||comments (0)|
Since tax day, April 15th, is right around the corner. (April 15 also happens to be my birthday!!) I thought I’d give a few pointers for what I use as a tax write off for my business. After all, I love to doing what I do for a living (being a voice actor AND a writer) but this IS a business. And even though for the most part I stay in my studio voicing projects all day or writing, I do go out sometimes for meetings, comic cons, book stores and office supplies. So here are some tips.
Ok, first things first…I’m NOT A CPA!! I don’t know taxes. I have someone do my taxes for me. But, I’ve been doing this VO thing (and writing thing) for a while now and I believe I know what I can and can’t write off for my business. So here’s my advice. (For what it’s worth)
For the most part, if you’re in the voiceover business, you should already know that if you join wa Pay 2 Play site like V123 or VoiceRealm (and many more like them) the money you invest into these web sites is a tax write off. (I don’t use these sites anymore but if you do, you can use it as a business expense.)
I’m sure you also know that if you buy any new equipment for your business (like a new microphone or speakers) you can not only write off the expenses of what you bought but you can also write off the miles that you used in your car to GET there!
I sometimes go to Ad Club and Chamber of Commerce meetings in my local area to meet new people who might want to use my voice for a commercial or for other things. To go to a business luncheon or a meeting (or to join these groups) cost money. That’s a tax write off! Plus, the miles you use in your car to get there is a tax write off too.
If you go to a new business in town and pass your business card to them in hopes that they might want to buy your voice for a radio or TV commercial then the miles you used to get there is a tax write off. Of course, if they DON’T buy from you then you might have a hard time proving that you actually went there. So my tax guy advises not to write off to many of these, unless they actually become a new client of yours!
Also, simple things like buying paper for your printer, pens and paper clips is also a tax write off if you use them for your business. Don’t forget, the miles you had to drive to get to the store to buy these things.
As for my writing career, if I buy a table at a comic con, that‘s a write off. Also the miles it takes to go there too. If I get a free table at a comic book store or book store I can still write off the miles it takes to get there.
I can also write off the hotel costs too.
If I by a new computer that will be used for writing and for my voice actor career, that’s a write off. If I by virus protection for my computer, that’s a write off.
I’m sure you get the idea by now.
These are some of the few things that I use as a tax write off in my business.
If you’re in the voice over business, do you know of any more things a voice actor can write off? Maybe there are a few things that some of us didn’t know about.
I hope to hear your input on this before my birthday…ah, I mean tax day!
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on November 25, 2017 at 1:55 PM||comments (1)|
Facebook Fan Page vs Profile pages
I have had a Facebook profile page since 2008. Back then I was mostly using MySpace so I wasn’t as active on Facebook as I am today. That soon changed in 2009 when I began to shift and post more content on my Facebook profile page.
Not too long after that I also created a Facebook “LIKE“ page (a business page) for voice acting. If you want to LIKE my page go here:
I have posted at least 1 thing on this page every day for a while now. Videos, pictures, throwback Thursday…you get the idea. Currently over 700 people have liked my page. The problem is, no matter what I post or who is reading my posts not many people comment or engage with me.
Is it good to have a LIKE page? Yes.
Every single one of Facebook tools is set up to favor businesses via Pages, not profiles.
• Pages are public and profiles are layered with privacy settings.
• Pages can boost posts, profiles can’t.
• Pages have analytics and intelligence measurement, profiles don’t
On the other hand I know several people who use their regular facebook profile as their “page”. A few Hollywood stars like voice actress Tara Strong (who has 5,000 friends and over 44,000 followers) John Wesley Ship (Jay Garrick on the TV show The Flash) he has 5,000 friends and over 17,000 followers and finally I know of a small town local radio DJ named Kevin Sandler at WCSM who has 5,000 friends and almost 10,000 followers.
For the record, it is it better to be “friends” with someone on Facebook then just a follower. The biggest problem with only using your profile is you can only have 5,000 friends. You can get as many followers as you want but your friends top out at 5,000. That’s where a facebook LIKE page comes in. You can have millions of people like your Facebook page. The problem is, unless you’re a HUGE celebrity like Katy Perry, it cost money to run “ads” to make sure people know about your page. It doesn’t cost anything to maintain a simple Facebook profile.
My facebook profile URL is this:
As you can see, my personal page is very different from my “like” page. I had to add the words – Voice Actor – on my "like" page so people would know the difference between that page and my personal page.
Well, after being on Facebook for over 10 years I now have over 2,000 friends and about 100 followers. I have over 2,200 members of my Tercona fan club Facebook group! Of course, that has nothing to do with voice acting. (Groups are better then like pages but I'll get to why in just a minute.) After 10 years of having my “official” voice acting page – Frank James Bailey Voice Actor - I see that it is going nowhere.
So starting in 2018 I will mostly be using my facebook profile as my MAIN page from now on. The URL is easy(www.facebook.com/FrankJamesBailey) and I set it up so new people can follow me.
I will post “something” on my voice acting LIKE page every so often just so it's not dormant but I don’t want to put a lot of work into maintaining it since I already have a Facebook profile page with more followers than the "like" page.
Besides, I can use my regular Facebook page to cover my career as a voice actior AND a writer!
For the record, I do have a Facebook LIKE page for Tercona too. It is this:
However, I have found the same problem with this like page as did with my voice acting page. NOBODY makes comments or engages. It has over 1,600 likes.
My Tercona fan club group…wow, that’s a whole different ball of wax. Fans post their own Tercona artwork, they respond to posts, I get more engagement in the group AND I have over 2,200 members in this group!
Please join my Tercona fan club facebook group here:
I have found that groups are WAY better then like pages but I can’t have a “group” for my voice acting. I’m not that popular of a voice actor and nobody knows me.
My fans sure do like Tercona though!
Thank you for understanding.
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on October 10, 2017 at 3:00 PM||comments (0)|
Should you ever turn down or turn away voice work?
The old saying is…you should NEVER turn away a voice job! But I disagree. Here’s why…
What if the job isn’t for you?
I recently got an invitation to audition for a radio commercial on a freelance site. They wanted a guy who could read the script in Spanish! I don’t speak Spanish…let alone read it! I Turned that job down!
What if the price is too low?
I was also recently offered a job way below my usually rate. Now for the record, I am willing to negotiate a little but if you charge $50 for an explainer video VO job are willing to go down to $10 for just this one time? If youi are you can be sure that client will ALWAYS want you for only $10! I’m not going to do a LOT of work for a little bit of money! I Turned that job down.
What if you’re unavailable?
Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks? Most of us are going to spend time with friends and family. I’m sure your clients are too. Some clients…need you available 24 / 7! I usually let my clients know when I’m going out of town.
Are you sick?
I’ve only had to turn down a voice job twice in the past 7 years because I was sick. Only twice because this client needed their job done today and my voice did not sound the way is usually did. The other times I was sick I got lucky. My clients waited until I got better to finish the job.
To answer the question, should you ever trun away VO work? I say yes - t is OK to turn VO work away...sometimes.
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on August 22, 2017 at 7:45 PM||comments (0)|
Where Will You Be In 10 Years?
Almost every employer asks you that question. Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? Well, let’s back this up a bit and reverse it!
Where were you 10 years ago? Or what were you doing 5 or 10 years ago? (That would be 2007) and did you see yourself being where you are NOW back then?
For me, it’s like this. 10 years ago this month (August of 2007) I was living in Van Wert, OH. I was working the morning show 6 – 10am at a radio station. I was walking / running & working out everyday. I was in the best physical shape of my life. 200 lbs and solid!
My daughter was just over 6 months old and my wife Amy and I had been marred a little over a year. At that time (10 years ago) life was easy and things were great.
If someone were to ask me back then, “Were do you see yourself in 10 years?” I would have NEVER in a million years have said, “Hmm…I see myself working from home as a full time voice actor and I will also publish 2 books by then too.” Yea…I would have never crossed my mind back then. Well, the seeds of voice acting were in my head but not as a full time working from home voice actor…know what I mean?
Anyway, I know that question is just a goal question. What employers SHOULD ask is, “What are your planes for the future?”
MY plans for the future are this...I would love to voice cartoons, any kind of animation character (villains would be nice but it doesn’t really matter) I would love to voice a video game character or an anime character would be cool too! I would LOVE to have Tercona be animated into a cartoon within 5 years! 10 years is a long tern goal. After all I know these things take time.
If someone were to ask me right now, “Were do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?” (2027) I would honestly have to tell them….
...I have NO clue!
So how about it? Where were you 5 or 10 years ago and did you see yourself being where you are NOW back then?
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on August 5, 2017 at 8:30 AM||comments (2)|
Nothing happens, unless you make a connection!
My best friend who owns an audio body shop told me some great advice. Nothing happens unless you make a connection.
What he means is, there is no way you’re ever going to do business with ANYONE unless you make some sort of a connection first!
Remember this simple rule, it takes 7 – 12 touches (or connections) before a business will remember you. So you have to think of different ways to connect with your clients that will not look like spam or sound pushy.
Here are few connecting tips.
1 - I start by liking there business facebook page or by subscribing to their YouTube page and making a comment on a video. These are small non-pushy connections and these days it's better to create a personal connection then to just say right away "Hey, let's do business." When ever someone sends me an an email and says "Have a deal for you" I deleate it right away.
Anyway, making a comment makes my connection more personal. It gets my foot in the door. I do this all the time. This way they SEE my name, Frank James Bailey, when I post a comment on their video. If they want to look me up…they can.
2 - In about a week I’ll make ANOTHER connection by commenting on another NEW post or video.
3 – By week 3 I usually send them an email introducing myself. This will work very well if the company responded to the comments I made. (You see why I said like and comment first!)
4 – In week 4 I’ll make another comment on a post or video again. This way if they didn’t get my email they should know my name by now. After all, I’ve made a few comments on their posts.
5 – By the 5th week (or 5th connection) I’m sending out an email again.
6 – In the 6th week, if the business has a twitter or Instagram account, I’m usually following them this week and “hearting” some of their posts this time.
7 – By week 7 I’m sending out a cold call.
There are many more ways to connect with people but this is my strategy and it’s worked for me so far.
Happy connecting and remember…nothing happens unless you make a connection!
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on July 23, 2017 at 5:35 PM||comments (0)|
Knowing your audience
As most of you know, I have a good internet footprint. If you Google - Frank James Bailey you can easily find me and this website. I’m sure you’ll also be able to find my Tercona site too.
Anyway, the reason I bring this up today is because recently a lot of friends on Facebook sent me a request to “like” there page. I am more than happy to LIKE anyone’s page. I love to support my fellow voice actors. It’s great to network!
On the other hand, let me ask you this very important question…if I “like” your page, are you hitting your target audience? What I mean is, if I like your page that means I’ll see your posts. If you post about a job you did or what voice over work you can do…great! If you post you’re demos, I’ll see those too. Me (a fellow voice actor) will see your demos and voice acting posts. I can give your posts a “big thumbs” up in support but the likelihood that I’ll hire you for a voice job is probably slim. I’m a voice actor too! I am trying to get voice work, Just Like You!
Yea, there is a small chance since I’m networked with you that I might call you up someday and say, “Hey, I have the flu and I can’t voice this job but I think you’re perfect for it. Can you help me out?” or I might need your voice on a project I’m working on. More than likely though, I am NOT the person you’re trying to reach. You want to reach other video companies, e-learning companies, and maybe even agencies. If they see your posts about voice acting or your demos they might want to hire you.
Let me tell you a quick story, a few years ago I made videos on YouTube called “A Video Voice Over Tip.” They were videos to help people who wanted to get into the voice over business. I had a good audience of…FELLOW VOICE ACTORS! The problem was, I’m not a coach nor do I want to be. As a voice actor I want to reach people who might want to buy my voice for their video, phone greeting or e-learning project
As most of you know I’m also a writer. I wrote books about a female superhero named Tercona. My audience for Tercona is kids, teens (and some adults) who like superheroes. My “LIKE” page for Tercona has over 1,660 likes. Also my Tercona fan club Facebook group has over 1,600 members! My Frank James Bailey – Voice Actor LIKE page only has 733 likes. It’s clear that my audience for my books is a LOT larger than the people who want to hear me as a voice actor. Now I’m sure if I started voicing cartoons or video games that number would change but for now, more people like the female superhero I created – Tercona - then ME the voice actor Frank James Bailey.
So…if you want me to “like” your facebook page, yes I will! I will LIKE your page and support my fellow voice actors but you have to ask yourself, am I the audience you want?
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on June 19, 2017 at 6:40 PM||comments (0)|
Don’t be fake!
I don’t hate very many things in life. I believe “hate” is a very strong word. However, I hate (I mean I really LOATH) cheesy sales people. The kind of person that says, “Have I got a deal for you, but only if you buy RIGHT NOW!”
I’m in the business of selling my voice (and my books too) and I refuse to become that guy! Yes, I get paid to “act” that way sometimes when I read a commercial but acting like a cheesy used car salesman and actually BEING that person are two different things!
I don’t just want to sell my voice / service to a client. I don't just want to sell my books to kids. I want to establish relationships with clients.
If you start off by going up to a business and telling them, “I’m a voice actor. I can voice your videos. I charge X amount of dollars. Here’s my website!” I think that approach is on the borderline of spamming. Personaly I HATE spam.
Here is what I do...I find a business’s Facebook “Like” page on Facebook and like their page. I might even make a comment on a post they made. At first...that's all I do! My best friend always tells me, nothing happens unless you make a connection. Liking their page is a small connection. If they want to know more about me I’m sure they can find me. I have a very good internet footprint.
Next, I wait a few weeks and make ANOTHER comment (unless they come to me first). I might even connect with them on another network like LinkedIn or if they have YouTube videos, I’ll LIKE one of their videos! AGAIN, unless they come to me, I DON’T tell a new business what I do…not yet! I’m sure they can figure out I’m a voice actor if they click on my page. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn. All I'm doing is making connections.
The same goes for my writing too. I joined a few Facebook groups for my favorite cartoons. Miraculous Ladybug, Star vs The Forces Of Evil, Steven Universe and The Loud House just to name a few. I introduce myself once (Hi everyone, I am voice actor and a writer. I also love cartoons. That's why I'm here). I have managed to make some new friends by joining these groups and some of the kids in those groups have joined my Facebook fan club group for Tercona! In other words, the kids use these FB groups to talk about there favorite TV show, found ME and then found out I wrote books about a female superhero and then became a FAN of Tercona.
As you can see, I don’t want to sound desperate for a voice job or for someone to read my books. I don’t want to sound “fake”. I want to establish relationships with clients. Because I believe that when you establish a relationship with a client, that relationship will last longer!
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on June 6, 2017 at 4:30 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on May 11, 2017 at 6:35 PM||comments (0)|
I want that…because I voiced it!
This blog is mostly for all my voice actor friends:
Have you ever voiced a job for a client and thought to yourself, "Wait, I think I would really LIKE this product (or service) that I've been hired to promote. I think I'll try this!"
After all, as voice actors, we know we have to make each and every product that we put our voice to sound like the best thing since sliced bread. If we voice a commercial for one weight loss product and 6 months later we voice a commercial for a totally different weight loss product we have to make EACH of those products sound as if we love it and use it all the time! Or at least, that the person using it, should buy it and use it all the time!
However, if a brand new company, with a brand new product, comes to you and wants to hire you has a voice actor for their commercial, have you ever read that commercial and thought…"Hmm? I think I like this product. I WANT IT!!"
Do you really like it? Or are YOU doing your job so well, that even YOU want to but it?
Have you ever bought a product or service (that you NEVER used before) that you were hired to voice a commercial for?
Leave your comments here on or on my many other social network sites.
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on April 10, 2017 at 11:50 AM||comments (0)|
Do you want to know the secret to getting LOTS of voice work? It's simple…DON’T BE COCKY!
What I mean by that is, don’t think that since you’ve done a few national spots that you’re too good for small jobs anymore! I’ve only done a few big jobs in my voice over career but I’ve done lots of small jobs! Let me give you an example…
A few years ago I voiced a series of sports commercials for this dot com sports company. The job paid pretty good for a bulk of only 7 commercials. That year I also did a lot of book trailers for this other company. I voiced a lot more book trailers then I did for that big hunk of sports commercials.
This year I started doing some voice jobs for the Channel Frederator YouTube channel. I voiced Disney's Dark Secrets and an episode of 107 Facts. I also do jobs that are not that populer too. I recently voiced an explainer video for Bear aspirin in Argentina and a car dealer spot for a small town in Texas.
I want to make something very clear. I’m not saying LOW BALL your self into a $5 or $25 job. I’m saying, don’t just sit around and wait for the big jobs.
Listen, if you’re like Joe Cipriano or Ben Patrick Johnson (the top announcer voice over actors in the country) or like Tara Strong or Frank Walker (some of the top character voice actors) and you get as much voice work as they do, then more power to you, you’re at the top of your game! However, most of us are NOT at the top of the hill yet. Most of us are still climbing the ladder of success.
My point is, if you want a constant flow of voice work, you’re going to have to take the small jobs WITH the big jobs. A national spot for Subway might pay great…once! Or if you voice a best selling audio book and you get tons of royalty checks. However, if you’re just sitting around waiting for MORE national spots and MORE best selling audio books but there not coming, then I’m afraid that’s ALL the money you’re ever going to make. Don’t sit on your butt and just wait for the good stuff. You might be waiting a while.
You’ll make more money if you voice a few radio & TV commercials, explainer videos, podcast openings, and phone greetings ALONG with your audio books or national spots as well.