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Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 | 0 comments

Site Archives Updated!


It’s been long overdue, but we’ve finally updated the archive links to include the featured topics we’ve been running over the last few years. Just hover over the “Archives” tab in the menu bar above, and click on “Featured Topics.” Don’t forget that there’s a bunch of other cool stuff in the site archives, including links to the site’s previous feature system, “Featured Sound Designers.”

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Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 | 0 comments

Tax Considerations When Hiring Freelancers

Image by flickr user reynermedia. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to veiw source.

Image by flickr user reynermedia. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

The path we take in our careers can be a fairly winding one. It’s hard to predict exactly where you’re going to wind up. For instance, last year I found myself in the position where, while working as an independent sound designer after years as a staffer, I needed a team of people to help me complete a project by deadline. It’s not a bad position to be in. I like working, and having the ability (and, admittedly, necessity) to spread some of that work out amongst my peers felt good. There are two ways you can handle that on the billing side.

  1. Have those people bill your client directly.
  2. Bill your client once and and have your team invoice you for their work.

I chose the latter, and it presented an interesting situation when taxes rolled around. This article is to offer some of the key information I learned in the process. I’ll apologize to those people outside of the U.S., because this is going to be specific to the tax system here. There’s a tiny bit in here that might be useful to folks outside of this country I live in, but I won’t be offended if you skip this article.

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Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 | 20 comments

Make Yourself a Valuable Sound Designer

Jason Cushing

Guest Contribution by Jason Cushing

My name is Jason Cushing and I’m one of the co-founders of SoundMorph. Recently, I was chatting with the hard-working and talented Shaun Farley of Designing Sound about the site’s latest monthly topic: the business of sound. There are many aspects to this vast subject, but one topic that might be helpful for those of you just starting out in sound—or even (gasp) experienced sound designers—was the topic of turning yourself into a valuable asset.

This is simply an opinion piece and I don’t claim to be a guru with all the answers. As someone who started a successful online sound company, perhaps I can instill some helpful maxims that will make you re-examine your approach and take your “personal brand” to the next level!

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Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 | 7 comments

The Mindset of Business


Image sourced on Wikimedia Commons. Click image to view source

Guest Contribution by April Tucker

Early in my career, I watched a couple studios crumble first hand. One was a music studio that went bankrupt because the owner made some poor choices. The other was a post studio that laid off most of the staff in one day; “Black Wednesday,” we called it. I had mixed feelings knowing I’d own a business someday. Learning business skills didn’t seem like a choice – in our field, the odds are that you will be freelance (or take contract work) at some point. What I’ve since learned (through business classes and being in business) is that business isn’t just a skill set; it’s also a philosophy or way of thinking.

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Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 | 3 comments

The Neglected Topic

Photo by Edward Webb. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Photo by Edward Webb. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

This is going to be an odd month, because we’re not going to talk about sound. Not directly anyways.

There’s a broad range of topics that are often neglected in discussions of our craft, and that’s the business side of things. Media production programs in Colleges and Universities are practically a dime a dozen now…though they certainly don’t cost a little more than a dime. How many of them bother to teach anything relating to the business skills one might need to survive in such a competitive industry? I know mine didn’t, and that was a Master’s program.

It’s probably obvious, but we can’t teach even a tenth of what one might need to know with regards to this topic. None of us studied business. You do pick up a few things along the way though, and maybe we can help a few of you avoid some hard lessons. And maybe a few of you can help us avoid some we haven’t encountered yet.

Care to share?

If you haven’t seen this usual blurb in italics before, we ALWAYS encourage contributions from the community. It doesn’t matter to us who you are, or where you’re at in your career. If you’re interested in contributing to this month’s theme, next month’s (…will be “restriction” by the way), or going completely off-topic…contact shaun {at} this website.

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