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Archive for communication

Intelligent transcription – how it can help with your audio and video content

Intelligent transcription – what’s that again??

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. Good intentions have come and gone, so it’s time to go back to basics and ask you a quick question.

What are you struggling with right now, with regards to your content? How can intelligent transcription help with your content? What the bloomin’ heck is intelligent transcription anyway??!!

A quick recap of intelligent transcription

There’s that word again, intelligent!

I’ve come to realise that despite me thinking everybody must surely know what it is I do, and what is involved, this is not the case.

I was chatting to one of the other attendees at my regular networking meeting this week, someone I’ve now known for quite a few months, and it transpires he wasn’t exactly sure what my work involves.

I had mentioned taking the ums and ers out of the spoken word (meaning I was transcribing what someone was saying, and leaving the mumbles and stutters out whilst typing), and he thought it meant I literally took the ums and ers out of the recording!

Not sure that my technical ability is quite up to that!

So here’s a very quick recap to get you up to speed…

My business is all about transcription. At its most basic level, I listen to audio and video recordings through my headphones and I type what’s said. I have special transcription software that works in conjunction with a foot pedal, so I can play, pause, rewind and fast forward using my foot!

What sort of audio and video recordings can be transcribed?

  • Straightforward one person dictation e.g. letters and reports.
  • Interviews.
  • Focus groups.
  • Meetings.
  • Conferences.
  • Workshops.
  • Webinars.
  • Course content in the form of videos or audio recordings.
  • Facebook Live recordings.
  • YouTube videos.
  • Podcasts.

Have I missed anything?

What’s the intelligent bit?

In some cases, for example police interviews, a verbatim transcript is usually required. This will include absolutely everything that’s said in the recording, including ums, ers, where the interviewer says yeah, or mm-hmm, background noises, coughing…absolutely everything.

Intelligent transcription takes away anything unnecessary. What you get is a transcript of what was said, but missing out things like ums, ers, unnecessary repetitions, interjections and so on, so the text makes absolute sense.

I suppose the exception would be for straight dictation, but the content of a letter or a report usually needs to be word for word, and if it’s one person speaking, you can usually use a bit of common sense to leave out the odd ‘um’ during the transcribing process!

How can this help you?

I’ll give one example of a client I had a couple of years ago. She had put together an online course, and most of the content was available to access in the form of videos, which were also provided as mp3 audio recordings, so those participating in the course could listen on the go.

However, she was aware that learning styles differ and some people prefer to read their content, rather than watch or listen. It was my job to transcribe the videos, and the transcripts were provided along with the video and audio recordings, thus making the content fully accessible.

So that’s just for starters.

What are you currently struggling with? Could intelligent transcription help you make your content more accessible? Or perhaps you’re a one person business doing letters and reports and you need help on an adhoc basis, but don’t want to hire someone full time, might this service help you?

I’d love to hear what you think, so please either comment below, or pop over to my Facebook page and leave me a message.


Being ‘the real you’ in your business

Are you being ‘the real you’ in your business?

160316-091232I was chatting with the other ladies in my Facebook mastermind group last week and discussing what we put out there on our business pages and what gets the most reach. We all agreed that reach can be fairly pitiful, depending on what we’re sharing. It got me thinking about the content I post on a daily basis and the content of other people’s pages I see. Obviously we tend to see people’s highlights, so where can you be ‘the real you’ instead of a carefully curated version of yourself?

Being ‘authentic’ – for want of a better word…

I shared this particularly ‘authentic’ (I’m not sure I like that word in this context!) photo of myself on my page in the middle of the week after the chat with my mastermind buddies.

I decided to bemoan the fact I feel obliged to have a phone for my business, although I never actually answer it. I get enquiries via email 99 per cent of the time, anyway!

I always thought I was quite unusual in having a bit of a phone phobia, but the engagement I got on my post was amazing! Who knew so many others dislike talking on the phone? I’m actually thinking of getting rid of the phone later this year and only having an email address on my website.

Is this something you would consider doing? Do you have a phone only because you think you have to have one?

When I started my business I did all the stuff I thought I should be doing, and I offered certain services in my then virtual assistant business because other VAs did, so I thought I should too. I didn’t realise that I could just offer something I really enjoyed doing, i.e. transcription, and forget about the other stuff.

The same goes for how I have portrayed myself on social media and so on. For a while now I’ve been considering changing the picture I have on my website, Facebook page and Twitter profile. It’s the same picture, and it’s fine, it’s a nice businesslike shot and I’m smiling. But is the picture above more like me in my business on a day to day basis?!?

Lastly I do consider myself to be a bit of an introvert. That’s not to say I’m not the life and soul of the party when I want to be, but only on my terms. I would far rather have a glass of wine and a laugh with a small group of friends than be thrown into a gaggle of people all competing to see who can talk the loudest. This probably explains why I love to work on my own so much, and why I can lose myself in the interesting content that I transcribe on a daily basis.

So…what do you consider is ‘the real you’ in your business? Do you try and present an idealised picture to the outside world, or do you show yourself and all your flaws, warts and all? Please comment below, or pop over to my Facebook page and check out my recent posts!




When is it time to outsource?

When is it time to consider outsourcing?

DeathtoStock_SlowDown3I’ll be honest, this is a question I’ve been asking myself a LOT recently. Anyone who knows me will know that I can be a bit of a control freak when it comes to letting go of anything to do with my business. I’ve been in business now for just over five years, and the only thing I’ve entrusted to someone else is the yearly task of the dreaded tax return. So, when is it time to outsource tasks in your business?

Are you running out of time?

I’ve been really busy with actual work recently. Not that I’m complaining, after all, why on earth would you start a business if you weren’t trying to get clients and be busy with work?

The downside to being so busy is I’ve let things slide, including this blog. This is my first post since before Christmas, and I’m a little bit cross with myself, as I’d got into a fairly regular pattern of blogging once a fortnight in 2015 and I had plans to be writing more regularly.

I just haven’t been setting aside the time to get this scheduled in!

It’s silly, really. I’ve started going to a networking meeting every Tuesday morning at 9.15am, so this is scheduled into my diary and I fit it in.

If I can manage this, there’s absolutely no reason why I can’t also fit in blog writing, or whatever else has fallen by the wayside, like scheduling social media posts or getting my accounts up to date.

That doesn’t necessarily mean I enjoy updating my accounts, mind you…although the Virgo in me loves seeing the spreadsheet all up to date with the columns nicely aligned!

What do you enjoy doing and what makes you feel a bit….meh?

I don’t mind scheduling social media, but I never really know how many posts to schedule, and the whole analytics thing makes me go all Kevin the teenager – do I have to?!?

Accounts can be a bit dull to keep up to date, but as mentioned above, I do outsource my tax return, which is a definite bonus!

I actually do enjoy writing my blog (when I make the time), but I know the writing process doesn’t come easily for some people.

So I have two suggestions for you when it comes to blogging.

You can either outsource the writing of blog posts altogether, and for that I suggest you go and speak to Charlotte Fleming at Great Copy – she really knows her stuff. Or if you prefer, you might want to try dictating your thoughts into your smartphone, and you can pass your musings on to me and I will transcribe and edit them into a piece of writing that makes sense.

What to you think? Are there tasks that you keep putting off? Please either comment below, or pop over to my Facebook page and send me a message.


Are you scared of using the phone?

phone boxes (640x480)

A bit of nostalgia first…

Does anybody still use the traditional red phone box? I’m old enough to remember a time when, as a Brownie, we had to have 2p in our pocket along with a clean hanky, a bandage and a piece of string (?). Yes, there was a time when you could make a call for 2p! I can also remember when you would go and meet a friend up the town on a Saturday, and if they didn’t show up, you would debate whether you might miss them if you headed off to the nearest phone box to see if they’d already left.

It’s hard to imagine how we managed before mobile phones, but we didn’t know any better, I suppose!

Phone phobia!

Returning to the 21st century, what’s your favourite method of communicating with your clients?

Telephone, email, Skype or perhaps ping pong Facebook message?

I use nearly all of the above, but almost without exception I will avoid the first one – the telephone!

Faceless communication

I think this has a lot to do with not being able to see the person I’m speaking to.  Although I won’t make a song and dance about being an intravert (I don’t like to label myself too much!), I do get anxious when I’m confronted with a lot of noisy people in a room (give me a smaller number of people I know well, and I can be the life and soul of the party!), and if a number comes up on my phone that I don’t know, I immediately have a physical reaction (think butterflies in the stomach) and I will ignore it.

Before you ask (and as you’re on my website you’ll know already), yes, I do have phone numbers for my business, but I think I must be sending out a ‘don’t call me’ vibe, as nine times out of ten, any business enquiries I get come via email or Facebook, and I can reply to these in a timely manner but also think about how I’m going to respond.

There’s also the issue of being completely focused on what you’re doing, only to be interrupted by the phone ringing and breaking your concentration, and for this reason alone I tend to keep my phone on silent all the time. I don’t think constantly stopping to answer your phone is a very productive way of working, and if you are worried about missing calls, especially if you receive a lot, there are plenty of good call answering services out there.

I do think, however, that as there are so many different methods of communication these days and if you’re not comfortable using the phone, you shouldn’t feel you have to make yourself do it just because you think everyone else is. For example, I am more than happy to schedule Skype calls, the difference being that you can actually see the person you’re speaking to and get the same benefit as if you were meeting in person.

What do you think? I know I can’t be the only one who really doesn’t like using the phone, so let me know if you’re a fellow phone hater!