In this episode of GSDdaily, we are going to talk about the tools and technology needed to create digital products. Stuff you can sell on your website, whether it’s ebooks, video courses, membership sites, all that kind of stuff. Basically, ways that you can package your knowledge and then sell it online. We’ve worked with a lot of people for a long time to package their knowledge. And for us, it follows a very similar path.
We’re going to talk about the tools, but getting you out of your head is a pain in the ass. It’s not that you don’t know how to do something. Oftentimes it’s difficult to teach something you inherently know or something that you figured out at one point in your life.
One of the biggest burdens that we’ve seen in helping people, we organize their business and create digital products and sell membership sites and all that other stuff.
What we’re going to do is we’re going to walk through the technology to make some of that happen and the software to make some of that happen. For those of you who don’t know, my name is Jason Drohn. I created doneforyou.com quite a few years ago. We specialize in three things; helping people create digital products, helping people automate their sales funnels, and they also deal with their traffic and automation on the backside.
Today we’re going to dig into how to create digital products. By and large, product creation, there are a couple of tools that you can use. So to create digital products, you don’t need much. You don’t need much in terms of software and technology to create an ebook. Once you get into video, video tends to be a little bit, not more difficult, but a little bit more intense.
To create digital products like ebooks, you just need, at the very minimum, you need some sort of a word processor. Microsoft Word is on pretty much almost any computer. Google Docs, you just need a Google account and then you can log in and get access to Google Docs. Then that gives you spreadsheets and Docs and all that other stuff.
The magic is just exporting it as a PDF. Once you’re able to export it as a PDF, then you’re able to sell that thing on your website. And you can also use a piece of software called Kindle Create, which will let you do ebooks and stuff and upload them to Kindle. We’re to talk about that in a minute. I’ll just take you on a little tour like I did yesterday.
Software for Audio Capture
For audio capture, some of the good ones.
QuickTime is a great tool. If you’re on an Apple, you can record on QuickTime. Audacity is a free piece of software that you can use to record your MP3s too. Where there’s a will, there’s away. You can use voice notes on your mobile and grab and record audio. Or you can jump on Zoom and record audio. Or you can jump on, this is StreamYard and I can record my video and my audio from here. So there are so many different ways of recording yourself if you have something to share. Do you know what I mean?
Software for Video Capture
What’s up, Mars? Mars said hi. There are so many ways of recording yourself. If you’re comfortable. Even if you’re not comfortable with it, you can use a piece of tool.
- Final Cut Pro
As one of these video capture tools like Camtasia or ScreenFlow, which we’re going to kick through in a minute.
In terms of stuff, in terms of gear, again, you don’t need much.
Tools for Video Capture
- any mobile phone
- HD webcam
Any mobile phone, any newer webcam is going to work just fine. I have been recording the last couple of videos on just an old HD webcam. This is an actual camcorder because right now, for whatever reason, webcams are super expensive. Well, we know the reason because everybody’s buying a webcam. But it was like, that webcam, that old webcam, was $170. This camcorder that I’m recording on was $220, and it’s an HD camcorder that you can do other things besides just hookups through the web. So, by and large, it works out pretty well. So I’m going to kick through Amazon.
Then mics. You can have something like this. This is an Audio Technica AT2020, which is that top result there. There’s a Blue Yeti, which is just a brand name. Most people have a Blue Yeti. That tends to be the one. Or any wireless mic. I have Amazon…
I got this camera, Vixia HF R800, which is the top result. It outputs through an HDMI cable, and then it… This camera sends the signal to a little, it’s like a game capture card. For the gamers who want to stream their gameplay on a computer, then it sends the HD signal into a USB port on the computer. And that USB port had a malfunction yesterday. That’s why it ended up being weird. But with this camera, I’m really happy with it. And then it’s paired with this and AT2020. An Audio Technica AT2020 mic, which is this guy.
There’s a couple of different versions of this thing. This is a USB version, which is this one. So it just goes USB port directly into the computer. This guy is super nice. I bought this thing eight or nine years ago. I bought the stand eight or nine years ago too. And then once I decided I wanted to start podcasting with doing these with a standing desk, I was like, wow, I need something that stands. And then this ended up working out pretty well.
The other version of this mic ends up going into a mixing board. A little bit cheaper going into a mixing board. So this one has the full, I don’t know exactly what the cable is called. I’m sure other people… Mars says, “Advice to anyone showing up is to listen to what this fella tells you.” That’s funny. Thank you, Mars. I appreciate it.
Mic, camera, and then the webcam. From a web game standpoint, you can work with just about any webcam you want. You don’t even need a webcam. This is the one that I have, the C920 is the one that’s over there. And I got it a long time ago. But there are all kinds of webcams and they’re all… It looks like they’re all kind of coming down in price, but these are not brand names. They look like it, but they’re not. So if you’re a brand-name person, then just make sure you’re on Amazon and looking for the right kind of thing.
Literally, your mobile device is going to work just fine. Being able to record a video on this guy, and then I record the video on my phone all the time and then edit it using something like iMovie. IMovie if you’re on a Mac. So iMovie is a fantastic tool if you’re on a Mac. It’s free and a part of the Apple suite. It’s beginner-friendly. You even have iMovie on an Apple device and you import a bunch of clips, you can move them around, you can cut them. You can do some general video editing. But you look at some of these YouTube streamers and they’re doing this super, super simple video editing. And a lot of them are just doing it right on their mobile device. It’s not magic, even though that’s what Apple is telling you it is.
Final Cut Pro
I also use Final Cut Pro. So once you graduate out of iMovie, then Final Cut Pro is probably where you’re going to end up landing. Final Cut Pro, fantastic software. It’s iMovie but to the next level. So you can do all the production-ready stuff in Final Cut Pro. I’m not real sure what the windows equivalent is, but I’m sure if you were just to Google it, then it would tell you.
Let’s see. There is ScreenFlow, which ScreenFlow is how I record all of our tutorial videos and stuff. Anything that is not a live stream ends up being ScreenFlow. It’s just software that records in different tracks. So you have your video track, you have your audio track, you have your camera track. And then you can move them around, you can dub them out, you can cut them, you can move them above each other. So basically they’re like layers in Photoshop. And then you can edit your videos that way.
This is the tool that I use most often. Even some non-complicated video edits, sometimes it’s just easier just to drag it into ScreenFlow, chop a couple of things, and then export it as opposed to starting a project in iMovie, or starting a project I Final Cut, or whatever. I end up using ScreenFlow more than almost any other piece of software, just because my video edits tend to be a lot less intensive or intense than more… Somebody does video full time. Do you know what I mean?
Camtasia is a piece of software that you’re going to be able to record your screen, just like ScreenFlow, only for Windows. So there is a Camtasia product for Mac, but almost everybody who’s on a Mac uses ScreenFlow. So you can use try the Windows version or try the Mac version. I came from a Windows world. Eight years ago I was on a Windows machine and I did a lot with Camtasia. Moved to Mac, downloaded Camtasia, tried Camtasia, didn’t work all that well. And then I tried ScreenFlow, stuck with ScreenFlow. But Camtasia would work on a Mac too. But it’s pretty much the only thing you got on a desktop.
If your videos are going to be shorter, Snagit works well too. I’m not sure if Snagit has a Windows counterpart. We’re going to go look. So Snagit is also by TechSmith, also by the same company that Camtasia is, but it’s a very, very simple editor. You can make small cuts, but even that ends up being a little bit burdensome. But if you’ve just got to grab a quick screen recording video and then do some voiceover and then send it off, Snagit’s going to work well. It’s great for working with people.
It’s easier to describe a stat or a result or something, so I will open up Snagit, record a quick video, and then send it off to them. Or a team member. You record a quick video, you send it off to him. There are lots of other kinds of tools like Loom and some other ones, but Snagit is the one that I just use.
- Microsoft Word and Pages
- Google Docs
- Amazon Kindle Create
Let’s see. Now in terms of tools, I don’t think Microsoft Word and Pages require any tremendous amount of detail. Google Docs, I don’t think we need to go there. If you just go to docs.google.com, it’s a word processor, you can edit as a PDF, and that’s it. The one place I do want to go is Amazon Create. Amazon Kindle Create is the name of it. So there is a piece of software called the Kindle Creates that basically what it does is it helps you format your ebook for the Kindle marketplace and also for the Kindle browsers.
If you look, there is Kindle Create. I’m just going to grab this link and let me share it here. Kindle Create. I don’t think I have it on this computer. But basically what Kindle Create does is it lets you take your PDF, your doc file, whatever, and then you can import it into Kindle Create, and then it sets it up to be a Kindle ebook.
In creating your eBooks, Kindle is something you need to think about. You’re not going to make that much money on it. So if you sell the PDF from your website, you’re going to make, seven bucks, 10 bucks, five bucks, 12 bucks, $27, whatever. Whatever your pricing is, and that’s 100% yours. With Kindle, you have two different royalty levels and you’re only going to make a couple of bucks per sale, but you’re able to tap into all of Kindles buyers. All of Amazon’s buyers. So you’re qualifying buyers. You’re leveraging the Amazon network to generate buyers and leads for yourself. So it’s a network you need to think about.
Kindle Create is a way that you format those books. You can also format textbooks and stuff too. Here, this textbook right now is formatted as a Kindle version and I created this one… Here, I’m just going to drop this link. So I created this Kindle book and this textbook using Kindle Create. And this textbook is full… I’m waiting for a proof copy. But the Kindle book is a Kindle book as you would expect a Kindle book to be. And then the paperback is a full eight and a half by an 11-inch textbook that is 274 pages long. And hence the textbook nature, I was like, a hundred bucks, sure. Let’s do it. And this was created using that Kindle Create.
I also create digital products like ebooks. The Convert ebook and the Create ebook are both ebooks up there now. I did the same thing here. Kindle Create created these ebooks. I use this software, the Kindle Creates software to format them, add the table of contents, upload them. And it took about an hour of work. So after the doc files like created, then you import it into Kindle Create and then you upload it and go from there. So that works out pretty nice.
Now, audio recording, the easiest way to record audio, absolutely easy is just to record a video and then strip the audio out. If you record a video using StreamYard, Zoom, ScreenFlow, your camcorder, your mobile phone, whatever, and then you import it into any video editor. Then what it’s going to do, any video editor is going to let you detach the audio from the video clip. Then you detach the audio. It becomes a freestanding layer. Then you just delete out the video. And now you have an audio layer that can be saved as an MP3 file. So if you want audio, that’s how you should do it. If you just record the video, you might as well, you’re going to be recording it anyway. So unless you’re outside and, I don’t know, whatever, doing, whatever, then just record the video and strip off the audio.
If you do want to record the audio, just the audio, use a voice notes app on your mobile phone, or whatever. Audacity Project is an old timepiece of software that you can export MP3 files on. Look at this interface. It’s awesomely 1998-ish, but it works well. So there’s that. But it’ll work if you want to just record audio.
There was one other thing. Oh, I just ran across this new tool called Descript, and I was just talking to a client about it. Descript is the name of it. What it does is you can import any audio or video file and then it does a machine learning transcript on it and then you can scrub through the video based on the text.
If you want to go in and just grab a chunk or do social media clips out of a video like this, a 25, 30-minute video, or of an interview, you can actually write down the pieces of the places you want to remember in the interview or the video, and then afterward you can go and scrub to those places, chunk it out and then create digital products content that way. So this is a tool that I just started playing with. It is super cool. It’s very interesting. In terms of workflow, I don’t have it anywhere in my workflow yet, but I think it’s going to probably make up the pre-editing of social media clips and stuff. So very cool stuff there though.
Do you have any questions? Any questions you’d like me to answer? I think we’ve covered all the product creation tools. I don’t have too much else in terms of software and technology that I think we need to talk about. Just looking around and seeing if there’s anything else. There’s the gimbal, which I think is important. So mobile gimbal. It’s one of these things. There are lots of different brands and stuff now. It’s a stabilizer. So it’s got a couple of axes on it so you can hold the camera in front of you and then it’ll go back and forth. That works out pretty nicely.
Creating digital products is mostly about recording your thoughts.
But other than that, so creating create digital products is mostly about just recording your thoughts. And oftentimes when clients come to us and they won’t help in getting everything set up, the best place really to get started is to start brainstorming. So we’ve talked about MindMeister yesterday, but it’s a way for you to get in and figure out what you want to teach on, what you want to write about. A lot of where our product creation sessions start is just by having one central topic and then you go through and you figure, what are all the offshoots of that topic? What are the categories, the chapters you want to talk about, and then fleshing each of those out? Each of those things ends up being modules.
Once you fill those out, once you start recording that video, the content, and whenever, then you can edit the video, it becomes a product. And then once the product is created, you move into the sales process. Yeah. So if you would like to create digital products, if you would like to start a coaching offer consulting offer, figure out how to use these tools and this technology and stuff to create your offers, then go to doneforyou.com/start, fill out the form. Book a call with my team. We’d be happy to take you through and brainstorm your offer and brainstorm all of that stuff. Help you put everything together. I think that’s about it.
Tomorrow we’re going to talk about business tools. Software and tech for the business side. The business of doing business. Things that can help you automate some of your workflows, automate some of your days, integrate into your processes, and go from there.