Transcription Tools for Virtual Assistants

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Lessons from a Digital Marketing Assistant Who Actually Does the Work

I’ve been doing the digital marketing virtual assistant gig for a while. I took on my first freelance client in 2009! But before that first retainer client, I used to work for an HGTV production company transcribing and logging their video and editing their scripts for a couple of popular TV shows.

As a military spouse, I am industrious and the queen of odd jobs. I get scrappy, and I like to make money! When I found this little side hustle, I was super happy because I got to work from home in 2006 and stay in my PJs. We were only at that duty station for 10 months, so I got to bring the work with me to our next duty station. It was a big light bulb moment when I realized I didn’t have to start OVER. But it wasn’t a job I would do forever, either. I secretly wanted to work my way up in the company. I’m telling you this because since I took on that work in 2006, the tech has changed, and transcribing has gotten so much easier. Tech also pushed me out of a job! LOL

Because there is an easier way to do it. And you can benefit from it.

All of my digital marketing clients need help transcribing. But it’s not listening to the video and typing; it’s uploading the file into tech software that will transcribe it, saving you HOURS.

So let’s start with WHY clients need this service.

What Digital Marketing Clients Need Transcribed

Every week online business owners have to show up on social media, in their Facebook groups and inboxes, and with signature content like blogs and podcasts. It’s a lot to keep up with, and that’s why they hire us – the strategy-savvy digital marketing assistants to keep their audiences growing and content publishing.

Clients don’t need to reinvent the wheel; we can take their signature piece of content – like a FB live and turn it into other things.

1 Facebook Live becomes 1 blog, 1 email, 5 pulled-quote graphics, 5 social media posts, 2 carousel posts, and 10 Pinterest pins.

We can use transcription services to speed it up. Even though we aren’t admin assistants, we still need quick ways to tap into the content so we can rewrite and restyle the content to go across multiple platforms.

I used to listen to my client’s 30-min Facebook live, take notes, and write a blog…it’s good practice for copywriting because you learn your client’s voice. You can pull out stories, quotes, and teaching moments.

You can then break apart key teaching moments and make them separate micro pieces of content, such as signature content: FB and IG Lives, podcasts, and YouTube videos.

If you want to learn more about useful tools, check out my Digital Marketing Assistant Tech Training playlist:

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Transcription can speed it up and make it easier to find the content, see repeating patterns and motifs, and save you time having to type it all out.

I also use raw transcription for search engine optimization or SEO purposes for podcast blogs.

Transcription is powerful to help you pull out reusable content from all of those content pieces that didn’t start as a “regular signature piece of content.” Think recorded speaking appearances, online summit presentations, masterclasses, and podcast interviews.

I’ve also transcribed my coaching clients’ 1 on 1s or group sessions because they can repurpose content from those meetings. 

If you have clients who offer digital courses, workshops, and memberships, a transcription file to go with the video lesson is great for learners who prefer to read and listen simultaneously (it helps with retention). It can also help to have the transcription when it comes time to refilm, update the course, or hand things off to a video editor. 

Add transcripts to podcast blogs for better SEO!

You can also use transcriptions for AI writing tools and Canva bulk creation to help you quickly generate a ton of content!

5 Transcriptions Services to Use as a Freelancer

Sometimes your clients may already be paying for this service (like Searchie.io), so check with your clients first. In most cases, it will be an expense you take on (and deduct at tax time) because it will make your life easier and more organized. Your clients will never know how you do it.

  1. Transcribe me– services start at $0.79/minute
  2. 3playmedia– Express pay as you go plan starts at $2.95/minute for closed captions & transcriptions
  3. Rev.com– I hear good things about this, you get some free time each month. You can do a subscription $29.99/month or pay as you go
  4. Otter.ai– I’m using this now. Pro plan is $16.99/month
  5. Searchie.io– if your clients are paying for it, use it! Plans start at $29/month

These provide a way to work more efficiently with current content.

⚡Related Podcast Alert: 2 Things You Need to be a Successful Freelancer

A combination of time and money fuels a business. More importantly, as a freelancer, you need hard skills that can increase your rates and the time in grade it takes to be successful. But there’s one other thing that is pure gasoline to your freelance business: your network. Dive deeper into this episode here:

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | iHeartRadio

Who pays for the transcription service?

You may need to incur this expense as an independent contractor, but it’s worth it if it saves you time. Check with your client first; they may already subscribe to this or see the advantages of having it for their main content. 

The SRT Perk of Transcription Services

One major perk for a transcription service: you can download the SRT files (time stamped) to upload as subtitles/ video captions into video editing programs or even Facebook and Youtube. SRT files are a MUST because most people are on social media with the SOUND OFF. So you’ll want the captions!

This is also just a best practice for inclusivity for the hard of hearing.

Thinking about starting a digital marketing services business? Want to work from a laptop anywhere and decide your own schedule?

Take this quiz to open your eyes to remote work possibilities and where you can fit in with who online business owners are hiring.

Curious about starting your own service-based business from home?

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Grab my list of digital marketing-related tasks and services that online business owners are outsourcing and always need help with.

This is a goldmine of services you could be offering to your clients in your digital marketing VA business.

The Takeaway

Tech tools can make your working marketing life so much easier. And sometimes, our clients depend on us for tools and recommendations and to see ways to speed up operation inefficiencies. 

Having a bag of tricks to get your work done quickly is nice. Remember, just because you can do it fast doesn’t mean you should charge cheaply. As your toolbox and experience grow, you charge for that, sister! 

More Techie Tools:

-Emily, Digital Marketing Consultant and Implementer

Emily Reagan is a mom of four, milspouse, freelance digital marketer and Virtual Assistant coach who has helped 400 go-getters, including military spouses, stay-at-home moms, and professional women learn in-demand skills and find flexible remote work as digital marketing assistants and specialists. She’s shared 2,000+ job leads with her freelance marketers & VA community.

Ask her any questions over on Insta @emilyreaganpr

“I help smart women learn the in-demand digital marketing strategies and profitable tech skills to get hired as a unicorn digital marketing assistant.“

3 ways we can work together:

Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School with Emily Reagan

1. Do you need to acquire digital marketing implementation skills and build your workflows so you can solidly put yourself out there for work? Check out the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School. (It opens twice a year so jump on the waitlist now!… I also share job leads with my students so it’s a gateway for anyone who wants to build a freelance business that gives them flexibility and meaningful work). You can also choose to go through the self-study program now. Enroll here.

2. Already doing the work and have clients? But need more clients and a better referral network? Apply for our Digital Marketer’s Workgroup. This is a tight-knit community of freelancers like you, supporting each other. Plus I’ve shared 1,600+ job opportunities with this community.

3. Need to hire a Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant? Submit your job opportunity here. I’ll share with my workgroups totally free.

Further Reading

Why Virtual Assistant Work is a Great Side Hustle

How to Use Your Administrative Skills Online as a VA

In-Demand, Profitable Niches for Virtual Assistants in 2023

All About Virtual Assistants Contracts

Yes, you really can work online.

Feeling overwhelmed and not sure how you can work from home and build your own online digital marketing business? Take a deep breath – you can do this. Start here with my list of 10 popular tasks that online businesses need help with the most!

These are the tasks that new clients are constantly asking for help with, and skills that they really need to find in a virtual assistant. Get access to this free download right now. Then make sure your own VA toolkit is up-to-date and relevant, and decide where you might need to invest in new growth and development for your biz.

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Meet Emily

Emily Reagan is a jill-of-all trades when it comes to digital marketing and techie skills. She’s worked as a behind-the-scenes digital marketing implementor and strategist for a decade for online biz owner clients.

She’s a mom of four, Air Force wife, and founder of the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School, where she teaches smart women the in-demand, highly-coveted digital marketing skills to get flexible, online work.

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