Freelance is very popular nowadays. Almost everyone ready to earn and get some good extra profit can find his niche online and work independently. A transcription job is one of the most popular freelance jobs in the market.
Podcasters, business owners, doctors, journalists, lawyers, bloggers, and many other professionals are looking for a good professional transcription service daily. This niche is in high demand, and this demand keeps growing.
Working as a transcriptionist has many perks — from good income to a flexible working schedule. As a freelancer, you can accept only those orders that you are the most interested in. Does it mean that anyone can work as a transcriptionist? Not at all.
Even if you are already running a transcription company, having automated transcription software is not enough for efficient work and meeting the demands of your clientele. Each professional transcriber must possess a range of qualities to become an expert and have a good income.
Here is your checklist on whether you qualify for that job or how to hire real experts into your company, boost your business, and grow your customers. If you do everything properly, you will have quite a stable job or business used by many corporations, businesses, and just individuals.
1. English proficiency
People use transcription services to transfer their messy video or audio files into readable and understandable top-quality texts. Being proficient in English is a must for a transcriptionist. You must know all grammar conventions.
Ideally, you should possess perfect writing skills. Your texts must not contain any grammar, punctuation, spelling mistakes, or typos. Even if the speaker has flaws in his or her speech, your text should not contain them. Pauses must be identified by commas and other punctuation marks.
Having an absolutely clear understanding to add your punctuation is a must. It is also crucial to identify homophones and distinguish between them. Before submitting your transcript, proofreading it is essential.
Customers want to see at least 98% accuracy. Your text must be proofread, edited, and submitted in a proper file with a readable and understandable format. Messy words or abrupt sentences are not what your customers are looking for.
When a client pays, he/she wants to get a full-fledged text written by a professional writer. You must be Jack of all trades — a writer, proofreader, and editor rolled into one.
2. Top listening and comprehensive skills
If you are not a good listener, you will hardly become a great transcriptionist. Top patience is what you need for this job. For that reason, customers prefer human-generated transcripts, although they can easily use automated apps for free.
Videos and audios are rarely smooth. They contain speakers with different accents, background noises, and other obstructions. A good transcriptionist should be able to identify different speakers above all. Hearing in detail being able to discard noises is a must.
Slang is another obstacle that may make your work more complicated. You can charge more for such complications, but if you cannot cope with them, you will never succeed. Most files submitted for transcription are like that.
If you are not making the full verbatim transcription, you should not include all unnecessary words. Good headphones are crucial for a transcriptionist. Grasping what you hear is also significant. Even if you cannot distinguish what is being said, you should be able to understand the context.
When being aware of the content, you can figure out what is being said even if you do not fully hear the sentence and cannot distinguish the speech. Needless to say, the process requires top patience and attention.
Even if you are a perfect writer, editor, and listener but cannot work in terms of the toughest deadlines, becoming a transcriptionist will remain just a dream. Clients search for a fast turnaround time. They are ready to pay more for it.
Business owners, podcasters, and journalists are usually in a hurry. They do not have a lot of time to wait for their perfect transcription for ages. If a podcast publishes episodes twice a week, transcripts must be ready until the next release. It means you should submit their order within a maximum of a couple of days.
4. Multitasking and time management
Transcriptionists are multitaskers. They have to write, proofread, edit, format, catch difficult words, and deal with customers at the same time. This is stressful work, and you always work under pressure. Being able to complete multiple tasks at the moment is a big benefit. Otherwise, you will simply not be able to meet the demand.
Being fast and able to complete many tasks at a time is still not enough. You should manage your time wisely. Once you have some returning customers, you will get lots of orders. It means you should set up your priorities to complete all orders on time and meet the deadlines.
If you have a lot of orders at a time and the deadline is more or less the same, be quick. Complete each order one after another in order of priority. Yes, freelancers have a flexible schedule, but it doesn’t mean they should not stick to deadlines.
Once you accept the order, you must cope with it on time. If you do not possess the time anymore, reject or offer to pick a longer deadline. Never take orders you cannot complete, though. It will damage your reputation, and you will lose your customers.
5. Be online as often as you can
You can get orders at any time of the day and night. People need to transcribe audio text always urgently and every day. If you do not log into your freelance account or website, you risk missing tons of potential orders.
Users prefer using the audio to text converter of those providers who have high response rates. If you work as a freelancer on freelance websites, your response rate is shown right in your profile. If you are not often online, customers will just see a low response rate in your profile and avoid your profile.
For those who cannot afford to be online and get in touch with customers often, it is better to avoid such jobs. You will never be able to raise your clientele if you are not available. Therefore, before intending to become a transcriptionist, check whether you possess all the above-mentioned qualities and, if not, try to acquire them first.