Do Less Work Make More Money by Leon Jay - HTML preview
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• Have a look at your list of project ideas. Think through and decide how you might be able to market each. As you get more experienced and read through this book more, you will have more ideas. For now though start with what ideas you can come up with. (You will always get better, but you have to start somewhere.)
Also think about how these products could be used to help market themselves, or other products in your current or future portfolio.
• Now is the time to make a decision and commit to one of your ideas (if you have not already).
Use all the information you have collected to make a decision—the amount of potential a product has, your available resources, what else you may be able to do with your future customer base, your passions, interests and skills, etc.
Focus is the key to success. You can always build other ideas in the future, but for now stick to one. If you focus your time, money and other resources on one project, it is far more likely to become successful.
From now on, all action steps will apply to this one project idea. Feel free to refine and adapt if needed, but do not lose focus on the end goal.
• Start to understand you potential customer. We will go into more detail later, but for now, outline your target audience. What are their key problems? What are they looking for? And where are they?
• Write a detailed description of your company persona. If you are the brand, then take the time to detail how you would like to be seen. What are the ethics, objectives and beliefs of your company? What image do you wish to have? What emotions do you want to be associated with?
• Create an elevator pitch.
If someone were to ask what your company, product or service was about, how would you reply in under 30 seconds?
Make sure that it summarizes the key benefits, emotional drivers and speaks directly to your target audience. Also try to ensure it captures the essence of why you are unique.
For example, FusionHQ’s elevator pitch is:
‘We provide a simple-to-use solution, and easy-to-follow training, for people wishing to create financial freedom online. We also enable offline businesses to expand easily and take full advantage of the internet to generate more customers and more sales per customer.’
• Write a basic outline for your sales copy.
We will discuss how to improve on this and write excellent copy later.
However, for now it is important to have an idea how you will sell your idea. Draft it out on paper or on a computer, whichever you prefer.
Include ideas for headline, write some bullet points and highlight the key features, benefits and cost.
Look through this sales letter and look for features, benefits or angles that you could add to your product that would help it sell even better. These will help you in your product design and save a lot of time, or make a lot of money, later on.
“The dumbest mistake
is viewing design
as something you
do at the end of the
process to ‘tidy up’
the mess, as opposed
to understanding it’s a
‘day one’ issue and
part of everything.”
~ Tom Peters
The Nuts and Bolts of Creating Your Product
(Text, Audio, Video and Software)
Before you start creating your first product it’s good to step back and understand your business objectives and your marketing strategy.
With a bit of foresight you can plan the future of your product.
If you are an offline business, your plan may simply be to increase your authority status.
The same could be true if you are just starting out as a new online business.
Your objective may be to create a recurring passive income stream. It may be to create a cash injection, or simply to build a list. It may be your plan to do a combination of these (they are rarely that black and white).
At different stages of your business you will want to focus on different objectives.
Usually though a good place to start is with text and audio products as they are the easiest to create. Chances are though, they will make you the least amount of money.
Video products can initially take a bit more work to create but can make you significantly more money than text or audio products.
It all comes down to perceived value.
And at the top-end of the scale, software products or services are the hardest to create, but can return you the most amount of money.
We have already looked at the different types of digital product. Now let’s take a more detailed look at what is involved in creating the four main digital product types. Text, audio, video and software.
Reports, e-books and e-courses are all examples of text based products.
They are easy to create, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to retire on the sales from an e-book. That said, there are some exceptions, such as Mike Geary’s
‘ Truth About Abs’, that do make a significant income just from the e-book alone.
Decide if you want to create an e-book or a specialized product to sell, or as a giveaway for lead generation and list building.
How to Get Content for Your Text Based Product Once you’ve chosen and researched your niche (and ensured it’s both marketable and profitable) it’s time to think about creating your digital product.
An e-book is a good digital product to start with. It’s quick to compile and you can start profiting from it relatively quickly.
So how to find content for your e-book?
You may want to consider writing your own e-book. If so, it’s best to start with something you are passionate about. If you know a lot about a particular niche, this will be easy for you.
Books that sell are books that explain how to do something.
You simply need to answer a problem. Come up with a solution to something that needs fixing. People are hungry for specific, practical information about how to solve their problems.
Customers want to hear about your personal experience, your story and how you found a solution to the exact same problem they have.
9 Quick Steps to Writing Your Own e-book
1. The first step is to brainstorm. Outline the main things you want to cover in your e-book. Jot these down quickly without filtering any ideas (this will allow your creativity to run wild).
2. Remove any ideas that don’t fit in. Decide what concepts for the e-book will make the final cut.
3. Next, select the core concepts and organize these points into a logical order so that they make sense. Each idea should build upon the last. Now you have your table of contents (or chapter outline).
4. Go back to each point and fill out the chapter heading with the other ideas from your brainstorming session. Bullet point every concept or idea relevant to do with that main point. Then go back and sequence these bullets into a logical order.
5. Next, go back and expand on each point. Don’t worry about editing, just allow yourself to write. Each point will become a paragraph or group of paragraphs. You may need to add in connecting paragraphs to make sure ideas flow smoothly from one to the next.
6. Then edit your draft. You may need to shift some points into more relevant chapters, or shuffle around the chapters themselves to make it more orderly. Remember to spell-check and ask a few trusted friends to read through it, to see if you’ve missed something out.
7. Format your e-book in 14 point Arial or 12-13 point Verdana fonts.
8. Have a cover designed. Try www.dlwmmm.com/99 for low cost, but professional designs. Also ask for an e-book version of the cover to use on your sales page. (This is a copy of the same design that has been made to look like a physical copy of a real book—usually 3D.) 9. Convert your word document to PDF. There’s free software that you can use to do this. The latest version of Microsoft Office also converts your documents to PDF.
Depending on how many main points you have to flesh out, you should easily have a 30, 50 or 200 page e-book by the time you finish.
5 Ways to Getting an E-book Written For You…
Writing is not for everyone.
You may not be able to do it, want to do it, get too hung up on small details, or simply do not have the time.
Whatever your reasons for not writing it yourself, you can find the solution in one of these five options…
1. Hire a Ghost Writer
This is where you pay someone else to write your e-book for you. Make them fully aware you are going to sell it, put your name on it as the author and that you own the full rights to the e-book.
Decide on the terms of payment. You can arrange a fixed fee, or give them a percentage of the sales.
Tell them how many pages you want written, when you want it completed by and how much you’ll pay them. You could give them an outline, or you could leave it up to them to research from scratch. It’s up to you.
If you have a vision of how you want the e-book to be, then you will need to give the writer as much guidance as possible.
Allowing the writer to interview you can be a great way to help them achieve what you are looking for. As can giving them the chapter outline from the previous process of writing the e-book yourself.
Not all writers will do a good job. To be honest, finding good writers can be difficult, especially on a budget.
Be sure to check previous work, preferably lots of it.
A good book could cost you between $500 and $50,000, depending on the length and the experience of the writer. (For an e-book though, you should not need to spend more than an absolute maximum of $5,000 for a good length, high quality product.)
If you are concerned about the ethics of doing this, you may be interested to know that an estimated 70% of all physical books are ghost written.
(Yes, this includes most of the well-known authors.) 2. Record Yourself Talking
To record yourself talking, you simply talk into a mike. You can even have someone interview you so you’re sure all the right content is recorded.
After you’ve finished talking, you can have it transcribed. To improve the finished product you can pay to have your content structured in logical sequence, edited and formatted (or do it yourself).
3. Private Label Rights
You can also use Private Label Rights. Let’s say your niche is about Italian Cooking, you would type ‘Italian cooking PLR’ into Google.
You can then buy an e-book for $9 or $17 and then re-sell it as it is, putting your name on it as the author.
Check to see if you have the permission to edit the book. Many low cost PLR products are also low quality and may need work before you want to sell them. They can however, provide an excellent base to start and save a lot of time.
You will then have an original e-book which you can copyright as your own.
If you are willing to pay more, there are some good quality PLR products out there, but they can be hard to find.
4. Public Domain
Public domain refers to works that never had, or no longer has, a copyright.
You can sell and/or edit public domain work as your own, because no one owns the rights to it. (There are no issues with plagiarism.) Almost anything written before 1923 is public domain. And many other works before 1977 are also within public domain. Make sure before you use anything that it really is in the public domain.
www.dlwmmm.com/gutenburg is a great place to find public domain books already in digital format.
I wouldn’t recommend you sell the books from here as they are. Use them as a base and bring them up-to-date (many use very outdated English).
Another option is to use them as a foundation for audio or video products.
5. Partner With an Expert (or Experts)
If you research and uncover a profitable niche that you know nothing about (that really requires expertise) you can find someone who is an authority in that area.
You can leverage their knowledge and create an e-book together. Organise a deal where the expert writes the content and you do the selling, in return for splitting the profit 50/50.
You have the marketing know-how and the systems in place to sell the book, you just need the content.
Another option here is to get several experts to contribute a chapter each.
This way you will not even need to share the profit. Experts are often happy to donate a chapter in return for the publicity they will get.
Plan this correctly and you may even be able to take advantage of their mailing lists later on when it comes to launch time.
TOP TIP: Find a book that is out of print and contact the original author.
There are many great books on almost every topic that have not been marketed well. They get abandoned by publishers and are left to the confines of history.
These are never likely to see the light of day again and so authors have little to lose by letting you try and sell them.
Also the work is done, you may just need to scan the print version and put it through a scanned document to text convertor (simple software that will give you a text based version of the document to re-publish as a PDF).
Another advantage of this technique is that publisher’s usually only give about 10% to the author. This means their expectation on the profit share from you will be much lower than you may expect.
7 Tips to Make Your E-book Truly Excellent
When you implement these seven tips, your e-book will be a product you can be truly proud of (and attract more sales)...
Seek out someone who is in your target audience (not a family member) and ask them to review it. You are interested in their honest suggestions and constructive feedback.
Ask them what they learned? Did your e-book offer a solution they feel they could implement? Ask them if they liked how it was structured?
What else would they like to have seen included? What, from their perspective, could be done to improve it?
It is good to get as many reviews as possible both from beginners and experts in your niche. You can then see if you have delivered on your initial objectives, or whether you need to work at it some more.
If you can get some positive comments from experts in the niche you are writing about, see if you can use them as testimonials. This will help give more credibility to your e-book and increase sales.
2. Read it Out Loud
Read through your e-book out loud. This will highlight any complex sentences that are difficult to read. Remember, simplify.
You are also likely to come across many more grammatical errors that you may have missed.
3. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)
When you know a subject so well, you tend to make the assumption everyone else does too. What you think should be common knowledge may not be for your customers.
You need to explain things on your audience’s level. And because you don’t know what your customers may or may not know, it’s best to assume they have no prior knowledge.
Give them clear and detailed explanations so they can grasp a new idea.
Provide links to further resources for those who need more information.
4. First and Last
People tend to remember information that is first and last told to us. The bit in the middle can be easily forgotten.
Use this knowledge to your advantage by hammering home the most important points at the beginning and end of each chapter.
Hold your reader’s attention by interacting with them. Stop and ask them a question. Create a pause with a new paragraph so they can consider the question, and then give them the answer.
Illustrate certain points with personal stories from your own experience with the same problem your readers have. They’ll resonate and connect with you more readily, than if you didn’t share anything of yourself.
If your e-book is a how-to, then give simple, what-to-do exercises at each stage. New concepts are so much simpler to grasp when you are told what to do in manageable stages.
6. Easy Brain Processing
None of us can easily process large chunks of information. When there is too much text all lumped together it looks overwhelming.
When you break down the same information, it instantly becomes visibly approachable. Write short sentences, short paragraphs and have no more than 3 or 5 bullet points in a group.
When you’re teaching, it helps people learn and process if you tell them what you’re going to teach, then teach it, and then you recap.
7. Be Yourself
Don’t be afraid to let your personality come through in your writing or videos. You don’t need to be uptight and formal. Keep it fun. When something is taught in a fun way, it makes it easier to learn.
Everyone likes originality. Share your mistakes as examples of what not to do. Your readers will appreciate you being a real person.
Determine the Purpose of Your Audio Product
It’s important you know how you will use your audio product. This will determine the best way to produce and format it.
An audio product has a higher perceived value than an e-book. With a higher perceived value, comes an increase in the amount you can charge.
If you want to sell your audio product by itself as a front-end product or as an up-sell on the back-end you can easily sell it for between $27 and $147, depending on how good it is and how you position it.
You may choose to simply package it together as a bonus to your e-book to give additional value. Some people would never read an e-book, but love to listen to the audio.
You could give away your audio product for free as a lead generator to build your list. You can gather future customer names and e-mail addresses, and they gain valuable information.
You can turn your audios into live feeds and post them on your blog or website.
This will instantly add more value, and can be used as a lead generation strategy (thanks to iTunes).
If you have an e-book or physical book, I suggest producing an audio to go with it, even if it is just an hour long. The reason being, is that books get shared (in any format) and so you want a reason for those people to go to your website and give you their details.
Designing Your Audio
Identify an angle within your chosen niche people are already searching information for—thorough research is important.
Google your topic to see what information already exists and see what information is missing. You can take a look at forums on your topic and see what people want to know more about.
Basically use the same procedure as in writing an e-book. The only real difference will be in the way you present the information.
You can look up public domain publications to find further information for your audio product or make use of PLR products as a foundation.
5 Unique Ways to Present Your Audio Product
While simply reading out aloud your content reaches out to more customers, there are other ways to create audio content. Here are five different ways you can present your audio product to make it more interesting and add extra value
1. Create a Course
If your topic contains a lot of information, why not turn your information into a course? You could deliver your audios in chunks so your customers receive it at fixed intervals.
You could present basic information at the beginning and then build on that with more advanced information further down the track. Providing practical worksheets or additional resources, could be useful to include as free bonus material.
2. Bring in an Expert
If you are not very knowledgeable in your chosen topic, or to add more value to your overall product, you can bring in an outside expert.
They will be able to provide high quality information and give a different perspective on your topic.
If your expert is very well-known in the field, their name can instantly give you credibility and help you sell your audio. They may even be keen to help promote your product once it is finished.
Of course you don’t need to just limit yourself to one expert. There are so many ways to play with just this one idea.
3. Run a Question and Answer Session
Often your target audience will have key questions in mind that need answering. When you identify these questions and then provide answers, you are giving your customers exactly what they want to know.
This can be done via a free teleseminar company such as www.dlwmmm.com/conference
This information can then be recorded, edited if needed, and then provided to others as a replay.
4. Get Interviewed
Have someone interview you about your topic. This sets you up to look like the expert. Have your questions ready in advance, and familiarize yourself with the answers.
Know your answers so well that when you answer the questions you sound natural and knowledgeable. Avoid reading your answers out word for word; otherwise this will sound canned and unprofessional.
All you need is a friend and a good microphone. The good mike will make the interview sound more professional. This format really does need to sound professional (unless it is being conducted as a webinar or teleseminar).
If you can get a well-known person to do the interview all the better.
5. Create a Show
You could present your information in an audio series.
Think of this like a radio show. It is ongoing content that you present at a set time each week. You act as a reporter and can deliver industry news, updates, information, tips and research etc.
You can take advantage of podcast directories such as iTunes to help spread the information and give your audio additional exposure.
This approach is not for everyone, or every niche. However, for some it can work well.
3 Criteria Your Audio Must Meet
1. Good Speaking Style
An audio is more personable than an e-book. Your listeners can get a feel for you from your voice and as a result feel more connected with you.
Ask a friend to give their honest feedback on your voice.
Record your own voice and then listen to it. How do you pronounce words? Is the tone of your voice friendly? Are you speaking too loudly or too quietly?
You may be able to use your normal everyday voice, one that you would use when talking to your friends. It is not necessary to be formal. You’ll find that you talk a bit faster when you are enthusiastic about something, and this is OK.
For some people however, you may need to put a little more attention on your voice while recording. With a little practice you should find a style that works for you.
2. Coherent Order
If you jump all around the place it may confuse your listeners. This is why you need to present your information in a logical order.
Group all related information together under each main topic. This helps your listeners follow what you are talking about.
I have never used and read a script, as it sounds too artificial. However, following bullet points helps a lot.
Just follow the first 3 or 4 steps to writing your own e-book and use this as the guide to your recording.
3. Give Valuable Information
If you don’t provide your customer with quality information, they will request a refund. So don’t be stingy on the information you share.
Be generous in the information you give and over-deliver. When you exceed your customer’s expectations they will be truly happy (and will usually want to come back for more).
Audio Equipment and Services
The quality of your recording will reflect on the quality of your product. Even if your information is top-notch, your product will be viewed as low grade if your recording is low grade.
To help ensure the best quality recording, make sure you are in a quiet room.
Any background noise will sound much worse on the recording than at the time.
Also reduce any reverb in the room (this makes the recording sound cheap and tinny, especially on a good microphone). To do this, simply pad your room with blankets and cushions behind the microphone, and on the floor if you do not have carpets or rugs.
Let’s take a look at some of the audio gear and services you can use…
1. The Microphone
If you want to record your audio yourself then a good USB headset microphone will often do the trick. Make sure it is a USB headset and not one that plugs into the microphone and headphone socket on your computer.
A better option is the range of USB microphones from Blue. These are desktop microphones that give an excellent quality recording.
To ensure the sound quality is at its best, you must determine the right distance from your mike. Once you know this, you must maintain this distance. Experiment until you get the best quality sound.
Audacity is an audio editor that is free and easy to use. You can download it from www.dlwmmm.com/audacity.
You can record your audio, change the pitch of your recording and mix sounds together (useful for intro and exit music).
3. Record for All
If you are using your audio products to add value to your blog or website, www.dlwmmm.com/record offers a useful package. You can install this software on your computer to record your audios and then turn them into live feeds.
You can purchase their Podcasting Bundle (which comes with their popular Record for All and Feed for All software).
There’s a free version you can download and try out. If you’re happy then you can pay the one-time fee.
4. Teleconferencing Services
There are so many teleconferencing services out there, such as www.dlwmmm.com/conferencing It’s free and is simple to use.
You phone in, carry out your audio (if you’re interviewing an expert you have them call in too) and they record it. (You can even download the MP3 file then burn it to a CD and upload it to your website.) 5. Create a Transcript
To add more value to your audio product, you can include a transcript of it. Some people like having a text copy to have as a reference to read.
www.dlwmmm.com/dictate is an affordable and quick service that can transcribe your MP3 files (usually within 24 hours).
Can you communicate clearly and explain yourself in a way that is accessible to most people? Do you have valuable, expert knowledge that can enhance other people’s lives? Do you have information that is best demonstrated?
If so, then video could be a profitable medium for you.
If you’ve never created a video before, the idea may seem daunting. But once you become familiar with it, video is a powerful way to do a number of things.
If you want to create a video product, the higher perceived value means you can charge more for a video product than a text or audio product.
You may want to use video podcasting and v-logging for lead generation.
Also, in exchange for their e-mail address, you can deliver free information via video. This encourages future customers into your sales funnel.
Video can generate a lot of traffic for you (especially if one goes viral). You can upload your videos to video-sharing sites with a call to action that directs many potential customers back to your website.
Video is a great way to build a long-lasting relationship with your existing and future customers. It’s easy for them to get a ‘feel’ for who you are and what you stand for.
Done well, video will build trust. Done badly it will decrease credibility.
5 Ways to Ensure Your Message Gets Through
1. Remember Your Target Audience
Consider who you want to reach out to in your video and speak only to them. You must have your target audience in mind at all times. This will make your video personable and they will feel more connected with you.
The more rapport your viewers have with you, the more they will like and trust you. This will make them more willing to follow your suggested action (e.g. visiting your website, opting in, or buying your product).
2. Writing Your Script
Brainstorm first, but not for too long. Get down to writing your video as soon as possible. Give yourself a deadline and stick to it. (Although you may come up with some ideas during your initial brainstorming session, most will come when you start writing.)
Just get it all out. Don’t worry about grammar, flow or a logical sequence.
Next step, is to edit. Look for ways to shorten concepts, or ways to demonstrate ideas, products or services. Remove the rubbish, refine the words and clean up the script. People have short attention spans so keep it as concise as possible.
One of the big differences with writing a video script is you need to think about what the viewer will be seeing as well as hearing. Break down the page into scenes, each with an approximate time frame.
Each scene will have three parts to it. The text being spoken, what will be seen on the screen, and any music or sound effects to be overlaid.
In many cases this will be very simple, i.e. just a video of you talking, or a sequence of screen shots. If doing promotional videos though, be sure to use music and sound effects as they add a lot more impact.
The sooner you have your script, the sooner you can shoot your video.
3. Show (Don’t Tell)
Your viewers will comprehend so much better when they see something demonstrated, rather than just watching you talk about it.
Show what you are doing to another person, so your viewers can understand what you are teaching. You can also use this other person to ask questions your viewers may have. (Think infomercial.) This way you can clarify any obstacles as you go through your video.
With educational and ‘how to’ videos, you should make use of voice-overs. This is where you speak off camera as your viewers watch your demonstrations.
I have already mentioned this, but I will say it again. People have short attention spans (and studies show they are only getting shorter).
If you are explaining how to do something, then take all the time you need to explain well, but be concise. Three to seven minutes is an ideal length.
If what you have to say takes considerably longer, consider breaking down your content into a video series.
5. Can They Understand Your Message?
Before you upload your video you must gain some valuable feedback.
Ask someone in your target audience to critique your video.
Can they understand it? Do they ‘get’ the purpose or message of your video? (If not, which parts need working on?) Ask them if your video makes sense as a whole? Does your video flow smoothly and seamlessly? You don’t want your video to be made up of a jumble of information strung together.
7 Tips to Instantly Improve Your Videos
1. Use a Tripod
If you are not moving the camera then a cheap tripod will do. If you are moving the camera you will need to pay considerably more.
Expect to invest around $150 or more in a quality tripod to stabilize your camcorder. This is because even if your camcorder has built-in stabilization, it can only compensate for a small amount of movement.
Ensure the tripod you get has a head specially intended for video, rather than just a static camera.
2. Panning and Zooming
It is not necessary to pan constantly back and forth from one subject to another, or zoom in and out constantly. That said, it can help keep interest for the viewer.
Pan and zoom to bring emphasis to your subject, and never for no reason.
Pan and zoom intentionally, using slow, deliberate movements. This smoothness will make your videos more professional (and watchable).
3. Composition (Rule of Thirds)
All artists employ the golden triangle or the rule of thirds. It’s the fastest way to achieve a professional and balanced composition.
Break down an image into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Now you have 9 parts, with four intersecting points. (Our eyes naturally go to one of these intersecting points and not the middle of the photo.) So when you place your subject’s eyes in one of these intersecting points, people watching your video will find it automatically harmonious and balanced.
4. Invest in a Lavaliere Microphone
For great speech audio; invest in a lavaliere (lav) microphone. They are small, discreet and clip onto the clothing of the expert you’re interviewing near their mouth.
You need a lav, because even the best camera-mike will pick up sounds between you and the person you’re interviewing, and sound behind and to the sides of the camera too.
5. Two-Third Lighting
Three-point lighting with two-third lighting on your face will give you a great result.
Two-third lighting is where you have one bright light, and another less bright light called a fill light. This means one side of you is going to be brighter than the other, giving you more definition and contrast.
Your fill light should be higher than you, shining on your shoulder to reveal your outline.
Don’t use a harsh halogen light as this will create too much shadow. Being
‘too defined’ is not flattering. If you find you are having this effect, you can reflect the light away using sheets of paper, material or a sunshade.
Look on YouTube for many great video tutorials on how to set up 3-point lighting. And whatever you do, don’t skip this step—it can even improve the results of a web-cam!
6. Framing Your Interview Subject
Your aim is to carry out a ‘normal’ conversation with the person you’re interviewing so that they look both natural and professional.
Frame your expert off to one side (and not directly in the middle of your frame). Include their head and upper chest. Ensure you leave plenty of space around your expert so they can move naturally without going ‘out’
of the shot.
You don’t need to be visible when you are interviewing your subject.
Have them face and look at you while they’re talking (and not look at the camera).
If you don’t have a camera, Camtasia is a piece of software that allows you to record your actual screen. (They have a free 30 day trial, just go to www.dlwmmm.com/camtasia)
You can zoom into areas of interest, and highlight where your mouse is if you want to point at something specific. People watching your video can easily see where you are clicking.
If you are not technically-minded, Camtasia has a one-click audio cleanup.
This acts like a filter to clean up your sound if it’s noisy afterwards.
Camtasia is perfect for software ‘how-to’ products, or recording a PowerPoint presentation with a voice overlay.
There are free alternatives, or Screen Flow if you use a Mac; however, Camtasia is by far the best in my opinion and well worth the investment.
Go for Good Over Perfect
It’s no good being too much of a perfectionist and finicky with your video.
Spending a lot of time getting it perfect will probably not make you more money in the long-term. This is not a very balanced approach to your videos.
Getting your videos good, clean and presentable is your main aim.
For more ideas on video, get a copy of Gideon Shalwick’s free guide at www.
dlwmmm.com/rapid. A must read for anyone looking to use video, especially for lead generation.
Successfully developing and launching your own software can be one of the most difficult, but rewarding things you can do.
It can also be your ticket to huge financial success.
If you have an idea for a software product, and want to know more about the specifics involved then this is the chapter for you!
How Quickly Do You Want Your Software Released?
You need to find out how quickly you want your software out in the marketplace.
Go through these five questions to find out if your software idea is worth developing.
1. Is Your Software Unique?
Right now, is there anything like your software on the market?
If there isn’t, then getting your software out first gives you the exposure and competitive advantage of being the first one.
If your software already exists, then you will want to be sure you have a unique angle, or at least a better strategy for marketing than the current competition.
To be competitive, educating people why your software is better than what is already out there will be essential.
2. Less or More Features?
If your software product idea is unique, you may have to settle for fewer features than you would ideally like, just to get your software out there.
If you wait too long to get your software ‘perfect’, someone else may beat you to the number one spot and release the same idea before you.
The one thing you can be sure of is that someone, somewhere has the same idea as you.
Fewer features can often sell better than software with more features.
This sounds counter intuitive; however usability is a key issue. Often only 20% of the features are used by 80% of the people.
3. Can you Afford to Wait?
The quicker you release your software the quicker you can start earning money.
The longer it takes you to get everything perfect, the longer you’ll have to shoulder the financial burden.
Software can be very costly to develop, depending on its complexity.
Make sure you can easily afford at least double the quoted cost of development; and wait double or triple the quoted development time.
Even this is being conservative. I have seen too many projects fail for not allowing this.
4. What do Your Customers Think?
The easiest way to find out what your customers think is to give some a copy. Start small and scale up. The quicker you release your software the quicker you’ll gain valuable feedback.
Although your customer complaints will be high, your customers can give you great feedback and ideas on how to develop your software further.
A lot of criticism is good. It shows people are interested enough to actually try and use it.
If you do take the time to develop your software, you should have less customer support to deal with. However, if you wait too long you may find that nobody wants your software product at all.
5. How Will You Market It?
Remember the golden rule of marketing firs—be clear on how you plan to sell your software. How does it fit into the bigger picture?
If you understand this up front, you can design the software to fit in with this. You’ll also have a clearer idea if it’s worth developing at all.
The trick then is to develop the first version as quickly as possible. Ensure that all the major bugs are ironed out before releasing it to a small list.
Never trust programmers to test the software. In my experience this rarely happens, even with the best of them. The reality is that even if they do the testing, they cannot test every possible variable. This is why you need a small launch before going large. Your users will find bugs, probably lots of them.
As you keep improving the software and removing the bugs you can keep increasing the user base. Once you are confident you are ready, then go for the full launch.
7 Tips to Determine the Purpose of Your Software It’s not good enough having a vague idea what your software will do.
You will end up with a better product when you ask yourself what you want your software to do. Ultimately you want a software product that pleases your customers.
1. Who will use your software?
2. Why will they use it?
3. What does your software do that other software doesn’t?
4. When will they use it?
5. How often will they use it?
6. Where will they use it? (Online or offline? At home, in the office or while travelling?)
7. How will they obtain your software? (Will they log-in or is it a licensed based application?)
Once you have all these questions thoroughly answered, you will have an idea which systems to use (and which systems need to be integrated).
You can then give these guidelines to your developer to explain what you want.
This will make the development process easier for them as they have a clear idea of what you want.
Software for a Browser or Desktop?
How do you decide whether to develop your software for a desktop or web browser? Each has their pros and cons.
Having your software run on a desktop provides your customers with a product they can use on or offline.
The cons are that support can be time consuming (remote support can be expensive) and it can be hard to deploy. There are also huge compatibility issues with different browsers and bug testing can take forever.
On the other hand, having your software run on a web browser gives platform independence, let’s you reach out to more people (as everyone has a browser) and you have less support issues. But it can be expensive for servers and may create security issues managing data.
It’s up to you to decide which solution will work best for your software.
Building Your Programming Team
The bottom line is if this is a long-term project do not outsource—period.
(I will explain why in a second.)
That said, let’s look at the different options relating specifically to software development.
With outsourcing, you pay for the job to be done and that’s it. You don’t have to pay for any expenses such as renting an office space or providing a computer for your developer to work from.
Unfortunately if your project is big, outsourcing can be hard to manage. You will want to be sure you have regular backups, access to source code and check updates regularly.
Another big issue with code is that it is almost impossible to get someone else to come and work on it. The longer or more complex the code, the less likely another programmer will want to touch it.
This means you can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on it, to then have the outsourcer disappear and leave you with something you have no way of developing further.
If you do decide to go down the outsourcing route, then you have two choices.
Should you look for a team that’s already constructed, or find individual contractors?
A team that’s already constructed can get things done quicker because they know how to work. You’ll be dealing with just one person on behalf of the team, which means less management from you. But they are more expensive.
Finding individual contractors can be more time-consuming. You need to decide if people have the right skill set. But if you’re knowledgeable, this can be a more cost effective solution.
Because your team is with you, there’s less likelihood of them using the same source code on a different project.
There’s also higher morale when you’re all in it together. And you can get more productivity out of someone who is on your side.
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Be Clear About Your Role: 3 Tips
Be Clear About Your Role: 3 Tips
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Create the screen mock-ups based on the 7 questions you asked yourself earlier.
Every application has an interface. You need to describe to your developer what you want done. For example, if you want a button in a certain place, or when someone clicks a button where do you want them to go, or what happens when they log-in?
Your developer can ensure these specific things happen.
Give your developer an overview of what kind of information you’re going to be collecting or working with. Then your developer can work out the technical details.
Information such as whether you’re going to have a log-in or not? Are you going to use just their e-mail address or do you want their name too?
Are you going with browser-based or desktop-based software?
2. How to Track Tasks: 2 Quick Ways
Every software product that’s being built has tasks that need to be done and some tasks that relate to each other. You need to track all project tasks—that is, what has been completed, and what tasks need to be done before something else can be started.
I wouldn’t recommend this, but at the very least you need spreadsheets.
Ask your developer to identify all the tasks that need doing and how they relate to each other. Now you can manage that process and see if you are on time.
To better manage your software development process, use www.dlwmmm.com/base (they have a free version which you can find in small print) or my favorite, www.dlwmmm.com/streber (the free project management software I suggested before).
In addition to the software, the best thing you can invest in will be a huge white board. Very little beats this simple method of seeing what needs to be done at a glance.
3. Decide on a Time Frame
In the beginning of your project give your developers a time schedule of two weeks and let them set their own tasks that they can complete in this time. At the end of the two-week period review what they’ve done.
For each two-week period, allow your developers to work, without harassing them.
Towards the end of your software development, you can have shorter time periods of say a week, and eventually move to daily.
It’s likely you’ll have to adjust your final deadline. It will probably take you longer than you envisaged. Even your developers may overestimate their capabilities.
If your project falls behind, you may be tempted to add more people to your team. Unfortunately, the more people you add to your team the longer it will take you to complete your software. This is because you will lose time communicating.
The only people that can get your project up to speed are your existing team members. In order for you to meet your deadline, you’ll have to remove some features.
How to Profit from Your Customer’s Feedback
When you make it easy and encourage your customers to tell you what features they want, you can receive some great ideas.
You can use those ideas to further develop your software. You will have longevity in your niche if you implement what they ask you to do.
Make sure your customers can submit their feature ideas to you easily. Their input is worth a lot of money. However, be careful not to try and implement everything. Ensure first that there is real demand for an idea.
How to Manage Your Success?
When you are conscious of how you control your growth you’re in a better position to be financially successful in both the long and short-term.
The more involved and complex your software product is, the more your growth must be controlled.
If you grow too quickly you may not be able to provide support for your software. You may have to be prepared for 100,000 people signing up. Could you cope with that number?
On the other hand if your software is simple, you will be able to manage quick growth.
When you grow quickly, you need to be vigilant about preserving your reputation. This comes down to how you market your software.
This can easily be assisted by using affiliates as the primary method of promotion. Your affiliates will be saying good things about your product, and therefore influencing the market’s perception.
What level of customer support will you provide for your customers? Will you have e-mail or phone support?
A good support desk (such as www.dlwmmm.com/zend can be worth its weight in gold. As you grow, you will want to ensure customer support is managed by someone else.
If customer support is managing refund requests and missing links, it will be something you can outsource quite easily. If there is more technical support required, then you may be better off keeping it in-house, or using a specialist customer support outsourcing company.
If your product works in other niches, you can offer your software to someone else to sell under a different brand name. To avoid them having to offer support for the software you can use www.dlwmmm.com/cerberus to manage support for all your white labels.
White label software is software that is already written, and that you can purchase to sell as your own. It will however, be able to be sold by other people as well.
www.dlwmmm.com/cerberus can do e-mail routing. You can set up multiple domains. And it all reports back to one central system. By offering support as part of your white label, you provide more value. This also allows you to charge for each white label license.
How many people do you need to handle your support requests? If you need to install things for your customers, even a small number of people can add up to a lot of support.
At first it may be good, even essential to have developers help with support.
They can fix bugs faster, understand customer’s problems better and ensure a good technical FAQ is built.
Long-term though, don’t ask your developers to handle support requests (unless it is code related). That’s not fair on them to handle common issues. You need a dedicated team just to handle that.