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The VO Boss podcast blends business advice with inspiration & motivation for today's voice talent. Each week, host Anne Ganguzza shares guest interviews + voice over industry insights to help you grow your business and stay focused on what matters...

May 21, 2024

When Danielle Famble traded the bright lights of musical theater for the voiceover booth, she didn't just change careers—she embodied the essence of a true entrepreneur. Grab your headphones and join the BOSS, Anne Ganguzza, as we navigate through Danielle's remarkable journey, discussing how her roots in musical theater have equipped her with a unique resilience and CEO mindset for her flourishing voiceover career. From emotional trials to asserting her worth in the industry, her story is a masterclass in transforming her performing arts discipline into a voiceover triumph. We discuss the intricacies of a successful business mindset, emphasizing the need for mentorship, community, and the wisdom of collective experience. We uncover the secrets behind tracking progress, efficiency, and how a transparent approach to finances can empower artists, especially women and women of color, helping them to assert their worth and command the rates they deserve.

00:01 - Intro (Announcement)
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. 

00:19 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Hey, hey everyone, welcome to the VO Boss Podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza, and today I am really excited to bring on a very special guest and Boss Danielle Famble. Danielle is a full-time voice actor with a performing background in musical theater and on TV, and transitioned from the stage to the booth in 2019. And since that time, she has voiced for amazing brands like Google, pepsi, etsy, prudential Hertz, the US Army and more, and she recently presented this almost viral breakout presentation at VO Atlanta, which I heard nothing but amazing things about, about how to build your business like a CEO With a CEO mindset. It was very, very well received and I am so excited to talk to her today about that CEO mindset. Danielle, thanks so much for joining us. 

01:12 - Danielle Famble (Host)
Hey, thanks for having me, anne, this is fun. 

01:14 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Yeah. So let's talk a little bit first about your career, because I feel like anybody that transitions into the career voiceover has to have an entrepreneurial mindset to begin with. Transitions into the career of voiceover has to have an entrepreneurial mindset to begin with, and so that really works well with being a boss. So tell us a little bit about your career and how you went from musical theater and are you still singing, I hope into voiceover. 

01:37 - Danielle Famble (Host)
Well, I grew up actually, I'm from Texas originally and my family, my parents, my grandparents they were entrepreneurial. My mom and dad had a water store. They sold water in the 90s Crazy. 

Everybody needs it, right, everybody needs it. So they were good and my grandparents had like an afterschool snack truck. So I grew up around businesses and seeing my family, my parents, running businesses, and I'm also a middle child, so I love attention, I guess is the polite way to say it. So I always grew up, you know, singing in church or performing in school. So it was sort of a natural progression for me to go to school for musical theater, majoring in classical music and minoring in theater, and I knew, based on a trip coming to New York City in high school, that I wanted to do musical theater and move here. 

So for me, I just I don't know I had this entrepreneurial background with my parents and my family and loving to perform, and realizing it took a while, but realizing, especially moving to New York, that this is a business and you have to market yourself and learn and do all the things that you need to do to run a business. 

So my transition really was from doing musical theater, I performed on cruise ships and performed, you know, all over the country at theme parks and regional theaters, and then in 2020, the pandemic happened and I had this background of acting and performing, but I really wanted to figure out how I could make that background work with voiceover. So that's when I transitioned from like 2019 up to 2020, made that transition to voiceover and realized that my entrepreneurial background really helped because, unlike being on the stage for me anyway, I was able to look at what I could do with and without the help of agents and managers and realize that I could carve my own way myself with the help of reps, agents, managers, things like that. So it kind of just all dawned on me that my past and my upbringing really was helpful in creating this CEO mindset. 

03:54 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Now, do you do anything outside of voiceover? Are you still in music or in theater as well? Or is it just something that you just fell in love with? Voiceover and that's it? You're just full force. 

04:06 - Danielle Famble (Host)
I kind of fell in love with voiceover and I'm full force. I will say I miss singing, I miss being on stage, I miss people. And so to fill my soul, I think what I'm now doing is I live in the New York City area, so going to the symphony or going to a Broadway show, I'm going to go tomorrow night to see my friend who's made his Broadway debut. So filling my soul in that way and maybe even getting back into singing lessons. 

This is a new development. Yeah, that's, I think, what I'm going to be doing. But there was a lot of, I guess, trauma from growing up and it can be a hard business on your emotional state, and that part of it I don't really miss, and so I think it was a good voiceover Well, yes, that's true, that's true. I think I've learned how to navigate it better. 

04:52 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Well, I think maybe that prepared you Probably Right, because I think that well, maybe people who are not familiar with stage and music and that is hardcore, facing like rejection or that type of thing, and so you have to really develop a thick skin and I think by the time you get to voiceover, maybe that helped prepare you in some way for that. But also, I think your experience from growing up with your parents and your grandparents who are entrepreneurs I mean I love that that was a great showcase. It was a great example for you as a young child to see that you could do anything. My parents were kind of the same way and I really attribute it to my entrepreneurial mindset, where there was a belief that if I wanted to pursue that and it was something that brought me great joy I could do that for a living and I could pursue that and be able to pay the bills by doing that. 

So let me ask you, what would you say would be the biggest challenge that you faced in that transition, in creating a business for voiceover, because it sounds to me like you had a good idea of okay, I know that it's more than just performing right, I think a lot of people want to just go into their studios and do voiceover all day, but I think there's so much more to it, because you could be the best voice artist, the best singer, the best actor in the world, but if nobody knows about it, you can't get hired Right, and that's where I think your entrepreneurial business mindset has to come into play. So what was your biggest challenge when you transitioned from one career into the next? 

06:24 - Danielle Famble (Host)
I would say my biggest challenge was honestly recognizing that it was a business, because I wanted to jump in. The actor and the performer in me just wanted to get really good at how to perform in front of the mic and do the perfect read and the perfect conversational read, or at that time it was the we're all in this together read right. 

So that was a hard transition for me to realize that there was more to this job than just talking into a microphone. Once I realized that I think it was mostly just needing to send out invoices and collecting the payment on time and answering questions that I just didn't know the answer to, and there were a lot of I don't knows and then learning as I went. That I think, was the hardest part, because at that time you don't know what you don't know, and part of running a business is realizing all the things that you don't know and having to figure out the answer to it or at least come up with this next answer, and then iterate as you get better? 

07:22 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Sure, yeah, absolutely. So then what would you say was your most successful path into really making this more of a business mindset? Did you read a great book? Did you do a lot of research? Did you talk to your parents? What was it that helped you to really create that CEO mindset? 

07:40 - Danielle Famble (Host)
I would say getting help and finding a mentor. I coached with a lot of different people. I coached Facebook group Voice Actors of NYC to be invaluable because there are so many people who will offer help or resources or ideas. But not going it alone, I think, would be the best resources. Find your tribe, find a mentor, find someone who can help you, because it's so much faster for you to progress when you have other people to bounce those ideas off of. 

08:28 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Yeah, absolutely. Now you talked a little bit about the importance of being able to scale your business and to be able to track your progress in terms of how to mark your success and how to move forward in your business. Can you talk a little bit about that? 

08:44 - Danielle Famble (Host)
Yeah, I noticed and I learned and I knew this from even my parents and grandparents the data is the most important thing that you can have to know where you are and where you want to go. So tracking my numbers was incredibly important to me, and I don't just mean income. I wanted to get better at how quickly I could do auditions, and so I was tracking how many auditions I was doing a day and I could tell by looking at the numbers if I was getting faster or more efficient. I care a lot about money and numbers and love to talk about money actually. 

09:18 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Wait, can you repeat that? Because I love a woman who can— oh, I care a lot about numbers and money. 

09:23 - Danielle Famble (Host)
It is not a bad word. 

09:24 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
It is not a bad word. Thank you, Danielle. 

I didn't mean to interrupt you, but I was so excited that you could say that I was maybe I was the only other person that said look, I love to make money and I love the challenge in how can I make more money? And so I think having a healthy mindset with money is very important. Let's talk a little bit more about that, danielle. I think a lot of it stems too from different mindset or different ideals that you have as you grow up Like. Is money a bad word or is money a good thing? And especially being female, can a female make a lot of money and is that a good thing? Let's talk about that. 

09:58 - Danielle Famble (Host)
Yeah, absolutely. I think there needs to be a healthy conversation about money with women, specifically For me I preach it women of color because sometimes, as women, we feel uncomfortable asking for what it is that we want, yeah, and what you're worth and what you're worth, and being able to say it with confidence and say this is my rate or can we negotiate on a rate? Can you do better with the rate that you've proposed? Having these conversations is important because me, as a business, I'm running a business and having business conversations with other businesses when they're asking me to license the use of my voice for their project. So I don't feel weird talking about business with a business. 

10:43 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Sure, because that's what I'm doing, and money is the language of business. 

10:48 - Danielle Famble (Host)
So finding that level of comfort and being able to feel comfortable in talking about money, sure, and knowing that you are worth the amount that you've stated, or more, it's baseline, I think. 

From there, that's when you can grow and feel more comfortable. 

Another thing for me was getting over that starving artist mentality. 

I feel like it's kind of glorified, especially when I was coming from a musical theater background. 

I mean, I remember standing in line for hours on end waiting to sing my 16 bar cut so that I could maybe book a job that was going to pay me $300 a week at some regional theater and I was grateful and while that is fine and it happened and I needed it at the time, it's not where I'm at anymore. I couldn't do that anymore and that's one of the reasons why it was important to me to sort of figure out what else I could do outside of theater, because it was no longer aligning with how I wanted to live my life, because my life cost a certain amount of money and I needed to find other ways to live the life that I wanted and be able to pay for it. And that's not a bad thing knowing that it's going to cost you money, and I'm okay with asking for what I want and also saying no if it doesn't work out. No is a full sentence and if a number doesn't work for you. 

12:13 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
That's great. No is a full sentence. I love that. It's a full sentence. 

12:15 - Danielle Famble (Host)
And if it doesn't work for you, be okay with saying no and holding by your no. 

12:20 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Well, let's talk a little bit more about that, because I and holding by your no. Well, let's talk a little bit more about that, because I think that for a lot of people starting out in the industry, they're just afraid to ask for what they're worth, or they're afraid to negotiate. And so if a potential client comes to you and they don't have a budget to pay you what you feel you're worth, like what does it take? Like in terms of how do you get up the confidence to say no? And for me it's always been well, you only have to do it once, because once it works out in your favor, then it gives you all the confidence in the world. But tell me about your experience. Did you have an experience where you were scared to say no? Or you thought, oh my gosh, maybe I should do this job for this low pay? 

12:57 - Danielle Famble (Host)
Let's talk about that no-transcript, still want to do it, even at a lower rate? And if the answer is no, can I tell them no and have that uncomfortable conversation like you're saying just once, saying something like unfortunately, this number does not work for me or align with what I would normally quote. I wish you all the best, finding the right voice talent for this project. And then that's it. And I've noticed that when I do that, I've left my day open, my time open. Another job could come my way that pays me the rate that I'm looking for and that I need, or I can do something else, and maybe that something else is getting out of the booth, getting out of the house, going and seeing some friends or doing something that enriches my life, and there's no monetary value that I can put on that. 

14:19 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Well, I think when you can enrich your life, it enriches your product, it enriches your business, because I think it all feeds. 

It's just a wonderful, wonderful cycle and I love that you mentioned that you're going to go see your friend on Broadway and I feel like for me it's like I need to watch a great movie, because it really stirs up the creative juices and it really helps me to be even better at my job, at my business, and to be more creative, because that's what really we do for a living is we need to have that creativity, we need to bring that to life, and I feel like anything that you can do externally, even outside of voiceover, to enhance that is absolutely a good thing for your business. So, yeah, go out and enjoy life, because that's going to help your business. I like to think of that. Let's talk about your business and growing your business, because I think there's a lot of people that they get to a certain level where they're happy and then sometimes they don't advance or progress or they stagnate and then they're like but I don't know how to get more work. Or talk to me about growing your business. 

15:26 - Danielle Famble (Host)
Often looked at growing my business from a financial perspective. Again, I have no problem talking about money, and so for me growth looks like a monetary jump or incremental growth even. So I'm tracking how many jobs I've done in a month or per year. I'm tracking how much revenue I brought in. I need to know how much I need to pay in taxes, so I'm staying on top of that. 

15:51 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Speaking of which, it's like almost April. 

15:56 - Danielle Famble (Host)
Can we talk about it? 

15:58 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
This happened quickly, my goodness, yeah, yeah, now are you working? Just thinking of numbers, because you don't have a problem talking numbers. Are you doing your own accounting? Oh no I am not. 

16:07 - Danielle Famble (Host)
Oh, that's another thing, I think, outsourcing, outsource what you are either not good at or not passionate about. I agree, those are the things that I have outsourced, and one of the things I talked in my talk about was finding your different departments in your team. So I have a financial team and I have a bookkeeper. I have a CPA. 

I have a financial advisor. It's an S-corp, my company and so there are so many different moving parts that I don't know and I need help with people who know better so that they can help educate me and I can make the right decisions, because we are working together and they are working with me so that we can move my agenda forward for where I want to be with my business and my life. So I'm not just doing as they're telling me to do. I want to know and I want to learn and I want to be with my business and my life. So I'm not just doing as they're telling me to do. I want to know and I want to learn and I want to understand. So finding people who have the heart of a teacher to be able to help me understand why I need to pay this much money in taxes or whatever has been really very helpful. 

But in terms of growing my business, I look at it from a place of numbers and the finances, but I also have certain goals when it comes to I want to maybe have the non-broadcast side of my business be a certain amount of money, so that can be a specific goal, but typically I just look at the end of the year, going to the next year and see where I was and create goals typically financial goals in my business, and that's how I mark growth. Lately, though, it's been for me wanting to be a better business owner and entrepreneur and pushing myself personally. You talked about me speaking at VO Atlanta. That was my very first time speaking at a conference at all, and while I absolutely love talking about business and everything with my friends, I've never really said it in a room full of people, so I think that is a way that I'm hoping to grow as a person and as a business owner to feel more confident, sharing what I know and what I'm passionate about, and letting people know that that can be part of the growth as well. 

It may not be something monetary, but it's something that I can mark as my own personal growth and that will help me be a better voice actor. 

18:15 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Well, you know, what's so interesting is that because you have no problem talking about money, I think inadvertently, without you maybe even realizing it. What I love is that because you kept really accurate, probably track right of finances in and out and you goals and you actually wrote them down with numbers. I'm a big believer in writing things down and writing goals down and that helps you to manifest. I mean, yes, of course there's hard cold numbers, right, but also, I think, writing down goals and writing down an actual number, because so many people are afraid of the numbers I mean I'll talk about before I owned my own business. It would be maybe my spending right, you've got that credit card right, and I might be like here, have my credit card, and I wouldn't really look at the money that was going out. And the more you kind of are in denial of it right, the more right you're unaware, and I think that you need to be aware of the numbers, probably more so than most people. You seem to be really comfortable with numbers and I think that's something to aspire to for a lot of voice actors, because a lot of voice actors are not necessarily an accountant or like numbers or like doing the finances. 

I don't like doing the finances either, but I also outsource. I have an accountant that I have on retainer and I am forced to look at those numbers consistently, in and out, and it helps me to set goals and it helps me to make those goals too. I think that's so important and I love that. That just seemed to be second nature for you, and now I think what you're doing is you're pushing yourself to let's do more, maybe more ethereal goals, personal goals, growth goals, like I want to speak at a conference, and that's a really lovely way for all of us to like, push ourselves to think outside the box in something that maybe doesn't come comfortably to us. And now, what else can we do? Because if we grow personally, we're also going to grow in our business. 

20:03 - Danielle Famble (Host)
Absolutely, and I really like your point about how your personal finances correlate to how your finances are going in your business, because that was, for me, as well, the same thing. I had to get good with my personal finances and once I was able to look at the numbers, look at my bank account every day. 

20:24 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Look at the hard cold facts. 

20:25 - Danielle Famble (Host)
The hard cold facts of it and deal with that. Then that practice went into how I run the numbers for my business, because if I was a hot mess with my personal finances, how could I expect to be running a business that pays their taxes on time and doesn't have debt, and all that? 

20:46 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
stuff, and just because you hire right or you outsource for your finances doesn't mean that you are not educated about it. Right, you have to be educated in order to manage anybody that you're outsourcing right, you need to be able to manage people, and you need to be educated so that you can manage it properly and make educated decisions, and so I love that. While I don't love to do financial I don't like to balance the checkbook on a day-to-day basis I certainly don't have a problem outsourcing to my accountant, and then we meet once a week, once a month, and we talk about, okay, inflows and outflows, and where did I spend my money? Where can I save my money? Where should I invest my money next? And I think that that is really. 

I think taking the cold hard look at numbers financially is what is missing, with a lot of voice actors that just start out that especially think that, well, it's just talking behind the mic and so therefore, I don't need to invest. Let's talk for a moment about investment in your business, right, and outsourcing is one part of it. How important do you think investing is in order to have, maintain a successful business and grow your business? 

21:48 - Danielle Famble (Host)
It is vital to invest in your business and ways that you can invest in your business, be it the equipment, so your booth, or your microphone or anything like that the hard products and it doesn't need to be that you are investing a ton of money. I really, truly believe in grow as you go. So if you can afford a certain amount of money for a microphone or an interface or what have, you get that because you can always upgrade as time goes on. For me, it's very important to not have a lot of debt with my business, so I will buy what I can afford at the time and then I will upgrade. So that's very important. 

And then also investing in yourself, because you are the product, so investing in classes or going to conferences or coaching or reading business books, taking business classes, getting outside of the world of voiceover for your education Not saying that there's anything wrong with the education in the voiceover community but we are also running businesses. So what kind of business education are you getting? Do you need to take a course on how to use QuickBooks or something like that? There are so many different ways to invest in the hard product and the soft skills that you need to run a business. Also, we said it already, but investing in help, because the help can be the education. So my CPA is helping inform me about certain things. I have a virtual assistant who I'm outsourcing some of the day-to-day work in my business and she's helping me and we're coming up with systems and processes to be a little bit more efficient every single day. So those kind of investments, when you're pouring into yourself and you're pouring into your business, that's how you can start to see your business grow quickly. 

23:33 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Absolutely. I think investment is also something that scares a lot of people when they first get into this industry, and it is something that I think is absolutely essential. It's essential to be prepared to invest in your business and in yourself, and so that means, because I'm a coach and I work with students, and I have been doing it for quite some time I will encounter new students that will be like yeah, but can I just get my demo because I need to start making money in the industry, but yet they haven't really fully prepared themselves for investments that they might make, and that includes investing in themselves, investing in the possibility of outsourcing. I've had so many people say but I can't afford that right now. First of all, I always say don't quit your day job before you get into voiceover full time. Now let me ask you a question. I know that you are in musical theater, but do you also have an additional job at some point to help support your business or to be able to have money to invest in your business? 

24:27 - Danielle Famble (Host)
I was working at. So picture this I was working at, so picture this 2020. Yes, right, I was working a day job at the Apple Store, okay, and I was waiting tables at night at a comedy club, wow. So I was working two jobs and then auditioning and wanting to sort of move into voiceover around my two jobs. And the good thing was working at the Apple store. I had access to Logic Pro and I had access to buying certain equipment with a discount, so that job was very, very helpful for me to start acquiring what I needed the computers that I'm using, like all of those things. It was really helpful and I did not want to quit my job until I knew for a fact that I could be self-sustaining. 

And even then I was 16 years old, with two jobs in high school. Like I have always worked a lot, so I do think that making sure that your job is not a hindrance your job can be one of the best assets that you have while you're growing your business, and even while you're in your business. Your job is an asset, so make sure that you treat it as such and you think about it as such Changing that mindset will be so helpful really. 

25:45 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Absolutely. I think there's a lot of people who they're either they feel like they're stuck in a corporate job or they feel like that they can't do a job in another sector if they want to call themselves a voice actor. I'm always like, look, side hustles are what helped me to be able to invest and to grow my business, and it was a wonderful way to be able to have the money to invest in, let's say, outsourcing or invest in coaching or invest in a new demo, so that I could grow my business. And I did multiple jobs and I still like to think of my business like I'm not just full time voice actor. Anybody that knows me knows I have this podcast, I have the VO Peeps group, I love coaching and so I'm a voice actor. So I have multiple divisions of my business, just like anybody else would have in their business. So I feel like that there's no shame in having multiple passions and multiple divisions of your business if it can help you to grow. 

26:43 - Danielle Famble (Host)
Yeah, and it helps you stay well-rounded as well, like that job can be the thing that keeps you afloat so that you can say no, and that's bolstering you to maintain your standards and your rates that you need I love that it's an asset that can help you say no I'm just going to reiterate that to the bosses. 

27:02 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
That was so important, right, because when you're out there, desperate because maybe you just gave up everything so that you could do voiceover full timetime and then you're possibly like desperate for a job and you'll accept low pay I love what you just said that your job is an asset and it can help you to say no when it's necessary. Right, so that you can have that money and you're not dependent on it to pay the bills or anything, so yeah, Fantastic. 

What would be your top tip or the best advice you could give somebody just starting out in the industry to be the best CEO, the best boss that they can be? 

27:37 - Danielle Famble (Host)
I would tell people to make sure that you are educating yourself Education, I think, would be the biggest tip yourself by finding a mentor or a coach or someone who you can work with. That will help you where you feel that you need help or support Educating yourself on how to be a voice actor and do the type of genres that you're wanting to do. Educating you on how to run your business, if that's what you need help with. But I would say the first thing I always will tell people if they ask me like, hey, I want to be a voice actor, get in a class, take a class. Maybe it's a performance class, maybe it is a business coaching something, but take a class, because being an entrepreneur is just learning every day as you know, You've got to learn something new every day and be open to the fact that maybe you don't know and you need to learn. 

So keeping your brain moldable and learning. Being in a class is the best way and it's low-hanging fruit because you're learning. You're not quite doing it every day all the time, quite yet. It is vital to find out what you don't know and then write that down, write down your process and then iterate on that process. Love it. 

28:50 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Oh my gosh, Danielle, I could talk to you all day and I really, really appreciate you sharing these little nuggets of wisdom, and I feel like we could maybe do five podcasts at least. So thank you so, so much for joining us. How can bosses get in touch with you, danielle, if they want to follow you or be the boss like? 

29:10 - Danielle Famble (Host)
you, danielle, if they want to follow you or be the boss like you. Yeah, you can follow me. I'm on at DanielleFambul on all socials, and then you can go to my website, daniellefambulcom. 

29:18 - Anne Ganguzza (Host)
Awesome. Well, it was definitely a pleasure. Bosses out there, I'm going to give a big shout out to my sponsor, ipdtl. You too can network and connect like bosses like Danielle and myself. Find out more at IPDTLcom. Bosses have an amazing week. We'll see you next week and thanks so much, danielle. Bye, thanks, anne, bye. 

29:38 - Intro (Announcement)
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 vobosscom 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.