Business of VO – How Much Should I Be Making?

Ok, guys. We’re doing it. That TABOO topic no one wants to talk about. How much money do voice actors really make? For beginners and seasoned pros alike, it can sometimes be hard to know if your income is competitive in this industry. So, Anne and Gabby are taking it amongst themselves to try and desensitize the “ickiness” of the money talk and give you some REAL figures on where you should be financially.



Takeaways

Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. The VO industry can fluctuate

  2. There are a lot of different factors that go into your expected income bracket

  3. $20k-$40k a year as a beginner is GREAT!

  4. If you’re new and have made ANY amount of money – celebrate that!

  5. Don’t get caught up in the big promises

  6. There is nothing in this industry that is permanent

  7. Main point…IT TAKES TIME!


Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++


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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.

Gabby: Hey, guys. It’s Gabby. So umm I’m hijacking Anne’s intro. Before we get started on today’s show, we wanted to tell you a little bit about all the ways that you can live the BOSS life, right?

Anne: #bosslife.

Gabby: Heck yeah.

Anne: We have a brand-new product in our BOSS Shop called Book Out Build. I’m super excited about this concept. Gabby, tell us a little bit about this.

Gabby: Oh my gosh. So this is my, my baby, if I can, my little brain child, right. This is how I communicate with my clients every single month to make sure that I’m providing them with relevant information that they can actually use, and so that I’m not just, you know, spamming them or sending them something really annoying, right, because we all have to worry about that.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: And uh of course, you and our fabulous BOSS team kind of took this ball and ran with it, and we’re offering it to everyone now. And these are Book-Out Builds. So with a Book-Out Build, what you’re able to do is set up a system whereby you can communicate with clients on a regular basis about the number one thing they want to know about you, your availability and book-out dates in the studio.

Anne: Great stuff. And as Gabby said, you can do this on a monthly basis or a quarterly basis. So you can choose the frequency. What’s really cool is that we incorporate your own list, and we manage it and send out the marketing blast on your behalf, all in your own brand.

Gabby: You want to go to voboss.com, click on shop, and go check out the Book-out Build and Book-Out Blast features.

Anne: OK now, let’s get on with today’s episode. Welcome, everybody, to the VO boss podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my BFF bosstie, Gabby Nistico. Gabby!

Gabby: Hiii. [laughs]

Anne: Hey, girl. So Gabby, the other day, I was listening to uh the millionaire entrepreneur podcast. There were some really hardcore questions on this podcast like, ok, so how much money did you bring in in the first year? How much money did you invest? And it was like they were asking hard numbers. And I thought to myself, wow. You know, in our VO industry, we don’t really talk about the numbers and how much —

Gabby: No, we don’t.

Anne: Like how much money should I be making? I just got into the industry. Should I be making $1000 a month?

Should I be making $100 a month? What is it that I should be making? I thought it would be a really interesting topic to talk about.

Gabby: Really interesting. I think so too, and you know what else is fun? So I love that it was the millionaire podcast because be a millionaire day —

Anne: Right.

Gabby: Is on the calendar. It, it is in May.

Anne: Oh my gosh.

Gabby: So how interesting is that? We should totally talk about this because what better way —

Anne: To be a millionaire.

Gabby: To get, yeah, to be a millionaire than to talk about the numbers, right? How much, how much do I need to be making, or how much should I be making? I think this is great, and I think, you know, part of it is uh, it is the positive and the negative of our industry all rolled into one.

Anne: Yeah.

Gabby: Because on one hand, we’re so close knit, and we’re so friendly with one another, and we’re like family.

And you know, there’s this amazing camaraderie in the voiceover community. And on the other hand, it’s downright rude to ask someone about their earnings and their salary as a result, because it seems like a violation.

Anne: Yeah. Hush-hush.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: It is like a hush-hush topic, because I think people are, are threatened. People are —

Gabby: They are.

Anne: People are threatened if they are not making a certain amount of money.

Gabby: Exactly, and it, you know, it is a very interesting dynamic. And then I think also the fact that realistically, because everyone in this business has ups and downs that vary year to year, everyone is worrying about maybe disclosing something that they don’t want to because they feel that it is going to tarnish the reputation.

Anne: And there is so many people out there, I am going to say, earned that six-figure income. It is not even just in the voiceover industry. It is everywhere. Earned that six-figure income or whatever in 10 days, or, you know all those webinars out there.

Gabby: Yeah, yeah.

Anne: And I think that that really intimidates people. So I want to talk real. I want to talk — and especially, Gabby, that you mentioned that we have such highs and lows. There can be months in this industry — now, I don’t — I like to say that I have set up my business so that I have some predictable income, but there are times in this industry when the voiceover jobs, like [laughs] You know, whoa! Like, I didn’t have anything yesterday, and should I be worried? I’m not making money. I didn’t hit my numbers this month.

Gabby: mm-hmm.

Anne: And do I even say that, or how do I handle that? And I think that people are left to, to either commiserate or feel horrible, or you know, worried because nobody’s talking about it.

Gabby: Well, you and I fortunately talk about money quite a lot.

Anne: Yeah, we do. [laughs]

Gabby: And I think it’s smart, because the more we talk about it, the more we desensitize the ickyness of the conversation, right? And the more we come to I think realize that it really is just a standard part of business practices, and it’s OK. So let’s start with the very beginning. Let’s, let’s assume that we are talking about someone who’s in their first one, two, maybe three years in the voiceover industry. And where should they fall?

Anne: Well, good question. Now big, big differentiator is, are you part-time, or are you full-time?

Gabby: Correct.

Anne: So that is number one. And I think, I think most people now are starting part-time.

Gabby: mm-hmm.

Anne: And that’s a really tough question because I always tell my students that are just starting out, that are working full-time or, you know, they have obligations that are, you know, a 9 to 5 or something that requires so many hours worth of work or time away, that you have to make sure you have the dedication and the time to put in for marketing so that you can get a return on your investment and start making some money. Most people, when they first get into the industry, are still working at another job. And so their time for marketing is limited.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: And therefore their return [laughs] may also be limited, and that becomes very frustrating for a lot of people, and very worrisome, and very, very frustrating if they’re trying to use any type of income to pay bills.

Gabby: Well, yeah. But I think it’s also, we have to look at statistics nationwide and what averages are. The average business in this country, the average small business, is in the red in the first one to five years.

Anne: Yeah.

Gabby: They show a loss in the first one to five years. They are surviving.