Video Challenge

Read a Sales Letter Aloud

December 25, 200811 Comments

Are you still participating in the daily video challenge?

If you missed out on it, the task is you just record one video every day.  It could be a live-action video, it could be a Camtasia video.  It could be just 5 minutes if you want it to.

Many many months ago, my friend Steven Schwartzman paid for someone to create a YouTube video out of his site... all he did was record a Camtasia video reading the sales letter for a few minutes.

Due to the rules of the Daily Video Challenge, you're not allowed to do that.

On the plane ride back from Austin, Texas in April... returning from the Warrior Event... I copied a few peoples' WSO sales letters by hand and it works like MAGIC!

Record a Camtasia video of you reading a sales letter aloud... a sales letter of either a competitor's product, or a product in a similar niche to yours.

It will also help with your speaking skills. At one point, recorded a PowerPoint Camtasia presentation for Kevin Riley's Recipe for Post Product Launch.

Guess what that means?

  1. I now have a web-based video presentation that I loaded into an autoresponder series. I'm using Ben Prater's method of sending out regular follow-ups to reduce refunds.
  2. I also have an audio product. Camtasia allows you to export just the audio of a presentation into an MP3. I separated the audo into two folders because audio CDs only hold 74 minutes of audio.
  3. I can easily produce the Camtasia files as a DVD if I want to.

I used it as an incentive for people to purchase from me as an affiliate. If it brought me in enough profits, it would justify buying resale rights... but it didn't, so I didn't buy the rights.  That's a heck of a lot better strategy than simply blindly buying up rights.

When you buy up resale rights, you can stick in your own upsells, and create your OWN affiliate program...

In our Daily Seminar membership, we're buying up the best resale rights possible to teach you the basics... while the content we create ourselves, focuses on the more advanced stuff.

Hint: This month in the seminar, I'll be posting a very special paid version of the Daily Video Challenge, with actual step by step tasks for you to work on the entire month.

Leave your ten comments for me and Merry Christmas!

Behind Schedule

April 24, 200813 Comments

I've been so behind schedule ever since I came back from the Warrior Event seminar in Austin. I have a ton of blog posts outlining a bunch of the stuff I learned... just be patient.

I've "only" put together 8 1/2 sales letters and recorded two e-classes. An e-class with me is approximately 30 daily episodes, each episode is about five minutes.

I make it a point to handle a finite number of projects at one time. Absolute maximum is four. The number I want is one. I usually end up working on about two projects at a time.

The problem when you promote stuff as an affiliate: you are the same as everyone else!

Why not add some of your own stuff as a bonus -- check out script number 7 of Top Secret PHP to learn how to modify OTHER people's pages and add your own affiliate bonuses.

I bought Kevin Riley's Recipe for Post Product Launch and was so impressed with it, I put together a PowerPoint presentation and recorded a Camtasia video of me dictating it.

When you buy that product through my affiliate link, I add you to an autoresponder and send you another five minute episode every day for a month.

It appears as if I'm putting 20-30 minutes a day into the class, recording the video, uploading it, sending out the e-mail message... when really, I recorded all the videos in a couple of hours and wrote all the daily follow-up messages in under an hour.

Think about recording PowerPoint videos the next time you promote an affiliate product.

People hate work and like having things laid out for them. It's easier to watch a little bit of video every day then try to crack a book... that's too much like school... yuck, I'm having nightmares already!

Just make a separate slide for each page to keep things simple. Make three bullet points for each slide summarizing the main points. Print out the entire book out on your printer.

Record your video and read the text word for word. When you have something of your own to add, just wing it.

When you're done with each page, pause the recording and see how long you've recorded. If you're close to five minutes, save the video and start a new one.

Why five minutes? Because Camtasia allows you to save to MP3 audio and those will be your CD tracks.

That's right, you just added even MORE value to your own customized affiliate product because you have the daily videos people can watch every day... and you've given them audios so they can burn them to a CD or to their iPod.

I've done this with one affiliate product and one product I bought rights to.

You could produce the video into a DVD as well if you felt like it.

I know many of you are resisting me here. But think about this... don't you want to be considered an expert in your niche? Every time you see someone speak on stage at a seminar... either live or when you watch it on a DVD... do you wish that was you presenting?

There is also that added bonus that after you read an entire book allowed, you become an expert on that subject. You know it backwards and forwards. If someone asks about a subtopic in that book, you could explain EVERYTHING!

This is how you will get to to that point. Not just by creating the video products but by getting lots of practice in, being an instructor.

I know you would rather host a seminar, charge $1000 per seat and get 50 attendees and make $50K in a weekend than launch a lousy $27 e-book and try to make that same amount of money over the course of a few years.

Am I right?

What do you personally do to differentiate yourself as an affiliate? Do you offer personal consultation? Bonus products? Daily videos? Something else I haven't thought of? Please, share with me... I need the usual ten comments.

p.s. If you want those videos, check out:

DON'T purchase from that site just to see how I roll the videos out. I have no what I'm doing. I really suck.

Only check out that product if you're interested in grabbing new affiliates AFTER your product is initially launched, you want to know how to properly host your own seminars, turn customers into promoters, blah blah blah... 🙂

You’re Fired!

April 1, 200824 Comments

Imagine for a second that you have a full-time employee working on your business. (Maybe you already have one.) I don't mean a pay-per-job kind of employee, I mean a salaried employee you pay every single month.

  • You pay for this person's health insurance.
  • You pay for sick and vacation days.
  • You pay into their retirement account.

Their job is to build you a web presence and create new products and sites, write sales copy, buy advertising, and so on.

Despite all this, your employee frequently visits forums, checks e-mail, chats in instant messengers, and generally puts out products at a snail's pace... let's say 1 or 2 products per year when he could be producing one per month, easily.

Now that you've got that pictured in your head, tell me... are you that employee?

Do You Deserve To Be Fired From Your
Self-Employed Internet Marketing Job?

I am still following the daily video challenge and I hope you are too.

I recorded five videos instead of just one on Monday, to make up for my trip away from home at Disneyland... that was some nice downtime and recharged my batteries, by the way.

When I record a daily video:

  1. I make sure Camtasia is running, and that I have my headset on so I can talk about what I'm doing.
  2. I open up Notepad and write "Appointment with myself: Finish chapter 5 by 6:30 PM" (I set that to whatever the time is half an hour from now and whatever chapter I'm working on.)
  3. I set my alarm clock for 10 minutes -- use a kitchen timer or Cool Timer.
  4. I haul ass for ten minutes and stop immediately when it runs out, then explain what I'll be doing for the next ten minutes.

The above formula works wonders to keep me motivated.

Sometimes I'll start out and not feel like working, but within a couple of minutes I'll be in the exact mood I need to be in.

I recently discovered another hidden bonus about recording yourself at work: You have indisputable proof that you are working!

If you are one of those people trying to convince a spouse or family member that you are doing more than just clicking around on the Internet all day, give them access to the daily videos you are recording.

(Show them how to fast-forward to skip the boring parts.)

You can respond by saying, "Look, today I wrote 50 pages."
Or, "Today I wrote four sales letters."

If you didn't meet your goals, you can explain in the video, exactly why you didn't write that many pages or why you didn't make as much money as you wanted to that week.

Heck, it could also remind you what you were working on yesterday.

  • Are you using a similar formula?
  • Are you using video to document your work?
  • Do you have some OTHER tip to keep yourself motivated so that you don't disappoint the people in your life?
  • Should you really be fired from your self-employed job (or at least put on probation) and what will you do to make up for it?

Please comment below and let me know... I would really appreciate it.

Do You Watch Your Own Videos?

March 21, 200812 Comments

I'm five days into the Robert Plank Daily Video Challenge and using Camtasia I've recorded 6 how-to videos I'm going to use in an upcoming paid product, one video documenting a task and one video going over my progress for the day.

My formula is: try to record a video for a paid product, if I don't have time for that, keep the video rolling while I do something to improve my business... and don't stop the camera until I'm done. (This REALLY keeps me on task.) If that fails, open up Notepad and go over what I did that day. I plan for 5 minutes and that usually ends up taking 20 minutes.

Then, watch that video you just recorded from start to finish.

This is what professional actors and public speakers do to train themselves to actually look presentable.

You'd be surprised at how many people DON'T do this. Just look at how many chipmunk-infested Camtasia vids are floating around out there.

There Are People Out There Who Are Supposedly "Experts" at Video
Who Are Hard to Watch.

When you talk with your hands, it's distracting and you look like an idiot! There is absolutely NO REASON for you to use 2-3 different nervous hand gestures with every sentence.

When you talk for 2 minutes before you start to say anything new, you've lost my interest. Do you have a lame video with flashy graphics than says nothing but, "Welcome to my web site?" Get rid of it! If someone missed the first 2 minutes of your video, would it still make sense? Then start at that 2 minute point next time.

That's part of the reason why I said don't freely share the videos for this challenge. You see dumbasses on forums who record videos of themselves edited together with stock footage, and the video says NOTHING of value. They just post it all around in a pathetic attempt to bring in traffic.

When you do something in a video that could have been explained in text, you're stupid. That's why I use Camtasia so much, so I have something to show people other than my ugly mug.

Think about newscasters. They speak for a short time and then cut to a clip of what they were talking about. If you had the TV on mute the whole time, you could still figure out what was going on. At the very least, you would know to UNMUTE that segment.

Your videos are never going to be perfect so don't worry about that part.

Here is my mindset when I'm recording a video: "If I was doing this live at a seminar, would it still be acceptable?"

It's ok to record the video in just one take. It's ok to pause or screw up a sentence every now and then. But is your video so bad that it's cringeworthy?

The only way you're going to rise above that is by WATCHING those cringeworthy videos and then doing better next time.

I'm not saying I'm the best person in the world at recording videos, but I can tell you that watching my own videos has cured:

  • A tendency to talk too fast. People told me they had to watch my videos multiple times to understand everything. Now my 10 minute videos are more like 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Minor speech impediments. When I first started to record videos, I sounded out-of-breath. I mumbled, I slurred my words and sometimes stuttered. Now, I project my voice and always keep in mind to give people a chance to let what I just said sink in... all without thinking about it!
  • Nervousness. Have you ever had one of those classes in school where the teacher always called on you and put you on the spot? At first it was really nerve-wracking, but by the end of that class you had a handle on it. The pauses I make in my videos are logical pauses, not nervous pauses. I also keep my hand off the mouse as much as possible so I'm not talking with my hands (in a Camtasia video sense).

Do you watch your own videos? If not, it shows.

Please, comment below and tell me if you watch your own videos.

If not... watch one of your own videos right now and tell me what you need to improve.

Daily Video Challenge

March 17, 200845 Comments

I added a small daily task to my schedule, starting yesterday, that I CHALLENGE you to try:

Record One Video Every Day

This is going to be a daily video diary for your business. (I recommend a Camtasia video, not a webcam video... but in some niches, Camtasia doesn't apply very well.)

Here are the rules:

Rule 1: I don't want you to show it to anyone other than yourself, just stick it in a folder somewhere. You can turn this into a paid product, or show it to ONE business associate but do not just give it to the general public for free.

Rule 2: I don't care what it's about as long as it relates to your business. Yesterday I spent 18 minutes explaining why February 2008 was my best month, passing up June 2007, and what things I did different than last year. You can record for 5 minutes or 30 minutes, but it has to be in one take.

Rule 3: If you end up showing it to someone else, it has to be a paid product. Membership video, DVD, one time product, whatever... just DON'T give it away as a blog post.

I was just thinking last night that recording videos is something I can't do consistently. I can write consistently because I have lots of practice, especially from posting in this blog. But videos... out of the 20+ infoproducts I have out there, 14 are video-based. Videos are my weakest skill at the moment.

Do you remember my three tips to fast infoproduct creation? Let's see how they stack up against the daily video challenge...

  1. It doesn't have to look good, just be good. That's the whole idea here. You spend 5 minutes creating the sloppiest video ever, because the video DOESN'T have to be that great and no one is going to see it.
  2. Get excited about your topic. You're choosing what to talk about so why not? I think that if you make enough videos on enough subjects, you will find something to talk about that you are excited about.
  3. Practice. You're recording a video EVERY DAY. This technique is practice... by definition. You'll establish good habits for yourself and in no time, videos will be a cinch for you to make.

Can you get to recording your video already? If you're worried about taking time out of your day, limit yourself to five minutes.

The video you record might end up being your next product.

The video could just be you going over your to-do list for the day... describing what you did and didn't accomplish. Maybe you'll watch it again 6 months from now and notice how your business has changed over time.

You might record yourself putting a product of yours to use... now you have an excellent how-to video to bundle with your product. You've just cut down on customer support requests.

Heck, I plan on doing a couple videos of nothing but me working on my project. What a great way to keep yourself on task!

If you know the cameras are rolling, do you think you'll get distracted and check e-mails, instant messages, and forums? Or do you think you'll actually focus on one single thing till it's done?

I thought so.

Please, leave a comment here and let me know if you accept this challenge. If you want to give me a little hint about what your first 5 minute video will be about... go for it... but you don't have to.

If you read through this whole post and DIDN'T comment, that tells me you're chickening out.

You're not a quitter... are you?

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