with Pamela Muldoon
Boss Anne Ganguzza welcomes a new special guest co-host: Content Strategist and VO Actress Pamela Muldoon! Pamela has been listed as one of the Top 50 Women in Content Marketing and named one of the 20 Women to Watch from the Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA). Her success formula incorporates a winning combination of marketing tech, data, and storytelling through content development. Pamela will be with us for a series on content marketing and how it can help elevate your business, like a BOSS! This week we’re talking about marketing in the time of COVID-19. Pamela and Anne discuss the “new normal” for content marketing and how to adapt in “these trying times”.
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
At the end of the day, if you have content that your audience is seeking or needs to hear, then you’re going to build an audience.
When the pandemic first started, all of the commercials started to sound the same
All of the commercials with “we’re here”, was the company’s ways of being sensitive
Ads are now reflecting the reality that we live in, with curbside pickup, etc.
Brands know they have to get back to business. You can’t just live in the “unprecedented time” mode for a year.
People are looking for hope. The message and the voice that goes with that message is one that requires a sense of hope.
Marketing messaging is adjusting to what is happening; from addressing how to buy from them, to what is open, to what to expect next.
Your audience is online now more than ever. Are you out there sharing your information? Sharing your story?
You must pay attention to the marketing climate when planning your campaigns
People are getting angry or tired, and looking for some form of hope
The voice performance has also had to evolve during this crisis
You’re still marketing to sell a product and service in the long run, but there’s a very different story to get there
Now more than ever, content marketing is critical
Businesses are scared — they need to keep afloat
There’s definitely going to be an evolution of businesses that do survive
Technology companies are thriving, while retail suffers.
Online businesses have a leg up
You need to get yourself to an online business in order to be able to survive
The benefit of this crisis is the emergency can make plans to move online happen in a faster way than the original plan
We all have the ability to make change happen, it’s these urgent opportunities that push this change to happen more quickly
If you want to survive, your company will have to pivot, make changes
If we’re not willing to make a change or put in extra effort to stay afloat, it’s probably not worth your time to stay in voiceover.
We all have the ability to make change happen. When urgency forces us, it also proves to us we can make a change.
Is it a ‘new normal’? What do you need to be doing to move into the new future of work.
The domino effect of high unemployment will affect the opportunities of work in the near future.
How companies handle their employees and their messaging during this time will play into how some customers will or will not continue to buy or purchase from them.
Pay attention to what industries are growing during this time and how can you connect to companies associated with these industries.
It takes effort to evolve and pivot your business to accommodate the “new norm” (which is still evolving)
The month of May has had 20% employment, so you have to take into account the domino effect
As a brand, you have the potential to really build a narrative around this crisis
We spend our money based on our morals, beliefs, and value systems
People are seeing the morals, ethics, and, values of companies when their backs are against the wall
Almost any company (especially large companies) that got the money from the SBA, came under fire for taking this money
Just asking yourself the questions about how you will survive, puts you at an advantage as a business owner
There’s a lot of things we are experiencing that will never go back to 100% the way they were before
Study the market — see which companies are thriving and what they’re doing
Make sure you have a professional studio set up. Work from home is the ‘new normal’. Are you prepared?
If you can hone your skills, take some time now to do it.
Give yourself some grace during this time. Breathe, relax. Do what you can do when you can do it. But then…DO IT!
It’s ok if all you’re doing is surviving right now
Emotional times make things more unpredictable
We need to give ourselves grace
It’s ok to take a step back as a human being and say “today, I give myself grace”
You don’t have to use every moment to be productive. Do what you can, when you can
Look to what industries are ramping up
This crisis provides an opportunity to educate, through the power of content marketing, of how VO Artists can help and service
This is your opportunity to build relationships. You’re not selling. You’re just providing
This is an opportunity to be the storyteller
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
Find out more about Pamela Muldoon
Get your studio up to date with Tim Tippets or George Whittam
Recorded on ipDTL
Badass editing by Carl Bahner
>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premier business owner strategies and successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS. Now let’s welcome your host Anne Ganguzza.
Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with a brand-new special guest cohost Pamela Muldoon. Woo-hoo! Hey Pamela. [laughs]
Pamela: Hi, Anne.
Anne: Pamela, thank you so much for joining me. Let me tell you BOSSes out there about Pamela. First of all, I’m just over the moon that Pamela is joining us, a wealth of information, stuff that we really need to know [laughs] now in order to really keep evolving and keep growing our businesses. Pamela is a content strategist, oh, in addition to an extremely talented voice artist, a content strategist and has been listed as one of the top 50 women in content marketing, named one of the 20 women to watch from the Sales League Management Association, has been professionally podcasting – woo-hoo – since 2009 and has also helped dozens of podcasters along the way, former podcast network for Content Marketing Institute and has a new show coming up, actually. Is it “Content Marketing 360,” Pam?
Pamela: It is. It’s a relaunch of an old show actually.
Anne: I’m going to look forward to listening to that. And she’s here with us for the next few weeks to talk about marketing. Pamela, thanks again for joining us, and wow, we’ve got a lot to talk about.
Pamela: We do. I’m excited to be here, you know, being a voiceover professional as well, obviously near and dear to my heart. You know, I work in the marketing space a lot and have done so for a long time.
Anne: I wanted to mention too though that Pamela back in the day, 3.5 years ago, Pamela was one of my initial, practically founding member of VO BOSS, but it just didn’t end up where Pamela – Pamela, you were actually working full-time as a content strategist. So you never really were on the podcast until now. But that’s why I’m so excited to have you now. But you were very, oh my gosh, you were very instrumental in the beginning stages of VO BOSS and helping me to brainstorm, you know, what type of podcast I could have. I’m just going to admit to everybody out there, that I was like, I had never podcasted before. And Pamela, you were such a great help to me in the beginning about navigating these waters. Because podcasting isn’t as simple as, I think, people expect it to be.
Pamela: No, it’s not just flipping on the mic, my goodness.
Anne: Exactly. So thank you for that.
Pamela: Oh, you’re so welcome. And I’ve watched these last 3.5 years with a, you know, kind of on the sidelines like watching –
Anne: Like a proud mother –
Pamela: – your child at soccer, a soccer game, you know. I’m the soccer mom of VO BOSS.
Anne: There you go.
Pamela: It’s been great to see the success of the podcast, and I had no doubt it was going to do well, because at the end of the day, and I know this is part of why I’m on for the next few weeks, at the end of the day, if you have excellent content and information that your audience is seeking or needs to hear, in this case, hear, right, then you’re going to build an audience. It sounds simple. [laughs]
Anne: It sounds simple, but yet putting all of the steps into execution is yet another story. But yeah, thanks so much for all your help. Now I get to have you as my special guest cohost, and we get to talk about marketing in this very critical time… or times. Everything is just so insane. It’s a good time to actually talk about marketing and how things have changed before we really get into the nuts and bolts of what you and I are going to talk about, and that would be content marketing. So Pamela, let me ask you, what are you seeing now in terms of marketing and how it’s changing during this crazy pandemic and evolving during this pandemic?
Pamela: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting in that there’s a couple of different, I guess, routes or roads that brands are starting to take. I think when the pandemic first was a thing, and we were all starting to self-quarantine and the social distancing and all of that, it was all about, I think we can kind of joke if we hear more ad, “in these, you know, unprecedented times,” or you know, “these uncertain times” kind of thing, but I think for brands, it was their way of saying we’re here. You don’t want to be tone deaf and go, “hey, just buy my car,” or –
Anne: Oh yeah, especially now.
Pamela: Exactly. Then we started to progressively see the, what I internally call the new normal reaction, which is curbside pickup, takeout. You know, like we’re starting to see the ads that coincide with the life that we live and this, what we want to be short-term, but to your point there’s a question mark as to when will this be done, right?
Pamela: And it’s hard to navigate how it’s going to adjust. But I also am starting to see that brands are, they’re not necessarily coming right out with the hard sell, but they’re starting to bring to the forefront, I don’t want to say business as usual, but they know that they have to getting to business as usual in some way.
Anne: Well yeah.
Pamela: Because you can’t just live in the unprecedented time mode for a year. [laughs]
Anne: I think that that’s such an important point that you bring up. I think it all has to do with like, you know, this has been an emotional roller coaster really, in the beginning as we’re all just navigating these times that we’ve never been in before. And so we’ve run the gamut of emotions in terms of fear, being scared, you know, not quite being maybe in denial, and I think that marketing has to kind of really take a look and feel how the climate is out there in order to market to that climate. I think anything other than, you know, in the beginning, when we had that compassionate “in these unprecedented times,” we needed that at the time. Now that we’re, what, two plus months in, how many days into quarantine, I think that the message is changing. And I think that people are really starting to maybe get a little bit oh, angry or tired, or they’re really looking for some form of hope out there. And I think that the message, the marketing message as well as the voice performance has also had to evolve along that same kind of path.
Pamela: Absolutely. It’s interesting that you used the word hope. And this is a lesson for us, those of us that work with brands as much as it is an opportunity for brands to hear this same narrative, which is, you know, being able to market in today’s climate, you may still be marketing to sell a product and service in the long run, right?
Pamela: You know, buy something. But there’s a very different story to get there today. And I know in the coming weeks, we’re going to be talking about the importance and the opportunities of using content marketing to drive your voiceover business, but this is really, and I mean this with all of my heart and soul, and I’ve been doing content marketing for a long, long time, like as a content marketer 12, 13 years since it’s been an industry and even before that, before it was an industry, but now more than ever, content marketing is critical. It’s absolutely – I get goosebumps when I say it. I’m literally goosebumping right now.
Anne: You just said one of those phrases, “now more than ever.” [laughs]
[Both]: now more than ever.
Anne: [laughs] But it’s true.
Pamela: As we laugh. This could be an SNL skit at any moment for us, Anne.
Anne: That’s right. Well I think now, it’s really come down to, businesses are scared. I mean, including voiceover, right, but businesses are scared. They need to keep afloat in these times. And of course you know, I mean, this is not a political show, but any of the aid that might have come to them either didn’t come to them or – I think there’s definitely going to be, as we evolve through this, an evolution of businesses that do survive. I mean right now, of course, I’m seeing technology companies are thriving through this. You know, certain companies are doing better than others. Retail is definitely suffering, however the online businesses, and you know, I think it will ultimately evolve to more of an online business that will maybe come to the forefront and survive better than most other businesses. And if you’re not completely online, well then we certainly – you certainly need to take a look at how you might be able to get yourself online in order to be able to survive.
Pamela: Absolutely, and I’ve seen that in a couple of different ways. Right? I was actually, I worked with a telecom company in my marketing agency world. I work with a marketing telecom company out of Alaska. And they’re not a stay at – a work from home company. They’ve got a few hundred people in their company. But within two weeks, they were able to set up the majority of their employees in virtual. And I was talking to them, and they said if we would have had to plan this as a thing, it would have taken probably maybe 18 months. [laughs] “This is a project and we’re gonna make it work.” But because it was so instantaneously emergency driven or urgent driven, they made it happen. I think what’s important about that and what I took from that when I was talking to my client was, we all have the capability to make change and to make pivots happen. It’s these urgent opportunities that force us to make change more quickly than planning for it, right? And it teaches us that, one, we can, we can do it, right? Like all those times you probably said “I just can’t, I just, I don’t know, I just can’t do that” – yeah, you can do it. Because if you want to survive, you will. [laughs]
Anne: You have to. That’s so interesting. I’m glad you brought that up, and of course you bring up that word that I’ve been hearing a lot of lately, and that is “pivot.” And I think that for any voice artist that’s currently in their business, I think there’s a lot of people out there that, one of the problems we’ve always had is how do we get work. [laughs] And I think that even more so now there’s so many of us out there saying, “well, how do I get the work in order to survive in this business?” And I think it’s important for all of us to sit back and take a look at that and figure out how we ourselves can pivot along with what’s happening out there in the industry. And if we’re not willing to make a change or willing to maybe put in a little extra effort to do that, it’s probably not going to be worth your time to stay in voiceover. Perhaps it’s time to go into something else if you’re not willing to put in that effort, because it is going to take an effort for you to evolve and pivot your business in order to accommodate the new – do I say the new norm? I don’t even know if the norm has been established yet.
Pamela: See, that’s just it, right, is there’s still so much unknown. And even with, you mentioned earlier there are some obvious industries or parts of business that tend to see a positive return on different emergency situations, right, like technology and everything going online, but then there are those that are just kind of in the middle, they’re not sure, when are – like you said, retail, restaurant, or that type of thing. And I think what we’re also finding is there are brands that want to stay front and center in front of you, they just don’t quite know what to say. We’re kind of done saying “we’re with you.” Right? [laughs] We’ve done this whole “we feel you,” because they’re also wondering. But the other flip side to this is with, I mean, we’re recording this here in early May, and we have just had, what, 20% plus unemployment in this country. And that means that the folks that are actually buying these products and services don’t have employment. A large percentage of our country, right? So the domino effect of all of that is very much in play. That’s why I said that content marketing’s time is so critical in this because the narrative that you tell as a brand, you have the potential through content to really build a narrative around this, how you treat employees. It becomes – and this is really interesting, right?
Anne: It becomes part of the story. Yeah.
Pamela: Absolutely. It totally does. We always, there’s a lot of us that will often say we spend our money based on our morals and ethics and, you know, our beliefs/values system, right? There’s something happening right now where people are literally seeing how companies, when they’re pushed up against a wall, are going to react. That’s going to affect their revenue in the long term just simply because A, they were there, or B, they did something unethical. When you hear about some of these larger organizations or companies, right, big enterprise companies taking the millions of dollars from the SBA program for example, that’s going to affect their brand. [laughs]
Anne: Oh absolutely.
Pamela: Most definitely.
Anne: You know, that is so interesting, and I think that it’s also a time where we have to be very careful about the effects of social media. Now I’m going to say that almost any company that got that funding from the SBA came under fire and criticism for taking the money. Whereas sometimes that can just be an effect of people’s emotions just running rampant based on pure emotion rather than fact. I know that there’s some companies that took the money, and then due to maybe social media outcry either turned around and gave some of that money back, or they had to go, I guess, defend their reasons why they were accepting the money, because sometimes there were things that weren’t reported. It’s kind of crazy. I just know that some of the technology companies, I’ve had somebody who worked for a tech company that got criticized for taking the money when in fact, the numbers that had to be reported saying that they were making so much money, and the CEOs were making so much money were really untrue.
Pamela: No, it’s true. The information that’s floating around doesn’t help the anxiety level [laughs]
Anne: No, not at all.
Pamela: – of most of us trying to make good, solid decisions on how we want to go. But I think you also made a really interesting point, Anne, with – I don’t want to say it’s a survival of the fittest but kind of when you talked about putting that little extra effort, or really being willing to kind of, “ok, what do I need to do in my business to stay within this new normal, or to go into this new world?” Even when we don’t know, I think the fact that you’re asking yourself those questions is going to put you in a different category of business owner than those that are just “I’m just going to do what I do, and when this all ends, we’ll just go back to normal.” And I think there’s a lot of things that we’ve experienced that will never go back to how they were 100%. So yeah, there’s some learning to do from there.
Anne: So Pam, what are some concrete steps that we can do as voiceover talent, would you say, right now, in order to prepare ourselves for this evolving change and how we might market ourselves? There are certain things that you would do every day just to maybe study the market, or what sort of things would you recommend?
Pamela: Yeah, I mean, from a studying the market perspective, I think it is really kind of thinking about, when you think about the process of purchasing, right, and who is buying what and who needs what and just really understanding. And of course, the biggest example from a tech side is Zoom. Right? They just blew up, went from like 16 million to like over 100 million users in like 10 days or something. But I use that big, obvious example because there’s other examples like that, right? There’s other examples of industry that is shifting, evolving, changing where they need a time and attention. The other flipside to this is that those of us that already had professional studios set up, we’re five steps ahead. [laughs] We just did not realize it yet, right? “Oh my God, I was really ready for this and I didn’t realize it.”
Anne: You got it, you brought up such a great point. I mean, that was kind of the thing in the voiceover industry. Right? All of a sudden if you did not have a home studio that really produced great quality sound, well oops, you weren’t prepared [laughs] for this evolving time. That’s something that became priority number one. I happen to know the engineers that are working in our own industry have been slammed with business in terms of getting people’s studios up to snuff. And that, yeah, that was probably one of the biggest changes that I saw immediately. That and people wanting to study and honing their skills. If they could, they were studying. They were using that extra time. And then there people that were, you know, just trying to survive. I mean [laughs] it wasn’t about necessarily their business. It was really about their lives changed. It wasn’t just “oh now, I’ve got to go build my home studio and figure out when I’m going to record.” It’s “now I’ve got my children here that I have to homeschool. I have my husband here, or I have my spouse here, or my significant other, and they’re making noise during the day” maybe.
Pamela: Or all the neighbors are on the Internet at the same time. [laughs]
Anne: Exactly. Exactly.
Pamela: [laughs] Oh my God. All of sudden, you want to go door to door and say “no, really, you do not need to use your iPad right now. Really.”
Pamela: “I guarantee it. You can take a break.”
Anne: And I will tell you, the emotions, I had people I worked with, and the emotions just ran rampant. It was just a little more unpredictable than usual, and so that was something that I think, you know, I also just for me personally, I had to try to accommodate, to get used to a different shift in that and a shift in the energy. Even just as recent as this week, there has been a shift in the energy, I think, in regards to the reaction to this pandemic. And I think that we have to just closely monitor that and figure out where the market is in relation to it.
Pamela: Absolutely, and I think along those lines with all of those things going on, there’s a word that keeps kind of coming into my mind, and I’ve shared it in conversations a couple times personally, is the word grace. Right? And what I mean by that is we need to give ourselves grace. I think one of the challenges, definitely look to what industries are really ramping up or where you’re seeing some growth, or some potential. But then it’s also okay to take a step back as a human being, right, and just say you know what, today, I give myself grace.
Pamela: And what I mean by that is, I think one of the challenges, at least when this first all came about was “hey, use this extra time to do something, you know, to learn a new language.” [laughs] All of a sudden if you were not doing something to improve yourself or your business –
Anne: You were judged. You were judged.
Pamela: – you were a loser. [laughs] I was reading this going “oh my goodness.” This is like a huge change for a lot of people in terms of, like you said, kids are at home. Maybe they’ve got the illness is affecting maybe their family in some way or something. And I just, I think that it’s important that we give ourselves some grace and do what we can when we can because there’s so much of the unknown still going to happen. But I also think, I want to touch on something, Anne, with this change of the need for more professional home studio talent and also seeing some of those organizations – like I would say even inside the e-learning, for example, that’s the genre that gets a lot of attention in terms of the uptick because of the possible online needs and things like that – but if they were using a production house, and now there has been a change in how they do things, the opportunity to educate, right, through the power of content on how we can help and serve, and that’s what I mean too. I know in our time over the next few weeks, we’re going to talk deeper into how content marketing can really help a voiceover professional. But I really, I really hope that as a listener, you’re taking this to heart because this is your opportunity to really build individual relationships and just educate and –
Anne: Great advice.
Pamela: Put that information forward. You’re not selling. You’re just providing, right, and the people are in front of their desktops, laptops, iPads right now, so there’s a real wonderful opportunity to be part of that narrative, right, when I talk about being that storyteller.
Anne: Yeah, more than ever I think relationships are super important. Those are some really great tips. And I just want our listeners to know how excited I am for the next few weeks in terms of what we’re going to talk about. I know that you just mentioned we’re going to talk about “what is content marketing?” We’ve got a couple of episodes dedicated just to talking about what content marketing is, and then how you can employ it in your business. We’ll talk about your buyer, buyer personas, and then their journey in terms of how they purchase a product as well as some, I think, some best practices in terms of reaching out to your potential client. It’s going to be a great next few to – next few weeks with you, Pamela. I thank you again and I’m super excited to kick off this next quarter with you as my special guest host.
Pamela: I am super excited to be a part of this. This is – I’m already telling all my friends. [laughs] I’m so excited. No, this is going to be a good time. I really appreciate it.
Anne: Yes, absolutely. I‘d like to give a great big shout-out to, of course, our sponsor, ipDTL, which allows Pamela and I to sound like we’re in the next room together and communicate with one another every single day. You guys too can find out more at ipdtl.com. All right, guys. Have a great week. Can’t wait to talk to you next week.
>> Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host, Anne Ganguzza, and take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at voboss.com and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast-to-coast connectivity via ipDTL.