Want to Sell Your Videos? You Must Learn How To Do This…

Selling your special interest videos – sell the “sizzle” and not just the “steak.”

Selling your special interest videos – you have to sell the “sizzle” to sell the “steak.”

Over the last several posts, we’ve been sharing our model to make money with your videos. In the last post we answered this question, “How has the business of producing and selling your own videos changed due to the internet?” In this one, we’re going to start to address the one thing you must learn how to do to successfully sell your videos…marketing!

Keep This Key Marketing Concept In Mind

You have to learn to sell the “sizzle” to sell the “steak”. Just what do I mean by that?

If you are going to set up an eCommerce site, you will need to drive customers to your site. I’ve learned the hard way that just because you put a website out there, it doesn’t mean droves of people will find it and come running with money in hand to buy your stuff. As in any business (service or product basis, online or brick and mortar), you have to market, advertise and promote your website and your product line too.

Marketing to a potential customer is not that different from marketing to a client or another business. You can use all avenues, such as advertising, networking, PR, etc., but to make it the most effective you have to keep this key marketing concept in mind – you need to step into the customer’s shoes and ask, “Is this something I want? Why would I buy it?” You need to sell the benefit of watching your video and answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” That’s what gets people excited about buying your video.

For example, assume your video is on an innovative technique you discovered on losing weight and you’ve gone so far as outlining your target market and found that there was a good market out there of people looking for the answer to losing weight. That’s a great start!

However, before you start marketing, think about this; these people are not really buying “losing weight”. What they want is the BENEFITS losing weight gives them – i.e., they look good, they feel good, their health improves, etc. So, keeping that in mind, when you determine the benefit for your viewer, you can work in both the problem and the solution your video provides in your marketing copy.

For instance your copy can read:

Frustrated because the scale has been stuck at the same number for MONTHS no matter WHAT you do? In this DVD, you’ll learn the SECRET for smashing through that plateau and getting back on the weight loss track.

See how this is much more powerful and enticing than the following copy that focuses strictly on the features of what is included in the video:

In this hour long exercise video, you will be shown exercises and given weight loss tips.

Pretty boring and not really convincing is it?

If you want to produce and sell videos, today’s marketing and delivery trends definitely make it easier for you than in the past. Video has exploded on the market and I feel that the reason it holds such a dominant place in our society is because it is a powerful way to learn and experience the world.

In fact, I’ve read that one third of the population are visual learners. Given that and the fact that engaging all senses in the education process greatly enhances learning, may explain why many people would rather watch a video than read a book. That you can now reach your audience more quickly, economically and profitably presents fabulous opportunities for you to get started in the non-fiction video publishing business today.

So how can you get started? Signing up for our newsletter is definitely a start. If you haven’t purchased our book, Shoot To Sell: Make Money Producing Special Interest Videos, now is the time to do it. (If you’re in the U.S., we offer free shipping!)

If you’re really ready to roll up your sleeves and start working, then the Special Interest Video Academy is the way to go. This is our 16 week intensive program that will take you from idea generation through getting your video on the market. We also offer individualized coaching if that is what you need. (Note: if you sign up for the Gold Level, you’ll get 1 hour of individualized coaching for FREE, a $300 value, basically paying for the course.)

How Does The Internet Affect Making Money With Your Videos?


This past month, we’ve been sharing our model to make money with your videos. Last week we shared how you can add to your bottom line with other people’s products.

By now you are seeing how selling special interest videos (or as it’s called in the industry, video publishing) even on a small scale, can create freedoms you could never have before, possibly allowing you to quit the job that’s not fulfilling, saying good-bye to clients you no longer wish to work with, taking fantastic holidays with your family, paying off your mortgage, and best of all, getting paid well to do something you enjoy.

One of the advances that has changed your capacity to do just that is The Internet Age!

The internet has brought with it some exciting and far reaching opportunity in this business of producing, distributing and marketing your videos. It has made it possible for anyone to enter this industry…not just companies with big pockets.

It Has Leveled The Playing Field

When I started in this industry, the primary way you reached your customers was through distributors, catalog publishing and direct mail campaigns. If you didn’t want to work exclusively with distributors, you were basically in the mail order business. The former eats into your profit margin and the latter two are very expensive and prohibitive for the small producer.

The internet has leveled that playing field. With the advent of internet marketing, i.e., email, SEO, blogging, pay-per click advertising, and social media, there are much more economical and new marketing avenues for the small producer.

It Has Lowered Your Overhead Costs

No longer do we have to rely on having a human answer the phone or open mail to take orders. Now about 98% of our orders come in online. Many of them arrive overnight or while we’re away from the office. We rarely have to talk to a customer, although we maintain a toll-free number.

When you offer downloadable products, it gets even better! The customer gets the video immediately and you get payment directly into your bank account with no time or money spent packaging, shipping or handling. This is the business model we have been moving to.

It Has Given You Improved Research Tools

The internet also changes the way you can research and reach your target market. Although it takes commitment, time and work to produce and sell your own videos, the key to being successful is to pick the right topic, have a well-targeted audience and a good marketing strategy and you do that through research.

Along with all the positive changes brought about by the internet age, there are some special challenges it has brought to this field, specifically the proliferation of all the free videos now available and how to stay current on the technology.

After you’ve decided on your topic and type of video to produce, there’s one more key step…selling them! When you’re selling your special interest videos, how do you market for best results?

Next we’ll be talking about where most people trip up in that part of this business…marketing!

How To Make Money With Your Videos By Adding Other People’s Products

Make Money FistThe bottom line with any business is to make a profit, and we shared how you can make more money with your existing video products. Today I’m talking about another strategy…

Adding Other People’s Products To Increase Profits

As a bit of a recap…our business model consists of building lots of little streams of income, all feeding into a mighty river. This not only consists of producing more products to sell to new niche markets, it also includes giving your current customers new products they want. Your goal is to keep the relationship alive with your customers.

While producing additional videos along the same subject line is a great way to do this, pursuing other methods will give you additional products quickly and at little or no cost to you. So if you don’t yet have another video produced to sell, it’s a good idea to begin thinking about offering other related products they would find beneficial, and the sooner the better.

While it’s more profitable when you own your own products, there are many ways to add products to your inventory immediately without creating them yourself. Adding books from some place like Amazon.com and promoting related affiliate products will also increase your profit potential.

Years ago when I was selling horticulture videos I tried adding a line of horticulture books from Ortho and we sold thousands of them. It made us a better resource to our customers and provided a healthy boost to our profits.

Other great affiliate programs you can sign up with are Clickbank, Commission Junction, Linkshare and ShareASale.

Do some digging into the products you buy and use that are related to your video topic and see if you can become an affiliate with them. That’s how we became affiliates with our favorite camera store, B&H.

Next week it’s all about the internet and how it’s changed business as we know it.

Make More Money With Your Videos By Doing These Simple Tricks To Expand Your Product Line

BooksAfter checking out the two profit making scenarios – the “Low Price, High Volume” and the “High Price, Low Volume” models – I shared in the previous two posts, do you see the financial potential in producing and selling your videos?

Today I’m tell you how to further increase your profit potential in this business.

Expand Your Existing Products

Now bear in mind the two scenarios I shared were based on selling just DVDs or videos. But you don’t want to stop there to make this a stronger business. Why?

Let’s assume that you have finished your special interest video, it’s available for sale and someone buys it. Yay! Good for you. So you just have to find more customers, rinse and repeat and your fortune’s made, right?

Wrong! Obviously, one of the key goals in marketing and being successful in this business is to get a lot of those “someones” buying your video! But even if you get thousands of happy customers, to truly be successful you have to do more.

Unless you have other products to sell your new customer, your relationship is over with that single transaction. You’ll be spending a lot of effort converting them to a customer and getting them to trust you enough to fork over their money. Once they make a purchase decision it’s the best time to hit them with an offer for something else related to what they just bought. That is often called an upsale. If you don’t have anything else to offer, now or in the near future, you’ll probably never hear from that customer again. So what should you do if you just have a single video title?

There are ways to turn a single video into additional products. For example:

  • You can strip the audio out and sell it as an MP3 or an audio CD.
  • You can transcribe the audio into text and create an eBook. This works especially well with instructional videos. With the booming popularity of ebook readers, this can be a nice source of additional income at almost no cost to you. You can also offer this as an added bonus, an incentive to make a purchase within a limited time frame.
  • Break your video into individual modules and sell them separately.

One of our best selling videos, Patrick Smith’s Florida: A Sense of Place, was shot very simply. I sat my dad down, set up a camera and let him give one of his most popular talks he used to give while on his lecture circuit.  We took that DVD and turned it into a downloadable video, an audio CD and MP3 and a Kindle book. I also use it throughout my latest multimedia show I give on my dad. As a result, we are able to offer this talk to our customers in a way and a price point that is best for them AND make more money as a result.

Ideally you want to develop multiple titles on a topic and plan for this before you start video production. Not only can you bundle them together to get a higher price, it’s also better to have six 20 minute videos for sale on a topic than one 120 minute video. Maybe a customer will buy them one at a time over a period of weeks or months. This could be the beginning of a membership program.

But you don’t have to just sell your own products. Next week we’ll cover adding other people’s products to the equation.

How Much Can You Make Selling Your Own Video Titles? Here’s Another Scenario

Money in handDid you run the numbers to see how much money you can make producing and selling your own videos?

Today I’m going to share another money making scenario.

Scenario 2:”High Price, Low Volume” Model

With the “low price, high volume” model we introduced last week, your goal is to attract many customers who will buy at a low price. Where you can make much larger profits is in producing more than one title on your topic. That way, if your customers like one, they will likely buy more related titles from you if you’re selling them at a lower price, say 8-9 DVDs (or online video downloads)  a day at $20 each, you’d bring in $60,000 over the course of a year.

However…when selling “Special Interest” or niche titles, the prices you sell them at are usually higher – often much higher. Joe Clokey of San Luis Video Publishing in Los Osos, California, is one of our associates who has a full-time video publishing business. He sells 2-DVD sets, each DVD containing two 20-minute programs, to schools at $400 per set! The actual cost for him to duplicate them is about $2.00. Now that’s a good profit margin! Yes, he sells to fewer people but he doesn’t have to sell to as many to make the same income because his audience, agriculture teachers, is very targeted.

Assume you sell a title, or series, at a price of $120 each and aim for 10 sales a month. This is a reasonable price point you could get selling to schools and institutions. That’s the same amount you’d get for selling 6 times as many at $20 so imagine what you could make if you sold one copy per day! Your one-month income selling 30 copies at $120 equals $3,600. In 5 years that one DVD could make you $216,000.

This pricing model is the one I am most familiar with when selling to schools. Although that price does seem high, at that level, schools are getting what is called public performance rights. Those are the rights to show a video to a large public audience versus the home use versions we are used to renting at Netflix or your local video rental store. Schools and institutions expect to pay more.

The other thing with that price point is it makes it more profitable to go through distributors. The general practice when working with distributors is you sell your DVDs to them at a discount or wholesale price, commonly 40 – 50% off retail. You do get less profit per sale but that is made up in having another sales outlet doing the work for you. In fact, this may be the only way you wish to distribute your DVDs, especially if you only have a few titles or don’t want to set up your own eCommerce site and do your own marketing.

While you want to make money selling your titles, you don’t have to stop there. Next week we’ll tell you how to further increase your profit potential in this business.

How Much Can You Make Selling Your Own Video Titles?

Money in handStructuring your information product/special interest video business into income streams will lead to the most success. Now we’re going to turn to the good stuff…money and profits! But how much can you really make?

One thing you need to know at the beginning, this IS NOT a get rich quick scheme. Can you make a lot of money selling special interest videos? Yes.

Do people?

Unequivocally, yes! But there is more to successfully selling your titles than just the work and time involved in producing them. Let me show you a few scenarios to get you excited about all the possibilities when you have a good selling video.

Scenario 1: “Low Price, High Volume” Model

You have one title you are selling for $20 each and your sales are averaging 2 DVDs (or online downloads) per day. Keep that up and your monthly gross income would be $1,200. Over the course of a year, you would make $14,400 and over five year’s a total of $72,000.

(Keep in mind these are gross figures; merchant account fees, duplicating and packaging costs cut deeper into this model, not to mention time costs if you do your own shipping. Of course, if you sell digitally, you do not have the fulfillment and handling costs but you will have web hosting costs.)

If you bring 5,000 or more people who are very interested in the topic and your video to your website each month, it isn’t unrealistic to expect 50 of them to buy your video.

That’s only 1% of the total. That list size seems to be the set point many internet marketers use. But if you have a strong, targeted following, you can make money with a smaller list than that. We do it all the time. It is a matter of targeting your offer to a specific interest.

This is the “low price, high volume” model. Your goal is to attract many customers who will buy at a low price.

Selling at this price point has its pros and cons. Many of your customers can afford this price and it increases the chances of selling to them. However the down side is that you have to attract and sell to many more people to make it really profitable for you. Chances are you’ll spend a lot more time and resources getting those higher numbers to your site.

For videos at this price point, I recommend producing more than one title on the topic. That way, if your customers like one, they will likely buy more titles from you. We call that your “back-end.” Imagine selling 8-9 DVDs or videos per day…that’s an income of over $60,000 in a year!

However…when selling “Special Interest” or niche titles, the prices are usually higher – often much higher. More about that next week.

More Benefits Of Producing And Selling Your Own Videos

StreamsOfIncomeIn my last post, I shared one of the huge benefits to selling your own videos – a system we call the “Shoot It Once, Sell It For Years” model. It’s simple, you put your effort into producing it once…and then sell it many times, again and again and again. This gets you out of the more limiting business model of trading hours for dollars.

Another great benefit is the freedom from those demanding clients you’d rather not work for…you know the ones I’m referring to…because you are the boss and your own client. What we’ve discovered is that over the last few years we’ve been able to really pick and choose the best clients in our service based video business because we now have a steady – and growing – stream of income from the video titles we sell. Imagine being able to say yes to only the more profitable and satisfying projects in your business. Plus we get our weekends back! (For those of you in the wedding videography business, you know what I mean!)

Along with that you get creative expression because you can do it your way. You can be pretty much in charge of the whole process, from beginning to end. For example, one title we produced wasn’t that sexy, Properties Of Soil, but we absolutely enjoyed the process of creating it! It brought together all of our creative and intellectual sides; researching, conceptualizing, scripting, story-boarding, working with people (the advisor, narrator, on-camera talent, etc.), shooting and editing. The fact that title alone has made more than $200,000 is pretty nice icing on the cake.

Your income is limited only by your enthusiasm and imagination. Let me tell you, as a creative person, there is great personal satisfaction in getting paid to produce your dream production or program. It is also highly likely that you may experience less competition for your titles than you do in your service business. In fact, you may not have any competition for your topic! That’s the dream product – a demand for the topic and little or no competition. Think of how many niches exist like that!

So how much can you really make producing and selling your own videos? We’ll go over that in the next post.

Make More Money: The Shoot it Once, Sell it for Years Method

StreamsOfIncomeIn my last post I started talking about how you don’t have to have a large studio or spend tons to make more money producing and selling your own videos.

Today I’m continuing along those lines and how we like to structure our business this way.

Our Business Model – “Shoot It Once, Sell It For Years”

Our business model is simple: you keep producing a stream of programs that have a long potential shelf life, sometimes as long as 15 to 20 years or more. We call these “evergreen” because they don’t change or become obsolete quickly. The goal is to produce a body of programs that all contribute to your gross income. All of these streams of income feed into a flowing river. By producing multiple titles you even out the ups and downs of individual sales cycles, particularly if some of your titles sell more during one time of year, such as the Christmas gift season, than others

As a videographer, these past few years of tough economic times may have you spending more time looking for clients rather than creating video productions and that really affects your passion for your craft. If you’re at that point, it’s time to consider all opportunities to keeping your excitement for video alive…and make more money doing it.

This also holds true if you’re a coach, trainer or in another service based business where you feel like you scramble after your clients and wish there was a way to reach more people who would benefit from your business or product.

Producing special interest videos is a perfect sideline where you can overcome these limitations of the service business. For starters, unlike the video production service business, the special interest video business lets you profit, over and over again, by selling your program to interested customers around the world – without leaving your home.

For less than $20 a month, you can have your own eCommerce site that sells your line of videos around the clock. Or you can work with distributors and resellers who do it for you and send you checks. That’s why we call this our “Shoot It Once, Sell It For Years” business model. This is a model we’ve successfully used for many years and are now helping others attain who want to produce and sell their videos. If this appeals to you, you can download our “Shoot It Once, Sell It For Years” BLUEPRINT or you can also get started with training at our  Special Interest Video Academy.

If you’ve been in a service business you know that with that industry model, you or your staff can only help a limited amount of clients in a day (trading hours for dollars) or if you’re in a video production business, you most likely are really only able to produce a program for one client at a time. Then when that program is delivered, or that client is satisfied and you get your final payment, you won’t make any more money on something that you probably poured your heart into. Your model is providing service one to one and your income potential is limited to only the number of clients you can handle and the hours in a day.

The potential long shelf life of special interest video titles is a key benefit of this business. With a carefully chosen topic you can enjoy residual income from your work for many years, even decades. Imagine spending as little as a week or two producing a video that sells for 20 years! My first instructional video, The Elements of Pruning, produced in 1981, is still selling today at $80 to the school market….a LOT longer than 20 years!

Our objective in choosing videos to produce is simple: choose a topic that will have a high chance of success and which will produce income for many years. We don’t limit our topics to ones we think will be huge: just a good steady income over a long period of time is OK. Repeat the process over and over again.

In the next post I’m going to dig deeper into ALL the benefits of producing and selling special interest videos.

Why Should You Sell Your Own Videos?

SellingYourVideosWhile we were at a book signing at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show a few years back, we had one gentleman come up to us. While he saw us sitting there we noticed he was eyeing our camera, the Canon Vixia HF G10. It turned out he was in the market for a camera. He wasn’t a videographer at all but had an idea of developing programming to send to television stations and needed a camera (he actually wanted 3!) that would give him the quality broadcasters require for televising. After coming to NAB, he realized that many of those cameras were way out of his budget range.

Upon talking to him, we discovered that his real desire was to monetize and sell his segments on his own. His thought was that he had to start with being picked up by a broadcaster and go from there. Imagine his excitement when he started talking to us and realized he had many more avenues to choose from! (And yes, he walked away with our book, Shoot To Sell!)

Producing your own videos and making money off of them is not as impossible as it sounds. You really can make extra money as a sideline to your business or turn it into a full-time business.

The genre of these types of videos, we call them special interest videos, is very diverse; they can be histories, documentaries, or nature programs. You find exercise, “kidvid”, safety, tutorial, travel, cooking, training videos, and more on the market. They can be edu-tainment, sometimes weaving in a fictional story line but with the intent to educate and inform. They educate, entertain and inspire…and they sell like crazy.

The market for these videos is in the billions and growing, and that doesn’t include all the video programs delivered via the web! One of the most exciting growth areas in this market is the delivery of online courses that extensively use video. If you know something that others want to learn, this is a perfect way to teach others all over the world!

Although media corporations and television channels produce many of these videos, ordinary people like you and me are also producing the vast majority of them. In fact, people like us have the broadcasting industry starting to tremble! There are some very successfully producers who solely deliver their content on YouTube and Netflix and other web platforms.

The great news is you don’t have to be a large production studio, or even know how to use a video camera to get in the game! With the advent of the internet and its growing technology for web delivery, there has never been a better time to produce and sell non-fiction or special interest videos.

Next week I’m going to talk about why you would want to consider producing special interest videos.

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