One of the easiest services offer as a virtual assistant start over is transcription. General transcription services require a small setup and it’s an in-demand service. But is it easy to perform? Not really.

It is not just a simple typing job; transcription needs special skill sets.

Transcription service has a vast work area as many types of audio files can be transcribed. Out of many categories, there are three main segments for transcription – general, medical, and legal.

Many clients mainly look for general transcription services due to trending internet marketing and social media, also called business transcription. Such transcription includes transcribing a teleseminar, a podcast, a conference call, a webinar, or any other kind of digital audio.

If you are interested in including transcription as one of your services, here are the 8 tips that will assist you to perfect your skills:

  1. Be a fast and accurate typist: You must have a fast typing speed because a slow speed will not be going to work here. With the slow speed, you will end up doing endless corrections and that will make the job time-consuming. Thus, it will waste your time and probably loss of clients.
  2. Accurate hearing skills: Clear hearing and understanding are mandatory because what is being said on the audio you must be able to type accurately. To ensure you can hear properly use good headphones or earphones, especially in case of more than one speaker, background noise, or a different accent.
  3. Look for correct spelling on the internet: To deliver high accuracy, find correct spelling or other relevant information on the internet about the audios you’re transcribing. As a professional, you must be able to mention the names of the speakers and the programs they are talking about in audio.
  4. For accurate results get transcription software: Via an internet search, you can get many free and paid software available in different versions. It’s better if you have prior experience in using the software so that you can either operate it using a foot pedal or using a keyboard. Some people find it difficult to work on laptops, while others use desktops and keyboard shortcut keys. Whatever way you use it, ensure it’s comfortable for you.
  5. Manage your accuracy: Typing accurately is more important than typing extremely fast, which means you should be able to type fast with accuracy. This will save your proofreading time when you don’t have to correct grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. It will be a great advantage if you have good grammar and spelling skills otherwise you can use relevant software for this or ask someone else to proofread the transcript before sending it to the client.
  6. Know your client’s document format needs: Ahead of time ask your client what type of document format they want. It’s better to type in the desired format than try to format a large document afterward.
  7. Your workstation should be comfortable: It doesn’t matter what kind of work you do, your workstation should be comfortable for you to deliver the best results. While transcribing any audio file your workstation must be suitable for you.
  8. Charge by the audio hour: The client doesn’t want to pay you for 2 or 3 hours of work, only to have you say it took 8 hours to transcript the document for whatever reason. Figure out how many hours it takes you to do one hour of audio then accordingly use that as your base audio hour rate. When there is a firm fee, your client will be more interested to sign on the dotted line.

These tips will help you to get set up to offer transcription services. Remember dictation transcription services or any other transcriptions service require a lot of practice. From the start when you set yourself up for success, you will be able to build up your speed with practice.

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