Archive for February, 2013

17
Feb
13

How I Got Home-based General Transcription Clients

I am thankful to my mom, she bought me this laptop in 2007 when I was out of a job and our Internet connection was still dial-up back then.  I had to find a way to get a client for general transcriptions because I knew that this was the “in” thing back then.  In the Philippines, it was just a small market at that time.  There were not much clients to work for.

So, what I did was search the Net on how I could acquire good clients.  I first put an online ad in 88db.com, sulit.com.  I even posted my resume on bestjobs.ph.  I opened an account in Jobstreet.com.ph, Jobsdb.com.ph and other job portals out there.

And true enough, I got an email from someone in London from one of those ads that I posted.  I mean, at least, when you tell the whole world what you can do, I’m sure someone will turn up and check you out.

That’s how I got my first client.  The next client came from bestjobs.ph from the States and I wish I could do that again.  The client said they saw my resume from that job portal and would like to give me a try.  When I got things right, they hired me to transcribe their podcast for a year.  Imagine that?

But after a year, I was going back to the corporate world and sort of quit that job because I might not be able to deliver good transcripts.  I regret doing that, actually.

Oh, well, I’m sure things happen for a reason.  Then, I discovered LinkedIn, the site for professionals, where you can showcase your talents.  Just write in your profile that you can do such and such and people will contact you for the services that you do.  You will find those tag words very useful.  I did that and I got some clients from there too.

I must admit though that for some people, going to oDesk and Guru and Elance is probably the way to go.  In my experience, yes, I have accounts in those portals but I never bid on anything because I believe my talent lies within and I don’t want to price myself so low and that I’m worth more than what they’re paying for.  There are clients who would bid as low as $10 per audio hour, which really sucks big time.  Your time and effort for that price is not worth it, I’m telling you.

You can find better-paying clients and they will even appreciate the quality of work that you give them.

That’s the word for it – make your work worth every cent that your client pays you for.  Show them you’ve got the ‘It’ factor and they’ll definitely keep coming back.  And in a previous blog, I’ve written you should know how long it will take you to finish a certain number of audio minutes.  That way, you can tell your client if you can finish the task at hand.  That’s another blog – communication.

Aside from the ones that I’ve mentioned, you can check other sites as well like craigslist, peopleperhour, and some other job portals that contain the magic words, home-based general transcription jobs.

But one last word about job-hunting for transcriptions.  I’m sure there are scammers out there who will take advantage of those sites.  So, be careful in choosing the right job for you.  I don’t know how I do it but I’m lucky that the people I get to work for, pay me for what I do.  I’m sure you can too.

Good luck in finding your pot of gold!

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17
Feb
13

Meet the TAT

Usually, clients would want a shorter TAT for a certain audio and that is a rush job.  We can talk about that in another blog.  That’s a whole ballgame altogether.

Remember this paragraph from The Transcription Job post?  Now, I’m talking about it in a new blog.  The turn-around time or the TAT, as we transcriptionists call it, yes, our jargon.  While I was starting out as a transcriptionist, I had no idea what that was all about.  Now, it’s my time to share it with you, in case you’re interested to be a transcriptionist one of these days.

It’s basically a deadline, in layman’s terms.  The time that you can deliver the transcript – clean, edited, reviewed – and you’re confident of what you’ve done.  Then, you’re ready to send it to the client.  Once you hit the send button, there’s no turning back though.  No regrets whatsoever.  Once it’s been sent, it’s already right at your client’s mailbox or inbox.

Now that you know what the TAT is, I can discuss the types of TAT that you need to work on.  Back then, I didn’t know what my TAT would be for a 40-minute audio.  I’ve done my assignment, don’t you worry.  I’ve calculated my TAT several years ago.  Haha, age shows?

Kidding aside, I present myself to clients as a fast typist or a touch typist (someone who doesn’t need to look at the keyboard when typing, thanks to our typing classes back in high school, another topic to write about), I can transcribe certain accents in a certain amount of time.

Okay, my batting average comes to about one hour of transcription for a 10-minute clear, one or two-speaker audio.  So, doing the math, that comes to about 4 hours of transcribing for a 40-minute audio.  That’s actually not that fast, but faster than a beginner.  Someone who has just gotten his/her first client would usually finish an hour of audio in eight hours or so, considering the typing speed and the audio quality.  That’s typical for a beginner.  But as you go along and get used to these, you’ll get faster.

There are people who could do an hour of audio in four hours, tops.  Yes, I know, they’re what we call “monsters.”  Haha.  But let’s just hope their quality isn’t sacrificed, right?

At this point, I not only have discussed the deadline, I’ve also covered typing speed and quality.  Two points to consider when the TAT is mentioned.  When doing a transcription job, speed is one factor that your client would love you for, especially if your client is someone who wants things in a jiffy.

Quality is more often than not one of those considerations of clients when they ask you to transcribe for them.  This is where those rates come in.  You can price yourself so low and yet the quality has been sacrificed.  Or you can price yourself just right with speed and quality are both present in your work.  Then, you can set a price for your work when other clients come in.

When your clients see that you’ve done a good job, they’ll praise you and they’ll keep you working for them, give you assignments to work on.  Those are the perks as long as you meet the TAT, speed and quality in mind.

Before I forget, there are different kinds of TATs to consider.  There’s the 12-hour TAT or the 24-hour TAT.  It could also go up to a 48-hour TAT or even a 6-hour TAT.  Usually, the client asks you how long would you be able to finish such a task.  You can tell your client you will check the audio quality and from there, you can judge if you can make the TAT or not.

Just be sure to inform your client if you can or cannot work on it or else, you’d lose that client.  You wouldn’t want to be just bumming around the whole day, would you?

Also, if a client wants a rush job, that’s a different rate, especially if the audio is quite tough to handle and yet you chose to work on it.  I would raise my rate higher than my normal rate to compensate for the difficulty of the audio and if the client wants it pronto.

For those of you who are new to this, finding clients that give long TATs are good finds.  Just remember to keep this in mind:  Longer TATs, not-too-high rates with speed and quality.  Shorter TATs, higher rates but still done with speed and quality.

Now, can you tell what your TAT is for an hour of audio?