Reader’s note: As of the April of 2018, my profiles on Fiverr and Upwork have been discontinued. Individuals who need my services should visit the business website here. It’s not a secret that the gig economy is growing exponentially and is only expected to increase as time goes forward.
While self-employment has been around in numerous forms for decades, starting a company was done by entrepreneurs who had some capital to invest. You started out with a bank account, business license, industry-specific permits, consulting with attorneys for any relevant labor laws, and potentially an accountant. Depending on the size and scope of your business, you might take out some advertising in a local newspaper.
Fast forward at to the 2018: It doesn’t take a monumental amount of capital or complexity to start a business. In fact, for me, as of January 22nd, I took the leap and launched Rana Creative. As the image above and the title depict, I provide creative services such as video captioning, copy editing, audio transcription, and proofreading. It cost me $25 to take out the business license, and some savings to open the account.
What makes you different than others?
Aside of being a one-man operation, I like to think the quality I deliver is as good, if not better than that of larger companies that have an entire staff employed.
Before we start any project, regardless of the size and scope, I like to confer with the client over a video chat to ensure that we know how to reach each other, we agree on the pricing, and to ascertain if their project is a one-off, or if they will need me for something ongoing.
I don’t accept client assets over email or direct/instant messaging. This is for the security and integrity of their assets. Once we have discussed the project and have established some kind of contract or other written agreement, I will provide a link for the client to upload their assets.
As of May 2018, my rates are on the lower end of the pricing scale, but that doesn’t mean the quality is lacking. Prospective clients looking for my portfolio can go to my business page. For what it’s worth, there are proofreaders and video captions charging nearly double what I do, but the results aren’t commensurate.
Why is video captioning such a big thing?
Without stealing my own business website’s thunder, captions assist consumers who are unable to hear the audio from a video, or consumers who are in a position or venue where it wouldn’t appropriate or feasible to hear the audio.
When I first started learning how to do captions properly, it was a struggle trying to synchronize the text with the audio, as well as ensuring that I was doing it verbatim. You also don’t want too much on the screen at once; a common mistake found in videos in all industries.
Now that there are algorithms, why is human transcription needed?
The whole point behind transcription is accuracy of the spoken word. Audio recordings don’t lie and properly transcribed audio properly backs it up.
Algorithms don’t pick up on things such as how a statement is made, correct spellings of industry vernacular, properly used punctuation, and if there are special characters (I.E. If someone says “The candy bar cost a dollar-twenty-five,” it would be transcribed as “The candy bar cost $1.25.”) Some transcription software has evolved to the point where the engine can take that spoken price and output it numerically correctly.
If the speaker says, “We’re going to meet up with Lindsey at quarter-to-six (5:45),” the client may want time notated numerically for clarity.
It could also be that the speakers use a lot of profanity and the client may want the transcript sanitized for their audience. It’s not uncommon for a client to ask for both a censored and uncensored transcript.
Sometimes, un-mic’d people will speak while someone else is. It might be the case that a microphone seizes up during a presentation, making the audio difficult to hear. Maybe the audio was taken on someone’s phone while they were eavesdropping on a conversation, leaving the speaker sounding like they were in a tunnel.
Can you take on individual assignments, or do you only work with business clients?
I’m open to that. If it’s something quick, like captioning a five-minute video to be uploaded to social media or YouTube, I’ll just want to DM to confirm some details. In a situation like this, I’ll be able to give you a price before I begin.
I would ask that individuals review my policies before reaching out to me to start a project.