The VO Meter Episode 46, Tracy Lindley
Female announcer: [00:00:00] The VO Meter, measuring your voiceover progress.
The VO Meter is brought to you by voiceactorwebsites.com, VocalBoothToGo, podcastdemos.com, Global Voice Acting Academy, JMC Demos and ipDTL. And now your hosts, Paul Stefano and Sean Daeley.
Paul Stefano: [00:00:30] Hello everybody, and welcome to episode 46 of the VO Meter…
Sean Daeley: [00:00:33] …measuring your voiceover progress.
Paul Stefano: [00:00:36] We are really excited about today’s episode because we have the LinkedIn guru. I’m not sure if that’s what she wants to call herself, and I’m going to go with it for now. Tracy Lindley, and we’re also really excited, or at least I am. Hopefully Sean is, too, because we just had a major milestone, at least in my mind.
We are now at 30,000 downloads for the history of the show.
Sean Daeley: [00:00:55] Wow. I mean, how the heck did that happen? I know we, we joke about this all the time, but the response and feedback that we’ve gotten from the VO community for the podcast has just been huge and it’s grown larger and more supportive than we could have ever expected or hoped for.
So we just wanted to say thank you to you, our listeners for continuing to support the show and just thanks for listening.
Paul Stefano: [00:01:17] Yeah, I agree. I think, ah, I was going to propose to you maybe offline, but what the heck? We’ll do it now live. I think we should do sort of a new year’s resolution episode and talk about where we’ve gone…
Sean Daeley: [00:01:26] Oh, that kind of proposal.
I was like, where are we going? I was like, Paul, we’ve known each other for a while, but I don’t know if this is the direction I want to take our relationship.
Paul Stefano: [00:01:36] Still a happily married man, but I was thinking we should do some sort of New Year’s resolution and sort of recap where we’ve gone and how far we’ve come as a show on both individually, because after all, that was the whole thrust of the show to begin with, right? We call it ‘measuring your voiceover progress’, so I think we should do a recap of our own progress.
Sean Daeley: [00:01:55] Wow. That’s pretty cool. I like the sound of that.
Paul Stefano: [00:01:58] See, some actual planning goes a long way.
Sean Daeley: [00:02:01] By the way, we just came up with that idea in case you were wondering.
Paul Stefano: [00:02:05] Shhh….!
Sean Daeley: [00:02:05] In true form. Got a lot to talk about, but something more immediate we can talk about are VO reference levels.
Male announcer: [00:02:14] Voiceover extra brings you the VO Meter reference levels. Uh, seriously, guys, that’s the best you could come up with? Hey, it’s your show.
Paul Stefano: [00:02:25] So Sean, before you start, why don’t we have a word from one of our fine sponsors, this time from VocalBoothToGo. VocalBoothToGo’s patented acoustic blankets are an effective alternative to expensive soundproofing. They are often used by vocal and voiceover professionals, engineers and studios as an affordable soundproofing and absorption solution. We make your environment quieter for less. Thanks again to one of our oldest sponsors, VocalBoothToGo.
Sean Daeley: [00:02:50] Well, it’s been a relatively quiet month. I’ve been kind of focusing more on the life balance of work life balance recently, and of course it’s cold and flu season, so trying to keep my, my cords in good shape for that. So, other than the usual e-learning projects, I’ve just been getting some very cool auditions, some higher profile projects than I’m used to seeing in my inbox.
So, keeping fingers crossed on those. Other than that, I got, um, I mentioned it before. I’m still waiting on my new e-learning demo from J. Michael Collins, good friend and sponsor of the show. And, uh, I’m in the works on making a new commercial demo with another friend of the podcast, Terry Daniel. Yeah. Other than that, just kind of like nose to the grindstone and just working on my usual VO projects. What about you?
Paul Stefano: [00:03:34] So from my end of things, I’ve got a couple of ongoing clients, which is always nice. I haven’t had to audition for much lately. I mean I’m still getting auditions from agents, but mostly I’m just trying to catch up on the work I already have to do.
Still doing my weekly now medical narration, and I like to drop in some social media references to those when they’re appropriate. You may have seen my video on botulism just before the Thanksgiving holiday…
Sean Daeley: [00:03:58] Buy your loved ones botulism…
Paul Stefano: [00:04:00] Exactly
Sean Daeley: [00:04:00] or Botox for this holiday season. Aw, man. I forget what commercial it was, but it was some of those like…oh, now I remember what it was.
Wait, I was working on a, uh, a 23 and Me script with one of our members and it was like, ‘Give the best DNA gift this holiday season.’ I was like, who’s even thinking about that?
Paul Stefano: [00:04:18] Eww.
Sean Daeley: [00:04:18] Like, aw, man.
Paul Stefano: [00:04:20] When I think of gifting DNA, I’m thinking of something else.
Sean Daeley: [00:04:23] I know, like, send your fit loved ones DNA samples. Yeah.
Paul Stefano: [00:04:28] That’s funny.
Sean Daeley: [00:04:29] Sounds more like a CSI gift or something like that. But anyway.
Exactly. So yeah, I had those medical narrations continuing. Uh, I’m working with my client in South Korea on another training module. And then I picked up a new audiobook. I may have mentioned this last episode, but if not, let’s do it again anyway, I had a, a cold email to me from ACX, which doesn’t happen to me that much anymore asking for me to do a book, and this time it was quite a, quite a lucrative offer. Um, just at the, the minimum for the union rates per finished hour. Now, the funny thing is it’s called, um, Ultra OCR Man. So I just saw the title and I thought, Ooh, this sounds like maybe a technological thriller.
‘Cause OCR is, um, something character recognition from the old days of scanners would, you’d have scanners that would recognize the characters in a piece of text and then convert it to, to electronic. So I’m thinking, Oh, this is going to be cool. It’s gonna be like maybe Tron where some guy’s sucked into a scanner and computerized. Turns out OCR stands for obstacle course racing.
Paul Stefano: [00:05:29] So complete 180 of what I was thinking, but still cool nonetheless.
Sean Daeley: [00:05:33] But still pretty cool…
Paul Stefano: [00:05:34] Yeah. It’s those athletes that do the Tough Mudder runs and the long distance running 24-hour marathons with obstacles built in like water hazards and electricity, those types of things.
Sean Daeley: [00:05:45] Oh, cool…yeah, yeah…
Paul Stefano: [00:05:46] So it is really interesting. It’s, it’s an autobiography by this, this multiple champion, and I am enjoying it, but it was just ironic that at first I’m thinking it’s going to be this, this technological thriller, it turns out it’s all athletic, which I enjoy too.
Sean Daeley: [00:05:58] Yeah, I know you’re a sports dad. It’s…
Paul Stefano: [00:06:00] Yeah, exactly.
Sean Daeley: [00:06:01] …not outside your bailiwick. That’s really cool.
Paul Stefano: [00:06:03] And you’ll appreciate this: ironically, the first couple of chapters, the guy’s bio talks about how he spent a lot of time in Baltimore. He went to Johns Hopkins University and was going to school just after I moved here to Baltimore, and we’ve probably seen each other in person at various restaurants and bars.
So, another connection there. Actually, we’re actually going to meet up, I think in person. He comes visit, comes to visit his family for the holidays. I think we’re gonna have a cup of coffee and, and meet in person, which will be a rarity for people who do online narration for authors.
Sean Daeley: [00:06:31] Yeah. You really gotta work on those memoirs, like seven degrees of Paul Stefano…or something.
It’s, it’s eerie man. The, the levels of connection. I mean, granted, you’re looking for them, but still…
Paul Stefano: [00:06:44] Maybe someday I’ll, uh, host a podcast about it. Maybe.
Sean Daeley: [00:06:47] Oh, wait a minute.
Paul Stefano: [00:06:50] And the last thing I want to talk about is I went to the middle school career day a few months ago to talk about being a voice actor, and it’s only for eighth graders, so my kids aren’t even in that grade anymore, but I just liked doing it so much, I went back and I think I talked about it in the show last year, how I went, and a very, let’s say, well-tenured member of the, of the teaching staff described me as books on tape guy.
Sean Daeley: [00:07:14] Oh, that’s right. Totally up to date…
Paul Stefano: [00:07:16] So the response, so response was really bad. I think there was maybe eight people span…spanning three different sessions last year, so this year I got the proper bio to the, to the staff at the school and was listed as voice actor, and I had I think 25 26 28 and 29 people in all the sessions combined.
So much better response. And I got a whole bunch of cards back from the students. I thought I’d read a few. Again, whereas last year I think I had six, this year I have 45. You have these little postcards with people telling me what they thought about the, um, about the talk I gave. And the way I did it was a little different. Um, last year I basically played some audiobooks samples, and then read some myself, which I realized is probably kind of boring. So this year I brought some actual scripts and had the students read them and give them all copies, and we broke down the characters of the scripts, um, or the, the copy, depending on what kind it was.
I had like one commercial, one video game, I think a PSA and then an audiobook. So I asked them what they wanted to listen to and almost all of them picked the video game. And what was cool is that as I was talking to the students, I realized that I knew much more than I even give myself credit for it because I was talking about things like backstories and describing the character and what they might look like, what the situation is in the scene that we’re doing and all these things that I sometimes honestly don’t do when I’m doing an audition. Sometimes all this, quite honestly, phone it in, not because I don’t care, because I just forget to do some of these things that you…we’re trained to do as actors. But hearing myself say it out loud to these other people was really eye opening for me to think, wow, these are the things I need to do every time I do an audition and it’ll help me so much because I see it helping them as we’re working through it. And then I got them all to read as we were, um, as we were there in front of the rest of the class and recorded it and played it back.
So they really enjoyed it.
Sean Daeley: [00:09:10] That’s awesome. I mean, I actually recently did the exact same thing. We’re doing sort of a VO career day for a middle school class.
Paul Stefano: [00:09:16] Oh, cool!
Sean Daeley: [00:09:16] It’s funny ’cause I only had like 50 minutes and I just like, it’s amazing how quickly that got eaten up. You know? I was just like, wow. I didn’t realize I had this much to talk about voiceover, but I’m actually thinking of kind of adapting that presentation into like a free essentials for VO or VO 101 kind of webinar, ’cause I’m like, if you can teach this crap to 13-year-olds, you could teach it to anyone,
Paul Stefano: [00:09:38] Yeah, especially if you can keep them interested.
Sean Daeley: [00:09:40] Oh yeah. That was a big part, and it was funny you mentioned the thank you cards. There was one kid who was like, ‘Thank you so much for coming to our school, even though I wasn’t interested in your career.’ At least they’re brutally honest.
Paul Stefano: [00:09:54] Yeah. That never fails.
Sean Daeley: [00:09:56] All right. I was just going to say I did something pretty similar where we kind of looked at–and it was great timing because we had just worked on in this sort of like commercial script in one of our, uh, GVAA workouts the day before–it was a perfect example of a company trying a bunch of different things and either like wanting to use like four different ideas or trying to appeal to different audiences or just not knowing what the heck they wanted and trying to look to the actor to help them figure out which slogan they were going to use.
So it was a great exercise in like …in script analysis where you can be like, ‘Oh, Hey, this is like… This spot, they’re really hitting the fact that they’re the only local business, uh, with …they’ve got longevity and they’re the best one. And then the other one was kind of very short and simple and concise, so you wanted to deliver it very clearly.
But it was great because even these kids were observant enough to kind of recognize that, that each one of these scripts should be approached differently. And you know, I tried to make their teacher happy ’cause she was an English teacher and I was like, you know, kids, English is very important for voiceover and need to have great reading skills, need to have a decent vocabulary.
So she was really happy about that and it was just a lot of fun to, to be in that environment again, as some of you know, I was a teacher for a number of years before pursuing voiceover, so it was nice to be in a school environment and working with kids again.
Paul Stefano: [00:11:12] Yeah, it’s definitely refreshing when you get a chance to do that.
So, as I said, I had this big pile of cards here. I’m going to read a few just at random, um, and we’ll see which ones are funny and which ones are bad. So this one says, ‘Dear Mr. Stefano, I thought it was really funny how you talked into the mic. I also really enjoyed how you let other students talk in funny voices and I really enjoyed hearing about what you do and appreciate you coming out to the school.’
Thank you so much. That was cool. Um, ‘Dear Mr. Stefano, thank you for coming in and speaking to us today. I felt the scripts you gave us today gave us a real, a real taste of voice acting. You made today very fun and voice acting seemed like a great job to have.’ That’s cool. Let’s see if I can find a negative one.
‘Dear Mr.Stefano, thank you so much for taking time out of your life and teaching us about your career. I appreciate it. How you actually demonstrate your job to us. You were the only teacher of mine that did that.’ Oh, that’s cool.
Sean Daeley: [00:12:03] That’s cool.
Paul Stefano: [00:12:04] Yeah. I noticed, I looked, as I walked around the other sessions, there was a bunch of people being talked at, teachers just standing up, I mean, parents just standing up and explaining what they did.
So I knew that… I would be a hit for that. Let’s see, ‘Dear Mr. Stefano, I really think acting and voice acting is for me. I love being able to be creative. And what I’m thankful for is that you showed us more about voice acting.’ Oh, that’s cool. So that’s just a little taste. Um, I will share with you that I went back to pick up my son for a doctor’s appointment, I think last week. And, uh, we had, we were leaving early, and I was standing in the hallway waiting for him to show up from his locker, and one of the girls, I guess who was in my session, said, ‘Oh, hi, Mr. Voice Acting Guy. How are you?’
Sean Daeley: [00:12:43] That’s awesome! Must have been a memorable presentation.
Paul Stefano: [00:12:45] So yeah, really, really fun experience. If you have a chance to talk to the the ‘youts’ of today, I highly recommend it. It’ll be pretty rewarding for you too.
Sean Daeley: [00:12:53] And it’s a humbling experience as we were just talking about off mic. They’re brutally honest. So
Paul Stefano: [00:12:58] Yeah. Last year didn’t go nearly as well.
Sean Daeley: [00:13:00] Didn’t you say that you kind of shot yourself in the foot by comparing yourself to like Jim Dale or something like that?
Paul Stefano: [00:13:04] Yeah. Last year I played Jim Dale with me following, a version of my book, and they said, ‘Um… Is it supposed to sound monotone like that?’ And I said, ‘No, it’s not. It’s supposed to sound like Mr. Dale.’
Sean Daeley: [00:13:19] Oh, well.
Paul Stefano: [00:13:20] So that’s all that’s really going on in, uh, in my, in my VO world. But we do want to get to our interview with the talented Tracy Lindley in just a second. But before that, Sean, can you tell us a little bit about podcastdemos.com?
Sean Daeley: [00:13:34] Why, certainly, let me tell you about Podcast Demos.
So, this is run by Tim Paige and his team who have produced over 1000 podcast intros for some of the biggest podcasts on the planet. Each demo includes custom written scripts and hand selected music, and it’s guaranteed to showcase your voice and talent in the best light possible. With a finger on the pulse of what podcast producers want.
You can be sure your podcast demo will sound professional, current, and competitive. Now, we’ve mentioned this several times on the podcast, but Tim actually produced Paul and my podcast demos, and all I can say is that he and his team were absolutely amazing. His script writer created original scripts, perfect for my voice and personality as well as reflective of current popular podcast genres.
I recorded in the comfort of my own home studio, and Tim worked his mastering magic. The whole process only took a couple of days and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. Tim is a consummate professional and so easy to work with. Thank you, Tim and Podcast Demos.
Paul Stefano: [00:14:34] So I think you saw this, but there was a post on one of the Facebook groups last week where somebody was asking, do I need a specific podcast genre demo? And somebody said, ah, Sean Daeley and Paul Stefano, can you help with this?
Sean Daeley: [00:14:47] I know, they called us out
Paul Stefano: [00:14:49] And what do we say? ‘Absolutely, talk to Tim Paige at podcastdemos.com!’
Sean Daeley: [00:14:54] Well, it was really funny because you had people kind of on the fence and like there is everything from like, I’d never heard of such a thing or like, it sounds like…or like, you don’t need one for that. And what got me is that people were interested in soliciting work from podcast producing companies, but they also didn’t think it was necessary to have a podcast demo. And, and so, I mean, depending on where you’re at in your career, this might be the kind that you are able to assemble from work that you’ve already done.
I wouldn’t like, I definitely wouldn’t recommend using work that wasn’t applicable. Some people suggested like, ‘Oh, wouldn’t a narration or similar demo be good enough for that?’ I’m like, no, podcast intros have a very specific formula to the way they’re written, and I don’t feel like you, like a more generalized demo would work for that.
And so when they kind of, they dropped our names into the bucket. I was like, well, who else, or who better to go to but Tim Paige of Podcast Demos. So if you are considering getting a demo for an affordable price in that genre. I definitely recommend checking out Tim’s team.
Yeah, I would say the only one you could maybe get away with it is an imaging demo.
If your particular imaging demo introduces a lot of the hosts that are working for stations, so if you do this like one-minute soliloquy about John in the morning zoo, then you might be able to use that. But other than that, it really does make sense to have a demo specific to the genre in which you want to work.
It just makes sense.
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Find us at globalvoiceacademy.com. Because you like to have fun.
Sean Daeley: [00:17:19] So in lieu of a questionable gear purchase this month, Paul and I actually didn’t buy anything. Surprise, surprise,
Paul Stefano: [00:17:25] But, but there were a few moments of, um, of near misses.
Sean Daeley: [00:17:29] That’s right. There were. We had to talk ourselves off the ledge a couple of times.
So we’re going to talk about troubleshooting and whether or not throwing money at the problem is actually the right solution. So Paul, why don’t you go first?
Paul Stefano: [00:17:41] Well, I had this unique situation where I texted you actually to help me off the ledge because I’m working on this large e-learning video where I’m hiring several voices and using live sound, and I was meeting with the clients and before the meeting, or actually while I was waiting for one of the, one of the employees of the company to show up, I texted you because I thought I was going to be doing live sound and I don’t currently have a dual-channel mixer, except for the one I use in my studio, which I’m loath to bring with me, right? Because I don’t want to bring it with me and then drop it somewhere, because I’ve actually already done that once. I brought it to a local crab feast party where I was deejaying and, uh, on the way back, it fell out of the cart I was pushing several times and it’s got a bunch of nicks on it.
Sean Daeley: [00:18:26] Oh, no… Is that the, is that the Yamaha?
Paul Stefano: [00:18:28] Yes, the Yamaha AGO6. So it pretty much stays put in the studio now. So I thought I was going to need a two mic set up to do an interview and um, and guest host this, this live sound, but as it turned out, the company is going to do the sound themselves and then just send it to me.
So this is one case where you really need to know what your, your needs are for the job before you make a rash purchase. Because I almost in the, the lobby of the hotel we were meeting at, purchased an interface on Amazon, texting back and forth with Sean.
Sean Daeley: [00:18:58] Well, yeah, and I mean, granted, at least it wasn’t like, I mean, it was more like backup interface prices, like sub hundred dollars, which is like, you know, I, I’ve done that in the past where it’s just like, sometimes you travel somewhere and you forget one key piece of equipment and then you have to go to the music store to buy an interface or XLR cables or whatever. Anyways, my story was, um, I was trying to record my girlfriend, who’s, who’s also a voice talent for these monthly e-learning gigs that I do.
So I was on location recording her, and then my MixerFace was, which, as you might know from the marketing materials, is known for its pristine, quiet preamps. Well, for the first time ever. And I don’t know why. It was introducing a whole lot of his in the, in the main preamp and input one. And I was like, this is ridiculous.
I can’t use this. And so after some like extensive troubleshooting, I opened a ticket with Michael over at CEntrance and then they were great. They are very responsive. And then they asked me to send it in and so I did. And within a week they got it back and they’re like, Oh, here’s the problem. You had the Hi-Z or the guitar input engaged.
And so for people who don’t know, uh, the Hi-Z input kind of boosts the signal a little bit, uh, for guitars as opposed to using it with an XLR so it can add a lot of additional noise if you have the wrong setting switched on. So I felt like an idiot, but luckily I didn’t need to spend any more money on a new interface.
So make sure you, you exhaust all possibilities before you bring out the wallet or checkbook or what have you.
Paul Stefano: [00:20:33] Yeah, that makes sense. And I have one more, um, possible situation is the best way I can describe it in that…
Sean Daeley: [00:20:39] Uh oh.
Paul Stefano: [00:20:40] Um, I recently tested the new Tri-Booth product by Rick Wasserman and George Whittam. I did a video out there, so you guys can check that out on YouTube. And interestingly, when I did the test, I did an A/B between my WhisperRoom and the Tri-Booth, and I found that the, the rumble that has caused me so much trouble over the years was not there as much, maybe not at all, in the Tri-Booth, which is just basically a couple of moving blankets with on a frame in the middle of my room.
Sean Daeley: [00:21:10] That makes no sense.
Paul Stefano: [00:21:13] Well here, here’s where, here’s where I’m thinking it’s causing issues, is that the booth itself is, is reverberating a bit, and bringing some of that…
Sean Daeley: [00:21:23] That’s what I was going to theorize: you have a much more sturdy frame that can kind of resonate those lower frequencies.
Paul Stefano: [00:21:28] Yeah.
Sean Daeley: [00:21:28] So that’s really interesting.
Paul Stefano: [00:21:30] So I’m not sure if there’s anything I can really do about it except. Well, I don’t know really, honestly. Maybe float the booth more is the only thing I can think of.
Sean Daeley: [00:21:38] That’s what I was thinking ’cause, are you using like, uh, a vinyl mat or like hockey pucks or something under the booth?
Paul Stefano: [00:21:44] Well right now it’s sitting on two of the sound absorption mats from VocalBoothToGo. And that has helped I think. But it’s possible I could do more to decouple it as they say in, in a booth building to get it away from the construction of the house. ’cause I think it is physically vibrating and causing more of that…that, that, um, that sound leaking in. But the flip side is, it’s very well isolating.
So I can have everything going on outside the house and even mostly inside the house, kids screaming, dogs barking, lawn mowers on the neighbor’s yard, as long as it’s not mine and everything’s fine. I can’t have that with a blanket booth, it just won’t stop any of that noise. So there’s a trade-off.
Sean Daeley: [00:22:25] And I do want to emphasize too, I mean, we’ve talked about this before, especially in some of our earlier episodes on, uh, acoustics and isolation.
These are all solutions that as a beginning talent or as an even an intermediate talent, you might want to be looking into, if you’re trying to move beyond, say, a walk-in closet booth or that was never really an option for you based on like spatial constraints and stuff like that, in your, in your apartment or your house or whatever, but do your research, right?
Because there’s a number of different products like this available, like, like VocalBoothToGo or the Tri-Booth or even do-it-yourself. So you really have to assess what your exact needs are, and which one of these solutions might work best for you. Because for example, I find that the Tri-Booth is probably most advantageous for people who are working consistently, might even have the golden handcuffs situation where they can’t be away—like they need to be able to record within a certain time window.
And so that ability to recreate your studio sound wherever you go, I feel like justifies the price. But, if you don’t have that golden handcuffs situation, then maybe one of the other solutions or the DIY ones might be better or more up your alley. So do your research and really think about the pros and cons of each one before you bring out your checkbook and maybe spend more money than you need to.
Paul Stefano: [00:23:46] But by the same token, you might need to spend a ton of money if you, if you’re like me and you have a giant highway in your backyard or you’re in the, the flight path of an airport, or there’s a Medevac helicopter that frequently flies over your house, you’re going to need a booth.
Sean Daeley: [00:23:58] Exactly. And for people in those situations like, which is cheaper, getting spending a grand or two on a booth or moving. Right? So, um, and, and you, you hear this a lot ‘cause a lot of people are still kind of looking for that magic software that just removes noise without causing artifacts. And it doesn’t exist, guys.
Paul Stefano: [00:24:17] Nope, not yet.
Sean Daeley: [00:24:19] Especially if it’s random intermittent noises like the occasional bark of a dog or just like a motorcycle gang driving down the street or whatever, no software is going to remove that without causing, without negatively affecting your audio. So again, get things as quiet and clean at the source as possible and then start trying to troubleshoot away some of those smaller niggling problems
Paul Stefano: [00:24:44] Well said, young man.
Sean Daeley: [00:24:46] Why, thank you, old man.
Paul Stefano: [00:24:48] So we’ll get to our interview with Tracy in one more minute, we promise, right after these words from ipDTL. So, as you may know by now, ipDTL is the cost-effective ISDN replacement. It’s great for interviews, outside broadcasts and voiceover. There’s no special hardware or software required.
It works anywhere with an internet connection. There are monthly or annual subscriptions. It runs in the Chrome web browser, and the best part is it just works. So thanks to ipDTL for sponsoring the show.
Sean Daeley: [00:25:19] All right. Thanks for bearing with us as we talk about troubleshooting and preventing questionable gear purchases, it’s that time for our interview section with the lovely and talented Tracy Lindley.
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Paul Stefano: [00:26:31] Okay, welcome to the interview portion of this episode of the VO Meter. Our guest today was born and raised just North of Kansas City, and being a Midwest girl, Tracy believes in hard work and likes to infuse authenticity into everything she does, and says, as an intern at a local cable TV station, Tracy was asked one day by a producer to read a script for a commercial.
That was when she discovered her passion for voiceover. Now, as a professional female voice actor for over 15 years, Tracy operates out of her home studio or with real people in their Kansas City-area studios. Tracy has always been fascinated with people, the kind of person who strikes up a friendly conversation with the cashier at the grocery store or the guy standing next to you in a long line.
As such, she has become known for her LinkedIn Edge program, which teaches people how to use the power of LinkedIn to create relationships in order to grow their business. So please join me in welcoming Tracy Lindley.
Sean Daeley: [00:27:22] Woo. Welcome, Tracy.
Tracy Lindley: [00:27:24] Hey guys. How’s it going?
Sean Daeley: [00:27:27] Really good. Thank you so much for being on the podcast.
Tracy Lindley: [00:27:30] My pleasure. Appreciate the invite.
Sean Daeley: [00:27:32] Of course, of course. So Tracy, thanks again so much for being on the podcast, and for people who might not be familiar with you, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into VO.
Tracy Lindley: [00:27:41] Okay. Well, you know, Paul kind of covered a little bit of that about that, but I do have to correct a bit of that information.
Um, have you ever, I don’t know what your guys’ backgrounds are, but sometimes you get into something without meaning to get into it. And that’s what happened to me. So 15 years ago, I did not technically get into voiceover. I discovered it, but I didn’t know what it was called. And I would just kind of read these 30-second spots for this cable company, but I didn’t know that it was called voiceover. So I would go every now and then into the studio. And this guy that I worked with moved companies a couple of times, but they were all local. But by the time I had my third child, out of four, I was carrying her around in a car seat and the other two were working on like coloring books and stuff while I go into the studio ‘‘cause he didn’t care, he was cool with it, and it would literally take me five minutes to do it and then I’d walk out. So it was no biggie. And everybody in the in the area was like, yeah, a little, little kids don’t bother me. That’s fine. But after a while it wasn’t worth it and, and I didn’t know what a good rate was at that point.
So I was taking 20 bucks and I was happy with it, and it was just fun. I did it because it was fun. I didn’t do it for the money. Um, but anyway, after child number three, it was not worth it anymore. And I said, Hey, you know, I can’t do this anymore. He’s like, okay, no problem… Well, did you know that you can make a studio out of your house and do it out of there?
I was like, no, I did not know that. So that was 2014; that was January 2014 and I immediately got online and started Googling ’cause he gave me the term voiceover. So that’s all that I needed. From there I was, you know, just on fire. I was so excited to learn. I’ve always been a self-motivated person. Um, many people don’t know this about me, but I was homeschooled for a long time. So this whole thing about homeschoolers not having good social skills, please. Um, so, being homeschooled, you do your work on your own and you’re, you’re the one doing it. And my mom in particular was not very diligent as she should have been about checking my work. So I had to make sure that I was doing my own stuff.
So anyway, I went and listened to every podcast I could find, watched any vlog I could find, articles, anything I could locate about voiceover, and then my ears suddenly started opening to listening to commercials, um, actively and, and watching them and watching how the visuals played into the voiceover and all of that.
So, there’s so much you can learn on your own for free that… it… it…my whole world expanded. So at that point I threw my hat in the ring and joined a pay to play, as many of us do because we don’t know what else to do and went nowhere. So then I got some professional training and a couple of professional demos and I still went basically nowhere.
Until I discovered that I could do my own direct marketing on LinkedIn. So I started doing that back in probably early 2015 and that’s kind of when things opened up. And a big caveat as well for my business, catapulting into action was going to FaffCon in 2016 and I think just with anybody, pretty much everyone I talked to says the first year or two or three is pretty slow.
I don’t know. What’s your guys’ experience with that?
Paul Stefano: [00:31:08] Well, I had a pretty similar experience to the way you described your career starting, except I didn’t have anyone tell me about voiceover. I did a, an IVR way back in 1999 for the company I was working for, and that was it. I didn’t get paid for it. I got paid my normal salary, which at that point was an hourly wage, just above minimum.
And that was it. They said, you have a nice voice, you do it, and I think I’m still there if…it’s the EZPass system here on the East coast. And then several years went by and I had no idea what voiceover was because nobody told me and I didn’t know. It took me all the way until 2015 to even start doing the same sort of searches and watching of online content that you did.
But yeah, the first couple of years are definitely slow and it really takes specific tools like we’re about to get into in order to, to make that leap, I think
Tracy Lindley: [00:31:55] Definitely.
Paul Stefano: [00:31:56] What about you, Sean?
Sean Daeley: [00:31:58] And in my case, um, I was kind of unique because one of my first clients I actually met in person while it was in Japan, and it was just getting started and I was like, Hey, I’m, and I was like, I’m actually training to be a VO and do it professionally.
And he’s like, Oh, really? I’m actually looking to delegate all the audio responsibilities away from myself. So it was like kind of serendipitous, but I agree. And I feel like either it’s extremely slow for people or they have this kind of initial burst and boom and then it plateaus like after that point.
So, um, so yeah, it’s definitely one of the two.
Tracy Lindley: [00:32:31] It’s so crazy how everybody’s story is different. And sometimes I pinch myself because I don’t even, some days, you know, you’re like, I don’t even deserve to be this lucky. I don’t even deserve this dream job that everybody else wants and does it…can’t figure out how to obtain, but I don’t even have any acting background, and sometimes I think that’s not fair because so many people have put in the time, effort, money, and everything else to get that acting. And for me, it all came on the job because I used to read to kids at the library, and I’ve, I’ve been babysitting since I was 12 so I mean, I don’t know why anybody would entrust their child with a 12 year old, but people did it.
Paul Stefano: [00:33:12] I do it. I mean, it’s my own babysitting her brothers, but we do it.
Tracy Lindley: [00:33:17] Yeah. Sometimes you’re desperate, but I was that neighborhood babysitter that I would bring a suitcase full of books. I love books and literacy for children is a passion of mine, and I always taught my kids to read when they were four. So literacy is super important to me, and I would be reading out loud to children and they get way more engaged if you do the voices and if you get excited or if you slow down or if you have a sad point in the story.
So I learned these things just from hanging out with kids and they are the least judgmental people on the planet. Hanging out with kids is the best. Yeah, they’ll just eat up. Whatever you give them.
Paul Stefano: [00:33:56] Depends on the age. I talked about on the show a couple of months ago. I went to a career day for my daughter’s middle school and I presented on voiceover and I did mostly audio books and I made the mistake of playing them, Jim Dale, doing, uh, doing Harry Potter and then, and then played my, one of my books right afterwards and the, the little girl, not little girl, but like the 14year-old eighth-grader said, Um, is it supposed to sound that monotone, and I said, No, no, it’s not. I’m just not as good as Mr. Dale.
Tracy Lindley: [00:34:28] Ouch!
Paul Stefano: [00:34:30] From the mouths of babes. Right.
Tracy Lindley: [00:34:32] Yeah. They don’t really have a lot of filter.
Paul Stefano: [00:34:34] No.
Tracy Lindley: [00:34:35] Not much filter at all.
Paul Stefano: [00:34:37] So Tracy talked about in joining…
Sean Daeley: [00:34:38] I know who I’ll send my next demo for critique to. That’s awesome.
Paul Stefano: [00:34:42] Yeah.
Sean Daeley: [00:34:42] ‘Cause I feel like online so many people are like, “Good job!” and like some people don’t really want to give you negative feedback. But I mean, no, that’s great. It sounds like you do a little bit of everything, but do you focus on any particular genres of VO?
Tracy Lindley: [00:34:57] Well, I know what I like to do. I love commercials.
Number one, they’re short and my time is limited. Typically they pay the best. Considering many of the genres they pay really well. So I like to model my business after, after that: the least amount of time for the most amount of money, because that’s just kinda my business model. Plus it allows me to be a bunch of different… I’m all over the place.
I can be super introspective, you know, we’re, we’re looking at like an inner monologue. You can be the crazy best friend. I mean, you run the gamut and I, I love not knowing what’s coming and what’s going to drop in my inbox. And I don’t know, I think sometimes it’s just luck of the draw, but I love commercials and I also love doing explainer videos and corporate narration.
So I think you just kind of gravitate towards what you like. And unlike our friend Paul, I’m not into audiobooks and I would gladly pass those along to someone else anytime. I try to limit my projects to no more than an hour at most, pretty much. Um, I love short projects. I like to get it done, send it off, be done with it, and bill…And build the people.
And that’s just kinda how I do it. But commercials are a lot of fun. What else? I do a little bit of IVR, but I’m, I’m kind of bored by it. I had a, I had a long session for a medical center where it was just prompt after prompt after prompt. And I, I just, it wasn’t my thing. I like to have fun and that’s what I love about this job is I’m so passionate about it, and so I pick this stuff I like to do. It keeps me interested. It keeps me loving what I do. ‘Cause if you don’t love what you do, why do it?
Paul Stefano: [00:36:40] Absolutely.
Tracy Lindley: [00:36:41] So that’s me.
Paul Stefano: [00:36:41] So, speaking of fun, do you have any interesting or funny stories you’d like to share regarding your, your VO journey so far?
Tracy Lindley: [00:36:48] Oh, man. I don’t know how much I can say about this, but I had a, I had a commercial session where the producer got on and read with me and we were discussing a bathroom product.
There was a lot of laughing and giggling. There were body noises as part of the script. And, uh, it was quite the raucous session, I’ll just put it that way. And that is number one in my mind for having a fun session.
Paul Stefano: [00:37:15] What about something where, uh, you either had a faux pas or something technical went wrong, um, something that you were hopefully able to recover from.
Tracy Lindley: [00:37:23] Well, that one was, that one was in the script. I mean, I had to make grunting noises. Um, and anytime you say yes multiple times, that can get kind of, that can get a little tricky, full pause. I, I feel like I can roll with it, you know, my life is…as a mom is pretty unpredictable. I have, you know, I mean, you try to go out the door and all of a sudden your kid has to poop, you know, you roll with this sort of thing. This is, this is life. I don’t know if I was supposed to say, I don’t know if we can say poop on podcasts, but…
Sean Daeley: [00:37:57] Of course we can say poop, it’s a poopcast. It’s fine.
Paul Stefano: [00:37:59] It’s a poopcast…
Tracy Lindley: [00:38:01] But life is unpredictable. You must be flexible. You gotta be flexible. We were flexible even connecting today, like which method we were gonna use, ’cause they weren’t all working at the same time.
So you have to have a plan B and a plan C and maybe a plan D. and I think flexibility is super important. You also have to be willing to do whatever it is they’re asking you to do. If they want you to grunt less gross, if they want you to be like, now give me a sexy grunt. A…what? I don’t know what that sounds like, but I’ll try.
Sean Daeley: [00:38:35] Uhhh… I don’t know.
Tracy Lindley: [00:38:37] Please don’t do that, Sean. But, uh, you know, you just gotta throw your inhibitions out the window because someone’s gonna ask you to do something that you’re not totally comfortable with. Now, it shouldn’t go against your ethics by any means. I’m not suggesting that, but I do think that you have to just not be afraid to feel silly sometimes. I mean, that’s what acting’s about. Not that I have–like I said, I don’t have an acting background, but talking to people and my own experiences as a voice actor, man, you just gotta, you just gotta roll with it, do whatever they say and do it with a good attitude.
Sean Daeley: [00:39:11] I love it. Excellent advice.
You’ve just been this font of inspiration because, I mean, I love your passion and I love like, like you said, you’re not afraid to be silly and you’ve just got this wonderful personableness to you. I mean, like you’re so, you’re so sociable and you’re so friendly. And something that I’m curious about is ‘cause you’ve, you’ve had a lot of success through your own direct marketing, whether it be through LinkedIn or other means.
And I’m curious, why do you think talent struggled to use either LinkedIn or other self-marketing methods effectively?
Tracy Lindley: [00:39:42] I think people just get stuck sometimes. You gotta be able to think outside the box and maybe they’re afraid to try a new method. Maybe people are anti social media. There are lots of anti social media people.
In fact, I’ve been pretty quiet on social media lately ’cause I’m just, I get so sick of it. I mean, I think we all do. It’s like the thing we love to hate and, and it…it’s happy and a joyous place one day, and then the next day you’re like, “Quit griping online already!” or, “Please not another picture of fill in the blank.”
So I don’t know. I think sometimes it can just be hard to get started, too. I think people have analysis paralysis, um, and you just sit there and over analyze everything that you’re going to do or say when it’s the internet. People forget you every day. So they’re not going to remember you if maybe you accidentally misspelled their name or, not that I— I mean, I always teach people, please don’t misspell people’s names, that’s a faux pas for sure. But, um, I dunno. I think you want to be as memorable as you can, but the reality of it is, is that there’s so much noise, there’s so much traffic and everything going on that you are, most of us are all going to be forgettable at one point or another. It’s just the way that it is.
There’s a lot of humans on this planet and the people we reach out to, uh, probably not gonna remember you anyway unless they checked their message history or whatever. But I think sometimes you just gotta get started. You just got to do it. Even if you’re not sure exactly what to do, just move forward.
Take small steps and don’t think about it too much. Just do it.
Paul Stefano: [00:41:23] That’s great advice. So Tracy, you talked about how you grew your business primarily using LinkedIn and you were so successful that you actually developed a course called the LinkedIn Edge. So tell us a little bit about your early success on LinkedIn and then how you came to develop the course.
Tracy Lindley: [00:41:38] Okay. I touched on that just a smidge, so I’ll go back to that. But around 2015 is when I started to do a little bit more and a little bit more, and I started reaching out on LinkedIn and, you know, I started connecting with people, they started connecting with me—before 2014 I didn’t even have a profile—but when people would reach out first, I would just click the button like most of us do, and just say “connect.”
And that was that. And nothing ever happens from that. So. If you start to communicate with people though, they’ll communicate back with you. I found one day I discovered that, Hey, this person isn’t a voiceover person. This person is a video producer, I think it was, and I just started to have a conversation with them.
I was like, thanks for connecting. It’s great to be in your network. I don’t remember what I said. I could go back and look at it, but anyway, what actually opened my eyes to the fact that this could work as a marketing method was when he copied and pasted his script into a LinkedIn message and said, “Hey, how much for this?” basically, and “When can you do it?” Okay, so of course I just played it really cool. It’s like, Oh yeah, you know, I would charge this, but inside I’m like, Whoa, I just got a gig from LinkedIn. How is that possible? And so that was probably early 2016 and I started furiously using it after that. Then I started becoming intentional and.
I started reaching out to probably, I don’t know, 20 people every day. That was my goal at the beginning when I really wanted to grow quickly. So I literally would sit and tally people on a piece of paper, how many people I sent invitations to, and then how many people reached back out, and I would send them.
Sort of a welcome message kind of thing, and I kept tweaking that message template that I would use, and that’s one of my top tips for people too, is always sends a personalized invitation if you’re going to reach out on LinkedIn, don’t just click connect because it’ll send this boring general so-and-so would like to add you to their network. You want to stand out a little bit more not, but you do keep it really casual and, and simple and don’t sell in that first invitation connection whatsoever. Just be friendly and just, you know, say you’d like to connect kind of thing or you know, maybe how you found them. But then once they do connect with you, you need to have a message template ready to go so that you can personalize the first couple of sentences to connect with them on an emotional level.
And then. You know, say your part about who you are, how you can help, and all of this has to be really concise. So there’s a bit of a science to it. But that is, that’s kind of the gist of it. The three steps that I teach people on how to use LinkedIn marketing is, first of all, make sure that what you’re sending people, what you’re putting out there looks good.
So you have to optimize your profile. That’s step one. Step two is understand how to use the search function so you can target the right people who need your services. So that’s step two. And then the third part is the messaging. Like I just mentioned, the reaching out to connect. And once they do connect, sending them a message back that’s appropriate: concise, fairly casual, but professional. So it sounds simple, but it’s, it’s not easy. And so that’s why I developed a course when I went to FaffCon, how that one works. It’s peer led. And so you basically put your topic that you, you think you might be able to present, put it on a, on the wall, and people vote for it, basically.
And I just…you know, my heart was beating. Oh, it was my first time ever attending a conference. I had major imposter syndrome and I was fan-girling over many people that I met there, and I was like, reign it in, girl, calm down. They’re just people like you. But I think everybody who’s ever been to a conference understands that feeling.
It’s just overwhelming. And especially the larger conferences. When I first went to VO Atlanta, I was very overwhelmed and had a slight emotional breakdown one night ’cause I was like, there’s too many people here. I’m from a town of 75,000 so I’m not used to a whole bunch of people. But anyway, when I went to FaffCon, people actually voted for my topic.
So then I was like, well, crap, now I got to actually present this thing. So I threw it together because obviously I hadn’t had it prepared and I even had a fancy PowerPoint and everything, and I came up with it all on the fly. So as I’m presenting this and I couldn’t even eat right before, I was so nervous, I couldn’t even eat before I did my presentation, but I remember George Washington III was like, okay, girl, you got this, and he gave me a big hug and he’s just such a sweetheart, and he encouraged me. So I got up there and I did my thing, and people were taking notes as I’m talking about LinkedIn here, like it was some new thing, and I was like, well, LinkedIn has been around since 2004 but okay.
But people weren’t really using it for marketing, I guess, in our industry. So I just kind of started connecting the dots for people and I think it just made sense and things clicked. And the way that I present the information is always: it’s me. I’m fun. I want to make it less boring than learning can be anybody who ever does any e-learning, we’re there to make sure the information is engaging. So every, everything I have in my course, I have like a few videos… Every time I introduce a module—there are seven of them—there’s an on-camera video from me hanging out in my studio, just sort of introducing the topic to keep people interested. And then I have some screen sharing and um, some PowerPoint slides that I go through, too.
But everything is really as fun as I can make it, it’s as tightly edited, so there’s no extra blah, blah, blah. Just, you know, go, here’s the information. And it’s little tiny bite-sized lessons so people can actually digest it and apply it. And then I have some homework sections where I’m like, okay, stop the video and go do this.
So it’s a lot of fun. And when I was presenting it at FaffCon, I had people come up after me, after I was done talking, and they were like, this is really great. And I had, I had one person want to swap time and this person is a, a huge… I mean, I was like, Whoa, you want to swap hour for hour? Okay, yes, I recognize a good deal when I see one.
And then somebody else wanted to be my accountability partner and someone else, this and that, and I was, I was getting all these offers and I was like, okay, I guess people like this information. This is great. So ever since then I’ve been invited to go to several conferences and present, and I feel like when people see a method that is working for someone and, and just a, a small town girl, a mom of four kids, someone with no acting background, that’s relatable. There are many people who join this industry that are like me. They don’t have an acting background and they don’t have all the stuff and the credentials.
And that’s me. It’s just someone who’s made her own way and who’s decided this is what she wants to do. And I think people find that very relatable. And I think this course is relatable as well. So that’s a, a long story, but…Oh, and I was gonna say too, I’ve broken one course into two courses. So the LinkedIn Edge, I’ve actually broadened that and generalized a smidge so that it can be for any freelancer, no matter what their industry.
So the VO-specific one is now at theVOedge.com and that’s been tough for people to ask for me to get the word out. So I’m saying it here so that people don’t go buy the wrong course. Because the VO one has a cheat sheet of, of search terms, it’s got like some different VO-specific stuff in it, whereas the other one doesn’t.
Um, and I want people to get the one that’s gonna apply most to what they do in their industry.
Paul Stefano: [00:49:16] Well, our legions of fans will help spread the word, I’m sure.
Tracy Lindley: [00:49:19] Thank you. Sorry about the long story. I tend to ramble a bit.
Sean Daeley: [00:49:23] No, no, no. You just killed off a couple of our questions. That’s okay.
Paul Stefano: [00:49:26] No, it was wonderful.
Tracy Lindley: [00:49:27] Okay…
Sean Daeley: [00:49:28] But that’s… No, no, no, it’s fine. It’s fine. But I mean, you touched on it a little bit as far as like how to reach potential contacts and to not be too salesy. Are there any other LinkedIn do’s and don’ts you, uh, you recommend without giving us the course, of course, but about like say, creating a profile and reaching out to potential contacts?
Tracy Lindley: [00:49:47] I’ll give you a couple of the do’s and don’ts that I see a lot. Most people want to know, can I have two LinkedIn profiles because I do this in the business world, and then I do VO as a side career. And the answer to that is that LinkedIn specifically says you can only have one profile. You can have multiple business pages, but you’re only supposed to have one personal profile.
And I also feel like it’s super easy, like if Paul wanted to be Paul Stefano VO, and then he had a, a profession like a…let’s just say he did something else, he was an accountant or something and he was Paul Stefano and he’s the accountant over here. If you type in his name, you can find him anyway.
So it doesn’t make any sense to me when people want to have two profiles. So that is one of the most popular questions that I get.
One of the other things I see people do that they should not do is under their job experience, they will list their talent agents like you work for them, but in truth, they kind of work for us. Right? Talent agents are there to get us work and we pay them a commission for their efforts.
So in a sense, they like nobody’s employed by anybody. We’re just working together. A manager would be a different situation, but it’s still your job is that you’re a voice actor. So I don’t, I don’t encour— I encourage people to not do that.
So don’t list, I’m a voice actor at such and such agency. And then they’ll list, they’ll have all of these listings that you’re a voiceover at, blah, blah, blah agency. And not only does it clutter it up, but it just doesn’t make sense. And then you have to figure out how you’re going to differentiate those, and…
One thing that people could utilize more is to include media samples on their job experience section and the about section. And I, I do…and I’ll give that away as a free tip because that’s a great thing that you can use. You can link it to basically anything. You can put any URL in there that you want so you can link it to a specific YouTube video that you’ve done, and you can describe it. You can link to a Vimeo link. I’ll link to some realtor.com stuff that I do. That way you can show people specific examples and you need to be able to describe the thing is, what the thing is that they’re going to be looking at. So when you’re showing, basically it’s a, it’s a, it’s a resume, but you make it fun and you make it personal.
So if you’re, if you’re saying you’re a voice actor, you need to show people what you can do. So that’s where you put those media samples in there so that people don’t have to navigate away from your LinkedIn profile to go to your website because it just takes them away. It’s easy to get distracted.
Yeah. So you want to keep them on your LinkedIn profile, and that’s why I recommend that people put their media samples on there as much as possible. Just show your best work. And also don’t duplicate sections. So if you’re putting media samples in your about section, don’t use the same ones for your job experience section because that’s really redundant and a waste of people’s time.
But on the other hand, you don’t know where they’re going to be clicking, so you need to include samples in both areas.
Paul Stefano: [00:53:02] Wonderful. So I have a couple of follow-up, uh, nitty gritty technique questions if you’re willing to give those away. First…
Tracy Lindley: [00:53:08] Sure.
Paul Stefano: [00:53:08] …I heard a long time ago—might’ve been you, but maybe somebody else-—that a good place, a good thing to put in your job description, your, your front job description is your website.
So like for instance, I put voice actor at paulstefano.com ‘‘cause that’s my domain. And I think it was because of some limitation LinkedIn had about pushing your website too far up the top of the profile. So you, is that something you’d recommend or is that a waste of space?
Tracy Lindley: [00:53:34] I did say you don’t want to take people away from your profile, so I may sound like I’m contradicting myself, but I also think that people want to know what your website looks like, what’s on there, how professional do you appear there, because websites can be pretty telling. I was just going through a bunch of business cards. Those tell a lot about someone’s level of professionalism as well. Your business cards, your website, it all shows people how professional is this person and how much did they really understand what a good branding image looks like.
And I’ve never had a brand consultant or a manager of any kind. I just kind of came up with some things on my own and worked with a graphic designer, but, but there’s nothing wrong with working with a branding consultant by any means. And that if that doesn’t come naturally to you and if it’s kind of a weak spot for someone, they should definitely seek help.
I definitely get help in my weak areas with different things that are outside my natural skill level. So I think branding’s really important and, and how, how professional you appear. So someone might be checking out your website to get an idea of that. So there’s nothing wrong with sending them there and letting them look around.
Hopefully they’ll stay… I mean, they’ve still got your LinkedIn profile open, hopefully they’ll shut that window and come back. That’s the danger of it. But any media samples going to do the same thing there. They’re going outside of your LinkedIn profile to go look at it, but it’s still kind of contained with the way that LinkedIn does it. It’s, it’s still right there.
So anyway, they have to be able to look at different things. And so I, I don’t think it’s a bad idea. I have my website listed and it works twofold for me because the thumbnail image that I have for my website comes up as my home studio picture. So when people see the thumbnail image of my website, they’re also seeing my home studio, which I want them to see, to know that I have one and it is professional.
So, so that works for me and anybody can do it any way they want to. But if you, if you are embarrassed to send people to your website, that’s a clue you need to have a website makeover.
Paul Stefano: [00:55:45] Yeah, that makes sense. And the other question I had was your, your number one tip to personalize an invitation when you’re sending it.
You may have noticed that right after we talked it in New York. I sent you a blind one because I wasn’t listening apparently, and didn’t put any sort of message whatsoever. So I’m wondering if you’ve had significant conversations with people in person, do you think it’s still necessary to put a message when you’re connecting on LinkedIn?
Tracy Lindley: [00:56:10] Oh, totally. Every time. I don’t go to a lot of networking stuff outside of voiceover conferences, but when I do, and I’ve gone to a couple in the Kansas city area, I always put, Hey, it was great to meet you at this event, and I’ll name the event and if there’s anything else I can remember. Like one girl, I met her husband and they were both just hilarious, and we sat there having breakfast together at this. You know, early morning networking thing and we all, we all had a great time. So I mentioned that when I connected with her. Um, it was great to meet you and your husband and you know, I named their names and anything you can do to help remind people who you are, I think is very important. And you’re building that connection because what if they, what if, let’s just say that they can’t really remember you from your profile picture that will jog their memory and say, Oh yeah, we had breakfast together. Oh yeah. That was so fun. So help people out. That’s why I always try to say my own name, even in a, in a social situation, even if we’ve met before or I’ll find a way to insert my name, just to give them an easy, Oh yeah, I forgot her name and now she said it, so now I have it.
I always try to help people out like that because we all meet people every day and we can’t remember all those details and all those names. So just help people out. So definitely send a personalized connection every time. When it’s a fellow voiceover person, I don’t, I don’t really worry about it if you are not approaching me for business, so it’s fine.
Paul Stefano: [00:57:39] Not yet.
Tracy Lindley: [00:57:39] Plus, I know you, Paul. So, we’ve been to how many conferences together?
Paul Stefano: [00:57:43] Quite a few.
Tracy Lindley: [00:57:44] So, I don’t care if people personalize it, if they’re a voice actor, but if you’re reaching out for work, always personalize it every time.
Paul Stefano: [00:57:51] Got it. Thanks.
Sean Daeley: [00:57:52] So one last question and then we’ll let you go. What’s next for Tracy? What are some of your goals and ideas for the future?
Tracy Lindley: [00:57:59] The beauty of this industry is that you never know what’s coming your way and I’ve gotten some cool opportunities that I never saw coming. And every time I make a business plan, some of it gets done and some of it doesn’t. And, and sometimes something wild will happen. And my… Like, every time I set an income goal, I blow it out of the water and I, and I think to myself, but I’m too scared to set a high, a higher one ‘cause I might not meet it. But then I demolish it every time anyway. So make whatever goals you want. And I believe in accountability partners. I have to, and I think that’s really. A measure of my success is, is having someone to, to stay on me about things.
I hope you guys both have accountability buddies, right?
Paul Stefano: [00:58:48] Well, we are each other’s each other’s, actually.
Tracy Lindley: [00:58:50] Are you? I’m putting you on the spot.
Paul Stefano: [00:58:51] Yeah.
Sean Daeley: [00:58:51] Oh, yeah, in a whole group. Yes.
Tracy Lindley: [00:58:54] And, and I think a group is good, but I think one person too, because that one person, you guys are there to keep each other accountable. And that way you can’t slip through the cracks.
So if there’s something you don’t want to do, let’s just say there’s always something we don’t want to do, right? There’s something that looks too big or too boring or too technical, and we don’t want to do it. So if you’ve got your accountability person, they’re gonna be like, okay, well next Wednesday or Friday or whatever it is, is the day that you meet, I’m going to ask you about this. You’re like, Oh, well, I guess I better get it done then even if I don’t want to. So that’s the beauty of an accountability partner.
But I’d say, you know, I used to do a pretty intensive business plan, and I’ve kind of let that go because. For one reason or another, I just don’t want to go that direction anymore.
Like one time I had on there, I want to do radio imaging and then I realized I don’t want to do radio imaging if it, if it comes my way, maybe if there’s an opportunity that I just can’t pass up, cool. I, I’d be willing to try it, but I don’t know that I want to. So I’ll put stuff like that on my business plan.
And one day, and one time I had video game, get a video game demo done. And I never did that either. ‘Cause then I was like, yeah, I don’t know that I want to do video games. Uh, I’m doing really, really good with commercials, e-learning and corporate stuff. I think I’m just going to hang out here for awhile.
And the other thing is for me, I have limited time ’cause I’m, I still have two little ones at home, the four- and the six-year-old. So I don’t want to put too much on myself ’cause I want to be able to balance my time between parenting and, and doing the VO stuff. And it’s still amazing how much I can accomplish because I love this.
When you love something, you’re just going to do it. Even if you get no sleep. That’s where I live. I don’t get a lot of sleep. Maybe like if…my normal sleep is six hours usually.
Paul Stefano: [01:00:43] Yeah, we’re in the same boat.
Tracy Lindley: [01:00:45] I drink some coffee, but I just have a lot of natural energy, so it works out.
Paul Stefano: [01:00:50] Yeah, I drink a lot of coffee and a lot of other things now.
Tracy Lindley: [01:00:54] I don’t know what other things you mean. I’m just a coffee girl. I don’t like those energy drinks, they make me jittery.
Paul Stefano: [01:01:01] I know…
Tracy Lindley: [01:01:01] And too much coffee will make me jittery too.
Paul Stefano: [01:01:03] I was thinking more along the lines of happy hour.
Tracy Lindley: [01:01:05] I’ll have usually a cup in the morning and a cup around two. 2:00 PM is when I hit my slump.
Paul Stefano: [01:01:10] Well, Tracy, thanks so much for being on the VO Meter. We really appreciate it. Before you go, where can folks find you if they want to hire you?
Tracy Lindley: [01:01:16] My website is tracylindley.com and it’s T, R, A, C, Y, no, E. And my last name does have an E, so I understand it’s confusing. My last name is L, I, N, D, L, E, Y. So it’s just tracylindley.com and then if people are interested in checking out the course, it’s at theVOedge.com…and I will share a discount code with you guys if you want.
And, and this is kind of valid anytime it’s capital, all capital letters, S, A, V, E, save, and then the numbers five zero, so SAVE50 will save you 50 bucks. Not 50%. Someone asked me that recently and I found…
Sean Daeley: [01:01:57] That’s a great deal, I mean, man, they got, they’re just getting greedy.
Tracy Lindley: [01:02:00] Well, you know, hey, she said, Hey, that’s a Snapfish discount. I was like, okay, cool. I’m a Shutterfly user, so I didn’t know, but I’m not selling photo books. I’m selling a really good course, and I’m not just saying that, I have put everything that I know, everything that I am into this course to make it the very best it can possibly be, and I just revamped it like a month or two ago. I was working on it forever.
‘‘cause LinkedIn changes. I mean, it’s a, it’s a volatile platform, not volatile, but it’s, it’s ever progressing. So, they changed this, they changed that. And then I gotta change my course. So thanks a lot, LinkedIn. But it needed updating. It needed updating anyway. The logo was boring. And you know, the, the video quality is better and just different things.
And I found out that I could enhance, you know, I could put my EQ on the, on the sound, so it sounds beautiful and just whatever. So it’s the best of the best that I can possibly make it right now. And so that’s all brand new, ‘‘cause I rolled it out December of 2017 so in a couple of years things change.
But yeah, there you go. So SAVE50 and it’s theVOedge.com and thank you for asking.
Sean Daeley: [01:03:09] Yeah, of course. And thank you so much for the discount. I mean, Tracy, I can’t say what a pleasure it’s been chatting with you. I mean, I love your energy and your passion, and you just seem made to do what you’re doing, so keep doing it, please.
Tracy Lindley: [01:03:21] You, too, buddy!
Sean Daeley: [01:03:23] So thank you. Thanks again for being on the podcast.
Tracy Lindley: [01:03:26] Thanks guys.
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Male announcer: [01:04:16] Hey, J. Michael here. Thanks for listening to the VO Meter podcast. It’s one of my favorites. If you’re looking for a great demo, like the ones we just heard, check out JMCdemos.com for more information.
Paul Stefano: [01:04:28] Okay. Thanks again to Tracy for joining us. I had a blast with her in New York at Vocation NYC and uh, that’s when we finally solidified that she was gonna come on the show. I appreciate her taking the time. Don’t forget to use that promo code if you want to order her program. She’s helped me even with just the information I’ve gleaned from her conference appearances immensely.
So, jump on that and take advantage of that offer.
Sean Daeley: [01:04:51] Yeah, she was so, I mean, she’s so personable and so friendly. It was such a joy to have you on the podcast, Tracy. So, thanks again. Take advantage of that promo code and thank you again, Tracy for being so generous with it.
Paul Stefano: [01:05:02] So thanks again for listening to the VO Meter.
Sean Daeley: [01:05:04] Measuring your voiceover progress.
Paul Stefano: [01:05:06] We probably will not have an episode before the end of the year, so happy holidays to you and yours.
Sean Daeley: [01:05:11] That’s right. Happy holidays, whatever you celebrate, and we’ll see you in the new year with smiles on and new resolutions to talk about.
Paul Stefano: [01:05:19] And plenty of fresh new content.
Sean Daeley: [01:05:21] Thanks for listening. Have a good one, guys.
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