7 Tips to Outsource to The Best Freelance Transcriptionist [Infographic]

Outsourcing Transcription to a Freelancer

If you have never outsourced your recorded audio or video to a transcription service or hired a freelance transcriptionist before, this Infographic should be of some help.

Many people think they can type and it’s easy to listen and type what is being spoken, take it from a freelance professional transcriptionist, it’s not.  Transcriptionists also have to insert the correct grammar and spelling at the same time as intelligently paragraphing and making sure everything reads sensibly.

Equally, anybody that thinks they can type and that it’s going to be easy to earn extra money transcribing, either directly with clients or via freelancing websites, is probably going to end up costing their client requiring the audio or video transcription, time and money.

For entrepreneurs or small businesses, for example, that are on a tight budget, hiring a freelancer can be very attractive due to the economical costs.  Established transcription services have websites with reviews from satisfied clients you have used their services.  These services can be expensive and not so easily affordable for entrepreneurs or small businesses.

Established transcription services have websites with their reviews from satisfied clients you have used their services.  These services can be expensive and not so easily affordable.

Freelancing to a professional freelancer can help you cut costs and retain the quality that you need and expect from your transcript.  By outsourcing your transcription requirements to a freelance transcriptionist, that is professional touch typist with experience in listening and typing and what is spoken, hopefully not someone that is trying to scam you.

To guide you through your journey of outsourcing your recorded audio, video, podcast or webinar for transcription, I have created this infographic to help you find the best freelance transcriptionist, for a budget you can afford.

I am a freelance transcriptionist outsourcing my skills and 20 years of experience, that also helped me create this infographic.

With the advancement of digital technology, audio and video transcription has grown in demand significantly.  If you need a transcriptionist that is reliable, fast and accurate then please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Mentoring or Coaching for Success with Audio Transcription

Benefits of Audio Transcription for Coaching and Mentoring

Are you an experienced and knowledgeable business mentor or coach?  This article is going to be very useful to you for your clients.

Mentoring or coaching start-ups or small business owners is about sharing and helping others with less knowledge than you to achieve their aims and goals for themselves or their business, right?

You advise from your wealth of knowledge and experience and help starts-ups choose the right routes for their new business and helping them gain success.  You share your business experience and knowledge with business owners less knowledgeable than yourself to help them achieve their goals, right?  So what form of communication do you use for coaching?

The communication of your knowledge in coaching

Mentoring or coaching can take place person-to-person, via email, video or voice chat on Skype, even a video call on Facebook.  But apart from email how is your client that you are coaching going to remember what advice and information you gave them?

If that conversation is not recorded what happens when it finishes?  They could have taken notes, but they don’t always make sense after the event!  How is your client going to accurately remember what was spoken about in the valuable advice you shared in that unique call or meeting you had with them?

This is where the answer is audio transcription.  Transcription is the skill of typing what is spoken into text.  A valuable service used by many industries such as medical, insurance, journalists to mention a few.

How impressive would it be to offer your client a copy of the entire meeting or conversation in the form of a transcript for a point of future reference?  If you yourself have a lot of clients it is an ideal way to recap before your next session.

They would receive it in digital form as you would from the transcriptionist, but it allows them to print off the transcript and make notes; refer to what advice was given at certain points of the challenge in their own business and probably the reason for hiring your expert services in the first place.

It would be very impressive for any new prospects clients that you converse with via Skype, or meet with in person for them to have a copy of the entire conversation in a transcript within a few days of that call or coaching session taking place.

If mentoring, you may not know the next time that you will be called upon by your client, but having a transcript of the last time you spoke or met is beneficial to refer to for a refresher with that particular client.

This would be a great incentive for any new prospective clients too.  To offer a transcript after the event that they can build the course up and always have it for future reference.  No worry for them to take notes when you have that call, or make notes during the meeting and maybe miss some important and valuable points.

I believe that all person-to-person meetings, video chats or voice calls on Skype, a landline telephone call, offering a full transcript of what was spoken, for them to always have to refer to so that nothing is forgotten, could well tip the balance to gaining new clients.  Of course, if you understand how useful transcription could be for your business by recording calls or meetings, this should be well discussed in the preliminary conversations.

Which route to take for your transcription service?

Specialist Transcription Companies

Specialised transcription companies can give you very good rates and turnaround time but the process is very impersonal and involves a self-process of which to upload your audio onto their site and pay for your audio transcription.

That’s fine if it’s a straight forward audio to be transcribed;  audio with two people recorded, an interview for example, with very good speech clarity and low to no background noise, but what if the audio is a bit more complex than your average straightforward transcription?  What if you want to speak directly to your transcriber with questions?

The is very much a “self-process”.  You upload and pay for your audio transcription digitally via their websites.  That’s great if you experienced at using transcription services from big organisations, but what if you have never used a transcriptionist before and would like to ask some questions?

Some of the specialist transcription companies offer a “live chat” to answer any questions or queries.  The problem is that person will not be the person transcribing your audio, they are in place to promote the company and answer your queries.  Why are they not the transcriber you ask?

Because specialist transcription companies that offer great rates and turnaround times break down your audio into five minute or so piece-meal bits for several transcriptionists to transcribe at once.

That is what enables them to offer a great turn-around-time, but not always the best price because they have higher overheads to consider than a freelance transcriptionist.

They have the transcriptionists to pay for the transcription work they have done for you.  They have very expensive websites that they have to maintain on an annual or monthly basis.  Website name registration costs; possibly office space as well to conduct the time-consuming digital delegation of audio’s to the transcriptionists they employ.

A Freelance Transcriptionist

A freelance transcriptionist will operate from home, but just because they do does not mean they are any less professional and will not produce any less quality transcript than a specialist transcription company.  Freelance transcriptionists are what professional companies are made off, but choose to offer their skills directs to those that need them.

You deal with them directly, they make the decision quickly as to whether they can or cannot transcribe your audio.  If they can and are willing to undertake the transcription for you, they will give you a quote for transcribing that audio or video.

A freelance transcriptionist with plenty of experience will not commit to an audio unless they are sure they can produce you the accurate and justified transcript for the quality of audio you give them.

Having a direct contact with your transcriber from the outset is a lot quicker than transcription companies themselves.  They have departments for this, departments for that, but at the end of the day, you want a professional, accurate reading transcript, quickly.

What if there’s background noise because the call was conducted via Skype or in a car?  Or it is a focus group meeting with a lot of cross-talking? A three-person interview; or a video where there is one clear speaker but music in the background?

These are all typical questions and more of the benefits of dealing with a freelance transcriptionist that will help you answer your questions quickly.  Specialist companies with their fancy websites want you to submit a support ticket, or even with live chat they may not be able to answer your query immediately.  This is all time consuming and not helping you get your transcript complete within a few days to get to your client as promised.

Ask Questions

Specialist companies as we have established will have a nice fancy website with all the information that you want.  Who they are, how long they have been established, where their transcribers are from, the experience they have and hopefully answer any questions you have if that is the route you are thinking of taking.  Seems a little safer, doesn’t it?  An established company with testimonials from previous happy clients; secure payment system etcetera.

If you choose the freelance transcriptionist route, there are things you can do to safeguard yourself from hiring a complete fraudster who thinks they can type and oh listening to someone speak and then type what they say, yes that’s easy I can do that! It’s not that easy so here a few tips to find a great freelance transcriptionist.

Ask questions.  Here is a brief list of the things you would want to ask your prospective transcriber:-

  • How many years have they been transcribing?
  • Are they a native English speaker?
  • Do they use professional transcribing software such as Express Scribe?
  • What is their touch-typing speed and accuracy?
  • Do they use a foot-pedal?
  • Do they use a specialist headset?
  • To prevent repetitive strain injury do they use an ergonomic keyboard?
  • What is the rate per minute or hour of audio?
  • What would be the prospective turnaround time for your audio?
  • Do they use and have an active Dropbox or Google Drive for sharing audios?
  • Is proofreading included in the price?
  • Can they add time-stamps to your transcript for you?

Asking questions of this nature will help you immediately indicate between a professional or amateur transcriptionist   If, they have never done this kind of work before, they just “think” they can type quick enough to meet the speed required to successfully complete an audio or video transcription they are wrong.  A professional will know immediately how to confidently answer your questions

If you think an experienced freelance transcriptionist will be more costly then you may well be pleasantly surprised.  They have far fewer overheads than the specialist companies that hire several transcribers to transcribe your audio piece-meal.

The freelance transcriptionist should be passionate about what they do, and this should come across when communicating with them.  They should want to deliver you the best accurate transcript possible.  They will gladly answer your questions and discuss finer details highly in the points above.  This will ensure you get the transcript that you paying for.

Some will operate through professional freelance websites: People Per Hour; Fivesquid; Guru; just to mention a few that I have or are currently available on for work on as Virtuadmin.

Cost

According to Transcriptionwave.com, their pricing starts at just $0.99 per audio minute.  At the time of writing and doing a direct exchange rate from United States Dollar to the United Kingdom British Pound (Sterling) that would be 68p per audio minute.

Another transcription company www.gmrtranscription.com (not a freelance transcriptionist) that I researched, their rates for a clear quality audio  general transcription audio for a 3-4 week turn around was $1.25 for up to a two-person audio and $1.50 per recorded audio minute for multiple speakers with the same turn around time.

Rates for a freelance transcriptionist can vary vastly depending on how valuable the transcriptionist thinks their individual skill is worth,  Their turn around times may vary also, so it is worth asking questions.

When I Googled "average freelance transcription rates UK" I found www.uktranscription.com a UK based transcription service.  Again, this is not for a freelance transcriptionist but it gives you a good idea of what the specialists companies are charging for their transcription services.  This is their pricing guide below.

RATES & PRICING

Each batch is quoted individually. Rates may vary between orders. Please upload your audio for a quick quote within one hour.

The table below provides approximate estimates only. Surcharges are applicable for quality issues, enhanced security options, complex requirements and faster turnaround times.

Turnaround Time Rate / Min (Simple) Rate / Min (Difficult) * Volume Limit (Mins)
2 Weeks £1.00 £1.25 15000
1 Week £1.10 £1.35 5000
3 Days £1.20 £1.45 1500
2 Days £1.30 £1.60 1000
1 Day £1.50 £1.80 500
Same Day £1.80 £2.00 150

* Estimated rate for 'difficult' audio, distortion, complex formatting, focus group, or multiple speaker ID. Files are assessed individually, and rates vary between orders.

** All rates are exclusive of VAT, payable at 20%. (Overseas customers may be exempt.)

So, for a two-week turn around on your clear audio that was recorded with your client would take 2 weeks to deliver back to you for you to forward to your client.  Not really what you want or need for your client when you are offering them an accurate transcript included in your fee to assist them with enhancing their skills.

As a guide to our rates at Virtuadmin Transcription Service, I am very fair on my pricing.  You get a low cost, a much quicker turnaround time but that does not deter from giving professional service and an accurate transcript.  I give you great value for the years’ experience that I have.

For transcription as myself offering my transcribing skills and experience as Virtuadmin, my rates start at just 50p per audio minute for a single person audio that is of very good audio and speech quality.  For a two-person interview or recorded audio that has two people, it is 60p per audio minute and for a three-person audio it would be 75p per audio minute.

Difficult quality audio I will consider, the professional software Express Scribe Professional from www.nch.com can very often clear up background noise and interference so enable me to transcribe the audio more accurately.

The cost then gets a bit more expensive the more speakers there are; the amount of cross-talking that is in the audio if more than two speakers because this slows the transcriptionist down.  A lot more replay is required to be able to transcribe accurately all of what is spoken by each participant to that audio.  A single speaker or two-person audio that is of clear clarity enables a flow of typing.  The mores speakers, or the poorer the audio quality, more time is required for the transcriptionist to produce an accurate transcript for you.

Adding timestamps, poor audio quality, background noise, cross talking, one person being clearer than the other are all aspects that are more time-consuming for the transcriptionist to type.  You should bear this in mind when asking for your audio to be transcribed into text.

At Virtuadmin I do use a foot pedal for transcription; professional transcribing software (Express Scribe); an ergonomic keyboard to prevent repetitive strain injury (needed after over 30 years of typing!) and a professional headset.

I have many years transcribing in an office setting before transcribing digitally recorded audio from home.  Passionate about what I do, I would really like to assist you with your recorded audio to assist you and your clients get the best out of your advice in your mentoring or coaching sessions.

Conclusion

As a very experienced transcriptionist, it is not easy to gain the skills and experience I have.  It is the same for you as a coach or mentor.  You want to help others succeed and I want to help you do that by providing you with an additional asset to for your clients.

Transcripts are so valuable in their entity.  The information that they contain will always be in that written format.  Notes taken by you and your client will never reflect what has been spoken as accurately as a transcript from the recorded audio or video.

To offer a full comprehensive coaching or mentoring relationship transcription is just an additional resource to assist you and your clients.  Your clients have a record of what was discussed and they have this to refer to at any point in time; digitally on a computer screen or print it off to read as a text document.

They have that information to hand, they can undertake more accurately, instead of trying to remember what you advised, or trying to figure out the notes that they took.  The expert advice that you have given them enables your client to achieve their goals and aims when they agreed to their coaching or mentoring with you in the first place!

Audio or Video Transcription is undoubtedly a valuable service to coaches and mentors.  It will be the most accurate way of retaining the information that resulted in your conversation.  It’s there to refer to for the next time you have a meeting if you have several clients this would be especially helpful.

In itself, audio transcription is a valuable service.  So many industries use this service; insurance; law courts; medical dictations; journalists; students.  Webinar and podcasts are also required transcribed.

So, why not get into the 21st century and start getting your coaching or mentoring calls transcribed.  Join all the other industries that have been using transcription even before the digital age.  Technology has come a long way and with the many different ways of recording audio these days, getting it transcribed should be the only next step to take to offer this as an incentive to your prospective clients.  A benefit to your existing clients, they would always have a copy of your expert advice and information given in each session that you had.  An accurate account of what was discussed is surely far better than notes? How have your survived without transcription?!

Contact Me / Hire Me

Are you interested in hiring me to transcribe your audio or video for you?  I freelance my transcription skills on www.peopleperhour.com and www.fivesquid.com.  These are two very reputable companies among many out there that offer professional freelance digital services.

To hire me on www.fivesquid.com the link is: http://bit.ly/1J3gxgE

To hire me on www.peopleperhour.com the link is: http://bit.ly/2ea88NK

My profiles on both of these established freelance websites have positive feedback from happy satisfied clients that are a testament to my skills and experience.  Any questions please do not hesitate to email me at cyberspaceayuda@gmail.com.  For more testimonials about my skills and experience please visit www.virtuadmin.uk/testimonials.  This hasn’t been updated for some time but it does testify to my excellent skills and experience as a transcriptionist.

References

Header images: www.ficde.org

Edited with text by www.virtuadmin.uk

 

Audio Transcription Time Guidelines [Infographic]

When people ask what I do and I reply a Transcriptionist their face goes blank for a second. I then explain that I produce transcripts from recorded audio, video, podcasts or webinars.  Ah, typing people think, typing what people are saying yes that’s easy once you can type. Contrary to popular belief audio transcription is a skill and takes years of touch typing practice and experience to be able to turn around an hour’s audio in four.

The Infographic created by Virtuadmin I hope puts into perspective that even the most professional and quickest of touch typists cannot type at the average spoken rate. I have used 15 minutes of recorded audio for simplicity but hope that it illustrates that typing at the spoken word rate is virtually impossible.

There are also other factors to be taken into consideration:

  • Number of Speakers
  • Audio quality
  • Speech clarity
  • Is there any background noise
  • Is this an intelligent or strict verbatim transcription?
  • Is the transcript to be time-stamped?

All these affect the average turnaround time of your transcript.  Taking these things into account when hiring a transcription service will help you understand the complexities of what goes into producing an accurate transcript.

To conclude that with just one speaker, with good audio quality professional transcriptionist that types 80 words per minute (that’s fast but that’s our average typing speed) would take approximate 30 minutes to transcribe and a professional that types 50 words per minute would take 45 minutes.  That therefore on these statistics would mean than an hour’s audio that was just one speaker and straight forward intelligent paragraphing would take the professional 4 hours.  For 2 speakers because each time a speaker changes a new line is started, therefore that takes extra time.

Audio transcription is a skill, you must love typing and a love of hearing people speak.  If you love what you do, have a passion like we do, you will want to produce the best transcript possible.  This isn’t always possible but I always aim to never insert an “inaudible”.  Again, that is time-consuming replaying a part of the audio that you just cannot hear.  You’ll probably get it in the end, but that’s another 5 minutes or so added to the completion time.

Hope the Infographic helps put things in perspective for audio transcribing and putting into text the spoken word is just not as easy as you think!

Transcription - Is it as easy as you think?
Transcription – Is it as easy as you think?

Why you should get your audio or video transcribed

Virtuadmin blog post why you should get your audio or video transcribed
Why You Really Should Get Your Audio or Video Transcribed

Every single audio or video that is recorded in a variety of different formats; interviews, podcasts, webinars, video’s captioned, motivational speeches, business conferences, student lectures is unqiue to the speaker and the participant/s.  Whatever is spoken you have taken enough care and organisation to record it so that you have a record of what was said.  The thing is you need it in a permanent ‘hard-copy’ of what what spoken in the form of a transcript.  Why you ask?

Well computers, hard-drives, servers, cloud based servers are wonderful things but are vulnerable to attack and your audio or video starts with you.  Whatever you have recorded was important enough for you to record it in the first place, but what happens if that audio gets corrupted and no longer playable?  You have lost that important interview, coaching call, student lecture, business tips speech or whatever audio or video that you took part in.

The new age digital world is a wonderful place but it can be hacked, viruses can be spread and all the data that was precious can be gone in an instant so why not get it transcribed?  As soon as your recording is complete you can send it to your transcriptionist straight away.  They should already have an active Dropbox account or similar like Google Drive to share the audio or video files.  The sooner they receive the audio or video the sooner they can turn it around for you and your audience, participants or clients get their copy of the transcript.

  1. There are many other advantages of getting your audio or video transcribed which I feel outweigh the expense of the initial transcription:-
  2. Permanent record should the digital copy accidentally deleted or lost.
  3. Always something to refer to, copy it as many times as you like and write all over A ‘bonus’ for participants  of your podcast, webinar, or live audience.
  4. Text to copy and paste Tweets, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other Social Media platforms to market     and advertise your business.
  5. An accurate transcript added to a Podcast, Video, or Explainer Video will enhance your listing in Search Engine Results Pages.
  6. Excellent resource for Student revision or inclusion in dissertations.

Depending on the length of the audio or video/podcast, the amount of speakers, quality and clarity of speech will generally dictate the time to transcribe and cost.  The transcriptionist will have to take these things into consideration when pricing an audio/video for transcription etcetera.  It’s rare to get a recording that cannot be transcribed, calls in cars, conversations via skype can be challenging due to the background noise while travelling in the car can cause interference and a slow internet connection on Skype.

Before hiring the transcription service of your choice after research or recommendation it’s always helpful to forward a copy of the audio first so that you as the client and your virtual digital transcription service provider are sure that they can both fulfill the agreement of recorded audio or video speech into a text, word or other format of your choice can be met.

Hiring a professional transcriptionist like Virtuadmin may seem a little daring compared to other big companies with their fancy website and assurances but please consider this; what is the process when you visit one of these sites?  Can you speak directly to your transcriptionist and explain what little tweaks you would like from your transcript?  Can you speak about the environment in which it was recorded and the background details of why and the subject matter?  Most probably not.  You have security that they have secure servers, confidentiality agreements (we do too just ask!) and secure payment methods but once you’ve fired off your audio and paid for it what then?  Can you chase it up to inquire about the progress?  Again probably not, why?  Because most big outsourcing transcription companies and organisations break the audio’s into tiny little segments that get sent to many different transcriptionist if the audio length requires it.

This breaks it down to make it more cost effective for the business that is transcribing your audio but many transcriptionists are listening to your audio what if this audio contains sensitive information?  Is each and every transcriptionist expected to sign a confidentiality agreement (we have one in place for you) or non-disclosure agreement?  This is getting time consuming and costly before you’ve even got your transcript!

The many other benefits include accessibility for the hard of hearing, they may hear some of what what was said but having the transcript alongside the audio would ensure they they do not miss out on any important details and especially helpful for students.  Some people who are listening to your audio or watching your video, listening to your podcast rather than auditory and therefore would benefit from an accompanying transcript to get a better comprehension of what was being explained or taught.  Adding a transcript to a broadcasted podcast, video or webinar will enhance the Search Engine Page Results because by adding a transcript the search engine trawlers have a lot more information about your podcast, video or webinar rather than just a title and maybe a brief description.  With the spoken text in your niche it is by nature your transcript will be keyword rich in your subject area giving SEO bots more information to rank it higher.

To conclude the benefits of hiring a freelance transcriptionist is phenomenal and very cost effective.  If you have carried out your research well, asked the right questions before hiring your potential freelance transcriber this should far outweigh the initial expense of the transcript.  Again a freelance transcriber should be more cost efficient than bigger corporations due to the lower overheads that virtual digital transcribers have to bigger competitors.  You’ll get better accuracy, efficiency, flexibility of the format of your transcript, time-stamps, names included, intelligent or strict verbatim and probably a lot more.  More importantly virtual assistants with transcribing / audio typing skills will probably have a wide range of knowledge and experience with a higher skill-set in areas of professions and topics covered in your niche, but that is just one of the questions to ask when searching for the “right” transcriptionist to meet your requirements for your uniquely recorded audio or video.

Thanks for reading and if you can think of any other benefits to having your audio or video transcribed please do comment on the advantages for you at the end of this post, I will be sure to update it.