Audio transcription is a little-appreciated and underutilised part of business admin.
The term conjures up images of a traditional secretary using a foot pedal to control an old-school, tape dictaphone. You might also assume that its usefulness is limited to lawyers practices, medical centres and academic research. But how does it fit into the new business world of cloud apps and mobile devices?
I’m here to tell you that audio transcription has real relevance to a modern small business, and that you may be missing out on some very tangible benefits by not including it in your productivity arsenal.
Can’t visualise how it could fit into your daily routine? Here are some ideas:
Dictate emails and letters
Let’s start with the more obvious – correspondence. Those of us who are fast typists take our speed and agility on the keyboard for granted. For many, writing emails (and typing in general) is a huge drain on time and productivity.
You can eliminate this issue entirely with a digital dictaphone and a quick 5 minutes running through your emails and recording your desired response. It doesn’t need to be verbatim – chances are the person you’re asking to transcribe your memo is also perfectly equipped to compose an appropriate, businesslike reply on your behalf.
Capture notes from seminars and presentations you attend
If you’re anything like me, you regularly attend seminars and presentations in a bid to soak up every nugget of business genius that people have to offer. The reality, of course, is that you probably won’t have time to action this new information straight away, so you’ll want comprehensive notes.
The problem being it’s very difficult to take comprehensive notes whilst being “present” and absorbing what the speaker is saying. The perfect solution would be to record the presentation (with the speaker’s permission of course!) and have it transcribed into notes, highlighting the key points, for you to come back to at a later date.
Repurpose your video and audio content into blog posts (and more!)
If you have any sort of online presence, generating content should be pretty high on your priority list. But you’re not alone if you’re someone who puts off blogging because writing isn’t your strong point.
You might find that a different medium suits you better such as a short Youtube video, or an audio podcast. But there’s no getting away from the fact that search engines feed largely on textual content. A transcriptionist can repurpose your audio or video content into text that could be used not just for blog posts but ebooks, newsletters, presentations, social media posts – you name it! It’s all about making your content go as far as possible.
Minute important meetings
Need to document an important meeting but don’t have anyone on site who can produce the minutes and allow you to focus on participating in the discussions? One solution would be to record the meeting and have it transcribed. And that doesn’t just go for face to face meetings – Skype and Google Hangouts can be recorded too.
Document ideas, plans and “lightbulb moments”
Ever had a lightbulb moment on your travels, only to forget all about it by the time you get back to your desk? If only you had recorded it on your phone using an app like Evernote and asked your assistant to transcribe it into a proper note for you! We often have our best ideas when we’re out and about – don’t waste them!
Develop scripts for your webinars and presentations
Did you ever hold an amazing presentation or webinar that had just the right mix of information, entertainment and sales, but that you didn’t script out beforehand? How can you ensure that you capture that magic next time, using the same words and presentation structure?
The answer is you record it and have it transcribed into a script that you can use again and again!
In summary, transcription is a vital tool for the new generation of content-creating entrepreneurs. Are you making the most of it?