8 Tips for Beginners to Get Started Doing Transcription Work

how-to and resources Jan 05, 2023

8 Tips for Beginners to Get Started Doing Transcription Work

Are you interested in doing transcription work?  Want to start your own work-from-home career in the transcription field?

You might be in the same boat as Kandee.

She was working as a sales rep for a large manufacturing company.  She had a wake-up call and realized she wanted to stop making money for other people’s dreams and start making money for her own.  So, she quit and started her transcription business. Read more about Kandee’s story here.

If you’re on the fence, we recommend you take our free mini-course which gives you a pulse check to see if transcription is really for you.  It’s a 7-lesson course and you’ll love it! Keep reading for our 8 tips for beginners to get you started doing transcription work.

Transcription Work for Beginners

Transcription is a great career to break into. You have flexibility, freedom, and you can be your own boss doing something you love from the comfort of home.  Once you are trained to do transcription work, it can be challenging to start finding work, get organized, and transition to your work from home setting, but it doesn’t have to be. Take a look.

1.      Get Started

The biggest challenge for many is just getting started.  A lot of people get stuck in the research phase for a long time.  Once you’ve made the decision to pursue transcription, go for it and get started! Taking action is the best thing you can do to get you one step closer to reaching your goal of being a transcriptionist.

2.      Grow Your Skills

You might see transcription jobs advertised with no experience or skills needed but you really do need training to be an excellent transcriptionist.  If you are inexperienced, we recommend you start with one of these courses.

3.      Pick a Focus

There are many kinds of transcription opportunities available:

  • General transcription
  • Medical transcription*
  • Legal transcription

So, what’s the difference between general transcription, medical transcription, and legal transcription?

All three require training on how to transcribe effectively.

General transcription clients can include:

  • Filmmakers
  • Podcasters
  • Authors
  • Commercials
  • Marketing professionals

This is all transcription work that does not fall into the legal or medical category.

Legal transcription involves transcribing legal proceedings.

*Medical transcription is the process of transcribing audio medical reports dictated by physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals. However, although I began my work-at-home transcription career as a medical transcriptionist, I no longer offer those services and I don’t teach it. The demand, along with the pay, for qualified MTs has decreased pretty dramatically with the adoption of the medical record. Please don’t waste your time and effort training in this specialty.

4.      Get Organized

To be successful in the transcription industry, get organized!  When you are trained and taking on transcription clients, being organized will help you work more efficiently and meet your deadlines.  Take a look at these 3 tools to help you get organized.

Need more organization tools/apps to try?

Try these:

  • Zoho: This is all about project management. Stay on top of your tasks and track upcoming work using this project management tool.
  • Toggl: Track your time and stay on top of projects effortlessly, to help you work better independently, get things done, and meet your deadlines.
  • Mailstrom: Go too much mail in your email inbox? Unsubscribe faster and easier than ever in just a few clicks.

Look at the entire list of 10 more tools to keep you organized this year.

5.      Get Support

Nothing is better than collaborating in a supportive environment with like-minded people in your field.  Join social media groups for transcriptionists!

These groups are supportive and exist to help transcriptionists connect with one another, ask questions, share their expertise, vent their gripes, and more.  Take a look at these Facebook transcription groups we found:

** TA Transcriptionists is a closed group for students and graduates of Transcribe Anywhere only.

6.      Be prepared to work from home

This sounds like a dream to many, working from home but, it can have its pitfalls. Avoid them with these tips:

  • Make sure you are disciplined
  • Set up a good work space
  • Create a schedule
  • Set your priorities

Make Sure You Have Discipline

Working at home can be full of distractions.  You should know yourself, know what works best for you, and be self-disciplined.  Use some (or all) of the organization tools we mentioned above to help you get the most done working from home.

Setting Up a Work Space

You should have a good work space to do your work.  This can be a home office or a quiet corner of your home where you can work productively.  Comfort, quiet, and space are important. Keep this in mind when choose the spot you’ll be working in, at home.

Creating a Schedule

Scheduling will help you stay organized and keep on top of all your projects.  Get a digital or physical planner and design your dream schedule.  You’ll be more productive if your schedule centers around things that motivate you like an early lunch or working late into the evening.

Set Priorities

This can be one of the most important things you do when working from home.  Distractions are everywhere.  Hone in and focus on your business so you can get projects done.

7.      Facing Challenges Head On

When you think about working at home as a transcriptionist, you may not think about some of these common challenges that can arise, like:

  • Long, boring files
  • Difficult clients
  • Tight deadlines
  • Body aches

Take a look at how to cope with these challenges.

8.      Finding Clients

Finding clients is not as difficult as you might think.  There are many places to find clients including in job banks online like Upwork or freelance marketplaces like Fiverr or Freelancer.  There are creative ways to reel in clients like offering incentives, discounts, referral bonuses and more.

Here are some clients that need transcriptionists:

  • Attorneys
  • Podcasters
  • YouTuber creators
  • Claims adjusters
  • Law enforcements agencies
  • Police departments

Check out the full roundup of 19 transcription clients that need your services.

Our Take

The bottom line is getting started doing transcription work doesn’t have to be hard. Take a look at these tips we shared above to help you start your transcription career.

  • Get started
  • Grow your skills
  • Pick a focus
  • Get organized
  • Get support
  • Be prepared to work from home
  • Face challenges head on
  • Find clients

Your Turn

Are you ready to kick start your transcription career? Comment down below to share your thoughts and ask any questions.

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