Once you have realized an immense potential, possess a nice skill set that adds value to people, and developed an effective approach on how to attract potential customers, getting them to pay you for your work is the next crucial step. Experience may be the best teacher and yes, with consistent practice, you can become a master at dealing with clients, but here are a few tips that can speed things up and prevent the pain of commonly making the same mistakes over and over again.
1. Gain Experience even at no Pay.
A good initial step is to spread the word amongst your peers, family members, ex-colleagues and friends. Draft a well-written email telling everyone what skills you specialize in and ask them to pass on the message. Here are a few ideas. If you’ve got training in transcription, you can help a church in documenting their sermons for them to have something to use anytime in the future for reference. If you are interested working with interviewers, you can email people offering such service, talking about how you can help work with their transcription needs, stating clearly as to how you will be improving it. Consider charging nominal fees for you are still molding your portfolio. Another trick that most transcription freelancers use is working for charities and Non-Governmental Organizations. They always have plenty of work that needs to be done and are more than happy to outsource them especially when you are willing to work for free.
2. Start Sharing Online.
As you work on completing projects, big or small, consider sharing or talking about it online in blogs, social media especially on career sites like LinkedIn. The best medium to spread the word online is via blog, forum, or video. Start creating a website and share valuable bits of your knowledge to others. As an example, if you are an expert in analyzing most hand-writings, or difficult audios, or probably knowledgeable in a specific field of transcription, you can share some of the basic tips, or your story, or what makes you passionate as a transcriptionist. When you’ve garnered enough popularity, you can organize Google Hangout sessions where you can do Q&A, guide people etc. Once people see you as an authority, you can definitely expect individuals, professionals, or corporate entities to inquire about your transcription services. They will ask you for help in specific projects or even approach you about partnerships.
3. Listen. Understand. Simplify.
Remember, people who ask you for your expertise, more often than not, aren’t aware of all the nitty gritties of transcription. If they were, they wouldn’t be approaching you in the first place for your general and/or medical transcription services. Be careful not to bombard them with innumerable questions and jargons. It can be a huge turn off. Also, try to curb the instinct in replying to enquiries right away. Understand what exactly your target market is looking for. Do a background check on them and try to learn as much as you can, about your potential client, through social media sites like LinkedIn or even by looking them up on Google. This will give you a good idea about their intentions, what kind of company you will be potentially working with. Figure out if it is worth your time. Your research might reveal clients who don’t seem to be trustworthy, who might have shady businesses, or currently have limited resources. Or, you might feel that the work may not be something that is challenging or valuable enough to offer you opportunities to grow. Once you’re done with it, reply with clear simple terms, and make it simple for the client to share all their details.
4. Speak to the Client.
Once both you and your client gets interested in taking the project forward, speak to them. If they happen to live or work nearby, consider meeting them in person. The next best alternatives are chatting over video or phone calls. Lots of free services like Skype, Google Hangout allows you to video chat with anyone across the globe; and VOIP services like Viber even allow you to make free phone calls across borders. Speaking to a client builds trust and importantly lays the foundation for a professional relationship. You can ask questions, receive immediate responses, and even share ideas and insights that can aid in changes. It is extremely hard to achieve the same degree of convenience and trust when trying to do the same over email.
Conversations over video chat or phone call is great to get things started, but make sure to end the conversation with a clear actionable plan that is agreeable to both parties. Include the duration of transcription work, terms and your rates in the plan. It is always advisable to keep things in writing as they serve as a legit record when needed.
5. Quality Work.
Finally, never ever skimp on the quality of your work. Do not rest until you are truly satisfied. Ask yourself, if you were the client, would you be happy with the work being delivered?! If not, then improve it. Quality work ensures a strong testimonial from the client. This leads to an impressive portfolio, a loyal transcription client, and higher probabilities of being referred to others who are looking for your expertise. Keep yourself abreast with the latest improvements when it comes to transcription techniques and technologies. This is the easiest way to market yourself. Let the work do the talking!