One of the main reasons I wrote the book “More Than Just a Voice” is to put the spotlight on the more hidden skills you have to develop to be a successful freelance voice-actor.
People think they can get there on great pipes and a USB mic. What they fail to see is the need for coaching, equipment, practice, promotions, marketing, having online savvy, and the other investments it takes to run a successful VO BUSINESS.
The finest voice in the world will rarely rise above bad business practices.
In that vein, you’ll often find references in my blog to TOOLS. Techniques, software, and hardware that help you be better at your VO business. I’m big on technology trends and social media, and often the tools I recommend for your repertoire fall in that category.
The World is Moving to Mobile
Survey after survey now confirms that the whole of computing, music, video, audio, news…in fact content of almost every kind is moving onto the mobile platform. Doesn’t your pattern of usage reflect that? When you’re on the subway, waiting for a Drs. appt., or in ANY place where people have a moment to spare, what do you see? People are on their smartphones.
This is such fertile ground for app development that you often can’t afford to sit tight with the default programs you’ve been using for a long time…or the native apps that came with your device.
Often the mundane apps that fall under the heading of “utilities” or “productivity” can be the most time-saving and cost-saving changes you can make on your iOS or Android device.
4 Agile Apps
Take Acompli, for instance. Acompli replaces your email app. It’s amazing, and getting better by the week. Acompli downloads your email fast. It also handles all your contacts, and your appointments, but the magic of Acompli is the way it handles all that stuff. First of all, you can choose to look at only the files you get with your emails, and then you can apportion them by Gmail, GDrive, or DropBox. Your contacts can be arranged chronologically, or by highest frequency of contact. I have yet to discover all Acompli can do, and the best part is: it’s absolutely free. (so far, only iOS, Android is in development)
Next up: Sunrise. This calendaring app runs on all devices, OS’s, desktop, and more. Connects seamlessly to Gmail calendar. Communicates back ‘n’ forth from desktop to mobile. Highy intuitive, colorful, elegant…this app will immediately change the way you handle your appointments. Easy to set-up, and again: free.
Humin tries to be a lot of things, and succeeds in almost every respect. Humin replaces your native phone app, so it handles calls, voice-mail, contacts. But like Acompli…it’s the way it does all this that impresses. Your contacts will appear in big color pictures that the program just….finds. You can import (or not) all the contacts you want, and the app seems to know who you are in relationship to your best friends. It also acts as a bit of a CRM (customer relationship management) program by helping you place on a map, and on a timeline when and how you met someone. Finally, if you so choose, Humin continually verifies the contact information of those with which you want to stay in contact. There’s more. Really fun to use. Free.
Circle-Back is an app that deals in contacts only…but wow…how it deals with them! Create groups, manage your social media networks, connect and import contacts from ALL the top email programs, scan business cards into contacts, delete duplicates, and constantly update contact information…automatically. Free. In Beta.
Honorable mention: Nimble app. You have to be using Nimble as your CRM to make this worth your while, but if you are, Nimble on your smartphone is amayzing! Also available on Android.
Check ’em out. They may not all be for you, but these tools can make some of your most basic and seemingly mundane tasks easier and more fun.