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Business of VO – Outsourcing

It takes a village to raise a …voice actor! Anne and Gabby get personal and give you a behind the scenes look at how they do it all! Their secret? They don’t! They share the importance of outsourcing, the tasks they no longer tackle and how it can even increase your bottom line!

Check out Episode 12 – Outsourcing on  iTunes, Stitcher or YouTube!


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Outsource the parts of your job you aren’t good at or don’t love.

  2. Pay those you hire decent rates. They are also running a business.

  3. You have to mentally let go and relinquish some control over the parts of your job that you can outsource.

  4. Facebook groups are a good place to ask for recommendations on who to hire!

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Share ideas with your own network ++

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Anne outsources work on her Facebook page for her Studio Cats

  2. George Whittam

  3. Post on the VO Peeps group to ask for recommendations on who to hire

Full Episode Transcript

VO: Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice! Today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss. A VO BOSS Set yourself up with business owner strategies and success with your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business like a boss. A VO BOSS 12 Anne: Welcome everybody to the VO Boss podcast I’m Anne Ganguzza along with my lovely co-host Gabby Nistico! Gabby: Hey Anne! Anne: Gabby, today we’re gonna talk about something that all month I have been dealing with and that is outsourcing. Outsourcing jobs and tasks for your VO business because I am maxed out now, I think Gabby: Essential! Anne: With people Gabby: Yep! Anne: It is essential. And sometimes, you know I sit back and I think about it and I’m like, Oh my goodness! It’s like, I have so many things that I need to get done and yet I have no time. And so it is so important for my business to be able to outsource Gabby: Preach it sister, it’s true! It’s so true! I, you know, I know the old cliche is it takes a village to raise a child, or munchkin, or whatever but yeah, it takes a village to raise a voice actor. It’s not a singular effort, and it’s so funny because you know everybody calls us solopreneurs and all that jazz. And that’s cute, and it’s definitely the way we start, but oh my gosh, and we don’t stay that way for very long. If you’re on your own trying to do everything, oh my gosh, get some help people! Anne: Yes. Get some help. Gabby: Hire, hire out. It is the only way. Anne: Yeah, and Gabby and I are giving you permission to do that. And I know, I think Gabby for me, I was so stuck, I was so holding on to doing every single task of my business because, and I think this is probably a common trait among voiceover artists, you don’t wanna give it up to anybody else. First of all, you’re all worried because you don’t have the money. Second of all, you don’t know how the other person is going to be able to handle your business without some sort of training, or, nobody does it better than the owner kind of thing. That was the mentality that I had. Gabby: What’s that you’re saying? Type A? Oh yeah. Oh, yeah. Anne: Oh, yeah, that could be in. Type A is on the phone? Right. Totally. Gabby: Type A for Anne, and I was holding on for dear life. And until I gave up some of those tasks that I wasn’t as efficient in or, really found no joy in doing. There was no way that I was able to grow And now that I’m outsourcing. And Gabby I counted it out the other day, I am outsourcing to seven different people I’m happy to tell anybody that it’s not all me. So many people that will ask me, “how do you do it all?” Well, I don’t. I hire out. Gabby: I have a team Anne: Yeah, I have a team of people working for Team Anne Team A, Team Anne To help me run my business. What about you Gabby? Gabby: It’s exactly the same. I mean, literally Team Gabby and I couldn’t survive without these guys. And it’s funny because I am so much a control freak and I wanna have my hands in everything. And I had to get over that idea a long time ago, that if I wasn’t the one doing it it wouldn’t be done right. Anne: Yeah. Gabby: Very, very you know, important Anne: That’s core. Gabby: You’ve got to first mentally prepare and let go of some of the control and you know, hire smart hire people you can trust. But then you have to trust them. You have to let them have that leeway to do without you being over their shoulder and constantly trying to basically micro-manage whatever task it is. The thing that I think for me was really hard was understanding early on that by taking specific tasks out of my day  and giving them to other people, even though I was spending money, I would increase my bottom line because I would free up my time to do what I do best and subsequently make more money. And it’s very true. Anne: Nail on the head right there. Gabby: And it took me a really long time to get a handle on that. Anne: Yeah. Gabby: Now, yeah, I wouldn’t give up my guys for anything. Anne: It took me years, Gabby, years, actually even full-time it took me years before I would give it up and start outsourcing. And my very first – actually, I’m gonna ask you who was your very first that you outsourced to or what was the task? Mine was accounting. I outsourced that quick! And as soon as that worked in my favor so that I wasn’t spending so much time categorizing and actually clearing checks and balances and doing that daily grind I afforded myself so much more time to actually go and do voiceover work. Or look for voiceover work. Or promote myself. Anne: Mine was editing. Because I do so much production work as a coach, and create so many demos that I needed more hands that I could trust in the studio. And man, did that make a huge difference for me. Now, let’s talk about what we hire folks for. I mean yeah, I’ve got editors  I have people for marketing, for social media management, for website updates and web management, I have folks for general office help. When we talk about outsourcing many voiceover actors will also include, very wisely, folks that they hire to do other things outside of their voiceover business but that once again free them up. And this could be help around the house. For me, I have, basically a personal shopping service  that does my grocery shopping. Because things like that free me up. I don’t have the time for that kind of crap. So. Anne: That’s great. Gabby: Anything that you do in that respect is outsourcing. It’s part of that process. Anne: So my outsourcing consists of a lot of the same as yours. I actually have somebody for accounting that does all of my daily accounting I do my own invoicing but they do all the daily and monthly cheques and balances for me, categorization. So that was just a God-send. Once I found that I was just like, wow! This is kinda great! I have somebody that handles my social media I have somebody that helps me with marketing and cold-calling I have definitely two people working on my websites. One of them is a designer, the other is a back-end programmer because I have some fairly complex websites. And I have, oh gosh I’m just trying to think. Who else do I have? Gabby: Well we both have a video editor Anne: Yeah we have a video editor Absolutely. I have somebody that actually handles YouTube and that type of marketing as well. Yeah, it’s crazy. And I love how you were talking about how it’s not just voiceover tasks it could be any task that’s going to save you time and the personal shopper – what a great idea that is. Of course, I also have somebody that comes and cleans the house. I remember a long time ago thinking I would rather work more hours than clean my house I mean, I’m kind of a clean freak. I do enough cleaning outside of the… I clean for the cleaning woman. And, actually I’ve got a team of people that come. But I do. And I remember a long time ago even though before I was in voiceover when I was working full-time, I decided long ago that that was not one of the things that I wanted to spend my time doing and that I was happy to hire out And all I did was just in order to pay for that I just worked different jobs so that I could afford to pay for that. So, it’s just reallocating your time to doing what you do best Gabby: Yeah. Anne: And that I think is just, the point that we need to drive over and over again it’s so scary for voiceover talent that are just starting out to outsource because they feel like they don’t have I feel like they’re scared. They don’t have the money They don’t see the money coming in and they’re afraid to make that investment. Well I’m here to say that as soon as you get a little bit of that money squared away and my business savings accountant was a God-send for that Once you get some of that money squared away that you’ve got that little nest egg And then you get a little bit extra you can start really considering hiring out for those things that will save you time. And yes, I have an editor as well. That was the other one I was forgetting. I have an editor to do all of my, not my auditions but all of my work actually. Gabby: And you want to try to have these people in place before the need is dire. Anne: Yeah. Gabby: Because that’s the mistake a lot of people make. They wait to bring on staff when things are,  when they’re buried. When they’re so far in the weeds, they can’t even see the treeline anymore. And it’s too late Because you’re already in a frantic place. And then, you’re kind of having to settle for whomever you hire. Anne: Like, I know for my social media person that I hire they have to be able to know me, they have to be able to kind of take on my voice. Anybody that’s representing me in marketing has to be able to represent my voice. So, it’s not an easy task sometimes, finding good people to work for you. And when you find a good person you need to be able to I think, pay them fairly for their work And that is gonna have a lot of I mean, I have been through some people that have worked for me that just haven’t worked out. A lot of it has to do with your willingness to train them number 1, you have to pay for training for the most part Unless you’re getting an intern out from school and they’re gaining valuable experience on the job. Which is great. I say, If you can get an intern to do that. It’s becoming, for me in my area, increasingly difficult to find an intern that’s a not paid position. Paying people though, on another level, has helped me and I know you have found quite a few interns from colleges and schools by you. Gabby: Well yes, but I will say colleges and schools, what’s going on there right now and internships I should say qualified intern candidates Things have changed a bit. Anne: Yeah. Gabby: And lately we’re seeing sort of like a down turn. So what’s happened for me now is my interns, for the most part, are actually not college students anymore. My interns are more like mentees. They are people that come to me who really really want to become voice actors. They go look, I don’t have the means to pay for classes or certain things, but what I do have is dedication and I have maybe, whatever background or industry they come from They have skills that they can apply And they’re older, they’re wiser, they’re a little bit more mature And these folks are really willing to say look, if you’ll take me under your wing I’ll help you however I can. And the other thing that I want folks to realize is that  all the really great, amazing, top tier voice acting names that you’ve heard your whole life and the people that you’ve looked up to all had or have help. None of them are doing it alone. Randy Thomas has an editor, Joseph Cipriano has an editor One of my favorite stories that a lot of people don’t know or don’t connect the dots on for some reason George Whittam who pretty much everyone in our industry knows for his knowledge of equipment and his studio prowess George Whittam was Don LaFontaine’s personal audio engineer for many, many years. And that’s how everyone in our industry knows George. He was literally on Don’s payroll. And we all need that, we all need staff. So you may be in that position of not being sure if you can afford it but start small Look at the thing that currently is just taking up and sucking up way too much of your time making things difficult. Anne: And also if you’re looking for somebody that’s great with forums that are on Facebook you can certainly put a posting out there if you’re looking for somebody to do your editing or somebody happens to know a good accountant We see it all the time. Post it on the boards. And don’t be shy about that. I think that it says a lot about you and your business if you’re willing to say hey, I need some help and you’re willing to actually hire help. The whole, getting something for free, is very tiring sometimes. We all love a good deal. But, good help is really hard to come by. And I think just as we want to be paid fairly because we are business owners and we are in business, so do people that work for you. Right, so always try to keep that positive aspect in your mind when you’re going to be hiring people. And pay them a fair wage, as you would expect to be paid. Gabby: It’s very true, and as far as recommendations, that’s how you find some of the best people. So yeah, the forums on Facebook and getting out there with other voice actors and going, who do you use We’re all about sharing because we want to see the folks that are working for us have more success, not less Anne: Absolutely. Gabby: My staff, they’re like family. I love these guys. We hang out, we hang outside of work. You know, we’re buddies, literally. Anne: And my staff have multiple jobs. It’s not just me that they’re working for Gabby: Yeah, me too! Anne: I mean, they have like two or three. And a lot of times, they’re just trying pick up some extra cash. The people that I outsource right now, I don’t think anyone of them exceeds 10 hours a week. And again, I think it’s important that you understand that there is a certain amount of hours in the day that you have to get things done. And there will come a time when you just can’t do it all, and so where do you go? Right, you’ll find that your business stagnates if you don’t have the help. And who wants that? I certainly don’t. Gabby: I won’t forget this because it so speaks to the entrepreneurial mindset in that we’re often willing to release control or release the reins to someone in a non-business capacity than we are when it comes to these business tasks. I’m so Type A, I was even bathing my own dogs. I have two. I was so frazzled, and I was so overwhelmed. It was like a I had this epiphany one day and I just went, oh my God; there are people who do this. I can just call one of them There are even mobile people, they’ll come to me to bathe the dogs. Like, why am I doing this? And, once I started thinking like that, that’s when things changed. That’s when I started to move in this direction. And it made a huge impact. Anne: Oh yeah. Thank goodness I don’t have to bathe my cats Gabby: No kidding. Well now I have an 85 lb Great Pyrenees there’s no bathing that. Anne: There you go Gabby: She bathes you, not the other way around. Anne: Actually, my animals are my break time. So when I’m working hard and I need a break I will of course take photos Well of course I’m marketing them too, so whatever. It’s my well-earned break. And I actually do have somebody that I am paying to help me market my cats. Can you imagine, like they love their job. You’re paying me to post pictures, cute pictures of kittens on the internet? And I’m like yeah, its kind of a cool job isn’t it. Gabby: ‘Cause you’re like the bestest boss ever. Anne: Oh, goodness Yeah well Gabby: Bestest VO BOSS Anne: I like to think so, and you too Gabby So takeaways for today’s podcast are: Number 1, I think in order to really be able to grow as a voiceover artist end of your business you really need to start to consider outsourcing tasks that you don’t find joy in, and tasks that you are not, I guess, the best at or excel at, so that you can use that time to move forward and grow. Gabby: Yeah. Anything that eats up your time and start looking and start doing your homework on those folks long before you need them. I tell every voice actor, even if they’ve only been at it full time maybe for a few months start interviewing editors, start talking to audio editors. Get somebody in your corner long before you need them because when you do, you don’t wanna be on the hunt. Anne: Yeah. And don’t forger that there is a period of time that you will have to train this person. And it seems weird that you pay for training, but it does happen. Don’t think that that’s an unusual thing I just remembered when I first started hiring people I’m like, oh gosh, now I’ve got to spend time and I’ve got to train them, and it’s gonna take weeks for them to come up to speed. But, it happens, and it’s a good thing. It’s all a good thing. Well big thanks to our sponsor, ipDTL If you’ve been wondering how we have such a lovely, wonderful quality broadcast, that is due to our sponsor ipDTL, and you too could record like a boss, and find out more at Gabby: From all of us at the VO Boss podcast, have a kick-butt week, and stay focused. And don’t forget to rock your business like a boss. Anne: A VO Boss. Like us on Facebook at VO Boss podcast and twitter @vo_boss. Gabby: Subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and please be sure to visit us at for exclusive content and offers. Anne: Awesome guys, and thanks, have a great week. See you soon! Gabby: Bye! VO: Join us next week for another edition of VO Boss, with your host Anne Ganguzza, and Gabby Nistico. All rights reserved. Anne Ganguzza voice talent in association with Three Moon Media. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.