Five Ways to Set Yourself Apart as a Great Transcriptionist

how-to and resources Nov 30, 2022

As I've said before, transcriptionists are in high demand. But oftentimes, clients aren’t content to have just a good transcriptionist. They want someone who truly stands out in the field and sets themselves apart as a great transcriptionist... someone who takes their work seriously, who has a great work ethic, and puts things in place to help them succeed.

So what are some ways you can stand out to your clients? Below is a list of five things that, if implemented, can help you get clients and keep the work coming!

1. Communicate with your clients

Good communication is one of the most important things for you to implement in life. Not only is it of utmost importance with your friends and family, but it also trickles down to the freelancing workspace... or any workspace for that matter. Do you have questions about format? Do you need the spelling of someone’s name you can't find online? Always ask for clarification. Never guess! Go over the deadline, any extra instructions, the subject matter of the file -- all of it -- with your clients before you take on a project. Most of the time, they'll be glad you asked.

2. Create a checklist

A checklist is a very helpful tool to help you remember the details of a client’s preferences before you submit your work. Be aware of your own weaknesses and include things in your checklist to overcome them. For instance, do you struggle with remembering to insert timecode? Include that in your checklist. Do you forget to use the correct font? Make sure that gets added also. If there’s anything that can help you turn in a clean, client-specific file, put that on your checklist. It's better to do these things BEFORE sending off the file rather than realizing your mistake afterward. You'll save yourself time and embarrassment this way!

3. Make yourself available

Say your client has a last-minute file that needs to be done with a very tight turnaround time, but you were just about to go do something else. How do you handle the situation? Sometimes our schedules don’t have much wiggle room when something like that comes up, but if you can move some tasks around in your day, it will go a long way to show your client that you're dependable. Dependability and reliability are two must-have traits as a transcriptionist... or any freelancer, really. Show your clients that you'll be there for them, and the work will keep flowing!

4. Proofread, proofread, proofread

For fellow word nerds, what’s worse than coming across a misspelled word or improper use of the word “there”? Often, you will have to type exactly what the person says, improper verb tense and all, but aside from that, it's important to make sure the transcript is clean and error free. Save yourself some embarrassment and proofread your file carefully. Then proofread it again if you think you need to. It definitely won’t hurt :-)

5. Live and breathe by the deadline

When you know the deadline for a project, it’s of the utmost importance that you do what it takes to meet it, or better yet, exceed it. Turning in work late can be detrimental to your relationship with a client, and you likely won’t get more work from them in the future. If, for some reason, you can’t meet a deadline, be sure to communicate with them and explain in detail why. Remember, as I said earlier, communication is important! Do you want repeat work? Meet the deadline. Do you really want to impress your clients? Turn your work in early.

Our Take

Anybody can be a good transcriptionist, but if you want continuous work and want to impress your clients -- and even let your reputation precede you -- then applying these tactics can go a long way to help you stand out from the crowd. You will be not just a good transcriptionist but a GREAT transcriptionist, and the work will always be there!

Your Turn

What are some other tips or tactics that can help you to become a great transcriptionist? Share them with us via email: [email protected]

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