23 Types of Audio, Video, and Other Media You Can Add to Your Info Product (or Blog) to Make It Even More Epic

January 3, 2017

23 Types of Audio, Video, and Other Media You Can Use to Become a More Authority Brand

Engagement is the name of the game when it comes to your audience.

While text lessons, posts, and articles are of course valuable, in the interest of making your info products (such as group coaching events, workshops or online programs in general) more accessible, delightful, and useful for different learning styles, it’s a good idea to explore the many types of engaging media you can create—easily—and most often without any financial investment at all other than your time. And that’s like the Mary Poppins of media—practically perfect in every way.

Check out the 23 types of media below that you can add to your marketing materials, Facebook groups, workshop content, website, blog, landing pages, and more to create a more valuable and user-friendly experience for your students.

Video

1. Animated videos with voice narration or an epic lesson

As a level up from just slides alone (or from only including video of yourself called a “talking head” video), animated videos can be an engaging, clear way to communicate short lessons, to advertise your program, present a module of your workshop or to help students learn how to navigate your online event community hub.

Try out BiteableLumen5 and Spark Video (by Adobe) to create quick and easy animated videos. These programs offer slide transitions, royalty-free music and access to free and safe-to-use stock photos from integrations with Pexels.com and Unsplash.com that you can use in your video.Animated, educational video made with biteable.com

2. Recorded presentations—video of your slide deck with narration/lesson audio

We love using these in our bootcamps and online events. Even for lessons that you already have completely written out as text lessons, adding a recorded presentation of the same material will offer a different (and appreciated) learning experience for your students.

You can use QuickTime for free, or purchase software such as Camtasia or Screenflow to do this. Another option is to use the low cost eCamm Live (only available for Mac at the time of this writing) to stream live into a Facebook group or page and then save that broadcast to your computer. We also use the video conference software Zoom to do this which offers free plans and screensharing capability. #SoManyOptions

Add videos of your slides or presentations to your course

3. Live online workshops

It’s no secret that we live for live workshops. One way to build out the modules of your info product, or add valuable bonus content to them, is to create mini live online sessions on your topic.

You can use them as your main program sections by releasing them on a schedule (as in a virtual summit or a multi-week bootcamp), or you can use them as standalone content pieces (either paid or free as in a weekend business lock-in) to build your email list or to have additional surprise content to offer your audience.

Even as certified introverts, we’ve now done more live workshops than we can possibly count. Somewhere along the way of delivering our infinity + 1 live workshops, we realized that they are a low stakes/high reward way to get used to teaching, test out content, grow your email list, create a content library or build an online course.

4. Online workshops, edited and repackaged (with extra goodies) after the initial recording

This is one of my favorite ways to create NEW value and new content out of something you’ve already done. You can take one or all of the live workshops you created in #3 above and make them awesome by:

Repurposing content isn’t just smart, it’s a critical time-saver. Repackaging (+ editing and adding upgrades) is one of our favorite ways to create NEW value and new content out of something you’ve already done.

You can take part or all of the live workshops you created in #3 above and make them more awesome and easy to consume by:

  • Editing the recording down and taking out unnecessary dialogue, time-specific references that don’t apply anymore (ex: “Next week I’ll be doing another workshop on X topic.”), and any sections you don’t feel went as smoothly as you wanted them to (hey, it was live after all and sometimes glitches happen).
  • Adding in a re-recording of any sections that you want to redo. You can also revise slides (if you noticed an error after it was too late to fix it), or add entirely new sections that you think of by simply recording your screen (talked about below) and audio at the same time.
  • Adding a workbook to the workshop. Now that you’ve done the live event, you know exactly what you actually said, all the points you shared and maybe recognized a few points that you missed . . . why not make an actionable workbook or follow-along notesheets for your workshop? If you were rushing to get a workbook completed for your event deadline, you can now go back and tweak it to your perfectionist heart’s content.
  • Creating a PDF export of your slide deck (if you have one) for people to download and use after the fact to follow along with your workshop (audience’s love using the slides as printables after your event). This is an easy to use export function in Keynote and PowerPoint to convert slides to a PDF.

Getting a transcription of your workshop, or transcribing it yourself, so that you have a text version of everything you said. This is something we’ve done by hiring someone from Upwork.com or using Rev.com. While transcription services aren’t cheap, they are a great step toward repurposing your content. Once you have a transcription, you can also provide a more accessible version of your content to people (and/or create captions for the hearing impaired).

5. Screencasts

Videos of your screen (often called screencasts) allow you to provide software tutorials, or tips/hacks on how to do any type of computer task, and much more. Screencasts are one of our favorite types of videos to create and teach because they don’t require much tech (plus they don’t require you to have your face on screen if that’s not really your style) and can be done for free.

Free tools include UseLoom.com, an easy to use browser extension to capture your screen and create a video of that capture. You can also use Zoom and share your screen while you do a walkthrough of a tool or concept.

Screencasts can be amazing ways to show software function, share slides, and so much more

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The 6 Most Profitable Blogger Career Paths (and How to Get Started in One)

July 5, 2016

Oh man. Listen. I 100% believe what I’m about to say and it IS big. I’m not even necessarily being the overly dramatic version of myself that I normally am.

Here it is.

There are six distinct blogger career paths, which if you understand and work on, can absolutely change your world.

I’ve been down each one of these paths in the past, and it is time to share them . . . and to change the careers that we consider, pursue, and build for ourselves.

P.S. Everything below and more is available as a podcast episode. And here is the flowchart I reference and show.

How do you make money as a blogger? What careers are there in blogging. Here's a resource to help.

For years, and years, and years society has been quick to teach us the traditional career paths of lawyers, and teachers, and plumbers, and even professional basketball players. We know which schools we need to go to, which judge to get an internship with, how to get certified during night school, which recruiters and game stats we should shoot for, etc.

We know that once we become a lawyer, we can look forward to either practicing law at a major firm and trying to make partner, or starting our own firm, or teaching law, or working as a public defender, or working for a major corporation as an attorney, or doing pro bono, or advising a non-profit, or getting into politics and perhaps running for president of our country one day.

Great.

But, what about career paths for bloggers? For content creators? For some of these positions and interests that are popping up, making money, and sticking around?

Just as becoming a lawyer doesn’t guarantee you money or clients, but it does provide many paths to monetize (explained above) and many specialties to focus on (family law, corporate issues, intellectual property, taxes, tort law, etc.) and is thus considered a legitimate career . . .

becoming a blogger doesn’t guarantee income or fame, but it does provide many paths (explained below and in the podcast episode) and practically endless specialties to focus on (food, business, travel, crafts, fitness, accounting, fashion, etc.) that make money and should thus be considered a legitimate career.

I hope they start teaching it in schools everywhere soon. But until then, may I please present my shiny new Blogger Career Paths flowchart with some explanations and notes (if you’re taking them) that I hope will blow your mind? Okay. Let’s get started.

The 6 Blogging Career Paths

The first thing to understand is what is happening in any career path, anywhere, at any time, on any day. You are learning something new in one of two ways. You are either:

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10 Morning Writing Activities for Entrepreneurs

May 19, 2016

So basically, I instituted a practice a while back that completely altered the amount and quality of work I was able to get done. It’s a practice I’ve recently picked back up here in Mexico, where I live now . . . and it is doing wonders for my productivity, mental clarity, sanity, and content. Wonders.

I want to share this magical, mystical practice.

In a short blog post. And if you know me, that like . . . never happens. So let’s hop straight into this cool method/thing.

It’s called making content creation the first thing you do in the morning. Before Twitter, before getting fully ready for the day, before investing time in your day job, before all of it.

And yes, I do understand that you have a crazy, busy life. I promise I really do get it. But it’s just like working out. We all know we need to do it, but if we never prioritize it and try to leave it as the last thing we do for the day, it never gets done.

So, even if you just wake up 30 minutes earlier, or alter your routine to fit in an extra 15 minutes or so in the morning for yourself, I hope you can find a way to make this work.

Prioritizing content in the morning means that:

  • You haven’t been influenced by any outside sources yet that day. Your mind is fresh. It’s more focused on who you really are . . . it hasn’t had time to take on the other personalities and crazy thoughts that hop in our heads each day as emotional creatives.
  • You’re less likely to create content that’s an accidental copy of something you’ve seen. Especially if you follow the #1 rule of this practice: Don’t consume any content at all, other than your own, before you get started for the day.
  • Your emails and responsibilities haven’t taken over yet.
  • You will feel more productive that day to have gotten in an early win.
  • Your quality of life will likely increase if you’re able to create more amazing content and feel better about your progress toward your goals.

Here are the 10 most epic suggestions ever (#humblebrag) of what you can create or do during your morning time:

1. Write a letter to yourself.
And by “letter,” I of course mean “email to the future.” You can use a tool like FutureMe.org if you’re like me . . . in denial about the validity of journaling each day.

FutureMe.org even has an app. You can open it up (or use the desktop version) and write yourself a quick note that will be delivered at some time in the future that you get to specify (1 month, 1 year, 5 years, etc.).

What happened yesterday? What milestones have you met in your business? What are you hoping to launch or do in the near future? Why does it matter? Who is important in your life right now and why?

Remind yourself to be patient, mindful, forgiving, and kind to yourself and others.

No lie. Every single email from the past me to the future me has made me cry. Has made me stop in my tracks. Has refocused me. Has delighted me. Has reminded me of what’s important.

2. Create an outline for an epic piece of content.
Whether you want to outline an epic article, blog post, or guide using this resource planning post as a guide, or you want to start planning how to change one of your blog posts into a book, or you want to start planning your first workshop . . . take 15 – 45 minutes in the morning to create a detailed outline of your content.

3. Draft an email to your email list.
When your mind is more raw, real, and fresh, take the time to draft an email to your list. Something real, something that includes a story, something that communicates your heart and passion for what you do.

If the email isn’t complete by the time you finish writing that morning, keep it in a special Google Doc in the cloud (or a folder somewhere that makes sense for you) so that you can write more when you feel like it or come pull from this doc when you have a thought that relates and can complete your email.

4. Write part of a book.
Legit. This is the only way I was able to write and publish my first book when I had other full-time responsibilities. It was the hardest, most rewarding thing ever. EVER.

5. Write out one activity you’re going to do that day for yourself on top of your daily goals or in your day planner.
Is it working out and building toward your summer six pack? Is it getting a pedicure? Is it going out with a girl you have a crush on? Is it going to bed early enough to read two chapters of your current book?

Prioritize something, even if it’s small, that replenishes you or gives you a moment of peace in a long day.

6. Create a blog post.
Take one of the outlines you created on a separate morning and fill it in with your epic morning mind.

7. Write a video script.
Whether you are creating a video tutorial that you’ll have to narrate, or you want to create a cool new video series with quick tips and solid information, your video probably needs some sort of a script . . . even if it’s only bullet points for you to follow as you talk.

Having your script pre-written will make it THAT much more likely that you actually get those video ideas you’ve planned out done.

8. Write part of your course materials or part of your sales page.
Most of the time, you can’t build a quality course in a day. So, instead, break up its creation over as many mornings/days as you need to.

If you already have a course or another product you sell, write or tweak your sales page or a cool bonus that you can use to generate interest in your product.

9. Re-assess and write down your top 3 work goals and top 3 life goals (plus their “why”—the reason they matter) as they occur to you that morning.
I know. I know. You are already super clear on all your goals, ever. But, just in case you want to constantly audit and check yourself (so you don’t get sucked in to an online cult), write down what’s important to you as of that moment. Make sure all of your goals have a real reason/purpose that you can identify, and then verify that your immediate goals (of the day/week/month) line up with your purpose statements.

10. Write some fiction.
Yeah. Give your mind something creative to work on outside of your business. Something you don’t have to monetize. (So, if you’re a professional fiction writer, you’re going to want to do something outside of your normal work. Something that doesn’t have pressure associated with it. A poem? An article? Some travel tips? Whatever pops in your head.)


Pssssst. You can totally create content other than written content in the mornings. Sometimes I simply:

  • design a graphic
  • record a screen tutorial
  • record an audio file
  • continue my morning project from the day before
  • etc. {translation: get creative with your “Morning Milestones”}

If you’re not already doing this with your mornings, I really do think you will enjoy it, because no matter how crazy your day gets afterward, you will have gotten some business and personal growth stuff done.

10 Epic Writing Activities for Entrepreneurs

I hope you enjoyed these quick ideas for what you can do in the morning to feel + be epic and productive.

I re-started doing this because as lovely as it is to have a coworking office (when I’m in Austin or when I’m here in México), if I show up there first thing in the morning, the convo, or the structure of the facility, or my general responsibilities take over . . . and then I get frustrated with myself for not accomplishing as much as I wanted to.

I’m probably not the only one, right? Tell me. What do you do in the mornings? How do you achieve the level of productivity you’re shooting for?

How NOT to Get Caught in the 6-Figure Blogger Suck-In

May 6, 2016

Today, I will endeavor to explain something that I hope truly, truly, truly helps you. Something that will likely provide some clarity and much needed truth about the sometimes confusing blogging and online marketing world.

It’s all about how not to get sucked in by this six-figure blogger “trend” going around.

And yes, I’m gonna lose some friends (correction: “friends”), upset some people, and remove the chance to ever collaborate with certain people after this . . . but zero flips are given about that because I’m not here for them, I’m here for you and this post may help someone, hopefully, avoid a business-draining, fund-draining, attitude-deflating decision in the future.

To be clear before we begin, not all bloggers who make 6-figures fit the things I’m about to say. Some of us have brands, and friends, and audiences, and content that are really important to us and the income was a natural progression of that plus a lot of hard work.

The “6-figure suck-in” really refers to the super annoying trend to publish income reports that are misleading, to title your courses and resources in a way that implies an unrealistic promise, and the wave of people caught feeling like they NEED to make 6-figures or NEED to reach a certain income amount in a certain time or else they’re failures.

I’ll illustrate.

Here are 7 characteristics of brand owners to keep in mind as you make purchasing decisions and as you process how you’re feeling about your own business.

Again, not all 6- or 7- or 8-figure bloggers are bad and out to get you, but the bloggers who want to suck you in share a few things in common . . .

1. They put VERY misleading numbers + words in the titles of their courses, workshops, and other resources.


How to Go from Zero to $10K in 30 Days
Create 6-Figure Webinars
How to Build Your 6-Figure Coaching Business


It’s all a sneaky/chill form of an implied promise. It is my #1 pet peeve and I get so many emails from others who hate it too.

Can the average motivated person really go from $0 to $10K in the 30 days they take your course? How many people have created 6-figure webinars after implementing the tips in your class? Are people truly going to learn all they need to in your “6-figure” coaching business webinar that lasts 45 minutes and is just a sales attempt for your $2,200 offering?

Like. Really. I’m truly asking you this question dear brand owner.

How about telling us how YOU created $100K in income from a webinar after 10 years in business and 55 other webinars? That’s a course I might take.

Or how about “How 5 Years and a $20K Investment Helped Me Make 6-Figures” . . .? That sounds more believable.

When you read these titles and tweets, try not to get sucked in or feel a certain way about your business. Honestly, there are so many other factors that play into people’s success than the facts and figures they fit onto their sales pages and opt-in advertisements.

Were you urgently searching for a resource on creating 6-figure webinars before you found that one guy’s course? If not, keep moving . . . don’t make a purchasing decision in that moment. Sign up for some of his free stuff . . . stuff where he doesn’t try to sell you a $1,000 offering.


2. They seemingly ignore the fact that they do not blog about anything close to what you do . . . all while making implied promises about your results.

And now, let’s talk about how even if they titled their course “How I Made 7-Figures from a Blog” . . . they blog about marketing through webinars, not the power of a whole food lifestyle, or parenting twins, or getting in shape, or whatever it is you care about and blog about.

I have had three blogs in my time on the Internet that I’ve monetized successfully . . . a writing blog, a design blog, and this creative business and infopreneurship blog. I do believe that I can help people with other interests than these, but I’m not going to title my course $0 to $100K Blogging.

Check out the outline and modules of the courses you are considering . . . are they unintentionally teaching things that only make sense for their industry and not yours? Try to judge their ability to truly help you before being caught up in the magic of the statistics they publish.


3. They don’t accurately represent how much work is required.

Just to make sure I’m not crazy, I’ve had a secret project going on. I’ve been establishing another, separate, secret blog based on all the principles I learned after building hundreds of sites for customers, running 10+ blogs of my own, and monetizing 3 of my blogs.

It’s STILLLLLLLL hard work. It is STILL hard to write the number of posts I wanted to before launching. It’s still a lot of work to create custom images for every resource. It still takes energy to write good stuff. And you know what? It’s still fun.

I don’t want to trade in the hard work for some super magical unreal formula for success. Hahahahahaha. The concept of a formula for success is ridiculous. Maybe math works the same way every time, maybe a science experiment always has the same results, but a life, content that comes from your heart, the Internet, they don’t play out the same way for everyone. They just don’t.


4. They don’t accurately report their income.

Y’all. It’s most likely because they really don’t know any better, so I don’t say this to be rude, but . . .

Some people are literally using made up accounting methods in their income reports. There are two generally accepted accounting methods: cash-based accounting and accrual-based accounting (a.k.a. the cash method and the accrual method). I’ll explain them briefly.

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What to Send to Your Email List and How to Create the Wow Factor

June 24, 2015

If you’re like any business Internet human ever, you’ve probably wondered about what to send to your email list. (Wait, you do have an email list, don’t you?)

Email has a much higher engagement rate than social media and can be easily personalized. So let’s explore what you can send to your email list, how and why to “up your email game” and create wow, the types of things you can send out as free email gifts, encouraging email list signups, building a coming soon page, and more.

Our emails aren’t quick notes we’ve dashed off in Mailchimp, MailerLite, or ConvertKit, we use them strategically to nurture our audience and make them not only want to stay on our list, but to forward those emails to their friends.

What if you received replies to your emails like these? (Actual responses we’ve received, by the way.)

“I just wanted to let you know that I have learned so much from you over the past few years and appreciate all of your clear and no-nonsense teaching. When your emails pop into my box – I immediately open them because I know they’ll be filled with amazing goodness!”

“Thank you for this most excellent email. One of the best I’ve ever read! Full of great information.”

“This is pretty much my favorite email you’ve sent yet.  Well, since I’ve been receiving your emails, I mean. I haven’t seen EVERY email you’ve ever sent in your life, but of the ones I have seen, this is definitely my favorite so far.”

Is our audience the greatest of all time? Yes. Do we work behind the scenes to create the best emails possible for them? Yes. And we want to show you how you can also woo and wow your email list.

5 things you can send to your email list:

  1. Blog to Email Method. This is a basic method where you set up an RSS feed to send your blog posts automatically to your list or even better, to a segmented part of your list that has specifically requested blog post notifications. You can use your email provider’s scheduling features to send it out the next day or at any specified time. But…this definitely shouldn’t be the only thing you send out as you can create much more excitement and value for your audience with these other methods.
  2. Newsletter Method. You can create a weekly, biweekly or monthly newsletter that includes your latest posts/podcast episodes, your favorite resources/books/Ted Talks or a roundup of events happening in your business. While you can of course invite your list to your upcoming online events, masterclasses and workshops, it’s so important to do so in an educational and value added way, rather than a salesy way with fake urgency. We’ll talk more about this below.
  3. Extra Post Method. If blogging is a part of your business, you can create an extra blog post each week (or each month) to provide one additional post to send out exclusively to your email list. Eventually you can incorporate this special content into your site or other content, but at least for a period of time, it should remain exclusive to your email list. #SuperBonus
  4. Expanded Post Method. There are three ways that you can approach the Expanded Post Method. a) Most popular. Look back through your most popular content and create a second part of one of your most popular posts just for your email list. You can expand it by elaborating through a story, an extra case study or a video tutorial. b) Save the end for the email. While you’re writing a post and realize that the content just seems to write itself or it’s going to be a much more thorough post than you expected, you can save some of that content for the email c) Create an epic intro in the email. As with b above, when you’ve created a longer or particularly epic post, you can create an irresistible lead in via email. Make sure that the email itself is always valuable (read: they can still get value from it without having to click through to your blog.)
  5. Opposite Post Method. Send out something via email that’s DIFFERENT than your usual content. If your content is usually practical, provide something inspiring, motivational or personal. If you normally provide uplifting and motivational content, provide pragmatic tutorials or steps to accomplish something. Your audience may appreciate the change up.

Here’s what not to do…send sales emails. If the only time you find yourself sending emails to your list is when you’re selling something, they’ll unsubscribe. So when you write, think to yourself, “How can I help my audience?” not “How can I sell to my audience?”

Bonus tips

  1. Treat your emails like blog posts. They need to be on brand, well planned out, thoughtfully written, and…dare I say it? Epic.
  2. Edit the heck out of your emails. With blog posts, we can go back and edit them (and often do) but with emails, once you hit send, that typo lives out there in Inbox Land forever.
  3. Watch your language! Check your wording for heavy handed salesy or promotional language that may turn off your reader.

Increase your Wow Factor

You can delight and wow your audience by paying attention to little details that improve their experience with you and your brand.

Create custom on brand images for your emails that add to their value. Strong branding may remind them to go check out your blog or website, download that free checklist (that leads them to your online event), or sign up for your masterclass.

If you’re teaching something in the email (and we’re big fans of providing epic instructional content in our emails), relevant images that help your reader quickly visualize your content will help them learn faster, as well as make your emails stand out above the crowd.

Do you have a few more ideas of what you can send to your email list? What can you add to those emails to create your own brand’s wow factor? We’d love to hear!
Photo (c): Aila Images of Stocksy.com