James Schramko talks to Tim Conley from Foolish Adventure about how you can turn your content into cash even if you are just starting out and with minimal budget….
Action Steps From This Podcast
- listen to the whole podcast before you start
- start with a business purpose mindset approach
- find a need you can serve
- plan to run a webinar with an expert (or you if you are an expert)
- get access to a webinar platform like GoToWebinar
- approach an expert
- put up a squeeze page on your website
- start getting registrations
- create a slide deck with plain slides using a learning structure – why, what, how, what if include a call to action
- get a second screen
- practice your webinar
- setup an offer page on your website /go
- run the webinar
- interact with your expert and answer audience questions
- record the webinar
- pitch something on the event
- edit your recording with a nice front and back. Optional chop it into small parts.
- upload the webinar recording to your web page using Wistia or vimeo for streaming and Amazon S3 for the download
- Email your email list about the webinar recording
- re-purpose your video as audio and transcription
James: James Schramko here and today’s special guest is going to be talking to us about turning content into cash and for this I’ve gone and found an expert in this topic and his name is Tim Conley from FoolishAdventure.com and it’s a great podcast show I’ve been listening to it and I was also a guest on that show recently, welcome to the show Tim.
Tim: Hey what’s up James!
James: Well I’m still travelling at the moment Tim and we’re recording from Paris today and I imagine you’re probably in Phoenix?
Tim: Yes I’m just on the North side of Phoenix, a little out on the desert.
James: Are you sitting in your cupboard today?
Tim: Yeah, yes I am in my studio that I’ve converted from my walk-in closet so.
James: I think this could be a potential topic for us because I know that when people think about the idea of turning content into cash they probably have visions of a high expense professional studio equipment and certain things that would be barriers for them to be able to do this, I want to ask you, is this something that they should be concerned about?
Tim: No, I think that’s the problem with a lot of people when they go in any kind of business, they focus on non-essentials and not on the things that will create a minimum viable business, so if you’re going to. If you want to create a podcast don’t go out there and buy mixer and buy all these things unless you are an audio engineer don’t do any of that nonsense.
James: So keep it nice and simple.
How Tim Started Monetizing Content
James: Okay, now Tim, perhaps you could just give us a very brief background as to how this has become your topic of specialty and that would give us the reference point we need and then we can step into some of the steps that people can follow to make this happen for themselves.
Tim: Okay, so I got into doing this podcasting thing called the “Foolish Adventure Show” a couple years ago now and a lot of the questions that kept coming to me and it was a lot of these bloggers who blog about blogging and it was really pissing me off because they were giving business advice without ever knowing anything about how to run a business and a lot of it was about not actually making any money. Don’t worry about making money for one to two years with your blog and say “that’s not business”, that may be a hobby but that’s not a business, and so, it was bugging me that people were spending a couple of years of their lives wasting it on just creating loads and loads of content and never making a buck. And that’s, that’s something that it, it just really just bothered me so I figured out that the best way would be to spin that around and turn that content into cash.
James: Right, so you’re taking the business need first where people would come in and say, “Tim, I need to make a little bit of income online, how can I do this without having to set up a podcast and wait a year till I see something from it?”
Tim: Right, and that comes down to having a business purpose for whatever it is you’re doing. You’re actually out there solving someone’s problem. That’s the fastest way to get to any kind of income is to find the need and come in and serve that need.
So, you can do that either through a service business or through a physical product and you can even do that with information. And a lot of people are getting into blogging or any kind of information business without ever actually finding out if there’s a need for it. Or that people would pay to have that solution delivered to them.
James: So, it seems from my perspective that some people are doing it because it’s perhaps their need to maybe express themselves or to develop an idea they have, but it starts from a selfish place rather than looking outside themselves and to the marketplace.
Tim: Well, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not “business”. It’s your, you know, self-expression; it’s your hobby; it’s something that you should do if that’s what you feel compelled to do, but don’t complain that you’re not making a dime.
Turning Content Into Cash With Webinars
James: That’s it, the topic is turning content into cash, do you have some favorite methods for doing this?
Tim: Webinars, Love, I love webinars, I call it the “expert panel”, that’s one of my favorites because it does a lot of different things; it connects you to other experts in your marketplace. So, let me define it first before I go into like its full benefits. An “expert panel” is where you get together three or four, maybe as many as six or seven different experts in your marketplace and you can interview them individually, or you can get them all onto a single webinar and have people get on there.
They cover a topic and then people can ask some questions. It’s a really simple format, easy to do and then it gives you these benefits of being able to network with the top people in your marketplace, it gives you traffic because these top people in your marketplace, you’re going to send traffic to your site and it’s also going to attract a lot of people in your marketplace because you’re creating this event that they haven’t seen before. So, it’s going to bring a lot of people to them. And then the third is that you become one of the top experts in your marketplace.
So that’s one of my favorite content into cash strategies, is to create an expert panel because you can sell it before people come onto it and you can sell it after they’ve been on the live webinar.
James: Awesome. So, I want to develop this a bit because I’m sure there are some questions around this and I see my job as asking the questions that people would want answers to, even though I might know the answer. So, this is like a more powerful “Oprah” model where you’re not just interviewing one person but you’re interviewing multiple people, and almost becoming one of those people when you facilitate this.
Now, you mentioned that this is easy. I want to challenge that and just ask, I guess, some technical things.
How do you get people to the webinar? What platform are you using? How do you record it? I’d love us to go through some technical steps here so that someone might get a feel for what things would be on their checklist, if they are going to implement this idea.
Tim: Okay. So, you caught me on on this “easy” thing and this is something that happens to people who have been doing something for a while, you forget just how hard something really is when you’re first starting out. So, I’ll apologize for that, it’s like you know, you go to the gym, you start working out, lifting a hundred pounds was difficult when you first got there. Years later, it’s easy. Okay, so, I’ll try to refrain from those “easy” comments.
Setting this up, I like to use GoToWebinar. It’s not perfect but it is one of the best software solutions on the marketplace right now. So, I like using GoToWebinar for doing my webinars, and they have a registration process. It’s pretty ugly, but it does tend to convert fairly well when you send traffic to it.
If you want to also build your list at the exact same time, I’ve been using this little plugin for WordPress called Webinar Bridge. It’s also not a very good piece of software but it does work. It will put, when anyone opts in to get onto your webinar it will put their email address onto your autoresponder sequence.
So, it could be Aweber or Constant Contact or whatever you’re using, it’ll put them on there and they’ll be able to register for the webinar all at the same time. So that’s the getting them on, and let’ see, I think the technical side of it is not really the toughest part. The toughest part is actually getting the experts and then getting the experts to actually promote for you.
James: Okay. Just a little side note there, if any of my listeners are using Nanacast, they can integrate GoToWebinar with their autoresponder with an affiliate program which is a handy little tip for driving registrations to a webinar. And my tip there is set the affiliate commission to one cent per opt in, so that affiliates can track their conversions. I just wanted to just jump in with that.
Now, let’s go to the getting the experts. How do you convince somebody to get onto your webinar?
Gathering Your Experts
Tim: Okay, There is a bit of psychology that comes into this. One is that people love to talk about themselves, and most experts are in a position where they want to continue to promote their business. And they are very willing to come into things that don’t take up a lot of their time, but give them a huge impact. Especially, since you’re going to be doing all the labour to run this webinar to get the marketing out into the marketplace.
Since you’re going to be doing all that work and all they have to do is show up and be an expert, they tend to be more willing to do it. But the big thing is getting them to even pay attention to you in the first place. That’s the hard part, that’s the question I get all the time when I say, “Hey, you should interview someone” and they said “Oh, how do I get them to contact me?”, and it’s not really that difficult.
My first start now, years ago, you just have to get them on the phone, or you had to email. I’m not going to go back how old I am and how far back you would have to use just phones, but going now to the point where I get on Twitter, and Twitter’s this awesome communication tool that lets you reach out to just about anyone, and I can get on Twitter and say, “Hey I’d love to be able to have you on my show, I’d love to build, create this thing”, and just get started right there.
Start opening up the relationship with the person before you hit them with, “Hey, I’d like to get you on this big thing” and I’m going to charge money for it, and it becomes this convoluted message. So, the first thing is to just reach out and get in touch with them and find some kind of common ground to connect with them, and then you can start moving into how to get them onto this actual expert panel.
James: Yeah, and I’ve seen your style before and it’s really effective. It’s just going for that low resistance thing. In fact, from memory, the reason that we ended up doing a podcast was because you’d commented on someone else’s podcast with me that it wasn’t long enough and that you’d like to get me on your show, and I simply replied and said “Yeah, let’s do that”.
So, it was a really nice social media approach that is low resistance and it puts the idea out there. So, obviously, you’re not afraid to ask for what you want.
Tim: Yeah, I think that’s the big key is that if you never ask, you’re never going to get. So, yes some of these experts are going to say no, that’s going to happen. But you shouldn’t be afraid to ask them because the upside is so huge, and the downside is what – a “No”. That’s the downside.
James: And you may not even cry yourself to sleep. Okay. So, just keeping pace here, we’ve decided a good way to get this content turned into cash is to run a webinar. We know we could use a platform like GoToWebinar. We can even use a trial if we wanted to see how it works before we commit to that.
We, more than likely, are not going to get a whole bunch of people on the first one if we’re just working through this the first time, and we’ve managed to approach someone and convince them that they should be on the webinar. And we’ve probably set a date, put up a squeeze page and started getting some registrations. Now, I guess this is where the fear might start kicking in.
Have you got any tips to ease through the next stage? Is there some pre-preparation things or, you know, what should you do before you actually get to that, you know, the hand moves under the clock when you’re supposed to go live?
How To Prepare
Tim: Oh yes. Practice first. Get some friends to get onto GoToWebinar and practice. Practice recording, practice all sorts of the different the functions on GoToWebinar.
If you think you’re going to do a poll, practice running a poll. Practice doing every bit of tech, because guess what, as soon as you’re running a webinar, it’s going to mess up. I don’t think I’ve ever had a webinar go perfectly smooth. Ever! I don’t know why but stuff just happens.
There’s always some kind of technology issue and if you’re doing it for the very first time, you’re going to panic and you’re not going to get your recording done. So, don’t do that.
Make sure you spend time and practice, maybe you have to practice a few times and bug your friends a whole bunch and have them come on so you can practice doing your webinar. That’s on the technical side. Practice those things so that you can make sure that you’re going to get the kind of recording that you want, because to be able to sell this afterwards, you have to be able to record your webinar.
And the nice thing is that GoToWebinar actually has a record feature, and if you’re on Mac, in just like a month or so ago, they put in the ability for Mac to record. So, it’s fantastic now. You just hit the record button and Boom! Now you have your webinar, but definitely you have to practice.
James: Now, do you also do a backup recording? Do you ever use other devices?
Tim: Yes, because that’s the other thing, the recording is going to fail.
James: That’s it and you know what, in the case where I’ve lost recordings before in every single case, one of my attendees has got a screen version of it. Which has been handy, but I have one of my team members log on and just record it as a backup and then after my rendering is complete and I’ve uploaded my product I say, “Okay, you can go and delete it now”, so it is likely to happen. I’ll give you another tip here, if you do lose the recording, then the best thing that you can do is, as soon as possible, is to facilitate another run-through and just capture it while you possibly can.
You know, it’s harder with experts; you probably never get the same product. But if you happen to be the expert or if you only have one expert, then there has been a time in the past where it was just me on the webinar, and for technical malfunction reasons, I just re-ran the webinar to myself and recorded it and uploaded the replay because that ended up being the next best thing. But just accept that there will be technical challenges and prepare for that. And I love your tip about practicing.
I remember the first webinar that I ever ran; it was the most unusual feeling. Sitting there talking to myself for an hour, without having a lot of interaction, it was just, I could see people chatting. I felt like a radio DJ.
I was pushing all the buttons and people asking questions and me asking them. I tried to do the mute-unmute thing but that can be a challenge if it’s your first time. And later on you’ll get experienced. Do you use two screens when you run a webinar?
Why Having Two Screens Is Useful
Tim: At first I didn’t And then it just became too much of a hassle. So, if you actually want to interact during the webinar with your audience then you need two computers, because you’re not going to be able to handle it on one screen and be able to make sense of it. Especially, if you’re doing something like Keynote or PowerPoint, because it’s going to take up your whole screen. So, you can’t see the GoToWebinar control panel.