Why Transcription Is The Best Option For Market Research

Market Research Benefits from Audio Transcription

Market research, as defined by students from the Student Enterprise Programme as “the process of collecting valuable information to help you find out if there is a market for your proposed product or service.  To have a successful business you need to know what your customers want and provide them with that solution and make a profit.

The definition by Entrepreneur.com is “The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business’s target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face.”

So establishing that market research is very much needed for any budding entrepreneur or business that is considering introducing a new product or service.  By undertaking this kind of research it gives much-needed data to enable an informed decision to be made, then incorporated into the business planning process.

It highlights how your potential customers are thinking, buying behaviours and location as well as being able to observe market trends and see what your competitors are doing.

There are two types of Market Research for the desired data to be collected.  Usually, if there are statistics that already exist, primary research will identify key areas to question that will assist with the evaluation and decision-making process.

  • Primary Research
  • Secondary Research

Primary Research

After reviewing the analytics that already exists from secondary research, you can then begin compiling your own fresh primary data to analyse to meet your own unique requirements.  Gathering the figures and intelligence that you need can be carried out using questionnaires and surveys or interviews with individuals / small groups.

There are two types of Primary research, exploratory or specific.  Exploratory is more open-ended and there is no particular end result or data point, it helps you define a particular issue.  Specific is very targeted to investigate a certain area or topic, and interviews usually follow quite a structured nature when gathering information by this method.

Secondary Research

As mentioned above, secondary research studies that have already been carried out and are publically available.  Already organised into specific topics, these can include government agencies, trade associations, medical councils, or businesses in the same industry.  The good thing is this type of research can be free or low-cost, helpful when starting out with your business.services or product.

How Does Audio Transcription Benefit Market Research Interviews?

When starting a new business or you have an idea and want to build on that, funds are not necessarily readily available for investment, therefore you may decide to do the primary research yourself, rather than to outsource it to a professional independent researcher or market research company.

Conducting interviews that you have tailored to your own specific requirements can be a great way of gathering the information and data you want  You can conduct these meetings either via telephone, Internet, in person or hold a focus group meeting.

To get the best results when conducting your interviews, record them.  Do a dummy run to make sure that you can clearly hear what was spoken about in the dialogue.  You are investing your time in this fact-finding mission, the last thing you want is not to be able to review the content due to poor quality.

Then you have to get the recorded audio typed into text for your analysis when you have successfully completed all your inquiries, and although that sounds easy, replaying the interview and typing everything into Word, but have you tried typing at the same rate of the speech?  Even for the quickest of typists, if you need to keep looking at the keyboard whilst typing, your concentration will soon get lost with what was said.  Then you will need to rewind to catch what you just misheard if you’re not using a professional transcription software player.

Sounds a lot of work doesn’t it?  Hire a freelance transcriptionist, like me, outsourcing my touch typing / transcribing skills and experience as Virtuadmin, to create your transcripts from the recorded audios for your market research.

Conclusion

There are many skilled transcribers outsourcing their professional, qualified skills on Freelance websites like People Per Hour and Fivesquid.  For entrepreneurs and small businesses, they are a safe-haven to find lower-cost talent.  You are secure in the knowledge that if the work is not delivered or satisfactory you have support to assist you.  It can be a daunting prospect hiring someone directly with no security for your money, I understand that.

Getting your completed interviews transcribed by a professional will undoubtedly pay-off in the long-run.  You have the speed of the turnaround time, compared to that of which you could complete them.  And the accuracy of the content, as transcriptionists have the specific software to replay audio at their desired speed, an expenditure for the software you do not have to worry about due to hiring a freelance transcriptionist or transcription service.

If you have been convinced to use an independent contractor, either through a freelancing platform or directly, see my Infographic ‘7 Questions to Ask Your Potential Freelance Transcriptionist‘.  Some useful tips and tricks to help you get the best transcriber suited to your needs and not get scammed by potential ‘typists’ that think it’s an easy job, only to find the rate of speech is too fast for their typing skills!  This can easily result in lost revenue, something I personally, as a professional freelance transcriptionist, do not want to see happen to you.

 

 

 

 

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21 Common Grammar Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

This post first appeared on Business Insider on 25th March 2017. 

Grammar rules can seem like a nuisance. Honestly, do you really need to check every single document for appropriate hyphenation?

According to CUNY Journalism Press editor and writing coach Timothy Harper, the answer is a resounding “YES.”

“The whole point of grammar and punctuation is clarity,” he told Business Insider. If you write that a woman has “dirty-blonde hair,” for example, people know that you’re referring to the color. “It doesn’t mean that she needs a shampoo,” Harper said, which it would if you’d written “dirty blonde hair.”

We asked Harper about the most common grammar mistakes he sees, and added some that drive us crazy on a daily basis. Read on for a list of tricky – but super important – rules that get broken way too often.

1. Confusing ‘fewer’ and ‘less’

Harper said he winds up correcting this mistake pretty often.

He explained that “fewer” is appropriate when you’re discussing countable objects. On the other hand, “less” is appropriate when you can’t count the thing you’re describing.

Here’s an example of each word in a sentence:

“Fewer than 20 employees attended the meeting.”

“I spent less than one hour finishing this report.”

2. Confusing ‘amount’ and ‘number’

Again, it’s a question of whether you can count the thing you’re describing.

Harper gave examples of how you might use each word:

“There is a really large number of books in that library”

“There’s a huge amount of water going over the dam right now.”

3. Confusing ‘it’s’ and ‘its’

Normally, an apostrophe symbolizes possession. As in, “I took the dog’s bone.” But because apostrophes also usually replace omitted letters – like “don’t” – the “it’s” vs. “its” decision gets complicated.

Use “its” as the possessive pronoun: “I took its bone.” For the shortened version of “it is” use the version with the apostrophe. As in, “it’s raining.”

4. Confusing ‘who’ and ‘whom’

When considering whether to use “who” or “whom,” you have to rearrange the sentence in your head.

So the question, “Whom did you give the letter to?” changes to “You gave the letter to whom?” “Whom” suits the sentence instead of “who” because the word functions as the object of the sentence, not the subject.

It’s not always easy to tell subjects from objects but to use an over-simplified yet good, general rule: Subjects start sentences (or clauses), and objects end them. In short, who does it to whom.

For reference, “Who is a hypocrite?” would be a perfectly grammatically correct question to ask.

5. Confusing ‘him’ and ‘he’

Harper said he often hears people say something like, “Him and me went somewhere.” That’s incorrect. Instead you should say, “He and I went somewhere.”

Things get slightly more confusing from here. It’s incorrect to say, “He gave it to she and I.” Instead you should say, “He gave it to her and me.”

If you’re having trouble with this rule, Harper suggested taking away the “and.” For example, you can probably tell that the sentence “He gave it to I” sounds weird, so you can figure out that “He gave it to she and I” is also incorrect.

Read the remaining grammar mistakes by Business Insider here

4 Tips for Freelancers to Beat Fatigue

Freelance fatigue is exactly what it sounds like: exhaustion from the need to wear so many hats at once. The pressure to find clients, produce for them, track finances and promote your work can wear you down.

You can beat freelance fatigue with a few changes to your routine. Incorporating systems that work for you and finding time for self-care is the way to recharge yourself. When you’re a freelancer, you need to keep working to keep making money. Don’t let fatigue get in the way of your money!

Tips to Beat Fatigue for Freelancers

Self-care

You have to take care of yourself before you can offer your services or expertise to anyone else. Eating well, sleeping enough, and getting at least some exercise and fresh air are just as critical as pitching new clients. After all, what is the point of work if not to create the life you love?

I like to use my lunch break to listen to music I love or to take a walk outside. I live in the American south, so it’s warm pretty much year round here. Getting outside and getting some sun on my face is easy to do. If you’re somewhere that’s dark and cold, think about getting a sunlamp. Take a 15-minute break and stretch.

When you feel your best you do your best work. Scarfing down unhealthy food and sitting all day in front of a screen isn’t the best thing for you. Incorporate real-time for self-care and you’ll beat freelance fatigue sooner.

Read the 3 more tips here.

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5 SEO Tips for Videos: How Google Ranks Them & How to Optimize

Videos are becoming increasingly important for B2B marketing. Companies with dedicated video marketing strategies generate more leads, earn more revenue, and enjoy better brand awareness than those engaging in all other forms of marketing.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are great places to get eyes on your video content, but prospects aren’t necessarily in work- or buy-mode as they scroll through these platforms.

We do know, however, that 90% of B2B decision-makers use search to research business decisions. To reap the benefits of video marketing, your videos must be optimised for search. By following a few best practices for video SEO, you’ll enjoy more visible video search results and drive more organic traffic—and qualified leads—to your video content.

How Does Google Rank Videos?

In its general search and video search functions, Google ranks videos using the same ranking factors as written content—content quality, the number of backlinks, and RankBrain are the most important signals. When hosting videos on your site, the tasks for optimizing video content are similar to those for written content and images.

Similar, but not identical. Here are five steps you should take to improve your search rankings so your videos stand out in search results:

1. Transcribe Your Video Content

Providing both a video and transcription on a single page offers dual benefits: it caters to different reader preferences, and it makes video content more likely to appear in general Google searches.

Video transcriptions can be optimized for search in the same way as any other text-based site content. While this may seem to break duplicate content rules, transcriptions actually provide a good user experience by catering to different learning styles. While some visitors may prefer videos, others may prefer reading. In fact, 85% of business executives prefer reading over watching videos when making business decisions.

When transcribing video content, there are two approaches you can take:

  1. Provide a full, word-for-word transcription as Moz does for their Whiteboard Friday videos.
  2. Provide text highlights like Content Marketing Institute does for their This Old Marketing podcast.

Full transcripts provide more engagement SEO opportunities, while highlights are good for long videos and can encourage more views by teasing readers with compelling content that’s discussed in more detail in the video. Ultimately, use the approach your audience prefers: you can poll them to find out, or do some A/B testing to see which approach drives the kind of engagement you’re looking for.

Read the remaining 4 more tips for video optimisation on Marketo Marketing Blog.

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5 Secrets to Increase Your Typing Productivity and Speed

Type more accurately with speed
Type more accurately with speed
5 Secrets to Increase your Typing Productivity and Speed

A transcriptionist or typist is often involved in repetitive work and meeting very tight deadlines.  A typist is either looking at the text to be copy-typed or a transcriptionist listening to recorded speech and typing the text spoken.  When undertaking the transcription or typing process, there are things that you can do to help you obtain better productivity, efficiency and accuracy.

As a touch-typist and transcriptionist with over 20 years experience, to help you achieve a higher capacity in the production of transcripts or copy typing text, I will give you my top 5 secrets to increase your typing productivity and speed.

  1. 5 Secrets to Increase Your Typing Productivity and Speed
    Picture courtesy of Cornell University Ergonomics

    Before starting any work at all prepare your workstation to the correct ergonomics for your stature.  Preferably work with an ergonomic keyboard too.  This is a picture of the ideal workstation set-up to prevent any strains on your joints through repetitive typing work.

2.  Take regular and frequent breaks.  I personally like to take a break from typing or transcription every 20 minutes for 5 minutes.  Recommendations by the University of New South Wales in Australia also recommend taking breaks every 20-30 minutes, if only for 2-3 minutes.  This gives you chance to stretch, give your eyes and ears a break too.  Even after just a couple of minutes not listening to someone speak, or looking at the text to be typed, is enough to recharge and carry on more productively.

3.  If you are a transcriptionist and using specialist software, such as Express Scribe Professional, make sure everything is set-up correctly and to your specification.  Test your foot pedal is ready to use to what you are used to.  When I am transcribing I like to have it set to jump 5 seconds back for if I don’t catch what the person said the first time round.  Listen to the first few minutes of the audio and adjust the replay speed according to your typing speed and the rate of speech that is being spoken.  Check there is no background noise, if there is, some software players have ‘background noise reduction’ feature such as Express Scribe Professional.  Alternatively, if that hasn’t had an effect or has helped but not cleared the audio up completely try an online converter such as www.online-convert.com.  I have found from past experience that converting an audio can sometimes help clear any background or interference noise.  If it is not in a mp3 format I will always convert an audio into the mp3 format and then perform the background noise reduction feature again.

4.  Check with your client the purpose of the transcript.  If you are transcribing a video it may be prudent to produce the transcript in a text (.txt) file and not a word document if it is being used for closed captions.  Syncing the speech with the text is much easier.  If it is to be produced in a Word document utilise the auto-correct and find/replace if you need to perform several replacements of a word.

5.  Ask your client for the names involved in the audio or how they would like them referred to in the transcript if more than one speaker.  Before commencing also enquire as to whether there is any specialist terminology you should be aware of, and/or any websites that may help with research if you cannot quite make out the word.

So there are my five secrets to help you type more accurately and transcribe more productively.  Even taking regular breaks may seem like it is time you could be transcribing, as many transcriptionists have to work to tight deadlines.  This may feel the case, but in reality, because you have taken even just 2 minutes away from listening, you will return to your keyboard and foot pedal and type more productively because of it.  From many years experience working from work as a typist and transcriptionist, I know that frequent breaks and the correct ergonomics, preferably with an ergonomic keyboard too, are instantly going to help you be more productive and complete the work much quicker.

Please don’t hesitate to use the ‘contact me’ form if you would like to ask any questions about transcription, typing or my virtual assistant services that I can offer.

 

 

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What is a .srt file and how to create one free

How to create a .srt file
What is a .srt file and how to create one

A .srt file is a common name for the extension SubRip computer files and a commonly used file format for subtitles or closed captions on videos.  The benefit of using a .srt file is that when it is added to a video to create the captions it enables search engine crawler bots to index your video more accurately due to the additional text file.

Although automatic captions are generated and all videos that contain speech when uploaded, Google and all other search engines do not consider them accurate enough to use as reliable information about your video content.

How to create a .srt file

Creating a .srt file to add to your video is quite easy and involves six easy steps.  These 6 steps are taken from a post by Andrew Meer on Techwalla

Step 1

Open Notepad by clicking “Start,” “All Programs,” “Accessories” and “Notepad.”

Step 2

Divide each subtitle phrase into numbered sections when creating an SRT file. Type “1” (without quotes) and then press “Enter” to start creating the first subtitle phrase.

Step 3

Enter the time span to display the subtitle phrase when playing the movie. For example, if you want the first subtitle phrase to be displayed from the second minute to the third minute of the movie, type “00:02:00 –> 00:03:00” (without quotes) and press “Enter.”

Step 4

Type the subtitle phrase and press “Enter” to finish creating the first subtitle phrase.

Step 5

Type “2” (without quotes) for the second subtitle phrase and follow steps 3 and 4 to create the second subtitle phrase. Do the same for the other subtitle phrases that you want to create, but ensure that you separate the subtitle phrases into numbered sections.

Step 6

Save the file in the SRT file format after you finish creating it. To do so, click “Start” and then click “Save.” Select “All Files” from the “Save as type” drop-down menu. Next, type a name into “File name” field and type “.srt” (without quotes) after it. Click “Save.”

Conclusion – Outsource?

Depending on the length of your video, podcast, or webinar depends on the length of time it will take to actually produce the transcript to add to your video.  Outsourcing the creation of the transcript process may well be worth considering.

At Virtuadmin I have created many transcripts for closed captioning purposes.  If you would like to hire me to quickly create your transcript please get in touch at cyberspaceayuda@gmail.com.  Alternatively, I have active freelancer profiles on People Per Hour and Fiverr and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the process.

 

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