Producing Audios for Information Marketers and Authors
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When most authors think about producing an audio for their books they think about recording a verbatim copy of their books in audio form. They will sit in front of a microphone and READ their written material into an audio device. For many fiction authors this is a great choice. For NON fiction authors I think it is the WRONG way to go.
Non fiction authors need to understand that the book is the beginning and not the end of their PRODUCT FUNNEL. The book is the beginning of that product funnel, and authors will make their BIG money from everything that comes after the book.
Another important thing to remember is that anything you produce and sell to your audience should not have more than a 20% overlap in content. Nothing will anger your customers more than buying your book and then getting a hold of an audio program that is merely you reading the book. UNLESS you let them know that THAT is what they are getting.
A number of years back I got a “package” from a well known guru. The package that I bought consisted of a three ring bound manual, and a set of audio CDs. I first went through and read the manual. Carefully. A week or so later, I put the audio CDs in the car and started listening to them on a trip.
Much to my chagrin they were an EXACT DUPLICATE of the material that was in his manual. This would have been fine IF and ONLY IF he had told me in the sales letter that this was the case. Since he did not, I expected it to be new and different material. It was not. I was unhappy at having been TRICKED into thinking it was. I returned the material for a full refund.
The problem in this example is that you can’t misrepresent what you’re selling. From the sales copy for the PACKAGE, I thought I was getting two different sets of material. Instead I was getting the SAME material but in a different FORM. This is trickery that your customers will not tolerate. They are too smart for that.
The reason this happened is that there are a lot of people out their preaching the concept of REPURPOSING. Don’t be conned into thinking this is the right thing to do. You know your topic and can certainly come up with great material that will not substantially overlap with other material that you’ve produced.
That being said if you DO want to produce an audio program that is essentially you reading a book that you’ve done, then TELL people! No one will have a problem with THAT approach. People WILL have a problem when you try and assert that something they are getting is DIFFERENT than something else they have or may buy, when it in fact, is NOT.
My rule of thumb is to NEVER produce an audio (or any product for that matter) that has more than 20% previously used material. UNLESS I let people know. The key here is in explaining to people exactly what they are getting. Without deception. IF you succeed in “fooling” people, it will only happen once and they will be permanently annoyed.
When you do decide to produce audio programs you have three basic choices. Your first is to sit in a room or studio and talk into a microphone. No matter who you are and how pleasant your voice is, this is NOT a good strategy. You will end up boring them if the program is more than an hour.
Your second audio option is to record a live event. This is a GREAT choice IF you follow some basic rules. First, make sure that the audience is properly miked to allow their questions to be heard on audio.
Second, always make sure that you, or whomever is speaking repeats the questions from the audience. This will make sure that everyone can clearly hear the question that was asked. Even if the audience is properly miked.
This is one of the two options I suggest you use. The other suggested option follows.
The third option is the interview format. I do a LOT of interviews myself. To date, I’ve done close to 2,000 interviews of experts in various fields. Many of these have been recorded.
In order to do the BEST interview audio program you can, start with a good outline I would NEVER suggest that you WRITE out all of your questions and script the answers to your questions with your interview subject. Many people do it that way. To me, interviews done that way sound CANNED and are much less effective.
Instead, start with a basic outline. Ask your subject questions and then follow up with them as if you were having a conversation with a friend sitting at Starbucks. In most cases it will be YOU who is the expert. Make sure you find someone to interview you who understands and has experience in this process. If not, it won’t work nearly as well.
Feel free to contact me if you like.
For hints in this particular area, you may want to take a look at: www.ExpertInterviewer.com. This program will provide you with many GREAT tips on how to do what I’m describing here.
The next question that I usually get at all of my speeches and seminars is what type of equipment I use and, what kind of equipment you should or must use. The answer will disappoint you. IT DEPENDS!
Remember that the MAIN issue here is the CONTENT of your audio program, not whether or not it was recorded on a specific type of equipment. For your first few audio programs I suggest you do NOT invest in any fancy new equipment. Instead, take your computer and use it’s built in mike with a free audio recording program like Audacity (it’s both Mac and PC).
Audacity can be downloaded at: audacity.sourceforge.net/download
Using this free program and your own computer you can produce a DECENT audio recording that you can make available for sale in either a physical or digital fashion. As you make more money you can consider additional more expensive tools, but for now, that will be fine!
The next logical question is in what FORM to sell your program. I suggest you offer it to people in both physical and downloadable form. For your downloadable version you’ll want to use MP3 format. This is the defacto standard for downloadable audio and is perfect for voice recordings.
To produce your physical audio program, I suggest you use a service called Kunaki. Rather than try and figure it out yourself, contact my friend Shawn Kelly. He goes by the moniker “The Kunaki Guy” and can be fouled at the website: www.TheKunakiGuy.com.
This service allows you to upload your MP3 file and have Kunaki produce and ship any audios that people order. This allows you to not have to worry about production and fulfillment. You can concentrate on sticking to the CONTENT, which is what you should be worrying about.
You’ll also want to get a copy of WebMarketingMagic (www.WebMarketingMagic.com) to be able to take credit cards and sell the downloadable version of of your file.
Now, ALL you have to do is start SELLING! That’s when the FUN really starts!