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How to Create a GREAT Audio Program

Information Marketing

People like to learn in different ways. One of those ways is by listening. As an information marketer, YOU need to create audio programs for your customers and prospects.

For the moment, let’s not talk about pricing. First, let’s talk about HOW to do an audio program correctly.

When most people think about audio programs they FIRST think about audio books. The most popular site for audio programs is a place called Audible, like other similar sites, sells audio programs where someone is READING a physical book. Sometimes you get the complete book and other times you get a shortened, or abridged version.

If you have a book, this is certainly something you’ll want to do. If you can get that audio book picked up and carried by Audible, even better. Doing so will get a lot of people exposed to your book in audio form.

BUT, as an information marketer, this is not where you’ll make your “BIG” money.

The “experts” who sell information products may sell audio versions of their books but they ALSO do something else.

I’ve been marketing and selling audio programs for over 25 years. I started producing and selling them LONG before I wrote my first book. The reason was that audio programs are SIMPLE and EASY to do.

The first thing to remember is that you do NOT have to make them PERFECT. When you listen to programs from or a similar source, you will notice that they have impeccable sound. They have also been recorded in a sound proof studio. Every section is introduced and ended with a music track.

You do NOT have to do this with YOUR audio programs.

I have an expression that I use every time I teach any kind of program related to marketing and selling information. The line is: DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to intentionally make the audio program crappy. Nor am I suggesting you do so. Instead, I’m trying to make sure it gets DONE. That’s my top first priority. Although I use a pretty good audio recorder, I don’t take the time and/or effort to go into a studio. In the past, I’ve used a very simple audio recording device to do all my programs.

Many programs that I produced on a simple recording device sold THOUSANDS of copies.

The key to understanding my philosophy is that you FIRST have to think about the folks who will be buying your audio programs. Will they be entrepreneurs or “corporate” types. If you’re producing for scrappy entrepreneurs, they won’t need the FANCY production quality that folks in large corporations will expect.

Entrepreneurs will be MOST concerned about your CONTENT! If that’s the case, how do you make sure your content is not just good, but GREAT?

Keep reading.

You must START with a really good outline. A good outline is the key to a great audio program, as it is with ANY info product.

A good outline lays out the entire subject matter in a logical manner. I suggest that you spend a good deal of time during the outlining stage. This will help in making sure you produce the BEST audio possible. When putting it together, make sure not to leave out any steps. If you do, people will get frustrated and confused.

When your outline is complete, show it to a few select friends and ask them if they can understand the outline alone. It should “READ” like a very simple manual for HOW TO DO whatever your topic is.

An outline is used when you intend to do an audio INTERVIEW program. When it comes to audio, you have three basic choices.

The first way is to record a live seminar or event. When you do a seminar or other presentation, you have already prepared an outline of what you are going to say. So the outline is done. The next thing to do is make sure that both you and any audience members who ask questions are properly “miked”.

This would mean that not only do YOU have a microphone picking up your presentation, but anyone who asks a question is going to be recorded PROPERLY as well.

There is nothing more frustrating for the listener than to have to TRY and STRAIN to hear what a person in the audience is saying when asking a question.

The second way to create an audio program, which I do NOT recommend is to sit in a sound booth or on your office and talk into a microphone using your outline. No matter how eloquent you are as a speaker, this will BORE your listener after a few minutes.

Audio programs are BEST done the third way. This is where you have a savvy and knowledgeable interviewer go through your outline and ask you questions. I have done this myself over 2,000 times as the interviewer. I love doing it. Feel free to contact me if you’d like me to be YOUR interviewer.

If you choose to go this route, then make sure and find someone who knows how to do this. Don’t assume that just because someone has been in radio or has a nice, pleasant sounding voice, that they are the right pick. This would be a mistake. Instead, you want someone who has THOSE qualities but also knows HOW to interview and ask questions.

I have a REALLY good program I’ve done on this topic. You may wan to take a look at Expert Interviewer.

Once your interview is complete you now have a choice. You can leave it as is or do some editing work. I NEVER do any editing. If they dog barks, it stays in. If a cell phone goes off, I don’t worry about it being in the recording.

This works for ME because of the market I’m serving. The SCRAPPY ENTREPRENEUR doesn’t mind hearing this in an audio program and it would not increase my sales to spend my time editing.

This may NOT be true for you. You’ll need to judge your audience to determine if editing a program makes sense for you and the market(s) you target.

For me, it’s almost become a “trademark” for my programs. People find that when they hear a dog bark on my program it almost IDENTIFIES the program as one of my own. I have kind of BRANDED myself this way. It may sound odd, but it’s true. My very casual approach appeals to my market. Big time.

Now that the audio program is complete you have two things left to think about. Packaging and fulfillment.

For packaging AND fulfillment of physical audio programs I use a company called Kunaki. The best way to use this program is to get in touch with Sean Kelly. He goes by the name: The Kunaki Guy. Sean will set you up, or, if you like you can do it yourself. His service is both inexpensive and very quick if you choose to use him.

Kunaki is a completely automated system. It allows you to upload your own audio (and video) files onto their server. Once you do that you can select from a number of templates or upload your own file for your covers. When you’re done, Kunaki will now print and mail orders that come in. I’m over simplifying a bit here to save space, but trust me, it’s extremely easy. And again, if you need help, contact Sean.

Fulfillment is the process of getting your finished audio into the hands of your buyers. Kunaki takes care of physical products. AND, if you want to ship the products yourself, you can have Kunaki knock out 100 of them and send them to you and YOU can do your own shipping and mailing.

I would NOT recommend this. I used to do it and it’s a royal pain in the butt. A lot of time for very little compensation. Have someone else do this! It’s cheap and will allow you to spend your time worrying about producing more great audio programs.

My preferred method of fulfilling audios is to make them available in downloadable form for my customers. After I record my programs I upload them to my Web Marketing Magic system. The system is set up to digitally deliver programs that I sell.

I would HIGHLY recommend that you get your own copy of Web MarketingMagic to do this. Yes, I do get a “piece of the action” when you use this system, but it is the best one out there for this purpose. YOU don’t pay anything additional as a customer to use it just because I’m getting paid!!

You can produce free audios programs in the same way. It’s your decision if you want to charge for your programs and HOW MUCH. The process remains the same.

There you have it. The complete process for producing, packaging and fulfilling an audio program. Make sure to make any comments or ask any questions. I’ll be happy to answer them. Don’t be shy! By asking your questions you’ll be helping others who read this article!

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10 Responses to “How to Create a GREAT Audio Program”

  1. Benjamin Warsinske on February 13th, 2011 12:58 am

    Fred, thanks for breaking out the process of creating an audio program. What kind of recording device do you use or would recommend using? I have seen many different examples, but wonder what you think.

  2. Fred Gleeck on February 13th, 2011 1:12 am

    Benjamin, I’ve used a lot of different devices and have reviewed a few of them elsewhere on the site. I use a Marantz PMD 660 for most audio interviews. That’s IF I’m at home here in Vegas. When I’ve traveling, I NOW use the Zoom H1 audio recorder which I reviewed a month or so back. Check it out and THANKS for the comments. Best, Fred

  3. Benjamin Warsinske on February 13th, 2011 1:28 am

    Thanks for the quick reply Fred. I’ll check that out thanks.

  4. Fred Gleeck on February 13th, 2011 1:35 am

    Benjamin: Sad to say that I’m on my computer a LOT of the time!! Fred

  5. Joe Benjamin on May 14th, 2011 12:27 pm

    Hey Fred
    When creating an audio ‘How To’ program do you have a template that can be used to follow… Say if you are going yo talk for one hour about ‘how to overcome fear’ … are there any essential steps?

  6. Fred Gleeck on May 18th, 2011 4:51 pm

    Joe, unfortunately if there WERE a template I would lose a lot of money from those I consult with. Every product you create needs to be individually looked at and considered. What does your audience NEED and what FORM do they need it in. As far as product length, starting out with a pre-determined time (like 1 hour) doesn’t make much sense. What you’re putting together may need 15 minutes. OR, it may need 3 hours. Let the material determine length of a product for best results.

  7. Mia Sherwood Landau on February 16th, 2012 2:42 pm

    I am interested in embedding audio only (not video) in a Word doc that will become a PDF, in order to sell/distribute the PDF. Do you have any recommendations for this process? Will links in a Word doc be stable in the conversion to a PDF? Thanks, Fred!

  8. Fred Gleeck on March 14th, 2012 4:22 pm

    Mia, Sorry it took me so long to respond. I missed this comment. My apologies. As a MAC person, I have NO idea how to work with MS Word. I only use Pages from Apple these days. I’d Google it and see what others say!

  9. Bonnie Schnautz on August 2nd, 2012 6:01 pm

    This article was so helpful. I have been struggling with creating a home study program for past year and needed this direction. Love your casual approach. I definitely will be following your work to learn more. Thank you.

  10. mihaela on December 26th, 2012 9:50 pm

    Fred, I loved your article and your “getting it done” mantra. I just started my life coaching practice for divorced moms and have a ton of ecourses in the pipeline, but wondered how to make audio products – then I found you :-). My question is do the audio programs have to be “materialized” into CDs, or can they just be a download? This cuts out the “fulfillment” part, without making them less fulfilling :-)…
    Thanks, Mihaela

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