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Voice actors need to be as efficient as possible. This week Anne talks about some of the tools you might not have known about to help you keep your VO business rolling.
Work smarter and not harder to grow your VO biz!
Okay, so I've got some quick productivity hacks that may help you to get through your daily tasks just a little bit quicker and easier. So the first thing that I wanna talk about is email, because a lot of times I'm spending a considerable amount of time reading my email or replying to emails, sending emails to clients. And if I were to calculate how many hours I spend actually reading emails, responding, replying, sending out, marketing, um, it is a considerable amount of time of my day. I use a lot of tools that are built into my email, and I happen to use Gmail, but all of the email programs pretty much are starting to have the very similar offerings. And number one, I wanna talk about organizing your email into folders.
Now, I come from, oh, gosh, a very unpopular place of, I never delete my emails. I'm that person that says, well, I'm using Gmail, so Gmail is a search engine, and I wanna be able to search my emails just to get prior reference. If I happen to, um, I, I wanna keep a thread, uh, with a client that I'm, you know, keep researching or I wanna know what I charged them in the past. I like to be able to search my email to find out all my previous correspondence. And so to organize that, it really makes a lot of sense to have folders. So most email programs have the ability to create folders and also to be able to filter your email as it comes in to go into those folders automatically. Separate folders for all of my clients, separate folders for all of my coaching students, separate folders for just about anything that I need to organize my email into.
And I also, by the way, have multiple email addresses that can also get filtered, or excuse me, that also get filtered into separate folders. So I know if somebody's writing VO BOSS or if they're writing me at VO Peeps, or if they're writing Anne Ganguzza to inquire about a voiceover job. So I have all of these broken up into folders, which I can then go into and deal with them on a case by case basis. When I am actually composing email or writing email or responding email, there are a few settings that I can change in Gmail, and I know you can do the same on a lot of email clients where I can have a, a smart response. Uh, I certainly, I, I think all of you know that besides having a smart response, uh, there's autocorrect.
I think we're all familiar with autocorrect, and over the years, autocorrect has greatly improved. Uh, there's still many times though that autocorrect will create a word that I don't even know where that came from, and it can be quite humorous at times, but for the most part, thank goodness for autocorrect. I wish my typing got better as I got older or got more experience. However, I don't know what's happened, but it's really helped me a lot so that I can make sure that I don't have spelling mistakes. And there are smart suggestions and smart responses. And so Google or Gmail will come up with a potential response, or even when I begin an email, and it knows who sent me the email, if I'm replying to it, it'll say hi, and it'll input the first name into there already. So all I have to do is just hit the tab key so that I don't have to type hi first name comma, and then ultimately it will do sentence completion for me, which is really, really helpful.
In addition to emails and having your emails be filtered into folders, having smart compose on having autocorrect, you can also use a feature in Gmail that is called Boomerang. Uh, it is a, it is a plugin that you can install, and I think that Gmail has its own now. It used to be Boomerang that you would install a separate plugin, but I think Gmail now allows you to schedule your email so that you can compose an email. And if it's you know, too late on a Friday evening and you wanna make sure that your client gets it first thing Monday morning, you can schedule that email to be sent out at a particular time. So that way you can get all your work done on Friday evening, and then Monday morning you won't have to worry about it. Your emails will be sent out, um, according to your schedule.
When it comes to audio editing, a lot of people these days use a program, or I should say a lot of audiobook -- it became very popular with audiobook, um, audiobook narrators to use a program called Positron. Positron does audiobook proofing for you. And I know for most of us when we are editing, it takes us at least as long as our recording to go ahead and listen to that for accuracy and for checking for mistakes. And so if I record an hour's worth of audio, I'm gonna have to listen for an hour to be able to make sure that I don't have any mistakes. Positron is a software actually built, uh, using AI technology that can help you to proof your recordings and find where your mistakes are and point them out. And that is something that can really save you a lot of time.
And I know when I first got into voiceover, the thing that took the most amount of time outside of trying to get work and contacting my, my potential clients and marketing was the editing part of it. I mean, it was so easy to just go into my studio and record. That was the easy, fun part. Then I had to edit it, and then I had to get good at editing. And there are just some things that you cannot get quicker at. And so why not allow tools, uh, that can help us to proofread and, uh, proofread and, and catch our mistakes so that we can correct them quicker? Again, built on AI technology.
And speaking of AI technology, by the way, things like Grammarly, things like smart compose or smart response, things that are implemented in Gmail, those are all built on AI technology. So you may or may not be aware that you're using AI, and I think that this is where, uh, this technology can really help us to become more efficient at our jobs. And again, I know there's a lot of fear, uh, around AI and how it might be taking jobs away. However, I want to look at the technology and be able to use it so that I can become more efficient and take care of things that I think require the more human touch, which would be calling my clients up on the phone and connecting with them that way, rather than having to spend all my time trying to type correctly or figure <laugh>, you know, figure out what it is that I need to say. And so I wanna use those tools to, uh, my advantage to make myself more efficient in my business.
Also, there's a great new program, uh, speaking of AI called Chat GPT. If you haven't tried it, I suggest you get yourself an account. Um, it's a really wonderful, wonderful open source AI program that you can pretty much ask it to do just about anything. Um, and I actually have been using it to compose quick emails where normally I'd have to be thinking about my response. I could say, uh, can you create an email to introduce myself to a potential client in the voiceover industry and ask if I can send them my demos? And it will actually come up with a really beautifully written email, which you can then use as a springboard to kind of personalize and just use your own words within that so that you're not completely sounding like an AI-generated email. But I think you will really be impressed if you try that out. And not only can it write emails, but it can write code. It can, uh, it can generate all sorts of really interesting answers to questions that you might ask it, and it is free right now. And so I highly encourage you to go check it out and see how that might help you be more efficient in your voiceover business.
So don't forget, guys, work smarter, not harder, and let's grow our VO businesses. Thanks so much for watching. I'll see you next week.
Thanks for reading!
Keep on rocking your business like a #VOBOSS
About Anne Ganguzza
Recipient of multiple Voice Arts Awards for Outstanding Narration Demo - Anne Ganguzza is California-based Voice Over Coach and award-winning Director & Producer specializing in target-marketed voiceover Demo Production. Anne's production team creates SOVAS-nominated demos across several genres, including Commercial, Corporate Narration, and eLearning, and her VO BOSS podcast is the winner of SOVAS Outstanding Podcast in 2022.