Listener Question – BOSS Fix #1

This week the Bosses kick off a new series – BOSS FIX! Our question this week comes from listener Kae, who in addition to binge listening to the Bosscast for a 300 mile road trip, was wondering about how to handle a new, but unseen client with a potentially large amount of VO work. Kae is working her butt off with 50+ hours a week of VO work for this client but there is a lot to consider before taking the leap to making this regular hire her main source of income. 

Should Kae take the jump to full time work?  Is that financially viable AND reliable? Is there enough time in the day to handle that work load and if not, what is the next step? Anne and Gabby break it all down and share some great ways to tackle a growing VO business. 



Takeaways

Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Make sure you have a contract (or money upfront) from a new client with a potentially large workload.

  2. Ask yourself, how would I handle this if I was a VO agent? You need to wear many hats while developing your VO career.

  3. There need to be open lines of communication between yourself and the client from the get go.

  4. Don’t get suckered by the promise of ‘a ton of work’ without a contract. Stick to your guns (and rates) especially when starting a relationship with a new client.

  5. There is nothing wrong with giving a long standing client a spot for free or a break on rates once and awhile (in fact it can be a good practice down the line), but not at the beginning of a professional relationship.

  6. Never stop marketing yourself!

  7. Don’t be afraid of hiring an editor to free up more of your time.

  8. You have to invest (time and money) in your own business if you want to succeed.



Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++


VO Studio Cats
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Transcript

Announcer: Today’s voice over 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 you 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 Anne and Gabby. So you know, we get asked an awful lot how people can work with the BOSSes and get more boss in their life, and so we decided we should team up even more to give you guys what you want.

Anne: If you want to be brilliant, you need BOSS Brilliance. This is a team consult with both myself and Gabby, where we will activate our Wonder Twin powers just for you. It is the two of us teamed up. We are ready to help you guys take it to the next level, whether you need help with sales, branding, marketing, infrastructure, whatever it is.

Sign up for a BOSS Brilliance consult with us today.

Gabby: Find it on our website at voboss.com.

Anne: And now on to today’s episode. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, with my VO BOSS bestie, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: Hello.

Anne: Today we are introducing something very unique and special to the podcast.

Gabby: Yeah, brand-new feature, I love this.

Anne: BOSS Fix. Get your BOSS Fix.

Gabby: We’ve been for a while kind of prompting you guys to submit questions, and give us your input and feedback, and to communicate with us, and um we’ve got a little stockpile, right?

Anne: Of questions.

Gabby: That’s what we want, right? We want to hear problems. We want to hear the things that hurt, what’s painful in your business right now, where do you need help?

Anne: And we’re here to give you solutions in the BOSS Fix. So Gabby, I’ve got a question from a listener, Kay.

Gabby: Let’s do it.

Anne: So Kay writes, “hello, I just listened to your podcast for 300 miles yesterday.” Wow.

Gabby: Whoa, what? Oh my God. So wait, wait, wait, wait, so it was a VO BOSS road trip? That’s amazing.

Anne: [laughs] I love that she opened with that. “I listened to your podcast for 300 miles.” So I want to know how many episodes that was. [laughs]

Gabby: Yeah, Kay, you need to like, you need to get back and tell us exactly how many episodes.

Anne: Exactly. Yeah, and thanks for listening. After that [laughs] she continues. “It was fun. I learned a lot and only got turned around twice.” [laughs] I love that. [laughs]

Gabby: It was probably my fault, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.

Anne: You distracted her. “I started full-time in October, and I’m a coparenting mom with six-year-old twins.”

Gabby: Oi.

Anne: “I’ve got an RH” — I’m going to assume that’s going to mean —

Gabby: Regular hire, I would think.

Anne: There you go, ok. So “I’ve got an RH who pays me every week to narrate a book. I pay all the bills for our whole household by myself. The kids are clothed and fed, the house and car function. It seems like I should be spending all of my time getting these books out. The RH, an enigma I have never met or spoken with via phone, says he has 40 to 60 books for me for the next couple of years. It seems like I shouldn’t be marketing, shouldn’t be auditioning, should just be focusing like wild and working my tush off 55 to 60 hours a week on these books. We do not yet have a nest egg or rainy day fund. What should I do?” Well, so there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of components to that. So first of all, I’d like to say congratulations for being a mom and, and paying the bills, and having everything functional, which is awesome.

Gabby: And being a boss.

Anne: That’s being a boss.

Gabby: Doing it, yeah.

Anne: Of course, congratulations on the, on the gig that she’s got a regular higher who pays her every week to narrate books. I think the one thing that starts to raise a little bit of a red flag for me is that she mentions that she’s never met or spoken with her RH.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: I think if you’re getting a promise of quite a bit of work from somebody that you’ve necessarily never spoken with, I’m going to assume she’s gotten paid from this person before. I’m going to just assume that. But if there’s going to be a promise of a certain amount of work, and you’ve not necessarily communicated, especially when you’re talking about two years worth of work, and you’re going to stop everything in order to pursue and complete that work, that would raise the flag with me. What about you, Gabby?

Gabby: Yeah. Ahhh I have a pretty big issue with that. [laughs] Like in a lot of ways.

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: I mean, I’ll be honest. When I first read that, I kind of shook my head and I was like “wait, wait, wait, what?” And then I had to read it again. So it, it brings up a lot of questions, and OK, by all means, if you want to do a follow-up with us, feel free. Because the first thing in my mind is, you’re saying that this client is paying you regularly. It looks like weekly, but what guarantee do you have? That’s my issue with this. So in all my years of being in this industry, from, from both sides of the casting process, I immediately put agent brain in my skull and go, “wait, what would my agent do? What would a rep due in this situation?”

Anne: There would be a contract. [laughs]

Gabby: Damn skippy.

Anne: Yes, there would be a contract for sure. I think when there’s a promise of work, there needs to be a discussion. There needs to be a, a meeting that requires more than just a back and forth with email, which I think is fine, because the email back and forth in itself serves as somewhat of a legal document. But I do believe that there needs to be communication above and beyond an email. Because I think that that’s going to really clarify and clear up a lot of questions that she may have, or concerns, and, and, and most definitely I think that could start the, start the process of at least having a contract drawn up.

Gabby: And you know, it’s funny, because when we had our quadcast episode with the boys from Let’s Talk Voiceover, one of the things that got brought up was how there are clients that try to, right, kind of play that game where they like dangle.

Anne: Absolutely.

Gabby: Right? They dangle the job like, “oh, we know that this isn’t a lot of money, but you know, there’s more work. We’ve got lots and lots of work.” Don’t play that game. Don’t.

Anne: Yeah. Gabby, I don’t think that has ever worked with me ever. In terms of dangling a carrot in front of me, that doesn’t, that doesn’t sell me on their rate. It’s just a tactic in negotiation.

Gabby: You’re right. I think in my experience, I, I wasn’t that savvy in the beginning. I did, I, I, I did agree to some lower rates, and I, and I negotiated with people based on this promise, if you will, of “oh, but there’s so much work.” And guess what? It never came.

Anne: I think that only happens once, that that doesn’t, that does not get you a lower rate with me at all.

Gabby: Every now and then it pans out.

Anne: Well then, it’s bonus.

Gabby: I will discount a client after I’ve had them for a while. I’ve been fortunate to have a few clients over the years that use me really, really regularly. I’m talking about once, twice a week if not more. When theyr’e – you’re doing that kind of volume with me, and we have those sorts of large orders coming in, periodically I might just do a spot gratis.

Anne: Yeah, I agree with that.

Gabby: I might just give them a little break, not because they asked for it.