Get the Right Kind of Help

Last time we talked about some free ways to get started with recording your audio: teleseminars, expert interviews, tele-classes, or simply dictation.

So you’ve got your mp3 and you’re ready to get it transcribed. Now what? If you’ve never worked with an outsource provider before, or if you have and it’s been a problem, here are some important guidelines and some common mistakes and what to do instead.

First of all, don’t ever forget that the quality of your products is the quality of your reputation online. It’s simply unavoidable. When people see your “stuff,” it represents you. Even on a tight budget you want things done right, on time, professionally, and to present you in an attractive light. That doesn’t have to cost a bundle, but it does take careful selection when you’re getting help.

What should you look for in choosing a transcription service? First of all, you can always find very cheap workers overseas on the freelance sites like Elance, but their English simply doesn’t work for this purpose. That can be a great place to get very good rates for services like web design, programming, and graphics, but not words.

We’ve had an awful lot of clients come to us after using discount transcription services, and their transcripts need a major clean-up or just need redoing. It takes as much time to fix it as it would have to do it right in the first place. It’s just not worth it. Why pay twice, frustrate yourself, and waste time?

You want to look for a company with a strong track record and great testimonials. Without knowing their work yourself, you can only go on what others say based on their own experience. It may be tempting to try a family member or “friend of a friend,” and if that works for you, then great. More often it ends up in some strained feelings and awkward situations when it doesn’t work out.

When evaluating your online options, look for a company that offers an objective way of billing, not per work hour. There’s no way to know how much work they can get done in an hour.

It’s more objective to pay per audio hour, because that’s completely measureable and you can know your cost right up front, based on the length of your audio file. Ideally you will find a company that has a choice of prices based on turn-around time, which lets you meet your project’s timeframe and budget.

Then contact the places you’re considering and see how their customer service is. You want a company that will respond to you quickly and courteously. After all, this is your business on the line. You’re looking for a potentially long-term relationship with this outsource provider as part of your virtual team. You may want to give them a small job first to see how it goes.

Bottom line, you’re going to compare reputation via testimonials, pricing options, response time, and even their expertise. Our company specializes in information marketers, coaches, authors, and solopreneurs. We don’t do corporate meetings, focus groups, medical, legal, insurance, academic dissertations, or that kind of thing.

We want to partner with you as part of building your own information empire online, starting with your transcripts, and that’s how we’ve build a stellar reputation over the years.

Next time we’ll bring it together in discussing how you can plan out a full portfolio of information products starting with your transcripts.