I had the opportunity to interview Loretta Oliver, the creator of “Transcription Crash Course“. Loretta has been a transcriptionist for many years and knows the ins and outs of starting a freelance home transcriptionist business.
What sparked my interest in Loretta’s transcription course is that many people are looking for a way to make money without having to spend money, and her course solves that problem.
The fact is that there are many opportunities to become a home transcriptionist, but the majority of people don’t know where to look or know how to get started.
Loretta tells all in her 17-page course, detailing exactly what you need as far as equipment and skills, and where to go to land a work from home transcriptionist job or get freelance transcription work.
After going through her course I had some questions, and she was nice enough to answer them.
Here are the questions I asked, with Loretta’s responses below:
What made you want to become a transcriptionist?
It honestly sort of happened by accident. I was doing data entry full time when a friend asked me to do some transcription work for a company that had some overflow work. I figured I’d try it out and make a few extra dollars. I ended up doing overflow for that company on a regular basis for a few months. It was enough to keep me transcribing, but not a full time income yet.
That said, while I do mention a few companies that hire transcription workers I definitely recommend freelancing or working for yourself with private clients over that any day of the week. You’ll find yourself with more profits and building an industry name in no time at all.
Out of all the freelance sites you mention, which one would you recommend the most?
I like Freelancer.com (formerly GetaFreelancer.com) because I’d have to say it’s the easiest to use. But, if we’re talking about workload I’d say that oDesk.com seems to get a bit more transcription work than some of the other freelance sites. I think that’s because oDesk is geared more toward the “secretarial” type of jobs.
Do you have any tips or words of advice for people that are considering getting started as a transcriptionist?
Just get started. Stop thinking about it and start typing. Of course, like anything, it’s not for everybody, but give it at least a month or two with a good solid effort and see how it goes. You might find yourself with a pleasant career by the end of that two months.
Eventually I realized that I enjoyed the transcription work more than the online data entry that I was doing AND the transcription work paid better. It was a no brainer decision at that point to make the switch and start looking for more transcription work. Before I knew it I was transcribing almost every day.
Is it really as easy as it sounds to get started?
It actually is. Like I said, I sort of ended up in this field by accident. Once I started looking around I was surprised at how easy it is to get a foot in the door and make a name for yourself in this field. A lot of transcription companies have high turnover rates, because their work flow varies and people get distracted and do other things. Makes sense right?
That’s part of why I recommend working for yourself and taking private clients instead. You’re less likely to get distracted that way and you have more control over the workflow coming in and going out. A transcriptionist can maintain a decent monthly income with just a handful of regular clients.
Can you really get started for free?
Yes. If you already have a computer you can start right now, today, without spending any money. It helps if you have 20 dollars or so to spend on some headphones, but even that is not a requirement. I spent a solid month transcribing from my computer speakers without headphones. My husband thought I was crazy and it drove the dog crazy, but it got the job done until I got that month’s pay, which I then used to go buy some noise cancelling headphones.
What skills must a person posses to be a good transcriptionist?
Nothing spectacular is needed here, honestly. That’s what’s so great about this, anyone can do it. People think you have to be an exceptionally fast typist and that’s just not true. Sure, it’s helpful, but it’s not a requirement when you’re working for yourself. I promise you that within a few months of transcribing your typing speed will increase dramatically.
That being said, if you’re going to do this (or anything else) working from home, you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time alone and at your computer. I think that is the thing that really hangs people up about working from home more than anything. It’s lonely and there’s no way around that.
Is this career saturated, or are there plenty of opportunities for people wanting to get started?
I haven’t found it to be saturated yet and I’ve been in the industry to some degree for 7 years now. There are plenty of opportunities, and I see a lot of transcriptionists going into “niches” which I think is a fantastic idea. You could be a podcast transcriptionist, a Blog Talk Radio transcriptionist, a video transcriptionist, whatever you want to be known as, go for it.
Is it really possible to land a transcription job with the companies you provide in the course?
I haven’t worked directly with any companies in a long time, so I don’t know exactly what their hiring rate is like, but I do still try to keep an eye on the forums and listen to the chatter and it seems like a lot are still hiring part time transcriptionists on a pretty regular basis. They do get a lot of applications, so it might take awhile to get a reply, but there are definitely places out here with a need.
One thing covered in this transcription course and that Loretta touched on above is that you don’t need any special skills. I mean sure, it helps if you can type, but you don’t have to be able to type 50+ words per minute. That’s just crazy. Any mediocre typist can work from home as a transcriptionist.
Since you already have a computer and internet connection, and probably an email address, you’re all set to start your transcriptionist career. Anything else that you would need you can get completely free, and Loretta explains all of this in her course.
What I think I like the most is the fact that Loretta makes herself completely available to everyone that purchases her transcription course. She encourages you to follow her on Twitter to ask her questions directly. She also sends out periodic tips via email and encourages you to email her back with any questions you have for her. Her personal approach and willingness to help you become successful is priceless, in my opinion.
Take a look at Transcription Crash Course and get started in a home transcriptionist career starting today. The small fee is a very small price to pay considering the amount of money that can be made as a transcriptionist, plus the unlimited amount of personal help you’ll get from Loretta.