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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...

Jan 16, 2024

Get set to embark on a riveting journey into the world of visual branding, specifically tailored for voice actors. In this enlightening discussion, the BOSSES will empower you with a comprehensive understanding of the critical role visuals play in effectively communicating your brand. We unravel the nuances of building a robust visual presence, which extends beyond just your attire and accessories and dives right into the realm of headshots and text titles for demos. Throughout the episode, we impart our own experiences and valuable insights, showing you how to leverage visuals to connect more deeply with your clientele.

00:01 - Introduction (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. 

00:20 - Anne (Host)
Hey everyone, welcome to the VO Boss podcast. I'm your host, Anne Ganguzza, and I'm here with my lovely boss co-host, Lau Lapides. Oh, hey, Annie. 

So good to see you, how are you Fabulous, how are you? I'm great, I have to tell you. All right. So I apologize for being late to our little recording this morning because I was trying to coordinate the outfit law. Now that we are a visual kind of a brand and we've got video, I'm like all right, so now am I going to wear silver jewelry? Which glasses shall I wear? I'm trying to get that visual brand out there and I've got a set of headshots coming up, oh gosh, in a couple of days. And so I have been literally making a list and coordinating outfits because it is such a big part of my brand and I thought, wow, we should really talk about this for voice actors out there. How important are visuals, how important is that branding and those visuals to your brand and your business? 

01:19 - Lau (Co-host)
I love that topic and I'm so glad we're going to talk about that today, but I have to bring up the fact that you're on the West Coast. I'm in the East Coast, 3,000 miles away, and yet the mental telepathy of like what you chose to wear today and the fact that it's kind of color coordinated with what I chose to wear is like same way. 

They go great, same wave. Like I'm all over the visuals, I do do do think it's important these days, and you and I do remember the days when the voiceover would hide ourselves, we would not be seen we would never have a photo of us out there ever, because we would be worried about a potential client looking at us and saying, wow, they look like this, but they sound like this. 

02:02 - Anne (Host)
I'm not going to cast them, right, right it was a thing I mean I remember distinctly when I got into voice herers like you know what I don't want to be in a career that's based on what I look like, okay, and I want to be able to be creative, I want to be able to act, but I don't want it to be dependent on me being young looking or beautiful or anything like that or how I look, and so I was very much into the voice acting. 

However, as I've evolved my business throughout the years, I've really kind of settled into the fact that, as people, we need to connect with other people, and so the visual I've changed my mindset so that I don't have to feel like I look perfect or a particular way. However, for my business and for my brand, I take a lot of care and I take a lot of pride in that, and so I actually strategize. I mean gosh if I tell you I literally been making a list, a list of the outfits, the colors, the props that I'm going to use for my headshots, because I'm envisioning my website right, representing me, who I am, knowing that my clients want to connect with the person. Yes, and I want to stress that it's not about necessarily what you look like. It's about conveying who you are as a person, who you are as a brand, who you are as a business Right. 

03:20 - Lau (Co-host)
Listen, we can't get out of the fact that we live in a world. A lot of it is visual, it's what we see. Most people are visual learners, so when they pick you up, they're picking you up in 10 seconds less than that visually. So when we're meeting a client, when we're meeting a talent, when we're meeting a prospect, they're going to look at you. If they see you, sure, if they visually see you, okay, what's the first thing we see? It may be a website, it may be a social media post. It may be something that is not physically you. So thinking about what that visual brand is from the start, I think is wise and necessary and important in a visual society. 

03:57 - Anne (Host)
And when you do have those photos right that are showcasing you in action in your studio and again mine aren't just gonna be your typical headshot, like I mean I will have those, but typical, like from here up they're gonna be like lifestyle shots, they're gonna be shots of me, literally law. I am bringing a desktop boom arm with my microphone, with the headphones, with the laptops and the cables by the way, and the cables. 

And I am dragging that all to the studio where I'm going to get my headshots, because I want those shots to represent who I am in my business and how I interact right with clients in my business and showcasing that so that ultimately people get a sense, a visual sense, because if they do come to my website first, right before they connect with me either on the phone or on a video call or even just hear me, they're seeing me in action and they're seeing my business in action and I think it's so very important for voice talent to really understand that. And again, it's not all about like that typical, like headshot, which it can be, but I really want that to show more about who you are. How is that headshot going to reveal your personality, your business? Because, again, our voices are product right, but our visual brand can also showcase that product. 

I always talk to people about their websites and make sure your demos are above the fold. But, like, when you're placing your demos above the fold, put a text title by the spots that you have in that demo, because otherwise they don't know what's in that demo, they can't see it right, they just see that. Oh, there's an audio file that I can click on and listen to, but three quarters of the way into that audio file I don't know that. You have a Toyota spot right, and so if you're listing those spots out visually right, really it's just text that also helps with your SEO, but that can really, at a glance, somebody seeing oh, she's done work for Toyota right, that can make an impression. 

05:54 - Lau (Co-host)
Now here's my question of the day. I'm seeing a lot more demos that are video-based demos, so I know the people that that's their real jobs. They have a right to show it. That's their actual jobs and they're utilizing that because it's been aired. Others are creating these visual elements to their demo. I wanted to run that by you and see how are you feeling about that these days. Do you like that trend that's happening? Is it fun and exciting, or do you feel like it's a little edgy showing those visuals that they haven't really been a part of? How? 

06:27 - Anne (Host)
do you look at that? I'm a big fan. I mean, I've read in the forums. Some people are like, well, are they really giving you a return on your investment? I'm here to say, look, our demo is a marketing product, right? And it's kind of the same question Do we put produced spots or do we put sound effects and music behind an e-learning spot? Because typically there isn't. I'm like, well, this is a showcase, this is a marketing piece, this is a demonstration. Yes, there are times that you'll have music behind your e-learning. You may or may not know that. You don't know what the client is doing with it, necessarily afterwards, and so they're very well-could be, and I've actually seen a lot of e-learning modules where it could be character-based, it could be storytelling, video-based, it can be a lot of different ways to get the interactivity or the engagement with the listener. So, yeah, why not? I mean, it is a marketing piece, and so I feel like a video demo is yet another way to showcase your product. It's not the only way, I feel the same way. 

07:26 - Lau (Co-host)
Yeah, I feel the same way. I think we're living in a day right now where your visuals mean a lot. I oftentimes say to talent listen your voice actors. So don't be surprised if you have people at a showcase that are a producer or an agent type or even just some corporate prospect, say hey, are you an on-camera actor? I would like to use you in a print ad along with your voice. I would like to use you in this and that, and be prepared for that answer whether you welcome doing on-camera commercial work on-camera TV, film work, print work. 

I think that throws a lot of talent off who only identify as a voice over talent. And don't get me wrong, that's fine, you can just do voiceover and specialize that and don't do anything else. But there's a whole bunch of people that are really open to that idea of doing more. Like, if I get signed by an agency and they want to sign me across the board and they say, hey, we're going to submit you for everything theater, tv, film, voice over, whatever I say, why not if you're interested in pursuing that, yeah, I agree, I agree. 

08:30 - Anne (Host)
Now let me ask you what sort of tips would you give to people who are really trying to figure out their visual brand? Do you have any tips? 

08:40 - Lau (Co-host)
I love that and I'm so glad we're talking about that today. I just got out of a coaching session looking at a Vio Talent's first headshot shoot and we were talking about what happens in the face, what happens in the eyes, what people are reading very, very quickly out of that. 

So I think that it's very important to talk to people that are specialists in particular areas. So, for instance, a stylist that's really good may wanna provide for you a look book before you go and take your photos of some fashion looks, some professional looks, some business looks, some whatever looks, so that you can start to mimic those looks that would be right for your styling and your branding. It's hard to come up with that yourself. 

09:28 - Anne (Host)
I don't think I could even come up with it myself. It's so funny that you mentioned that because literally I just spent a weekend with my very good friend. She's always been a style icon. I've always considered her a style icon. In the last year she's gone into the business and I'm gonna give her a plug. Styled by Gianni yes, gianni, g-i-a-n-a-i yes, styled by Gianni. She's amazing. She's got all different types of packages, but she's sustainably conscious. I mean, she's located in LA. She can work with you remotely. She can work with you in any capacity. She's got all sorts of cool things. If you're just open to a consult, she can chat with you and then discuss colors. If nothing else, right, what colors, what color palettes? What's your body type? She'll take your measurements into consideration. I love it. What type of clothing would be best suited for you? And again, it doesn't necessarily just have to be about you and your clothing and your look, but it can also be about colors, colors that reflect who you are. 

Colors that reflect who you want to be or what you want your business to be. And again, I've got multiple colors. We all know that red and black is the color for VO Boss. However, ink and guza is blue, and I've got a different color for VO Peeps, which is a teal blue, and I love those colors and it's one way that the brand is separated. So think of me. Now I'm gonna go to my photographer, my head shot artist. I'm gonna call her and I'm gonna go over there with I've got three different brands to represent. Literally, if I could ever come to my house, you could just like take photos in my closet, because I've got all these options of clothing and all these options of colors. 

And some of the colors may or may not even have to go with my brand, but they go with my personality, right, I also think too, people are not thinking about the fit of things, so your stylist needs to help you with. 

11:11 - Lau (Co-host)
I might love this color, but how does it fit my body? Is it showing my body off? I know women, especially younger women, have a tough time with this and oftentimes we'll have things that are too big and baggy or have things that are too tight or showing a mid drift or whatever. Whatever the case may be, that may not be appropriate for your particular branding. So you need someone who understands style but also understands the brand that you want in terms of your fit, your color. Are you trending? Are you moving forward? Do you want to do retro? 

A lot of VO's are very retro. They like doing fifties, forties, voguing stuff. Absolutely, I would say you know what, annie, and this is something you do really well. I would have fun. So many people. It's such a drudgery to go through this kind of thing and I'd say wait a second, especially the talent who are animation artists who are having fun. They're being outrageous a little bit. What if you had one shot on your website under your cartoons where you have little bunny ears or you're doing cosplay, anything, right, right? Who am I thinking of? 

12:14 - Anne (Host)
Jessica Rabbit. 

12:15 - Lau (Co-host)
No, no, no, the famous singer piano man. He started out wearing costumes Elton John, Elton John. 

12:22 - Anne (Host)

12:23 - Lau (Co-host)
John. Who could be more prolific and serious now? Yeah, really serious about everything. Started out wearing bunny suits, oh my gosh. 

12:31 - Anne (Host)
And now, if you're going to talk about that, you can talk about Lady Gaga and all of her outfits, cher. 

12:37 - Introduction (Announcement)
It's endless. And all of her I just saw Cher who looks amazing. 

12:40 - Anne (Host)
By the way, Awesome she does not age, she does not age, she doesn't age at all, barry. Manilow. I just watched the. 

12:45 - Lau (Co-host)
Holiday Special of the Dream Lighting. 

12:48 - Anne (Host)
Yeah, all the icons. 

12:50 - Lau (Co-host)
I'm getting the clem to it that one, barry Manilow, but I was just thinking about, like an Elvis Costello. If anyone knows Elvis Costello, he was very forward thinking by retching back oh, david Bowie, in his cool black and white suits. You know, david Bowie. So the point is, you don't have to be a pop star, you just have to be authentic to you, your personality, the kind of work you do Absolutely, absolutely, and they work that into their brand. 

13:15 - Anne (Host)
I mean the way they dress, the way they style. I mean even rock bands, if you remember back in I'm showing them age, but you know, like Kiss, right Makeup and platforms, that kind of thing Anyhow, aren't they doing? 

13:26 - Lau (Co-host)
I just saw them on TV. They're doing their last. What is it? Madison Square Garden, their last concert? Yeah, their last tour and retiring. It's just pretty amazing. But the point yeah, they were in mask for how many years you never saw their real faces. So the point is is like get yourself to start out, wean yourself into it. Get a good headshot. Just start with a good headshot so that for your PR, if someone says hey, mike, susan, jay, I need you to send me a good photo, you have something and you're not going, let me go through my photo camera roll let's see if I have anything Like have something, and I also would have. You and I were talking about props earlier too. I love that idea. It could be your pet it could be your mic, absolutely. 

14:07 - Anne (Host)
What is it you're passionate about? Whatever, if, I could bring my cats. If I could put them in a car and drive them, I would bring my cats because yeah, Obviously, yeah. 

14:16 - Lau (Co-host)
So things that define you in your work day, but also in your personal life, that you love, you care about. Remember one of our favorites, betty White, who I love so much. She was known for the animals. Every time you thought of Betty White, you thought of the animals she was. I remember the PSA she did, annie, where she was surrounded by all the animals because she was helping save the animals. That was something she always had in her PR. Where she could was an animal, absolutely, absolutely. 

14:43 - Anne (Host)
So these are all visuals for you to be thinking about and not only can they go on your website but they can go in your social media campaigns and promotions. Youtube channel, I mean, again, if you are out there creating something visual, like if you are out there doing a podcast, right, I think today if you're doing a podcast and you don't have a video element to it and I'm not saying maybe the whole podcast has to be video, but honestly I mean everybody's kind of going that way, even though I also have an audio version, you and I have an audio version, but we have a YouTube channel right where we have videos, we do shorts, and so if you want to promote your business and you're doing any type of video or YouTube shorts, obviously you're on camera and there is branding to think about. I mean, if you've gone to all the trouble to create a logo, right, and figure out well what colors, what font, why not just extend it to your personal body, your personal self? 

Because, again, our product is so very personal and I'm going to give a tip that gosh I got a long, long time ago when I worked with my business mentor, who was helping to brand me at the time, was that we created a private Pinterest board and she said to me I want you to just create a board and I want you to put everything on that board that's your favorite thing, like favorite places, favorite colors, favorite things, hobbies, activities, and when you put that board together, when you have your favorite since, she said, I'll include your favorite fonts, right? Well, that was a big mistake. 

16:12 - Introduction (Announcement)
Cause I have like a thousand favorite fonts. 

16:14 - Anne (Host)
But anyway, I put that board together and shared it with her and it was a great visual representation of who I am and from there she was able to create a website she was able to help me with branding and help me with marketing campaigns and that really came up with my Angangusa brand, because when I was doing it myself, it's so hard to brand yourself. I think we've had episodes where we've talked about branding. It is hard to brand yourself. 

And even now I have ideas because I help people so much with it. But it's always nice to get that second set of eyes, that second set of ears. That is saying you know what I see you in this light, where you think maybe here's what I'm projecting out. But I need to know how do you see me, how do you see my business and what demographic am I speaking to and what does my look? Or what are the colors? What do the images on my website have to do? What feelings? I think you got to go so far as to what feelings are evoked when somebody looks at your website. 

17:13 - Lau (Co-host)
That's great Very pathos, very visceral. You got to revisit it too. I think that a lot of talent it evolves. 

I don't know why they think, oh, I've done this, I made a demo, I'm done. I said you made a demo. Honey, you're starting, you're not done, you're going to make another thousand demos over your lifetime. Like, this is just the process. So if you choose a logo that may change in a year or two or three, if you've evolved, all companies rebrand. Yeah, I was just going to say I like to think of it. You've got an interior designer for your home, potentially. 

17:44 - Anne (Host)
Well, this is an exterior designer for the world and VO Boss has already rebranded once and it is a thing I mean. Rebranding is a thing you need to evolve. I know that my husband's company is going through a large rebranding right now and they're a well established company. So you need to evolve your brand. And we've all seen it with products that we buy, like Coca-Cola rebrand you know it's just people rebrand. When it's time to refresh, rebrand, yes, it's time for you to always revisit these things and I always say come at it from a perspective of where's your heart, where are your passions for where your company is going. And I'm evolving. My Anganguza brand will be evolving and broadening out to a larger audience. And even this podcast. 

I've been always wanting to evolve this podcast to a larger audience so that it's not just voiceover artists. However, it's been voiceover for a good seven years. Now I've got a thought do I start a new podcast if I want to venture out of not that I'm venturing out of voice acting, but if I want to also explore right other avenues, like just podcasting in general, entrepreneurship? Like, do I keep this podcast and then add a new one, or do I rebrand this podcast and evolve? It's not something you do by tomorrow. It's something that takes some thought and sometimes the idea just has to sit with you for a while. 

I remember a few years back, law, I went to rebrand and I was trying to consolidate VioPeeps and VioBoss and I had new designs. I actually had my VioPeeps bird and I made him edgy. So I changed the colors from the VioPeeps bird, from the blue, and I put him in black and red and he's like edgy. I had like a leather jacket, he had like some sunglasses and he was very cool and I got some really cool graphics out of that for a complete consolidation of a brand. 

19:34 - Introduction (Announcement)
And I decided not to do it after that, but it was something like I said. 

19:38 - Anne (Host)
It doesn't always have to happen. I mean, I decided against it only because my little bird was just too cute to give up and I loved him, and you know what I said. That's it. I'm going to keep a separate brand, but I think it's something that every year, and especially since we're in the beginning of the year now, right, it's something that people can think about. Right, what are you doing for this next year? What are you doing? Are you evolving? Are you growing? How are you doing that and how are you changing things up? I mean, gosh knows that if you change up your website, it can actually put your SEO into high gear, right? Especially? 

20:12 - Introduction (Announcement)
if you update content. 

20:13 - Anne (Host)
If you update pages, update looks, maybe update capabilities. 

20:17 - Lau (Co-host)
Yeah, and there's a functuary in that it's such a refreshment in doing that. 

You know just when you think you know your favorite company's tagline or slogan. Just look it up. You're going to see sometimes hundreds of slogans that they've used over the years because they're reaching out to different demographics of people and they need to have different visuals right that appeal to those demographics. So I love that. I think you should stay really you know you don't want to change things every two seconds because then people get confused as to who you are but keep it fresh and trendy so that you give yourself flexibility and fluidity to say, um, that color scheme isn't me anymore, or it doesn't really represent the people I work with anymore, or the thing itself, the website itself or whatever, just doesn't look like me anymore. Here's one of the things that I discovered, annie, I know you already know this, but I discovered it only about a year ago and that is why was I in the box of thinking I just needed one website. 

Oh yeah, right so people are having the discussion should I get a website? I'm having the discussion how many websites should I have? So now, for every event I have, I want to do? I'm driving my web people crazy because I'm like it's so inexpensive to get it. People don't have to fight through your website to find the thing you're looking for right. 

To me, that's been my personal playground of visual branding and also ease of navigation for the client to say, oh, it's this particular project, it's a big one, I want to represent it visually aside from everything else we're doing. So when you talk about your different brands, in case people don't understand what that means, it could be something as simple yet sophisticated as having separate websites, absolutely, absolutely. 

21:58 - Anne (Host)
I mean, for years I've had medicalnarrationcom, I've had phonevoicecom and I've had, for each genre that I specialize in, of course, vopeaps and VOBOSS. I mean, I think at one point I owned like 13 domains and I still have domains. I have domains right now because I have ideas. How many sites do you have now? Though I probably have, I've got VOPEAPS, voboss in Gangusa, automotive, annie medical-narration phone-voicecom, e-learning-voicecom. Gosh, I've got a bunch. 

22:31 - Lau (Co-host)
And those are all actual websites right. Those are landing page websites that you can get to see what it is. 

22:38 - Anne (Host)
Yeah, I'm going to revisit and see what my SEO value is for those right now. But if you definitely are pointing people towards your website for promotions or for purchasing, it definitely can help to have it just go to a website. And of course I always, always, always recommend people say, and Gangusa or yournamecom, because you are a personal brand and that's the first and foremost domain I think anybody should get. But it's not expensive to purchase domains these days, unless of course you have a very common name or you want, like voiceactingcom, which that's already taken, but your first and lastnamecom. If not, then your first lastname, voicecom or voice acting or voice actor, those things all are viable. 

23:22 - Lau (Co-host)
I love it, I love it. And one more thing, Annie, I want to bring up. That's what my dad always called ATD attention to detail, which really makes a difference. 

Now maybe more viable in a time where we were meeting people in person more than we are now, but I'm going to say it anyway because I personally like to get out and go to physical events. If you go anywhere to meet someone outside of your office, in your studio, not only worry about the way you look, but be concerned about if you drive watch your car. That's something that we always said oh, do I want to do the deal with this person? Their car is filthy. I just got inside of it. It's a mess, right? 

Real estate agents used to talk about that a lot because they'd get inside other people's car to go look at properties or they'd get in the real estate agents car. So I know it may or may not like pertain to some of the listeners right now, but some that are going out physically to meetings, to networking, to this, to that like how you show up physically to the parking lot, come into the room, whatever, just it all kind of matters, it all matters. Don't think, oh, I'm offstage right now, no one sees me, no one cares. Until I enter the room, they do care, they look at you and they say is this the kind of person that I want to know Is it the person that I want to work with? 

24:40 - Anne (Host)
potentially, it's just never thought about that. Never thought about that. 

24:44 - Lau (Co-host)
Right, If you're meeting for a Zoom coffee or a real coffee, you're going to Starbucks or whatever. Like, just think about. Right, Bring your notebook, take notes. That's a visual right, good advice. Wow. 

24:57 - Anne (Host)
Well, this was a fun topic. I love it. Fun. We could go on and on, we could Bosses. As individuals, it can seem difficult to make a huge impact, but as a group, together we can contribute to the growth of our communities in ways that we never before thought possible. Visit 100voiceswhocareorg to learn how Big shout out to our sponsor, ipdtl. We love IPDTL because I love talking to law and I love connecting with other bosses. You can find out more at IPDTLcom. You guys have an amazing week and we'll see you next week. Awesome Bye. 

25:34 - Lau (Co-host)
See you next time. Bye. 

25:37 - Introduction (Announcement)
Yay. Join us next week for another edition of Vo Boss with your host and Gangusa, 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. 

26:08 - Anne (Host)
Law you just had, like a series of fireworks. 

26:15 - Lau (Co-host)
I know what happened there. I should keep that in there. I don't know, I have no idea. Oh my goodness, I thought it might be something on your end. I don't know, I've never, but you and I, we are making fireworks together. 

26:28 - Anne (Host)
There you go, we are making fireworks.