Many first-time internet marketers are familiar with this scenario: you type in the following search expressions in Google or your favorite search engine, and then promptly drown in the results.
- ecommerce, ecommerce web hosting, ecommerce store
- online business, ebusiness
- web hosting,online store, sell online
- affiliate marketing, network marketing
You already know how much free material is available out there (filtered from all the spam, hard-sell offers and one-time ONLY, get it NOW landing pages) on the internet.
You’ve definitely downloaded ebooks, PDF’s and audio-files (and probably even videos), signed up for newsletters and alerts, and bookmarked those “guru” sites. Then stalled as your brain froze from the massive data-dump required.
If you’ve already established a stable internet presence in your niche, you can give your customers added value and the chance to go on their own and support themselves by sharing your experience in the business. Cooperation, not competition, is the key.
How can you share what you know in our fast-forward world?
As visual creatures we learn fastest when we see something being done. Reading is very good for in-depth examination and explanations, but to get the information you need the fastest, watching, followed by listening, is the best method. Ergo: make videos and podcasts.
The software and equipment needed to do so makes it very easy. Basically, all you need is a free version of screen recording software and a microphone for the voice-over. If your laptop has an built-in video camera, you can use that. For basic editing a free program like Windows Movie Maker allows you to splice out awkward pauses and make smooth transitions.
A lot of the videos created today are done with commercial software like Camtasia ( which comes with a 30-day trial version), which are popular for their ease of use and the extra features they contain. There are programs available which let you to put yourself in a virtual set using the well-known “green screen” effect.
Video adds a very useful dimension to the learning process because many people are visual learners. If customers can see how a process works they are much more likely to remember it and be able to put it into practice themselves.
The main disadvantage to video-making used to be portability. E-book print-outs can be read anywhere, an especially useful characteristic when you’re in a place without internet access (commute or ferry-ride, anyone?). In the same vein, sound files can be listened to while driving, or copied to an mp3 player and used in many situations: again, while commuting, or working out, or even doing the laundry/household chores.
It used to be that if you wanted to watch video files, you tended to be tied to your computer. Now, with the proliferation of netbooks, multipurpose phones, PSPs and portable media players, you can offer your lessons in formats that your customers can take anywhere.
The most common format for files like these is the .flv (Flash Video) format. Fortunately, there are free conversion programs which can convert these to formats which can be used with an mp4 player. One disadvantage is that it can take a while for the conversion, especially if you have a large number of files. Even better though, the newest media players are capable of playing multiple formats without having to convert various files, even .flv. The reality of mobile learning is something you and your customers can explore to the best of your abilities so you can all enjoy a more fruitful life .
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