Episode 108

Creative Uses for Online Courses Outside of the Internet Marketing Space with Jeff Long

This LMScast with Chris Badgett of codeBOX covers creative uses for online courses outside of the internet marketing space with Jeff Long of the Online Course Coach Podcast.

Jeff’s background in video, web development, teaching, and corporate training come together to make him an outstanding online course design coach. Video is an especially important element of your course for SEO, marketing, and student engagement. Courses with video rank higher in Google and are more effective for student learning and retention.

Online courses are also beneficial beyond general education applications. For public speaking entrepreneurs, courses can be developed from content they already use in their presentations. They already have video from their events, and may have written books. All of that can be packaged for sale through a website, or as a back of the room package.

Manufacturing businesses can benefit from offering their own training courses and video for internal training for new hires as well as current employees, plus overviews of HR and OSHA training. Sales reps can access those courses and videos from their tablet for every sales presentation wherever they are. And their customers will benefit from user support courses that explain how to use the product they’ve purchased, from setup to usage and safety. It’s also a great list generator.

Any content you present repeatedly for onboarding, training, and support can be produced once in an online course, probably a mini-course, and then presented indefinitely at will. And offering great online courses and video will set you apart as an industry leader and high-level expert in your market.

The LifterLMS platform for creating and selling online courses has benefited from this concept as well by offering a demo course, which they also use for internal training of new hires, developers and support staff. The video course is also a primary marketing asset as most conversions happen after a customer views the demo.

Jeff offers several tips for listeners with emphasis on always doing a quality presentation, even for a free mini-course or video, as that offering may be your customer’s first exposure to who you are and what you have to offer. Jeff Long is offering a complete course for creating high-quality courses quickly and within your budget. You can get information and sign up for that at the Easy Video for Courses website.

Whatever creative uses for online courses outside of the internet marketing space you’re doing, the LifterLMS course development platform makes it easy to get your course designed, built, live, and ready to sell.

Post comments and subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and I’m joined today with Jeff Long. How you doing, Jeff?

Jeff Long: I’m great. I’m great.

Chris Badgett: It’s good to have you on the show. On this episode, we’re going to be talking about creative uses for online courses, and then we’re going to get into some of Jeff’s key wisdom around video, which he has a lot of experience with, and pull out some gems for you out there. First, Jeff, tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you come from? What do you do?

I know I first came across you on the Online Course Coach Podcast, which is one of my favorite podcasts that I recommend to anybody who is passionate about online courses and being an education entrepreneur and looking for good resources for a wide variety of information, and tips, and some great interviews. Your guests are incredible. Check out Jeff there, but tell us a little bit more about you. Who are you and what do you do?

Jeff Long: Yeah. Thanks again for having me on the show. It’s been an honor. I’ve been listening to you guys for a while, too, so it’s kind of this reciprocal thing. I started in 2003 with a video production company and had two business partners at the time, and we quickly found out…We’d make these great videos, but our clients’ websites were terrible, outdated, built in a flash, et cetera, et cetera, and so they would ask us to build a website to pretty much house the video. This was before even YouTube was popular, and things like that. We have this one-two punch of videos and website development. My parents are both teachers, lifelong educators. They’re now college professors, and so I have a teacher bug in me, I guess you could say, that I always love to teach.

In fact, fresh out of college, I did corporate training with Lowe’s Home Improvement, so anytime a new Lowe’s store open across the country, I flew there. I trained everybody from the store manager to the store janitor and had a lot of fun. It was a blast. I even got to go to Hawaii, and Alaska, and Canada, and everywhere here in the U.S.. Those things combined, the video, the web development, the teaching background, and corporate training all came together and ahead many years ago.

I don’t have an exact point or date, and it just made sense when plans kept coming to me and saying, “Oh, you do a video and a web. I have this training I would like to videotape, and then put online, and deliver”, and it just morphed into one of our niches that we specialize in an offer. Whether that’s corporate, eLearning, and training or more entrepreneurial-based, it’s been a lot of fun working with some different clients, and we’ll talk about some of those projects and some innovative ways or interesting ways to create online courses that many people hadn’t thought of. That’s a little bit about me. Like you said, I have the Online Course Coach Podcast which I get to interview amazing people, and I just have a lot of fun just asking questions, shooting the breeze like we’re doing here today.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. That’s a lot of great experience and it’s interesting how things overlap with the teaching background, the video. I started out actually as just an amateur guy who really fell in love with digital video. I was that guy. I’m very much come from a wilderness background, so I used to be ice climbing on mountains on a mountaineering expedition and climbing a big wall, carrying my little digital camera.

Jeff Long: Nice.

Chris Badgett: It was that passion for video that really is what brought me into the web, and when I saw YouTube come on the scene, I was like … After I became more entrepreneurial, I definitely saw the opportunity in what was happening with videos. It’s just this veracious appetite for video as a communication tool, and …

Jeff Long: Yeah, and it helps so much with SEO, with your marketing. I know Forrester Research did a survey or a study and found that a website with video on it is 53 times more likely to be on the first page of Google than a website that doesn’t have a video, a text, and image only website. Then, on the Online Course, let’s see if I can find that stat real quick. I think it was on the Online Course side. A course that has a video content, it was …

I’m not going to be able to pull it up on the top of my mind. It was like 82% more effective when students took the course and it was video-based, so immediately, when they took it, they didn’t remembered a whole lot more than a text-based course. However, over time, they remembered it 82% better than the other students that didn’t have a video-based course, and so just the idea or just the fact that the information seeps in, syncs in when they can hear it and see it and experience it through a video. I could talk about the benefits of video forever, but I know we have other things where we’ll talk about for that.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Yeah. Just another SEO tip I want to throw out there for people, for example with this podcast that we’re recording right now, I have transcripts that are done from these episodes which are full of keywords or whatever, and no matter what your industry is or your niche or your online course platform, you have a blog and you’re doing videos, getting transcripts is a great way to build up just some real, natural SEO as long as you’re talking in the words that people in your industry use. It can be a lot easier to do it that way than trying to write a 4,000 word post, so it’s definitely one of my SEO tips for people looking to get found because we talk to a lot of people here who are at the beginning. Not always, but a lot of people at the beginning like, “How do I start? How do I get found?”, and video is just such a powerful way to get found.

Let’s get into some creative uses for online courses outside of internet marketing. There’s a lot of people in the online course space who get interested in things like passive income or making money online. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s a lot of other ways to use online courses or to blend them into something else that’s already going on, and I know you have a bunch of experience working with a lot of different clients and interviewing and so on. How else are people using online courses outside of the internet marketing space?

Jeff Long: Yeah. Let’s start at the entrepreneur level. My company works with larger companies that have HR departments or marketing departments, et cetera. We’ll talk about some of those in a second. One thing that I think is a huge opportunity is with speakers, so public speakers, motivational speakers, and you guys had a really good podcast on that a while back on speakers and online courses.

I just think that, and I’ve worked with quite a few speakers, there’s such opportunity because they already have that content. They’re talking from the stage. They perhaps have a book that they’re selling or a video for back of the room sales. They can just package that together in a course. It’s a no-brainer, so it’s a revenue stream and it’s something they can sell both on their website, as well as back of the room sales.

Whenever I talk to speakers, a lot of times, they have thought about that, but they don’t know that … I guess they already … They usually have the content already in the can in some capacity whether that like I said that’s a book or a DVD series. It’s just creating that extra course material whether it’s quizzes or essays or whatever that might be, or even providing a private Facebook group so there’s more interaction, so I think speakers are a tremendous opportunity for online courses. What are your thoughts with speakers?

Chris Badgett: I 100% agree. That’s actually where I got my start in online courses. As an entrepreneur, you don’t necessarily have to be the expert. You can also be the publisher, so for me, as a guy who understood the web, understood video, understood internet entrepreneurship or whatever, I see opportunity all around me. I did a project with my wife where we found some of the best speakers in the world on topics in organic gardening and permaculture which happens to be a niche that we’re interested in and is actually it’s popular in different parts of the world, but it was a very easy sell.

We would go. We would find these speakers. We would go to where they were already speaking, and just ask them the question of like, “We will help format this in an online course. Instead of reaching this room of 20 or 200 or a thousand, let’s make this available worldwide”, and it was just an easy sell. We did it, and that project continues to add value over and over again, and everybody’s happy.

Jeff Long: Yeah.

Chris Badgett: It’s just about capturing that medium, that speaking or the book or whatever it is and just bringing it into the online course space as a publisher.

Jeff Long: Yeah. Yeah. That’s why I love working with speakers. It’s funny. Probably in the late ’90s, in early 2000s, I worked with a couple of speakers putting their cassette tapes onto CD, so on CD. Physical CDs.

Chris Badgett: Okay. Yeah.

Jeff Long: Then, a few years later, we migrated all to MP3 and put it online to sell. Like you said, finding those industry experts and partnering with them, whether it’s a joint venture or straight up normal project where they pay you for the project, to me, as an entrepreneur, I love opportunities where there’s a win-win, and so I think speakers are like we keep saying, there’s huge opportunities to help them succeed, and by doing so, you can also succeed as well like we’ve both done.

Chris Badgett: Yeah, and especially if they’re not really online in any kind of major way. They’re just waiting to be … There’s an opportunity there waiting to just scale it out, and that’s still early days in a lot of industry and niches. I mean, there’s a lot of topics out there that people speak on.

Jeff Long: Yeah. Yeah. I was at a speaker’s conference last year in Dallas, and one guy was, he spoke about mountain climbing because he had climbed Everest, and other people were more family and relationship speaking and et cetera, et cetera. There are so many available topics. It’s amazing.

I think the one challenge with many speakers is even though they do it full-time, they’re not the top tier, so it is like what you did is to find the top tier speakers and pursue them versus some speakers that are struggling or not as prolific as maybe some others are.

Chris Badgett: Yeah. Just to put you back on that idea, when we started doing that, our video production quality was quite low. It’s just a $500 or maybe less camera in a dark room with poor lighting and a lapel mic that had a little feedback, but because the speaker, and this one that I’m thinking about in particular is known as the number one in the world, best-selling author on the topic of permaculture, it didn’t matter because the content was there and that was good.

Jeff Long: Yeah.

Chris Badgett: Over time, I got more evolved as an entrepreneur. I started bringing in professional film crews and all this kind of thing. I was able to grow from there, but when you’re at the top while video production and quality is important, I was able to get away with it and still survived and realized, “Oh, but I still need to improve” just because they were so good. They were the top of that niche, and those people are more approachable than you realize.

Jeff Long: Yeah. Yeah. No. That’s true. Even though my background is in video production, we do high level, high-end video shoots and projects. As far as online courses, you’re right.

It’s the content that’s key, so whether you’re using your smartphone or a web camera or DSLR or whatever, it’s more about the content and there is a time and a place to increase the quality of your course, look and feel through a video. But I’m definitely not one of these people that says you have to spend a bunch of money to create your online course videos. I always try to start simple as “Unless you have a huge audience that expects a certain level of quality”, but even then, you can sometimes get away with cheaper tools.

Chris Badgett: Totally. Totally. What are some other places or creative ways of using online courses that you come across?

Jeff Long: Yeah. We have a fair amount of clients that are in the manufacturing space. What I love, I consider myself almost like a creative or a digital problem solver that happens to use the tools of video, eLearning, website development, so whenever I talk with a manufacturing company, I ask some questions. One of the questions is “Explain how you’re doing internal training, new hire training, HR, OSHA”, all those things that many of them are required to do, and I’m always surprised how few manufacturing companies do not do any type of online courses, eLearning, video training, et cetera. One example for instance was a company, and they do, I think it was stud welding or arc welding or both.

They have this little box. It looks almost like a briefcase, and that’s where it generates power and helps do the arc welding and some of the things. I don’t want to get too technical because I’ll be out of my league here quick. They were having a problem where their sales team would go out, and they would say one message, and then the customer service folks would get a call, and they might say something a little different, and then the people that were actually building it in the back of the facility, they would know something else, so we created this eight-part video training on really from setup, to usage, to safety, to everything the client could use. Of course, we’ve put it on their website.

Their sales team was able to put it on iPads and you can go across the country, and just everybody was on the same page because it was well-documented in this video course. Here’s the funny thing that happened or the thing I didn’t anticipate is, and I’ve been doing this since 2003. Video, especially video courses and good video courses quickly elevates you to an expert level, even this company I worked with. They were an expert in their field I would imagine, but once I had this video series, trade publications, and different trade shows, and other people in their industry were calling them asking about how the video is made or “Can we use some screenshots for our brochure?”, or just things that quickly propelled my client to a different level just because of these videos. Then lastly, I got a call from him.

He was at a big trade show in Dallas. He said, “Hey, we just won our biggest contract of the year”. I congratulated him of course. He said, “One of the key factors was I have this video course for our product”, and my client’s new customer looked at that as an innovation and they were cutting edge, and they were making it happen, and so the customer was talking to my client. “Hey, if you guys are that cutting edge, we know that you can serve us for years to come”.

There’s all these ripple effects that to be honest, I didn’t think about, I didn’t market, I didn’t promote when I was doing the sales pitch to my client. It was just fascinating how that video series propelled them higher in different people’s eyes.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome, and what you’re touching on there is not linear in nature. It didn’t just make something marginally better. It actually made a lot of things a lot better which is interesting, and that’s the power of the internet and the true power of scale.

Jeff Long: Yeah.

Chris Badgett: Though, I’m curious when you first did that project, was it meant initially just to be for internal training and the public wasn’t going to see it or was it for everybody?

Jeff Long: It was for everybody. We had considered some extra modules or whatever just for internal use, but it’s really helped their SEO. We talked about SEO earlier, and so we got the transcriptions and we did our keywords and tagging it appropriately, so it’s really helped them with SEO and searchability.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Yeah. I mean, we have the same experience at LifterLMS which is a digital product for creating and selling online courses, but we have a demo course that if we hire, knew somebody, knew on support, they’d go through it. A lot of what we do is custom development built on top of LifterLMS, and if there’s a developer coming in to work on those kinds of projects, they take that course. It’s our number one marketing asset.

Most of our conversions happen after somebody … They were on the demo, and then they decided to buy. Those videos are on YouTube and going all over the place. I mean, it just keeps going on and on and on. It’s really amazing what, if you’re a product company or a service company, how valuable it is to slow down, take a second, and curate all that knowledge as opposed to just doing it one-off because think about how efficient it is every time somebody needs to learn about our product for one person to stop and show this one-on-one relationship, and then that moment in time is gone forever.

Jeff Long: Yeah. It’s interesting you mentioned that. I spoke at WordCamp Columbus this year. Obviously, most of the audience are web developers, designers, and that kind of people in that industry, and we got off on a topic about similar to what you just said that if you find yourself doing the same onboarding, training or whatever with your clients or with your employees or freelancers, create a course. It doesn’t have to be this big, blown out, huge, mega course.

It could be a three-lesson module or a three-lesson course, a mini course, and that just takes so much time. I mean, it could be as simple as “Here are the ten things you need to do to log into your WordPress website and add a blog post. Go to this page, and then log in, and then add your title, then your keywords, and then your tag”.

Chris Badgett: Yeah.

Jeff Long: It doesn’t have to be complex, and I think there’s a waviness or a value to courses where back in the day, it used to be, “Hey, sign up for our newsletter”, and people would just sign up in masses, and then that fell off, and then, “Hey, sign up and you get this free report”, and that has fallen off, and then “Get this audio or whatever”. The course is a perfect list generator, list builder, so yeah, I’ve seen that countless times just like what you’re saying with your courses and what not that it just helps on so many levels.

Chris Badgett: Absolutely. Absolutely. What’s another one? What’s another creative use for online courses?

Jeff Long: Yeah. We talked about speakers earlier. I worked with Carrie Wilkerson of The Barefoot Executive. She wrote a ‘New York Times’ best-selling book, and then she’s a speaker as well. We did a whole, big, long day video shoot where she flew in, and we had make-up people and multiple cameras and big crew and all that, but part of that was we did some different videos. Some are more highly produced, and then the course videos were a little scaled down.

She just built her email list just like we talked about a minute ago, and so she had a ‘7 Day Business Blitz’ where she would give different tips and strategies to help you in your business for seven days. She emailed me about a month after the launch and she said she had about a thousand new subscribers added to her list because of that. While she is in that speaker space and somewhat internet marketing space, she’s so authentic, she’s so good, and she was using this mini course as a list builder, but man, it packed a powerful punch to the audience. You know this, Chris. If you’re thinking of a free course, don’t make it crappy.

Chris Badgett: Right.

Jeff Long: Make it awesome, because that’s the first exposure to you that your customers will have.

Chris Badgett: Yeah. Yeah. That’s really good stuff. Yeah. Do you recommend … I’m just curious on that free mini course, the beginning or something.

Do you recommend that coming out, or what are your experience and what have you seen in terms of having that be just videos that come out their email or actually putting those inside of a learning management system? Do you have any way of …

Jeff Long: That’s a great question. I don’t know. Yeah. I haven’t done any split test, so I can’t say definitively back-to-back how that would convert. I think it depends on your audience and topic, and I think that would be a fun test to see if you send out emails with video in it and they click, it’s a good page or if they have to log in. I don’t have an answer for that.

Chris Badgett: I’m just curious. I’m always wondering about that. I do agree and I’ve just seen it so much that the free email mini course is the way to go.

Jeff Long: Yeah.

Chris Badgett: Another one I’m seeing a lot lately and maybe we could chat about it a little bit is this whole concept of people doing a virtual summit.

Jeff Long: Yeah.

Chris Badgett: It’s live, there’s all these experts come in, and they talk about a specific topic. It may or may not be curated into a path to follow. That might just be a bunch of people weighing in on their perspective on a topic, and then it’s free. That may be free, an online virtual summit, and then after that summit is over, then it gets curated into a course or a membership. Are you seeing that going on or what’s your take on that trend?

Jeff Long: Yeah. I think it is a good strategy. I’ve been on one recently and it was a lot of fun. I don’t know. Personally, I don’t know if people are going to get fatigued of that.

I think it’s been going on for maybe a year or two. I don’t know when that tipping point will be when it’s like, “Okay. I get invited to a summit every week or every month. I just don’t have the time”, so I think there’s value and with everything. The more niched down or obscure your topic is, the more you can do a summit and it’s new in your industry, so manufacturers or some of the clients that you’ve worked with, Chris could really benefit from that, but if it’s kind of the typical like, “Hey, how to make money online or how …”, I think we’re all tired of that.

Chris Badgett: Right. Right. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. Let’s get into some video tips. You’re here.

You’re a video guy, and we get hit all the time with video questions, and you have an upcoming course on effective video. Can you tell us a little bit about that, and then start giving us some tips?

Jeff Long: Yeah. I do. I got to look at my calendar here. Starting October 26th through November 11th, I have a three-part video series all about how to create effective online course videos in half the time, because I find that through my podcast and doing coaching and different things, people want to create effective courses. That’s what it’s all about and that’s what we’re both passionate about, Chris, is effective training that changes lives and impacts people.

I know there’s a barrier to entry with video. People think it’s too costly, too complicated. They don’t want to get in front of the camera. There’s a lot of things that keep people from creating videos, and so this three-part series really talks about how to create videos in half a time, some of the tools and resources I have, and then I also have a contest I’m running with about $800 worth of prizes and discounts for people to build their website, their course, their videos, et cetera, so that’s a fun experiment I’m doing with the course as well.

Then, I’m going to be launching a full-blown out course right after that early November type of thing, so yeah, it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’ll talk about the different pieces of equipment you might need, whether you’re on a small budget or large budget, so audio, video, lighting, graphics, some of those different things, as well as how to truly and effectively teach with your course content. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Chris Badgett: What are people doing with video perhaps incorrectly or underoptimized in terms of teaching through video? What are they doing or not doing?

Jeff Long: Yeah. I think one of the struggles is trying to fit your entire life’s knowledge into your course.

Chris Badgett: Yeah.

Jeff Long: In fact, I have a client who does this. Every time, I say “We need to cut it down”, so that the goal is not how much packed into this. It’s more about “What’s the simplest way to convey this message and teach this without talking forever and ever and ever?” I had an entrepreneur one time tell me … He would pay five times the amount for a specific course if it to be cut in half dramatically. He said, “My time is worth more than money, and so if I can get in and get out and get what I need to, that’s more important than the cost of the course”, so I think finding that happy medium of content versus length is key.

In fact, I saw a study that said “Videos that are for eLearning and training have about a 12-minute limit for people to stick with you”. We all know that promo videos and marketing videos should be under probably three minutes or so, but with training videos, you can go longer, but there’s that 12-minute limit, so when possible, try to keep each lesson, module, video, whatever under that 12 minutes.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. What about tools? If somebody is first starting out, let’s say it’s an entrepreneur who’s already successful, whether they’re a speaker or let’s just say they’re a solo operator, but they already have a nice income, they’re not struggling, but they’re new to the whole technology thing and they’re going to have talking head videos, what do you recommend?

Jeff Long: Yeah. Perfect. I recommend to start with what you have, and most people have a decent smartphone that has good video, so why not start with using your iPhone or your smartphone? Just make sure to get a tripod that can hold a smartphone. You don’t want to hold your arm, had your arm out, selfie mode when recording a video for 12 minutes of course.

That’s one thing is make sure to have a good tripod. Then, make sure to have good audio. Whether that’s a lavalier mic, and you can find these on Amazon for 20 bucks or so. There are ones that cost a lot more, but you can do it for 20, and so that way, it sounds good. It’s steady.

Then, the third thing you need is good lighting. I recommend be in your window or be somewhere where there’s not harsh shadows. You could even be outside as long as you’re not half in a shade, half in the sun. Those are the things I would recommend. Start with a video camera you have, whether it’s your smartphone or a webcam, get a tripod and stabilization, get good audio, and then make sure it looks good with the lighting.

Chris Badgett: If you don’t have an iPhone, what’s the best audio option, like just to use earbuds like this if you’re recording a video or what?

Jeff Long: Yes. RODE makes a really good … It’s called the ‘smartLav+’. smartLav+ if you pronounce it like that.

Chris Badgett: Is it wireless or corded?

Jeff Long: It is corded.

Chris Badgett: Yeah.

Jeff Long: They do make some wireless ones. It’s hard for me to recommend wireless because the wireless Lav mic I have is almost a thousand dollars, and I’m not going to recommend that for normal people.

Chris Badgett: Yeah. Right.

Jeff Long: It’s more in the high-end. I mean, you can definitely. You can use your earbuds that come with it. It’s just personally, I think it looks a little funny if you have your earbuds in a course. I’d prefer to have less wires in it, but that might just be my perfectionism coming through.

Chris Badgett: Absolutely. What are some other low-hanging fruit things you see for education entrepreneurs out there who either classic mistakes or just easy places to get started and really bring it up a notch?

Jeff Long: Yeah. I think a lot of it is … Here’s a tip I would do, and I actually broke this rule recently, so I’ll remember next time is don’t record your first video first. Let’s say you have a 10-lesson course, and each lesson is a video. Chances are if you’re brand new to video or if you don’t do it much, you’re going to be learning on the fly, and that’s fine, and your first video is going to be your worst. All right? Let’s be honest.

Chris Badgett: Right.

Jeff Long: You don’t want to start off with your audience’s and your students’ first impression being one of your worst videos, so you might just do a practice video and get it out of the way and just say, “You know what? That first video, I’m just going to throw it in the trash. We’re not going to even use it”, so there’s no pressure, or you can start in the middle. “Let’s take video five and work all the way up to number ten, and then back starting from one up to five”. That’s what I would recommend is … Most people don’t think of that.

They just think sequentially, “Hey, one through ten. Start at one. End at ten”, but start in the middle because your first video is going to suffer and you’ll have to rerecord it. Like I said, I just went through that recently myself because I’m used to producing other people’s videos. I’m not always in front of the camera as much as I would like to be.

Chris Badgett: Right. That’s great. I remember when I first recorded LifterLMS demo course, the very first video is like “Why LifterLMS?”, so I was like, “I might as well wait until I’m warmed up, and then I’ll come back and do that really quick one at the end” after I’ve done everything else and really gotten the rhythm.

Jeff Long: Yeah. Yeah.

Chris Badgett: That makes a lot of sense. I also want to just echo what you’re saying. It’s important to not be too hard on yourself and go ahead and launch your first lesson or your first course, have it not be perfect, and just know that the next time you come around, you’re going to be better.

Jeff Long: Yeah.

Chris Badgett: A lot of people have to go through like, “Okay. That was my first course”, and either redo it again in a year or launch a different course, but the main thing is just to start. I’ve never seen anything like video where people struggle with perfectionism, and I know it brings up a lot. You have to be on stage, you’re public speaking in a way. It just brings up a lot of issues, and I just see so much perfectionism around video. If that’s blocking you of not being on stage, then maybe you should start with a screen cast kind of course or whatever which is totally fine.

Jeff Long: Yeah. Yeah. You’re right. I think people are always critical of how they look and sound and act on camera. I mean, I am too.

I watch a video, I’m like, “Man, I sound like that? Are you kidding me?” Nobody else thinks that because they just know you as you, and so you always are your worst critic with video. The good thing is you don’t have to be perfect. I think with …

When I worked with some of our corporate clients that we do sales videos and marketing videos, yeah, we have to stick on message and stick true to brand, and it has to be more scripted, but when you’re teaching, it’s more just to let your expertise come through. If you say some ‘Ums’ and ‘Uhs’, and if you stumble, it’s not the end of the world. Like you’ve said, Chris, just get that course up there and thankfully, LifterLMS makes it easy to get a course up and to swap out components of it. Maybe you do a phase two or a version two, and you can easily swap in or out the new material, so it’s really a no-brainer. I think people overcomplicate it thinking, “Oh, once this course is made, it’s set in stone for all eternity”, and it’s not.

Chris Badgett: Yeah. It’s never perfect. Even right now during this call, I can hear my neighbor who’s outside that window just started out the leaf blowers. I’m pretty sure it’s coming in through my mic, but whether it’s dogs barking, somebody interrupting, somebody saying ‘Ums’ and ‘Uhs’, there’s always going to be something.

Jeff Long: Yeah.

Chris Badgett: If your course is really financially successful, then you can hire somebody to come through your post-production, and then cut out all the ‘Ums’ and ‘Uhs’ and make you sound more articulate if you really want to, but it’s not a reason not to start and just get going in the first place.

Jeff Long: Yeah. Yeah. Here’s another tip because most of us make a lot of mistakes on video or screen cast or whatever. If it is you on a video, and I have to do this a lot, trust me, is I hide my mistakes with creative editing. Let’s say I talk for one minute, and in the middle of it for 15 seconds, I start talking about something, and I just mess up.

I can cut that part out and either put a transition, I can put an image over top of it or extra footage, or a graph or a chart, anything to cover that up. You see this a lot with the news. I don’t really watch the local news just because it’s always depressing, but they show the anchor there on camera and here she is talking, and then they cut the footage of what they’re talking about, so you don’t know if that anchor person is talking straight through or if they’ve cut up some of the interviews and different things. That’s an easy way to cut out your mistakes without your audience knowing about it.

Chris Badgett: Yeah. Yeah. Editing, if you’re using something like ScreenFlow or iMovie, you can do a lot just right after the fact, and even sometimes I’ve done it before where I will clap in the middle of a show.

Jeff Long: Yeah.

Chris Badgett: That’s just me putting a spike in the audio graph, so I’m like, “Yeah. Right around there, I need to cut something out”, but I know pretty much, I don’t need to touch everything else, so it’s just a way for me to speed up the editing process. Yeah. I go to that spike, look for what I wanted to edit there, and then keep going.

Jeff Long: I love it. I’m so glad you brought that up. That’s like a power user tip, so congrats. You’re a power user. It really is.

Let’s say you do a promo video or something where you record the same phrase over and over or whatever. Like what you’ve just said, Chris, I either snap or clap my hands for a good take, so I know, “Hey, I just look at the time lines for my claps or snaps”, and I cut that and keep it, and I catch all the rest. That way, you don’t have to watch through every take and retakes and all that because it’s pretty monotonous and time-consuming.

Chris Badgett: Yeah, and that comes from the movie industry. I think you have one on the wall behind you, but that thing that people do where that goes like clack, we’ve all seen it.

Jeff Long: Yeah.

Chris Badgett: That’s one of the reason they do that.

Jeff Long: Yeah.

Chris Badgett: It’s just like a visual representation of a transition or whatever.

Jeff Long: Exactly.

Chris Badgett: Cool. Jeff, this has been great. Can you tell us where to find out more about you and tell us again about your upcoming course and where people can go to find out more?

Jeff Long: Yeah. You can find out more about that course at ‘Easyvideoforcourses.com’. If the video series is still going, you can sign up for that. If not, you can just get on the wait list. I’ll probably push it out six months from now just because I want to make sure I can properly equip and handle the students that are coming in, so ‘Easyvideoforcourses’ is probably the best way to learn more about that.

Chris Badgett: Your podcast?

Jeff Long: The podcast is ‘Onlinecoursecoach.com’. We interview different people and different industries, as well as they have quite a few solo shows talking about just like what we talked about here today, video tips, as well as different marketing strategies, and how to build courses, and fun things like that.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. Thanks for coming on the show, Jeff and we’ll have to definitely do this again sometime.

Jeff Long: Yeah. Thanks so much, Chris.

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