From the Desk of Heather Marshall, Project Manager
About a week ago Erica asked me if I would write a blog post about how I do what it is that I do with our client’s transcripts. I said of course I would! Why? Because I LOVE my job. Well, that was a week ago and I’m just now sitting down to write. I’ve spent this last week thinking, “Wow. What do I really do?” It’s not that I don’t do anything…I do. It’s that I never really sat down to consider how I go about doing it.
Our Family of Transcriptionists
First things first, we work with an incredible group of ladies who work from home, as Erica and I do. They are not only excellent typists but also great listeners and researchers. A good transcriptionist has to be able to understand different speech patterns, know when to break the transcript up into headings and subheadings, and how to look something up if they’re not sure of a word or concept. I would never be able to do my job well if we didn’t have these lovely ladies working for us in the background.
Getting to Know Each Unique Client
Okay, but what do I do? I create a template for every client we have. Each client has his or her own unique needs. Some clients want straight verbatim traditional transcripts. Most want transcripts that are cleaned up or “smart edited” where our transcriptionists leave out stutters, false starts or “ahs” and “ums”. We take transcripts and turn them into blog posts or articles. Others want a smart edited eBook style transcript.
Every time I get a new client who wants an eBook style transcript is when the real fun begins for me. Each eBook template I create is as unique as the client we create it for. We offer two different types of eBook transcript. The first is a basic eBook transcript. The other is a more detailed custom stylized eBook.
I spend time researching the client’s website, videos and niche. I listen to the audio to get a feel of the client’s tone. I ask for any specific images or colors the client would like used. I make a cover page and I create an about or bio page.
While I know there are several document programs out there, we prefer to use Microsoft Word 2007 & 2010. With this program I am able to create an interactive Table of Contents, headings and subheadings. We are able to make headers and footers with clickable links back to the client’s website. Another advantage is the ease of turning these eBooks into a .pdf from Word. We do this for our clients too.
Transcribed and Proofed
When the template is complete I send it out to be transcribed. Once the transcription is complete it comes back to me for editing and proofreading. I go through each transcript with my fine tooth English comb and do any editing that may be necessary. If there are any areas that the transcriptionist could not hear or understand, I listen to the audio and fill in the blanks.
Once all of this is done I proudly upload my baby (yes, each and every transcript is a product of love for me) to the client’s folder in Basecamp with a sigh of contented relief.
So, in short, this is how I do what I do. I love to create. I have a great love for English. I am grateful to Erica for allowing me to be paid to do what I love.