So whether you’re an online entrpreneur with a website or podcast or just an indivdual wanting to give out a number that won’t ring your phone, there is a simple solution to create a free voicemail service inbox that will transcribe the calls, record incoming calls, and have a download option available! And did I mention it’s completely free?
It’s Google Voice.
Really and truly it is. It just takes a tiny bit of set-up that you should be able to do in about 10 minutes. And it’s a way to not only have a voicemail box where people can really call you, but they can also text you too! And it doesn’t have to come to your phone.
When I started blogging several years ago, it was when no one wanted their name or face associated with their online prescence.
Because it was scary.
But I wanted brands to contact me.
But I didn’t want them waking my kids up from naps.
At the time, Google offered a call me button or widget that I put on my website. It was even a way that I could ensure spammers wouldn’t get my number. They retired that service, but in that time, I have become a believer in Google Voice and all it can do for you!
In fact, I got my neighbor to set up a free phone number to use for her craigslist ads. So really, the application goes much further than just business.
Plus, you can create diffeent messages for different callers!
Why your digital marketing plan should have a voicemail number
Plain and simple. It builds your following by giving them an outlet to reach you. Even if you’re not a podcaster or youtuber where your fans know your voice, it’s a 10 second snippet of you. They feel like they’re truly connecting with te person behind it all and it’s not just another big internet business.
But if you are a youtuber or podcast producer, you can collect those voices to use in our productions… with permission of course. There is a download option and it’s a super seamless way to collect user questions and comments.
How to give your blog or podcast free downloadable voicemail service
First you have to have a google account. But most people do because it’s 2016. If not, go snatch one or two up and head over to Google Voice.
I created a specific gmail that is for my newsletter. And that is the email I created my voicemail account on because it’s all community in a sense.
You will go through accepting their terms and adding your phone number. Don’t lose me here. I have a perfectly good solution to making sure your number isn’t associated if you don’t want it to be. (Not that anyone would ever see it, but in case you don’t want your phone to ring from google voice. Ever.)
Then you will get to a page where you actually get to choose your number. You can choose by location, by number sequence, or even to make it spell out a fun word.
So when I went in a set up a second google voice number, I actually looked for a way to spell EGPpodcast (Extremely Good Parenting). I didn’t quite get it, but substituted the s for a 5 and got closer, but I still wasn’t completely satisfied. So my number for my podcast is (657) 234-7763 because it is (657) 2-EGP-POD. It worked for me. In my mind 2 can relate to “to” as in you’re sending a message to someone and that someone is the EGP Pod.
It doens’t matter if anyone else does, but I liked it best out of everything I could find.
One of the things I love most about Google Voice is that I can set up voicemail messages. You will want to go into settings and then record via “Voicemail & Text”. At this point you have to have your phone number connected because you will record through them calling you.
You can set up multiple greetings (just name them accordingly) so that for instance if you have a phone call from a potential advertiser, you can add them to a group with a specific message.
How to make sure the voicemail messages get recorded
Probably your most important step here.
Go to the calls tab in settings.
You can set up call screening in case you’re leaving your real phone number attached to it. You can also choose to do a lot of thing like even making a do not disturb setting if you’re on vacation or sleeping or whatever.
But near the bottom there’s a spot called “Call Options”. CHECK THAT BOX! It will enable you to record phone calls even if you’re not solely using it as voicemail.
Next you go into Groups & Circles
There you can set up who gets what message, what it rings (if anything), and you ensure that everyone is hearing what you want them to hear. For me it’s the same message across the board for this number and I have taken all forwarding off so it just goes to my inbox and not anywhere else.
So here’s probably the trickiest part of your process. If you want to remove your phone number, you will have to verifiy your phone in a DIFFERENT gmail acocunt for google voice. But once it’s confirmed for your other account, the one you have to recieve voicemails only goes to your google account inbox and to voicemail. Nifty, right?
Finally, how do you download voicemails to use or save?
Pretty easy, really. Go into your inbox and you will find all your messages transcribed and with a little play button. But there is also a drop-down option next to “Call, Text, More” Click it and you will find a download option. And BAM. You’re done!
Listen to my test recording:
So it may seem daunting, but I promise it’s not only worth it, but it’s pretty easy to use! And the best part?
Go ahead. Call me.
See for yourself! And maybe even leave me a voicemail if you’re awesome.