Whenever I tell people that I’m a transcriptionist, I am typically met with a blank stare. Occasionally someone will ask if I’m in medical transcription, because that’s the only reference they have of the word. Although it’s been around for many years, transcription still seems to be fairly new to the public. To be honest, I didn’t know the correct term for it until I started researching ways to work from home.
I am here to let you know that transcription is not just for the legal and medical fields anymore, and is becoming a more and more popular tool for individuals and companies to use. Not only does transcription help you gain exposure and reach broader audiences, it also turns your audio into a permanent documentation of words that wont get lost as technology and modes of audio are updated. Here are a few of the reasons you might want to consider transcription, and who can benefit from adding transcripts to their work:
Reach as many people as possible: When you upload audio onto the internet, do you think about the people who will be able to consume it? Not all audio is transcribed or closed captioned, making it difficult for people with hearing impairments to engage with or enjoy your files. Also, some people are more visual learners and retain information better when it is read. Along with making the content easier to access, some people just enjoy reading over listening. By providing a transcript you can reach a broader audience and give people the opportunity to review your content without having to listen to the entirety of the audio multiple times.
Longevity: As I mentioned, transcripts of your audio are a permanent documentation. If a piece of work is in print it will always be readable. Podcasts, YouTube videos, Instagram, and all other modes on the never ending list of consumable audio, are great sources of education and entertainment. Unfortunately, technology is ever changing and we never know how long these electronic sources will be relevant or compatible, and it never hurts to have a back up.
Providing reports and information: It is very common for those in the business field to hold phone interviews, panel discussions, podcasts, videos, etc. A transcript of these sorts of discussions could be useful to companies and individuals that put out reports. Instead of a jumbled conversation the focus can go to the facts, extracting only the important information and turning it into an official document that clearly outlines business reports or product information. This kind of documentation can also summarize important data to be used as a selling point.
Use the transcript to create other content: Not only can you create reports and product information guides, you can re-purpose the transcript information for almost any type of written piece. Transcripts can be turned into blog posts, articles, studies, email list letters, short stories, to name a few. You could also use snippets of your conversations and research as social media posts, maybe as a teaser for your new business, or possibly a novel.
Boost your SEO: For those of you with websites I assume that SEO is a common vocabulary word, but for those that tend to get lost when it comes to cyber space lingo (like me), it means search engine optimization. That means making your content more visible. Having a written document of your audio file that is posted to the web enables your content to be searched on search engines, whereas a stand alone audio cannot be searched at all. It informs search engines of exactly what content is in your audio file. To help improve your SEO even more, it is suggested to have a specific word or phrase that shows up throughout the transcript.
Gain exposure: Boosting your SEO can definitely help you gain exposure, but so can sharing your content with others. If you collaborate with others to create your content, or you do things like have guests on your podcast, you can ask them to share transcripts that they were involved in on their sites as well. Along with introducing you to a larger audience, the viewers will be able to read your words and gain a better understanding of you and what you do.
Journalists: Journalists, and really anyone that does interviewing, can greatly benefit from transcription. Recording interviews and conversations allows journalists to fully engage with their subject, and not worry about taking notes or getting direct quotes. They will have all of the information that they need after a transcript is produced without worrying about missing something. Besides being able to focus on their subject, having a transcript also provides journalist with pieces that they can just plug into a story, and a document that can be re-purposed and formatted as an article.
Researchers: Like in journalism, having a transcript allows you to put all of your attention on your subject, and it can save you a lot of note taking. Transcripts of research interviews and discussions can be very helpful when compiling research data to write an article or report. This is also a section where verbatim transcription can be useful, providing the researcher with direct quotes and styles of speech and language.
Writers and authors: Though many writers enjoy the task of note taking and typing, there are also writers than enjoy recording their notes into audio files. Some authors have even dictated entire novels! A transcriptionist can save a writer time by typing up these types of notes, and some transcriptionists will even format the notes to flow like a story. Along with saving the writer time, having a transcript provides a detailed and organized account of the writers thoughts.
Podcasters: Transcripts can be great for podcasters for a combination of benefits listed in previous sections. Having a transcript can help drive people to your podcast, especially if they’re searching for specific things that might be mentioned on your show. It can also help your content reach a broader market, allowing those with hearing impairments or other auditory obstacles the ability to consume your content. And, as mentioned, transcripts can be turned into almost any type of written content. This means that you can now create a blog post to go along with your podcast episode!
Others that may benefit from transcription: Life coaches, business coaches, psychologists, academics, website creators, law enforcement, government agencies, translators, doctors, marketers, speakers. Just to name a few.
Moral of the story: The possibilities are endless!