“I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.” – Franklin P. Adams
I wanted to buy a how-to video for a partner-dance called the West Coast Swing, so I went to Google and did a search. As you’d expect, I instantly found 2,480,000 results, including quite a few sites that looked like they might have the professional-level show dancing that I was looking for.
What you wouldn’t expect was that a number of those websites were actually extension pages for YouTube.com.
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the past few years, you’ve probably heard of YouTube. It’s a website where anyone can post a video on almost any subject and make it available for the world to view.
At one end of the YouTube spectrum, you’ll find videos posted by silly teenagers to show off their pranks and shenanigans. At the other end, you’ll find serious “audition” videos posted by folks who are hoping to break into the entertainment industry. I know of many struggling actors/dancers/singers/comics who posted a video that became wildly popular – and, as a result, wound up with a deal with a major network or studio.
Based on my own experience, I can tell you that YouTube also has the potential to turn producing instructional or specialty videos into a fun and very profitable business for you. In my first video venture (where I was a partner), we began with under $100. Now, 10 years later, that business still makes over $250,000 annually.
If you are an expert in almost any field, you can produce a video to teach others some of what you know. You can star in your own video – or, if you’re camera shy, hire someone else. One of my most profitable videos features a certified exercise trainer teaching back stretches.
Almost anything that people might be interested in – from cooking to fishing to chess – can be a possible subject for your video. All you’ve got to do is produce it, market it, and reap the profits.
That’s where YouTube comes in. This free Internet phenomenon is a perfect marketing tool for instructional videos.
When I was searching for that West Coast Swing video, I assumed I would find a site where I could buy one. But, on a lark, I decided to take a look at some of the YouTube postings.
To my surprise, I found some excellent footage of the kind of thing I was looking for. Several of the postings had links to websites where I could then buy the full-length video. And because I’d seen samples of the material, I was confident that those videos would have what I wanted, so I ordered one.
It didn’t take me more than another 10 minutes to realize that I could be using YouTube to promote some of my own videos. I have several – including a basic instructional ballroom dance video – that I market. I posted a clip from that video on YouTube and, to my pleasant surprise, it immediately started getting views… and a few sales.
I don’t expect to get an avalanche of sales from this marketing strategy, but I do believe it will continue to be a steady source of extra income for me. Sweetest of all, these sales cost me nothing. There are no pay-per-click fees or profit-sharing deals. All the profits from YouTube-driven sales are mine to keep.
If the idea of using YouTube to market instructional or specialty videos interests you, here’s how you do it:
- Click to www.YouTube.com.
- Register yourself, and create a user name and passcode.
- Upload a clip of your video. (YouTube provides easy-to-follow instructions. I did it myself – and I’m not very Internet savvy.)
- List some keywords or search terms that are applicable to your video.
- On your profile, write a little something about your credentials and put in a live link to your website (so interested viewers can learn more or buy the video).
Using YouTube as a marketing tool is a fabulous way to earn some extra cash. Take a few minutes to try it out and see how it works for you.[Ed. Note: Paul Lawrence is a produced screenwriter, direct-mail copywriter, and business author. He is also the creator of the Quick and Easy Microbusiness System, ETR’s program for starting a business for under $100. Learn more of Paul’s video-business secrets HERE.]