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Knowing your product will enable you to make it more attractive for companies to want to buy from you. Many people fail at marketing their services because they don't understand the difference between selling themselves-which is what we all do when we interview for a regular job- and selling the solution to a particular short term problem- which is what we do as a consultant.

If your product/service is medical transcribing, you should first think seriously about:

What kinds of companies and people are likely to need a medical transcriber?
Among these companies, which ones are likely to be connected to the Internet so that I may be able to reach them online?
How can I find them?
How can I persuade them that they need my services?
What tactics will I use to influence them that I am the right person to do the job?
How can I make it easier for them to try my services?
This kind of thinking is the essence of marketing - which means understanding your market and making your market work for you.

Everyone has to work through the answers to these questions individually, depending on the types of services they want to offer. This kind of marketing assessment is not difficult but relatively few people perform an assessment.

The answers may seem mentally obvious but going through the routine of identifying the appropriate answers is very essential. These may not necessarily be the answers you come up with but let us go through the process together:

What kinds of companies and people are likely to need a medical transcriber?
Companies that offer healthcare services and products, including hospitals, doctors, dentists, etc.

Among these companies, which ones are likely to be connected to the Internet so that I may be able to reach them online?
We could start here with companies that advertise job openings on the Internet. Some will even offer specific positions for medical transcribers. You can tap into this right way and try to convince them that you can do the job better.

How can I find them?
By searching the online job banks and search engines for "medical transcriber."

How can I persuade them that they need my services?
Send them an email in the form of a short cover letter explaining what you can do for them, and the benefits of hiring you. This is the crucial step so make sure you get this right even if you have to hire someone who is an expert at writing winning sales letters.

What tactics will I use to influence them that I am the right person to do the job?
Here you probably would need a reference, a good one. You would need someone who would be able to confirm that you have indeed proven yourself. If you can get more than one reference, that too will be helpful, but believe me, one good reference is good enough.

How can I make it easier for them to try my services?
Provide them with an unbelievable starting offer; one that would be foolish not to accept. This could be to do a small project for them free of cost or for a very low starting fee. It may also be to do the work on a "pay only if satisfied." I know this may seem risky but that is how you will prove that you are serious.

The most important of all this, though, is to study your market and to develop your market approach. The Internet is a great tool to use and also market research on different businesses can be done locally as well.

On the Internet, there are numerous mailing lists, newsgroups and discussion lists that you can sign up with, that may have an interest in your expertise and skills. Join all the relevant lists. Look for a message that is related to your expertise and join in the conversation or post a message in reply to a particular subject.

This is a form of networking and this method will enable you to build a reputation and generate responses. You may even be able to learn a few things yourself.

As the moderator of your own list, you will be able to call the "shots." However, you still need to be careful because some people are easily offended by messages that are personal and not beneficial but you will still be able to get away with much more in this kind of format.

Be sure not to advertise. This is considered unethical. You may be able to get an assignment just by taking part in a discussion and proving that you know what you are talking about. But of course, you will have to let them know that you are offering a service, but don't do that until you have established a relationship. You must be patient in doing this, because this is marketing, not selling. However, it is a good place to start.