The Social Freelancer: Media + Music

Latest from The Social Freelancer and Trace Relations Music

5 Tips for Freelancers – and ALL Entrepreneurs

There are many lessons I have learned in more than 25 years in the business of television and video production (this is my 20th year as a freelancer).
Here are five tips I would consider KEY:

5 Tips for Freelancers – and ALL Entrepreneurs

1. Build strong alliances with other freelancers in your line of work and related fields.

Networking and keeping in touch with other directors of photography, photographers, writers, producers and related freelancers has been key to the longevity of my business. Some of them are my direct competitors, but I consider them allies.

Often a job will come up that I am too busy to do so I will refer the client to someone else, who I trust and is equally qualified (and who will not try to steal my client). This works both ways: I have gotten many shoots and writing jobs through this network of freelancers.

Additionally, people that I meet who work in related positions, like sound mixers, make up artists, gaffers and grips are valuable resources. Clients will sometimes ask these people if they know a director of photography or writer-producer who would be a “good fit” for their project.

Another spot where this helps is in gear acquisition: We are often asked to provide cameras or related equipment on a job that I don’t personally own. Usually I know another freelancer who has the piece of gear and will gladly rent it to me for a discounted rate if they are not using it on the shoot day. This is cheaper than getting the gear from a rental house and builds a good rapport with the other freelancer who will then, in turn, be more likely to refer me on a project that they can’t handle.
READ ON – More Tips-> Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in creative,marketing,Opinion,social media,The Social Freelancer,TV – FILM – VIDEO – PHOTO,Video Production and have Comment (1)

“Vanishing Texas” Photography and Jazz: Finding Beauty in Decay

Old abandoned buildings. Rusty stuff. Forgotten roads. Burned out roofs. As a photographer, I’ve been drawn to places of past dreams, forgotten ambitions, lives lived and gone. When I see them I think of what may have transpired there. And I find beauty in the decay.
Vanishing Texas:
YouTube Preview Image

Like this?
Help me keep the wheels on the road with a small donation, here:
Vanishing Texas Photography at Gofundme.com

Every little bit helps, and donors receive a free copy of the debut Trace Relations CD “Prosperity Street”
“12 tracks of Texas Groove guaranteed to improve your mood.”
Thanks, Trace

The unprotected scene
There are plenty of buildings designated as “Historic Sites” by the state of Texas, that are preserved and protected from demolition. What intrigues me are the OTHERS. In small towns and in the cities, there are thousands of other buildings, that may not have any protection. They are pieces of America left to be weathered by the elements, eventually to be destroyed or simply disintegrate. These are the places that are vanishing from the landscape, slowly, over time. Whenever I pass them, I think “Who lived (or died) here?” “What dreams and aspirations did they have?” “What drama unfolded here?” And I know that the next time I pass by, these spots may no longer exist. These are the scenes of “Vanishing Texas”. Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in history,Music,Photography,Texas,TV – FILM – VIDEO – PHOTO,Video Production,youtube and have Comment (1)

The Creative Quandary: When Finances Battle Art

The Creative Quandary is just a fact of life for most who have a bent for creative endeavors. It’s the struggle of keeping bread on the table while making music, writing, painting, acting or any form of “art”.

I’ve been deep in this one lately due to a number of client projects booking my schedule tight (a problem I am happy to have). You may have noticed a reprint of some previous articles on this blog in the past couple of weeks, it’s just my effort to keep content moving, while providing good service to my paying clients. But certainly I would rather have the time needed to produce fresh articles multiple times every week, but that’s not my current REALITY.

Managing "work" vs. creative

Merging “work” with creative

What to do? Keep Going. Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in The Social Freelancer and have Comment (1)

Four Tips for Surviving Social Media

What to do with Social Media? Be careful, but have fun… Here are four quick tips for surviving social media, hope you find it helpful.

1. Use common sense. Simple. Don’t put your home address anywhere on your websites, blogs, profiles, anywhere. I keep a business mailing address that is posted on my sites, but it’s no one’s business where I live.

2. Avoid personal attacks. Follow the age old advice “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This is sometimes hard to do in life, and on the Internet, but it is vital to your social networking efforts. Having conversations online about things that you are passionate about is great for building your reputation, but watch your words! If you take issue with something someone has posted, respond with fact and supportable opinion, do not attack the person who posted it. Likewise, as soon as someone launches a personal attack against you, restate your qualified opinion on the subject, then let it go – disengage from the conversation. I have seen many instances of people getting involved in a “tit-for-tat” argument online that quickly dissolves into juvenile name-calling antics, resulting in all parties looking like fools.
Read this -> Social Media Smart Move: Be an Aggregator, Not an Aggravator

careful about the kooks

3. Remember, the Internet is full of kooks, but plenty of sensible people too. Sometimes its hard to tell who the kooks are at first, but watch what people write about on a regular basis, and soon their true colors come through.
READ ON, Post comments at bottom of this page, I love the feedback. What do you think of this post?>> Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in social media,social networking,The Social Freelancer and have Comments (11)

Facebook is Your Newspaper, Twitter is Radio

November 21, 2014: “I first published this in 2011, just revisited this morning. I think the concepts still hold true. What do you think? I enjoy the comments, please place yours in the section provided below the article. Thanks!” – Trace

Facebook and Twitter are like cousins, one’s a city slicker, the other is more of a bumpkin. You may be surprised that I think Facebook is “old school” but here’s why:
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posted by Tracy Ready in Communications,Internet,marketing,Psychology,social media,social networking,The Social Freelancer,Writing and have Comments (23)

For My Dad: Songs of Fathers and Sons

Post Update, Father’s Day, June 21, 2015:
Remembering my Dad, and all the inspiring men who are fathers, striving to be good examples, good men, in times of struggle as well as joy. My father died two months after I wrote this post but I carry the many fine memories I have of him with me every day. On Father’s day I also like to revisit these songs of Fathers and Sons, Harry Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle” and Cat Stevens “Father and Son”.

My wife and I just had an interesting discussion about these two songs and the meaning of their lyrics. She correctly pointed out that they are sad songs, and that they are about fathers who had little time for their kids. And it’s true, I had a much richer life experience with my dad, who did spend time with me when he could. But he also dealt with the inherent struggles of life, having to be gone a lot to keep groceries on the table and missing out on a lot of poignant moments with his kids. I am grateful I had him for my dad. These songs are not about him or what my specific childhood was like, but they are songs that resonated with me as a young man, and I think they hold up to the test of time as examples of great storytelling and songwriting.

For My Dad: Songs of Fathers and Sons by Trace ~ October 30, 2010
My life has always been full of soundtracks, songs that resonate in any given situation. As I was thinking of my dad and all the twists and turns this world has brought to our lives, two songs began to seep into my consciousness from my past. Both were favorites of mine as a young man feeling my way out of the nest my parents so carefully laid for me. Now they come back to speak to me again. I hope you will enjoy these musical tales of fathers and sons as much as I do.

Great live performance of Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin, with a quick insight to family life at the beginning:

Cat Stevens – Father and Son (Live):

My dad, John Ready and mom, June Ready in 2005

My dad, John Ready and mom, June Ready in 2005

I am thinking a lot about my dad today, John F. Ready. Big John, Big J, we’ve called him lots of names, most of them nice. My dad is a great man, who always tried to do the right thing. Now he’s in poor health and at 82 is facing the end of his years with us. I cry and laugh as I think of the times I have had with my dad. He’s a man of integrity, honest to the core. His sense of humor and bright outlook have carried him and our whole family through many ups and downs, and he remains today jolly, with a twinkle in his eye. He’s also a man of great spiritual depth and wisdom. I know that he is at peace with himself and with God, and that brings me great comfort. While none of our lives are perfect and we might regret some of our words or actions, I know my dad loves me and I love him. I am proud to be his son.

Trace Ready "The Social Freelancer"

Trace Ready “The Social Freelancer”

Trace Ready is a Director of Photography, Writer, Producer and Vocalist based in Dallas, Texas. His band Trace Relations has released their debut studio CD “Prosperity Street”
Connect with Trace: TraceProductions.com

Like this? Help Trace keep his wheels on the road for the photo series “Vanishing Texas” and continue posting to this blog while juggling in “the freelance life.” – HERE:

Vanishing Texas Photography by Trace
Supporters receive my undying gratitude and a free copy of my music CD, “Prosperity Street” by Trace Relations Band

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posted by Tracy Ready in Fathers,Music,Psychology,Who? and have Comment (1)

The Freelance Life: Hitting the Reset Button

“In taking stock of ourselves, we should not forget that fear plays a large part in the drama of failure. That is the first thing to be dropped. Fear is a mental deficiency susceptible of correction, if taken in hand before it gains an ascendency over us. Fear comes with the thought of failure.” – Douglas Fairbanks

I am taking stock of myself this morning. This quote from Douglas Fairbanks reminded me of the mentally crippling nature of fear. It is the root of all inactivity, a sign of regression instead of progression.

It is important for me to take a step back, take stock of all I am doing, examining what’s working for me and what’s not.

Merging "work" with creative

Merging “work” with creative

I reached a point of overload at the end of 2014. Multiple projects have been started, some pieces complete, others needing more time and work. This blog, while rewarding to me on a psychological level, is only moderately successful in reaching larger audiences.

I struggle with the ups and downs of my production business TraceProductions.com as I have for 20 years now. The video and television production business has been rewarding. My career has taken me all over the world and given me a (mostly) steady income and incredible experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. But it is a changed business. For too many reasons to go into here, there is nothing but downward pressure on pricing for many of the services I have traditionally provided for my clients. I stay busy and am grateful for the work I have but it is less profitable than ever before. I have grown and moved on, learning and developing new skills that continue to enrich my life’s experience. Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in marketing,Opinion,Psychology,social media,social networking,The Social Freelancer,TV – FILM – VIDEO – PHOTO,Writing and have Comments (5)

16 Quotes on Politicians from American Humorist Will Rogers

“This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.”
– Will Rogers

2.) “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”
– Will Rogers

American humorist, writer and actor Will Rogers

American humorist, writer and actor Will Rogers

It is fascinating to me how Rogers’ quips, written in the early 1900’s, resonate so soundly today. His biting wisdom and humor held both Republican and Democrat feet to his sarcastic fire when he felt they deserved it, which was often.

3.) “Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”
– Will Rogers

How appropriate for today! Think of the influence that John Stewart and Bill Maher (comedians) have on the voting public.

“William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, social commentator and motion picture actor. He was one of the world’s best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s.” via Wikipedia

Read on, more Will Rogers humor and wisdom >> Read more…

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posted by Tracy Ready in Humor,Opinion,Writing and have No Comments

…and that’s why I love to sing.

“Have fun while you can ’cause fate’s an awful thing. You can never tell what might happen and that’s why I love to sing.” – T-Bone Walker

T-Bone Walker (1910-1975)

T-Bone Walker (1910-1975)

This quote from T-Bone Walker, one of my heros of the blues, sums up life for me. I enjoy my life and career in television, video production and photography, but before all that I was, and continue to be, a singer and lyricist. It’s an integral part of who I am. I don’t make a living at it, but I will continue doing it as long as I am alive.

When I am singing I can suspend everything else in my mind, all the ups and downs and rocks in the road of life, and just be “in the moment” with the song.

It calms me and makes me happy to be alive at the same time …and that’s why I love to sing. – Trace

What about you?

Trace. Photo by: Rick Moore

Trace. Photo by: Rick Moore

What takes you to a place where you can feel alive and “in the moment?”
I would love to hear about it, please comment below. Thanks.

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posted by Tracy Ready in creative,Music,Opinion,Psychology and have Comments (2)
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