Tag Archive for series

Outsourcing from the Voice Talent Perspective 2

I’ve enjoyed collecting these quotes from my talent friends. It’s awesome to see how much good outsourcing has done for people’s lives and careers. And it’s fascinating to see how people’s answers are similar, and different. Each person approaches the topic from a unique angle and has an interesting answer.
My hope for this series is to give people a different perspective on this topic, if they haven’t chosen to make the jump to outsourcing yet. It’s easy to limit yourself and your career by thinking you can’t do something, and I want to show people that more is possible! 🙂
Outsourcing has:
-made audiobooks fun again
-allowed me to have a life away from the computer screen
-improved my focus on performance
-become well worth the money
I think the single most important thing to understand about outsourcing is that you don’t want to wait until you are busy enough to starting outsourcing. Start outsourcing now and you will be amazed at how busy you get with work that fills up that available time.
When I began my transition to pursuing voice-over work full-time I practiced daily at not only becoming a better talent but also learning to be an engineer, studio designer, producer, director, etc. The industry was moving to home-studios and I felt I need to be an expert in everything! I learned a lot from trying to wear all those hats but the last, and more important, lesson I learned is that I’m better when I surround myself with people who are better at those things than I am. 
 
Outsourcing also taught me to be a better service provider to my clients. I want to hire the best people to work with me but if a subcontractor doesn’t communicate well or I can’t trust them to get the work done when I need it, then I look bad for my client and they don’t get hired again. So now I’m always thinking about what are my client’s real needs? How can I make them look good to their client/boss/customers?

Outsourcing Benefits from 2 Coaches

So as all of you know, there are plenty of coaches for the performance aspect of voiceover. For this series, I wanted to find coaches who work on the business and organization aspects of VO, and both of these gentlemen seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Marc caught my eye quite a while ago on Twitter with his blog posts. I was struck by the amount of actionable content he offered, and his common sense approach. When he moved into coaching, he kept his info along just the same lines. So he was a natural here! Tom I’ve known for ages through the awesomeness of Faffcon. He’s always been a lover of planning and organizing, and I was not surprised to see him take on the mantle of The VO Strategist! He’s given lots of webinars for Edge Studios, and was another perfect voice for this post. So take it away guys!

 

It doesn’t matter who you are or how good you are, you simply can’t do everything that needs to be done. To keep your business running efficiently and effectively, you have to be willing to outsource certain tasks to your team. Team, to be clear, doesn’t have to mean regular paid employees.

Agents, accountants, lawyers, editors, producers, web developers, coaches… all of the people in these roles can become valuable and trusted members of your team. A common quote in entrepreneurship circles states, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” When it comes to choosing your team, choose carefully and wisely!

Marc
[email protected]
http://marcscottcoaching.com

 

All successful businesses think long-term. Outsourcing is a perfect example. It is a powerful tool that will save you time, money, and energy. Delegating time-consuming tasks like editing or data mining lets you focus on your marketing, your training, contributing to the community, and more. Spending money now on outsourcing will save you money later. If you can’t or won’t invest in outsourcing, you may want to re-examine your business model.” Tom Dheere, The VO Strategist www.VOStrategist.com

Where to Outsource?

Hello again! Here’s my last installment in my ‘5 W’ questions series on outsourcing, and it ties in to some of the earlier questions. Where in this case, I’m using to refer to whether you want to work with someone virtual or on site. Many talent I know prefer to work with someone they can meet with face to face, and check in with on a regular basis. It suits their business practices, and I think probably allows them a greater sense of security to be able to see the folks they work with. It also seems as though the people who prefer face to face work are the ones who need an assistant full time or on a daily basis.

I started out working face to face with one voice talent, my Dad, but since work pretty much always with people in a virtual fashion. With technology, I can talk as much as a client wants, and as face to face as a video connection will allow. I live in Southwest Pennsylvania, so there’s not too many talent nearby who might need me.

Which one should you pick? Ask yourself what you’re the most comfortable with, and what kind of help you’re looking for. There are advantages to meeting with someone you can see in person, but it may be harder to find someone who is good at whatever you’re looking for close by. There is a great deal of marketing and social media stuff that doesn’t apply to voiceover, or applies with a few caveats or skews. And although you can train people how to edit, good editing is something that takes time to master. You have to train your senses to pick up sounds that most people don’t or can’t hear. (Anyone else hate hearing mouth noise in commercials?) Clerical work needs would be easier to find in person, but again it depends on what you’re looking for.

Thankfully the more time passes, the more options there are to connect with voiceover specialty outsource providers. I can say I’ve seen quite a few more folks of my persuasion on social media in the going on 6 years I’ve been doing this!

When to Outsource?

Hey guys! I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve been able to touch base here on my blog. A whole bunch of life and work things made it hard for me to write. But I’m back to write more about this important topic.

So if you’ve been reading along with me, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I’m using the classic ‘5 W’ questions as a theme. I’ve taken them a little out of order, but I think they really fit the motif of the questions people often ask about the topic. The next question I’ve decided to tackle is when?

Many people that I’ve talked to, or read the opinions of, say that they’ll outsource when they’re ‘making enough money’, or they ‘have as much work as Bob Souer‘. (Seriously, people have said that to me, and I find it hilarious that my dad is being used as a metric.) But I think this idea, although understandable, is not always the best choice. Although I would never tell anyone to deprive themselves of needed funds, in this business as in any, you have to spend money to make money. The reality is that work like editing, proofing, or clerical work takes a great deal of time, and takes you away from the mic. Many people could edit your audio or proof it, but to paraphrase my Dad, ‘you’re the only source of your voice.’

If you don’t have to wait, don’t. As I said above, if it’s bread, don’t take it out of your mouth, but if it means making a smaller margin for a while, or a minor loss, it can be worth it in the long run. In business, it’s important to think about not just where you are, but also where you want to be. Specificity is important in this, more than just a generic ‘someday’. Outsourcing something you don’t have to be doing can give you time for research, marketing, calling contacts, doing household things you need to, or literally anything else that can help your business or personal life.

I’m a big believer in the principle that we’re only bound by the rules and walls we make for ourselves. Obviously there are some circumstances that are not negotiable, but in many cases we limit ourselves by saying ‘I can’t.’ If you say that, you won’t, and you may very well miss opportunities you could take by risking a little, pushing a little harder, or going beyond what you thought you could do.

In closing, when should you outsource? As soon as you possibly can, your future business self will thank you.

Pulling The Trigger: Wrapping it Up

triggerIn this series, we’ve covered a lot of ground and tackled what I feel is a pretty important issue in the life of a freelancer. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this series, and I have two last thoughts for you as I wrap things up.

The first is to take action. Much of success in life doesn’t come from waiting, it comes from movement. Yes obviously you can make a poor decision, but even wrong movement can result in a lesson learned. It’s really easy to not do something. Inertia is a powerful force in life as well as physics, and you can use it to your advantage. Moving is easier to maintain once you do it for a while. It’s how those insanely busy people get it all done every day, how every mom manages to juggle 150 things at once. 🙂 Take a step, even half a step today, and tomorrow, take another. You won’t regret it.

The second is to remember the value of accountability. We work alone, mostly connecting online with our colleagues and friends. It’s incredibly useful to have someone out there saying to you, “Did you remember to write those marketing emails this week?” or whatever you need reminding on. Someone to nudge you from time to time, to encourage you when you falter, and help you suss out whatever it is that might be holding you back. Find someone, find a friend, ask your spouse, but strongly consider someone in the industry. It helps if you can share your struggles with someone who is in a similar space. If you were so moved, you could even hire me-or one of the many other fine VO-helping folks out there-to work with you on a schedule and touch base with you. There’s a million ways to make something happen, to help yourself stay on track.

I hope you take my words as encouragement, and perhaps a little inspiration. I love to see people succeed, to move higher and do better. The year is close to ending, and you have a fantastic opportunity not just to change in the new year, but to change right now. Change is possible every single day, don’t let it pass you by.

You can see the previous post in this series here!

Pulling The Trigger: 5 Ways to Find Momentum

triggerIn the past two entries of this series, I’ve discussed the problem I’ve seen with lots of voice talent–they have the idea to improve their career, and they know it’s a ‘should’, but they never actually get to it. They don’t pull the trigger. We’ve defined the issue, broken it down, and now comes the last major problem.

Momentum. Keeping it going. Everyone, at least once in their life has made a change. They’ve started something new, felt great, and moved forward. But three months down the road? Six months? The minutia of daily life and the ruts in the road have them squarely back in ‘the old way’. How do you overcome this? How do you stick to it? Remember the following things:

1. Everyone falls off the wagon.

Whatever that wagon might be, we all have a tired day, or a busy day, or any one of a number of things that prevents us from doing what we know we’re supposed to be. You’re not alone. Don’t beat yourself up-that’s a waste of time!

2. It’s never too late to get back on the horse.

So you stopped that one thing a week ago. A month ago. A year, or five or ten. Who cares? It’s never too late. Don’t say well, I’d really like to, but….just do it! (Yes, I’m visiting cliché land, but I think you know what I mean!)

3. Do whatever it takes.

To remind yourself! Post its, lists, an app, a friend, whatever. Build the structure you need to keep moving, give yourself something to hold on to. If something isn’t working, change it! Don’t get wedded to a system that won’t help, clear the slate and try something new. There’s always another organizational method out there.

4. Make like Nike.

And just do it. No excuses. Don’t say, but, don’t say I’ll do it tomorrow. Just do it!

5. Be all that you can be.

Remember that you’re always more capable than you think you are. You never know where you’d be if you stuck with it. You CAN do it. Don’t think of the reasons why something won’t work. Think of the reasons why it will!

Check out the next post in this series here, and the previous here!

Pulling The Trigger: Making The Time

triggerIn my trigger series so far, I’ve talked first the idea of pulling the trigger. Then, the idea of defining exactly what you need to do, breaking down big new-years-resolution-ideas into something that is easy to do, easy to understand, and is most of all specific. The smaller you can break it down, the more easy it will be to actually do something about it.

And today what I write about is one of the most persistent problems of the modern world. Time. Having enough time, allocating the time when you do having, and utilizing it to the best possible extent.

So, how do you do it? How do you have enough time? Again, the answer is in something we’ve already covered. Break things down. Make a (flexible) schedule. Write it, but in pencil, as we all have our last minute “oh crap!” situations regardless of our type or level of work.

For me, timers are a big help. I suffer from an ADD-like problem where I will worry about what other tasks I have to do than the one I’m doing, so I’m not mentally present enough to work efficiently. So, I do a 2 timer cycle, 45 minutes, then 15 minutes. This allows me to accomplish more than one set of things per day, and also means I can trick my brain into focusing on the amount of time I have to work, rather than the list. I’m able to do other things (like write this post!) and stay far more focused than I do otherwise. What works for you may be something totally different, but keep trying things until you find your ‘fix’ for a broken or ineffective schedule.

One important note though-whatever you do to make yourself use time better, forgive yourself. Everyone has off days, and it’s far better to say, well, I messed up here, and this is how I’m going to make it better, than to spend a lot of time kicking yourself for what you didn’t do.

So, specificity and schedule fixing are two big keys. Start on one of those small tasks during your day, chip away at it. Most of these things don’t need to be finished all in one go, and making progress leads to more progress as the mental kudos stack up. Sometimes getting things accomplished also can mean asking for help. Can you hire or train someone to do something you need? Remember, you really don’t have to get everything done yourself.

When it comes to your ‘should’ list, don’t let it lie, don’t forget about it, and don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in the daily minutia that you never get started. You never know where your career would be if you actually went for it.

Check out the next post here, and the previous here!

Pulling the Trigger: Defining The Need

triggerHow do you know what you want for your career? Well, most people start out with something along the lines of ‘I want to be more organized.’ That’s super broad, and it’s a recipe for failure for the majority of folks. Why? Because there’s no place to start, no handle to give you something to work towards, and is something that might make you feel good to say, but won’t really get you anywhere. The most important two things to improve any area of your life are:

 

  1. Action
  2. Break it down

I’m going to cover the second one first. Define your need. Think about specifics. Don’t think about organization, WHAT needs to be organized? Is your office a mess? Is your invoicing terrible? Do you market enough to have steady work? Do you need to learn how to cold call? What class do you keep meaning to take? Make it small. Reachable, doable, something that is easy to define. Basically, the more easily you can think of exactly what you need to do, the better the goal is.

It’s easy to think of what you want out of life in terms of great sweeping categories. If you ever want to get any of those things done, quit that right now. When you sit there with the thing you just can’t do-break it down. Change your perspective a little, figure out what small step you can do first. Then go on to the next, and the next, and so on. Maybe doing something in a different way will be easier for you. Don’t let your usual habits stop you from finding a better way.

And that brings me back to the first element of my short list. Action. Make your list of items that you can easily do, and then do them. I’ll cover this in more detail in the next blog, linked here. And the previous one is here!

 

 

 

 

Pulling The Trigger

trigger“Karen! I have got a project in mind for us. I’ll be in touch with you soon…”

If I had a nickel for every time I have heard someone say this, I’d have a few buckets of nickels. 🙂 Voice talent always have an idea for something they need to do-any entry on their list of ‘should do’s’. Actually, I think it’s just a people thing, not only voice talent. But at any rate, they see me at a convention, they read a post of mine, and they say, Hey, I need to do this. Karen can help me with something. Sometimes they do call me, and the funny part is they need help figuring out exactly what they want to do. They know they can be better, more efficient, but they aren’t exactly sure of how to get there. Or they just don’t call at all.

In the next couple of posts I want to talk you through how to pull that trigger. How to figure those things out, take that next step, and move onward and upward with your career. Look for the trigger posts to get my ideas on how to define your needs, take action, and get something done that you can be proud of. I have distilled my experience with dozens of voice talent over the years I’ve been working and come up with some good thoughts for you. I’m excited for you to read the posts ahead! Come back on Monday!

Next post here!

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