If anybody has a business, nonprofit, or media enterprise to promote in the court reporting, captioning, or stenotype services market, please consider taking the time to fill out about five questions in today’s survey.
The idea is pretty simple. I’m getting better and better at creating or brainstorming ads that drive engagement. With an actual budget for this activity, we could be promoting stenotype services to the general public and lawyers, and we could run ads 24/7 and direct consumers to the businesses that fund the advertising, perhaps via a public list or rating service. We could even perform regional marketing for businesses with a big enough budget. I can also pass my funders tips and tricks on marketing for their own social media pages, particularly as I learn more. I’ll find what works and what flops, and everybody funding the endeavor will benefit from it. If the budget gets really big, perhaps monthly ads could also be taken out in the law publications around the United States.
At this point, I’m still in the research stage of the idea, but my gut instinct to keep this sustainable but inexpensive would be each business paying about $200 a month, With just 8 businesses or sole proprietors in the group, we could run pro-stenographic social media ads year-round, which I guesstimate would generate somewhere in the ballpark of 120,000 engagements. That’s 120,000 chances per year to reach potential customers or audience members. According to at least one market research report, there are at least 3,000 businesses in our field. Just 2% of those businesses paying into it could generate 120,000 engagements a month. That’s steno coming into the feeds of over 1.4 million profiles a year.
I’m willing to change things up a bit, make the front page of Stenonymous.com a tad bit more corporate friendly, and try to attract more eyes to the businesses that sponsor the ads. I tried to raise the alarms on the corporate fraud. It’s not bringing in the funding needed to continue investigating and generating public interest. It’s time to do something different and try to bring more money into your businesses and get more eyes on your hard work. If the funders are serious about this, we could even do away with Stenonymous branding entirely, but I’d need commitments.
I have something of a theory related to our field and human interaction that might shed some light on this idea. I’ve noted that people have an innate need to be heard. How many times have we watched someone speak in court against their lawyer’s advice? Have you ever seen a child or adult with something to say and nobody who’ll listen? They become depressed, frustrated, anxious, angry. We know people need to be heard. What does the market do? It solves needs. Who better to solve the human need to be heard than the captioners, court reporters, and stenographers of the world? Now, stenographers can be very expensive, and there’s no real getting around that because every hour on our machine can mean 1 to 2 hours of transcription. But let’s say we started opening our stenotype service firms up to the public at an hourly rate? Say your page rate is $5.00 and you know you get about 60 pages an hour. You can offer $300/speaking hour stenotype services to the public without losing a dime. The general public could also book reporters on weekends and create additional income.
Economically, I would hope for a few things. 1. The constant barrage of advertisement for the public would educate more people about this field and bring more people into it, ending the shortage decisively. 2. The listing could create a kind of digital marketplace that educates consumers and helps them find the best businesses™️. 3. The barrage of marketing could bring investors onto the field looking to help businesses like yours grow and service more people (more $$$). 4. The funders might be able to network with each other to cover areas hit hardest by shortage, as long as they respect antitrust law, particularly against price fixing. 5. The increase in demand for the gold standard will draw more investors to open schools, which can then use the expected retirees over the next decade to educate the next generation. 6. We could set up a feedback system where businesses could receive or view feedback from consumers, enabling businesses to improve their business and create a more competitive marketplace. 7. The number of funders could grow to the point where we are able to offer group benefits to funders, such as legal referrals, where allowed by law. Many business owners have asked me questions about the law, which I’m happy to talk about but can’t give advice on, because I’m not a lawyer. Imagine a world where you could get that simple legal advice. 8. If the number of funders goes up, there is a very real possibility of locking the price at $200 rather than watching it soar with inflation, meaning fixed-cost advertising in a world with a lot of variables. 9. Diversifying income streams for “court reporting” (bringing in general consumers and getting out of the lawyer niche). 10. Captioners might benefit from more demand if more corporate boards and business owners know CART exists. How can consumers ask for something if they don’t know about it? 11. If wildly successful, scaling up to TV ads, podcasts, or more.
As an aside, we could also pump the market with speaking tips to help make our job easier. Joshua Edwards, creator of StenoMasters, is one of the best regional speakers around. I am quite hopeful that if I presented him with a budget, he’d help us educate the public. So much of the hassle from this job comes from speakers that don’t get what we do. We can make it easy for them.
I am in an interesting position. I’ve spent the last few years learning about this social media advertising stuff through firsthand experience. It would be a dream to use that to bring additional dollars to the market. I’m the man for the job. I’ve already shown my dedication to the futures of working reporters and our students. My site already gets thousands of visitors per month. Show the world we’re open for business, and we’ll be in business a long, long time.
So now it comes down to my audience. If you know businesses, suppliers, nonprofits, independent contractors, or schools that might help fund this initiative, please ask them to fill out the survey linked at the top. Thank you.