Do you want a great work-from-home opportunity? Do you type fast and accurately? Want to make use of the computer gathering dust in the office? Transcription is a very popular way for stay-at-home moms and part-time workers to bring in some extra money. It’s easy to do and in high demand! Here are some ways to get your transcription skills up to par and be ready for that opportunity!
Make sure your typing skills are up to par. In order to be fast and efficient at transcription, it’s important that you know how to type correctly and quickly. Type in “typing test” in Google to find various programs that will test your skills. Most will give you a WPM (word per minute) reading, as well as your accuracy. Be sure to write this information down after testing–some companies will want to know your typing abilities before hiring you.
Download transcription software. I love using Express Scribe. You can download it for free from their website, and it handles most typical file formats that you will be working with, including .WAV files and .MP3 files. Install and play around with the software so that you get used to it. The most commonly used part of the software that you will use will be the speed lever. Lower the speed of the audio to the point where you can listen and type and not have to rewind or fast-forward too much. This will save you lots of time and frustration.
Get a profile on oDesk.com, or look online for those hiring transcriptionists. Many transcription jobs you may receive will be podcasts, meetings, speeches, interviews, and other audio recordings. Be sure to research the going rate for transcription services in your area or online before quoting someone too high or too low. A great resource is The Ultimate Transcription Jobs eBook, which lists over 450 transcription companies and checks them all with the BBB to make sure they’re legit. It compiles all their information (contact info, website links, and work requirements) into one handy resource. Definitely worth the money.
The general rule of thumb is about 3-4 hours of transcription time for every hour of audio. This is a good general rule to go by, but of course, make sure you can meet this criteria before advertising that you’re capable of turning around audio within a certain amount of time. Some people need rush transcriptions done, and a delay will only upset them.
Get references. If someone loved the work you did, see if they will email you a testimonial that you can use to help advertise yourself. Lots of people are hired by word of mouth, especially when being hired online. Earn your testimonials and continue to live up to them as you continue your transcription “career.”
Tips and Tricks
* You can purchase foot pedals that work with your software to help make rewinding and fastforwarding easier. These are optional and not necessary to be a transcriptionist.
* Watch out for scams! Since the concept of working at home is a growing opportunity for scammers, be careful of where you submit your information!