If you're just starting out as a freelance transcriptionist, you're probably thinking that your current set up of a laptop, foot pedal and the headphones are fine in terms of doing a decent job.
If the recordings your clients are sending you are good quality with clear speech, you probably don't need any more than this. However, if you're serious about getting steady business and working with a variety of clients and formats, you need to be smarter than your competitors.
These 4 things will set you above the rest, and help you work more efficiently:
1. The Best Headphones You Can Afford
These have to go at the top, as they are unquestionably the most important piece of equipment in your kit. Headphones are more appropriate than ear buds, as even a relatively basic and simple set without a noise-cancelling function will keep out a lot of external distractions and help you concentrate.
If you're not a fan of extra cables in your workspace, opt for wireless or Bluetooth options, but don't forget to recharge them in-between uses.
You will already have your preferred package for playing files in place, but sometimes your clients are working in a variety of sectors and environments. If this is the case, they won't always have a nice, quiet office to dictate material they want you to transcribe for them.
There is a variety of reasonably-priced packages available to clean up files and give you a chance to transcribe them more accurately. Many of these offers free trial periods so that you can see which program gives the best results for you before you make a decision.
3. Software II
Give some thought to your word processing program. Although it would be prudent to use packages that make finished documents compatible with older versions, longer documents may benefit from software designed specifically with writers in mind. It is easier to organize specific sections and research notes, thus saving you and your client a great deal of time.
If you pick up a lot of clients of this type - academic writers, for example - you may also want to investigate database function software to keep your clients' source accompanying materials separate from each other.
You have probably already discussed completed documents and recording deliveries if your clients are working with material where confidentiality is not a primary issue.
Online cloud packages are useful; however, your own transcription business website with security encryption is still better.