Transcription Services Essentials: You Must Know

Transcription Services Essentials: You Must Know
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


With access to the world now at our fingertips, organizations are establishing their presence in different geographic regions and attracting shareholders from different countries.

Small businesses are also reaching audiences throughout the world by leveraging the power of the internet.

As businesses expand, their need for Transcription services increases.

Businesses may rely on transcription companies to produce written content to be used for various purposes. Here are a few examples:

  • Financial organizations may need their AGMs transcribed for their shareholders
  • Small businesses may need transcription services for online marketing purposes
  • Lawyers require legal reports or testimonials to be transcribed, etc.

Nearly all industries require transcription services for one reason or the other.

As a transcriptionist, it is critical to create written work that accurately depicts the messages that clients want to pass to their target audiences.

Here are the transcription service essentials you should know.

Good Listening Skills are a Must     

Being a good listener is the first skill you need to be a successful transcriptionist.

It is only through listening that you can produce accurate work that will make clients happy and want to retain you for your services.

However, while listening is easy, it can get really boring if you are not interested in the topics being discussed by the speakers.

For example, you may be given audio files with subject matter revolving around religious, social, or political views that you don’t agree with. Listening to such subjects can make your work difficult.

As you establish your business as a freelance transcriber, you will have to develop a thick skin for listening to various subjects, especially during the initial stages when you may not have a lot of work coming in.

As you start getting more clients, you can opt not to work with those whose content may be offensive or go against your beliefs.

Produce Accurate Transcriptions

Accuracy is one of the basics of professional transcription. Accuracy is a major deal breaker as clients want transcribers that can accurately capture what is spoken in audio or video files into written content.

In some industries, accuracy is everything. For example, when you are transcribing the financial numbers of an investment firm, a small mistake in reporting the sales figures can lead to unexpected outcomes such as lost investors, decline of public confidence in the organization, lost jobs, and more.

Regardless of a client’s industry, it is critical that you produce accurate, error-free transcriptions of the content assigned.

Proofread the written content and evaluate it for accuracy based on the audio files provided before submitting it to your client.

Meet Client Deadlines

Transcription jobs also require you to stick to deadlines. Some industries have stricter deadlines than others.

For example, attorneys need court proceedings or testimonies transcribed before their next hearings, which could be the next day. These clients will usually want their work transcribed in a couple of hours.

You should know the type of clients you are working with as well as their deadline expectations.

Clients who require fast turnaround times usually pay more than those who are flexible with submission deadlines.

Read Also: Top 5 Business Gadgets and Software for 2013

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Follow Formatting Rules

Formatting is another important aspect of the transcription business.

There are different types of formatting you may have to adhere to, depending on whether you are working directly with a client or a transcription agency.

Most transcription agencies have in-house rules that their freelance transcribers have to follow.

If you are working directly with different businesses, there may also be some formatting rules to follow.

Transcription formatting makes the written content easy to read and understand.

For example, imagine a transcription project that involved two or more speakers.

If you do not format your written content properly, it will be difficult for anyone to understand the information from the speakers.

Maintain Confidentiality

Some transcription jobs will require you to maintain the confidentiality of the client.

Such jobs usually involve transcribing sensitive information that the state requires to be handled carefully or information that can affect an organization when it falls in the wrong hands.

For example, clients in the medical industry that need patient information transcribed usually require transcriptionists to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and have specific measures to limit access to the audio or video content to be transcribed.

Financial companies may also require the signing of an NDA to prevent sensitive financial information from getting into the hands of malicious third parties.

As a transcriptionist, it is important to understand the legalities of NDAs and how they can affect you.

Breaking an NDA may leave you exposed to legal action by the client or other parties.

Transcription is the art and science of converting spoken words into written text.

Transcriptionists play an important role in keeping businesses in all types of industries running efficiently. The above are transcription services essentials you should know.

Also Read: How to Devise a Successful Transcription Project Plan

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.