I thought since we have some new scopists, and since some not-so-new
scopists might want more (or different) sources of work, it might be
helpful for us to tell what have been effective marketing techniques
we've used. We have some links in our list's Links section of scopist
sites where you can post your resume/ad for free. Membership in the
NCRA allows you to have your name added to the Scopists Directory (but
you must request that they do this). Many, if not all, of the CAT
vendors' web sites have a scopists list. I know of one new scopist who
posted her brochure on a bulletin board in the local courthouse and
within two hours had her very first job!
It takes time to find people to work with you. And at the
beginning you will have a lot of turnover.
Whatever time you would be spending working each day, spend marketing.
If you can't find something in your immediate area, expand your
You have to aggressively market yourself. At the beginning you
may have to take a lower page rate to *prove* yourself. Make sure
terms are spelled out in advance.
1. Join the NCRA and get a copy of the Court Reporter's Directory.
that's a good place to get a mailing list so you can send out flyers and
make personal phone calls to the reporters listed there. Also get
listed on the NCRA's Scopist's Directory.
2. Call the supervising court reporter at your local, or not so
local, courthouses and ask if they will pass out flyers for you.
3. Call the local court reporter agencies and talk to them about their
need for a scopist. Ask if they will pass out flyers for you.
4. contact your sales rep at your software company. Ask if they know
of anyone who needs a scopist. Also get listed on the your software's company's
list of scopists.
5. Place an ad in all the on-line scopist's pages. SSG's FAQ has a
list of places to go to.
6. Check out all the court reporting forums on line and look for
reporter's messages looking for a scopist.
And I'll add that you probably will get people who write poorly or
send you the junk jobs because they don't want them. Ya gotta start
When I first began in 1990, I worked for local reporters by basically going
door to door with my business flier and making phone calls. I was very
fortunate to know a reporter when I first began, so she gave me my first job
during that critical first year. After that, I had a reference and, like I
said, took my flier to different local agencies and made phone calls.
I have only been on the Internet for the last six years or so. Since then,
joined CRForum on Compuserve and posted my resume there, from which I had
received the majority of my business. As the Internet has expanded, I
my "I'm available" notices on every free advertising area connected to court
reporters that I could. Word of mouth from satisfied reporters and
networking with other scopists has also been of value.
My best advice, after pounding the pavement, your ear feels like
and you have typed and posted your umpteenth resume or "I'm available"
notice, is to not get discouraged as it may take months before you hear a
response. I remember going around handing out fliers and not hearing
anything for six months. The key is I finally did. Don't give up. I heard
once that it takes people seeing your name seven times before it makes an
impression on them. If you get a lead and not a bite, make a note to call
write back in a month to say, "Hey, are you still interested?" It doesn't
hurt, and the worse thing is they can say no. They may say, "Oh, I'm glad
hear from you because I lost your e-mail address," or something like that.
Keep your chin up and be patient. Your efforts will eventually show.
I see you got some good advice about finding new clients. I would echo
that word of mouth, both via reporters and by other scopists, is
probably one of the best ways of finding work, as is adding your name to
all the scoping/CR sites you can find, which will also put your name where
reporters are looking. If you haven't already done so, check the Links
section of our list's home page (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scopistssupportgroup) in the Scopist & CR sites file for a
listing of some. If you've found others, feel free to add the links
If you are an NCRA member, they will add your name to their scopists
listing for free, but you have to ask them to do it.
You could also contact the Clerk of your local courthouse(s) and ask if
they have a bulletin board for the court reporters where you could post
Participate all you can on the various lists and message boards so
people can get to know you. Before long, the work should start coming
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