Having mentors and learning from their experiences is the easiest and most effective way of ensuring online success as a professional Transcriber.
Having that in mind, I took the liberty of interviewing highly qualified and most sought-after transcribers of our time. They are fast, effective, successful and they get the job done the right way the first time.
Allow me to introduce to you Annette Seline Kisia. A top-notch transcriptionist with insider tips and solid advice that will leave you asking for more. You can also check her out on LinkedIn.
Virginia: How did you get started in transcription?
Annette: I started transcription in 2008. I was introduced to it by a friend of mine she was the trainer. I trained for 3 months at Global BPO Solutions Company. After the training I started working and that’s pretty much how I started the journey of transcription.
Virginia: What type of files do you handle on a day to day basis?
Annette: I handle different types of files from sermons, focus groups, lectures, webinars, seminars, telephone conversations. The list is endless and the good thing about transcription is that everyday has different type of files.
Virginia: Do you accept multiple speaker files and/or files with foreign/heavy accents?
Annette: Having a long term experience in this, I accept all types of speaker files, multiple, single etc. Yes I handle heavy accents like Australian, Dutch, Scottish and Russian.
Virginia: And, what has your experience been like handling those types of projects?
Annette: My experience with handling such kinds of files is the more you do them, the more you get used to the accents and they become easy to decipher.
Virginia: Do you handle verbatim or non-verbatim projects or both?
Annette: I handle both but prefer non-verbatim.
Virginia: How has your experience been like?
Annette: The experience has been good but verbatim has a lot of work to it unlike non-verbatim, so I prefer non-verbatim.
Virginia: What medium do you use to receive work? Email, Dropbox, FTP? I get work via We Transfer and Dropbox.
Annette: What medium? I love Dropbox and WeTransfer as it is easy to distribute work to my transcribers with not much hassle.
Virginia: Do you use the same medium to return finished work (transcripts) back to the client?
Annette: I use Gmail to return finished work to the client.
Virginia: How frequent do you communicate with your clients?
Annette: I communicate with my clients like twice a day prior to receiving an assignment and after sending an assignment.
Virginia: What payment methods do you use to receive your funds from the clients?
Annette: I receive payments via PayPal and Wire Transfer.
Virginia: Do you work on Freelancing sites like oDesk, Elance, Fiverr and Freelancer?
Annette: Yes I work on oDesk.
Virginia: If yes, how has your experience been like?
Annette: My experience with oDesk has been great for the time I have worked with them.
Virginia: Do you accept private clients?
Annette: Yes I do.
Virginia: If so, do you sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?
Annette: Yes I do.
Virginia: What tips can you offer newbie’s while handling private clients?
Annette: While handling private clients be very careful, look at the previous jobs from that particular client and how they pay.
Virginia: Do you outsource? Yes or no?
Annette: Yes I do. I have a private Transcription Company.
Virginia: If yes, how do you go about it?
Annette: I have in-house and WAH transcribers. So depending on that I assign files in the office and for the WAH ones I send via Dropbox or Gmail.
Virginia: Is transcription your full-time income generator or do you have other sources?
Annette: I have other income generators.
Virginia: I understand you are a successful transcriptionist, what has led to your success?
Annette: What has led me to my success is patience, hard work, passion and loving what I do, persistence and practice too. I also took feedback positively while still new in this regardless it being negative or positive that is what has molded me. Self-discipline too and being focused on your work. As much as it is a freelance job it is a job like any other, so commitment is key.
Virginia: What challenges have you faced as a professional transcriptionist?
Annette: I have faced challenges of being delayed by clients or not being paid at all, I used to face challenges of work being irregular when I started. I used to fear heavy accents but with time I got better by learning from my mistakes and pressing on.
Virginia: What advice would you give new and aspiring transcriptionists?
Annette: I would encourage new and aspiring transcriptionists to focus on training, learn as much as you can, ask questions, be aggressive. Have a tough spirit as transcription is not for the faint-hearted, make each day a learning experience.
Another thing is don’t be greedy about the payment. It’s not always about the money. First build a strong foundation and focus on how to do it right and build a strong foundation even for your clients to see, that way the rates will come automatically.
Another thing is, it’s never easy. It takes a lot of failures and disappointments, heartache, negative feedback sometimes from clients but let that give you reason to work harder and not give up. Feedback is good, it’s for the better.
Also, seek mentorship from your mentors. It really helps a lot as they have been there, done that and can hold your hand and give you additional support in this journey. It’s never a bed of roses but once you have a platform you will love the experience, it’s the best job ever. For the years I have done this I can never trade it for anything else. You can work whenever you want from wherever you are and still earn depending on your input to it. Hope this is helpful. Let’s make Kenya the best in Transcription.
To all newbies: It hasn’t been easy, it takes patience, practice, commitment, determination and having passion for what you love doing. Love your work, put your all in it. Set daily targets and always work on providing the best accuracy and keeping deadlines. Never accept a job when you can’t deliver and keep communication with your clients. Freelance job has been the best thing for me, I work at my own time and from wherever I want. The job is so flexible and the workflow is regular. Keep in mind those three things: Excellent Accuracy+ Formatting + Keeping deadlines = A professional transcriber.
And there you have it folks. Solid advice from a Professional Transcriber who understands what it takes and what it means to deliver top-notch transcripts that meet her client’s needs every time.
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