No one ever starts off as an expert. To become an expert in your field and be deemed a professional requires training, effort, determination and experience.
Sonya and I come across people all the time who say, “Oh, I’d love to do what you do. I can type. I’d love to work at home.” While there is no reason at all why people can’t learn how to do what we do, (that’s why we created TranscribeRight), transcription is definitely not simply a question of “typing at home.” As with any other profession, becoming a professional transcriber starts with getting the correct training, and requires a person to be willing to dedicate time and effort to become an expert in their field. Professionalism is a marathon, not a sprint.
Ready, set, go….
First and foremost, you need to have the correct mindset and determination to make this work. Getting training from people who have achieved success in the business of transcription and know it inside out will save time and money in the long run, and will help you to avoid basic pitfalls and mistakes. Two quick tips for success?
- Make sure you start off with the correct tools.
- Make sure that your office space is one where you feel comfortable and somewhere that you can separate from non-work time.
Then, when you feel you have the skills and are ready to start applying for work with transcription companies, or finding your own clients, it is imperative that you make sure that every email, phone call, business card, or website, reflects how you wish your business to be seen. Professionalism means that everything you say and do should be a reflection of your business. Ways to display professionalism include:
- Making sure that you meet deadlines.
- Never taking on work that is beyond your skill level. It’s important to find the “sweet spot,” covered in a previous blog, of where your skill level lies.
- “Under promise and over deliver,” should be your mantra.
- Make sure that you have done a Google search to check names and spellings before returning a transcript.
- Always go back over any timestamps and proofread your transcripts before returning them.
The better your transcript, the more likely you are to get repeat business from a client, or remain on a transcription company’s books. As we’ve mentioned in our blogs before, transcription companies cannot afford the time to do large edits as it eats into their profit margins. And if you are working for a private client, they will not want to see mistakes, or lots of timestamps either. Your ear, and therefore your accuracy, will improve as you become more experienced. Experience cannot be rushed; it simply just takes time, which is why self-checking your work is crucial to success.
Professionals never stop learning. Being an expert means wanting to know more, and wanting to be better. Experts are always asking themselves:
- How can I improve my business?
- What skills could enhance my offering to clients?
- What training do I need to achieve this?
- What do I need to invest in myself?
So, to recap: training; the correct tools; determination; the desire for self-improvement; and a willingness to learn, are all essential to stand out from the crowd. Experience is something that cannot be learned; it just comes with time. Those who have been through our mentor program have all said that, when they look back, they can’t believe that they struggled with a particular accent, or difficult audio. They persevered through, learned from feedback, and through time, they have become more experienced. Happy transcribing!