How To Negotiate Anything ...

Negotiation is easy providing three conditions are met:

  1. The person you're negotiating with is reasonable and is open to working towards an equitable outcome (though this can be worked around)
  2. You know the rules
  3. You can completely divest yourself emotionally from the negotiation

I'll talk about (1) as I go through this, but suffice to say if people don't want to negotiate - especially on eBay - there's not much you can do about it.

Let's talk about 2 - the rules.


Successful negotiation requires a win-win mentality.

If you or the other party have an attitude of "screw the other person" - you're either both going to miss out, or one of you is going to get screwed.

Of course it's great if you can get an amazing deal, but it's much easier to get to that point if the other party feels like they've been treated with respect.

A win-win attitude means listening to the other party, understanding their concerns and exploring options for a deal that will suit them and you.

Hidden in that last sentence is the key to negotiation mastery - listening.

Analyse the negotiator

There are very few deals that are as simple as they first seem.

Your negotiating partner will have a list of wants, needs, preferences and biases that are your job to uncover.

This is done through asking smart questions, and putting your negotiating partner at ease so they reveal their negotiating variables.

  • Is a quick sale important?
  • Have they got other things that are worthless to them that might sweeten the deal?
  • Is how they pay important?
  • Why are they asking for the price they want? Why are they emotionally attached to it?

The more you ask, and the more they reveal, the more cards you have to play with to do a deal.

Know your negotiable variables

Before you enter a negotiation, you should have a concrete idea of what YOUR negotiating variables are.

  • Will you accept less for cash in hand?
  • Would you pay more if new information is revealed?

The idea with knowing your negotiating variables (and your partners) is being able to play these "cards" when you are gridlocked.

Also, make sure you go into negotiations with an ABSOLUTE MAXMIUM you are prepared to pay for an item, or conversely the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM you will accept on a sale.

This ties in to my third point above - being able to emotionally divest yourself from a negotiation.

That's not always easy to do, but it means taking a step back and being rational about a deal.

Your best negotiations will be the ones you're happy to lose.

If you can enter a negotiation without getting emotionally attached to it (e.g. an item you want) you'll stay cooler, and be able to walk away easier.

Your partner will also sense either your desperation for an item, or that your interest in the negotiation is serious but not "your only option"

An example of a negotiation I was very emotionally invested in was selling my old car.

We'd recently bought a new $43k Mazda and had an old, clapped out Hyundai double parked in our driveway.

I wanted shot of it, and assumed it would get picked up via a car sales website here in Australia.

Thing is - EVERYONE wants rid of old cards, so it's a buyers market.

I initially listed it at about $200 over the average sale price for similar cars, so my first price reduction (to the average) looked like a discount but simply brought it in line with the average price.

However, six weeks later and a further $400 discounted it wasn't shifting. Combine that we me finding out the battery had died ($140 to replace) and the extended time eating into the six months of paid up car registration I'd advertised, and I was starting to get jittery.

When a buyer finally contacted me, after a quick test drive the deal came.

This was a no-nonsense sort of guy.

HIM: "How much was it?"

ME: "$2400"

He looked me straight in the eye, and says "$2000"

I tried a typical negotiating ploy:

ME: "I've already discounted it .. you've got a new battery ... can we meet in the middle at $2200?"

Without flinching, he repeated his offer: "$2000"

There was no reason to negotiate. I would have taken $1700 if he offered it. 

I mumbled a bit and feigned my displeasure and accepted the offer.

This is a negotiation where the buyer got exactly the price he wanted - and I walked away with less.

Your view of failure in negotiation depends on what is important to you.

In my mind, there is no loss in accepting a lower offer for something I would have considered paying to be towed for scrap within a few more weeks.

Buying on eBay

When it comes to buying on eBay - where I can, I avoid auctions (a whole different topic) and look for items with "Make An Offer" on the listing.

This means the seller is open to doing a deal to get rid of what they are selling.

eBay will give you the ability to enter an offer price and a message to the seller, and if they accept you're on the hook for the item exactly as if you had won it at auction.

Making an successful offer in this way is mainly dependant on one thing - knowing the value of the product

To find it's value, you need to search eBay for the item with the option to only view "Sold Listings"

This will give you the market value of what you're interested in, based on what others are paying.

There is no point making an offer that's much less than the median price of what you see in sold listings.

If there are a lot of sales at similar prices - great, you can negotiate without worrying about missing out.

If there are no sales shown, or the item is rare and listed very infrequently - you've got a bigger problem. Usually this will mean the item is at auction, as the seller will want to capitilise on a rare item.

Long story short, patience is your best friend as a bidder. If you can walk away from an offer knowing another one is available or likely to come up within a short time period, you're good.

"Make an offer" is a tell - the seller is giving away the fact that they want rid of the item - but don't equate this with the seller accepting a fair price.

Apart from the ridiculously overpriced items you'll find on eBay, the prices people do put on their items are emotionally important to them - it's what THEY think their stuff is worth. 

When you come in with a lower offer, you're effectively saying "Your stuff is worth less to me than it is to you," so remember the seller's state of mind. 

No one wants to pay more than they think something is worth, and no one wants to accept less than what they think their stuff is worth.

The offer message

Armed with the knowledge of sold listings, I'll typically send a message like this with the offer price:

Hi, interested in your XYS item, I've checked sold listings on eBay and can see these are typically selling at $price, so I hope you consider this a fair offer. 

If not no worries, I'll wait for another listing.

Thank you

If the price the seller wants is several orders of magnitude greater than the typical sale price, this won't work.

If you are coming in around the median sale price, this will work most of the time. 

If folks reject your offer, consider offering 5% more, otherwise wait for another one to come along.

If the item is rare, just get in your head the MAXIMUM you are prepared to pay, first offer what you THINK is a reasonable starting price, and see what the response is.

If the offer is rejected, try halfway between your initial offer and you maximum, and then finally your maximum (with "final offer"). In each case you'll get responses from the seller ranging from irritation at your offer to some willingness to accept a higher offer. If you can ask questions about the state of the item, shipping details or other factors do so if you think it will help.

Most importantly - appear human. Drop anecdotes and personal information without giving away and emotional desperation on your part. 

Sound bites like "My kid really likes these things" will make you appear less like someone trying to screw someone around and easier to deal with. I'd only use language like that if it were obvious there were "other options" I could purchase for the kid in question.

Negotiating with Buyers - Real World Example

Below is an example of a negotiation I did with a buyer on eBay.

It's a great example because there were a lot of factors at play that affected the "cards I played," and also because both then buyer and I were happy with the outcome.

I've removed some personal information to anonymise the buyer and the items, you'll get the idea.

This begin based on a set of 16 similar items I had on auction at the same time, each ending 15 minutes apart.

I use this strategy to increase bidder traffic (and thus bidders) across multiple items, inter-linking the 16 items to generate more interest. It usually results in bidders that buy multiple items.

On the auction day, about 9 items went unsold so I had them automatically relist for the following week.

So the following week, 5 had sold and I received this message from a buyer who had bid and won on just one of the items:

Hi, am interested in the 4 other (REMOVED) items you have for auction ... was wondering if you'd consider doing the lot (including this one) for $160 including postage to (LOCATION REMOVED). If so, just adjust the postage after the the hours up.

So let's look at the negotiation from this starting point. 

At the outset, the buyer has made two mistakes.

Firstly, he's already bid and won on one item - this means he's on the hook for that at a minimum, with the postage costs on top should this negotiation fall through. This weakens his position in offering a price on all five items including postage costs.

Secondly, he's made the first move with a price, where he could have asked me "how low I would go." 

For all he knew I may have offered LESS, or given him a price he could work down from.

In any case his offer was very low, so no matter.

On my side, he knows I'm looking at four items that have gone unsold. 

I obviously want rid of them. 

If he's been following along, he may well have been looking at these the week before and know they've now gone unsold twice.

Here's my response:

ok so I'm assuming you're interested in these ones which are relisted

Item 1 - $100
Item 2 - $30
Item 3 - $40
Item 4 - $20

You've won the (Item 5) at $15 & postage.

I'd certainly be interested in selling them all but that's a very low offer from my perspective.

Appreciate these didn't sell, however I'm in no rush to sell them so figured I'd just shelve them for a few months after today.

To give you an idea on bidding prices, I searched sold listings for each of these and the prices are a little lower than what previous auctions had sold for in each case.

If you're still interested and want to make another offer I'd be glad to hear from you.


Let's pick apart my thinking:

First, I clarify what items he wants because it wasn't clear, and in doing so list the auction prices each item had. This helps re-inforce their individual value from my perspective.

I point out he's already won one item, and is on the hook for postage. 

Because he had won that item, I already had his address and was able to calculate postage costs for all five items.

So, if he had paid asking price plus postage for all five items he would have paid $230. Of course, they didn't sell so that's only what I wanted for them, but where I'd hope to move him closer towards.

I am of course, happy to be rid of all five items at a lower price so I'm open to negotiate - not that I need to reveal all of this.

Continuing my message, I dangle the hook of being open to a deal, but politely reject his offer, without giving a counter offer.

This is powerful, but risks ending the negotiation. By saying the offer is "very low" he has no idea what I'll accept, so may get scared off and walk away. These are dice you have to decide how to roll for yourself carefully.

I then state I'm in no rush to sell, in the same way I explained earlier about how you should be in no desperation to buy - happy to do a deal, but if it's not right - happy to walk away. 

All this just lets the buyer know my state of mind.

Next I throw in the same "sold listings" logic I apply to buying - using this argument helps me justify why these items are worth more than he's offering.

In the end - it's irrelevant - they're only worth what he's willing to pay, and I'm willing to sell at; but these kinds of arguments can help the other party reconsider their position.

He may have done his own research based off that comment, or he may have ignored it completely, but there's no harm in letting the other side know where you're coming from. 

If your price starts to sound more reasonably thought out, it's harder to mount a counter-offer without looking stupid or insulting.

Lastly, I leave the option open for him to re-offer.


A terse response to my wordy reply - this tells me he's not desperate for this deal either and/or , and is probably close to how much he's willing to pay. 

Nevertheless, he's moved from $70 short of my asking price to $50 short at the $230 total.

My response:

So with Postage to you this totals $230. If you're happy to split the difference I can offer $205. If you can pay the balance via PP I'll accept $195

I re-frame the transaction to the total of my items, which I had purposefully avoided before. 

This also lets me deploy the "split the difference" argument - meeting half way between his offer and mine. This is a great strategy because of it's inherent fairness - it's hard to disagree with an offer that both sides equitably pay for.

Remember I'm doing this on his COUNTER offer, not his original offer which is another little sleight of hand.

I'm saying split the difference and I'll accept $205, $45 over his initial offer.

He won't want to pay this.

Because of this risky maneouvre, I tie in the final condition - offering a further $10 off if he pays via PayPal - the "PP" is a shorthand for this so eBay don't pick it up and intercept my attempt to move the transaction OFF eBay.

Why is this important?

Two words - Seller fees.

In Australia, eBay whack sellers with a whopping 9% final listing fee which means if he pays me $200, I see $182 in the bank.

By moving the transaction out of eBay, I can save this fee and come out better, so I use this as an offer for a cheaper price. $195 splits my savings on the seller fees approximately 50-50 with him, and gives a final price closer to his last offer.

His response:

ok, 195 (I'm assuming you mean paypal)... that's a fair deal in the end!

The key words here are all in his response - a fair deal.

He's happy, I'm happy.

It's important to have a bit of to-and-fro in negotiations - EVEN IF YOU"RE HAPPY WITH THE FIRST OFFER.

If you make an offer to buy something and the seller quickly say "YES!" - you'll often walk away wondering if you paid too much. 

Conversely, whether your offer was good or not, the seller will walk away kicking themselves for not negotiating a better offer with you - whether you had more to pay or not.

By entering into the spirit of a negotiation, finding out where the best price for a deal really lies, you can often walk away with a better deal that the other party feels good about - even if they've actually "lost."

In the end, I entered a negotiation from a position that best case would have netted me $209 (minus fees) if the items had sold at auction.

Through that quick back and forth, I ended up with $195 (7% less) from a starting offer of $160 (24% less).

Where to find out more

Pretty much everything I know about negotiation I learnt from one book - "How To Negotiate Anything," by the great Herb Cohen. He wrote a good follow up as well (Negotiate This), and every other book I've read on the subject didn't add much to Herb's excellent work.

Cohen negotiated the release of 52 hostages from Iran during the Carter administration, and continued to negotiate for many companies before working as a keynote speaker and with the FBI.

I'll leave you with a quote from me:

"Patience is a negotiator's greatest asset"

And a far better one from Herb:

"People work for what they want but invariably want what they've worked for".

Video Sales Letters - The Complete Guide

In this article, you'll learn -

  • What a Video Sales Letter is (and isn't)
  • Why they work 
  • When to use them
  • How to create them

What is a Video Sales Letter?

In it's most basic form, a video sales letter (or VSL) is simply a long-form sales letter converted to video.

Unlike many sales videos and video advertisements you've seen, a VSL usually consists of just text.

The easiest way to understand this format is to think of it as the written copy being read out to you as you read along line by line.

When a copywriter produces a sales letter, they're trying to ensure that every line you read makes you want to read the next.

It's a key component to crafting effective copy.

Creating a VSL is like taking each of these lines of the sales copy and putting them on screen one at a time.

Why They Work

Video Sales Letters make it easier to communicate a marketing message.

Instead of a customer having to read and scroll through pages of text, they can sit back and simply listen to the copy being read out to them.

At the same time, the narrated-text-on-screen approach means they're consuming the same message through two separate modalities - eyes and ears.

This is huge, because it means you've got far more of their attention than if they're just scanning copy or listening to an audio track separately.

Additionally, just hearing the voice of the person reading the offer increases your trustworthiness.

Like any piece of marketing, a VSL is only as good as the content within it. VSL's won't fix a bad offer or poor copy, but they can increase conversions in many cases.

When to use them

Despite the many different opinions on whether VSL's are the right thing to use, there's only one real answer - 

Do they test better than written copy?

Some markets hate VSL's, some don't. Sometimes they work on cold prospects, other times they work better on warm prospects from a list.

The only way to tell is to create one and split test it against your copy.

Luckily, it's very easy to create VSL's using simply software you've already got on your computer.

VSL's can be used anywhere, for any purpose where you'd like to elicit a response from your visitor.

Here's some examples:

  • Use them on your thank you pages to get users taking a follow up action
  • Use them on your customer support pages to answer FAQ's
  • Create automated Webinars based on them.

How to create them

The easiest way to create a VSL is using a slideshow program like Powerpoint or Keynote as a basis for your video.

Grab your sales copy and break is up into chunks. Easiest way to do this getting a word processor and then changing the font size until you get about 15 words or so per line.

Simply cut each line of text and paste it on a new slide.

You'll then need some way of converting the slides to video. Here's your options -

1. Screen record

Using software like Camtasia or Screenflow, you can launch your slideshow, and simply narrate the text back on each slide and advance to the next. This will get you a screen recording of your whole presentation, but it's far from my favorite method.

Whilst this is easy in theory, I find you can end up with un-natural breaks between each slide where your vocals should be a continuous slide. Invariably, you never end up with the best result with this because you end up having a read the script and advance the slides at the same time.

If you make mistakes, you may have to start again or edit them out at the end.

Of course, with this method yo'uve also got to invest in screen recording software as well.

2. Audio First

With Powerpoint, you can insert an audio file on slide 1 and have it play back across your whole presentation.

With Powerpoint 2010, you can save the entire presentation to video from within Powerpoint itself.

That means all you need to do is record your audio track and synchronise the slides with the audio.

Here's a video I made (old but still relevant in 2016) on how to do this:

There's still some "manual" work with this approach, but it saves you on screen recording costs.


Video Sales Letters are generally good for most businesses - they add an interactive element to your marketing you can't 

Find out about our Video Sales Letter software

If you want to create great VSL's really quickly, check out our software One Hour Video Studio (for Powerpoint) which lets you -

  • Automate VSL slide creation based on your script
  • Rapidly synchronises your audio narration with your script
  • Provides complete control over video export from Powerpoint up to 4K resolution

Find out more

How To Rapidly Create Camtasia Tutorial Series

Please note this training series is now available as a members only product

In this training series I'm going to teach you the entire process I use to record, edit and produce videos with Camtasia in the shortest amount of time possible.

This is especially relevant to you if you create or plan to create courses, training series or lectures where you intend to produce multiple screen recording tutorials, this is going to save you hours and hours of time by cutting out repetitive and time consuming tasks - you are going to be amazed at how much quicker you'll be able to make Camtasia tutorials after going through this training.

This process is all about getting 10 or more high quality videos produced in the shortest amount of time possible, using some techniques I've developed over the last few years after making hundreds and hundreds of tutorials with Camtasia.

This series is going to totally change how you make Camtasia, it's going to enable you to produce videos, far, far quicker than you currently do and get an incredible level of quality across those videos.

  1. Overview
  2. How to Prepare for Screen Recording Sessions
  3. How to Record your Computer Screen with Camtasia Recorder
  4. How to Create a Project in Camtasia
  5. Audio Editing
  6. Rapid Video Editing
  7. Zoom-n-Pan
  8. How to add Callouts
  9. Create Intros with Powerpoint
  10. Post Production Tricks
  11. Add a Watermark
  12. Export High Quality Video
  13. Create a Production Preset
  14. Batch Produce Videos

To begin, here's a quick overview video that explains more about what you'll learn in this series


This series is now a paid product, which you can access here

How To Create a Youtube Channel

In this series, I'm going to show you how to correctly setup a new Youtube channel so you're ready to go with all the useful hidden features you'll need to grow a successful channel, and gain subscribers and views.

Getting Started

Firstly, sign in to Youtube or create an account if necessary. Click the top right menu icon and click "Creator Studio." Next, click "Create a channel"

At this point, you can upload a photo first if you wish, but the first thing I'd recommend you click on is "To use a business or other name, click here."

Now pick a name a name for your channel - make sure it's what you want!

Next Pick a category for your channel - doesn't really matter what you pick but choose something appropriate

Watch the tutorial video below for a walkthrough of these steps - there's one for each part of this series -

Creator Studio

  In this second part, we'll take a quick look at creator studio and what you can do with it.

Upload Longer Videos, Get Custom Thumbnails and External Annotations

This is the cool part! This is where I show you how to get you the MOST POWERFUL features available to you in Youtube.

  1. Longer Videos
    This lets you upload videos longer than the 15 minute limit (but as an extra tip - don't do that, make them shorter ;)
  2. Custom Thumbnails
    Rather than surrending your thumbnail to a random frame grab Youtube will make, this will let you upload custom thumbnails which is CRITICAL for getting clicks
  3.  External Annotations
    If you have a website, you need this feature to link on-screen annotations back to your site

Upload Defaults

In this video I'll show you how to setup upload defaults, which will shave a little time off your Youtube uploads, each time you go it.

Featured Content and Branding

In this next part I show you how to get Youtube promoting your channel for you (for free) and how to apply watermark across all of your videos

Advanced Channel Setup

In this part we look at advanced channel setup options and what they can do for you.

First, you can add channel keywords which do two things - give the keywords you assign to videos extra "firepower" - by which I mean you're telling Youtube your channel and it's videos are super-relevant the terms you put in here. However, you'll only be able to add a few so pick wisely.

Secondly, channel keywords also determine whether your channel itself will show up in Youtube's search results, which you'll sometimes see happen when you search Youtube.

You can also decide whether to let Youtube show ads on your videos - disable this! If you monetise your videos ads will appear and you'll get a cut but otherwise you're distracting YOUR viewers with other people's ads

You can set your website here as the associated website Youtube will allow you to link external annotations to - VERY important if you're planning on driving traffic to your site form Youtube.

You can set whether you want channel recommendations to show on your channel - I recommend you disable this, otherwise again you'll leaking your audience to other people.

Lastly you can hide your subscriber count if you wish, which you may want to do if you're just starting out.

Channel Page Setup

To setup your channel page that viewers will see, you need to go the channel itself, which you can get to form the left side menu on Youtube's home page.

You'll see "channel tips" form Youtube, work through all of these to begin with

Now click the "edit" icon in the Channel Navigation, and enable "Browse" - this is important because you want viewers to see your videos on the channel page, not your activity feed which is less relevant

Now you can add a Section to your channel page. I'd suggest you start with Popular Videos and Uploads, but remember you won't see anything here until you've uploaded some videos

Creating Channel Art for your Youtube Channel

Follow this link for in depth guidance from Youtube on how to set your channel art up.

You'll also find more information about dimensions and formats here

  • Single 2560 x 1440 px image
  • JPG, GIF, BMP or PNG (no animated GIFs)
  • Image will be cropped and scaled for various devices
  • Dimensions have been doubled to accommodate retina displays

Next Step - Get Youtube Traffic!

Now your channel is setup, all that's left to do is create videos and build an audience.

There's obviously much, much more detail to go into, so I've created a free report you can download that goes into detail on how to grow your channel and build a business with Youtube

Click here to get Youtube Traffic Report

Can You Really Create a Video In One Hour?

We're gearing up for the launch of One Hour Video System here at HQ, and I got an email from one of our subscribers expressing doubts about the main concept - 

Will I Really Be Able To Create Videos In One Hour With This System?

The answer is absolutely yes, though it's predicated on a few factors I'll talk about in this article.

Dirty Hands

Fairly obviously, this system requires (significant) input from you. Thus, the speed you can accomplish each task in governs how quick the whole thing will take.

Our objective with the product has been two fold - 

  1. Remove / Eliminate any repetitive task that can be fully or semi-automated
  2. Provide you with tuition on how to speed up the parts that require your input.

The first video you make with this won't be done in an hour. Like any skill, the more you do it the better (and quicker) you get.

At my most "proficient" skill level, creating videos before this system would take me 2-3 hours minimum. Now I can do the same videos in less than an hour.

Some of my early YouTube videos were ridiculous ... I spent 4/5 hours on things that look "quaint" and lack energy ... we all start somewhere.

Compare those to the video that currently plays on my channel page (which is largely responsible by itself for the 3,400+ subscribers on the channel). That video took me 16 hours over two days to make. I have no hesitation in saying I could produce that now in 2 hour with this system (it includes a little screen capture work as well which is outside the scope of One Hour Video System).

As we've said in the promotional material, a two / three minute video is easily doable in under an hour. If you're creating a one hour long video with this, it's obviously going to take much longer.

But don't I need to create a longer video?

I don't know where folks got the idea that the world needs 90 minute long videos to sell stuff - it's totally wrong for a number of reasons.

Let's get a couple of exceptions out the way first - webinars and infomercials.

Webinars are great, but they're essentially glorified podcasts. They're content, designed for the purpose of providing education / in-depth value over a longer period. They are a totally different beast to the form of video that will get you far more eyeballs - short, concise informational presentations. Webinars sell stuff really well, but they take a lot of time, energy and technology to pull off correctly.

Those 30 minute infomercials you see on Sunday morning today are in a different league again, and are essentially chaining shorter videos into one longer one - notice how they repeat the same information? How many times do they ask for your credit card? That stuff works for the person stuck on the couch thinking about whether she needs the 8-piece cheese grater, it fails completely on the web - folks don't have the patience.

Why You Should Make 2-3 Minute Videos

After 10 seconds, 50% of your viewers are GONE (on average)

YouTube have published this stat, and my own stats roughly tie in with it. From the minute your viewers click play, your audience is shrinking at an initially rapid rate. People abandon videos - it's just a fact and it makes sense - They got bored. It's not relevant. They don't like your vid. Whatever. 

Your job is to make this drop off as small as possible. We teach a number of tricks on how to do this in the system, but the EASIEST thing you can do to RETAIN viewers (bar anything else) is make shorter videos! The SHORTER your video, the more folks will get to the end of it (i.e the REALLY important part where you want them to take action). 

Going "short" means you have to get focused, and means you have to write a script to pack the information in dense (which also keeps your videos more engaged).

That's why One Hour Video System ONLY supports videos based on a script, and why writing the script is one of two important parts of this process that will take you the most time.

Let's break down that 60 minutes and cover each part -

Script Writing - 10-20 mins

This is the most important part and is always the thing I spend the most time on. With a rough idea in my head and an outline, I'll have a script draft in about 6 minutes, then spend another 5 or so tweaking and tidying up. One Hour Video Studio will show you how long your script will last for (approximately) so you'll have a good idea of when you've hit the 2/3 minute mark as you write.

We cover script writing in the course, and provide a framework for how to get your script written quickly.

I hate writing sales copy - I'm not a great copywriter, I don't find it easy and it frequently takes me hours. 

For some reason I find video scripts are easy though - I know from my own experience the copy doesn't need to be as good as a sales letter, because my audio and visuals will engage SO much better than written copy alone. It's a more forgiving medium.

Lastly I'll break the script up in advance with markers with concepts of what I want on screen, or simply text I'll show directly on screen.

Audio Prep - 2 Mins

Script done, I'll load up audacity, plug the mic in and make a quick test recording to check levels.

Audio Record - 6 Mins (say two takes just for the sake of it)

A dry-run helps when reading from a script, these days I can normally wing it and hit a home run on the first take with maybe a couple of mistakes to edit out, or worst case re-record the whole thing. Either way I'm assuming they'll be pops and clicks needing removal.

Audio Clean Up - 6 mins

Now I've got a raw 2/3 minute recording I'll playback and cut out mistakes where I made them. Obviously if you're new to this and make lots of mistakes it will take longer. I still have bad days where I spew all manner of rubbish into the microphone and spend 10 minutes doing surgery on the recording. Other days I just leave slurps and "erms" in to keep it natural. One thing I can promise you is reading from a script MASSIVELY reduces the amount of mistakes you need to clean up versus "winging it".

Next I run the vocal enhancement plugin and export a WAV file which takes a minute max.

Audio Sync - 3 mins

No hanging around, I drag the audio file back into One Hour Video Studio (script still open), click "Fast Playback" and sync the script. This takes about 60% of the time your audio recording lasts for.

Powerpoint Build - 1 minute

Script synced, I now click "Produce Powerpoint," check the timings look ok, drag the "Startle" Powerpoint template in and wait for One Hour Video Studio to build the Powerpoint template.

You can render a video at this point with no further work - 40 Minute Video system?

Powerpoint Enhancement - 10-20 mins

The Powerpoint file may be ready to go, but it's going to look pretty drab without spending a little time sprucing it up, and this is the other big chunk of time your one hour will be spent on.

Getting this done quickly is all about maximizing use of a Video-aware Powerpoint template, such as the Startle template we provide with the product.

We show you how to re-brand Startle to your colors / fonts etc in the training area, then you've got a big library of visual designs you can quickly apply to each slide generated by One Hour Video Studio.

Template layouts aside, I'll spend the bulk of this time applying the odd animation effect (if I want one not included in Startle), and adding graphics (which are better than text!).

Here's the thing - you can allow this stuff to occupy your entire day, or you can implement simple design changes and get it done. The mistake folks are making (I still do it as well) is forgetting video this ISN'T a static medium - it's not like your website design that's going to be representing your brand every time a customer visits - these slides are going to be shown, then disappear. Keep the slides simple (all the Startle slides are) and let your voiceover and graphics / images do the heavy lifting.


You're done. Once you hit render the process is complete. Depending on what you've done on screen with Powerpoint (image animations will SLOW rendering big time) and what quality you've set for your output, rendering could take anywhere from 2 minutes to 2 hours. Our promise with the product is to get you up to this point, because it's where you get your time back, and can switch to another task while you wait for the render.

YouTube upload is of course optional as well, that won't take more than a couple of minutes to setup and again you can do something else while it uploads.

Great Expectations? 

You may have heard of the "Four Hour Work Week" - a fantastic book by Time Ferris that changed my outlook on lots of stuff, but like a lot of folks I was a little bit of a sucker for that elusive promise - four hours of work a week; which is of course, unrealistic once you've read the book. 

As an aside, it's interesting to note Tim didn't even write the book with that title (originally "Drug Dealing For Fun and Profit").

In my case, I'm putting my money where my mouth is -

I've made a little sales video for the product, with the product, and beneath it, I've recorded the production of that video in one hour. I've edited down the longer parts (script writing, script syncing, audio narration) so folks don't have to sit through the whole hour, but you'll see the clock on screen and see exactly what I do.

Did I prep for the video? Yes. Is it easier for me because I've been doing it a while? Yes again. On the other hand, I'm giving lengthy narration explaining what I'm doing within that hour (hence the prep!) so I think you'll cut me some slack.

The point is, you can see me do it - it will take you a few goes to get up to the same speed, but it's absolutely doable - nothing I'm doing is difficult or hard to master.

The whole point in this system is to REMOVE the tricky/awkward technical stuff that gets in the way of making video, and maximise the amount of time for you to concentrate on the part that matters - your creative vision.

Whether you spend one hour, two hours or two days on it, our goal is to provide you with a system that ensures that time will be spend on your valuable creative output, not wrestling with technology or wondering what to do next.

Over to you -

One Hour Video System

How To Get Subscribers / Views / Comments / Likes / Fame / Glory / Ad Nauseum ...

Without fail, the number 1 question I get from people is -

"How do I get Subscribers" (with "How do I Get Views" a close second)

The first thing I do when I get these questions is have a look at the channel / website of the person who's emailing me. I don't know anything about them, so I'm on a very-time-limited mission to see what they're making videos about, and who for. I'll usually be asking myself the following -

  • What does their channel page tell me about them?
  • What does the FIRST video that plays tell me about what they provide?
  • Can I quickly get an idea of what their channel is about from the first 20 seconds of the video?
  • How many videos do they have?
  • What are the TITLES of their videos (coz I'm not gonna watch all of them)
  •  Does the DESCRIPTION on their channel page tell me more about what they're about?
  • Is there a link to a website where I can find out more about them?

You would be AMAZED at the amount of people who want to know how to get subscribers and have NO VIDEOS!!!!

Small rant, skip to next section if you have videos already :)

Let's say I have a list of thousands of people's email addresses, and I can email all of them and TELL them to subscribe to your channel.

What do you think I would write?

"Hey guys, you should all subscribe to [insert channel name] on YouTube because there's NOTHING to see on it"

OK you get the point - Make some goddamn videos!!!!

Why do YOU Subscribe?

Go on YouTube now and look at the channels you subscribe to - not fricking Katy Perry or Epic Meal Time - what other smaller channels are you subscribed to?

Look at their videos (hint 1: they have videos) and ask yourself what it was that made you subscribe in the first place. Do they entertain you? Make you laugh? Educate you? Surprise you? Impress you? Why why why? (hint 2: I'm betting you watched a couple of videos before you subscribed to them)

Now think back - WHY did you click that subscribe button? What was in it for you?

Simple answer -


Understand what motivated YOU, and you can start to understand what you need to start doing to motivate OTHER PEOPLE to subscribe to your channel.

And let me be ABSOLUTELY clear - if you don't know what your channel is about, no one else will. 

If you look at your channel and ask yourself the SAME questions above that I ask when I look at channels, can you honestly tell what your OWN channel offers people?

  • Does your channel page tell visitors WHAT your channel is about?
  • Do your videos QUICKLY tell viewers WHY they will be entertained / benefit from watching the videos?
  • Are all the titles of your videos COMPELLING and enticing enough to make people click and watch?
  • Do you have AT LEAST 5 videos where viewers can get an idea of what you're about?

Get a friend or relative who doesn't know about your channel to look at it - don't tell them about it - just ask them to look at it and ask them one question - "what is my channel about?"

The answer might be tough to hear (don't be pissed with them! they'll be kinder than YouTubers!!), but this might start to make you think about what you need to do next (hint 3: define your channel)

Why do you want subscribers?

Sounds like a silly question, but get clear on your goals. Do you want a customer base you can sell to? Do you want fans who will like your material and spread the word? Do you just want a community to interact with?

What do you perceive will be different when you have 100 subscribers? 1000? 100,000? 1 Million?

The whole "subscribe to me and I'll subscribe to you" thing is utterly futile - I don't think FreddieW, Phillip De Franco or Michelle Phan spent ANY time begging for subs when they started out - they were too damn busy making incredible videos.

You can't be worrying about where the audience is before you've got the attraction sorted. It's like selling tickets to a theatre without booking an act.

How To Get Subscribers

Make at LEAST 5 (preferably 10) short videos with AWESOME titles that will attract people to watch them

If you're entertaining, do the best you can do, keep working on your talent, you've got a tough road ahead - look at what other people are doing for inspiration. If it's not working, it may be time to give up ...

If you're educating, things are a LOT easier, assuming you know what you're talking about. Deliver QUICK, concise information, don't forget your personality and make sure your videos MAKE A DIFFERENCE to potential viewers as quickly as possible. Educating means news, tech reviews, my kind of shit, politics, make up tips - it's all the same business - helping people - and it's the best kind of channel to be running

Now you're making decent, valuable, helpful videos, learn a little about SELLING yourself and start to TELL people at the start of your videos WHY they should watch. At the END of your videos ASK them to subscribe and tell them you've got more videos coming they will like. In short - tell them WHY they will not regret subscribing to your channel.

This is the ABSOLUTE basis for getting a truckload of subscribers - I know you need the views - we'll get to that next.

How To Get Views

My ordering is back to front, because you'll get views BEFORE you get subscribers. People VIEWING your video is a prerequisite to some of them subscribing to your channel

"Views" are simply exposure - your video somehow ends up in front of a bunch of people and some of them click and view it.

So how do you get your video in front of people? Where are they?

Your best bet is YouTube search - unless you strike up a relationship with a similar channel, the bulk of traffic (eye balls) for smaller channels comes from YouTube search. This is why it's SO important you get good titles, and optimise your video metadata to give you a solid chance of popping up theyoutube search engine. It's a long road, but I GUARANTEE you it's possible if you stick with it and keep making good videos. I've done it from scratch and my videos are FAR from masterpieces - the difference is I've CONSISTENTLY published and kept hustling. BELIEVE me I know how frustrating those early days are with very few viewers - you've really GOT to make at least 10 videos before you start getting any traction on building an audience.

Once you do, your channel starts to become DEFINED and other channels will be able to watch your best videos and learn more about you, then they'll be open to working with you and sharing their audience with you.

How To Get Comments, Likes and Favorites

Quite simply they come with the views. There's NO point worrying about this stuff unless you're getting views, and you can't do that before you've made a DECENT bunch of videos.

It's an unavoidable sequence you've got to go through. Once you DO start getting views, ASK for comments, likes and favs, but you'll find these come naturally with views, which come AFTER you've made videos and optimised them.

Quite literally, It All Starts With You

Thousands of happy subscribers is a desirable goal, but go back to basics and figure out how you can carve a unique little space on YouTube. 

Once you're making decent vids, watch every single video on my channel and apply the tips, one a week (you'll get overwhelmed if you try too much). 

My little tips and tactics are all well and good, but they are SECONDARY to the video you're making. 

Get that good first, then come to the forum and ask me how I can help you get your channel more views - if I can get good answers to all those questions at the start of this post, you should already be in a good place.

Now stop reading blog posts and GO MAKE AN INCREDIBLE VIDEO

Video Factory Upgrades - Themes, Previewing and MP4 Support

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably noticed me mentioning Video Factory a couple of times lately...

As excited as I was to get it live, I knew there were a few features it needed to make it really, really useful, but we were intent on getting it live in some form to get feedback from you guys, which has been invaluable.
It's real important to get projects finished by deadlines you set on yourself, and manage the scope of your workload to if need be - you cut features from your project if you're in danger of missing your deadlines. Obviously don't cut things you really need, but part of good Project Management is knowing when to remove features from your scope. Without deadlines you keep yourself accountable to, things just drag and drag ...
In our case, the three BIG features we didn't release on day one were Themeing, Previews and MP4 support (and believe me these were hard to cut), which are available from today!


Configuring your own colors in the videos is great, but it quickly gets laborious if you're producing more than a few that you want with the same color scheme (especially if you're producing a video sales letter).
Enter themeing.
Themeing lets you to setup a "theme" of your colors once, then apply them to any of the templates with one click. This is a massive time saver as you can instantly see what each template looks like in your colors, once you've set your theme up. You can create as many themes as you wish (login required), or select from a range of themes we've made available for you to play with.
It's not rolled out on all templates yet (a little upgrade work is required per template), but we should have full support on all templates in the next couple of weeks.


Even though you can see the super-cool on-page preview of what your clips will look like, I'm aware this isn't 100% accurate and many of you want a more concrete preview of what the final video will look like.
We've now introduced a "preview" feature where you can queue your design to get a single full-size frame from the video rendered. In all cases, the frame selected will show the key elements of the clip on screen, and you'll be able to see EXACTLY what the final result will look like. Previewing is free so this won't incur any credits for use.
To go along with previewing, we've added a "reproduce" feature under "Your Videos," which will allow you to reload any of your video designs (whether from preview pics or previous videos), which will save you having to re-setup your designs again before you order a video.

MP4 Support

As of today all Video Factory videos are now H.264, MP4 format videos. We won't be offering WMV anymore since (to my my knowledge) there is hardly anything that only supports WMV and not MP4 video. This means whether you are on Mac or PC, and whatever your video editing software choice, Video Factory clips will be compatable with everything that supports MP4. The clips are all still the same 720p, high quality output as before.

What's next?

We're FAR from finished with the Video Factory platform, there are more BIGGER features coming which I think will truly blow you away when you see what we've got planned, so make sure you're subscribed to us via Email, RSS, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
If you've got credits to spend or are considering purchasing some, now's a great time to check out the new features. 
As always, if you've got suggestions or feedback please let us know on the forum, we implement customer ideas regularly!
Tags: Video Factory    Topics: News

How To Make A Stunning Video Sales Letter

OK, here's how I make EVERY sales video, and how you can too -


1. Write a Script

I never make "on the fly" sales video for a number or reasons, but mostly because writing a script (just like copywriting) gives me the opportunity to ensure my overall message is concise, covers all the points, and communicates the benefits as quickly as possible to prospective viewers. The quicker a viewer "gets it" - in terms of what the video is offering, the less chance there is of them tuning out and leaving the video.
Writing a script in advance also keeps your finished video more dynamic, fast paced and interesting for the viewer - you haven't got room to waffle and talk about irrelevancies - scripts help you get STRAIGHT TO THE POINT.

2. Pre Plan Visuals

Having written the script, I'll separate the test into sections of 30-50 words (sometimes less/more), and for each of those sections, I'll write a note above each section about what will be on screen. 
The reason I do this for every 30-50 words is that corresponds to about 10-20 seconds of screen time, and I want the video to change what's on screen that frequently. It also creates a nice visual rhythm for the viewer. Leaving clips running any longer than 20 seconds starts to make the video boring, which will lose viewers. Clips changing faster than 5-8 seconds will overwhelm the viewer if used in constant succession (assuming you're showing information/text).
I NEVER pre-plan visuals before the script is completely finished - it's easier to script write in isolation of what the visuals will be, so you concentrate on your script's content, which is actually the most important part of your entire video.
Now I know what visuals I want, I'll proceed to audio ...

3. Record Audio

I posted a long video a while back on exactly how I record audio and tweak it using Audacity (free). I hate the sound of my own voice recorded but after I'm done with it in Audacity I have no problem listening to it - the right audio effects do wonders to your voice!
Occasionally I'll also mix music using the Auto Duck feature - not the most professional way to do it but it produces more than an acceptable results in one click.
Keep music very, very low volume if you use it!!!!

4. Import Audio to Video Editing

Often I'll use nothing more than Camtasia as a video editing tool. I literally need no more than one track of video for clips and one track of audio in most cases, since my audio's been pre-mixed in Audacity.
Once the audio is added to a new track in Camtasia, I just need to add video ...

5. Cut up the audio

OK tricky bit (but easy once you've done it once). I use Camtasia's slice feature to cut up the audio into chunks that correspond EXACTLY with the sections I put in my script above.
"Slicing" is usually used to you can can edits to your audio/video (eg shorten/lengthen), however the only reason I do it is so I know exactly how long each section is in seconds. Once you've sliced up your audio, Camtasia will show you how long each section is in seconds, and I can now use this as a guide for knowing which clips to use, where to put them and how long they need to be.

6. Get Clips!

Now the last task is to decide what I want on screen, and get the visuals made. I used to do this manually, making animations, sourcing colors, design elements etc, it used to take me TWO DAYS to produce 2 minutes of video.
With Video Factory, it's a breeze ....
Using the written notes I made on each section of the script, I browse the available templates in the store and pick ones that are a good fit. Then I just need to setup my colors, add text / graphics and queue up each clip I need...

7. Assemble Video

Once they're rendered, I download, then just drag the files into the video track in Camtasia in order. It's that simple.
Using the slices I made on the audio track eariler, I'll trim the end of each clip to fit with the audio section, and so on with each clip.

8. Produce

When I'm finished, all I need to do is produce the final video, I use custom settings in Camtasia to spit out a 1280 x 720 H.264 MP4, then I'm done.

Your Turn!

There really isn't anything more to it than that. Obviously there's a couple of tricks you can learn in Camtasia, however that's all covered in Camtasia's training videos, which you should watch.
The approach is no different in any other video editing software, though you may need to tweak the audio slicing approach depending on your software's capabilities.
There are only two brain taxing parts to this - writing the script, and deciding what clip to use. Both of these are creative decisions and thus should be the part that get you thinking. Now I have Video Factory, I don't have the extra overhead of thinking about "how" I'm going to implement visual designs/animations, which is a nice weight lifted off the process.
What used to take me 3 days is now very, very rapid, and you can use this same process to produce sales videos in no time.

Video Factory is Live! - Free Credit Offer!! (Expires 25 Feb)

After a long wait, Video Factory Is Live!

If you're looking for stunning video animations and clips for your videos that are 100% customizable - we made Video Factory for you.

Through the store, you can choose from a range of templates we've launched with (many more to come), and setup each video with your text, colors and graphics (where supported). 

Launch Special - Free Credits - ACT QUICK!!

To celebrate the launch, I'd like to give everyone 5 free credits (enough to get your first clip!).
To qualify for your free credits, simply follow these instructions on our new forum.
This offer expires on the 25th of February, so get in quick!
If you're in a spending mood, you can purchase more credits here

Tags: Video Factory    Topics: News

Announcing Video Factory: 100% Customizable Stock Video!

One of the biggest problems with online video is the amount of effort it takes to produce great looking videos - it takes a lot of time, or money, or both.

You either have to learn skills, software and techniques to create things yourself (time+money), or hire people to do it for you (money+pain).

Video Factory: Customizable Stock Video

Today I'm pumped to announce Video Factory, a new service coming to in the coming weeks that will make producing amazing video graphics a breeze

Video Factory is a store or marketplace of video stock footage, with one BIG difference - every video is completely customizable, meaning when you find something you like, you'll be able to easily customize it - all online - with your text, colors and graphics.

It's easier to show you than explain it, so watch this video -

I'll be sharing a lot more about Video Factory in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for announcements, special offers and "opening day" discounts!

Absence Will Make The Heart Grow Fonder

Folks, a quick update....

I've not posted in a little while and with good reason. Whilst may appear to have been neglected, I can assure you that's far from the case.

I've been working on something *extremely* special which should be ready for you to see at the end of February, and between now and then I'll be updating the blog and on YouTube with what it is, and how it will help you with your Video Marketing

Additionally, I've got some cool new videos on YouTube coming up, including ....

Superbowl Ad Breakdown

After the big game, I'll be cherry picking the best adverts from the big game and deconstructing why they are superb examples of selling with video. You don't want to miss this.


I'll also be opening discussion forums here on, which will support the "big announcement" and some other video marketing / Youtube content I've been developing which doesn't fit on the blog.

Stay tuned!

   Topics: News

4 Fail-Proof Ways To Sell Anything With Video

Planning and creating a Video to sell your products requires a lot of skills. To really succeed, you need to learn copyrighting, elements of screenwriting, and then all of the audio and visual skills that bring your script to life.

However, there are four powerful sales video formats you can use that don't require you to master the various skill sets mentioned above. These are incredibly powerful techniques for converting viewers into buyers. 
Let's dive in -

1. Demonstrate The Outcome

Most weak product offers talk about features, not benefits. You have to sell with benefits if you really want to make a lot of sales. So as an example, if your offer is "our ABC drill is the fastest and most powerful drill on the market" you're selling with features. If your offer is "our ABC drill makes clean holes quickly so you can hang your pictures without damaging your home" you're selling with benefits.
Where video excels is that you don't have to tell people about the benefits, you can show them, and this is what demonstrating outcomes is all about. Showing the drill making the hole without any problems demonstrates the outcome the buyer actually wants.
If you're selling information products, what's the outcome your buyer will achieve post implementation? Say you're selling an SEO wordpress plugin - instead of "our seo wordpress plugin does a, b and c to your website", show a video of someone searching Google and finding a blog that uses that SEO plugin - that's the outcome the buyer wants.

2. The Testimonial Transformation

Testimonials from your customers do wonders for your credibility in showing your product has been used, applied and people have got results with your solution. Testimonials of customers talking about your product are great, because they effectively do the selling for you, and allow your viewer to relate with someone "in the same position" as them. Your existing customers differ from you because as the product merchant, your prospects they expect you to have experience, advantages and circumstances they don't currently have. 
Whilst customer testimonials are great, they're tricky because you're not in control of what customers will say, nor can you be if you want authentic testimonials.
A better way to sell through customer testimonials is what I call the "testimonial transformation," and this is really about focusing on one customer - probably your best one, who has really had success using and applying your product to their business or life.
If you're not aware of any "stand out" customers who have done great things with your products, you can draw out the success stories by simply surveying your customer base - send an email to your buyers list and ask them how they're going with your product, if they need help and invite them to share their results.
Once you've found your "best customer," invite them to be interviewed other skype or email and get them to share their story, talk about your product and what they've done with it. 
This information then forms the narrative for the body of an incredible sales video - one entirely made up of an authentic, honest customer story. This alone fully answers one of the two biggest questions your prospective buyers have - "will it work?" (the other being what does it cost).

3. Sell With Valuable Content

A master tactic in video sales is to sell with content. Take a look through Clickbank, Amazon or many other sites and their videos will be product focused. Sure they will talk benefits, show you the product in action and talk about what it will do for you, but these videos are clearly in "sales mode"
A handful of really smart marketers are cottoning on to the fact that the best way to sell their products with video is by giving away value in their sales videos. This way their videos become part "free course," part infomercial. 
Say you're selling that SEO plugin I mentioned above - script your sales video to teach your prospect about SEO and how they're website can benefit from applying some smart techniques. Your sales material could be made up entirely of informative videos that teach people about SEO, and your product is perfectly positioned within these videos as a solution viewers can purchase to automate or assist with what you're teaching.
Big product launch marketers like Jeff Walker, Frank Kern and Andy Jenkins has mastered this technique, to the point where their sales videos will actually get shared on social networks as valuable content - the most powerful outcome you can possibly get. Prospects doing your marketing for you.

4. Proving Generated Value

This technique is the most powerful, but also the hardest to implement. 

When you make someone an offer, you ask them to exchange their money for something of greater value. Put a different way, you present enough information for them to decide whether your offer is worth more the price you're charging.

The truth is, 99.9% of offers simply don't prove their value to prospective buyers. That's not to say they actually need to - it's well known that we buy based on emotions more than logic, and usually based more on emotional rationalising. So it's no surprise that you see sales and marketing material pull on emotional triggers to convince us we need something that, well, we probably don't.

However, if you can evolve your product offer into the illusive 0.1% of offers that actually prove their value, you have an unstoppable business in your hands.
As a simple example, if you had an offer that easily demonstrated "Invest $1 and you'll make $2," you're proving the generated value. 
As a more specific example, if you offered a product or service to improve the conversion rate of a customer's sales process, if you can guarantee a quantifiable increase, your offer might be "Our service will increase your sales page conversions by a minimum of 10%, or your money back". 
In that example, if your target customer knows that a 10% increase in sales is worth far more than your service, you have an easy sale on your hand. 
This concept of proving the generated value is easier to explain than implement, but if you can focus your attention on how your product or service creates a quantifiable, measurable different to customers, you can start marketing with this incredibly powerful technique.
At it's core, it's about resolving the two biggest objections a customer has - will your product work, and is it a waste of money.

The New YouTube Design

YouTube 2011's redesign experiment Cosmic Panda is now being rolled out through the site, this video shows what's changed and what is means for YouTubers, users and VSEO practioners -

5 Ways Video Will Change Your Website Forever

If you're in any doubt about the power of online video, this post is for you.

This is a simple post, but its about the core, fundamental benefits of online video, and how it can change your website for the better

1. Regain Control Of Your Visitor's Experience

Websites full of text all suffer the same problem - fragmented consumption.

New visitors rarely read entire posts or articles. They skim text and sales copy, look for quick answers and crucially, miss key points in your messages.

Video (when done well) puts the control back with you. It's a linear format, which means viewers consume your message in the sequence you intend them to. This can backfire - if your video doesn't engage, one click and they're gone. That's usually cured with nothing more with some decent script writing to keep viewers hooked all the way through your video - whatever you're doing on screen.

2. Far Greater Audience Attention

Reading is a dull affair. Lines and lines of text your brain has got to process and make sense of. Just switching to audio changes the game completely - listening to the human voice is far easier than reading it. Add video - either on camera or supporting visuals, and your message is taken to a new dimension - viewers listen to your message and process your visuals at the same time. The biggest mistake people make is assuming humans can't absorb information quickly via video. They can - which means you can communicate your message far quicker. 

All this means your viewers are paying attention - and the longer they're paying attention, the longer you own mindshare, the greater the chance you have to gain a fan, subscriber, list member or customer.

3. Far Greater Audience Engagement

An attentive audience is an engaged audience - simply meaning they're more likely to interact with your site - leave comments, take actions, share content etcetera. The purist measurement of this is "time on site" - a measurement you can look up in your web statistics package (Google Analytics provide it free). YouTube visitors stay on this site (on avergage) nearly four times as long as Google visitors - and that means they're engaged more engaged.

4. Rapidly Establish Trust & Authority 

Trust and Authority takes a long time to establish in any area, but videos jump out of your webpage and allows viewers to get to know you very quickly. You know the phrase - people buy people first, product second.

Enabling people to hear and see you means visitors decide whether you're trust worthy far quicker - and the mere fact that you're communicating through video shows you're serious about serving your audience.

5. Improved Search Rankings

Engaged viewers hanging around your site has another subliminal effect - signalling search engines that your site is a destination they should be sending searchers to. Google aren't stupid, and more importantly, don't want to look stupid. They don't want to present search results to users where the results aren't of interest. They're measuring time on site (chrome, analytics, cookies), and use that as factor to reinforce your site's relevancy around a given keyword. 

Take the jump

If you haven't used online video yet, why not start now? This tutorial on YouTube explains a technique you can use to create a great video using nothing but Powerpoint. Get started!

How To Get Subscribers - Success! 500% Daily Increase!!

In this post and 90+ minute video series, you will learn how I increased daily subscribers to my YouTube channel by a staggering 500% in one hit.

I had a hunch this idea would work, I had no idea it would do this -

As you can see I was clocking about 5-7 subscribers a day, sometimes higher, sometimes lower. After uploading one video this ramped up to a peak of near 45, and has now steadied off at around 25-30 subscribers a day, with a little dip on weekends.

That, in short, is making wine out of water.

How'd I Do It?

Well, I drive a lot of traffic to the channel page, and it gets hit a lot from people checking out my videos and then looking at the channel. Everytime I send a friend invite out or a message to someone, they're hitting the channel page to check me out and immediately see the video playing on the channel page.

The problem with this, is that on any given week the video I've uploaded might be quite specific, or "niche," which will turn away a lot of first time viewers.

So my big not-that-clever-really idea was to create a video specifically for the channel page that does the following -

  • Introduces the channel, me, what it's about and why it will help people
  • Showcases the channel's best content
  • Provides immediate value in the form of a decent tip
  • Critically - Asks the viewer to subscribe to get more from the channel each week

That's a lot for one video to accomplish, which is why is wrote a script for the video to ensure I could achieve all those objectives in as short a space of time as possible - a fresh viewer to a channel isn't going to stay watching more than 2-3 minutes at best.

I used some copywriting techniques, persuasion and influence skills, and careful design of the video itself to reinforce the message in the script. You can see the end result here -

Part 1 - Concept

So in Part 1 of the video series on How To Get Subscribers, I introduce this concept and go into the thinking behind it in some more detail.

Part 2 - Scriptwriting

The second part focuses on the scriptwriting process - whilst this is 20 minutes of looking at Microsoft Word, it's the most valuable video of the series - the script is directly responsible for driving the video and achieving the result, and I go into a lot of detail about the decisions I made which you can learn from.

Part 3 - Audio Recording

Part 3 covers my audio production process, where I explain how I recorded my narration, got it perfect, tweaked the audio and mixed in music - all with free software and my laptop.

Part 4 - Video Production

Part 4 covers elements of creating the visuals of the video, which were all achieved in Powerpoint and Camtasia. Even if you don't use those tools, this is worth a look to understand some of the tricks I used with the video itself which reinforce the script and make it stronger.

Part 5 - YouTube Setup

Lastly in part 5 I show how to configure the YouTube channel page to play the video permanently, and finish up with some closing thoughts

How Many Subscribers Could You Get With This?

The key point I've realised after going through this is I was missing a lot of potential subscribers. What you need to think about is how many you are currently losing based on the traffic to your channel page, and whether a video like this that showcases your content will improve your numbers. Realise once it's done, that subscription rate is changed forever - every day I'm now getting five times more than I was, I'm getting 5 months worth of subscribers in 1, which is the crucial point.

As I outlined in the videos, this was two solid days of work, and the pay off has been immense. It's well worth the time if you've established some videos on YouTube.

Please leave a comment on the videos themselves on YouTube and I'll answer any questions you have about the process.

Lastly, if you're not subscribed to my newsletter, now's the time if you want more content like this!

The Ultimate YouTuber Kit Guide

Making Videos can quickly absorb your money, and it's not money you want to waste as pretty much everything - software, cameras, equipment and promotion / distribution services; - can get expensive.

This page contains a list of equipment I've had direct experience with or know others have got incredible results with. Depending on the style of videos you're seeking to make, you won't need all of this, so obviously pick and choose from categories you're thinking about.

This page will be updated over time as I discover new resources worth mentioning.

This page contains numerous affiliate links. That means I get a small commision on any purchases you make through these links, which has no impact whatsoever on the price you pay for the goods. If you'd like to support by purchasing through any of these links, send me you're receipt number and I'll send you something real special ;)



Most of time, it's fun to turn the ideas in your head into videos, but it's a mistake to ignore the power of targetting keywords with some of your videos to drive virtually free traffic from YouTube to your videos and website.

Keyword research is not that hard, and can be done for free -

YouTube Keywords Tool (free)
Youtube provide their own keyword research (targetting) tool designed for advertiser, however it's free for anyone to use. You can use this to generate ideas for videos and see what people are searching for (otherwise known as "demand")

Google Keyword Tools (free)
Similar, but for Google main search engine, and much more useful. This obviously provides keywords based on searches, however don't ignore it - enough backlinks will pop your videos into google's blended results.

YouTube SEO Analysis Tool (free)
Once you've discovered keywords, see what competition you have on YouTube with our very own YouTube SEO Analysis Tool. There's a tutorial vid on the page.

Market Samurai
Market Samurai takes the keyword research game up a notch, providing data about keyword competitors, and how they've ranked - i.e. information you can use to beat their search engine rankings.


The best videos are planned, full stop. Whether it's Bieber's latest music video, or a deceptively simple tutorial video, good videos are planned so that the objective of the video is established at the outset.

Taking a little bit of time to develop an idea into a full-fledge plan for what goes in the video produces a better result, which means more views, likes, favorites and traffic.

All my ideas, notes, plans and random thoughts are in Evernote. Period. Believe me I've tried everything. Word, Google Docs, hell, I even built my own tool for this, but Evernote comes out on top. There are extensive categorisation features (notebooks, tags), a robust search feature and you can link notes together, which is a godsend if (like me) you've got 260+ notes. Best of all, Evernote syncs between computers so I can access my notes wherever I am.

Mind Mapping

Mindmeister allows you to create mindmaps online, which are a great way to brain-spew your ideas in a loose form.

If you like the mind map approach and want to crank things up a notch, Mindmanager create mindmaps on steroids. This thing is great to embellish your ideas with links, cross references and more.

Script Writing

Microsoft Word
This isn't complicated, Google Docs or even Evernote will suffice. I use word for the 30 words in a line trick.

Video Cameras

We're in a golden age. Getting decent, HD video isn't expensive anymore. Of course money buys quality and features, but don't fall into the trap of thinking you need to spend a fortune on a video camera. Of course, you want to know you're money is going on a decent

Best low-cost options

iPhone 4S
Technically not low-cost, but given the obvious features of the phone and the fact that many of you will already have it, the full 1080p HD video quality in the iPhone 4S is a perfectly viable option for cracking out quick videos.

Flip UltraHD
The flip is a great little camera for busting out videos at about $100, and provides reasonably decent video quality. I used to have one until I left it on a bus :( - luckily it was empty!

Kodak Zi8
If you've got just a little more money to spend, a better option is the Zi8, for one killer reason - a microphone jack. Mic'ing is the bane of amateur video production, and this simple feature means you can capture much better audio than an on-camera microphone ever will. Gideon and Tyrone recommend it as well.

Best medium-range options

Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D
A Digital SLR as a video camera? You better believe it. As well as getting a really decent entry level SLR, the T3i kicks out amazing HD video. Be warned though - quality comes with constraints and drawbacks. You won't be auto-focusing (camera shake) and the dumps out BIG files you need to transfer and work with. However, what you do get is AMAZING picture quality, and the killer feature - interchangeable lenses. Trying screwing on a Fish Eye or Prime lens on the camera and see where your imagination takes you. Do yourself a favour - buy the body only and invest a little more into one of the IS lenses to get you started.

More camera recommendations coming soon


Mic'ing is the bane of my video existance. Getting, consistant, quality results is a challenge, and you really have to get this right from the start. First off, forget the microphone in your laptop/computer - that's been disadvantaged from birth by it's line-of-sight proximity to hard drives, cooling fans, disk drives and other noise pollutants

Blue Snowflake
This was the first mic I bought for online video production, and it's great quality. However, in hindsight, it was a mistake. This thing is designed to hook your laptop screen like a webcam, however this renders it vulnerable to exactly the same noise problems an onboard mic has. If you're travelling and need something mobile, it's a good option for that.

Logitech USB Headset H530
For screencasting, webinars, script recording and webcam recordings, I currently put one of these on my head. Headsets solve the problem of inconsistant audio (the mic is almost always in the same place), and allow you to move about without affecting volume levels (don't go crazy though or you'll introduce noise!). Not the most expensive option but great audio for the money. The mic is a little sensitive but that's easily solved by bending the mic away from your mouth and lowering the levels.

More microphone recommendations coming soon


Round Portable Camping Tent Light
Wanna look REAL sexy on your next webcam recording? Buy one of these mega-cheap camping lights then convert it with the world's greatest webcam hack.

Branding & Asset Management

Sound Effects

Podcaster Sound Effects Bundle
For sound effects, I've bought the very-cheap Podcaster bundle via the link above. It's a great collection of sounds for the price, however the audio quality is MP3 and not a super-high bitrate. For YouTube videos tho, they're perfect. This solves your sound effects problems in one hit - 536 effects to choose from and annoy your listeners with - don't go overboard with sound effects!!!!

If it's a video for the channel, I'll usually use creative commons music, otherwise for client's I'll usually purchase a track from Audio Jungle. They're cheap, and there's loads of great quality stuff on here.

Garage Band
Garage Band is actually the sole thing tempting me away from PC to Mac. I used to make music so I'm familiar with the likes of Sonar, Ableton, Fruityloops etc, but for sheer I-need-some-music-and-I-need-it-quick value Garage Band is stunning. Pop in your local Mac shop, play around with it and try not to get hooked.

Openers, Bumpers, Logos, Motion Graphics, etc
Most of this stuff I make myself, using the software listed below.

Storage (Hard Drives)

Western Digital Portable 1Tb Hard Drive
All this stuff is going to gorge hard drive space, so go purchase one of these super cheap portables to keep your stuff on.

Western Digital ShareSpace 8 TB
As well as having a working hard drive to store stuff on, I use a Sharespace on my network for backup - this thing configures the four 2Tb drives in it with a technology called RAID - put simply, you only get 6Tb of useable space out of the 8Tb available, but if one of the hard drives fails, you won't lose anything as long as you replace it quickly.


Once you've got music, video, graphics and sound, you need something to put them all together with.


It's easy to use, and completely free for mac or PC. All my audio tweaking is done in Audacity.


You'll often want to encorporate your logo, branding and graphics as overlays or content in your video, so a decent graphics editor is a must. Photoshop is a defactor standard, and unknown to some, has basic animation capabilities as well.
If you can't afford Photoshop, is a superb free alternative with 90% of the features you need to get by. Even with Photoshop, I still use for some tasks

I sometimes work with vector graphics for videos as well, in which case Inkscape is an excellent (and free option).

Animation & Presentation

Powerpoint 2010
Huh? A crappy slideshow program? You better believe it - Powerpoint is my greatest secret weapon for creating fast paced, informative videos. With Powerpoint 2010, Microsoft have jazzed up all the animation effects and transistions with smooth, blended gradients and transparency for a professional result. You can now export 720p, HD video direct from powerpoint as well which means all your complex effects get smoothly rendered out. Put simply, it's the simplest and cheapest option is you want to get started with animation.

Powerpoint isn't a video editing suite (though you can use nothing but it), but video you export from Powerpoint can be imported to other programs for further treatment.

After Effects
Make no mistake, After Effects is a career by itself. It's unforgiving on the beginner and has numerous key concepts that take some time to get to grips with before you can even make anything basic. It's also not cheap at nearly $800. But what you get for going past this is unbelievable power. Literally, in the words of Emporer Palpatine, unlimited power. Just Look at what it can do.
If you want to get into special effects After Effects is a challenge and a great opportunity, however as I mentioned above, you can achieve great looking animation/typography effects just in Powerpoint, so that may be the better option

Screen Recording

The defacto screen recording software, if you want to make any tutorials or website demonstrations this is the go. If you're keen on making these sorts of videos, Camtasia functions as a half-decent editing environment as well, and is much simpler to use than the bigger packages.

Video Editing

Sony Vegas Movie Studio 11
I've played with both Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas, and I should preface this by saying I've not worked with either extensively enough to make a completely informed judgment, but for ease of getting started with Vegas feels better. Premiere is prettier, but Vegas is just a bit more intuitive in my opinion. What's more, it's a quarter of the price.

Final Cut Pro X
If I had a mac, I would use Final Cut Pro, unequivocably. I've played with it on a friend's mac and as with all things Apple, it's a joy to use.


All of the software above will take care of encoding your videos, I recommend mp4 files in the H264 format for YouTube. You can go all the way up to 1080p, but for the majority of people 720p is more than fine, and is a lot easier to deal with file size wise.

I may expand this section with encoder/converter software if it warrants inclusion

Distribution & Hosting

At this point you've got your video produced, so the next step is getting it on the web.

Tube Mogul
If you want to spam distribute your video to multiple sites at the same time, Tubemogul can do this for you. It requires setup because you have to register for accounts at vimeo, metacafe, dailymotion etc to let TubeMogul upload to them, but once done you're good to go. I've used this in the past and surprisingly found Google indexed my dailymotion vids above Youtube (with no promotion), but I'm now of the opinion it's better to focus on one video site (YouTube in my case) and ensure all my energy goes into that. Still, this is an option that works if that's your thing.


Most videos need a little kick in the backside post-upload to get them into the mainstream. Generating just a few backlinks and doing some social media distribution is often enough to pop your videos into YouTube's (and potentially Google's) search results, from which point you'll get a nice, steady stream of views :)

Tube Toolbox
Controversial for some, but it works. Tube toolbox automates stuff that you'll otherwise do manually, but goes to pains to stay within limits YouTube publically state. I still doubt whether YouTube likes services such as these, but if you use them responsibly you can get results.

There are a myriad of tools to spam blast your video link out to facebook, twitter ad nauseum, however I'm finding it's easy to outsource these tasks on fiverr rather than own/operate the products my self. Search the marketing/seo gigs, then pick sellers who offer top-rated gigs where a tonne of happy comments support the seller's work. DO NOT buy any "get 10,000 views" services - these are junk. Use fiverr for backlinking to your videos and distribution.

fiverr is also a viable place to get video intros and other video jobs done - check the quality of the work before you buy though. You can get a refund on crap!

You're most effective source of immediate views for your video is your email list, and if you don't have one it's website 101. Start a list now at aweber, encourage your viewers to join and you have an on-tap source of traffic for your videos each time you have a new one

How To Make Your 1st YouTube Video Incredible, and Convert Like Crazy

By the end of this video, you’re going to know how to quickly and easily script, create and publish your own short video on YouTube.

Before we get started, make sure you check out One Hour Video System - it's an app I developed to help making videos with Powerpoint a breeze, automating many of the time consuming processes I cover in this article.

Even if you’ve uploaded a hundred videos, I think you’ll enjoy this, because you’re going to create a video that viewers not only find interesting and engaging, but your video will actually convert a huge number of those viewers into visitors or subscribers to your website. And if you really focus on this straight forward technique, you can get this done within an hour, 2 at most.

So to do this, you’re going to need no more than -

  • Powerpoint 2010
  • Audacity, which a free audio recording program you can download from
  • and a reasonable quality microphone. You can use the one in your computer, but if you can get a USB microphone, you’ll get better results

Before I explain what you’re going to do, remember as go through  this you’re learning a new skill, so you’re going to make mistakes and you’ll probably be uncertain about some steps.

What I want you to do is concentrate on the value your video will have for the people who see it - you’re only going to create a short video, so you’ll be able to improve on this first video with each new one you make. Just get the first one done so you can see how easy it is.

What you’re going to create is a short and engaging video, that solves a key problem your customers or audience struggles with, and at the end of the video you’ll offer the viewer the option to get more help on the problem from your website. By the time you’ve finished watching this, you’re going to know write a compelling script, record yourself narrating the script, use some simple tricks to make your voice sound great, and mix your recording with a High Definition video made from entirely from Powerpoint - and it’s going to look great.

Don’t worry if all that sounds daunting, just keep watching and you’ll understand in a couple of minutes.

Let’s begin -

1. Pick one really specific issue your audience struggle with.

To start with, think of one specific problem your customers or audience struggles with that you can help them with. This is going to be the topic of your video.

Here’s some examples -

  • How do I prepare for a first round interview?
  • How do I find a reliable plumber in Austin?
  • How can I negotiate a better mortgage deal?

When you’ve decided on your topic, write it down in a new Word document in the form of a question. 

2. Write a short script

Next up, you’re going to create a short script for your video. All you’re going to do here is write a short article that explains your solution to the problem, in no more than 450 words. By writing a script first, you can edit the text and make it really focused and polished. And by limiting yourself to 450 words (which is only about 2-3 minutes of video), you have to get your solution across quickly, and get straight to the point.

This approach really works on YouTube because viewers like short videos, and more importantly, like videos that solve their problems quickly, and by writing a tight script,  you’ll keep them watching longer.

Your script will obviously need to provide the solution to the problem, and ideally -

  1. Provides actionable advice the viewer can make use of straight after watching it.
  2. and importantly your script should Leaves some information for the viewer to still find out about

The idea here is to provide value, but leave the viewer wanting more.

So if you were writing a script on preparing for an interview, your video might contain three really good tips. Then, at the end of your video, you’d tell the viewer to visit your website or sign up for your newsletter to get even more.

The other reason to limit the length, is so YOU actually get this done, see how easy it is and don’t over complicate it. And this is really important. Just follow this process end to end, and show yourself how easy it is to create a great video really quickly.

So, your script should be structured as follows:

If you’re struggling with [problem], this video will explain how to [solution] so that [benefit]

[Your specific solution here - help the viewer!]

If you would like more help with [the problem] join our newsletter at [your website] and I’ll send you [more material you can provide of value]

First off, you want a short intro that states the problem the viewer may be having, and explains how you’re going to help them with this, and why they should keep watching. Here’s what I’ve come up with for my example -

If you’re thinking about buying a webcam to record in high definition, this video will help you understand what to look for, and how to pick the best one .

Next, just write a short casual article in your own words that explains your solution to the problem. Here’s my completed script, and at the end of this video, I’ll show you where you it along with some other resources to help you with this. As you’re writing, don’t include headings or bullet points because you’re going to be reading this out loud into a microphone.

Now, once you’ve finished writing your solution, and it should be any more than about 380 words, Write an ending in a format similiar to this one. What you’re doing here, is offering the viewer more valuable information at your own website, and this is where your viewer will naturally finish watching your video, and have no other option, but to seek out your website and see what your’re offering. You’ll obviously need to provide something on your website of value to entice the viewer to visit you, so think about what you can provide that relates directly to the content of your video.

So, this is all you should write, 450 words max. Don’t start your script with “Welcome to my video” or any other introduction - start IMMEDIATELY with the script format I’ve shown here, outlining what your video is about and how it will help the viewer in the first 8 seconds. Also, don’t introduce yourself or your company - Solve the viewer’s problem first, then they’ll want to know more about who you are.

3. Record your script

Download Audacity, install it, get a microphone and record your script.

Here’s how to do it  -

  • Hit record and read the whole thing through once as a dry run. This will get you comfortable with the recording process and iron out any nerves you have. You’ll also find you want to make minor edits to your script where it doesn’t sound natural when you read it out loud.
  • Play back your dry run recording and note where the script doesn’t make sense or you mess up words.
  • If you don’t like the sound of your own voice, don’t worry I’ve got some tricks to improve that as well shortly
  • Before you begin, focus your mind on one specific person you know will need this help, imagine they’re in the room and you’re speaking directly to them.
    Once you’re ready to begin, start recording, leave 10 seconds of dead air and start to read. Speak clearly and slow enough to pronounce words correctly.
  • Every time you make a mistake simply stop speaking, wait 3 seconds, recompose yourself and start again from the beginning of the previous sentence - you can easily cut out mistakes afterwards in audacity
  • Once you’re finished, go back and cut out all the mistakes, and cut out any unnatural gaps and pauses, and also any clicks, slurps and strange noises you will have made (and we all do it)
  • Finally export your recording to WAV format, not MP3. The WAV format keeps the quality of your recording high, and you’ll find Powerpoint will compress the audio when it’s finished.

4. Create Powerpoint Slides

Next, Open Powerpoint and create a new presentation. First up, you’re to change the size of the presentation to make it produce High Definition video. To do this, go to the Design tab, click Page Setup and choose a custom page size. Set the width to 17.78 inches and the height to 10. Next, go to the Slide Show tab, and set Resultion to 1280x720.

Now, Create 15 blank slides.

On the first slide, you’re going to create a title for your video., This is dead easy -

  • How to prepare for a first round interview
  • How to find a reliable plumber in Austin
  • How to negotiate a better mortgage deal

How easy was that?

Your first slide is going to coincide with the first part of the script narration you recorded, where you introduce the video and what it’s about.

For the next 13 slides, put one line of text or short bullet points, as well as one or two pictures that relate to each set of approximately 30 words in your script. Like the first slide, each slide will coincide with every 30 words or so of your narration.

This creates a nice rhythm in your viewer’s mind, between each slide and every 30 words in your recording.

Now, sneaky trick! - if you go back to Word, click Page Layout, then Orientation, make the page landscape, set the font to Arial and the size to 10; this will make your script about 30 words per line to help you create a slide for each line. You don’t need to stick to 30 words or 13 slides religously - just aim for this as a guide.

When you’re creating slides, don’t get wrapped up worrying about colours, transistions, effects or any or that too much. That’s all great for your next video, for now, just focus on getting this done quickly.

For pictures, you can use screenshots, graphs, your own photos or clipart to add context to the slide. You can include creative commons images from Flickr if you give attribution to the author.

For your last slide, you’ll make this coincide with your script ending so the viewer sees this slide as you begin to say “If you would like more help” - or however you have wrote this last part.

On this slide, show your viewer what they will get by visiting your website, for instance “Free Interview Techniques Report at” and place arrows pointing to your website address.

5. Add your narration, create your video

The last part of this process is to setup the timings of each of your slides to match your voiceover.

Now, before I show you how to do this, read “Record and add narration and timings to a slide show” which explains how to do this in detail.

Here’s a quick overview -

First, make sure you’ve selected the first slide in your presentation.

Next, click the Insert Tab and click Audio. Select the WAV file from your hard drive that you saved from Audacity.  

You should now see an icon for your audio recording on slide 1. You can drag this off the slide if you wish.

Now, click the Animation tab, click Animation Pane and click the drop down in the list.

This is where you can setup how your audio will playback along with your slides.

Click Start With Previous and make sure it’s checked, then click the drop down again and then select Effect Options.  

In the popup window, under the Stop Playing option, select After and type 16 slides. This will make your audio narration play through all your slides. If you added more slides, increase this number.

Click OK to exit this window.

Now click Slide Show, and get ready to click  Record Slide Show, then Start Recording From the Beginning, and uncheck Narrations and Laser Pointer, hit OK to begin

What will happen is your powerpoint presentation will start, along with audio narration, so make sure you’ve got speakers plugged in. As each sentence of your recording finishes, click you mouse on screen or alternatively the right arrow, and match each slide in your presentation with the section of your recording until the recording ends.

You’ll probably mess it up the first time, so just rehearse it through and start again. At the end, when you’re happy with the timings, click “yes” and powerpoint will memorise the timings of each slide with your audio.

You’re nearly done. To make this into a High Definition video, click the File tab, then Save & Send on the left, and then Create video

Under Computers & HD Displays, select Large - 1280 x 720  

In the next dropdown, select Use Recorded Timings and Narrations

Finally, click Create Video to export as a WMV file. You’ll need to wait a few minutes, Powerpoint is pretty slow at this point, but it will work and produce you your first High Definition video.

When it’s finished, double click the file to watch it and check you’re happy with it.

Congratulations, you’ve just created your first high definition video! Let’s get it online.

6. Upload to YouTube

Go to YouTube and sign up for an account or log in with your existing one. Simply click Upload at the top and either drag your new video onto the screen or click Upload file and locate it

As you wait for the file to upload, type in your video title exactly as you typed in on the first slide, and type your website address on the first line of the description field - when your video has finished uploading your address will be clickable underneath your video. After your URL, type a description for your video and add some relevant keywords to help users find your video.

You can find out more about optimising your video for search engines by reading my article Video SEO for YouTube: The Ultimate Guide on

Once the upload has finished, YouTube will give you a URL for your video. You can send this to your customers, paste it in Facebook and in Twitter to get the word out.

Welcome To Online Video

If you’ve got this far - congratulations, you’ve pushed through a lot of barriers most people are too lazy or afraid of and started in the world of online video.

I would love to see the video you create using this tutorial, so please share a link to your video in YouTube or in the comments section of my blog on

What you’ll find with each new video you now make, is that there are so many things you can improve upon each time on this great foundation you’ve built. You can add transistions, themes, animations and effects in Powerpoint, you can mix music along with your narration, use video camera footage in your video, and then start to experiment with the many choices available in video editing software.

From here you can start to learn how to to improve on so many aspects of your next video, and I’d like invite you to join my newsletter here at compelling tv where I’ll teach you how to do exactly that.

When you join the newsletter, I’ll send you a link to my Video Tips Toolbox, which contains a growing list of incredible resources to help you create amazing videos. As well as my free report YouTube Conversion Secrets, you’ll also find the script I used for this tutorial, the complete powerpoint presentation I used, as well as a cheat sheet you can use that summarises every key point you’ve listened to in this tutorial.

Sign up for the free newsletter and receive the video tips toolbox.

Introducing The YouTube SEO Analysis Tool (Free)

This video explains it all ->

Try it out here - YouTube SEO Analysis Tool

OK, this thing runs a normal YouTube search, exactly the same as on YouTube. Whatever you type in is the same as searching directly on YouTube. This uses YouTube's API which exposes their search engine to programmers like me to mash up.

However, be aware the API results can differ very slightly from the main site, and especially the statistics, which are nearly always different. Not massively different, but different. The order of results seems to be for the most part consistent with the results on YouTube.
So, type your search term in the main textbox and press enter or click search, there's also the option to click the links on the right which will run your query directly on Google or itself so you can compare the results. The Google option is useful if you want to see whether any videos are in Google's search results for you term, and indeed which ones, if any are from the YouTube results.
What you'll see immediately when you search is there are a bunch of queries running which are searches to get extra information for the search results. These extra queries are to get the number of video responses for each search result, and the subscriber count of the video uploader. These can take a few seconds so if you don't want this information, you can turn these off with the checkboxes under the search box.


First column is the video title and the result position. You'll see your search words are hilighted in the title, along with the duration of the video. If you click on the link, a new window will open up to play the video on YouTube. Lastly in this column, the small plus icon at the end will open up the description of the video and tags, as set by the uploader. These are all factors the person who uploaded the video has influence over to affect search rankings, however YouTube is obviously aware these elements are user controlled.
Next is the channel of user who created the video, clicking on their username will open a window straight to their channel page.
Next to that is the channel's subscriber count, if you choose to retrieve this. This isn't a direct factor on why videos rank, but obviously the higher a user's subscriber count, the more "trust" YouTube is likely to associated with their videos. However, that is speculation on my part, and for that reason I've greyed this number out as less of a contributing factor, unlike the rest of the columns here.

Now, from left to right, we have the view count, comments, favorite count, likes, likes to dislikes rating , video responses and upload date. The first few columns have an icon, if you hover over those you'll get the tooltips to show you what they are.
View count, or views, is the factor most people concentrate on, the higher your view count, the higher the amount of people who've seen your video.
Comments are the amount of comments different users have typed against your video, and favorites is the amount of times the video has been favorited by users as something they want to come back to, or bookmark within YouTube as really important to them.
Conversely, Likes are simply a vote of appreciation that is a factor to tell YouTube the video is popular. Conversely, users can dislike videos and that ratio of likes to dislikes is shown in the rating column from 1 to 5. In the old days, YouTube had 5 star ratings before like/dislike buttons so that's why this ratio goes to five. Obviously the closer to five it is, the more popular it is.
Next we have video responses, which is the count of actual videos users has left as responses against others. These are a big deal, because they effectively signal to YouTube that the user is so affected by the video in question that they've been motivated to leave a video response against it. However, like view count, this is certainly not the key factor in rankings.
Next we have the publish date of the video, which is also important - very recent videos rank well for search terms, and older videos rank well where they are sustaining engagement with viewers. What I mean by that is a five year old video on say, how Facebook works isn't likely to rank highly anymore because it's content will be out of date. That certainly isn't always the case, but if newer videos are more engaging, relevant and sustain user interaction in comments, likes etcetera they are more than capable of displacing old results. I have seen some old videos, that really have out of date content which are nearly impossible to outrank because they've just got so many likes, views, favorites etcetera.
What you'll find with very new videos is they can gain top 10 rankings in their first few days and even weeks of being uploaded, but then sink in the results if they're not popular enough.
Across these statistics what you'll see is that the highest value of each column is highlighted green, and this really shows you how they factors interplay in terms of how YouTube does it rankings. What I've found from search I've done through this is two things - the highest values are almost always not at the top, and in many cases, the top results can have far low numbers than results lower down.
So why is this? Well, obviously other factors come into play - the title, description, keywords and publish date being the obvious ones on screen, but additionally, there are two really important factors I can't show you in there results - 

Other Ranking Factors

The big ranking factors not shown are backlinks to the video itself, and embeds of the video on web pages, facebook etcetera. These are massively important because like back-linking to web pages, they are a key indicator of a video's relevancy to a search phrase - especially in the case of backlinks.
Now, although I can't show you backlink counts, what you can do is click the icon in the very last column, and that will open a search on, which will show you what backlinks, if any each video has. Open Site Explorer is free, but you will need to register after three uses of it if you want to see more.
So that's it. Have a play, it completely free and if you've found it useful please share it with friends!

Why "Doing Viral Video" Is A Complete Waste Of Time (And What To Do Instead)


Once you've spent some time understanding online video - how to make it, publish it and promote it, you invariably end up being told by various sources that the holy grail of Online Video is for one of your videos to "go viral" and you'll then enjoy "masses" of free traffic/exposure through the success of your video.

The misinformed echo chamber of bloggers who peddle this advice usually dole out this mantra with references to the many real examples of viral video successes, and then some weak plan of action for (a) how to create a viral video "think of something funny" and (b) how to get the ball rolling "email your list/facebook fans/ad nauseum." The problem, is that this philosophy shows scant disregard for why something goes viral, the varying degrees of effort (and risk) required to create "viral uptake" and most importantly, the resulting benefits once the heat has died down.

What actually is Viral Video?

From my perspective, it's something I watch that's so interesting/unique/funny/disgusting/etc that I choose to do something dramatic after watching it - share it with other people. Whether that's my subscribers or my mother, I'm impressed enough by the content I think it's worth passing on.

What makes it viral though, is if this effect is replicated by hundreds to thousands of people. What's hilarious to me, may be offensive or boring to you, so the degree to which a particular "viral" video will resonate with it's viewers will vary.

The most contaminated conduits of viral videos are the workplace, and colleges. Huge pools of connected people with aligned interests, intellects and internet connections, email and facebook accounts are what turn an outbreak into an epidemic. Successful "strains" of viral video quickly cross organisations and institutions as workers and students expose the content to connections, acquaintences and friends. This proving ground is where the first problem with "doing viral" manifests, which I'll talk more about in a moment.

Where things go super nova, is when one of these corporate cross-pollinations hits a media outlet, or influential blogger/social media influencer. Should just one of these publications (say 50k+ audience) share a viral video with an engaged subscriber base, it's like dropping a vial of ebola in JFK.

Audiences seed, me-too newspapers, bloggers and wannabe influencers relay the content to their audiences, and penetration is achieved.

Sounds great yes?

Cold Hard Facts

Those proving grounds I spoke of earlier have another key thing in common - boredom. Cubicle workers seeking respite from the last corporate email, or students dodging lectures with - literally - the whole day to do nothing but surf the net as a break from scoring Modern Warfare headshots.

These vastly widespread mental states are primed for rapid-fire, temporal stimulation, especially in the form of 2 minute videos. It should come as no surprise then, that if you look at the most popular videos of all time on YouTube, they predominantly fall in the following categories -

Music Videos. Kids Being Kids. Epic Fails / Folks Being Foolish. 

If you're working for Katy Perry's management team, all power to you. But for the rest of us, there is a problem - Only a handful of the very top of videos in Youtube's unimaginable supply of videos have a hope of translating viral success into money. 

Not one of them pre-planned their success.

Take the more recent "Antoine Dobson" phenomena - a viral success based on the Gregory Brother's expert treatment (and primed audience), which led to a complete life change for Antoine and his family, all based off a local news team covering a pretty shitty day.

But this kind of stuff is mass-media, popularist "entertainment" that is pure luck. 

Step down a level, and you descend into the extremely well funded layer of corporations trying to create this stuff with a budget. Again recent, Old Spice's commercials are your best example. Time, money, incredible imagination and even more incredible execution (both in the videos and the marketing) created a phenomena. The team behind Old Spice are literally, the best in the world, but they still took risks. I doubt many of them were convinced they were spending wisely at the start.

Beneath this, the few cases of corporate/small business success are nearly all in the "great idea and luck" department, and that's really the biggest problem. Trying to anticipate what people (in mass) will want to share, what journalists will want to write about is like knowing what the stock market will do. 

It's mentally draining, creatively draining, and invariably ends up draining more time and money than you anticipate because of the complete unpredictability of the viral medium.

Distribution Costs

The worst mistake people make is believing viral videos will "go viral" with a handful of views, that those few viewers will ALL share the video, and their connections will replicate with hardly any attrition. 

The reality is inverted. The minority will share (usually less than 1% on a really good video) and that percentage applies (and thus diminishes) down the line. 

Making the gamble on launching a viral campaign therefore requires a decent sized audience, and the resources to connect with influencers with significant audiences who may choose to share with their audience - and reaching those influencers is an entire blog post in itself.

If you take a "bet the farm" approach to viral video, this is really where your nerves get tested - how much money will you spend, how much time and resources will you invest in trying to broaden exposure, before you accept that the virus just isn't strong enough to create an infection?

Return On Infection

Should your video cross the tipping point, this is the greatest paradox of viral media - the bigger the response, the lower it's value.

The more successful a piece of viral media is likely to become, the less value it's audience have to the content owner. This is similiar to the "Digg Effect" that bloggers documented in the last decade, where posts that hit Digg's front page during it's heyday lead to their biggest traffic days, but lowest views-to-subscribers ratios.

This is rubbernecking, pure and simple, and if you consider that bored audience of office workers and college jocks suffering collection A.D.D, it makes complete sense.

This is a big problem - you get the traffic, but not the conversions. Worst case, you PAY for the traffic, and lose on the conversions (that's extreme though).

Dentists and Donations

So what should you do? Well, I subscribe to a slightly more boring, consistent and predictable process that focuses on completely ignoring the baying masses waiting for the next Epic Fail fix. I focus on creating videos that specifically solve specific problems, and use both repeatable Video SEO techniques and Video Conversion Tactics to lure a smaller (but significantly more engaged) audience to that content as a means to introduce them into this website, and the rest of the content and services provided here.

When I think of my approach contrasted against the "viral" approach, I like to think about the attention span of my audience - 

Say you're getting off the bus/train in the morning, you're late for work and all you see in your path is a blockade of brightly coloured charity workers waiting to intercept. Whatever you're disposition, this just happens to be the day where you've seen one particular charity collector 5 days in a row, you've already donated and are still getting hassled. In short, your capacity for giving this guy any attention is minimal to low, you're going to block out most of what he says and simply not respond to his calls to action.

Conversely, you've woken up with crippling toothache, because (like me) you probably haven't seen your dentist often enough, and are now in "I will pay any amount of money for an appointment" territory.

Once in the chair, the dental surgeon has 100% of your absolute, undivided attention. If he tells you to drop your pants and stand on one foot, you may not even question it. You won't like paying the bill, but you will, and you'll schedule the follow up, buy the prescription and any damn thing else he recommends. He owns your ass.

Whilst at extremes, I like to view viral videos like the over-eager charity worker on a bad day, begging for more than the finite 2 minutes of throwaway attention they'll get. So, I strive to make videos that deliver the desperate dental dynamic - you see, the dentist isn't doing anything special other than he's job, but he's indispensable to the right audience, and can convert them at will.

How To Become a Top Dental Surgeon

Viral's a hard game with lots of players and very few winners. Even one "success" doesn't give you a "business" or riches overnight, once the euphoria wears off. Here's how to develop a consistently growing audience on YouTube around your area expertise - 

1. Make One Video a Week

Do this every week, without exceptions. Ideally 2 minutes long. Longer videos mean more effort and less viewers

2. Solve Problems via Keyword Research

Ask you existing audience if you want, but it's more reliable to use Google's Keyword Tool to find keyword ideas that are "problem keywords" with between 5,000 to 50,000 searches per month.

3. Make Video That Solves Problem

Whatever your method, make your video, keep it short and solve the problem. Edit the video well so it's short, sweet and doesn't waste your viewer's time

4. Develop a Conversion Asset

As part of your planning for the video, develop a Conversion Asset (otherwise known as "a bribe"). You'll refer to this in your video as a resource viewers can get if they visit your website/join your newsletter/do a handstand/insert goal here. This doesn't need to be anything fancy, you don't need to write an ebook (remember you're supposed to be doing this EVERY week). I make cheatsheets, design templates, small video clips and other freebies that subscribers can get when they join my newsletter. Every week I add to this I'm making it more and more valuable, so I'll mention the other resources as well as the one directly related to the video (this will convert best).

5. Start strong, End Strong

Start your video IMMEDIATELY stating what the viewer will learn from the video, and TELL them to stick around to the end of the vid to find out how to get a special gift/resource/shameless bribe that will help them. This will LOCK IN a huge amount of viewers who would otherwise disengage from your video's content. Even if it's not your best video, a helpful resource will keep plenty of folks watching, and a good handful skipping straight to the end to see the offer. At the end, STATE clearly what the bribe is, why it will help and how to get it from your website. Leave the last few seconds of your video as a fixed frame that tells people what to do along with your narration "Visit to get your free X"

6. Publish Correctly

Follow the steps in my Video SEO for YouTube Guide to optimise your upload. Make sure you use that keyword you started with.

7. Drive Engagement

Embed the video on your blog. Send it to every subscriber, fan and follower you have to start driving the view count. Ask the same people for comments, "likes" and favorites on the video. Write a short 500 word article related to the video (or have it transcribed), then rewrite that article 5 or more times to get unique variants. Publish those articles to accounts on,,, squidoo and hubpages. Embed your video on those sites where possible, and make EVERY SINGLE ONE link back to your video. 

Use to drive a few backlinks to the video, and more to EACH of the articles (these will boost their link value to the video). Do as much of this as you can for each video, concentrate on the key videos for this because it takes time. Use or to outsource this if you have the $$$.

8. Wait, Repeat and Keep Going

This is all you need to do. Just keep going like this and don't stop. It works. It takes time for links to get picked up, it takes time for videos to gain views, comments and more. 

After 5 months of doing this (assuming your content is valuable) you will have a decent, engaged following on YouTube and plenty of traffic to your site. Your traffic will be a trickly and then a stream, but it will be rich, pure traffic that's tightly focused on your content, not a burst sewage flood of viral unpredictability.

The choice is yours.

Fake Nipples?!!? - How NOT To Sell A Bad Product

There's an ancient proverb in internet marketing - a good product with bad copy will always outsell a bad product with good copy. 

But what if you've got a REALLY bad product? In this video, we're going to look at another top quality informercial to see how it's done. Or ...not.

OK, Let's take a quick look at what you're in for. Brace yourself ....

Oh. My. God. 

I'm trying to imagine what it was like for the creative guy in the agency that got that gig, the day his boss walked in said "ok guys, we've got a new client. I need you to write an ad for fake nipples"

I mean, where do you start. Well they got it done, for better or worse. Let's break it down ...


So .... straight in with the testimonial actress. Note she's speaking straight into the camera, not talking off camera, which I think is a mistake in this case, but what the hell.

"As a wife, mother AND former beauty pageant winner" ... so the writers obviously though let's cast the net wide, we'll go for slightly frumpy girls who are either married or have kids, and most importantly, used to be the prettiest girl in show.

"I love to look my best" .. are you for real? If you look at her face for just a split second before she says stick nips you can see she's thinking "I can't believe I'm saying this shit!!"


OK, dowdy mum number 2. They're really trying to push on the self esteem angle. Given the dire material they've got to work with, the ad writers are taking a safe approach but the execution is lacking...


Now they completely lose control. We've gone from frumpy mums to corporate babes, I just love the opening shot of that monologue with the young woman's bust juxstapositioned with a powerpoint bar chart in the background. They've lost big credibility here, whatever they had, let's keep going


Back to frumpy mums, it's a repitition on frumpy mum 2. Possibly unnecessary with this product, since I think most people got the idea after 10 seconds


Frumpy mum 4, and at last a semi-convincing benefit. If they'd spent the whole video gunning for the cheated wife market, I think they may have sold a couple more nipples, but hey, there you go. Just don't make anyone think about what the guys eyes are going to be doing when his wife's under garments come off.


Hammering it home now, oh dear ...


So, I guess they're resolving objections here, in case you're sat on the couch thinking "Oh, I'd like a pair of these but what are they made of" or "I'm not sure they'll match my skin tone"


The final push, they've given up and cast the net to the selective demongraphic of "women of all ages". Hell, why not target men as well? 

These gems will cost you a mere $19.95 and somewhat unsurprisingly, no bonuses. Couldn't they have at least chucked in a complimentary Stick Nip Glue pack?


And Frumpy mum 1 is back to recite her lines. Wow. I feel violated

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