I’m not being mean. Really!
My free 7-day course gives you a solid intro and great tips on how to make money proofreading in a traditional sense, with lots of encouragement and facts about the most profitable niche in proofreading, the one that has allowed me to earn over $40,000 a year for the last two years doing part-time work: proofreading for court reporters. But there’s a big, important reason why, when I get the question “How do I get clients?” or “How do I start working for court reporters?” from people who have not taken (or have no interest in taking) my course that I don’t just respond with an exact how-to to answer their question.
A very big, important reason.
Free content, such as what’s on this website and within the free 7-day course, should not (and does not) contain the complete “how to” roadmap — the 7-day course is, as I said, an intro course with plenty of ideas to get started on your own, if you wanted to try out the freelance outlets like craigslist and fiverr, but that doesn’t mean I don’t tell you anything about it. The free content is chock-full of tips. For example, the video on Day 6 is 12-13 minutes long and features a real student, Victoria, who actually tells how she got all of her clients. The course syllabus provides lots of insight on what the full course includes (like a complete how-to marketing plan). The student success stories on the website also reveal how many of the students got their clients (though not in great detail).
I know you can understand that I’d be doing myself a huge disservice by making it public knowledge exactly what to do and exactly what to say to get clients as a transcript proofreader. Some people would attempt to use the marketing plan without even being trained. But more importantly, if I gave away the action plan for free without the knowledge and tools to go with it, I’d also be setting people up for failure — I can see it now, people going out to search for court reporters to proofread for because I told them the “how to get clients” part for free, but they haven’t got a clue what to do with the work once they get it. What do they do when the client asks for their past experience? “Oh, um, I read an article about how to get clients on proofreadanywhere.com.” So, I’d also be doing them a huge disservice by giving them the exact “how to get clients” part without the “here’s how to actually do the work” part.
So you see, I’m not withholding the exact “how” just because I want people to enroll in the course. In fact, I’m very picky about who I want in the course. The reason I withhold it for students only is because transcript proofreading is serious business, it’s not like traditional proofreading and editing, and I don’t want to spawn a bunch of untrained people going out to try out that “how” without actual training. Talk about a way to flood the market. I’ve really seen it happen. Actually, early on in my course’s development, I had an acquaintance “pick my brain” about how to get clients over lunch one day, so I (stupidly) told them, and now they’re out there trying to do the work without training … and not doing very well.
It’s part of the reason I include the tricky grammar quiz in the free 7-day intro course, too — those questions are part of the actual final exam in the full course, and out of 12,000+ people who have taken my intro course, only about 20 people have gotten 100%. All of the questions in the quiz actually appear in transcripts, and with the majority of people scoring a 6 or a 7/10 instead of 10/10, the quiz is an effective-yet-kind way to show people their strengths and weaknesses without directly telling students “You don’t already know how to proofread transcripts.”
Also — and this bears mentioning — if I were to just give everyone the “how”, I would be giving away my life’s work for free. I’ve put years of work into amassing my knowledge and building it out into a format that’s easy to understand and absorb. No one likes working for free.
The “how”, the exact road map to get clients, is included in the full course, step by step, right down to exactly where to look, what to do, and what to say. My students are using the exact plan I’ve written and it works. They’re making money.