This blog was going to be about your US Tax Form 1099 MISC, and how today was the deadline for getting it out to anybody you’ve paid more than $600 for contract services this year. Similarly you should be getting a form 1099 from anyone who’s paid you that amount or more in contract work..
That’s what today’s blog was going to be about.
But it’s not.
I’m not going to write about it, because I know almost nothing about it (‘cept he deadline). I did some research and got even more confused. Tax codes are that way. There are always exceptions and caveats. Which is why I hire both a bookkeeper and an accountant. Between the two of them, it gets done on time, and in the proper order. I make sure to keep good records through the year, and let them sort it out (here’s a quick website that may help with 1099’s)
Similarly, most audiobook narrators would tell you that it just doesn’t pay to edit long narrations by yourself. Keep another freelancer busy with the editing and mastering, while you’re doing what YOU do: voicing. (note, this is only true if you have THAT MANY book agreements backed up to keep you busy alla time).
I like playing with creative design software, but I don’t hold a candle to even the most novice of graphic designers. I’ll almost always ask another voice-actor for a referral to someone they use. (note, I do NOT go to Fiverr, Odesk, Elance, Thumbtack, Upwork, etc. as I think they demean other freelance professions as well as voice-actors).
Am I going to take my own headshot for publicity photos? Ha! No chance. Selfies don’t count. You want a pro. Someone who knows lighting and aperture settings and shutter speeds and the like. That freelance photog’s work will make you look good, and it’s not something you can do yourself.
I could go on and on:
- news releases
- web designer
- web developer
- voice coaching
- business plans
- audio engineer
- virtual assistant
I’m not saying you should spend your money on all of that all the time, but on an as-needed basis, you should…yes. Tackle some of the odd-jobs that you think you have a knack for, and leave the rest to someone who knows their stuff.
Know your strengths and it will reveal your weaknesses. For the weaknesses, get help. Pay a professional to help if you have to, and don’t ask for someone “on the cheap”, or a pro who could do it “for less”. Why? Well, you know how you bristle when a client is asking YOU to do YOUR professional service for a pittance. Pay reasonable, going rates for your fellow freelancers. I’m sure they’ve earned it too…
…and if you did so in 2016, then remember to send them a 1099 by the end of the day today!