image by Dean Shareski

Cleaning House – 4 things I Learned From My Inbox. (Enter At Your Own risk!)

Earlier this week I glanced down at the counter on my email inbox.  It said that I had 2418 messages from my 3 email accounts that I maintain there and the oldest message was from late July 2013!  I’ll pause for a moment to allow my OCD and uber-organized friends to lose their minds.  Finished?  Ok great.

Needless to say I setup a 30 minute block on my calendar to spend cleaning and organizing my email inbox.  (I also will acknowledge my uber-organized friends probably grinning to know I keep a calendar AND added this task to it)  What I found wasn’t just junk advertisements and casting notices long past, but some interestingly helpful and hopeful information, but also frightening and frustrating data.  

Here are the top 4 things I learned:

1.  HOPEFUL

I gained new personal relationships with clients.  Over the 10 months of emails I found that I had began relationships with 54 clients that all started during this time.  In less than a year I added 54 clients that I could email or call and just say “Hi!”  I liked that number a lot and I think I just might pick that phone up and start doing just that.  Honestly most of these clients we only speak as we are scheduling new projects, but I would really like to develop the relationship beyond that.

The Lesson – There is no substitute for building and maintaining great relationships.
 

2.  HELPFUL

I found DOZENS of miscellaneous receipts that I was able to sort and ‘tag’ for tax season.  I missed literally thousands of dollars in receipts this past tax season (which I may be able to file an adjustment) but I also have thousands of dollars in receipts tagged and bagged for this year as well!

The Lesson – That tax bill or refund is much more manageable when you manage your receipts better.  
 

3.  FRIGHTENING

I had 3 questions from clients I never responded to.  Well actually 2 from clients that I still have a relationship with (thank God) and 1 from what seemed it would have been a new client  or at least a relationship that just got lost in the myriad of inbox clutter.  I lucked out that I probably got an email and a phone call with the first 2.  I blew it when I didn’t respond to the question from a potentially new client.

 The Lesson – I can’t wait 10 months to clean out my inbox.  It literally is costing me money.


4.  FRUSTRATING

I did 750+ auditions for non agency work.  This comes from a handful of P2P sites, rosters, directories, etc.  Basically auditions from 3rd party sites.  That number may seem low, but I use those avenues as my last resource instead of first strike and i don’t chase auditions.  I am not knocking the online casting system at all, I think it’s great to see and I’m excited for their future once the business model strengthens.  However I am frustrated that of those auditions and the few dozen jobs I got from them, there is NO RELATIONSHIP with the client who hired me or specifically asked for a custom audition.  I can’t see from the inbox exactly how many were auditions by request, but there are several.  I understand that my agency auditions and work I also rarely deal with the client directly, but my agent does on my behalf.  I don’t like that in an industry where relationship with the client is paramount to my success that a percentage of my work comes from sources where I am forbidden to deal directly with that client.

The lesson – Online casting is not my enemy, but it also doesn’t work directly on my behalf.


It took me almost an hour, but I gained 2 great things;  a clean inbox AND a sense of perspective.  It’s amazing what spending an hour looking back and cleaning house can do for us moving forward!

1 reply
  1. Debbie Grattan
    Debbie Grattan says:

    Wow, great insights! I agree that relationship building is really the key to ongoing voiceover work. One has to be really creative and diligent these days to maintain and build on those relationships, considering all the competition and distraction. But certainly responding to emails in a timely fashion is a great first step.

    Reply

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