Product Ideas and Managing the Creative Process

366216477_615c380b52_nThere are many different types of product you could create. If you are a professional speaker, you might want to create an audio series. Motivational or instructional audio programs are just two categories among many. How about something industry-specific that could better position you as an expert? Perhaps even get your clients involved in the production by interviewing them. I have had much success over the years conducting interviews as a method of discovering potential product content. Interview programs make good products. How about an audio business card or audio newsletter? Audio business cards have been very successful for marketing in the financial planning and insurance industries.

Lots of ways to create opportunity.

Audio newsletters have proven themselves over time. You could produce a different one for each of your industries. You can be very productive in the use of live video footage. First, you could lift clips out of the footage already shot to make a video brochure (if you’re in the speaking business) or a video sampler (if you are in music or comedy). Secondly, you could produce a full-length product by adding open and closing graphics and music. Lastly, you could lift the audio track off the video and create a separate or companion audio product.

Do what works.

In the training industry, it’s good to have a video. It is even better to complement it with an audio version to reinforce the material. In the speaking business, you can increase your bookings by accommodating your prospects with an audio of your video brochure. Accommodating your audience with a choice of mediums gives them every opportunity to take advantage of your message.

How about an interactive CD-ROM product?

A CD-ROM (or ECD) lets you do it all. You can put audio that will play anywhere (a car, computer or CD player), video and printed materials that are easy to access from a computer. A professional speaker, Connie Podesta, was one of the first professional speakers to put their video brochure on business card CD-ROM. She told me about an experience she had where this mini-CD got her a gig. She was flying in first-class when she got involved in a conversation with her seatmate. He asked what she did. Instead of just telling him, she pulled out a mini CD-ROM and gave it to him to play in his laptop. He was blown away. The gentleman ended up booking her for an upcoming conference.

Get advice from your audio/video professional.

Ask the audio/video professional with whom you have teamed up to help you figure out what will work best for you. How about a video if you are a musician or comedian? Is your material good enough to sell? You could hire a 2-camera crew for around $1,500 to $2,000. Add some titling and graphics and, voila, there’s your product.

Plan for success.

You can save yourself a lot of time and money, and avoid potential mistakes, by doing one thing: design a plan of execution. I have included sample questionnaires (see appendix) for you to use to help you design a business plan for your production. A business plan gives you the vision of the “preferred future,” as my friend Chuck Cote would say.

It allows you to begin with a clear idea of where you want to end up. It can include a budget, timeline and list of players or your production’s cast of characters, the “dream team.” If you are a musician, the dream team would consist of the musicians you want to play on the project. The questionnaires are to be used to help you focus when interviewing your prospective production professional or production company. They will also trigger other ideas and questions applicable to your production.

Interested in learning more about professional media services like audio/video? Contact me at 800-647-4281.

This information is taken from my book The Art of Production, which you can purchase from Amazon or you can purchase an e-book version from SmashWords.

photo credit: Potsdamer Platz via photopin (license)

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