By Frank Furness
I love gadgets and technology and it has completely changed the way that I think and work. It also enables me to choose only the speaking engagements that I want to do while maintaining my earnings. It provides me with income while I sleep, an exit strategy and future pension for my business. Over the last eighteen months I have invested a great deal of time and money to discover what it takes to make technology really work and I would like to share some of these with you.
Digital voice recorder – I bought my first digital recorder when they first appeared on the market and now use the Olympus DS4000 which is superb. I use it to record my talks which I can then turn into saleable products. I also interview top personalities and insert these recordings into my talks and products.
Voice Recognition Software. – A few years ago I spoke one language and the recognition typed another. With a bit of training, Dragon 8 has 95% accuracy and saves me time. All my emails and documents are now dictated and my new book is being written using it. Thank goodness the one finger typing days are a thing of the past.
Audio CDs –I now have 13 audio products, mostly triple CD series. By the end of April I will have another eight, including two super products that will sell for £500 each. My first audio product was recorded on a £100 minidisk and resulted in a £35,000 order. With today’s technology, all my recordings are done at home using a Rode NT1000 microphone, Focus Trackmaster preamp and Adobe Audition software. I can now do all my recordings and editing when I want to and produce a massive amount of product. With a small amount of practice, this is not difficult to do, anyone can master it.
DVDs – I have 3 DVDs. Two were the results of being videoed at presentations I gave and one was where I hired a crew to film me. It cost me a small fortune to have these turned into DVDs. Now using Adobe Premier or Pinnacle Pro (£70), I can do this myself.
Websites – I have a great website, but it is a bit confusing. I’m trying to sell speaking, training, consultancy and products. I am setting up one page websites for each of these areas as well as a website for each product. I am not a ‘techie’ and don’t know much about HTML, but using ‘Header Generator’ and ’60 second sales letter’ software, I can produce these websites that bring in sales while I sleep.
Sales Copy – One of the most interesting things I have learned is the importance of having catchy headers and having the right sales copy. Once again, I use software that through wizards enables me to get copy that sells.
Lists – Last year I spoke in Hollywood with an Internet superstar, Joel Christopher. I became friendly with him and bought his programme on list building. I now have nearly 10,000 subscribers from all over the world and this is what sells product. You must start to build your lists immediately.
Ezine – I avoided having an electronic newsletter (ezine) for ages. My first newsletter last year resulted in 10 International bookings from people that I had never met, but my newsletter was passed on to them by my other subscribers. With so many newsletters circulating, content is king and is going to be the one differentiator between getting your newsletter read or deleted. I use a company called Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) for my newsletter. It is easily constructed and provides statistics on clickthroughs and resultant sales of products on my website. I use another piece of software called ‘Ezineannouncer’ to spread my newsletter globally and bring in a ton of new subscribers. Get your newsletters going now, even if it’s only being sent to ten people.
Affiliates – How would you like to have sales representatives all around the world selling your products? Well, this is fairly easy to do on an affiliate programme. I sell other peoples products and have people all over the world selling mine (including Dottie Walters in the USA, take a look at her website and you will see some of my products)
Teleseminars – How do you keep in touch with all your past and future clients and delegates that have attended your talks? The easiest way is to run teleseminars. Once again this is easy to do. I normally use three way calling and have an overseas guest. You can mute your listeners; have question and answer sessions and immediately afterwards have a CD product to sell.
Computer Recording Equipment – I have bought a programme that will record any telephone conversations that I have. This is great for interviews as well as recording briefs that I conduct with clients before I speak.
Websites – With today’s technology, you can add video and audio to your website. I use a company called Advenzia (www.advenzia.com) for my website as they have built in an affiliate programme and allow me to make my own changes whenever and wherever I want to. My last webmasters made a fortune from me by charging every time I wanted to make any small change. You must have the ability to make changes on your website
Interactive Marketing CD – Most glossy brochures go straight into the bin. For a number of years I have been using an interactive CD that I send to potential clients and enquiries. This has resulted in a 95% close rate as it can contain so much information: videos and audio of you presenting, TV and radio interviews, information on all your programmes, clients, testimonials and a lot more. With today’s technology, this is affordable and provides a great return on investment.
Video for PowerPoint – How would you like to be speaking at a convention, do a video interview with the CEO and have it as part of your presentation? This is easy to do with a simple video camera and software (I use Pinnacle Pro). Think about how you can use this type of technology to differentiate yourself from the other speakers and trainers. Even more impressive, how would you like it if the day after your talk, all your delegates can go in to your website and listen to the presentation and see photos and watch a video of the talk. Amazing and doable with a small amount of training.
Photos – This is the easiest thing to do. With digital cameras nowadays, you can easily insert photographs into your presentations.
All of these are just a few of the things you can do to enhance your business and provide multiple sources of income. Having spent eighteen months studying all this, I have mountains of information. To get your free eBook where I share some of this information, please download it from www.frankfurness.com/internet.cfm
Also, take a look at my one day seminar on ‘Multiple Sources of Income’ on my website or call me on +44 (0)1923 248200 or email me at email@example.com
Frank Furness CSP FPSA speaks and presents globally and is the past president of the Professional Speakers Association of Europe