How This Podcaster Uses General Transcriptionists -- and Why He Doesn't Outsource to Save Money

Did you know trained, competent general transcriptionists are in huge demand by podcasters?

We interviewed a business podcaster to prove it to you.

Podcasters like our guest today use general transcriptionists to help their quality audio content reach more people online.

If you've read our other posts on people who use transcriptionists, you know online businesses of all kinds have a need and use for transcriptionists. Well, it may surprise you to learn that even we use general transcriptionists to help us create our blog posts! That's right: we actually created this entire 1,900-word blog post from a 10-minute audio interview we did with our guest.

Pretty cool, huh?

Meet Podcaster Charlie Poznek

Charlie Poznek is a podcaster and consultant over at The Boomer Business Owner. "My market is baby boomer-ish aged people," says Charlie. "Even early 40’s and above, which is a little younger than a baby boomer -- people who are either looking to start an online business or maybe have dipped their toe in the water and haven’t really gotten very far with it."

Charlie's primary goal with his podcast is to expose his listeners to people they didn't know before listening to the podcast. "With my podcast, I seek to interview successful online entrepreneurs or successful entrepreneurs with a good, solid online presence so that the listener can gain, if nothing else, some good distinctions. They can learn a thing or two about starting a business in general and online business specifically," he says.

Why Charlie Uses General Transcriptionists for His Podcast

Charlie provides actual transcripts from all of his podcast episodes -- over 400 of them!

Some podcasters simply publish something called "show notes," which are an abbreviated, sometimes bare-bones summary of the podcast. But Charlie publishes every single word from his guest interviews, and he does it for his audience's benefit.

"Just because I choose audio as a method to create content doesn’t mean the people who are ingesting my content prefer audio as well," Charlie says. "I’m very conscious of that. I don’t want to just appeal to people who are happy to listen."

Wow! Incredibly smart -- if you only have the audio, only the listeners get the full value. What about the readers? I'll bet there are plenty of baby boomers who haven't figured out podcasting yet. So to reach more people, Charlie uses transcription to bring the full value of his content to as many people as possible.

Transcription Helps Charlie Create Quality Content that Search Engines Love -- and He Saves a TON of Time in the Process

"An average transcription is 15 pages and I have almost 400 episodes. That’s 6,000 pages of content I have on my website," says Charlie.

"If I ever chose to write a book, for example, 10 Great Tips from Successful Online Entrepreneurs, I could skim though or have somebody skim through the transcripts and put together things like eBooks," he says.

This is brilliant -- Charlie has realized that not only can he reach more people with useful, evergreen written content on his website, he can also save a ton of time by using the audio content for his blog and to get his message out in other media, like eBooks. Why spend 10x more time creating extra content separate from the audio -- when he can simply transform the high-value audio interviews into text for maximum exposure?

Podcasting is a Ripe Niche Market for Qualified General Transcriptionists

If you have text on your website, people can find you online.  People are Googling literally millions of things per second. You might have an amazing interview that addresses exactly what someone's looking for, but it's not going to come up in the search results if it's just a video or an audio, so the podcasters out there who are not using transcription are actually falling behind.

But not podcasters like Charlie.

Sure, it's cheaper for them to just have the audio, but if you ask podcasters if they want more traffic or less traffic, chances are high they'll say they want more. They want to reach more than just the people who are able to download and/or listen. The fact is, if they’re not providing text in addition to audio, they're losing a lot of their potential audience.

Charlie's Experience Hiring Transcriptionists

"When I decided I wanted to [add transcripts to my episodes], I went to my favorite place, Elance, and learned lots about transcription," says Charlie.

Elance can be a scary place for both freelancers and people in need of freelancers. But Charlie had a specific plan of action to weed through the applicants. "I had about 60 people bid on doing work for me. I wound up hiring 4 or 5 of them, gave them different jobs, and I saw how responsive they were," he says.

Translation? If you are untrained, do crappy work or are slow to respond, you're not going to get hired by high-paying podcasters. But guess what -- if you are trained, do excellent work, and can respond timely -- you will fare much better when it comes to getting great ongoing work with podcasters.

BONUS TIP: Enroll in our free mini-course, Transcription Foundations, to learn more about what it takes to become an excellent, well-paid transcriptionist.

Transcription Rates: You Get What You Pay For

Yeah, we know -- some general transcriptionists offer rock-bottom rates.

We get tons of emails from people who assume there's no work out there because "all the work's being outsourced." They're concerned that even after they complete our rigorous training, they won't be able to get clients because people prefer low prices over quality.

That's simply not true -- and you probably heard that "fact" uttered by someone who doesn't know what we know about the true availability and demand for transcription work worldwide.

"There’s kind of a pricing bell curve in that, on the high end of the spectrum, you’re looking at probably $1.50 an audio minute for excellent quality transcription. Then, on the low end, if you have somebody where English isn’t their primary language, you may get as low $.25 or so per audio minute, with $1.00 being sort of the average," Charlie shared.

For a successful business person like Charlie, it's very much worth it to pay for the excellent quality. "I chose someone at the higher end of the spectrum, and she’s $1.50 an audio minute. I need to be able to rely on this person. I need to like them. I need to enjoy interacting with them via email. I need to enjoy interacting with them verbally. I need them to do what they say they’re going to do in a timely manner."

Why Charlie Doesn't Outsource to Non-Native English-Speaking Transcriptionists

A hot topic in the transcription world is outsourcing. Podcasters like Charlie can hire people whose first language is not English. In Charlie's experience, non-native speakers can offer a better price, but they can't offer excellence. "Stacey, who I use right now, is just superb, spectacular. Could I get it done for a lower price? Absolutely, but I’m very happy with her as part of my team.

We asked Charlie why he chooses the "excellence" route over the "cheap" route.

"[Excellent transcripts are] representative of my brand. So if you went to my website and you downloaded a transcript, and you’re looking and it doesn’t read well, it’s a negative reflection on my brand," says Charlie.

The lesson here? Excellent transcription is about more than just typing out words. "Stacey will do research. If she can’t understand how to spell something, she’ll do research. And, when she sends me the transcript, she’ll say, 'You know, I tried, but I could not figure out the spelling of this person’s name, even though they said it three times. I couldn’t find them online. Or they mentioned something when they were talking, I couldn’t find that.'" Charlie can just pop in quickly and fix the spelling himself -- but everything else is done and ready for him to add to his content-rich website.

Excellent transcription includes going the extra mile. "It’s just that little extra, going above and beyond to make sure the reading experience you have is a good quality reading experience that’s positively reflective of my brand," says Charlie.

Transcriptionists Who Cut Corners Don't Make the Cut

When podcasters use transcriptionists, it's not just helping them put a bunch of words on their websites so Google can find 'em. Google actually hates low-quality words and has algorithms built in to detect sites with tons of words that were thrown up in attempt to trick the search engines. In short, if a podcaster chooses to pay $.60 per audio minute, they're going to get what they pay for.

We love that Charlie mentioned that his transcriptionist does research and adds that little extra. She really makes what he pays her totally worth it! And obviously, her fluent English skills save Charlie time in the long run.

He doesn’t have to go through and edit it or pay someone else to edit it, which costs him more time and money overall anyway. If he went the cheap route, he'd have to either:

A) accept crappy work,

B) spend time editing it himself so it's not crappy, or

C) pay more money to have it edited separately from the transcriptionist who can't edit properly.

None of these are good options. So Charlie opts for a top-quality, trained transcriptionist.

"We’ve gotten to the point where Stacey understands the concept of the show notes [for a podcast], so we set up a template for show notes. I oftentimes have her do the show notes. She can fill it in and do that, so that’s another value add to me. It’s just a really great experience," says Charlie. "Sadly, some people are more concerned about the money than they are the quality and that’s the antithesis of what I’m going for."

What people who do outsource don't realize, however, is that the quality they sacrifice in order to save some greenbacks ultimately hurts them -- and their Google ranking -- in the end.

Working in stark contrast to corner-cutting and quality-sacrificing, Charlie thrives. Since his transcriptionist knows how to use punctuation, can format to his preferences, and can return a beautiful finished product in a reasonable time frame -- and never cuts corners -- Charlie makes a positive impression both on Google and his audience because he ends up with very high-quality content on his website.

Our Take

Charlie is solid proof there are podcasters out there who are willing to invest in high-quality transcriptionists -- transcriptionists who are dedicated to not just making their own money but to adding value to their clients' businesses. They know what they're doing and they do it with excellence. In turn, Charlie's brand makes a smashingly good impression, and more people can find him online thanks to the high-quality text he has available.

For $1.50 a minute, Charlie is able to get a finished product, and he doesn’t have to spend any more time or money to get it that way after his transcriptionist is finished with it. On the other hand, people who cut corners are going to end up doing either A) more work or B) not having as good of a quality product, and that’s not going to reflect very well on them.

Podcasters compete to get more listens, downloads, and traffic to their websites, so it's in their best interest to do everything they can to drive that traffic in as many ways as possible. Providing transcripts of their episodes is a genius way to do that.

Want to learn more about Charlie? Visit him on Twitter.

Your Turn!

What do you think about Charlie's use of general transcriptionists? Do you listen to podcasts? Why or why not? Do you see value in the written word vs. only audio and/or video content? Leave a comment below!

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