4 Top General Transcriptionists Give their Best Advice for Success (in 2021)

Aug 04, 2021 by Janet Shaughnessy

General transcription is a great field for someone looking for a career where they can work remotely from anywhere. However, it is not always easy (which makes the rewards of success that much sweeter!) That is why we went to our top graduates who have found great success and love the lifestyle they are living while working in general transcription and legal transcription. We are excited to share their stories and share their best advice for success in this field!

1. To be a great transcriptionist, “you need a lot of practice and experience so you can quickly and accurately type the exact words that a person says into text that is easily readable. You also need to be timely with deadlines and organized with things such as computer files and billing.” - Joanna

Before Transcribe Anywhere (TA), Joanna was a middle school science teacher. In her words, “I was burned out and stressed out and didn't have anything left to give to my students.” Other life circumstances, such as the end of her marriage and her child moving to college, also motivated her to look for a change. “I wanted to find meaningful work that I enjoyed and could do from home so that I could have a more flexible schedule and take care of myself for a change.”

After reading an interview of a TA graduate, she tried out our free mini-course and decided to dive into our general transcription course.

In her words, the course was more than worth it. It will “give you all the skills you need to be a successful transcriptionist. There is a lot to learn in terms of how to make your transcripts accurate and readable. Through the course, you will do a lot of practice transcribing and have the opportunity to get feedback via the answer keys and the staff at TA.”

After more than a year since graduation, Joanna is so satisfied with working for herself and earning income on her own terms. “I look forward to the work I do each day, and if there is a day when I just don’t feel like working, I don’t have to!  How awesome is that?!  I am also earning more as time goes on, which is great. As I get more efficient at transcribing, I can transcribe more audio minutes in the same amount of time, so my earnings go up. Also, as I have gained experience, I can charge more for my services, and that also increases my earnings.” 


Joanna’s success is truly inspirational. She shares productivity tips for business owners working from home, transcription tips for general transcriptionists, and transcription tool reviews on her website Norman Transcription.

 

2. “Be open to being taught. Transcription is a completely different skill set than typing or writing. There will be skills you have that are going to have to be tweaked to accommodate this very specific work. Be open to it.” - Araceli

Araceli was a stay-at-home mom for 8 years before she considered re-entering the workforce. She found TA because of her natural love for reading, her knack for words, and her enjoyment of desk work. Plus, she was looking for something to work with her schedule where she could be home for children after school.

Her 2 biggest takeaways from completing the course are 

  1. “Our clients want their words, not what we believe their words should be,” regardless of the grammar errors the transcriptionist hears. 
  2. The confidence that comes from mastering the various styles and forms of transcription. “When a client requests a specific type of document, I know that I will be able to meet, and usually surpass, their expectations thanks to the bank of knowledge I obtained through the course.”

While her simple desire to type was the motivation behind starting general transcription, Araceli has really stepped into her power as a business owner, serving multiple industries as the owner of Cristal Clear Transcription. She has even talked about expanding to hiring her own team someday soon!


3. "I only wanted to be transcribing content that I was actually interested in and believed in and that was helping people and the planet. So I stopped applying to agencies, started my own business -- following the steps in the course -- and found my first client. That whole process took about 2 months from the time I finished the course." - Charly

Charly worked as an office manager and assistant before becoming a mother. After 2 years at home with her little boy, she considered how to build a lifestyle where her family could travel around Europe by van. (How exciting!)

The TA course gave her all the knowledge she needed to learn grammar, practice her typing speed, and become an efficient, accurate transcriber. “The fact that one course can take you from zero to expert was amazing!”

One thing we love about Charly is how she pursued material in industries where she had an interest. “Just as I finished the course, a film director I love started doing a series of Facebook Live interviews with people from around the world who were featured in her film. I reached out to her and offered to transcribe her interviews to give me some practice and to support her work.”

“Hearing myself talk like this is actually crazy because this was the secret vision and dream that really made me decide to become a transcriptionist in the first place: the freedom, the lifestyle, and the content I would be transcribing that is useful and inspiring to me and to others.”

Now that she has built her dream lifestyle working around her little boy’s needs and living in Spain, Charly continues to serve clients through her business Connected Transcriptions. 

 

4. “Consider your interests and your strengths. If you have a love of learning and a love of the English language, transcription definitely fits the bill. It's hard work, but being able to work from home and working for yourself gives you far more opportunities for advancement than most employee situations ever will.” - Marsha

Marsha originally started in education, then pivoted to legal secretarial work, which in turn led to court reporting. It was there where she had her first experience with legal transcription, a more highly specialized field than typical general transcription.


As she approached retirement, she was looking for alternative ways to continue generating income while enjoying a flexible work schedule. When she found the TA courses, the most valuable pieces for her were the marketing trainings and the guidance on how to find clients. In fact, “within about two weeks of finishing the course, I had contracted with a general transcription company, and I continue to work with them to this day.”

Actually, anyone who has joined our course recently probably recognizes Marsha’s name as well. She serves on our Transcribe Anywhere team as a virtual assistant as well as a mentor and instructor to our students. In fact, we love supporting all of our students in our student Facebook group where we help with troubleshooting and encouragement. 

 

Now the part you really want to know… We asked our students this question & received some eye-popping answers! 

“What is your favorite part of being a general transcriptionist?” 

I love that every job you do is different. I have transcribed people working on their dissertation as well as an old interview with Jeffrey Dahmer (shiver). You never know what you are going to get with general transcription! - Jessica

I loved the education I got with each job, even with the practice dictations. I’ve learned about famine relief in Kenya, jazz, home improvement, and Native American healthcare issues. - Max

My favorite part is the control it gives me over my time and life. I get to choose what I work on, how long I feel like working, when and where I work. No more requesting days off or having to work if I don't feel like it. I am the boss! - Elizabeth

I really like the flexibility. I can work at 1am in my pj's if I want to. I can work five days this week and half a day next week. I LOVE the Nosey Nelly factor. I can listen in on conversations and learn so many new things. - Michelle

I love the flexibility. I am a former high school teacher, where your life is scheduled to the minute and fairly inflexible. I love being able to schedule when I work and what my workload is each week. I might get up at 5:30 and knock out several hours of work and have lots of daytime free, or I might have more of a typical workday. Either way, I get to choose what works and that's the part I truly appreciate. Plus I can drink all the water I want and not have to worry about when I can next get to a restroom - Sue

Don’t you just love hearing these stories of real people who have made this leap and found success in this career? Ready to build your own flexible career in transcription with amazing support from Janet and the Transcribe Anywhere community? Imagine what this could mean for the way you want to enjoy life and how you can provide for your family! Get started easily today with our free mini-course to find out if transcription is the right choice for you.

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What separates a ho-hum transcriptionist from an excellent one? Is there even a demand for transcription? Who hires transcriptionists? 
 
 Can anyone be a transcriptionist? 

Get the answers to all these questions and more by enrolling in my free introductory course, Transcription Foundations.

For our legal transcription mini-course, click here.