Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Don’t Re-Invent The Wheel

In this blog I’ll be adding lots of articles about how to intelligently select video topics to pursue that have a high probability of success. Choosing topics is part science, part intuition and, admittedly, a touch of good luck. You should pick topics that will be profitable, but also ones that you enjoy. If you have a topic you are interested in, you’ll be more motivated to follow through with marketing and producing follow-on products.

We’ll go through a lot of good research methods in future articles and in an upcoming video. However, today I’d like to tell you about a personal experience that very well may happen to you, too.

Due to YouTube and hundreds of other video outlets, many of them free, there are a lot of video clips floating out there in the internet cloud. Most are free and some are for a fee. Some are pretty good and some are awful.

My own experience is that a couple of years ago I produced a DVD about car detailing. There didn’t seem to be that many competing products out there, and I felt I had a big name expert to work with. Plus, I let my emotions talk me into it because I was temporarily interested in the subject due to a new car I was enjoying.

My sales have dropped off and I was wondering why. When I started digging around on the net I found several sites giving away perfectly good videos on detailing. Some were promoting their detailing products, but some were not.

eHow is an organization that pays videographers a modest fee, I think it is around $300 – $500 per title, to produce short videos for them on a wide range of topics. Turns out they have posted a lot of videos on car detailing which they are giving away free. (They make their money on advertising). I really feel the sudden abundance of free car detailing videos has killed the market for mine.

My message here is to look around and do your homework before embarking on a new special interest video production. The internet is changing everything, and the amount of content on it is increasing. Look at places like eHow to see if they are giving away videos like the one you are considering. The great thing about the internet is that search engines like Google do a darn good job of researching for you.

Finally, don’t let your emotions push you into producing something. Be objective when considering new titles, and do “due diligence” to find out if the is a market and if the need has already been filled by existing product.

Always keep your eyes and ears open for new opportunities, which are around every corner.

It Isn’t Always About The Money

April 22, 2008 by  
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Sometimes we get so focused on earning money that we forget that the payoff from our labor often comes in other forms as well.

This morning I received a phone call that made my day. A woman in Florida couldn’t sleep so she got up at 4 am, was flipping through her DVDs to find something to watch, came across my DVD that someone had given her, Patrick Smith’s Florida, A Sense of Place, and popped it in her DVD player. She ended up watching it 3 times in a row.

This DVD is about Patrick D. Smith, a popular Florida author. This lady was so excited by what she saw in the DVD that she went out and bought 3 of the books he talks about in the program. Then she called me because she wanted to personally meet this author and shake his hand, and thought I could put her in touch with him (I could and did). She was so excited that she could hardly contain herself. It really touched me that someone had gotten so much pleasure from my DVD and that they had taken the time to call and tell me so.

My wife, who primarily shoots and edits for the wedding and event side of our business, says that one of the addictively positive non-monetary benefits she gets from doing these types of projects is that the audience always loves the video (they are the stars, after all) and expresses appreciation for the work she does. Corporate clients aren’t usually that effusive, and when you sell your DVDs to strangers all over the world, you rarely get that kind of personal feedback.

Sometimes I sit here in my own office, shipping DVDs but never hearing from my customers about how they like them. Selling your own vidoes does give you an income stream, which is a great motivator when you see those “New Order” emails coming in, but every once in a while you love to hear personally that your video was a light in someone’s life, and that’s a feeling that money cannot buy.

What a great way to start my day. I have to remember that feeling.

Storytelling: A Powerful Marketing Strategy for Your Online Business

April 14, 2008 by  
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Before the advent of pencil and paper and writing, ancient peoples depended solely upon storytelling to pass along the history of their families and tribes from one generation to the next. Of course, it was an imperfect method, as we humans tend to skew a story from our own perspective and add details and nuances that weren’t present in the original story. However imperfect or exaggerated or simply untrue the stories might be, we all live in countries where stories shape our history. Here in the U.S., we were all regaled as children with stories of Paul Revere’s ride through Boston alerting the residents of the coming of the British, or if you were a Texas kid, of the defeat of Santa Ana in San Jacinto after the tragic loss of life to the Mexican army at the Alamo.

I’ve always reveled in stories. One of my favorite pastimes as a child was to hang out with my mom and aunts for the “adult conversations” that weren’t really suitable for children’s ears. However, I refused to leave no matter how strongly I was encouraged to go and play outside. I just wanted to hear the stories of the “good ole” days” (i.e. back in the olden days, as I gleefully referred to those times) when they were growing up or when things were different. Hearing stories about them in different contexts than how I knew them shaped both my personal history and my family history and connected me to them in ways that I still value to this day. Of course, I l also overheard much family gossip, but that, then is another story.

You can create the same kind of connection to your customer base by telling your story or the story of a successful client. Stories help people create visual images of what you’re trying to get across. I’m apt to remember the story and the image it created much more easily than a bunch of facts or theories or statistics that just make my eyes glaze over. When I was a contractual trainer for a virtual assistant training company, I often told stories to illustrate the points of a particular class. About a year after one student completed this program, she told me that she often thought of the story I told of how I successfully set boundaries with my “doubting mother” in the startup phase of my business. My student was struggling with the same issues of doubt in her family as she started her business and used my story as a guide for her to set boundaries with them to keep herself sane during this very crazy period of her life. You simply never know how powerfully your story will impact others.

In the teleclasses and coaching that I do, I often tell my story of the scary and stupid way I started my business — a way that defied all professional advice and a way that I wouldn’t recommend to any of my clients — but I succeeded despite myself. I had quit my full-time job without any savings, filed for divorce, put my house up for sale, sold my major possessions, loaded the car up with my dog and relocated halfway across the country, moved in with my mother back into my childhood bedroom, withdrew money from my retirement account to get me through the first few months, and set up shop in my mother’s garage. I was just a failure waiting to happen, but I didn’t fail, amazingly enough. I use this story to illustrate the point that no matter what the odds, if you want to start a business and be successful, you can do it –and I’m living proof that anyone can do it — and if you don’t have all of these risk factors staring you in the face, you stand a much greater chance of success than I ever did!

Share all of your stories with your clients–the good, the bad, and the ugly. It will make you much more human and much more approachable with your clients. A coach with whom I have done some training, Chris Barrow, shares the story of his devastating bankruptcy when he was thought of as one of the most successful financial planners in the UK. I admire Chris for sharing the failures in his life and business as well as his successes–it lets me know that he’s human and he can easily relate to whatever I’m going through at any moment in time.

Come up with a fairly short, 1-2 minute story statement of how you got to where you are today and how that impacted why you do what you do. Make it interesting, share the ups and downs and put your stories on your website, on your business card, in your brochure, on your blog, and incorporate them into your elevator speech. I guarantee you’ll start developing fans right away!

Copyright (c) 2008

About this author

Online Business Resource Queen (TM) and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at . Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at .

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