AskPat 175 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 175 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. And if you've joined me in the past, you may have noticed that today's intro was a little bit different.
It sounded a little weird, right? And the reason it changed is because, actually, I couldn't hear it, and people around me couldn't hear it. But a lot of people who were listening to the show, who have supersonic hearing, apparently, heard this really high pitched noise at the beginning. Actually, throughout the entire other version of the intro. And it got so annoying to some people that they stopped listening, and that's not good. That's definitely not good. The purpose here is to provide value with the answers to your questions. That's why I'm here, so if an intro is doing that, I definitely have to change it. And it's still awesome, so thank you to the guys over at Musicradiocreative.com for redoing it for me. I still love it. And thank you to everybody out there who let me know about that, because my hearing is not as supersonic as yours, and I definitely want to make sure that you have a chance to listen to the show.
Now before we get to today's question from Cy, let's get to today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, the best cloud-based accounting solution for your business, helping you keep track of everything coming in, everything going out. Really helpful during tax season, of course. And, especially if you are a consultant or do coaching and do invoicing for clients, just makes it super easy. So if you'd like to get a free trial of FreshBooks today, head on over to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. And that's how you get your free trial.
Now, let's get to today's question from Cy.
Cy: Yo Pat, aye. This is Cy from Hoy. Heard about you from my coach, Dan Miller. Got a quick question. I know you first wrote your ebook, IntheLEED.com, which is now Green Exam Academy, and shortly after that, you realized that you needed to put it in an audio format. And so my question was, what service, or product, or software, did you use to do that? And what would you recommend if someone wanted to convert their ebook into an audio format, which you could use and assemble and sell as well, on E-junkie, like you did? All right, thanks, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Cy, thank you so much for the question, and you're bringing back a lot of memories for me, because those were the early days of my online business. When I wrote my ebook over at InTheLEED.com, which eventually got changed to GreenExamAcademy.com—this is a site, for those of you that don't know, where I created a study guide to help people pass this exam in the architecture industry, called the LEED Exam. And I wrote this book, it was really—well, it's just an ebook—it was delivered through E-junkie. Obviously, there are a lot of other deliverable, or digital delivery services available today, a lot more than there were back then. I use Gumroad primarily now; “Gum” like the chewing gum. Gumroad.com is my favorite right now. But E-junkie still works really well; I still use it on that site.
And after I wrote that ebook, a couple of months later, it did really well. I was making thousands of dollars a month, and I was told by somebody in my mastermind group that I should create an audio guide. And I was like, “An audio guide, that sounds kind of interesting. You know, I've downloaded things before or had CDs with information. I thought that was actually a great idea. So, I sat down at my computer, I opened up GarageBand, and I started recording. I started recording on my little Logitech gamer headset mic, 'cause I was just so ready to do it and get it done. And after three days, I got it done. I had 60 audio files, which represented the 60 chapters in this book that I was creating the study guide for. And I listened to it, and it was terrible. It was the worst audio I've ever heard, because it was this crummy mic and I didn't really know how to go about recording my own voice; I hated my own voice, for one. And I still do, but I've gotten over that. And it was just nothing that I could put out there for sale. It was just really bad.
And I actually went back to my mastermind group after that, and I was like, “Guys, I tried to record it, and I can't do it. I don't think I can sell this. It's just really bad audio quality.” And they started laughing at me. They were like, “Pat, dude, you're such a rookie.” And they were kidding around, and I really was a rookie. They were like, “Dude, you can outsource that. You can have somebody else who is a voice expert, a voice talent, read those chapters for you, and just pay them money and they'll get it done.” And I'm like, “Okay, cool.” So I went to this site that they recommended, called Elance.com. Again, that's E-L-A-N-C-E.com, like freelance, but just “e” at the front. And I found a bunch of voice talents there. Actually, what you do there is you put up your job, and people who have those skills, that can help you finish that job, they sort of bid. They say, “Hey, I can do it for this much, and I can do it in this much time.” And they were ranging from between, for the 60-chapter, sort of 62-page book that I had, you know, I'd include the exercises in the audio guide, but 62 pages of content I wanted read off. And they were quoting anything from $500 dollars to $3,500, which was like way more money than I've ever spent just in my early life already, let alone on my business. And so I was really afraid to part with that money, but I eventually found a woman named Trish who did the job for $1,400. And she was amazing; she got it done in two weeks. She provided MP3 files, individual MP3 files, like I requested. The way I went about hiring her was actually, I started to narrow down my selection based off of other people's portfolios; there were about 15 other voice talents that submitted a proposal. And within my price range, which was about $1,000 to $2,000, I started to ask people to record a sample chapter, and—or just a sample paragraph, actually, just so I could hear the voice. And I decided to go with her, because it was a great female voice that it was very easy to listen to, so people were going to listen for hours and hours and hours to study. I decided to choose her, because I feel it would've been the most soothing to listen to and also learn from.
So it worked out. I got these MP3 files, I packaged them into a ZIP file, which I then uploaded to E-junkie, and then I got the “buy now” button and I put that on my site. I also created a new product in E-junkie, which was a combined download of my existing book and my audio book, for a little bit less than the combined price of the two. And the combined one is the one that just sold out like crazy. It didn't sell out, 'cause it's a digital product, but it sold like mad. I actually made up the cost, I made up $1,400, in two days. In two or three days, I had made up the cost of the production of those files, and for four years after that, the audio files continued to sell.
So that was, Cy, going through Elance.com, finding a person who was an expert, a voice talent to read those for me. And that is what I would feel, be the best way to do it. You could do it on your own, but you really need some good equipment in order to make it happen. But at some point, you still have to, if you're not an audio production expert, hand those files off to get it done and tweaked, and get it normalized, which means that it's the right volume, and all of those things. And yeah, so you want to hire out, do what you do best, and outsource the rest. And at the time, I thought I could do everything. I had what Chris Ducker calls Superhero Syndrome. And I wasted three days. I was literally recording for four hours each of those three days. And it was just really bad; I should've known better. And again, I tried to do it myself but it was best to hire it out to somebody. And then again, I made up the cost of that in just two and a half days.
So definitely hire out. Elance is a good place to go; Odesk as well. And there are voice talent networks that you can go out there, and groups on Linkedin, groups on Facebook that you can go to, to sort of find people as well if you wanted to. And then package those MP3s, put them into a ZIP file that people can download, whether you deliver that through something like E-junkie.com or Gumroad.com.
You can also put those files inside a membership area, as well. That's another way to do it, and a way to enhance that listening experience, where people can still download the files directly to their computer if they want. However, what they do is they can log into a members' area and see those lessons there. So, you can even have the transcripts available with them; you can even have videos to go along with them or Slideshares, or slideshows, PowerPoint-type stuff, or worksheets, and homework to go along with those lessons that you're teaching. And that's a great way to just take it way beyond the audio file and turn it into a complete lesson. And then you have a course, you have a membership site that you could perhaps charge a lot more for, and then if you wanted to, you could do things like require people to pay monthly in order to get new things that are coming out, especially if you are in an industry where there's lots of new things coming out that you're reporting on or creating content for. You can even charge even more, sort of an upgrade to a membership component, or excuse me, a community-type component to the site, where people are coming into a forum, or they have access to you potentially, or access to office hours that you hold every week. A lot of things you could do there, beyond just the audio file.
So, I wanted to make sure I talked about how I got the audio file created, but I also wanted to show you that there's a lot more things you can do beyond that, which I missed out on and I was scared to do, to be honest with all of you out there. I could've made a lot more money with GreenExamAcademy.com by having courses and class work, and office hours, and that sort of thing, but I was scared, you know. I was scared to put my face out there, even though my face is on the website. I was scared to actually do the real, one-on-one interaction-type stuff and have videos of my face as lessons. And I look back, and that was a big mistake I made. I should've done that.
So, I hope that you don't make the same mistake as me. So, if you have an ebook, you can turn it into an audio book, which is a great up-sell, but then you can keep going beyond that and turn it into a course and make even more money because you'd be providing more value. Don't just do it for the money; do it because you're actually going to be providing more value. Imagine, actually, how much easier it would be to consume that content in ways beyond the audio book as well. But again, the audio book is very convenient, and that's how I went about it.
Now, I will say that with my new niche site, Foodtruckr.com, we just launched our first product, which again is an ebook. Similar to what we did with Green Exam Academy, back in the day. And there's an audio book to go along with it, and this time I actually have the confidence and the equipment to record it myself. So, I recorded the whole book myself, which was still a challenge. It might seem easy just to read what's on the screen, but it's actually quite challenging, and I had to have a lot of water and lemons, and I got some help from a production assistant, who helped me record that in the best way that I could. And that person took those files and then turned it into the right format to then deliver through Gumroad, which is where we're selling that food truck book. But it was hard. It was really hard, so again, I think even now that I have the ability to record these audio books myself, I think I would still hire somebody else to do it.
Yeah. So, Cy, best of luck to you with your ebook and your audio book. Thank you so much for all the support. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com, and you can ask right there on that page, using the SpeakPipe, which is awesome. Just use any mic that you have near you.
And finally, I also want to thank FreshBooks.com, today's sponsor. Again, you can get a free trial at FreshBooks. You can actually try it out for free right now, if you go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Join millions of the entrepreneurs, including myself, who's using FreshBooks to keep organized, in terms of finances. And again, especially with tax season coming just right around the corner, I know it's September right now, September 22nd is when this particular episode went live. But, if you're listening to this in the future, tax times are probably even closer now. So, make sure you are on top of it, and GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
Thanks so much, and I'm going to end with a quote here from Leon Gorman, about customer service, which is a really good quote here. He says, “Customer service is just a day-in, day-out, ongoing, never-ending, unremitting, persevering, compassionate type of activity.” It's really what it has to be. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you the next episode of AskPat.
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