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:
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.
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.
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.
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!