Business of VO – Part Time to Full Time

It’s one of the scariest leaps that voice actors make; the jump from working part-time in voiceover to full time. Don’t start biting your nails just yet! Boss Up with this episode as Anne and Gabby break down the pros and cons of moving from one to the other. Have no fear, the ladies are here to help you transition from PT to FT as smoothly as possible. And stick around after the credits for some hilarious outtakes!


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Going from PT to Ft may not be an easy transition.

  2. Voiceover is NOT a side hustle.

  3. While you’re working for someone else you should focus on your voiceover education and properly funding that education.

  4. What do your clients need? Assess their needs first in determining if you should be PT or FT.

  5. Understand the demands of the different genres.

  6. Working from home is a big adjustment for most people.

  7. Marketing efforts are critical to the transition from PT to FT.

  8. Full-time voice actors spend at least 50% of their time marketing and promoting their skills.

  9. Have a financial cushion in place for the transition.

  10. Have an income replacement strategy.

  11. Don’t forget about Health Insurance!

  12. The transition involves your entire family and household. It affects everyone.

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Share ideas with your own network ++

Yes, I’m at home…but I’M WORKING. #VOBOSS

I replaced the income I hated earning with income that I love to earn. #VOBOSS

Deadlines motivate me. When I feel overloaded or like I have too much to do, I’m on my game. #VOBOSS

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up ++

  1. We love ipDTL

  2. Boost your VO Career with the help of the BOSSES!

Full Episode 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.

Anne: Hey, guys. Before we get started on today’s episode, we want to share some bossolutions and some of the ways you can have more BOSS in your life. After an extended period of time in my studio, Gabby, sometimes I just get really dry, and my, my vocal cords are just tired. So if you guys are interested in getting some essential oil organic solutions for vocal health, hop on over to the shop page, and you can select from a variety of different natural health, homeopathic products. We’ve got a vocal immunity blast. We’ve got a vocal wellness kit which has all the products in the line, as well as Vocal Booth Breeze, Vocal H2O, and our bestseller, the Vocal Throat Spray.

Gabby: Anne has long been supplying these products to voice actors, and I can tell you firsthand, they’re awesome, and if you’re looking for solutions to keep your instrument in top shape, this is a great way to do it. Go to, go to the shop tab, and check out BOSS essentials.

Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my amazing, beautiful, intelligent bosstie, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: Hi.

Anne: Both you and I, I am sure that questions all the time about people entering into this industry and wanting to make the transition, the big transition, from part-time voiceover to full-time voiceover, and I think it’s something that we should talk about.

Gabby: It is, and it’s, it’s funny. We actually made an attempt to talk about this once before. We had an entire episode about it.

Anne: Or five.

Gabby: We got so into the topic, we ended up with like 45 minutes of content.

Anne: I will tell you what. Each of them has their advantages and disadvantages. Obviously I’m full-time now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But there were lessons to be learned in both part-time and full-time, and I don’t know if they’re for everyone.

Gabby: Do we want to break it down pro and con style?

Anne: I think so. You know, when I got into the voiceover industry, it was on a part-time basis, while I was still working in IT. And one of the things that I found really convenient about it was it allowed me — while I started to do it part-time, it allowed me time to actually kind of dip my toes in the water, get a feel for what the industry was like — because what did I know? I wasn’t in it prior, so it was a great way to kind of learn all about the industry while being in it to see if maybe, you know, it really was something that I wanted to do on a more permanent basis. And so part-time was great. The thing that probably for me wasn’t so great was that it was time-consuming, and I think to get your feet off the ground, and get that running start, it required a whole lot more effort than I originally thought.

Gabby: I think a lot of people think that it’s gonna be no big deal. And that it’s gonna be pretty seamless, and no.

Anne: I think it’s probably even harder to break into the industry going part-time, because you are dedicating less time to it.

Gabby: Look, side hustles are very real, right? Everybody is looking for a side hustle. Everybody loves having them now, and it’s, it’s kind of a, I don’t know, I feel like it’s almost like a rite of passage now. It seems like everyone has one. But you know, we both have talked about this a lot. You can’t really look at voiceover as a side hustle. That’s not going to get you the results that you want to see. However, training, taking classes, working with coaches, developing your skills while you are still working somewhere else is pretty essential to be able to fuel and fund your education.

Anne: I think that works out to be a good strategy too, Gabby, because while you are working you have the money to be able to afford the coaching and the lessons and the preparation for getting yourself into the industry.

Gabby: Right. And then at some point you have to kind of say, what am I able to do? There are a lot of scenarios in voiceover where part-time simply doesn’t work. The clients need the content too quickly. They can’t wait for you.

Anne: You need to audition.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: More frequently than you’re able to.

Gabby: There’s not a lot of flexibility, so I think you really have to strategize and map out if you’re trying to segue and, and sort of get to that place where your part-time voiceover career becomes full-time. What is going to be the most flexible equation for your clients and how is that all going to work so that you don’t lose opportunities, and they don’t become frustrated with your availability?

Anne: I think it’s important that you have a good idea as to the genre also that you want to be in because different genres of voiceover require different timestamps of availability, of auditioning, and you know, communication with the client. So for example I — it worked out well for me to, to do narration while I was working full-time because the timetable for completing narrations was not always the quick timetable that you need for let’s say commercial or promos or that sort of thing. So I think having your eyes open and really understanding the different genres and the demands that they place on your time is super important.

Gabby: It is. Another thing we are seeing that’s a big trend of course is people who are now working from home in other industries. If you can manage to take your existing career, your existing set of skills, the things that are paying the bills currently and transition yourself into a work from home employee, you are probably going to be in a better position to balance that along with your voice career until you get to that place where you’re really maxed out on time, and you’re able to go, “OK, I have to make the decision. I got to get rid of one.”

Anne: And you know, I think it’s good you bring that up, working from home. That in and of itself is a huge transition for some people. I know that some people like that, and some people it’s, it’s very difficult to work from home. I found that even I had to get used to it. You know?

Gabby: Some people it really is just not a good work environment for them. It’s just not a healthy set-up, and they don’t have that internal dedication and commitment to be able to really separate in their mind, “yes, I’m home, but I’m working.”

Anne: Or they work all the time. [laughs]

Gabby: Yeah, well.

Anne: Who, who could that be? [laughs]

Gabby: mm-hmm…

Anne: But yeah, that, that’s a part of the equation. I’m going to say, when I started working part-time, I did not realize the amount of marketing effort that I needed to actually gain traction in the industry. And in hindsight, it was something that I should have prepared better for, or maybe, I wish that I had had somebody that could have said, “Anne, you know, you’re going to need to put 80% of your, your efforts into marketing in order to be able to really get these jobs.” And it wouldn’t have been so disheartening when I found myself in, you know, in the position of, “OK, so I’m part-time, I’m working. Where are the jobs? They are not happening, and why?”

Gabby: So, so glad you just brought that up.

Anne: Yeah.

Gabby: Because that 80%, that’s it, right? As a part-time voice actor, you only spend about 20% of your time actually in a booth voicing for a client. The other 80% is how you’re getting work.

Anne: Oh yeah, absolutely.

Gabby: It’s relationship building, networking, marketing, and that can be hard because when you’re part-time, and you’re, you’re trying to cram every freaking moment you have with ways to promote yourself.

Anne: And you know, Gabby, part-time and/or full-time, I think still you spend a considerable amount of time marketing. And do you think that that 80%-20% still holds true if you are full-time?

Gabby: mmm, I think it depends on what your genre is. I think it depends on what you do.

It could be that much. The best it gets is 50-50.

Anne: Yeah. That, that’s exactly my thoughts too is that you still, after how many years of us being full-time? I mean, I still spend at least at least 50% of my time marketing and out of the booth. So…