Do you regularly use freelance portals like People Per Hour, Fivesquid and Fiverr to name a few of the platforms out there, to economically outsource your audio or video transcription requirements? Then read on there is important information inside!
As a freelancer offering very reasonably priced professional typing and transcription services, I visit daily the freelance platforms that I have active profiles on to search for assignments with potential clients that I can assist with in their typing or transcription projects.
It takes up a lot of my time, but frequently time after time that frustrates the hell out of me, to be honest, is the fact that businesses, entrepreneurs, students, or anyone that requires outsourcing to a transcription service, fail to put four important things that matter most to a transcriptionist: –
- Audio quality
- Number of speakers
- Length of the Audio
- Turnaround time/deadline
Quite often people needing audio or video transcribed are under the impression that touch typists can type at the rate of speech, and therefore as an example, a 20-minute audio recording would take a professionally trained transcriptionist, like me, 20 minutes to transcribe into text. This is in fact not the case, please see my post and Infographic Audio Transcription Time Guidelines for more insight on this.
What Is Not Helpful
This is a typical example that I see day after day when people are advertising to get their audios or videos transcribed into text.
This example is better than some, it describes the length of the audio which is a good start, the format they would like the transcript in, which is generally Word anyway unless the transcript it being used for video captioning.
But, this example does not state how many speakers the audio contains, or the quality of the audio. These two factors will determine combined with the other two points highlighted above, the time it will take to listen and type the recorded speech into text. There are other factors also, for instance, if it is a two-speaker audio is there a lot of cross-talking? Are there any additional requirements within the transcript required, time-stamping for example.
Advice on Best Practices
When advertising for a transcription service vendor, or freelance transcriptionist, it is always best practice to give as much information as possible about the audio. To get the best transcriber for the job, it would be very helpful attach a sample, or the audio itself, but this isn’t always possible for confidentiality reasons.
By doing this it saves the transcription provider time from having to contact you asking these basic transcription questions that they need to ascertain whether they wish to submit a proposal for the work or not. Advertising the basic details, audio quality, the number of speakers, length and desired deadline, transcription service providers know what they are applying for.
You, as the contractor of transcription services then do not get delayed with your transcription, especially important when you have a deadline to meet. It will prevent your service provider telling you they cannot fulfil their part of the agreement because of incorrect or missing details about your specifications. It saves time for both parties concerned and speeds up the whole process with the transcriptionist having a clear understanding of the audio content from the outset.