We've got several other posts here on the TA blog detailing the demand for transcription services worldwide. We love to profile business owners, podcasters, experts, and authors who use the services of general transcriptionists... and we're going to keep publishing them forever!
Because the demand for transcription is huge.
You don't have to sit there and take peanuts for pay. There is much higher-paying work out there than what you can get from the "big-box" transcription companies. You can learn not only how to get an edge by becoming not just a ho-hum transcriptionist but an excellent transcriptionist -- you can also learn how to find and network with higher-paying clients.
You can help incredible people create incredible content -- and get paid for the value you provide. If you can learn how to provide that value and find the people who need it, your possibilities as a transcriptionist will be limitless.
I want to introduce you to best-selling author Bob McIntosh to illustrate these points and to show you how authors use transcriptionists.
Bob McIntosh owns several successful businesses from Real Estate to coaching and speaking. He has taught internet marketing and mindset to over 3,000 new entrepreneurs in the last three years, and he's a #1 best-selling author on Amazon for his book, Get Out Of Your Own Way, in which he discusses how to immediately start shifting your thought patterns to have more success in business.
(Side note: We actually recommend this book! Too many people are letting fear get in their way of even trying -- but they don't realize that if they don't even try, they've already failed!).
"I used a general transcriptionist when I wrote my book," says Bob. "I recorded audio and had it transcribed rather than typing it out." For Bob, speaking is much faster than writing. "I am a speaker not really a writer. I sat down and recorded audio for my book in six straight hours with no problem, [but] it took me almost an entire day (~12 hours) to type up just half of the first chapter, which was the shortest one!" Bob explained.
For many entrepreneurs, it is simply a matter of time. Bob finished an entire book in six hours instead of what would likely have been a six-month process of typing had he gone the written route.
Bob uses general transcriptionists for other things, too. "I use them for all my videos -- generally Periscope videos uploaded to YouTube. This helps create blog posts and is better for SEO," he says. "I use Periscope to gain new clients and engage with my audience, same with YouTube. I can take the transcription of a video and make it into a blog post."
Bob says, "I am providing content and value on the videos, so I may as well also turn them into written content. This is good because Google -- and other search engines -- like text better than video. Their robots can understand text, but they can't interpret a video. Also, the transcription files can be converted into SRT files (essentially closed caption files), and this also helps with SEO on videos. From there, that written text can also be converted into eBooks or other "freebies" to give away for building my subscriber list on my website."
So again, it comes down to time! Bob can spend 6-10 minutes on a Periscope and then, using transcription services, generate 3+ pieces of written content out of it. The combination of video and transcriptionists helps entrepreneurs like Bob create more content for his website faster than he would be able to if he was typing it all himself.
"Speed and accuracy are the two most important qualities," says Bob. "Then after that comes an ability to remove certain filler and unnecessary content, like um's and ah's, and if you're on Periscope, the ability to remove any irrelevant conversations with the question askers." So pretty much, if it's relevant to the video, keep it (and clean it up!), but if it's not, be smart enough to remove it.
The one who did my book transcription was okay," Bob says. "I wasn't super worried about it because the file was going to an editor to clean up, but I did find many things that were typed incorrectly, or were things I had said in the audio but didn't necessarily make sense."
"When you talk, we have a much different voice than when we write. I think a good transcriptionist can weave the two together without mixing up the context or content of what you're saying."
Let's unpack that. Bob's talking about "standard verbatim" transcription style -- it's important to know the difference between standard and strict verbatim, and that's why we include a full lesson plus a quiz on this very topic within the intensive course, General Transcription: Theory and Practice™
As a book author and business owner, Bob's not alone! I (Janet) have personally aided authors just like Bob to create their books. Authors use transcriptionists because it saves them tons of time. With millions of books being written and published each year, the opportunities for transcriptionists are ripe for the picking... if you know what you're doing.
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.