"How I Got Started..." with Paul Schmidt, founder of Paul Schmidt Voiceover
Paul Schmidt is the Founder and voice behind Paul Schmidt Voiceover. He has produced over 5,000 voiceovers for radio broadcast commercials, corporate and branded content, and audiobooks - just to name a few.
We had the honor of interviewing Paul, where we discussed how he juggles being a full-time business owner and a dad, the significance of challenges and successes faced in the field, and the promising future he is working towards with Paul Schmidt Voiceover.
Q: Where are you from?
A: Originally, I am from Baltimore. I moved to Delaware for 10 years, then Rochester, NY for almost 5, and after that, I finally relocated to Richmond, VA, where I’ve lived for the last 7 ½ years now.
Q: What are you passionate about in your personal life?
A: I am most passionate about my son, my business, and fitness/health.
Q: What did you study in school?
A: I attended Towson University, originally starting out as a theatre major because I wanted to be an actor for some time. I eventually changed to a double major in English and Mass Communications and started out of college in the broadcasting field.
Q: Tell me about your career before becoming an entrepreneur / business owner.
A: I was in broadcasting for 20 years, about half of that was on-air. Then I migrated to the Internet side of radio as a webmaster and Digital Sales Manager. I transitioned and sold software development for a technology company in New York and kept the same job when I relocated to Richmond. I worked for a few Richmond firms as well.
Q: What is your company?
A: My company is Paul Schmidt Voiceover.
Q: Tell me about the transition from your career to entrepreneurship / why you started your business?
A: So, it started out with me selling a really big software project for the company I was working for, which was a massive web application for a Fortune 500 company. We decided to do a video for the site launch and I did the voiceover, and in the process, I realized just how much I missed doing voiceover. That was several years ago and I started to pursue work rather than it just finding me.
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: I have been in the voiceover business since 1998, but just went full-time this year.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges in growing the business? What have you done differently as a result?
A: The first year of business has its own challenges. The biggest thing that I have been challenged with so far would have to be getting business in the door consistently over time, as well as finding recurring clients. Knowing what I do now, I would probably have been a bit more conservative in my investments.
Q: As a successful business owner, do you have work / life balance? How have you managed to improve the joy and fulfillment in your life.
A: For me, fitness is a very essential part of how I balance my life and work. When I’m not busy doing work with my company or spending quality time with my son, you can find me in the gym.
Q: What can we and others in the community do to help your business grow and be more successful?
A: The best way the community can help my business grow is to simply just remember my name when any video projects pop up, such as corporate or branding pieces, commercials, explainers, and e-learning and training videos.
Q: What advice would you give other entrepreneurs / small business owners?
A: Finding a good mentor to guide you through hardships and successes is essential. Paying attention to your clients is the most important part of any business and you want to make sure your client has a fantastic experience getting your product or service. Also, know your worth and work to grow your worth to your clients. Specifically for voice actors, in the grand scheme of things, your voice really means nothing in this line of work. The differentiator in voice acting is the acting, not the voice. I would focus on investing your time in getting proper training, good equipment and doing your research. Finally, I just want to thank the Richmond community for all the support I’ve received over the years. We have such a supportive and collaborative business and creative community here and it’s a pleasure to be a part of.
“How I Got Started...” is a blog series that spotlights the entrepreneurial and life journeys of various small business owners and professionals. The content of this blog was curated by members of the CreativeMktGroup team.