|Posted by frankjamesbailey on March 5, 2017 at 7:45 PM||comments (1)|
How much time do you spend working?
Recently I discovered I only spend between 5 to 6 hours in my studio working. That “work” can range from auditioning for a job, social networking, direct marketing, writing emails or…writing a blog for my website.
If you’re wondering how I figured out how much time I spent in my studio, it’s simple - I timed myself using a stopwatch on my cell phone.
A while back I wrote a blog about making a schedule and using your time wisely. Do you need to take your kids to school? Schedule it. Do you need to answer emails? Schedule it. Do you need to audition for voice jobs…schedule it. (You get the idea) Of course “life” can get in the way of a perfect schedule. So a few weeks ago I started using my stopwatch on my phone to see how much time I actually spent in my studio working. That’s when I figured out I only spend about 5 – 6 hours in my studio working. Of course some days are longer than others and some are shorter. I might work 6 – 7 hours on Monday but only 4 – 5 hours on Tuesday. On average I spend around 5 – 6 hours working.
Once you figured out how much time you spend “working” then you need to add that to how much you make. If you spend an hour auditioning for jobs, 2 hours marketing, and the rest of the time doing a voice over jobs but only made $50 for the 5 hours you were in your studio, then you made about - $10 an hour that day.
Or you could also look at it this way; Are you getting the most out of your time? I admit, I can get distracted sometimes. I go to YouTube to copy my video demo to post on Facebook and then I see the thumbnail of a video I want to see. I tell myself, “It’s only 5 minutes, why not?” Somehow those 5 minutes turned into 30! So for me keeping a stopwatch going while I work has kept me more accountable for the time I spend in my studio when I should be “working” and not looking at cat videos.
Timing yourself while you’re in your studio working will help you figure out if you need to spend more time in your studio doing more work or making more money for the little time you have.
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on February 12, 2017 at 5:40 PM||comments (1)|
Is it time to make a change in your business plan?
No business ever stays exactly the same throughout its lifetime. I started my voice over business using a stage microphone and I recorded in a closet. I’ve come a long way since then.
As market conditions, customer demands and technology change, your company needs to adapt to stay relevant and keep growing.
However, sometimes, continuing along in the same trajectory with a few minor tweaks isn't enough. In certain cases, your company may need to completely switch directions and revamp its business model in order to survive.
Implementing a significant change to your business is a difficult and important decision, so you shouldn't make it lightly. Here are some telltale signs you might need a new direction.
1 – Are you spending too much money and not making enough?
When you start a voice over business you need a mic, a computer, a sound editing program, and much more. We all know you’re going to spend money in the beginning but if you’re not turning a profit within a few years it’s time for a new direction.
For example, you need to have your own website but you don’t need to pay over $350 on a pay to play site.
2 – Are you marketing in the wrong area?
Are you doing a lot of marketing on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but you’re still not getting any sales? Maybe it’s time for a new approach. What is your niche in the voice over industry? Figure out what you need to do to target those people in your niche.
3 – Is your current branding not working?
If you use a picture of a microphone right next to your name you might need to rebrand. EVERY voice actor does that! I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m saying with so many voice actors using a variation of the same thing it’s hard to see who is who. Once you’ve established you’re business enough hire someone with branding experience and market yourself accordingly.
Please keep in mind, you do not need to change your goals, you just need to change the direction in which to get to that goal.
I hope this helps.
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on January 28, 2017 at 10:20 PM||comments (3)|
5 tips for social networking.
With the rise of political posts on social networks lately I thought it would be nice to cover some tips when using your social networks. After all, if you have a voice over business you probably have an on-line presence of some sort to help promote your business. Here are 5 tips to help you be better at social networking.
1 – Be Polite
In the past year I have gotten a lot more followers thanks to my book about a female superhero. I’m not only targeting an audience for my voice over business I’m also targeting an audience for my books too. Video production companies and other business are my audience for my voice over business and the book’s audience is mostly pre-teen and teenagers. I try my best to be polite to everyone. Remember what Kim Possible always said: Please & thank you.
2 – Connect With Your Audience
If your audience poses a question, answer. More than half of consumers expect brands to respond to their Twitter and Facebook messages. Don’t doubt the power one consumer can have on your business. Talk to them. I talk to my audience all the time.
3 – Avoid Controversy
There is a reason I never post anything political or religious. I avoid controversy. Simply put, it’s bad for business. I am always hearing about people who were fired or just not hired because of what an employer found on their Facebook page. If you follow me on social media you know I post inspirational quotes, funny memes, puns, comic cons, artists, I share things from other people and I try to give back when I can too. Oh and I sometimes talk about my voice acting and my book, like now. Lol
4 – Don’t Over Promote
Did you ever have a telemarketer call you - EVERY NIGHT - at the same time for a week straight? If you did, you’d get sick of him calling very quick and you wouldn’t want to buy anything from them. You’re followers wouldn’t like it if you shoved what your selling down their throat everyday either. Don’t over sell.
5 – Use Good Grammer
I admit. This is my kryptonite. I know I am a very creative person but I am also a terrible speller. I always have been. Today I use spell-check and grammarly. It helps, but I’m still not perfect. Someone recently told me I should be very careful because a lot of my new followers who look up to me as a writer might wonder what kind of a writer I am if I can’t spell things right. Which is very good advice. However…did you ever hear of a typo? Nobody’s perfect! I do my best.
I hope you found this advice helpful.
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on December 7, 2016 at 3:20 PM||comments (0)|
I recently found a video on the Internet about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 rules for success. He said these rules as part of a commencement speech back in 2009. I found all of his rules very motivating and very inspirational so I wanted to tell YOU about them and tell you how they affect me.
Arnold Schwarzenegger 6 Rules to Success:
1. Trust yourself
Many young people are getting so much advice from their parents and from their teachers and from everyone. But what is most important is that you have to dig deep down, dig deep down and ask yourselves, who do you want to be? Not what, but who. Figure out for yourselves what makes you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to other people.
I’ve known that I wanted to use my voice and write ever since high school. I started my radio career just after high school. By 2009 I became a voice actor. I also taught myself how to write screenplays starting in 2000. I published my first book in 2015. I’m a writer and a voice actor!
2. Break the Rules
Break the rules, not the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you’re too well behaved and don’t want to break the rules. You have to think outside the box. After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?
I break the rules by not using voice casting sites like Voices or Voice123. I mostly direct market. With my writing, I am self-published via create space. Would it help my voice acting career if I had an agent? Maybe. Would it help my writing career if I had a publisher and a literary agent? Maybe. For now, I’m doing this my way.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Anything I’ve ever attempted, I was always willing to fail. So you can’t always win, but don’t be afraid of making decisions. You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that it is the right thing to do, and success will come. So don’t be afraid to fail.
Between 2011 and 2013 I tried doing a YouTube show called The Frank Video Show. I was having fun making crazy videos. Then my adsense account was click bombed. I could have continued making the videos but then there would be no money in it for me at all. Did I fail? Not really, I was forced to stop. However, I like the way my life is going now.
4. Don’t Listen to the Naysayers
How many times have you heard that you can’t do this and you can’t do that and it’s never been done before? I love it when someone says that no one has ever done this before, because that means that I’m the first one that has done it. So pay no attention to the people that say it can’t be done.
A few people at other comic cons have told me I should have made my book a smaller size since it’s for younger kids. I didn’t listen. I like the size it is now. Some people have also told me that my book is hard to sell at a comic con since it’s for a younger audience. The people with money at a comic con are adults who like “adult” themes. NO! I am sticking to writing. I love to do write. A family friendly female superhero and marketing it my way because it’s different. I like to be different.
5. Work Your Butt Off
You never want to fail because you didn’t work hard enough. When you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard. Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.
Have I mentioned that I’m a voice actor AND a published author? I do all my voice jobs during the week and I write on the weekends. My kids can tell you I spend a LOT of time in my basement. If I‘m not LOOKING for the next voice job or DOING a voice job…I’m writing or marketing myself in some sort of way.
6. Give Back
Whatever path that you take in your lives, you must always find time to give something back, something back to your community, give something back to your state or to your country.
I give back by promoting other people (friends, artists, and colleges) on my social media. People that I find interesting, a great voice over blog, a nice comic con people should check out or a good charity you should know about. If I can’t give money I at least let YOU know so maybe you can help.
I hope you found his 6 rules as motivating as I did.
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on November 14, 2016 at 5:40 AM||comments (0)|
How far would you travel for your business?
As most of you know I’m not only a voice actor but I’m also a writer. In 2016 I traveled to a lot of places to promote my book Tercona: Book 1 – Our New Home. Mostly to comic cons. I also went to a few book stores and comic book stores too.
I also traveled for my voice over business as well. To Columbus, OH for the Voice Over Pros of Central Ohio monthly meeting.
I live in the Lima, OH area so if I want to go to any of the bigger cities outside Lima I have to drive at least an hour or more.
For my book I’ve traveled to comic cons as far as Indianapolis, IN and Birch Run, MI.
For my voice over business I went to a few Ad Club meetings in Ft. Wayne, IN and Ad Clubs in Toledo, OH too. When I go to an Ad Club meeting it’s all about networking. I pass out business cards in hopes that someone might want to hire.
When I go to comic cons it’s about networking AND selling my book!
I know I get to write off the miles for my taxes but how far do I really want to go for a meeting that might (or might not) lead to a new voice over job? Isn’t it like buying into a voice casting site and NEVER getting a single job off of the site? How far is too far?
The same goes for the comic cons. I would love to go to New York or the big comic con in San Diego someday but will I sell anything? I don’t know for sure. I’ve only been to one comic con this year where I didn’t sell one book. Usually I sell at least 1. Most of the time 2 or 3 at each con. I know I have a good fan following for Tercona so I believe going to a big comic con is worth the risk…someday.
It’s nice that the Meetup.com meetings for the Voice Over Pros Of Central Ohio is in Columbus. They also sponsor a conference called, The Midwest Ohio Voice Over Conference too that is also in Columbus. Like I said, Columbus isn’t that far from me, just a few hours away. Unlike other voice actor conferences that are expensive and several hounded miles away.
Then again, no matter how far those other voice over conferences are some of them contain a lot of great into formation and are well worth the money and the travel time.
Besides, it's ALWAYS good to get out of the studio and network. No matter if it's for a Chamber of Commerce meeting, a meeting for other voice actors or a comic con to meet other writers. Networking is good!
Finally, let me ask you, how far have you traveled for YOUR voice over business? If you’re also a writer like me too haw far have you traveled to promote your book? And was it worth it?
Let me know your answer here on my website or on facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, or Tumblr!
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on November 7, 2016 at 10:45 AM||comments (0)|
Back in 2014 I wrote a blog about this subject, Zero Email. This is an update.
If you’re like me your clients contact you via email all the time. YOU NEED EMAIL!
A few years ago my email box was a mess. I had over 900 emails in my box.
Back then a friend of mine helped me implament email zero. He showed me how to stay orgnized with my email. Well, recently he asked me if my email box was at “email zero."
I told him...no. I had slacked off. (opps)
Back in 2014 I showed you what he showed me, how to get organzed with your emaill using folders. In the past few years I slacked off because I have been going to a lot of comic cons, I had jobs from clients and a bunch of other stuff. I really need to stay on top of it. I need to stay organized. You do too!
Below is a screenshot of MY email folders. I have one for agents, one for follow-ups, one for auditions, one for comic cons and even one for all my Tercona stuff. I made a bunch of folders and got organized (again) with ALL my emails.
There is nothing more liberating then knowing when I come to my email box it’s not kluged up with over a thousand emails. At the end of the day, having 0 emails in my email box is like having a big weight listed off my shoulders.
To top it off I set up my email so that I when get an email I also get a text messge! This way I can look at my smart phone and see who it is right away.
If you want to get your email box down to “zero” make some folders and get organized. You can make a bunch of folders or make just a few. Whatever you think need to get your email box organized.
Spend less time being over whelmed by so many emails and more time actually DOING the work you love!
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on October 16, 2016 at 8:20 PM||comments (0)|
Don’t Give Up!
Keep Moving Forward!
And…Just Keep Swimming.
Ok, that last one is from the movie Finding Nemo, but it generally means the same.
To me, Just Keep Swimming means - Keep going! You may feel like your life is in shambles right now but it will change. So, just keep swimming!
Let me ask you, do you find yourself overwhelmed with work and family life? The baby keeps you up at night, you don’t eat right, you don’t make time to exercise and you have several clients that need their job done…YESTERDAY!
It happens to everyone, even me. My answer - Just Keep Swimming!
Tuesday, I skipped my morning walk (I sometimes bike ride too) because I of a combination of a lack of sleep and all of the voice work I had. I am not complaining at all! I love being so busy I have to skip things to get my work done! I would rather be too busy then desperately trying to find something to do.
On the other hand, my body’s health is very important to my business! I sit in front of a computer ALL DAY! I hardly get any exercise at it is. I need to make time for my health.
But just because I skipped a day, I’m not going to beat myself up over it. In other words - JUST KEEP SWIMMING! Tomorrow is another day.
The important thing is my clients were taken care of. And (hopefully) they’ll be back for more in the future.
My message to you in this blog is simple. Just because you’re new baby keeps you up late, just because you have to skip exercising for a few days, just because you audition for jobs every day but you’re NOT GETTING HIRED, or just because you feel like you have no time for yourself…it’s OK. It’s not the end of the world. Don’t give up! Things will change!
If you just keep swimming!
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on August 16, 2016 at 3:30 PM||comments (0)|
A few days ago a voice actor friend of mine Marc Scott wrote a blog as to why he doesn’t do voice overs in his pajamas.
It inspired me to tell my story as to why I don’t work in my studio in my underwear either. Although I could if I wanted to I just choose not to. Here’s why.
A few years ago I got up for my early morning walk. I did a few miles on the treadmill. After I got off the treadmill I went to my computer and checked my email. Suddenly…I got a ring on my Skype! It was a long time client. I messaged him first and told him I couldn’t do a video call since I just got off the treadmill and I didn’t look very professional. I was actually a hot mess. He laughed and said it was ok. We had our video call, we talked and I got the job. Now keep in mind this was a client that I’ve known for a very long time so he didn’t care what I looked like.
After this incident I changed my policy. I don’t take any calls until I’m ready to take calls. It’s all about scheduling. A few months ago I did a blog about scheduling, check it out. Anyway, I schedule my workout / walking time very early in the morning. This is MY TIME! I don’t answer emails, I don’t do skype calls.
When I’m ready for work I’m in a nice t-shirt or a nice polo shirt. No…I don’t wear a suit or a button up dress shirt / business attire. However I do look decent. I want to look presentable yet feel comfortable. Like this:
So while Marcs blog is rooted in “don’t dress like a slacker or you’ll feel like a slacker,” mine is more because of an experience I had. I don’t want to look like I just ran 5 miles in front of a client ever again. You never know when a client will want to talk to you.
Look the part and be ready!
If you'd like to read Marcs blog it's here: http://marcscottvoiceover.com/why-i-dont-do-voice-over-in-my-pajamas/
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on July 24, 2016 at 5:30 PM||comments (1)|
I have been going to a networking meeting for voice actors in Ohio for a few years now. The group is called “Voice Over Pros Of Central Ohio". (In case you didn’t know, central Ohio is basically Columbus, Ohio). Columbus is about a 2 hour drive from where I live in the Lima, OH area, but this group is the ONLY group of voice actors that I saw on Meetup.com in Ohio. Right now there are over 300 members in the group and it’s still growing!
The most recent meeting I went to was on Thursday July 21st. It was another great meet up! This time the guest speaker was Bob Souer! Bob Souer is a full-time professional story-teller and narrator. He is an award-winning narrator of numerous audio books, as well as broadcast and non-broadcast projects for corporations and ministries across North America."
Bob answered questions about audio book narrations and writing blogs. Bob and I have been friends on facebook for a very long time. It was nice to finally meet him in person.
One of the important things I learned from Bob that night was about writing blogs. I used to write a blog, about voice acting, once a week. I stopped doing that because I thought my blogs were targeting the wrong audience. Turns out my blog should be mostly about voice acting because I am a voice actor, but it can also be about Tercona. After all, I'm an author too. There are so many things I can write about to keep my website updated and to keep the content flowing.
The Meetup.com group - Voice Over Pros Of Central Ohio – meets once a month. The link to the group on Meetup.com is below.
I hope to see you there sometime.
VOICE OVER PROS OF CENTRAL OHIO: on MeetUp.com.....
|Posted by frankjamesbailey on June 2, 2016 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
Being a voice actor, writer, husband and a father, life can be very busy. We are all VERY busy and sometimes it can be over whelming. If you think you don’t have time for it all I have a simple solution for you. Scheduling!
A while back a friend of mine told me about Google calendar. It’s a free toll that anyone with a Gmail account can use. He also told me to get a free desktop timer. Here is how they work together.
First, fill out your Google calendar. Mark off a block of time to do whatever it is you have to do. Do you need to workout or exercise in the morning? Mark off that time. Do you need time to actually DO your work? Mark off that time. Do you need time for your family? Mark it off too.
Now, make each block of time a different color. My VO work time is red, my writing time (for Tercona) is blue, my family time is yellow. You get the idea.
Here is a sample of what my Google calendar looks like.
Now get a free desktop timer. They look like this. The link to my FREE timer is below…
Finally, when you start your work for the day, go to your calendar, see what you have to do and then start your timer. If you mark off only a ½ hour for facebook, then that’s ALL the time you have. Your schedule should be pretty full (like mine) and you have other things to do. So once that timer goes off…YOU’RE DONE!
The timer forces you to be accountable for your time when you should be working. I have to admit, this was a small problem for me. When I finished a voice job I would then check my email. I’d find out that I have a new job. What do they need? I better check facebook too. What did that guy just post? Oh, I don’t think so! I need to respond to that. Oh wait there’s a new cat video on Youtube.
Wait a minute…wasn’t I doing something a ½ hour ago? (Can we say ADD?)
All kidding aside, a timer keeps me on time, the calendar keeps me focused on what I need to be doing and when.
I should make this disclaimer…don’t be a slave to the calendar. For example, I blocked off time to write on Friday. But last Friday I got this new voice job from a long time client that needed to be done ASAP. So my writing had to be pushed aside.
The same can be said for anything else too. Right now my kids are out of school for the summer. Unless I have an important client that I HAVE to call at a certain time, I don’t worry too much about being late for one block of time. I can usually make it up on the back end. Or have someone watch my kids for a few hours while I work.
The important thing is to use the calendar to block off the time you need for the things you need to do and use the timer to stay on time! And believe me, it has helped me out a LOT. For those of you who follow me on my social networks you might have noticed I don’t post as much as I used to. That’s because there is a time for facebook and a time for work.
I’m not going to get much done if I’m watching funny cat videos.
If this tip helped you, please leave me a comment below. Or post a comment on my other social networks too. I might not respond right away anymore because I might be “on the clock”…but I will respond.