Not only is transcription in demand -- it's in demand all over the world in all types of industries.
Why? Because of online marketing.
It's the online world, and you need to be found... well, online! Search engines are what help companies compete on the web, and using appropriate keywords (text) on their websites is what helps them get an edge over their competition.
We talked to two online marketers who regularly use transcriptionists in their businesses.
Steve Morgan, a freelance SEO consultant based in Cardiff, UK, helps his clients with their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) issues through his online business SEOno. This often involves giving advice on areas such as keyword research, Local SEO, inbound link building, social media marketing, online PR and content marketing.
"[I use them] to transcribe videos and audio of a few speaking gigs that I have done, and in one instance a screencast video that I made and uploaded to YouTube.
When I blogged about the speaking gig afterwards, I included photos from the talk as well as the slide deck embed, the audio/video embed, and then I'll also include a full transcript at the bottom of the posts. I even go so far as to convert every slide into a standalone image and put them alongside the text so that readers can 'follow along' with the slides as if they were there for the talk."
Here's a powerful example of Steve's transcription-enhanced blog posts.
"I’ve worked in Sales & Marketing here for two years now, and content marketing is a major part of my day-to-day responsibility," says John Niggl, head of marketing for InTouch Manufacturing Services, a quality control firm in Shenzhen, China.
(We told you! All over the world!)
"I’ve used contractors to transcribe podcasts and videos," John told us.
"Firstly, it helps with SEO," Steve says. "One of my blog posts jumped from 200 to 8,000 words after I'd added the audio transcript to it."
"Longer posts are great for the 'long-tail' of search: there might have been very specific things that I talked about, which someone might Google and then find the post where I've talked about it."
(All thanks to the transcript!)
"After all, Google doesn't crawl video/audio, so if you want Google to pick up on its content, it's best to put it into text format." We agree!
John says, "Search engines like Google and YouTube don’t yet have accurate automated transcription technology. That is, audio content will not benefit from SEO value and indexing unless it’s manually transcribed."
"Audio content can [also] be transcribed into written content and posted as a blog article, offering a second medium for essentially the same content. Subtitles or captions offer added value to viewers who are watching videos online," says John.
"Someone might prefer to read the text rather than watch the video [or] listen to the audio," says Steve. "They might be in a public place without headphones, so at least they can read the content of the post in the meantime."
"Additionally, if you watch the video and later think, "Hmm, at what point did s/he say [x]", you can search the text for it to find out what was said, instead of trying to find the specific point in the video/audio -- which might [otherwise] be a problem if it's an hour long."
Steve says, "I wouldn't rely on YouTube's auto-transcription. It's been very unreliable for me in the past, and although it's gotten better in recent years, it's still got a long way to go -- it really struggles with unusual accents/dialects especially."
"If you want it done properly, you're best off having it transcribed properly [by] a separate transcriptionist," he says. And we agree -- marketers don't have time to fiddle with editing a horrible transcript done by software. A human is irreplaceable for the quality they want and need in their content.
"Getting it as accurate as possible, so that little editing is required afterwards. Understandably the transcriptionist might struggle with colloquialisms or slang, but if they can get 98%+ of it right, so that I only have to make an edit here or there, then I'm happy," Steve says.
We agree -- but it's the "getting 98%+ of it right" part that's the challenge for most people. So what can you do? GET PROPER TRAINING. There is no point in chasing internet marketers for transcription work if you're going to disappoint them.
"A 'good' transcriptionist is one that can reasonably comprehend a recording and has a solid grasp of written grammar and punctuation," John says. "[But] great transcriptionists will be able to add appropriate timestamps to a transcript to keep it synchronized with the actual timing of the audio, which is important for transcribing subtitles for videos."
John's talking about time coding -- it's an essential add-on skill of transcription that most people don't learn how to do properly -- because it probably wasn't included in their training (if they had training!). Fortunately, General Transcription: Theory & Practice™ includes video tutorials and step-by-step how-to's on how to execute proper and effective time coding.
With the exploding popularity of video all over the internet, transcription is in demand and that demand is rapidly increasing.
Much of that video needs to be turned into a written document to be used for marketing, training, blog or website content, eBooks… the list is endless. Companies of all kinds use transcriptionists. Some are big production companies and others are small mom-and-pop businesses. The demand for qualified transcriptionists will continue to rise.
First, you must know what you're doing.
Don't fall for the idea that transcription is only "listening and typing" -- you can't land high-paying general transcription clients if you think that's all there is to it. Time coding, excellent punctuation, and knowledge of how to format a useable, useful piece of content -- a transcript -- for your client is paramount to keeping your clients happy.
So do yourself a favor and invest in proper training. We'll give you step-by-step tutorials on how to do everything, plus step-by-step guides on how to find higher paying clients in the online marketing world.
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.