Eight Handpicked Tools for Voice Talents

approved sealWhile I have a computer and mobile devices full of apps of every type, my browser provides access to countless web-based applications. Every once in a while I need a tool to help me with a specific task and I don’t necessarily want to install software that will sit practically unused on my hard drive. I already have more software than I use on my computer hard drive and mobile devices, that’s probably fodder for a different post.

A tool can be anything from a blog post with how-to-steps for getting a task done to an actual application that was created to run in a browser. There are eight tools I have bookmarked for easy access when the need arises. These have potential of being helpful to any type of freelancer and are listed here in no particular order.

Entrepreneur

entrepreneurWhat are voice talent and other freelancers if not entrepreneurs? We take on the challenge and risk associated with making our businesses unique, profitable and successful. Entrepreneur.com is a solid source of information about new business, the direction existing business is taking and articles on marketing, money and growing a business. Look to this site for inspiration.

YouTube

youtube-pngSure, YouTube has a bizillion cat videos but it also has a wealth of videos on just about anything for your voiceover business. When I first set up QuickBooks and started taking payments through PayPal, I didn’t have a clue on how to process them. A quick search on YouTube revealed Setting Up PayPal in QB. I decided it was a keeper and have shared this how-to vid with other freelancers.

50 States

50_StatesThis is an amazing portal to state-based information. I use 50States.com for quick access to economic details to help me focus my marketing approach. Finding what industries are dominant in a given state provides access to key, potential clients. WARNING: If you are a fact junky, 50 States.com will derail your typical day of business if not used in moderation.

Mint

250px-MintcomWhile I use QuickBooks for my business, I rely on Mint.com for my overall picture of business and personal accounts. After configuring it with my banking information it gives me a running total of where my money goes for an instant budget check. Have I exceeded my budget for Kapaws Iskreme? Well, yes I have and Mint alerts me with a notification. No more ice cream for the rest of the month.

Hightail

HightailThis file sharing tool was called YouSendIt until the first part of July 2013. It still functions the same. With Hightail.com you upload files to a folder and send an invitation to a collaborator (your client) so they can download your creation. There’s a free version available and a few options to pay. If you don’t have your own server for delivery of your files, Hightail.com is an alternative to consider

Time and Date

tad-logo-comSeveral of my clients are based in other countries and it’s important for me to know when those clients are awake. TimeAndDate.com is my goto source for finding time zone information. The site also has access to time calculators and timers, calendars and environmental details. It’s like the Swiss Army Knife of everything time.

Freelance Folder

FreelanceFolderThere is a community vibe attached to being a freelancer. I often have questions that aren’t voiceover specific, but more freelance general. My website of choice for such information is FreelanceFolder.com. Its team of writers do an amazing job of covering topical and relevant subjects. This site is perfect for anybody working on their own.

Words in a PowerPoint Presentation

MS-Office-2013-logoA producer contacted me to narrate an e-learning module for one of his clients. There were over a hundred slides and each slide had a significant amount of text. How much text? Hard to say. To solve the word counting issues, Microsoft’s Office website has posted a solution, Counting the Number of Words in a PowerPoint Presentation. I have only needed this once so far but will be ready the next time a project like this comes along.

What are the best web-based tools that you’ve come across? Do you like using these types of tools?

 

Other posts you might find interesting:

Unplugged and Loved It!
Five Tips for Better Client/Talent Workflow
10 Things to Keep in Mind when Building a Home Studio

18 thoughts on “Eight Handpicked Tools for Voice Talents

  1. Kathleen Taylor July 24, 2013 / 11:28 am

    Thanks for sharing. I will definitely apply these tools to enhance the infrastructure of my VO business.

    Like

    • J. Christopher Dunn July 29, 2013 / 10:14 am

      Hi Kathleen – You’re welcome! I’m glad that you stopped by and found something useful. Let me know how they work for you.

      Like

  2. Ryan Oler July 25, 2013 / 5:18 am

    Wave Accounting… I am a roving audio engineer, running broadcasts from different locations. The WaveApps.com site allows me to keep my balance handy, as well as Invoice while on location. Not nearly as overwhelming as QB, yet still has Accountant Approved categories for all you income & expenses.

    Like

    • J. Christopher Dunn July 29, 2013 / 10:25 am

      Hey Ryan – A few people have asked me about alternatives to QuickBooks and now I have a suggestion for them. I took a few moments after I read your comment to check it out and, WOW! I looked around and couldn’t find information on price. Is it really free?

      Like

  3. Stu Norfleet July 28, 2013 / 5:41 am

    SUPERB information! Thank you for collating and posting these great solutions!

    Like

    • J. Christopher Dunn July 29, 2013 / 10:26 am

      Stu – Greetings! I’m glad that you checked out my blog and left a comment. Let me know if any of the tools are helpful.

      Like

    • J. Christopher Dunn July 29, 2013 / 10:27 am

      Hy Steve – YES! I love this tool. I use it at lest once a day. It’s super useful.

      Like

  4. Alicia Diaz July 30, 2013 / 6:20 am

    50states is new to me – thanks for posting these!

    Like

    • J. Christopher Dunn July 30, 2013 / 11:29 am

      You’re welcome! If you are a info junkie you might just find yourself stuck for hours on 50states. Enjoy!

      Like

  5. Bernard July 30, 2013 / 2:52 pm

    Great suggestions, thank you. I used to use YouSendIt until I found WeTransfer.com which is more generous in the number of files and their size you can send for free. One tool that I am still looking for is a means to cut large sound files into smaller sections like mp3s. Right now I am doing a job for Harley-Davidson, recording 13 podcasts that need to be cut up into hundreds of smaller mp3s…. manually….. Any ideas?

    Like

    • J. Christopher Dunn July 30, 2013 / 4:50 pm

      Hey Bernard- I’ve used YouSendIt and others but recently decided to go with a secure FTP site for delivery of audio. It works. However, every once in a while I have a client that prefers a cloud based option and I’ll keep WeTransfer in mind. Thanks for that!

      In Adobe Audition I segment files using markers. After I set the range for each marker, I batch export each marked range into its own file, named to my specification.

      Do a Google search for “best method to segment audio files” and you’ll probably find and option or two. Good Luck!

      Like

  6. Dani July 30, 2013 / 7:40 pm

    Thanks for the post. In particular, your last point about Power point word counts… that’ll come in handy!

    Like

    • J. Christopher Dunn July 31, 2013 / 9:44 am

      Hi Dani- Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. 🙂

      If you receive PDF or other formatted scripts that require a word count, do a Google search on “Best method to count words in file” and you’ll receive several helpful tools and suggestions.

      Like

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