Ken Theriot has been helping people with high quality audio recording for awhile now through his blog at Home Brew Audio. I just caught wind that he is launching a brand new product, which is the first in his "Newbies Guide" series.
This should be a very popular product (and series!) considering how many people are recording audio these days. From podcasts and video voiceovers, to artists showcasing their work. I learned firsthand just how big a difference there can be in your audio quality by making a few simple changes!
Ken is doing is first major Product Launch with this new product, so I thought it would be fun to interview him on the process and get a quick look behind the scenes...
Lynn: Hi Ken! You've published other products in the past, correct? Can you give us a quick run down of the products you have on the market, and how you promoted those in the past?
Ken: So far I have The Newbies Guide To Audio Recording Awesomeness 1, released (with no launch or fanfare) in 2010, which was a really basic series of tutorial videos showing folks how to get started doing audio recording at home on their computer.
That course was aimed at people who had ZERO budget for new recording gear, and taught how to use the free recording software called Audacity.
This new course takes things to the next level, using the powerful (but amazingly inexpensive) recording software called Reaper and really moving forward into the realm of professional sounding results.
In addition to that first foray into putting out my own products, I recently published 2 short eBooks, one called Audio Recording Awesomeness: 5 Things I Wish I’d Known As An Audio Newbie and How To Build a Home Recording Studio.
For the tutorial course, I did promotion in a number of ways including Google AdWords, YouTube videos, articles, and e-mail marketing. But one of the most effective methods was to give away the first few videos in the course as an opt-in incentive on my blog.
For the eBooks, well they are also pretty new. I tried an AdWords and Facebook campaign, but neither were very effective. I think I just don’t have my message and my targeting zeroed in quite yet.
Lynn: Did you set up an affiliate program for those products?
Ken: Yes I did. The tutorial course was (still is actually) a Click Bank product and some sales came from there. My new products will use the Rapid Action Profits (RAP) system to both sell and manage JVs and affiliates.
But to be honest, I didn’t really know enough about having affiliates – how to proactively court and develop relationships, providing updates and resources like banners, links, marketing messages for their own campaigns, etc. So with this new course, I hope to be a better merchant for potential JVs and resellers.
Lynn: What made you decide to do a full-on Product Launch with your newest product, instead of releasing it the same way you did with your previous products?
Ken: Part of it was that I now understand how important getting a JV and affiliate team together is. A launch can give them an event to point to and build a campaign around. But I think the biggest reason is that I have an audience now – a list and a following; not a large one but SOMETHING.
There are people who have been asking “when is the Reaper course (that’s the new one) going to be out? I can’t wait.” Stuff like that. So it seemed to make sense to make it kind of a big deal, an event, to sort of start out with a huge push.
Finally, I’ve seen some other folks that I admire recently do launches and having been on the receiving end, I got a feel for what it’s like to see a launch video, and the hoopla around the start of something new. I want to do that for my products too.
Lynn: A product launch is quite the undertaking. I imagine you learned a lot in the process! What were some of your biggest hurdles, and what did you learn along the way?
Ken: You are NOT kidding! One of the hurdles is fear. Quietly putting something out, and then taking 6 months or more to slowly tweak it, sell a few, get feedback, tweak some more, does not feel as overwhelming as feeling like it all has to be great on the day you push the “LAUNCH” button.
That fear really delayed me for a long time, feeling like I had to have everything perfect, even the things I didn’t yet know how to do perfectly. After months of delay (and prodding from customers – thank goodness!) I came to the conclusion that there NEVER would be a time when everything was perfect!
So as soon as I had most of the videos at least recorded, I put them on my site and did something to force myself to a deadline. I sent a message to my list saying “This will be done by July 20th or it’s free!” That gave me about 10 days to get the infrastructure together at the very least – the start-to-finish order and delivery process. Once that was done, everything else was just a matter of making things look and work better and more smoothly.
Some of the specific hurdles were designing and creating graphics for banners, getting the glitches out of the RAP system so it provided a hassle-free order process, getting transcriptions done for each lesson, getting the videos player to stream the tutorial videos from S3 properly, setting up a video studio in my house to record the sales video, writing the copy for that, promoting the launch through social media, press releases, video, podcasts, etc. and a million other little things.
I’m working with a friend, Deb Lloyd, to put together a product-launch checklist for her site “NextGenBiztools” based on this experience.
Lynn: Where can we find out more about your new product?
Lynn: Where can people sign up as an affiliate, or participate in your Product Launch?
Ken: http://www.homebrewaudio.co/NewbiesGuide2/jv.php - it will ask for a “JV Code” which is… shhh “AudioCourse” (without the quotes).
There is also a page where people can sign up to be affiliates here: http://www.homebrewaudio.co/NewbiesGuide2/affiliates.php
The main differences will be that affiliates get 70% and JVs get 80% as well as a free review copy of the course.
Lynn: Thanks for walking through all the details with us, and also sharing the struggles you've experienced along the way!