The Business of VO – Choosing a Coach

Forget – Head to Google! Happy Valentine’s Day! In celebration, we thought we’d focus on matching you up with the most important relationship your VO career needs… a COACH! And who better to learn from than two great coaches! Anne and Gabby go over researching a coach, coaching styles and strategies and when it’s time to move forward with someone else.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Go to Google to research a coach

  2. Have synergy with your coach

  3. Make sure you can communicate with them freely

  4. Talk to a coach’s previous students and see what it was like to work with them

  5. Don’t be a perpetual student, there should be an end goal

  6. Coaching is an investment

  7. If you’re new, you may have to travel. Having the right equipment is important!

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Share ideas with your own network ++

Coaching is an investment! @aganguzza #VOBOSS Click To Tweet

If you don't have a coach...why don't you have a coach??? #VOBOSS Click To Tweet

You can’t learn to play piano without a PIANO! Same with VO! #VOBOSS Click To Tweet

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. Google

  2. Subscribe to VO B.O.S.S. on YouTube!

  3. 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: Hey, guys! Before, we get started on today’s epsidoe, we wanna share some B.O.S.S. solutions! And some of the ways you can have more B.O.S.S. in your life.

Gabby: Oh, come one, you can never have too much B.O.S.S., my little entrepreNERDS.

Anne: [Laughing] EntrepreNERDS, I love that. Did you think of that all by yourself?

Gabby: No. Not at all. No. I kinda borrowed that.

Anne: VO B.O.S.S. has amazing classes that can help you to self propel your goals and increase your business, and your bottom line. So, for both beginning and advanced VO Talents, we have our B.O.S.S. University. So you can select from different classes at different levels.

Gabby: This is like our Podcast on steroids, guys. This is like me and Anne at our best, doing what we do, putting our B.O.S.S. brains together, right?–’cause two BOSS brains is better than one–And giving you–

Anne: Totally. Gabby: –all kinds of webinars and ways that you can improve your B.O.S.S.-ness and B.O.S.S.-ability, and make more money.

Anne: Go to and just click on the “Shop” tab.

Gabby: And now, on with the show.

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

Gabby: Awe, hi, Anne.

Anne: [Laughing] So, today, Gabby, we’re gonna talk about something that I know I get questions all the time, and I see them all the time on social media, all about how to pick a coach.

Gabby: [Laughs] We both obviously field this question upteen times a day. And–

Anne: That we do. Gabby: –let’s go ahead and address one big elephant, like, right away because I think if we don’t, you know, we’ll gonna get called out on it later.–

Anne: Okay. Gabby: –So, like, duh, guys, we’re both coaches, so we’re a little bias.

Anne: Yes. Yes, we admit. We admit that we’re coaching. We coach. We admit that we coach.

Gabby: [Laughs] Right.

Anne: [Laughs] Hi, I’m Anne.

Gabby: So, that being said, I mean, we are gonna try to be as unbiased as we can.–

Anne: Yes. Gabby: –And we’re gonna try to be as honest as we can be about this process, but please understand, yeah, we do coach, so, you know, just FYI.

Anne: Well, you know, can I preface this entire conversation with, I actually have been in education for a number of years. Over 20 years. Actually working for a school and I realized, way back when, that I was at my best when I was in a teaching kind of position, because I really loved sharing my passion. And I remember thinking to myself, a long time ago, that, you know, we’re all a product of our teachers. I mean, I love school. I have been going to school, taking courses, like, all of my life, and I am just such one of those Continuing Ed students where I’m always learning. And I truly believe that we are a product of everybody that we’ve learned from, you know, for all of our lives. And so, I’m very much a proponent of people taking– coaching with people, and a virility of people, because I think it makes us a more rounded.

Gabby: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. I agree with that complete. I think it’s just wise to know the credentials of your coach.–

Anne: Yes. Gabby: –What they’ve done, what they’re known for, and having some guidelines for how to go about starting that all important process of finding who it is you’re gonna train with and why.

Anne: You know my middle– maybe it’s not even my middle name–but you have dubbed me, Anne Gang-google. So, I am– [Gabby Laughing] Anne:–going to actually going take that name and wear it pride–

Gabby: Yes! YES! Anne:–and tell you guys, if you’re gonna research a coach, where’s the number one place that you can go and find out more. Google. Search.–

Gabby: Gooooogllllle. Anne:–Yes. You wanna make sure that your coach–that you can find out their back ground. Their experience. Are they working in the industry? Have they worked in the industry? How many years have they been doing this, and how do they offer their services? All those good question can be found with a Google search.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: Now, if you can’t find a coach today, using the Google search, then your gonna have to rely on word of mouth, because I would imagine that if you’re not online, then it’s somebody who probably has been in the business for a very long time and, you know, maybe they just don’t have a page that says that they coach. And they’ve just been know forever as a coach.

Gabby: So, let’s talk about some of the things that really make for a good voiceover coach. The things that are defining characteristics for you, for me, for all of our colleagues in coaching, and the people that we would recommend and, in kind, recommend us. What do you think is the number one most important thing to look for?

Anne: Wow. That’s a good question. Well,–

Gabby: I know. Anne:–you know, I think there has to be a synergy. You know? Especially because I can consider myself an educator. There has to be a synergy between you and the proposed coach that you wanna work with. And I think it’s super important that, you know, once you find out the information and the background information on the coach, that you might, you know, have a chance to talk with them for a little bit. If, you know, it they offer a–like, I offer a kind of consult so I can get to know people. I like to talk with my students,–

Gabby: Mm-Hmm. Anne:–and they can find out about me, I can find out about them. We can talk about our goals and what, maybe, they expect from a coach and that kinda starts it off on the right foot, I think.

Gabby: Yeah. I think, you’re absolutely right. I think a great coach should be very accessible. And should be someone that you can reach out to and have some communication with, whether it be Zoom or on the phone or even in just email. And I like what you said about the synergy piece. To me, I think it’s speaks to something you and I talk about an awful lot, which is personal brand.

Anne: Yes.

Gabby: The same way voice actors have a personal brand, so do coaches. Our coaching style, our methodology, the way we go about things is represented in that personal brand. And you have to align yourself with someone who’s message and who’s way of presenting information speaks to you.

Anne: So important. And–

Gabby: Yeah. Anne:–I think that you can tell right away–it’s just the same when you meet people. And you know how you can meet someone and right away you’re like, “You know what? I really like that person.” Or, “You know, I’d really like to know that person better. I’d like to work with that person.” It’s the same thing for a coach, really. And I think that a lot of us coaches, when we’re teaching–especially beginner voiceover– there are a lot of the same concepts that we’re trying to impart on you and our students, and so we may approach it different, and so for each student I think the lightbulb goes off maybe at a different time. Or I could say the same thing that Gabby says but a student may not receive it the same way. Or they might– the lightbulb might go off at a different time. So, I think that, that’s why it’s so important to really get a feel for how your coach delivers. And I’ll tell you that sometimes there are some super, fabulously talented voice actors out there, but that doesn’t always mean that they are necessary the best at teaching.

Gabby: Mm-hmm. Definitely, I think being a teacher, and having education credentials, and knowing and understand how to teach is a different deal than the profession itself. I agree with everything you just said. I think all of that makes perfect sense, and yes, at the end of the day we do have to understand that most quality voiceover coaches, we’re all saying the same thing.

Anne: Yeah.

Gabby: We’re just saying it in different ways that resonate with people differently. Anne:–at different times. Yeah.

Gabby: So, one of the really smart things to do is talk to a coach’s previous students and get a feel for who’s train with them and for what that style is like so you can better understand, “Okay, am I going to resonate with this person?”

Anne: That’s a great idea. And, of course, I see it all the time, you know, in the social media groups. People are–

Gabby: Yeah. Anne:–asking, you know, who’s a good coach for this genre, or who’s, you know, who have you coached with and what do you think? And, of course, you know, that’s always a little painful for us as a coach to look at sometimes because–

Gabby: Mm-hmm.

Anne: [Laughs] You know, and I personally think that, you know, everyone of us, we all have our, you know, our places where we shine, in terms of coaches, and I don’t partake in any kind of negative discussions about anybody. I don’t–whether it’s coaching or voice talent or whatever it is, so I don’t always agree with having an open forum space on, you know, “Who do you coach with? and What do you think?” I think that, you know, a lot of times that talk is best discussed, you know, in a private message or over the phone or something like that. So, it’s hard if people are openly discussing on social media. But it happens. It happens.

Gabby: Mm-hmm. Now, let’s talk about some more of the, I don’t know, the criteria for great coaches. I think, definitely, what you were just saying, Anne, about having a genre. Great coaches in this business have a specific genre, they have something they’re known for, some–

Anne: Yeah. Gabby: –of them have a few things that they’re known for, but they’re able to offer you very specific tracks of education, and very specific subject matter. Which is really important.

Anne: Yes. Yes. And I think a good coach would not try to coach you in a genre that they’re not as familiar with. I mean, I’m the first–

Gabby: One would hope. Anne:–to say– Yeah. I have my specialty areas, you know, and I have my specialty areas that I love to coach in, but I would not try to, you know, coach anybody in, let’s say, character voices, because that’s just not my genre.

Gabby: Right. Yeah. I’m always warily of coaches who, kind of, say they can “do it all” it’s a little bit too much.

Anne: Yeah. Yeah.

Gabby: ‘Cause that’s really not accurate. What else, Anne? What do you think is another major must-have criteria for selecting a great coach?

Anne: Well, I think it’s better if you’re available in a digital, online, kind of format. Either Skype, or, you know, I don’t necessary agree with the phone, because there’s a lot of–the phone is kind of ancient technology these days. I think that– Both: [Giggle] Anne:–we really need to be able to hear you, well. And so I think that the format in which you’re taught, which face-to-face, you know, or online, however it is, I think that the coach has to be a little bit technically adapt so that they can be available to you in multiple different ways. Because, I’ll tell you what, I like to think that I’m, you know I love ipDTL so much that I coach with it because it’s– I think you can actually hear better and so I offer that to my students, and I’m not saying, you know, coaches that don’t offer it are not good coaches. I just like to be able to offer my students multiple ways to connect with me and to work with me.

Gabby: Okay, so there’s an element of flexibility that you think is critical for connection.–

Anne: Mm-hmm Gabby: –Now, how do you feel, I have some very opinionated views regarding beginners, people who are brand brand new to the industry and coaching–

Anne: Mm-hmm. Yes! methods. What do you think? Where do you stand on that? ‘Cause we see a lot–

Anne: Well– of companies trying to sell remote education to beginners.

Anne: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, first of all, I think that a good coach immediately it should start of with a conversation about the industry to the student, to the perspective student. Because the industry here, you know, as we all know, it’s not an easy industry to get into. It’s not an easy industry to, you know, make money, and any of– any of those purposed coaches that promise you lots of money real quick, and buy this package and we’ll create a demo for you in a short amount of time. I think those are ones you might wanna, kind of, maybe really look into or maybe stay away from in terms of that because we all know, if we’ve been in the industry for a while, that it’s just not a quick, you know, it’s not a quick riches–

Gabby: Yep. Anne:–scenario. And it’s–

Gabby: Yeah. Anne:–most definitely something that, you know, you have to work at your craft and I– Malcolm Gladwell, right? Ten thousand hours.