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8 Ways To Make Money Producing Your Own Videos

October 31, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Special Interest Video Biz

Make money producing special interest videos – we show you how at the Special Interest Video Academy

I wrote a blog post on this subject back in March of 2008 after presenting at a video conference on “Shoot It Once, Sell It For Years”. My intent was to update and rewrite it but I found that what I shared then is just as relevant today. So here it is again, in its entirety, with a thought added here and there:

Can you really make money producing and 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 in presenting 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? What can you deliver differently?

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 our book Shoot To Sell: Make Money Producing Special Interest Videos and in our Special Interest Video Academy.

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 our book, Shoot To Sell: Make Money Producing Special Interest Videos and even more in our Special Interest Video Academy, we delve more deeply into this aspect of the video publishing business and share with you many tools and resources to increase your chances for success in making money with your videos.

I also encourage you to share their advice as well so please comment below. Our goal is to educate and help other entrepreneurial media producers be successful in this exciting area. Like my good friend and fellow Special Interest Video producer, Joe Clokey of San Luis Video Publishing likes to say, “All boats float,” meaning we’ll all benefit from the rising tide.

Google Keyword Suggestion Tool: Why and How To Use This Free Search Tool

When doing research to determine what your video or information product should be, searching on keywords should be a part of your research mix. But why?

You are spending all of this time and possibly a nice chunk of change to produce a video for a reason, right? You want to sell it! In order to do that, you want to make sure BEFORE you start that people are actually searching for a video on the topic you are planning on making.

One of the best ways to do that is at your fingertips…search engines! You can go to your favorite search engine and look at the results. But those results don’t tell you the entire story – like it’s value and competition. There are also some keyword search tools that will help you like the free Google keyword suggestion tool.

What is a keyword?

Before we go further, you need to understand that a keyword is essentially any word or phrase people use when searching with a search engine. The search engine does its best to match your words with the words on websites.

What does this mean for your video?

In order for you to be deemed the best match for you customers’ keywords your video title and eventually the website where you’re selling your video, most likely your own, must use the same words they do. Optimizing for these matches is called search engine optimization – SEO for short.

You can discover which words and phrases you should be optimizing for by conducting keyword research using a tool such as the Google keyword suggestion tool available under Google AdWords. We drill deeper into SEO in our book Shoot To Sell: Make Money Producing Special Interest Videos and offer an introductory 16 minute video on how to use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Both the tool and the video are free. (Make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page for the video.

Getting Groupon Right: How to Build Loyal Customers Through Deep Discounts

October 23, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Business Practices, Marketing

Guest post by Anita Brady

Groupon Logo Image Courtesy of ©

Offering a coupon to get new customers through the door should still make money for a business. That’s a historic marketing principle that hits at the core of pricing decisions for any business. If you’re selling a product, how much should you mark it up from cost? Even if you offer a coupon for 20 percent off of its normal retail price, shouldn’t the business still be making a 30 percent profit?

That number balance has been thrown askew in recent years by the popularity of daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social. These online portals ask participating businesses to offer their product or service at 50 percent off of its usual cost, and then collect as much as 40 percent of the remaining sum. That leaves small businesses making only about a third of what they might on the same product at full price.

So why would any business participate? The answer is simple: to bring new customers through the door. Groupon‘s pitch is based around critical mass — if your business needs a shot of energy or awareness, what could be better than attracting several hundred (or more) new customers through the door, all at once?

It’s a great concept, in theory. Unfortunately, as daily deals became ubiquitous, so did serial Groupon shoppers. Many people purchase and use the coupons but never return as a full-price customer. Who can blame them, when there’s likely another daily deal for a similar business they can utilize the next time?

This phenomenon has taken a major cut at Groupon‘s bottom line, playing a role in the slide of its share price from as high as $30 last November to roughly $12 throughout May. The company launched a rewards program this month to encourage loyalty, but that responsibility truly lies in the hands of the business owners and managers themselves.

If you’ve used a daily deal offer before or are considering one in the future, follow this advice to ensure you convert first-time customers into repeat visitors:

Everyone is a VIP

Groupon has developed a stigma. Due to the portion of daily deal buyers who never plan to return, no matter what, (and tip poorly at restaurants and service-oriented businesses), it’s no secret that some establishments have responded by shunning the very customers they sought to bring in the door.

This happens most often when a daily deal has an extended expiration date. Perhaps a business offered a Living Social coupon and experienced a rush of customers for a week, some of whom acted entitled, tipped poorly, or made clear their intentions not to return. That then reflects on the person who comes in with a coupon six months later.

No matter what your experience has been with daily deal customers in the past, treat each coupon holder that walks in the door like a fresh start. Give them the same service you would give your loyal patron who visits every day, and you’re likely to earn a repeat visit from your coupon buyer.

Connect and Engage with Social Media

You know one thing about every single person who walks in the door with a daily deal coupon — they are willing to shop online. Take advantage of that! The Groupon customer base is Internet savvy and knows how to shop for a deal. Respond to that by staying in touch with them via Facebook, Twitter, and an email newsletter.

Engage with your customers while they’re at your business or visiting your website. Offer them a second coupon (it doesn’t have to be 50 percent off) for giving a ‘Like’ to your Facebook page or for submitting their email address.

Build your database, but don’t send spam. Make sure that every Tweet, email, or status update has exciting relevance, either about a new product or a special (but significant) discount solely for the recipients of your message.

Practice Smart Up-Selling

It’s no secret that businesses want their daily deal customers to purchase something beyond the coupon while they’re at their establishment. This can be tricky, however. Remember that Groupon buyers are deal-savvy, so they’re unlikely to want to double their expense with a costly full price item. On the other side of that coin, they’ve already paid for their Groupon in advance, so it may even be easier to get them to break out their wallet on the spot.

Consider a ‘Groupon only’ deal for customers that come in with a coupon. If you’re a kayak tour company, give your coupon customers the option to extend their tour at a deep discount or the chance to buy a water bottle or t-shirt just over your cost. The best way to take advantage of further up-selling is to push products that have your business name or logo on them. If you can send a first-time coupon customer out the door with your business name splashed across their shirt, chances are they’ll return (and do some free marketing for you in the process).

What other ideas are out there to ensure that daily deal buyers become loyal customers?

Industry veteran Anita Brady is the President of

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