Episode 7: Money, Please!

This is a RadioPublic embed of the Scoring Magic episode “Money, Please!”, which can be found here.

Date published: 9/28/2019
Written by: Anne Baird
Produced by: Wil Williams

As the Hug House team’s Indiegogo for season 1 of VALENCE winds down, Anne brings you sage knowledge about how money works. No, don’t run away! We know–money is super scary. But it’s also important, and you gotta know about it. Besides, don’t you want to hear about the time Anne, Josh, and Alex went to Medieval Times?

Scoring Magic is presented by Hug House Productions. You can support us for behind-the-scenes details and early previews of upcoming projects on Patreon.

VALENCE IndieGogo Campaign

We’re crowdfunding our first season of VALENCE! You can find our campaign–which includes rewards like your own bespoke sound of magic–over on IndieGogo.

Transcript

ANNE

Listeners, before you turn off this episode because you see that it’s about money and numbers and “oohhh booo that’s gonna be boring–” no. Don’t do that. If you make a podcast, you have to know about finances! And I’m here to make that easier to digest.

ANNE

On this episode of Scoring Magic, we’re going to talk about finances and money. Because it’s important.

[INTRO MUSIC]

ANNE

First up, before I get into the nitty gritty numbers, it’s housekeeping time. As of this recording, we are 100% funded! We have hit! Our! Goal! Thank you so much to everyone who’s backed season 1 of VALENCE on Indiegogo, and for those who haven’t… there’s still time! If you’re listening to this episode on release day, there are two days left before the campaign is over, and we also have it set up for InDemand funding, which means the campaign will remain open as long as we continue to get contributions and you can continue to get some sweet rewards. Neat perk of Indiegogo, right? We’ll be closing it out at the end of the year so that we can make sure everyone has their rewards before VALENCE launches in January, but in the mean time, hey…maybe you might get some holiday money and realize you want a custom magic sound! Or some dope stickers! The link to our Indiegogo campaign can be found, as always, in the show notes, on social media, and on our website.

https://indiegogo.com/projects/valence-podcast-season-1

Since you last heard our beautiful voices, we’ve announced that Naomi McMillan will be playing Morgan Reilley, Anairis Quinones will be playing Sarah Harris, and that Raul Vega will be composing the theme song for VALENCE.

We’ve completed one-on-one interviews with each of our actors to discuss their recording preferences and how they like to get feedback and anything we can do for them to make them more comfortable as a part of the production, and also to tell them that we love them. 

ANNE

And speaking of our actors, this past Sunday, the 22nd of September, we played the My Immortal drinking game live streamed for anyone who wanted to watch us make fools of ourselves. And that we did. We had a blast doing it and I hope that anyone who watched enjoyed themselves as well. If you missed it, here’s some highlights from the event…

[Recording]

WIL

[fades in] . . . it’s great shit, even if you don’t know about basketball–I don’t know shit about–LOOK AT ME. Look at me.

JOHN

You’re a basketball.

ALEX

Sorry, but I’m gay.

JOHN

You’re a basketball. 

KATIE CHIN

Compelling argument.

JOHN

Wil, did you not–are you not aware that is actually a physical–

KATIE YOUMANS

–a basketball?

JOHN

–basketball?

WIL

Yeah, that bitch empty. I’m aware of that

KATIE

YEET.

JOHN

That’s not what I meant! I meant [unintelligible]

[laughter]

JOHN

We would assume by looking at you, because of the basketball head, that you’re a basketball!

WIL

Yeah! And I love HORSE.

KATIE YOUMANS

John, why are you like this?

JOHN

I–because I’m drunk! [laugh] That’s why I’m like this!

[beep of a new clip starting] 

ALEX

. . . this. Didn’t we all?

WIL

[reading from My Immortal] “He had a really big you-know-what but I was too mad to care.”

He had such a big cactus, guys. He just carried the whole huge-ass right out.

KATIE YOUMANS

His prickly pear was out there and everything.

[laughter]

JAKE

NOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOO!

[laughter]

WIL

No!

JAKE

NO!

ELY

Ohhh no.

WIL

[reading] “I stomped out. I stomped out.”

[laughter]

ISHANI

Aah, and on that delightful note, friends, I gotta go ‘cause . . . this bitch gotta vacuum.

WIL

Ishani, I love you so much.

[laughter, chorus of “I love you”s]

KATIE CHIN

This bitch gotta vacuum – Ishani, 2019.

ALEX

[unintelligible] . . . honey roast her before she leaves?

KATIE CHIN

I respect you Katie–no, I’m Katie–Alex. 

[overlapping voices]

ANNE

[unintelligible] . . . go to sleep.

KATIE CHIN

. . . burn it down.

[overlapping voices]

KATIE YOUMANS

The Council of Katies has spoken!

[beep of a new clip starting] 

JOHN

. . . $20 away from a hundred percent.

[overlapping shouting]

WIL

Oh my god I’m so fucking [unintelligible]

[overlapping shouting]

ELY

Y’all–y’all, we’re at a hundred percent.

[overlapping shouting]

JAKE

WHAAAT?

KATIE CHIN

Aaahh!

KATIE YOUMANS

No!

JOHN

[unintelligible screaming]

JAKE

One! Hundred! Percent!

KATIE CHIN

[unintelligible] . . . Canada, motherfuckers!

JAKE

One! Hundo! Percent!

JOHN

Thank you so much, I can’t–

KATIE YOUMANS

WE’RE AT FOURTY-TWENTY!

JOHN

–thank you enough, this is so incredible. Eighty-one backers

JAKE

[unintelligible screaming]

KATIE YOUMANS

. . . have a celebratory wonton!

JOHN

I think we should all drink for that!

[laughter]

KATIE YOUMANS

I’m having a wonton, you slut.

 KATIE CHIN

I drank so much.

JOHN

I am. Wow, unbelievable, thank you guys so much.

KATIE YOUMANS

Why. Why have you given us your money. 

ANNE

[unintelligible] very drunk.

JAKE

Alright, let’s hit 200% so we can pay the ambulance bill. 

JOHN

. . . we’re gonna have to hit some milestones

KATIE CHIN

I love you so platonically!

[unintelligible shouting and laughter]

KATIE CHIN

Wow.

JOHN

Wil, that happened. Wil.

KATIE YOUMANS

Hey Wil? Wil?

JOHN

Somebody make sure that Wil [unintelligible] on their staycation understands that this happened

JAKE

Oooh! They died!

KATIE YOUMANS

Wil, people believe in your vision.

ELY

Hey, Wil, you ok, babe?

KATIE YOUMANS

Wil died, y’all. This is how Wil dies.

ANNE

Wil, are you alive?

KATIE YOUMANS

This is how Wil becomes the one-thousandth happy haunt.

[laughter]

WIL

Is this real or am I just really drunk?

[chorus of “it’s real”]

KATIE YOUMANS

Both.

ELY

You’re also just really drunk. But it’s real.

[overlappping talking]

WIL

Shhh. Shhhhhhh. One of you. 

[overlapping talking]

WIL

Shhhhhhhhhhh.

KATIE YOUMANS

One of us, one of us . . .

JOHN

Ely, if you wanna finish it–

ELY

Yup, I can do that. Alright. This is for everybody who got us to 100%–I’m really sorry. 

[overlapping talking and laughter]

[Narration]

ANNE

Now it’s time to get down to business… to defeat..the huns– Big Disney I’m sorry please don’t sue me. It was like, four words, ok? I’m sorry. Never mind.

ANNE

So, I want to start by giving you a little bit of background into myself. I am a math nerd. If you haven’t figured that out by now, this episode will make it glaringly obvious. At one point, I was going to be a math teacher, and my career history basically consists of managing finances for companies. So, numbers are the one thing I know I can always count on– ha. Count. — and ah, y’know, I love them just for that reason.

ANNE

Which is probably why when Wil asked me and Katie to join them in making Scoring Magic and VALENCE, I immediately jumped on the role of “person who figures out how we make and organize our money”.

ANNE

When we first started out, we knew we wanted to pay everyone involved in the production. Paying ourselves is still a pie-in-the-sky plan that we’ve got plans for, but we’ll worry about later, so for now we’ll be happy if we break even. We used the budget sheet created by Multitude Productions, specifically by Amanda McLoughlin who is lovely? And I love her? I love all of Multitude–Multitude is so good.

ANNE

Anyway, Multitude has a resources page on their website that can be found at Multitude.Productions/Resources with a TON of free articles and powerpoints and spreadsheets for creating and managing podcasts. In an article on Bello Collective, Amanda wrote about Accounting for Podcasters, which we’ll have linked in the show notes along with a link to the Multitude resources page, and included a FREE Google Spreadsheet she created to help podcasters to keep track of their expenses. Honestly, it could be used for any sort of expense tracking and not just podcasts, but we all know what we’re here for so let’s focus on that.

ANNE

We started with this spreadsheet to figure out our budget for the Indiegogo campaign, which if you remember from the housekeeping segment is still live for two more days as of this episode release, so you should go support it if you haven’t already. Wink. [DING noise]

ANNE

From there, we realized…”oh no, we’re a company, and we should probably have some legitimate bookkeeping or accounting software in order to do this because our company does things other than just these two podcasts, fuuuuuck.” So we hit up Wil’s sweet husband, Zach, who is an accountant, because nobody else knew anything about numbers except me and I didn’t want to make executive decisions without someone else weighing in.

[Recording]

ZACH

So, I’m not sure what has been discussed at this point, ah–

ANNE

Nothing.

ZACH

Yup.

[laughter]

ANNE

Nobody wants to talk about it except us, Zach.

WIL

It’s true. I don’t want it. I am here–I am here to pat my boy on the shoulder and say, “good job!”

[laughter]

WIL

I guess we should say, listeners, this is my husband, Zach. 

ZACH

Hello!

WIL

He is, I believe, listed as an assistant on our LLC–is that right?

ZACH

I’m list–I’m listed as the agent, so I make sure I receive all the correspondence, and if anyone needs to contact me, they can–they’ll contact me and then I’ll contact you guys.  

WIL

Wow, that is uh . . . wildly not how we operate. [laugh] That’s ok.

ZACH

No, but like . . . it . . . I’m just listed as the agent.

WIL

Yeah.

ZACH

I don’t–you guys can still do everything. But–

WIL

Are you gonna make sure I get big in Hollywood?

ZACH

. . . yep.

[laughter]

ZACH

But I’m listed as the agent and you three are the– 

WIL

Members.

ZACH

–members, yeah.

WIL

Um, and I don’t know shit about shit, so . . . 

ZACH

Yeah, while I am an account, um, I am not a CPA. So please, don’t take anything I say–

WIL

Don’t “at” him!

ZACH

Don’t “at” me.

WIL

Don’t “at” him!

ZACH

I don’t have Twitter, so you can’t “at” me! But don’t “at” Wil to get at me.

WIL

DON’T “AT” ME.

[laughter]

ANNE

We can “at” Zach on discord.

ZACH

Yeah. I’ll just be like, “Oops. I . . . I’m not a CPA. Please, please get someone.

ANNE

So, I guess disclaimer: Zach not CPA. Uh, get your own accountant that is one. And we’re not legally liable for anything that you take off as advice off of this. Thank you.

[laughter]

WIL

Mmhm.

ZACH

We’re just trying to set up basic stuff, like . . . 

ANNE

This is just what we’re doing.

ZACH

Yeah, this is just what we’re doing. And this is legal from a bachelors in accounting perspective. 

WIL

Don’t. At. My. Husband.

ZACH

Um . . . oh! The thing I was gonna ask before this all started, um, I don’t know if this is good for recording or not, but for the LLC, uh, we will need to show, like, what everyone has, like, contributed to the actual LLC. Like, funds. If anyone d–like, how you do. Just because that matters to the ownership/equity portion. Like, has anyone actually contributed funds into the LLC besi–like, are we viewing your PayPal as the contributions? Ok.

ANNE

Are you nodding, Wil?

WIL

Oh! Yes, I am, sorry.

ANNE

[laugh]

WIL

Fuck.

[laughter]

ANNE

Hello, yes, I am in New Jersey, I cannot see what you are doing.

[laughter]

[Narration]

ANNE

If you’re operating on a smaller scale and working out of your own personal funds, something like Multitude’s accounting spreadsheet should be perfect for you.

ANNE

But for us, we decided on the FREE accounting software called Wave, the website for which is WaveApps.com, to keep track of the business income and expenses–

ANNE

Wait, have I talked about why it’s important to keep track of accounting yet? No…heck. Okay. So, money. Taxes. Government. Short disclaimer before I say anything more: I’m not a certified public accountant. I’m not even an accountant except for my own business and personal assets. Anything I’m about to say or will ever say until the point I have some sort of certification is from my own experience and my own research, and doesn’t count as legitimate financial advising. Basically, you can’t sue me if you do something with your finances because I said we do it and it gets you in trouble. This is just advice and it doesn’t count as anything more than that.

ANNE

Government. Taxes. Right. When you file your income taxes each year, you have to claim any self employed income over $400 to pay taxes on. This is a TOTAL INCOME, not income per person who pays you, so getting paid $100 on four separate projects means you have to claim it. My advice? Claim anything. If you make $20 from personal, y’know, working on your own, claim it. Just do it.

ANNE

But with that being said… you can also subtract any expenses from the income you make so it can end up being less than $400 and then you don’t have to pay taxes! Are you a voice actor who makes $400 a year but this year you bought a $100 Blue Yeti microphone? Oh that’s $300…no taxes! Hurray!

ANNE

The one caveat I will say in that is that you need to have INVOICES you’ve sent to each person who paid you AND RECEIPTS for anything you’ve purchased. If you’re counting it as income and expenses, everything needs to have a paper trail or something in writing documenting it as legitimate. Keep it all in a file on your computer, or Google Drive, or Dropbox, with your accounting spreadsheet. This is important because if you ever get audited, which isn’t likely but can definitely happen, you’ll be able to back it up.

ANNE

That’s also why it’s important to just claim everything no matter how little it is. Because if you do get audited and you didn’t claim it? That’s going to be more of a hassle to explain where the money came from.

ANNE

If you zoned out for all of that because I just spouted what was to you a bunch of business nonsense, the tl;dr is to document everything and claim everything on your taxes. It’s just cleaner.

ANNE

Okay, meowmeowmeow let’s take a break from the serious stuff for a few seconds before we get back to it. I went to Medieval Times with Josh Rubino, who’s playing Liam, and Alex Welch, who’s playing Noel, this past weekend. Their characters are siblings and so before we went, I told them they had to be in character the whole time. Because I’m an ass and love to incite chaos…… we ended up not doing that because we were super hyped about the knights and the horses, me more for the horses than the knights, but look…I’m a Scottish Horse Gay. It’s just who I am.

ANNE

Needless to say, it’s also worthwhile to get out of the literal or metaphorical recording booth and spend time with your co-creators and actors outside of the production setting. It helps everyone to become closer and by doing that, you’ll work more seamlessly together and everything will end up going so much more smoothly since you’re essentially friends. I’m going off memory right now, but I think Lauren Shippen talked about this at Podcast Movement with the crew for the Bright Sessions. If you don’t trust me about it, you’ll trust Lauren Shippen right? Also, boo, you should trust me. I’m totally trustworthy! I gave you this nice break from numbers!

ANNE

And now I’m going to throw some more finance at you. Back to accounting. So we signed up for Wave’s free accounting software to keep track of everything for our Podcast Problems business so we don’t get fucked around tax season. I went through Wil’s Paypal for the first half of the year, because…their personal and business expenses were co-mingled! Don’t do that! Make a separate account please! Please? Podcast Problems is an LLC, separate from our own personal money, so everything needs to be clean so we know how much money the business actually has.

ANNE

I would also highly recommend setting up an LLC if you’re making a podcast, especially if you have a team, and plan on making more podcasts, and want to make money and pay people. It just makes things cleaner. You notice the trend here? Keep your money things organized and clean.

ANNE

Once we had everything entered, voila! We knew how much money the company had and what was Wil’s. When we were in Orlando for Podcast Movement, the three of us set up a bank account so we could get debit cards for our podcast company (And I say it like that because it’s still wild to me that that’s a thing we do for money). And we transferred the funds from our Paypal to the bank account so we could actually USE our debit cards to purchase things. Which we have done a lot of as PodTales approaches! But more on that later.

ANNE

You don’t think about it at first, but there are a lot of things you might have to pay for as a podcast creator that aren’t as obvious as paying actors and sound designers. RSS hosting fees, business cards, any merchandise you want to sell, graphics, web hosting fees, and there are a number of other things… we’ve had to foot the bill for so many parts of this production process in the first few months without much return because we’re new. Which is what leads me to another great crowdfunding platform that you’re probably familiar with: Patreon.

ANNE

There are people who have spoken more on Patreon and who have way more experience in it than me, so I’ll leave the bulk of it to them. I would suggest looking into Sean Howard of Fable and Folly Productions, which creates shows like Alba Salix, The Axe & Crown, and The End of Time & Other Bothers.

ANNE

For the Hug House Productions Patreon, we decided to go with a pay-per-creation structure because we didn’t know if we’d have any hiatus between episodes of Scoring Magic after season 1 of VALENCE wraps and didn’t want to charge patrons for months when we weren’t actively releasing content. I know this goes against a lot of things people say about deserving to be paid while you’re working on the production of other content, but that’s just one of the situations where we couldn’t listen to the advice we were given. Everyone’s situation is going to be different, so definitely make that decision for yourself based on your own production.

ANNE

For the tiers themselves, we kept the structure simple, with three tiers: $1-, $2-, and $5-per-creation.This way it would be simple for us to keep track of things and, since we’re on a per-creation payment schedule, we can ensure that no one is being charged too much in a month. 

ANNE

When deciding on your rewards, try to come up with some things that aren’t too time-consuming or costly for you to deliver, as well as rewards that feel like they’re worth it to your patrons. And remember to check in with your patrons periodically to see how they feel about the rewards they’re receiving!

ANNE

Side note, patrons, if you’re listening, and I hope you are because you paid us money for this, hit me up if you have any thoughts on our current patreon structure. We’ve been at it for a few months now and are open to modifying things if you think we should!

ANNE

A wise man once told me…well, ok wait, well he told a whole panel of people at Podcast Movement and I’ve kinda sorta taken it on as my own personal mantra and thing I tell to anyone who will listen: “You deserve to be paid!”

This was said by the aforementioned Sean Howard in his panel about Patreon, so…it’s relevant! And it’s TRUE. Another great point he brought up in his panel is that if you want to be making $2,500 a month from podcasting, you have to act like you’re making $2,500 a month from podcasting NOW. Show your listeners and supporters that you can put in that effort and they will be more likely to pay you for it.

ANNE

Also? Just… be open, and ask for money! You deserve it! You’re working so hard to create a work of art and artists aren’t compensated enough for what they do. So shout it to the world. Share your funding links on social media, have a support page on your website, talk about it in your podcast and the show notes… If people want to give you money, don’t make it hard for them to do it!

ANNE

On that note, I shall bid you adieu with some final words in line with what I just said… we’re at 23 supporters on Patreon, and at 25, we’ll start releasing a bonus patron-only blog for all levels of supporters with even more background into what goes into the production of Scoring Magic and VALENCE, with extra visual components and maybe even some secret audio. That means only two more people have to join the Hug House support team! If you’re interested in learning more or supporting us via Patreon, you can go to Patreon.com/HugHousePods.

ANNE

And next time, on Scoring Magic, Wil is coming back to you to talk about balancing commitments while creating podcasts. I may need to listen to that one for some advice, because..whoops! I’m doing too many things! Bye!

KATIE

Scoring Magic is a Hug House Production. You can find more on Hug House Productions at HugHouse.Productions. 


Credits

  • You can find Multitude’s resources here, and their accounting spreadsheet here
  • You can find Sean Howard’s series on Patreon for podcasters here

Fluffing a Duck and Folk Round Kevin MacLeod Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Budding, Add And, Summer Spliff, Miei, The Gold Lining Broke for Free Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Support Scoring Magic by donating to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/scoring-magic

Find out more at https://scoring-magic.pinecast.co

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