There was a time when I thought the only software tool worth having was one that I installed to my computer’s hard drive. Using a tool through my browser seemed lame and I always believed that they would be slow and useless. Really, how many online calculators do I need to bookmark?
At some point, I made the decision that internet centric tools were not a bad thing. I have 67 bookmarks for various tools and services that I use monthly if not weekly. I don’t know when I made the transition; I didn’t feel a thing when it happened. In celebration of interweb tools, I’m sharing 5 that might be worthy enough for you to bookmark.
Write Once, Connect with Many
One of the easiest ways to stay in touch with your clients and prospective clients is with an e-mail blast. Write one newsletter and send it to many. There are several web-based tools and services that will help you out with this, many offer free delivery to a set number of recipients. I use MailChimp because of it’s hand-holding ease of use, reporting capabilities and clean mail list maintenance. Others to consider:
One to One Connection
When yon need to send a one-off e-mail to a client it’s possible that you’ll be stumped as to what to write. You know what you want to say, but don’t know how to say it. Taking a look at letter examples is one way to crush the writing block. For example, sending a thank you note to a client is a personal way to show your appreciation for being hired for the gig. Thank You Note Examples and Tips is a great site that lists many ways to say thank you. Check out these other sites for more types of business letters.
It’s Not Who You Know, But How Much Money They Owe
Keeping track of invoices and accounting is not fun. Compared to doing voice-overs its like shoving ear-buds up my nose. So, I turn to what I think is the best online accounting software, QuickBooks Online. Intuit has done a great job of creating a user interface that’s friendly and the setup process is a snap. Enter business details, add client information, configure your accounts and you’re ready to start billing. Other choices to consider:
How to Say It
When I receive a script or audiobook, the first thing I do is review it for unfamiliar words. If I find any, I have the option to follow up with the client (which is preferable), or investigate it on my own by using one or two online pronunciation guides. The first one I check is Forvo, a site with voiceover talent in mind. Type in a word, click go and most times the correct pronunciation is available to hear. You can even add to the Forvo database with your own spoken word nightmares. Other word sites to check include:
Be Social with Pictures
If you’re not social, you might as well be doing one-handed claps in the forest. Social networking is big and you should be part of it. You’re probably familiar with blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter. However, it is Pinterest that’s currently getting major attention. With pictures, you pin or comment on your interests or the focus of your business. This makes a picture worth a thousand words more true than ever. Accounts are free and easy to setup.
- Pinterest – If you’ve got an account you can easily convert it to one for your business.
- Pingraphy – This tool allows you to upload “Pins”, schedule them to display when you want, check the traffic of your pins and who is following you.
- Quozio – Paste your favorite quote into this tool and it transforms it into a graphic, suitable for posting to Pinterest.
- Take your business Pinterest account to the next level with Pinfluencer, a tool for marketing and analytics.
New web-tools hit the net daily and I’m always surprised by the latest additions. What web based tools have you discovered that are indispensable in your voiceover or freelance business? Leave a comment below and tell me about your favorite finds.