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Marketing – Holiday Gift Giving

Ho! Ho! Holy Crap! I have to send ALL my clients gifts?!?!

It’s that time of year again! And you’re probably wondering, what, if anything, do I get my agents and clients? Well, Anne and Gabby go into great detail about what gifts are appropriate, how much to spend, who to give them to and even provide some creative ideas you can use yourself!


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Make a yearly receivable report.

  2. You don’t have to send gifts ONLY during the holidays.

  3. Don’t send “promotional items.”

  4. Gifts don’t have to be crazy expensive!

  5. Include gift giving in your yearly budget

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Popcornopolis

  2. Starbucks Gift Cards

  3. Amazon Gift Cards

  4. Subscribe to us on YouTube!

  5. Our podcast is recorded entirely using ipDTL. Get better than ISDN quality with: ipDTL!

Full Episode Transcript

VO: Today voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss. A VO B.O.S.S. Set yourself up with business owner’s 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 B.O.S.S.

Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO B.O.S.S. Podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, with my lovely cohost, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: Ho, ho, ho!

Both: Ho, ho, ho.

Anne: Well, that was a good introduction to what we’re gonna be talking about today and that is…holidays!–

Gabby: Santa? Yay!

Anne: Santa. Well, not just Santa, maybe all holidays and what you do in your VO business to celebrate the holidays, or what you do for clients, all that good stuff. So, Gabby, what do you do, if anything, for your clients?

Gabby: Okay, so, I mean, I’ve seen a lot of different methods over the years. Me, personally, what I typically do, is right around the first of December, I sit down with my receivables for the year. I do a big receivables report–

Anne: Yes. Gabby:–and I took a look at how much money people have spent with me. And if they have spent over, usually right around 5,000 dollars is what I look at, sometimes it’s 10, depending on the relationship. And then I will decide on a monetarily proportionate gift to send usually to the whole office. I’m big on sending gifts to everyone at the company and trying to do something that you know, really, in a way, is almost more for the folks doing the grunt work. The producers. The writers.

Anne: Well, yeah, ’cause they’re important.

Gabby: Yeah! Totally. And you know, food, everybody loves food. Everybody loves snacks. So, I–

Anne: Who doesn’t love food? Honestly? Gabby:–try to do something like that. Sometimes I’ll try to make it very localized, in that I will call a company that’s near them. Someplace that’s a little just a, what’s the word I’m looking for? I don’t know, geographically specific, and boutique, something that’s not generic?

Anne: Yeah, like a local business.

Gabby: Yeah. Exactly. And obviously one that delivers or caters, and use them. And then sometimes it might be one of those larger, catalog type companies.

Anne: Well, you know, Gabby, I love that you said that you–the first thing that I think is so important is you sit down and generate that report of yearly–

Gabby: Yeah. Anne:–report of what people–first of all, who is it that you have to send thanks to.

Gabby: Yep.

Anne: Or your gifts, so you gotta sit down with list of, or that report of, receivables of your current clients, and, even, not just your current clients, but clients that you’ve had in the past that maybe you want to, kind of, send a card or something to show top of mind.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: Kind of remind them that you’re around, and I love the fact that you give to the entire office. ‘Cause there usually are so many people that are involved in a production that uses our voice. Right? It’s not just the person that hires us or writes the check. It’s all the people in between that do the video production or the audio production, you know, anybody, the assistants that arranges times and studio sessions. Those people are so important. Gabby, you were mentioning you sit down the first of December. Well, I actually start to get really nervous in November for the upcoming holidays. So, I always at least start thinking and panicking a little before that. But I love, again, that you sit down and generate that report. That’s the first thing I do. And this may not just be December holidays or November. I’m talking about holidays in general. Things that you think about that might creatively surprise and bring joy. So, it can be any holiday of the year, Gabby, really. Just anything that might creatively spark or surprise your client and bring them a little gratitude and thanks for their support during the year.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: Or it can be for any holiday. I love that. So, I think it’s always good to have that list.

Gabby: I…

Anne: Have that list.

Gabby: Absolutely. I know some voice actors that go ahead and got preemptive years ago. Instead of waiting for the end of the year, and Christmas, and New Years, when it’s very predictable to receive gifts. Some people started to doing Thanksgiving gifts, to literally be able to say, “I’m thankful for you. I’m thankful for our relationship.” I’ve seen some people wait ’till Valentine’s Day, because totally unexpected to have something come for Valentine’s Day, obviously, if it’s not related to a significant other. And I think it’s kind of cute to be able to say I heart your company.

Anne: Well, yeah, absolutely. I love that.

Gabby: Yeah. So, there’s–

Anne: So, some ideas, Gabby, of what you actually send or what you do for your clients.

Gabby: Yeah, I mean, I think if it’s meant, I think the big mistake that a lot of people make is if it’s really, truly meant to be a thank you, and an appreciation of the relationship, then try not to turn it into a promotional– Both: Items.

Gabby: Or a promotional effort, because that cheapens the sentiment. And, kind of, it backfires. In most cases, if you’re really, truly wanting to be thankful, then, yeah, send food. Send something that the office, and a couple of people, in the very least, can appreciate together. Whether it be a catered lunch, or snacks, or a nice gift basket, or I don’t know, it could be something fun. Like, one year, I sent movie tickets to an entire office that liked to–they did this. It was sort of like a thing they would collectively, like, once a month, go to the movies together. And I thought that was so great. So, I sent them all gift certificates to be able to go to the movie of choice as an office.

Anne: That’s a great idea. I sent a–

Gabby: Yeah. Anne:–tree once. To a client of mine. Because it, well, I think that it really– if you get to know your clients, which I think, you know, if you have long standing relationships, and you get to know your clients, I think even a more personal gift, if you know them, is better. And I actually sent a little, sapling tree to one of my clients. And it wasn’t necessary a holiday, but it was for, you know, she had a death in the family and I knew that it had affected her greatly. And, so, that was just something that I, you know, did out of concern for her welfare, because she was going through a period of mourning. So, that, I think–

Gabby: Right. Anne:–really can help to enhance a relationship. So, I think your gift choices, really, you wanna think about things that can enhance your relationship on a personal level rather than, like, the promotional items. And as a matter of fact, I almost try to stay away from, even if I’m sending cards out, I try to stay away from too much of the promotional–

Gabby: Yeah. Anne:–type of thing. I’ll actually send–it’s enough to just say, “Anne Ganguzza, Voice Talent.” Or whatever my company name is. Or put, maybe, the website, but other than that everything else is a wish for them–

Gabby: Right. Anne:–to have a wonderful holiday, or whatever it is, it’s not about, “Hey this is what I just did. Here’s my latest clients.” It’s not that type of a thing.

Gabby: No. No.

Anne: It’s a focus on the client. And the client alone.

Gabby: There are some fun things that you can do to–never be afraid to ask. Never be afraid to call the company and speak to someone in reception, someone in administrative, someone in HR–

Anne: Yeah. Good idea. Gabby:–and go “Hey, who do you guys like to order out from? What’s, like is there–

Anne: Yeah, that’s a fantastic idea. Gabby:–a local place that everyone loves?” And enquire. Someone will tell you. Someone will go “Oh my god, there’s this amazing pizza place,” or whatever it is, and that gives you a way to personalize. And then the other thing that you can do, and this is fun, I’ve done this before, Lewis and I. Lewis Banks, who works in my office and we share a studio together, my work husband. We’ve done things where with clients that we share in common, or even agents, agencies, that we share in common, we’ll go in together. Because by combining our available money, we’re able to do something much bigger. We’re able to do–

Anne: Right. Gabby:–something much more impressive. And then it’s a like a little team effort, to team effort. So, one year, and we’ve done this, actually, a couple of years in a row, I think. We have di–there is a company called Popcornopolis that does really awesome–

Anne: Oh, yeah!

Gabby: Yeah. Like–

Anne: We love Popcornopolis. Gabby:–crazy flavors. Yeah. So, we did this massive Popcornopolis gift basket, thing, and we just said, “Let’s keep the jobs poppin’ in the New Year.”

Anne: Nice.

Gabby: And, “Love, Gabby and Lewis,” and that kind of thing. And that was the only promotional thing, that was the only mention of anything that would have been self-serving.

Anne: Well, yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s–

Gabby: But it was at least cute.

Anne: Yeah, and that’s true, I mean, you wanna make sure they know who you are. You know, when you’re sending a gift–

Gabby: Right, right. Exactly. Anne:–like, who’s Anne Ganguzza, you don’t want that to be the reaction.

Gabby: Right.

Anne: Hopefully they know who Anne Ganguzza or Gabby is. Is when you’re sending a gift to the office, but–

Gabby: Right, but don’t be afraid for it to be worded personably.

Anne: Right.

Gabby: And, you and I both, we talk about well written word, all the time, make it fun.

Anne: Yes, the well written word. So true. So true. And, really, ya can’t go wrong with food. I con– you know, nine times out of ten, I will select food. And I love that you do the local business, as well. Especially, because if you’re gonna have food delivered, that’s a good choice, always, because it’s not gonna be–it may not incur a huge shipping fee. A lot of times I’ll look for a local bakery, I think I sent a basket of muffins once, and cookies, and you know, or–I definitely sent an Italian basket to one of my clients who, was very much Italian, knowing that he would appreciate the selection. From a fellow–well, I like to say it, “The Fellow Italian.” Italian by marriage. But I like to play on that. I like to play on those commonalities. Whatever–

Gabby: Of course! Anne:–it is that you have in common with your client, you know, think of those things for gifts. And they don’t have to be tremendously expensive. Really. It’s about the thought. That goes into it.

Gabby: The other great thing, is you can go onto Groupon, in someone’s specific area and you can buy excursions or little, like, team building activities. Something fun that I’ve been toying around with this year is, like, those escape room-type-things, that everybody loves, that are so popular. You can literately purchase a package for a group of people from an office to go do an escape room together. And–

Anne: Fun.

Gabby: Yeah! And it’s fun–

Anne: That’s a great idea. Gabby:–and it’s different. And so things like that. You know, think about, “How can I connect with what’s happening with them locally?”

Anne: Sure. And even if you can’t think locally, maybe an excursion, or a local food place, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with a Starbucks gift card. Or–

Gabby: Oh, god no. Anne:–an Amazon gift card. I mean, I, being the Amazon girl that I am, I mean, what can’t you get at Amazon?

Gabby: Right.

Anne: And you can do with–even if it’s just a small amount, I mean, it’s just again, it’s the thought. And that doesn’t really–you wont incur a delivery fee with that. Which is, I think, fantastic. I mean, I– again, it’s really just about the thought. And it’s not about, “Oh my god, what am I gonna get that has my logo on it, that I’m gonna go and send to all my–”

Gabby: Right. No. Yeah. Anne:”–clients.” No, it’s not like that, it really isn’t. And think about clients that you haven’t actually communicated within the year. Of course, you want to take care of the clients that you’ve worked with during the year first, but I would also say, keep–You know, thinking about the client that you worked with last year, that maybe just didn’t have another job, right? Or, maybe what you– you wanna just remind them that, “Hey! I’m here. And thanks so much for your support. I hope you have a great holiday.” Kind of thing. And, you know, or just that is even more sincere, if your gonna send something to a client from last year. You know, I think that, that would really, like, if I were that client I’d be like, “Oh, wow. That’s right. Anne. She did that great job last year. And, you know what? We’ve got that other vi–let’s call her.” Really, it becomes a top of mind thing. And I just was thinkin’ about that the other day, because somebody was asking me to help cast a job for them. And I’m like, “Who do I know?” And, honestly, those people that I had just emailed or just seen, communicating on social media, that I was communicating with, those are top of mind people. So, top of mind does work. People, it really, really works.

Gabby: I think so. Absolutely. But, you know, really in the end, I think that decision of how to, I don’t know, market segment your holiday list between who gets a card, who gets the gift card, who gets the more extravagant gift, it really should just come down to how much have they spent? And what can you reasonably budget, for you’re business that year?

Anne: Well, a good thing–

Gabby: Do you– Anne:–a good thing to do is to prepare a budget. For that type of thing. You really should have a budget, and I know so many people, when you’re first starting out you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I just spent all this money on my studio. Or I spent all my money on my classes or my demo.” Honestly, I think that the error, when somebody’s starting out, again, they’re not thinking about the business picture as a whole.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: And these are things that have to be incorporated in there. I mean, it just has to be.

Gabby: How would you recommend that people do that, Anne? What do you think is a safe percentage to say put aside for end of the year, or client appreciation gifts?

Anne: You know, client appre–really, client appreciation gifts, I’m gonna say, gosh, a percentage of what their spending on…–

Gabby: Yeah. Anne:–items? You know…

Gabby: One percent? Two percent? Five percent? What do you think?

Anne: I’m between five and ten percent, really.

Gabby: Five and ten percent. Okay.

Anne: Yeah. I mean, and of what they’re spending with me. What about you, Gabby?

Gabby: Pretax? Pretax? Or–

Anne: Yeah, pretax. Pretax.

Gabby: Okay.

Anne: Pretax. Everything’s pretax with me.

Gabby: I think that’s an important distinction to make though. Yeah, I like to, you never know, some people might choose to do it differently. I think that’s an important thing to factor into it.

Anne: Yep.

Gabby: I don’t know, I’d say I’m somewhere between the three and five percent mark. That’s what I look to do. I mean, so, again, it doesn’t have to be crazy, it’s just–

Anne: Right. It doesn’t. Gabby:–I’m thinking of you. Yeah.

Anne: I think, well you know too, Gabby, is interestingly enough, because of the type of work that we do, we do different work. Like, your–the percentage of work that you do in one genre is a bit different than what I do. So, my clients–

Gabby: Yeah! Anne:–a lot of times, I have huge clients that have come back, time and time and time–and not that you haven’t–but in a different monetary financial relationship. So, I… if they been–

Gabby: Mine are more spread out and I have to account for the larger, again, those larger numbers. The whole–

Anne: Yeah. Mine last for years. I’ve had– Gabby:–production company. The whole–yeah.

Anne: Yeah. I’ve had clients for years that have just put me on retainer. Or they–I’m, you know, I’m on–in a contract with them. So, then, that’s where my percentage comes from, because the contracts are–they’re– I wanna say that they’re, not that they’re larger, but they are yearly based. So, therefore, it’s easier for me to say, “Okay, let’s take a percentage of that and dedicate that to gratitude and thanks and that sort of thing.” So.

Gabby: There you go. Both: Yeah.

Gabby: So, easy peasie.

Anne: Easy peasie, guys. So, budget it in every year. Take away. Gratitude, thanks, celebrate the holidays, try to do it creatively. So, I think the more creatively and more surprise is– so, if it’s not an expected November or December holiday, if it’s a Valentine’s Day, like Gabby was saying, or, you know, the start of summer. That kind of thing. Celebrate summer.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: That kind of thing. Celebrate–

Gabby: And don’t make it self-serving. Don’t. Just don’t.

Anne: Exactly. And make sure to put it in your budget. So, make sure you have that list of clients easily accessible. I’m gonna have my–my accountant has that accessible at any give in time. Like, in a monthly report of who my clients are, and whose spending money, and how much they’re spending.

Gabby: I can pull it up in FreshBooks right now.

Anne: Yep. Exactly.

Gabby: Two seconds. I can tell you that info. So, it’s a good thing to have handy. It’s good thing to have nearby, no doubt.

Anne: And I’ll tell you what, you know? One of my first sponsors on the list is ipDTL. As our sponsor for the VO B.O.S.S. Podcast. How much do we love ipDTL?

Gabby: All the love.

Anne: All the love, goes there. So, you guys, if you’re lookin’ for a quality connection and recording you can find out more at

Gabby: Please make sure to go to some of our social media. Give us the “like.” Give us the “thumbs up.” Super important, guys, we need your support on places like Youtube, and Facebook, and Twitter, and all the different places you can find us–

Anne: Stitcher. For sure. Gabby:–iTunes. And Stitcher, absolutely. Yeah.

Anne: And please tell other people about us. That would be great. We’re always lookin’ for more listeners. So, if you can subscribe to us on iTunes or Stitcher, and then, tell everybody else.

Gabby: Tell your friends!

Anne: Subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher and Youtube. And don’t forget to visit us at for exclusive content and offers.

Gabby: Yep. B.O.S.S. University it’s in full effect and we got a lot of different things for you guys to take a look at. More ways to get your Anne and Gabby VO B.O.S.S. fix.

Anne: Alright, guys. Have a kick butt week! Stay focused and rock your business… Both: Like a boss!

Anne: A VO B.O.S.S. See ya next week, guys.

Gabby: Bye.

VO: Join us next week for another addition of VO B.O.S.S., 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.