Monday, August 21, 2017

Can I Really Make Money Selling Special Interest Videos?

I hear that question a lot from skeptical newcomers to this business.

Yes, you can but it isn’t for the person looking to get rich quick. I would love to say that it is as easy as producing your video and then putting one ad out there and voila, the orders come rolling in fast and furiously. It may happen for a small number of people who are lucky, but for the rest of us it just doesn’t work like that. There are many aspects to consider and much work that has to be undertaken. But if you are like me, imbued with the entrepreneurial spirit and obstinate enough to not quit when the chips are down, then you can make money doing this.

Last month I was lucky to present at the Video 08 conference presented by the 4Ever Group. My topic was on how to sell your special interest videos. I was happy to see a room full of people interested in exploring this area. My intent of presentation there was to show videographers a way to add an extra income stream to their business, and that is the way I look at this business. Over the past few years I have added enough of these income streams that I now make most of my income in sales of my own products online. I really do wake up and find that I’ve made money while I was asleep. Checking my morning email and seeing that orders have come in is as good a jolt as a cup of strong coffee.

Before working for myself, I worked for a university producing and selling video products. Some product lines sold well, others bombed. That will also happen to you. At the university, I was lucky enough to get that steady paycheck. So the key is to minimize your bombs and enhance your successful product lines. How do you do that?

Here is a quick list.

1) Pick a topic where you can definitely identify the intended group of people who would be interested in buying it. It doesn’t necessarily need to be one you are interested in but that does really help. If you can’t say who would be interested in buying it and how you would reach them, then you probably haven’t defined the niche sufficiently.
2) Research to see if there is a need for this information and if video is a good way to provide the information. There may already be well established products available – if so, how can you compete?
3) Approach the market with the intent to provide information that people need to solve a problem. This can be information on how to do something, research information, entertainment… but be clear about what your product should do.
4) Broaden your product line. Produce more than one video on your product and also consider other products such as eBooks, audio CDs, etc. that will enhance your line. If you only have one product, either they will buy it or not. If they do, then you have nothing else to sell them. Keep the relationship strong by having a continuing line or related products to offer them.
5) Test market before you spend a lot of money in production. More on that in future articles.
6) Listen to your market. Ask for feedback about what they like and don’t like about your products. Use this information to be planning ahead to make more videos along this same topic.
7) Do not make this into a motion picture. You are providing information; keep it simple, clear and concise. Production value is important, but don’t overlook the most important goal of conveying information the end user needs and is willing to pay for.
8) Price well. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your pricing to get the the most profit from your product. You may find that $14.95 is the right price, or perhaps $100 is right for you. It all depends on the product and the marketplace you are going to.

In future blog entries I will delve into these more deeply. I also encourage others to share their advice as well. My hope is to educate and help other entrepreneurial media producers be successful in this exciting area. Like a good friend of mine says, “All boats float,” meaning we’ll all benefit from the rising tide.

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