Charly’s Story: Transcription Is a Doorway to the World

Uncategorized Jan 21, 2021

You know that transcription is an opportunity to develop skills and launch a business.

But what if I told you that you could also:

  • do meaningful work (as in work you really enjoy and find meaning in)
  • spend quality time with family first
  • and see the world

Sounds like an impossible dream, right?

It’s not. 

Today, Charly shares her inspiring story with us. I know I’m newly inspired to lean into the flexibility this career brings. After reading Charly’s story, I think you will be too.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I worked as an office manager and personal assistant before becoming a mummy to a little boy in April 2018. So I had been a full-time mother for nearly two years before I found Transcribe Anywhere.

What made you decide to learn general transcription?

I started the Transcribe Anywhere course at the end of December 2019. All in all, it took about three months to complete, and that was doing a couple of hours of study and practice most days a week. My sole focus was to be able to do work that could be done anywhere at any time as I was planning to be travelling around Europe in a van with my family. I thought transcription would be something that I could do, that I would enjoy, and it didn’t need a lot of equipment, which is always a plus when you’re living in a small space!

I read a blog interview with a transcriptionist who mentioned how good the TA course was, and I loved the idea of following a course because I didn’t have a clue about what was involved, how to do it, what was needed, where to get clients, or anything really!

What was the most challenging part of getting started?

Just making the decision to actually go for it and do the course. I ended up paying for the course in stages. So I only initially paid for level one because I thought, if I don’t like it, at least I haven’t wasted a lot of money. However, as soon as I started, I knew it was for me; I got into it right away.

What was the most valuable thing you learned during the course?

A lot of things! Grammar. I had very little understanding of rules of grammar, and the course taught me so much. Having so many practice audio files to go through was really valuable too; I could feel my typing speed getting faster as the course progressed. So much of it was valuable. I didn’t know anything about transcribing or transcription work before, so the fact that one course can take you from zero to expert was amazing.

How long did it take you to find your first client? How many clients do you have now?

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.

It made me realize 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.

I’m lucky - my first client has a twice weekly podcast and a back catalogue of episodes that gives me all the work I can personally manage. So now I’m looking to expand the business.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about becoming a general transcriptionist? 

If you have never done transcription work before, definitely do the course! You’ll learn so much from it and save so much time and money from not making beginner mistakes that it’s absolutely worth it. I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t done the Transcribe Anywhere course.

If becoming a transcriptionist is a complete career change for you like it was for me, maybe do what I did and choose the pay-as-you-go option. I think once you start on level one, you’ll realize how thorough it is and feel happier about continuing with the investment.

What do you think it takes to be a good transcriptionist?

If you’re in any doubt whatsoever about the spelling of a word, a name, or a term because you don’t recognize it, always look it up and try your best to figure it out. Never just guess, even if you’re 95% sure!

Another important thing is to be consistent with everything. And if something you’re doing breaks from the norm for whatever reason, communicate it upfront with your client so they don’t have to ask you or check with you what’s happening.

What success moment are you most proud of so far? What is the next goal you are excited to work toward?

Getting really positive feedback from my client after the first transcript I sent her really made me feel great and confident that I can actually do this well.

The next thing I want to do is build up my client base and invite other TA course graduates onto the team. One of the challenges after graduating for a lot of people is finding good work, so I’d like to support others who have made the journey and don’t necessarily want to start their own business. I love the idea of being able to provide work for other people, especially parents who want to work from home to spend more time with their children. This work is amazing for that.

What gives you faith that Transcribe Anywhere course graduates are going to be able to produce quality transcripts for your business? 

Transcribe Anywhere graduates are a perfect fit for Connected Transcriptions because I know they will have been through the whole training process from start to finish and would have been taught everything well. To graduate the Transcribe Anywhere course, you need to know what you are doing.  Everything you need to know is included in the course; you just have to be persistent and practice and have great attention to detail. It’s just good to know that if someone is a TA graduate, then at least as far as transcriptions go, we’ll be on the same page having had the same training.

Can you give a snapshot of what your life situation is now?

At the moment my partner and I and our little boy are living in Spain. This lifestyle is literally a dream come true for us. I work in the morning before my little boy gets up and then again in the afternoon when he’s asleep and whenever else I need to. If my partner is with him, I can work in the evenings too. Basically, I just fit my work around my family life which is just incredible. A lot of our time is spent outside connecting with nature together as a family, going for walks, going to the beach, or just playing together. We’re really lucky.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your journey?

Actually, yes. It’s opened up a whole new world for me, I have to say. My client is a very cool lady. I love her work. She helps a lot of people, and she has a really fantastic message of self-empowerment. So I am working, but the content I’m transcribing is actually helping me personally and in my relationships, too.

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.

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