In today's blog, I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you about a trend that you NEED to jump on. Why? Because it will make you a fortune. And...you will meet your needs - whether you need money, love, power, control, or whatever it might be. Teaching people will help you learn more than ever.
I'm a Video Author...Just Like You!
For the past 2 years I’ve been making money selling my training classes online. As you can tell from my blog or if you know me, you know that I’m a technical guy, a developer, a geek, so I developed the InteliVideo platform for myself. I’ve been making money selling my technical knowledge and training people 24 hours a day 7 days a week, while I do other things. I simply recorded once, put a price on it and it sells over and over. I built this platform with others in mind - specifically people like you. I wanted to share my money making platform with people like you so that you too can make money from your knowledge. In this article, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know in order to do this yourself. We have a number of people who are making a living through our platform. I hope this inspires you to write and record something and start selling it right away!
Who am I?
If you've followed me, you know that I’ve sold 2 large enterprise businesses. My first large business, TUSC had about 400 employees when we sold the business to Rolta in 2008. That was an Oracle consulting business. My second business, InteliVideo was a residential real estate valuation company. We sold that business to Equifax in 2011.
I’ve been educating people about technology for more than 30 years. My first job was at Pioneer Hi-Bred. They were seed company. Seed for farmers. Farmers sold seed to other farmers through Pioneer. I offered word processing and other courses to the sales guys and their admins - typically their spouse. They loved those courses. I’ve been training people for as long as I can remember. My current offerings often turn into consulting opportunities for others. If I was available to do the consulting myself, the courses would turn into consulting opportunities for me.
Who are you?
What is your dream? I’d like you to stop and think about that for a minute. What do you want to get done with your life? Do you want fame? fortune? Are you altruistic? Are you looking for a passive income? In other words, would you like to make money while you do other things? Maybe you want to make money while you’re designing, developing, producing your next course?
Have you ever studied your needs vs. your wants? I personally have a need to write. I have a need to do mechanic things too. I used to get frustrated whenever I worked on mechanical projects. Typically because I didn’t have the proper amount of time needed to complete the task. I took the Brinkman assessment and learned all about my needs vs. my wants. Maybe you have a need to tell stories. Or to share with others.
Like I said, take some time to think about this. Stop what you're doing right now and spend 30 minutes or a day thinking about this. One of my favorite exercises I ever did was when I was asked to write a letter to myself . I wrote the letter, which outlined my expectations for myself, I sealed it and mailed it to myself. I kept it in a drawer for years. I was at a point in my life where I was disappointed with myself. I always remembered and referred back to what I wrote in that letter. It drove me for years to come.
Figure out what you want to share with others. What you want your legacy to be!
Our goal at InteliVideo is to have 10,000 customers by 2015. Profitable customers. People like you who are ALL making money!
The Path to Your Success
I’m going to show you how to come up with your ideas on what to teach (or entertain), how to write your lessons, how to record them, how easy it is to upload them, group them into a product, set a price, publish and get online. You can do this within hours. Then I’m going to explain how you market, promote and sell your education materials. If you follow these steps you’ll be on your way to making a TON of money! Best of all, I’m going to show you how to do this without giving away the profits to places like Apple / iTunes, Google, Amazon and the large marketplaces that take most of your money. I’m going to show you how to build a business that will provide you with a full time income and full time freedom. It’s the American dream to have a passive income!
The Trend - DVDs to VoD
There is a new trend that completely changes the game for you. Producing movies and educational content in the past was hard work. To produce a DVD was REALLY hard work. Today, using this new trend you can make a career by simply sharing your knowledge with others. I’d like to see you profit from this new trend and leverage it. It’s important to start with the right foundation so you can build on it. The real beauty of all of this is that you can do it with nearly zero budget.
Video is quickly moving from DVDs to video on demand. DVDs were very difficult to produce. Not only did you have to create a master DVD, but just to get to that point you had to hire videographers, editors, and others. Then once you created your master, you had to decide if you were going to produce 1 at a time or if you were going to produce thousands. The more you purchased, the less you paid per DVD, but the more you didn’t sell, the more you effectively paid per DVD. Then once you had 1000 copies of your DVD you had to decide if you were going to “self publish” it - just like writing a book...or if you were going to find a distributor to represent your DVD. Distributors are just like the modern day Amazon, iTunes, Roku, Netflix and other marketplaces...they take most of your profits.
Back to the trend - with the advent of YouTube and high speed Internet connections, the bottom line is that consumers like watching videos over the Internet. They and their kids like watching videos on their devices - iPhones, iPads, Android tablets, laptops, desktops, you name it. A better experience for the average Joe is to watch a downloaded video. That way you don’t have to deal with streaming the video, waiting for it to buffer, and the like. Additionally, if you’re disconnected from the Internet when you’re on a plane, train or automobile, you’ll still be able to watch a downloaded video.
But wait, what’s happened to DVDs? They actually aren’t playable by most devices today. Look around. You don’t see DVD players on iPhones, iPads, or even laptops or even TVs! Why not? We’ve gone digital. Everything is in the cloud! Many of the historical DVD shops have closed their doors. Those still in business say their business is 1/10 of what it once was too! Profit margins are slim.
What about Distributors?
So let’s talk a little more about the distributors. For example, let’s take Netflix. What if you could smooze them into taking on your video content for sale. Yes, they have a channel to market. Yes, they have customers. But how would the math work for you video? Let’s just say that in one month they collect $1M that they plan to distribute to all content owners like you. For simple math, let’s say that 1 million minutes were watched that month - from all of the content owners - including you. In this case, Netflix would pay $1 per minute of video that was watched. Then they add up how many of those minutes were your videos. Let’s say you had 90 minutes watched that month. They would cut you a check for $90.
How many customers did you get from Netflix? Not one. They aren’t your customers. They are their customers. How many people watched your videos? It doesn’t matter - it might have been 900 or 1. We’ll talk more about why this model doesn’t work. Whether it’s Netflix or Amazon or iTunes or whoever. The real money is in the customer for life. This sale and every sale thereafter. In the consulting business we always knew that it was MUCH easier for us to find more business from our existing customers than it was to find a new customer.
Traditional video production is also a dying or diminishing trend. It’s NOT booming. It’s NOT a wave to catch. Some would say it’s dead too.
All of this is GREAT news for you! NOW is the best time to publish your video education series. The profits are AMAZING! You can keep as much as 90 cents of EVERY dollar. And...the starting costs are SUPER low! You might need a video camera, but your phone or tablet likely has one that’s good enough. You might need a microphone, but those are pretty inexpensive.
The real beauty here is that there is NO shipping or logistics required for your product. There is NO physical product to deal with. You don’t have to produce 1000s of DVDs before you make your first sale. There is also no middle man or distributor required. Quite often you can sell material without any production costs too.
So take charge! Now is the time!
One Hit Wonder or Customers for Life?
Although a HUGE one hit wonder might be enough to satisfy your income requirements, a long term topic or theme can much more rewarding. For example, let’s say you want to create a video about washing your dog. Although that by itself might be an interesting and rewarding video series because you could talk about washing your dog regularly, washing your muddy dog, washing your oily dog, washing your dog after it got sprayed by a skunk and so on...it would be ideal if you could offer a website and a number of video series about dogs. Washing dogs, caring for a puppy, caring for an aging dog, knowing when it might be time to put your dog down, when you should take a dog to a vet, the benefits of Benadryl with dogs and so many other topics you might cover.
In other words, it’s good to have a long term video of everything you plan to provide about a topic, which ideally could go pretty broad. This is called a roadmap. You don’t necessarily need to have your entire roadmap outlined before you create your first video, but it might be a good idea to know that there are “enough” topics you can create video products about that will provide a long term revenue stream for you.
One real benefit of video on demand over DVDs is that video on demand products are “living documents.” You can change them as times change. You can add new content as you see fit. You can charge a “maintenance fee” for your customers to receive up-to-date content.
Ideation is tough. You can tackle this one of 2 ways. What I call top down or bottom up. A top down approach would involve documenting every problem that you hear people talk about. For this exercise, ideally the problem can be solved with video education. Next you would figure out how to solve each problem and sizing up the market of each solution.
The bottom up approach, which is the one I prefer for this exercise is to list all of the topics that you could teach through video-based education. There is a term used in business, which is SME or subject matter expert. What are you a SME in? For me, I know a lot about geospatial data, real estate, fixing and flipping homes, technical topics like Oracle, starting a business, teaching college courses, and the list goes on. Then I looked which topics I already had material for and the economic value of each of the above subject areas. I decided to start my education series around Oracle education since I already had training materials written in this area.
What are you a SME in? What could you teach others about? How much could you sell an online education for? Stop the video and start writing your list. Then take your list to people who know you and I’ll bet they help you come up with another 20 topics that you could make money teaching about!
Writing Your Material
Once you’ve selected your topic, you’ll need to create your teaching script. The last thing you’ll want to write (and record) is your introduction and conclusion. It’s easiest to do your introduction once you’ve written everything in the middle.
I often use PowerPoint or Keynote to create my training materials like these. Remember that you can always refine your educational series so don’t over-think what you to include. Unlike DVDs, you don’t have a limit on the amount of material that will fit on a DVD either!
Create an overall outline for video product. We call this a video series. A video series is a bundling of a number of videos. You can always change the order that the videos are presented to the user in. Like I said, it’s like a living book! Your overall outline should basically be your chapters, lessons or individual videos in your series. Then you’ll need to create an outline for each chapter.
I like to create a separate PowerPoint / outline and slides for each chapter/video. Once your outline is finished, you can create your slides. For some people, this is a quick process. For others, it’s a long process. Whatever the case for you, focus on a solid design and you’ll have a solid offering.
Think about what you hope to accomplish with each and every chapter or lesson. As Mark Twain basically said, “if I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.” In other words, getting to the point takes more time. Take the time!
Recording and Editing
Once your presentation slides are done, it’s time to record your lessons. If you’re covering a technical topic like this, that you can cover solely with voice overs on PowerPoints, you can use Apple’s Quicktime, which is free to record your session.
If you’re doing a lesson on tractor repair, you will need to record you in front or inside of a tractor. You can certainly have a professional video created that would require editing. In this case, you’ll need wireless microphones, professional video people and more. This can run $10,000 a day including your producer.
I use a USB microphone and Screenflow to record these lessons. Let’s take a look at QuickTime and Screenflow and how they work.
Create an InteliVideo Account
Once you have your videos created, it’s time to create an account on InteliVideo and get those videos in the Cloud. We have a series of videos that will walk you through this process on help.intelivideo.com. Once you create an account, you can create a Stripe account too.
I want to share and acronym and meaning with you that should be helpful. It’s MVP, which stands for minimally viable product. You need to have “enough” videos to create your first product. You don’t need to have the entire product complete - in fact, it might never be “finished.” You just need enough to please your first customers. How many lessons is that? Well, that’s a bit tough to say. I offered 50 lessons, which are 5-20 minutes each for just $49.99 when I first started. Others offer 10 lessons that are about 30 minutes each for $200 while others do full video production and offer an entire session for $3.99.
It all comes back to the value of what you’re providing your customers. But getting back to the point, don’t go too far beyond your MVP before you get it in the market. Why? Because you want to get constant feedback and the only way to get feedback is to have customers. So get your MVP done and get going today!
One great thing about a product like this is that you can “play” with the price. You can change it as often as you would like. Just be careful not to mention the price in your teaser video.
Oh yes, there is another term that is important to know about. Your teaser video explains what you’re selling. It’s your sales video. Potential customers will only be able to watch a couple of minutes of the “real content.” You’ll want to watch the analytics about your teaser video.
Oh, there’s another term. Analytics. These are the reports and graphs that explain the details of who’s doing what with your videos. Which videos your customers are watching. How much of your teaser video is being watched?
If you haven’t created your teaser video by this time, you’re going to want to really think about what you’re going to include in this video. I like to watch other people’s teasers to get ideas. Once you have your MVP, you’re ready to go live. If you’re teaching people about saving money, do they have “enough” to start saving money? If you’re teaching them about weight loss, can they start losing weight?
Once you’ve uploaded your videos, you can group them into a product. We call this a video series. As long as you’ve created a Stripe account, you can set a price on the video series and you’re ready to start selling. You can change the price any time!
Now it’s time to talk about marketing your video series. SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (Google Ad Words) are important, but if you have an existing customer or friend base that might be interested in your educational content, it’s time to market to those friends. You can pay for marketing on Facebook too.
Promotion through Facebook, Twitter and other social media is your ticket.
Now it's time to make money and get your automated deposits. Or...you can use this time to create more material.
Back to the Big Guys
Yes, we provide you with the next generation of DVDs for your customers. A completely digital product. But why shouldn’t you put your product into the marketplaces that companies like Amazon, iTunes, Google, Vimeo and others have so graciously provided?
They have customers and they have traffic, right?
Why yes, THEY do! Key word, THEY. Not you, THEY. I’m not saying you should NEVER put your product into their marketplace, but you should know what you’re getting into before you do so. They absolutely serve a purpose - it’s their purpose, not yours.
So what is it that you give up by putting your content into their marketplace?
1. You give up Brand loyalty - you don’t have a brand in their market, it’s their brand.
2. You give up the Customer - it’s their customer, not yours.
3. You give up the Upsell - they say “customers who purchase this also purchase that...”
4. You might give up the sale - in fact, they might recommend someone else over you.
5. You give up your profits - they take 30%
So...for now at least, just say NO to iTunes, Amazon, Google, Hulu, Netflix...
Let’s talk more about this. What are the problems with them?
#1 - Not your customers
First off, you have to remember, it’s not YOUR customer who’s buying your product in a marketplace. You can make more money if they are your customers. You can upsell your customers. You won’t know who bought your product through them. As a matter of fact, when they are marketing your product, they will market other products. They might just convince your potential customer to buy your competitors product. Your competitors might put comments out there trashing our product. Amazon wants to sell people everything from computing power on EC2 to lightbulbs to books.
You’ll have a video product with sales but no customers. That doesn’t work well for your roadmap of all of your complementary products.
#2 - Not your profits
Not only will they take a large chunk of your money right out of the gates, but the real cost is the future value of not having the relationship with the customer. They take away all future sales too and the REAL money is on the subsequent sales.
#3 - Not your Product
So let’s say that the product that you want to provide to the market includes a PDF (printable document) or an eBook or even a physical product like a book or a trampoline or chin up bar. Most of these platforms will allow you to sell your digital good (i.e. your movie), but it’s really not your product or your rules. You must live within their rules for what defines a product.
#4 - Not your Price
Many marketplaces are in what’s known as the race to the bottom. In other words, commodity pricing. The lower the price the better. Walmart sells as many videos as they can for $.99.
We have customers who offer their products from about $3 up to $15,000. Many of our customers charge $200 for their educational information. You cannot set your price in their marketplace. Sometimes the higher price implies higher value.
#5 - No Collaboration
Amazon and most distributors do allow affiliates to sell your products. They typically pay affiliates about 8%. That’s because they operate on low prices and hence low margins. But in the digital world, every incremental sale is income right to your bottom line. Some people pay their affiliates as much as 75% of whatever price they sell a produce for. Do you really care what they charge? What if they can get $500 for something you charge $5 for?
#6 - Not Your Sales Engine
You are at their mercy. It’s not your sales engine that will sell product for them...it’s theirs. Hope and pray that sales will come in. Tell people to buy it on Amazon and you’ll get pennies.
With your own sales channel, you’re in control!
You can do better than them...create your own channel, with your own customers! You will have increased profits, better affiliates and best of all, you can sell your customers over and over.
Jump on This Trend Today!
InteliVideo provides you with:
- Simple and intuitive
- Quick and easy to get going
- Pre-defined look, feel, flow
- Advanced Analytics
- Scalable hosting and delivery
- Custom video players (all platforms)
- Content Protection
- APIs and Development Tools
- Customer Service
Check us out at www.intelivideo.com