“He’s Called Bob!”
10 Easy Ways To Research Your Market And Better Understand Your Buyers!
Knowing Your Market
How well do you know YOUR market? Even though there are plenty of sources and resources you can go to online for information in this respect, it’s a fact of life that many products are released with little to no prior research at all. It’s no big surprise then that without proper audience profiling, some of them fail to make many sales. The creator is left wondering what went wrong when they “knew” they had a sure fire winning idea behind their product.
Does this sound familiar? It’s easy to assume you know what your target market wants. However, unless you do your research first, you’ll never know for sure. That gut feeling you had could be letting you down big time.
So let’s ditch the gut feelings and assumptions and discover how you can find out everything you need to know about your market. This is the good news – your market is ready to tell you what it needs and wants. In fact the information is already out there. You just have to know where to look and how to find it.
With all that information available at your fingertips, it’s like mining gold!
So without further delay, let’s get started.
Using Data Mines To Infiltrate Your Market
You’ll notice we mentioned ten easy ways to research your market and do audience profiling in the title of this report. We’re going to get started now by covering five essential sources of information in this section.
1: Alexa | http://www.Alexa.com
Known as the ‘web information company’, it would be a real shame not to take advantage of the huge amount of data they have to share with you. On the home page you’ll see a box where you can type in any keyword or specific website address you want to look for.
Let’s say you’re thinking of writing an eBook on low fat cooking. Simply type ‘low fat cooking’ into the search box and hit the search button.
The results will reveal the popularity of your search term (i.e. how many people are looking for it), the amount of competition for it in terms of ads, as well as the specific URL results. In other words you’ll find out whether your idea really will be the sure fire success you thought it would be or whether you should move onward, or go back to the drawing board.
One of the great things about Alexa is that underneath each URL result you’ll see a series of keywords. You can click on any one of these to reach another page full of information for that search term.
This includes search popularity, the competition you’d likely have for it and the competing sites that get the lion’s share of the traffic.
Depending on what you see here, you can consider whether your idea is a bust or whether to pursue it further. Alexa alone can be a huge time saver – not to mention an idea generator.
2: Compete | http://www.Compete.com
The Compete.com website provides detailed analytics for any website you are interested in researching. Maybe you want to see just how well your competition is doing – you can find out here. You can sign in for a free account and see a month-by-month graph of unique visitors for the websites you want to look into in more depth.
Compete.com also provides a competitive rank feature that shows you how the top competitors for your chosen site are ranking in relation to it. You can see too whether the website is up or down on traffic for the month and year respectively.
You’d need to sign up to get a more accurate and detailed picture of the information they have available, but if all you need is basic figures on the other competitors in a particular area, you’ll probably find this gives you everything you need. When you use Compete.com in conjunction with the other sources given in this report, you’ll be well ahead of your competition.
3: Google Trends | http://www.Google.com/trends
Are you interested in keeping up with the latest trends, hot topics and current events? Google Trends makes it incredibly easy to research your market and get to know WHO your buyers really are and what they are most interested in.
Google Trends is a search engine with a difference. If you want to know more about your buyers you can find out what they’re looking for by using this source of info from Google.
For example, I looked up the general term gardening to see what popped up. The map shows me which areas of the world are most interested in looking for information about gardening, which in this case are the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
You can limit your search term(s) by using the options at the side of the screen. It defaults to a web search but interestingly you can try a product search too. This could be useful if you’re thinking of launching your own product on this topic (or any other topic that you are interested in).
You can also limit your search to a specific country or pick a specific category to look in. This all helps refine your information from a general search to a more specific one.
But the bit I love the most, is the related terms section. Here, the word gardening gave me related terms including organic gardening, container gardening, square foot gardening and landscape gardening. Any one of these could be mined for further information.
Click on ‘rising’ and you’ll also see the most popular gardening related searches right now, indicating any new and improving areas worth looking into.
In short, a couple hours on Google Trends could give you plenty of ideas to meet the needs of your audience.
4: Google Adwords Keyword Tool
This free keyword tool is gold when it comes to finding out what your target audience is really interested in. All you need is the basic audience you’re after and you can mine it for as much information as you need.
Let’s take a look at an example so you can understand how powerful this is. If we perform a very basic search using the word ‘cooking’ we can see how useful it is to generate more potential ideas.
Simply change the match types on the left to indicate an exact search instead of a broad search, and sort your results by Global Monthly Searches. You can then look down the list and see what people are searching for in this area.
Among the results are cooking games, chicken recipes, slow cooker recipes and crock-pot recipes. You may not have thought of any of these possibilities without the use of the Google Adwords keyword tool, and yet here you are with a list of topics to consider for your next product.
You can also see how many times people are searching for these keywords each month, which is useful when it comes to gauging whether or not there is an audience worth aiming for in your area of the marketplace. It’s an inspiring tool and since it’s free, it should be part of every marketer’s armory.
5: ClickBank | http://www.ClickBank.com
Did you ever think of Clickbank.com as a source of market information? Nor do a lot of other people, and yet it’s a superb source of information worth looking into.
It’s easy to start using too. You don’t need to be a member to delve into the marketplace here – the link for it is at the top of the site. You’ll see a list of categories on the next page, so you can select the one you’re interested in and go from there. The results given for each category are automatically sorted by popularity, so you can see which ones are selling best in each area.
Of course, you wouldn’t copy any of these products – that’s not what this kind of research is all about. No, the idea here is to see what is selling and what other people are making a good deal of commission on. It also tells you what these items are selling for, which in itself is worth knowing if you’re unsure about setting prices for any of your own products.
Perhaps more tellingly you can also sort by low to high for popularity, so you can see the products that aren’t selling. There could be many reasons for this but it gives you another source of information that could prevent you from making some costly mistakes.
It’s a marketplace fairly packed with data and it’d be a shame not to benefit from it, wouldn’t it?
Mining Feedback Gold:
How To Create Winning Products For Your Market
One easy and very powerful way to do audience profiling and find out more about your potential customers is to find out what their opinions are. Sounds difficult, doesn’t it? And yet all the information is right there online for you to access.
Once you have a product area in mind, you can delve into feedback given on similar products in that area. Let’s focus on a few sites where you can do this.
6: Amazon | http://www.Amazon.com
This is perhaps the best site of all to use. Amazon feedback is easy to access and easy to understand, since it uses a five star rating system. You can read all the reviews for a particular item, or choose to focus on all the five star reviews (or those attributed to any other star rating if you wish).
The great thing is lots of people will happily give in depth reviews of all kinds of things. This is akin to having your own test audience to ask questions of. Perhaps more importantly they’ll tell you what the product doesn’t do and doesn’t achieve. They’ll even go so far as to point out what they’d really like – and this is pure gold when it comes to product creation.
The trick is to look at several products in the area you are interested in, and think about what they tell you. Looking at one review won’t give you the information you need – although it will help – but looking at plenty of reviews will give you a picture of whether you have an idea this audience will love.
Don’t shirk on your research in this situation – there is gold dust liberally sprinkled all over Amazon.com, so make sure you devote the time to finding it and making good use of it. It’s a great tool but you can bet few of your competitors will be using it.
7: Twitter | http://www.Twitter.com
If you’re familiar with Twitter, you’ve probably never thought of researching your market on there before. But since there are millions of users on there, you can be sure part of your target market is on there as well. All you have to do is connect with them.
The easiest way to do this is to look up search terms related to your market. So for example if you’re thinking of publishing that Kindle book on low fat cooking, try looking up terms related to it.
You might have to try a few different keywords to get a good set of results. Try the hashtag as well, so for example you can look up #lowfatcooking and see if anyone else has used the same hashtag. Sometimes you’ll come up empty but other times you could hit on a hashtag that really helps you.
Twitter also trumps Amazon in that it’s easy to get into a conversation with people. Instead of simply looking for tweets written by other people, think about writing a few of your own too. What do you need to ask to get the answers you want? By getting into a few conversations, you can gather more information than you would have had otherwise.
So you can see Twitter is a two way street. It can help you fill in any gaps you may have in your knowledge about your target market. Monitor your account regularly and look for any hashtags you’ve identified. It’ll help build the picture you want to have.
8: Facebook | http://www.Facebook.com
Where would we be without Facebook? The good thing about this social media site is that many big brands are on here updating their own pages. People follow them and interact with the brand – and each other – giving up useful information as they do so.
Of course, it’s not just big brands that have lots of information to provide. You can do a search much as you did on Twitter to find the most relevant pages to work from.
Perhaps the most powerful thing about Facebook is that different users get into conversations with each other, debating all kinds of things about your area of interest. When you find and observe these conversations, you can learn a lot from them. You may even find your audience is discussing things you hadn’t thought about, expressing problems and issues you may be able to solve with your next product.
In fact if you want to use Facebook as a source of new product ideas and areas to explore, you could do a lot worse.
Try it now – spend just a half hour exploring the site and finding people and businesses that are related to your area of interest. You might be surprised how much useful information you can get after a half hour.
9: Other Social Media Platforms
It’s not just Twitter and Facebook you can explore when it comes to harnessing the power of social media. There are plenty of other sites out there you can look into as well; some more pertinent than others depending on the market you’re interested in.
Pinterest, at http://www.Pinterest.com might suit you if you’re into practical solutions, while Google+ has made great strides in recent months and is as good a place as any to find out what people think of a certain topic.
There are dozens of other lesser known social media and networking sites around too, so don’t be nervous of looking for ones few people will have heard of.
Some of them appeal to a particular demographic, and if you happen to be marketing to that same demographic you might actually get more info from an obscure site than you would from Facebook. It’s not just the number of members that matters – it’s the focus of the site too.
10: Target Appropriate Forums
Just as there are many social media sites in the world, so there are plenty of forums too. In fact, this could be one of your most powerful sources of information when exploring a new market to make money from. Forums exist for all kinds of people and subjects.
If you are thinking of making a product for dog lovers, you can bet there are plenty of forums out there focusing on this very group of people. Similarly, if you want to write a book on saving and making money, well, you can be sure of finding groups of people wanting to do just that in specific forums as well.
A quick Google search using the words ‘forum’ coupled with your particular area of interest will turn up some fruitful results. It’s up to you whether you want to sign in and become a member of these forums or whether you want to lurk from the sidelines, or not. However, it’s often best to become a member – they’re free after all and you can initiate conversations that can get you the information you want.
Just be sure you add value to the forum if you do join. It’s not good to tell people you’re creating a product or using them for research purposes. Becoming a regular member of the community will actually get you better results in the end than acting as if your from the outside doing research on it.
One final word here – don’t be tempted to join too many forums. It can get difficult keeping up with them all. Find one or two of the top forums with the highest memberships and most active user bases and stick to those.
If you are really intent on making the most of your market research, make sure you use all the above methods to get the best free research you can. If you do this prior to launching any product – particularly if you’re aiming at a brand new market – you can be assured of getting much better results.
Before you started reading this report you were probably a little skeptical about whether you could get free information from the Internet in this way. Market research has to cost money, right?
Well no, it doesn’t, although it will cost you a little time.
All the information you will ever need to help you research your market and create the products that your target audience really wants and needs is out there – all you have to do is tap into it. As we’ve seen, there are a number of ways to do that.
We put the data mines section first for a reason. This is where you should always start if you’re literally on step one – finding out which market you want to target and which audience you need to be aiming at. Once you’re armed with that information you can go on to step two, which involves finding out more about that specific market or audience. As you can see, it doesn’t pay to rush things.
As time goes on and you try this method a couple times, you’ll come to realize it is an important step in your product creation strategy. Why pay for expensive market research services when there is just no need to?
Try it with your next project and see what a difference it will make in both your creativity and in the actual quality of your products. When you know your market, you know exactly how to dominate it!
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Internet marketing is something a lot of people are interested in getting started in, but their eyes glaze over once they hear terms like FTP, domain names, hosting, script installation… all those terms that all internet marketers have to learn eventually, but seem so daunting to a beginner.
In this guide, you’re going to learn about some of the most important things you’ll need to know as a startup newbie being introduced to internet marketing.
We’re going to cover topics such as domain names, hosting, graphics, images, FTP and much more. We’ll cover most of the basics that you need to get started in internet marketing.
Everyone’s a pup at the startup.
Are you ready to run with the big dogs?
Then let’s get started!
Domain Name Registration and Management
The first thing you’ll likely need to know is how to get a domain name. Your domain name is your website’s street address, basically. It tells web browsers how to find your website.
A domain name looks like this >> your-domain.com
It’s web address would look like this >> http://www.your-domain.com
While you could get away with using a web address such as:
The fact is there are some problems with this.
First of all, it doesn’t look as professional as using your own domain. If you’re hosting on a free platform like WordPress or Blogger, you may find people aren’t as likely to trust you, especially if you’re selling something.
Another potential problem is that free hosts have a variety of different rules you must follow. Some of them don’t allow you to use advertisements on your site. Others don’t allow you to use plugins. These rules and limitations can be extremely restrictive and hamper your marketing efforts greatly.
Finally, if you don’t have your own domain on your own hosting, you will be extremely limited with what you can accomplish with your website itself. Running WordPress on your own domain will allow you to use custom themes and plugins on your site, for example. While hosting on the WordPress servers limits you quite severely.
There are many different places to buy a domain, but not all are created equal. Some have higher fees than others, while some use tricky or deceptive means to entice buyers to use their services.
The most commonly used registrar by internet marketers is:
NameCheap has very fair prices, and they are known for being honest and having excellent customer service. Additionally, you can Google “NameCheap coupon and you will get a discount code that will take a fair amount of the purchase price of a new domain name.
NameCheap offers a service called WhoisGuard that comes free with a brand new domain. What is WhoisGuard? Well, it protects your private information from potentially prying eyes, spammers and stalkers. This service is absolutely invaluable when it comes to privacy.
There are a couple of minor potential drawbacks to using it.
Some people may not trust you if you use it, so it may slightly lessen sales. But the odds of someone checking your WHOIS information before they buy from you are relatively slim.
Additionally, some people say Google may penalize your site if you are using WhoisGuard, but there is no real evidence of this. It is purely anecdotal. This is nothing to worry about for most people, and unless you are in an extremely competitive niche SEO wise, it’s not worth considering.
If you don’t want to risk disgruntled customers or crazy stalkers showing up at your front door, this is a great way to protect yourself.
Choosing a Domain
First of all, don’t be suckered into buying anything but a domain that ends with the .com extension. It’s been proven that domains that end in other extensions have a tougher time ranking well in the search engines. Not only that, but if you want people to be able to remember your domain if they want to come back and have forgotten to bookmark it, you really need to have the .com version. It is what people instinctively visit.
Ideally, you want to choose one of two types of domains:
- Short, unique and brandable
- Keyword rich
A short, unique and brandable domain would be something that is one or two words, easy to spell and remember, unique enough to stand out in people’s minds so they remember it, and clever enough to be highly brandable.
Here are some examples:
This type of domain is best for online stores, social media sites, and other types of sites that focus on products or services more than content.
Keyword rich domains generally contain one major keyword phrase that you’d want to rank well for in the search engines. These don’t work as well for SEO as they used to, but are still beneficial to some degree.
Examples would be:
I have no idea if any of those are currently being used, but they are examples of the types of domains you might want to get if you were trying to rank for those phrases.
If you buy a domain name, you must have somewhere to host it. If your domain is your street address, your hosting is basically the building in which your company resides at that address.
There are many reputable hosting companies to choose from, but perhaps the most popular among internet marketers is HostGator.
HostGator has a very affordable plan called Baby Croc that costs about $10 per month and gives you all the space and bandwidth the average person can use. If you happen to use more than your server can handle, you may need to get a dedicated server, but if that becomes the case, you should hopefully be making more than enough money to afford it.
HostGator also has the Fantastico system, which will allow you to install scripts such as WordPress with just a few mouse clicks and with ZERO knowledge of technical stuff like databases.
The minimum specs you will need from your hosting company will depend on what you want to accomplish with it and how much traffic you think you’ll be getting, but most companies are fairly flexible. You can move up or down in plan size pretty much anytime if you find you need more options or if you’re paying too much for stuff you don’t need.
At the very least you will probably want:
- FTP access
- Unlimited domains
- Unlimited or reasonable storage
- Unlimited or reasonable bandwidth
- Fantastico (for script installation)
There are other features that come in handy, such as regular automatic backups to protect your websites in case of crash or hacking, but nothing is really critical. Most hosting companies these days will offer such features, anyway.
One thing you may need to become acquainted with is cPanel. Your hosting company will probably provide some basic tutorials to help you learn to use it. But if you want to add new domains to your account, setup redirects, install software, etc., you will need to learn to use it.
FTP, also known as File Transfer Protocol, is a method of transferring files to and from your hosting server. This is used for uploading images, HTML files, etc.
You will need to use a FTP program if you need to transfer files, and unless you’re using WordPress (installed with Fantastic) exclusively, you will likely need to upload files at some point.
There are some great free FTP programs available for most OS platforms. Very few people would need the features that come with paid FTP programs, anyway.
Here are a few to check out:
>> http://filezilla-project.org (Windows and Mac)
>> http://www.coffeecup.com/free-ftp/ (Windows)
>> https://www.smartftp.com (Windows)
>> http://www.coreftp.com (Windows)
Check the instructions that come with the individual programs to learn how to use them. Most are quite simple.
Royalty Free Images
Ah, images. Almost everyone uses them on their website at some point, but most people don’t understand how copyright works. If you make a mistake in this area, you could face fines of up to six figures and even jail time! (Yes, it really is that serious!)
There are many sites that sell royalty-free images. (Note: Royalty-free does NOT mean free! It means you do not have to pay a royalty to the photographer each time the image is printed or viewed. You do still have to pay a one-time fee to use the image.)
You must purchase a license for each and every photo you use, unless of course you have taken it yourself. The fee for an image can range from $1 (or less with special deals) to $25 per image or more, so it pays to shop around.
Here are some popular stock photo sites:
Almost everyone needs some type of graphics on their site. This could be logos, banners, e-Book covers… the list goes on. But graphics are one of the major driving forces of the internet, and as a startup newbie, if you can’t create them yourself, you could be paying quite a bit of money to have others do it for you.
The best program for doing graphics, hands down, is Adobe Photoshop. You can purchase it for several hundred bucks, OR you can pay a monthly fee to access the Creative Cloud version. You can get Photoshop alone for about $10 per month, or if you pay more you can get Adobe’s other apps, too.
If you’d prefer to pay nothing, you can get a free program called GIMP that will do many of the same things as Photoshop, and it’s free. The cost, however, is that there are not even remotely the same number of tutorials and add-ons available for GIMP, making Photoshop a more efficient choice even for beginners.
Let’s say you’ve tried to create your own graphics or write your own content and you just can’t manage to do it well enough. Where do you turn?
Outsourcing, of course!
There are many websites you can use to find inexpensive designers, programmers, writers, editors, and more. You may have to pay as little as a few bucks for most services, as such services, while in demand, are also highly competitive among freelancers. There are simply far more people trying to work as freelancers than there are available jobs. It’s truly a buyer’s market!
Here are a few places to find good freelancers:
When you hire someone, never pay 100% of the money upfront unless you know and trust the person completely. (Even if you do, never pay a large amount upfront. What if they ended up, heaven forbid, in the hospital or something? You’d be out a lot of money.)
At most, pay 50% upfront for the work. This distributes the risk evenly between you and the worker. They are taking the risk that you might not pay the other 50% when they finish, and you are taking the risk of paying half upfront and them potentially not delivering.
Be sure you both know each other’s expectations before money exchanges hands and before work begins. This will minimize hassles over things that should have been answered before hand.
Some questions to ask:
- What is the estimated delivery date for the finished project?
- Do you have samples and references?
- How many revisions can I expect for the price?
- How much are additional revisions.
- Do you have any other special terms?
If you’re going to sell anything online, you need a way to let people pay you for it. Some people use a general credit card processor, but those usually require a credit check, sometimes an upfront deposit, and other hassles that take a while to get through.
Enter places like PayPal. PayPal makes it easy for virtually anyone to take payments online, even by credit card, and a massive number of shopping carts and other eCommerce scripts are automatically integrated with it. This makes it the billing company of choice for most internet marketers.
They got a bit of a bad reputation over freezing funds several years ago, but this has been happening less and less in recent years. So if you’ve been wary of them in the past, you might want to reconsider them.
Their fees are some of the lowest around, and their ease of use is second to none.
As long as you deliver to your customers what you say you will, you shouldn’t have any problems with PayPal. If you do, they will work with you to find an amicable solution for all parties involved.
WordPress isn’t just a blogging platform, anymore. Using various themes, you can turn WordPress into a full-fledged website that rivals the appearance and functionality of just about any website you can think of.
There are two main ways to use WordPress:
- Hosting on the WordPress web servers
- Hosting the script on your own hosting
Keep in mind that WordPress does not allow commercial usage if you host on their servers, and you are also seriously limited on the number of themes and plugins you can use if you host on their servers, too.
The only choice for a marketer is to host it on your own.
When you host it yourself, you can control everything from the theme to the plugins to the advertising and marketing. You’re free to do basically whatever you want with the software on your own server.
WordPress is daunting for most startup newbies, but it’s really a very simple system to learn. Once you get the hang of the basics, you’ll discover that it’s a lot easier to use than you thought. In fact, it’s much easier to build a website with WordPress than it is to build one with HTML.
The WordPress website has some excellent tutorials to help get you started:
If you need excellent themes, there are many available free through the WordPress system, or you can buy one from such places as:
Everyone must start somewhere, and it takes the average newbie months to discover all the pieces of the puzzle that we’ve just presented in this guide. Now you can consider yourself way ahead of the game, because you’ve learned the basics in just a short time.
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Earn by teaching online.
Online courses have absolutely exploded in popularity in recent years, and savvy developers are cashing in big time. Some developers have made millions with simple online courses, and this trend is only likely to grow as time passes.
With the cost of going to college spiraling out of control, and more people turning to alternative methods of gaining an education, there’s never been a better time to be a provider of online learning and training.
In fact, according to Forbes, the online learning market has exceeded 100 billion dollars! That’s a lot of money circulating in the industry, and you can grab your own slice of it even if you think you have nothing of value to contribute. Trust me, you don’t have to have any special knowledge to create online courses!
In this guide, you’re going to learn how you can earn by teaching online through your own online course(s), and how you can create a great, profitable course even if you don’t have any special knowledge.
So let’s get started!
Choosing a Topic
The first thing you need to do is figure out what you’d like to create a course about. If you have some kind of special skill or knowledge, that would be the most obvious choice, but if you don’t, there’s nothing to worry about. You can simply choose a topic, research it carefully, and create your course from there.
If you’d like to get an idea of the types of courses that are popular, you can go to Udemy (http://www.udemy.com) and start browsing. If you drill down into specific categories, you can see the bestsellers for each one. This will give you an idea of some of the topics that are popular so you can create something similar.
Here are a few ideas of the types of courses you might create:
- Art and graphics design
- Beauty and fashion
- Website design
- Video production
- Business and finance
- Diet and fitness
- Household management
- Job and career development
- Word processing
- App creation
There will be a lot of competition in most of these areas, so it’s important to do something to differentiate yourself. You can set yourself apart from the competition by offering a different viewpoint, or some special angle on the topic that most people aren’t doing. For example, instead of showing Excel for account purposes, you might show how to use it to keep track of data such as Blu-Ray movies you own, or collectible items. Or you could specialize in vegan cooking videos rather than just standard cooking.
It’s also a good idea to choose a topic you’re at least interested in, because I will be a lot more fun to create your course if you enjoy researching and developing it!
Naming Your Course
Once you choose your general topic, it’s important to think of a good name for your course. This should be an interesting name, but should also contain the major keywords one might use when searching for a course like yours.
For example, if you want to teach a course on the basics of vegan cooking, you could name it something like:
- An Introduction to Vegan Cooking
If you wanted to create a course on current SEO, you might name it:
- SEO Basics for 2017 and Beyond
The most popular course format these days is video, and that is what I suggest you use. The main reason for this is that the biggest online course websites, where you can sell your courses, all use the video format. You can often create supplementary materials such as PDFs to go along with your video content, but video should be the main format for your course.
If you feel self-conscious appearing on camera, you don’t have to show yourself or even use your voice! Even if you hate your voice or have a thick accent, you can still create your videos in a number of different ways.
Here are some different types of videos you can create:
- Top down instructional videos like Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos
- Screen recordings
- Videos with a paid voiceover actor
- Videos with a digital voice added
- Videos with subtitles only
- Videos with music
You don’t have to create videos that feature a live actor or even voice to be successful, although it can help. Using these types of video formats will let you accomplish the same thing if you don’t want to appear on camera.
If you want to get a good idea of the types of videos that are popular, you can always watch samples of some of the more popular courses. You’ll notice that most of them do feature live individuals, but this isn’t always true. Sometimes they feature voice only, and sometimes they don’t include voices at all. Videos with all of the text on the screen can be just as effective, and they have the added bonus of being accessible to those who are hearing impaired.
In the next section, you’ll learn about a few tools that will make it easier for you to create your video courses, so let’s move on.
Many people get really anxious when they think of creating videos, because they think it’s too technical or that they need some special knowledge to do it, but it’s actually a lot easier than you might think! In fact, if you can navigate the internet and send email, you can probably learn to create videos.
There are many different ways to create videos. The method you’ll use will depend on the type of course you want to create and the method you’re most comfortable using.
Let’s take a look at a few different video creation methods, and which types of courses each method is best for. If you’d like to learn more about each method, and the details of how to make videos, there are plenty of online courses and YouTube videos you can use to learn! (In fact, watching them may give you ideas for making your own courses!)
Your typical course looks a bit like a classroom or news show, or uses standard video to demonstrate things. You’ll see the course presenter (usually the creator, but sometimes a paid actor or partner) in front of the camera, and they present the material as though they were teaching a class in a school.
Example uses of this type of video include:
- Cooking demonstrations
- Craft how-to’s
- Language lessons
This type of video may be the easiest to create overall, because you simply need to record it. Many people use a quality phone camera, such as an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy camera to record their videos, but sound and video quality may not be as good as it would be if more professional equipment were used. However, it certainly can be done this way.
Many people do not post-process their videos, simply uploading the videos directly from their phone or camera, but it’s more professional if you add things like subtitles or enhancements.
If you want to process your videos, you can use tools such as iMovie (Mac), Adobe Premier Pro (PC or Mac), or Final Cut Pro (Mac).
If you’re doing courses that are more technical, such as design, programming, or other computer-based skills, you might want to use a screen recorder.
Screen recording software will allow you to record whatever you see on your computer screen—either the entire screen, or just a chosen section of it. You can demonstrate techniques while speaking, or just add text instructions to your video later. (Most people will probably prefer voice, but if you aren’t comfortable using your own voice, you can either just use text on the screen, use a voice actor, or add a digital voice.)
Some popular screen recording programs include:
Screen recording videos are most appropriate for lessons that specifically focus on lessons that involve using computers or mobile devices.
If you’re doing courses that don’t require live video or screen recording, you can use slides. If you’ve ever taken college classes, or worked in a business-oriented environment, you are probably familiar with PowerPoint presentations. You can turn such presentations into videos and use them for your courses.
You can use a voiceover for these types of videos, or just put all of the information in text format in the slides themselves. If you don’t use voice, you could optionally include music, but keep in mind that not everyone has the same taste in music.
There are several good options for creating slide presentations:
Number of Lessons/Modules
Ideally, to earn by teaching online, your course should contain no more than 12 modules, especially if it is on some technical subject that people may have some fear of. If your course is too long, people may feel daunted and say, “I can’t do this!”
There are exceptions to this, of course. For example, some courses may require more modules, because there’s no way for people to learn enough about the subject in just 12 lessons. Creating an app, for example, would probably require a lot more information than you could fit in 12 lessons.
Always keep your target audience in mind, and try to create just enough modules to deliver the necessary information without being long-winded or making your users fearful that they won’t be able to grasp the information.
Once you have a course created, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you get the most sales possible.
When it comes to setting a price for your course, price high.
I know this seems counterproductive. After all, wouldn’t you want to get the highest possible number of students?
Well, yes and no.
You see, pricing high accomplishes several major things:
- It gives the perception of quality. A $5 course will make people think it was just slapped together, whereas a $100 course will make people believe a lot of effort was put into its creation.
- It motivates buyers to actually complete the course and take action, because they’ve made a significant investment.
- It allows you to offer heavy discounts to capture those who can’t or won’t purchase at your higher price point. (Udemy is one place that offers heavy discounts to users on a regular basis.) Plus, when you discount, it will look like a lot better deal than if you discounted a cheaper course.
- It makes you a lot more money, because you have to attract a lot fewer buyers. You’re putting forth the same amount of effort to create and promote your course whether you charge a low price or a high price, so why not get paid the most you can?
Now, this strategy only works if you are offering truly valuable information and your course is very high quality. If you create a simple course that offers information readily available all over the place, you might want to charge very little or even make your course free in order to promote something else you offer.
In fact, that’s a strategy for promotion, in itself. You can make one simple course free, and then use it to promote your paid course which goes much further in depth into the subject.
Quality is the biggest way you can stand out with your course. Make sure you check out any competitors who have similar courses and see what they’re doing right, and what they’re doing wrong, so you can make sure your course is competitive.
You should also try to think of a different angle than the competition. For example, if you see a lot of people with vegan cooking videos, but not many feature desserts, you could create your specifically based on desserts in order to differentiate.
If you post your course on a site that allows coupons, you can create a coupon and then post it to all of the coupon websites that allow submissions. This will help you get a large amount of initial students and reviews, which will help you boost your income.
Here’s instructions for creating a coupon on Udemy:
Once you have a coupon code generated, you can submit it to many of the free coupon websites in order to gain a lot of initial users and (hopefully) a lot of positive reviews.
Creating an online course is a lot easier than you probably think, and it’s a great way to make passive income. Even if you think you don’t have a lot of skills you can teach people about, you can still research a topic and create a course.
It’s actually quite easy to create a video course. You can probably learn how to create basic videos in a weekend, and a few days later, you could have your course online and making money.
You can even use free software to create your course!
If you’ve been looking for a way to make mostly passive income, creating courses is a great way to do it, allowing you to earn by teaching online.
Sure, you’ll still need to promote your courses and respond to help requests and such, but this will take up very little of your time, and you have the potential to make a lot of money doing so.
The online education market is worth billions, and it’s time for you to grab your share! So get out there and make it happen!
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Automation is a complex process that most people don’t fully understand.
A lot of people know about things like autoresponders that can make their lives a little easier, but there are actually many ways to automate your marketing that can save you unbelievable amounts of time and money.
You can automate everything from landing page creation, to prioritizing customers based on how likely they are to buy, to measuring metrics based on performance of campaigns.
Marketing automation can be used for:
- Lead generation
- Relationship marketing
- Measuring ROI
- Customer retention
- Upselling and cross-selling
- And so much more
If you’re not making use of automation tools and processes, you’re really missing out on a lot of potential. You could be saving so much time and so much money, and making your life so much easier… you’ll be kicking yourself when you realize you should have been doing this all along!
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the ways you can use marketing automation to simplify your own business and to help you expand it.
So let’s get started!
What It Is, And Isn’t
First, let’s talk about what marketing automation is, and about some of the common misconceptions people have about it.
First of all, let’s talk about what it is NOT.
Most people have the misconception that marketing automation just refers to using an autoresponder for email marketing, but that is only a very minor componenet of marketing automation.
So what IS it, then?
Wikipedia defines marketing automation as:
Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.
That’s a decent definition, but it really doesn’t delve into how much can be done through marketing automation. It can be used to guide leads through a complex sales funnel, from the lead generation process, to the initial sales funnel, to nurturing leads already developed, to closing sales, cross-selling, upselling, and even retention. It involves the entire life cycle of the customer.
Marketing automation can be used to boost a potential customer’s lifetime value (LCV – Lifetime Customer Value), boost loyalty, segment audience to bolster conversions, deliver personalized promotions, and so much more.
Marketing automation can be as simple or complex as you want or need it to be. It can be as simple as sending a customer a free report after opt-in to as complex as generating the lead, attempting a sale, segmenting the customer, retargeting the customer, selling, upselling, etc.
Marketing Automation Tools
There are tons of different tools you can use for marketing automation. You probably already have an email autoresponder that you use to automate your email marketing. (If not, you need one!) But what about other types of marketing automation?
Let’s take a look at some of the best tools.
InfusionSoft is generally consider to be the ultimate in marketing automation tools, because so much is built right into the system. It has a bit in customer management service, marketing automation from lead capture to follow up with personalized communications based on email sends, opens, clicks, and even payment history, sales automation, and even the ability to be a complete e-commerce system.
The biggest problem for the average user is price. It starts at a whopping $199 per month for the “Essentials” package, which includes CRM and marketing automation, but not sales automation or e-commerce, and goes up to $2,999 for the one-time package called “Kickstart Pro”. It’s just a bit too pricey for the average marketer, and is more tailored for companies that are already successful and just looking to expand.
HubSpot also has CRM, marketing automation, and sales automation suites, but again, it can be quite pricey. Their basic marketing package starts at $200 per month, but that is billed annually, which means you need to invest a few thousand upfront to get started. Their software is packed with features and very highly reviewed, but it might be outside the average marketer’s budget.
SalesForce is an extremely powerful package that has a number of different apps to help you automate your marketing. They have one of the most robust overall systems, with more features than just about any other platform.
Their plans start at a reasonable $25 per month, but again, that is billed annually, so it can still be quite expensive if you’re just starting out. Their most popular package is $150 per month, billed annually.
If you’re looking to automate your social media, Buffer is a great place to start. They have a free level that will let you have one account per social media site and up to 10 scheduled posts per profile, but Pinterest is not included. If you want to post to Pinterest, or manage multiple accounts, you’ll need to pay at least $10 per month, or more if you have a lot of accounts to manage.
Buffer posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram, and let’s you schedule posts to drip to your social media throughout the day to help you get the most possible attention.
It also has other great features, such as analytics, link shortening and tracking, and a tool that will help you determine the optimal timing for your posts to get the most attention.
HootSuite is very similar to buffer. It will let you schedule posts, has analytics, allows social sweepstakes, and much more. They post to the same networks as Buffer, but don’t seem to include Pinterest in their “Core Networks” list.
Like Buffer, they have a free level, and regular plans start at $9.99 billed annually, or $14.95 billed monthly.
If you build a lot of landing pages, using a system like LeadPages can save you a lot of time. LeadPages has a ton of built-in templates to make it easy to create the type of pages you want in a snap, and their pricing is reasonable, starting at $25 per month for the Standard package.
Instapage is an alternative to LeadPages. They have a host of amazing features, including HubSpot integration, email integration with MailChimp and Constant Contact, marketing automation integration, and drop-in pixel tracking.
They start at just $29 per month when billed annually.
Using Marketing Automation
Now that you know some of the tools that can be used for marketing automation, let’s take a look at a basic scenario in which automating the marketing process can help you.
Without automating the process other than lead capture and standard email marketing (delivering a lead magnet and sending basic marketing messages), your sales funnel will basically be:
- Customer opts in
- Customer receives lead magnet
- Customer receives marketing email
- Customer either buys or doesn’t
- If they buy, they receive other emails later
- If they don’t buy, they receive the same emails later
It’s all terribly inefficient.
What if that person bought something, and you don’t immediately deliver an offer that matches what they just bought? You’ve lost a shot at an additional sale.
What if that person did NOT buy something, and you didn’t segment them into a list of non-buyers so you could try different offers to them? You’d just keep sending them the same type of offers over and over, and they’d likely never buy.
Now, let’s take a look at how the process might look with marketing automation:
- Customer opts in
- Customer receives lead magnet
- Customer receives marketing message
- Customer does not buy, so is segmented
- Customer is retargeted with a Facebook ad for a second chance at the initial sale
- Customer buys the product upon second view
- Customer is moved to a segment of buyers from Facebook
- Customer can be targeted with similar offers, using Facebook as one of the methods of marketing
- Customer buys another offer
- Customer is sorted into a “regular buyer” list and receives special offers that are reserved for those customers
- Customer feels appreciated and buys even more
All those later sales would not have happened without marketing automation, because the initial sale would have been lost simply because the user was never retargeted on Facebook.
This is just one basic example of the process, but it applies to so many scenarios. No matter what type of marketing you’re doing, you can fine-tune the system and dramatically increase the average lifetime value of each customer by delivering targeted, personalized marketing based on their buying habits and interests!
This is the kind of powerful stuff that many people seem to think is reserved for mega-corporations like Amazon, but anyone can do these things! With the right tools, you can easily set up funnels that guide customers along a particular path that increases the likelihood that they will buy something, and that will even increase the amount of the money they spend when they do buy something!
You can use automation to deliver completely personalized results this way, which can boost sales considerably. For example, if a customer clicks a link in an email about marketing on Twitter, it shows an interest in Twitter marketing and you can then deliver custom marketing that puts products related to Twitter marketing right in front of them!
You can also automate all of your social media by putting a series of posts into your automation program and setting it to post at specific times or intervals.
This will let you market your website or products and grow your social media presence without having to be on social media all day, freeing up valuable time for other things!
If you thought marketing automation is all about email autoresponders, hopefully you’ve learned that is only the tip of the iceberg. Marketing automation goes so much deeper than that. You can use it for pretty much every step of the customer’s life cycle, from the initial lead capture all the way through retention!
If you’re hesitating and wondering if it’s worth it—don’t. IT IS. If you’re not already getting a lot of sales, you may not be able to afford some of the pricier options, but as soon as you can afford it, marketing automation can drastically improve your results. Make it a priority!
Remember, many of these tools have free trials. Don’t take a trial until you’re ready to put it to good use, because you won’t get another chance. But when you’re serious about automating your marketing, grab a trial or two and see what these systems can do for you.
Best of luck!
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Which Ones Will Be Your Most Profitable Product Ideas?
So.. you ‘think’ you have that perfect product idea… but how do you KNOW???
If you haven’t taken the quiz yet, make sure you do that first or you are wasting your time
Click here to take the FREE “Missing Spark Analysis” quiz now
Once you’ve done the quiz and got some ideas, you can begin to turn that idea into an actual product. If you want a broken down, step by step video version to guarantee your success check out Concept To Cash here for the more direct route to making a profitable digital product.
I go into the details of testing and validating your profitable product ideas in the Concept To Cash course, but once you have that idea BEFORE you begin creating ANYTHING, you need to really check that what you are going to put your work in to, is something that people want to buy.
Here are some questions I ask myself when working out what to create:
1) Would I have been willing to pay to have someone fix the solution?
If you have chosen a frustration you have had in the past to focus on, or a situation that needs fixing and has some pain points that you can help a person solve then ask yourself… would YOU have paid money if you could find the solution?
2) Is there an audience asking for help and who are willing to pay too?
Just to be sure that YOU aren’t the only person interested in the topic or facing that situation and willing to pay for it you should now just double check that it will be profitable.
The best way to do this is to see if there are people out there already selling that same type of information and that there are people buying that information.
You’re most likely thinking, “Man, I really hope there’s not a lot of people selling the same information that I’m trying to sell.” That’s not right. You actually want a lot of people to be selling that information already, because that means that there’s customers out there.
4 main websites for researching profitable product ideas.
Udemy.com – This is great if you are wanting to create a video course.
Amazon.com – Perfect for writing novels, training materials and written/digital content
JVZoo.com – Ideal for any kind of make money online or internet marketing type products
Clickbank.com – Best solution for all information marketing that aren’t related to internet marketing
If you want a more in-depth explanation of really drilling down your research, including how to find the categories, discover the topics that are selling really well and even use these searches to come up with your own product ideas then check out the entire Concept To Cash course here.
We’ve covered a lot, but the main think to keep in mind is get your main idea focused. Once you choose your niche and you are sure that it’s in a niche that is profitable, you have the hardest part behind you.
Check other articles about product creation, including:
What did I miss here? What sort of profitable product ideas have you picked up? Share your ideas below.