Business of VO: How to Generate Passive Income

The Bosses talked about passive income in a previous episode, and its ability to be a life-changer for entrepreneurs and we caused some inadvertent paranoia for our voiceover listeners!  We told you all about why passive income is so great, but we didn’t address HOW to generate passive income. So today’s follow-up episode is all about the steps to go from idea to income!


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Passive income can generate lots of additional money for voiceover actors, since there’s no end to the various ways you can put your talents to work.

  2. One listener wrote us and shared her RV rental side-hustle and how it helps her earn another salary annually.

  3. It starts with the creative moment – your great idea!

  4. You can think it’s great but you need confirmation. You need to research that the great idea applies to other people.

  5. Market research and development begins with friends, family, neighbors, social media communities, etc.

  6. Google your idea extensively, to confirm whether or not it already exists and how successful it is.

  7. A name for your product or service is just as important. So research that as well.

  8. A great name helps you capture the market and secure your future marketing efforts.

  9. You also want to avoid trademark or copyright infringement.

  10. Federal and state databases should be searched as well.

  11. The formation of an LLC or corporate entity may be premature but you should know what it entails.

  12. There are pros and cons to R&D as you will uncover both the positive and negative aspects of your new venture.

  13. Marketing, sales, storefront, distribution, it can be daunting. You may need to hire staff in order to invest properly in this new income stream.

  14. Investments of both time and money need to be made.

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Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Recorded on ipDTL

  2. Fit Small Business gives their ideas for passive income generation.

Full Episode Transcript

>> Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

>> Today’s voiceover talent has to be a BOSS.

>> BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

>> Join us each week for business owner strategies and success with your hosts Anne Ganguzza and Gabrielle Nistico, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Rock your business.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.

>> Rock your business like a BOSS.




Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my VO BOSS bestie, Gabby Nistico. 

Gabby: Hello.

Anne: Hey Gabby!

[both laugh]

Gabby: So Anne, we caused a little bit of stir and a little bit of panic. [laughs]

Anne: Oh well, that’s always fun.

Gabby: So our recent episode on passive income apparently created some paranoia amongst our peers, and so – [laughs]

Anne: In a good way, I hope.

Gabby: Yeah, I think so, I think so. I think people just got really wrapped up in, you know, thinking about what they should do. We have an email email from one listener who told us about her passive income –

Anne: Yes.

Gabby: – efforts.

Anne: Melissa has a great passive income, where she rents her RV, which is pretty darn awesome, and it makes it kind of like a B&B for her. So she gets some passive income coming in while she gets to be able to, you know, travel [laughs] on that income and also record VO wherever she goes.

Gabby: That’s genius. And I know for you, that’s definitely on your bucket list o’ things. She said she made like, what, $35,000.

Anne: Oh yeah, something like that last year. That’s a substantial piece of income there.

Gabby: That’s a salary.

Anne: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Gabby: That is a salary renting something you already own.

Anne: Absolutely. You know, Gabby, when we were talking about passive income, I guess probably we should go over maybe some steps that can help people to go from, you know, idea to income.

Gabby: Yeah. That’s what’s critical because I think we started the conversation, and we got people really thinking about passive income and what it can do for them, but we didn’t really get into the how. [laughs]

Anne: So let’s do that.

Gabby: So first off you got to have the great idea, that creative moment, right, the lightbulb goes off. “Ahhhh,” you’re like “oh my God.”

Anne: Ahhh.

Gabby: Right, I can make money with this. This is going to be amazing.

Anne: Ah.

Gabby: But then what? 

Anne: [laughs] Everybody has great ideas. How many people [laughs] How many friends, you know – “if only I had invented that,” right? We always have those conversations. “I can’t believe they came out with that – I can’t believe they’re making money on that. I had that idea. How many years ago, and damn it, you know, it was my idea.”

Gabby: That’s so much the problem, we’re all guilty of that. We all have that moment of like “damn it, why didn’t I think of that?” Or “why did I sit on that for so long?” 

Anne: I think it’s super important in the beginning once you have a great idea is to make sure that that great idea might also apply to other people who think it’s a great idea, meaning, do you have a market the product? You can come up with the great idea, but if you don’t have a market for it, then you know, you sit there with your great idea and great product, and nobody will buy it.

Gabby: Yeah, market research is absolutely a critical and huge piece to this. You got to have confirmation. So how do you start to market research? Well, I say use what’s at your disposal, right? 

Anne: Gangoogle.

Gabby: And use the market around you, friends, family, coworkers, colleagues, right, tap in to them. Talk to them. Ask, because that’s the only way you’re going to know.

Anne: We have such amazing information at our fingertips that you can research to see if that idea exists out there, if there’s a product like that, and also if you have contacts in social media, reach out to them, take a poll. “Would you buy this,” or you know, I know a lot of people are possessive if they have an idea, but a lot of times, you don’t really get a feel for what your market is like without necessarily reaching out to maybe also more than your family and friends.

Gabby: Yeah, you’re right, because family and friends – 

Anne: Of course they’ll buy it. They’re going to support you. 

Gabby: Well, I feel like with family and friends, you’re always going to have the handful of people that’re like “of course, that’s amazing, that’s so awesome you can do that,” and then you’re gonna have the naysayers. There’s going to be that small group that’s like “hmmm. Why are you doing that? What are you thinking?” And you’re like, damn it. And so they can really negatively affect you if you let them. 

Anne: I think there’s ways to inquire outside of your family and friends, in other circles. I think there’s ways to inquire and do research to find out iIf there is a market for the product or service that you’re thinking about. 

Gabby: The NextDoor app is really great because it’s like a community-based social media. So if it’s something localized or it’s about your immediate geography, that’s a great place to throw it out and see what kind of responses you get from people.

Anne: Oh yeah, I love my NextDoor app. It’s got everything. You can sell, you can buy, you can gossip about your neighbors. [laughs]

Gabby: Obviously there’s Google.

Anne: Anne Gangoogle it.

Gabby: Yup. Get on the freaking web. I mean, come on, guys. It’s so fundamental, but I’m still amazed by the number of people that don’t.

Anne: Yeah. Absolutely.

Gabby: That weirds me out. What you mean you didn’t go and like thoroughly, deeply research this on the web? Hello? 

Anne: That research should include some thoughts or some research about a name, right, a name for a product or service because that of course starts the foundation for a brand, and I think that that is super important because, as Gabby and I mentioned a few episodes ago, we’ve got some other passive income ideas. We’re doing our due diligence and doing research. And so part of that research is actually finding out if there is something that has a similar name to what we’ve decided to call our product, and that is very important because you want to capture the market, you want to create something that’s easy for people to remember, easy for people to look for, and a name for your product is everything.

Gabby: And you don’t want to accidentally or unintentionally infringe on someone else’s copyright or trademark, or get yourself into a legal situation. So we get on the phone with Rob Sciglimpaglia, we go “hey, here’s our new brainchild. What do you think and can you engage in the research?” And he will do a deeper legal search that gets into both the federal databases and the state databases.

Anne: Well, and that’s actually something that you can also do yourself. You can search the federal trademark database. And so while we’re talking about a name, sometimes you might think, “well, does it really have a name? I’m just offering a service.” I think giving it some sort of name for your product or for your company to make sure that that name is available and not of course being used by someone else, and you can search those databases publicly, the federal database you can. It’s pretty simple.

Gabby: Some of the state ones as well, yeah, depending on the state and who handles the business affairs and the licensure of businesses and corporations, you can search those databases too.

Anne: Now Gabby, what are your thoughts on actually forming a company, like should it be – here comes the question when everybody sets up their voiceover business, do we form an LLC, do we form an S-corp, do we form a DBA? What do we do? Is that a necessary thing while we’re in the research of this passive income? 

Gabby: No, no, I think that’s a little bit premature. That’s the item I say sit on that for a moment. Know what it’s going to entail, once you get the facts and you know what it’s gonna be. Just kind of set it aside. To me this is where we enter into what is known as R&D, research and development. This by the way is where a lot of entrepreneurs completely derail. [laughs] Research and development is where everyone goes off the tracks, and they go, this is too much work.

Anne: Actually I was thinking the execution of it as well. That’s where they derail, because they’re not necessarily sure – well, they’ve got the idea, maybe they think, do they buy a domain name? There’s a thought.

Gabby: Here’s why I say that. Research and development can start a very nasty cycle. It can either get you really, really pumped because you start to see the potential for this new business venture, and you really start to see where it has legs, or it can make you super, super paranoid because you start to see all the things that could possibly go wrong.

Anne: Oh God. Well you know, I’