Thankfully, a quick Google search allayed my fears, as I found many others who are concerned about this trend as well. An article at BBC News states that “sales figures suggest misspellings put off consumers who could have concerns about a website’s credibility.” Spelling and Grammar Errors that Can Ruin Your Site mentions that “many people will leave a website, never to return if they find too many spelling or grammar errors.” And something vitally important to remember is stated in The Importance of Proofreading Your Site, “Your website is about presenting yourself clearly and professionally.” This, in ...<< MORE >>
It didn’t happen overnight, and it took a lot of research to figure out what to do, but now my website is consistently on Google’s page one when searching for transcription services located in my area. I’m not a local SEO expert by any means, but I do know what’s worked for me.
No, I’m not talking about quitting your business and going out on a road trip in a beat-up van. This “finding yourself” is for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
As you may know, sites, especially directory-type sites, will get information about your business from other sites for theirs. So even if you never put your business information anywhere other than your website and/or blog, you’re probably still out there in places you’ve never even heard of before.
I have a landline for my business, so I searched for my business phone number. I went to those sites and “claimed” my listing, updating and adding as much information as the sites allowed. (I only did this for sites offering free listings.) This helps get your business out there while you ...<< MORE >>
“Raise your rates. You really need to raise your rates. You’re worth more than what you’re charging.”
My husband says this type of thing all the time (but then I feel he’s biased so I don’t listen…LOL!). But I also read Facebook posts and blog articles telling virtual assistants and transcriptionists why we’re not charging enough. I see advice on forums telling people their rates are too low. And here I stand, staunchly refusing to budge on my rates, or even think about budging. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cheap, but I’m certainly not the highest rate out there either.
Now, people that know me well say I tend to be stubborn—although I prefer something much nicer like determined or unwavering—and refusing to even consider raising my rates has been one of those unwavering areas in my life. But the other day, deciding to be less, a-hem, stubborn, I decided to take an honest look at it from all points of view. I know my pricing is pretty middle-of-the-road for my marketing reach—I’m concentrating locally first, then ...<< MORE >>
I’m an independent contractor (IC), or as some may say, virtual transcriptionist (VT). I have my own business, home office, equipment, pay my own taxes, etc. My clients send audio and video files for me to transcribe; I send the transcript to them by e-mail. So, am I someone’s employee or an independent contractor? Sounds simple, right? I mean, what else could I be but an IC?
As more and more people take the giant step of starting their own businesses, the topic of employee versus independent contractor keeps popping up, and sometimes the line between the two may get blurry. But whether you consider yourself an IC, VA, VT or freelancer, it’s very important the distinction is clear on both sides and that you have documentation to “prove it.”
Here are some points from the Small Business Administration:
I’m inspired. Inspired by Christian business owners who show their beliefs online, personally and through their businesses. I’m talking real, honest-to-goodness Christians. And when you are real with this, it’s not something you can only bring out when it’s convenient or comfortable, because it is who you are, not just part of who you are. And for me that means it should show to some degree in every part of my life, including my business.
I’ve had Christians tell me they don’t agree with that philosophy, believing instead that you shouldn’t mix Christianity and business, no matter how understated. They think it might turn potential clients off and possibly “offend” someone. Well, you know what? They just might be right. But to me that really isn't a good enough reason. I mean, it’s not like on every post and web page I have,“Hi, nice to meet you. I’m a Christian." It’s more subtle for me…well, most ...<< MORE >>
They say that blogging about controversial issues, or complaining about things that exasperate others, can be a good thing as it often generates conversation. Well, I hope that’s correct because here I go again, this time with my dislike of so much social media cross-posting, or as I like to see it called—over-linked social media.
Now, I’ll start off by saying that I do link Twitter to Facebook ( FB ) so my FB posts show on Twitter, and I do keep that in mind when posting FB status updates; I usually write the first 110 to 140 characters of those posts so they make sense as a tweet. The reason I decided to link this way is because, to be honest, I just don’t have time to tweet that much, and because I tend to be verbose (which is a not a very tweet-acceptable quality). But that’s the extent of my cross-posting.
I get that it saves time having something you post once automatically post to several other places. But as ...<< MORE >>
I’ve been doing this transcription thing a long time so I have a lot of experience and I’m great at handling bad recordings. But some have been so bad that there wasn’t much I could do. I’ve even had blank ones. I feel so bad for my clients when the audio is that poor, the entire recording is blank, or you can hear the client, but it’s blank for the respondent. Vital information from that interview, meeting, or focus group is lost, probably forever.
Good recordings not only promise you a great transcript from me, but it will also cost you less. My goal is to provide the best transcript I can. In order to do that with a bad recording, I have to listen to portions of it over and over. That extra time means extra cost.
Here are some suggestions to help you get a great recording:
Check out your equipment or recording software ahead of time. Before recording, check out your ...<< MORE >>
If I go to one more website with a pop-up window asking me to sign up for something, or “give me your e-mail and I’ll give you this or that free,” I’m going ...
For my first real post I thought I would talk a little about my business and a little about me. My name is Pam Deyerle, the owner of The Perfect Word, a transcription service just outside of Richmond, Virginia. I consider 1996 to be the start of my business. The reason I say “consider,” is because 1996 was the last time I acquired my business license that I didn’t cancel it six months later. The very first time I had a business license—and when I registered my assumed business name—was 1990. Sounds a bit wishy-washy, I know, but I wanted it to work so badly that I just kept on trying even though it wasn’t working…at least at that time in my life.
Everyone has a reason why they decide to go into business for themselves. Mine was my son. I hated going to work each day and dropping him off at a babysitter, a situation with which I’m sure many of you can relate. He cried; I cried. Miserable. Anyway, I tried making a go of The Perfect Word, but as I mentioned earlier, it just didn’t work. So I ended up starting a home daycare instead, which I ran successfully for many years. This actually turned out to be a much better choice at this time because my son was small and needed my attention, which was easy to provide in a home daycare situation; not so easy when typing all day. I then successfully started The Perfect Word as a part-time endeavor in 1996, while still running the daycare. A few years later I closed the daycare and put all my efforts into The Perfect Word.
A lot has changed since then. My son is in grad school now—can’t believe it!—and my business has grown to a full-time endeavor. What started out as a small desk in a small alcove behind my front door is now a large desk in an office area taking up almost half of my great room. Back then you advertised in the yellow page book, and maybe put up business cards or fliers on local bulletin boards and down at the university. Now you have social media, SEO, websites, blogs…and the list goes on. You have to learn a lot of things when you run your own business, some of which are totally unrelated to the work you do with clients, but it’s a fantastic learning experience all around.
I’ve met some wonderful people along this journey, and continue to greatly enjoy working together with them to make their days easier and less stressful. A client told me the other day that what I was able to do for her was a “great end to her day.” It means so much to hear these types of comments, not as a bragging thing, but knowing I’ve really made a positive difference for someone. I've been truly blessed with a wonderful business and super clients!
Okay, I said a little about me, too, so here goes. I’m NOT saying my age, so let’s just say I’m “older” and leave it at that! I’ve been married a looong time, have a super son in grad school, and a cat named Turtle. I love to read, research family genealogy, spend time with some really dear friends, work in my church, and learn HTML and CSS coding. And the most important thing is being a born-again Christian, which is not just a part of me, but the foundation for everything in my life.
There’s always so much more one can say about their business and their life, but since this is a blog and not a book, I think it’s past time to call it a night!
Please join me next week for…well, I don’t really know what I’m writing about next week, but if you get a few minutes, please drop by to find out!