Get motivated to take enthusiastic action that will help you turn that dream into reality. One step at a time and you will surely achieve anything.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Courses Old and New

Hi Folks

Online courses seem the rage right now with almost everybody producing one. Some exceptionally good but many really aweful. But online courses, as opposed to attending night school are certainly not new. There have always been postal courses, the most popular being on writing, languages and body building. 

This is the last DVD copy of my first course I created back in 2006. Just to show that the new wave of online courses isn't new, except that we often couldn't download courses because of network speeds and other issues so in many cases we sent out DVDs.  And here are 3 covers. I produced a range of 6 or 7 courses mainly based on basic Powerpoint with a speak over. This was the easiest as video was not as easy as it is today.
My courses included The Evacuation Chair Trainer which was very niche but popular with health and safety officers in large organisations. I used to do on-site training across the UK but it was expensive as travelling time was always high.

Other courses included The Marketing Professional. Running an Exhibition Masterclass, High Flier Sales Masterclass and The Health & Safety Adviser aimed at small to medium businesses.

I ran  quickly through these courses and was surprised how relevant they were for today. Unfortunately the sound quality is really poor as we didn't have the benefit of the current range of good mics at accessible prices. The visual quality is poor too. It would have been impossible to imagine the vast improvements in video quality back then, Today we are really fortunate that anyone can make great video at little cost.

Just using a smartphone you can produce high definition video, plug  a lapel mic into another smartphone for quality sound and use a third smartphone with torch app to get some light on the subject, or use natural light through a window and you can produce a course. Many people have home studios now with low cost lighting, quality mic and webcam such as the Logica 920c and they are in business.

The major issues in producing a course today are taking positive enthusiastic action in creating the course right up to getting it online and being fearless in working in front of the camera. You can read every book on making course, watch every video, listen to every podcast, but if you aren't prepared to take action you just wont get anywhere. The third issue is the fear of failure. Remember, its better to do something now than keep trying for perfection because life isn't long enough.

Get the strength, be creative and make some money. The world is full of people waiting to learn what you know. The  saying was "we all have a book inside us". Now I think we all have a course. But because of technology its much easier to produce a course than a novel.

good luck.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tips to influence people

Hi Folk

I've often heard people say "They are a born salesman. They could sell ice to an Eskimo" Usually implying that sales skills are mainly the ability to talk. Nothing could be father from the truth. . Yes there are some attributes that will help a sales-person succeed but I firmly believe that sales-people are made.

Would you go for treatment by a born doctor, particularly if they were untrained and wielding a scalpel. Would you take your car to a born mechanic who hadn't been through an apprenticeship to become capable. No you wouldn't. And sales-people are the same. They need good training in all aspects of the job. Selling is about bringing produces or services together with someone who wants, needs or desires that product and can afford it. People are reticent about making decisions and so the sales-person job is to help them come to that decision.
This course is created to go through the closing aspect of selling. The part where you do need to nudge the buyer. A bit like a sheepdog driving his flock into a pen, maybe across rough terrain and open country.
The art of closing is a great skill in life too. It will help you influence people to your way of thinking at home, with friends, in the community and at work. Closing is an art that is associated with selling but in fact one that we can use successfully every day.

This course covers many different ways to influence others, some you will know and others may be new. You may want to try some and see how successful you are. Remember, closing is an art, And any art needs practice, whether painting, writing or even talking..Conversation is a real art and by dropping some closing techniques in, they will become natural and part of talking. 

My favourite social or family close is the alternative. It's described in the course as a selling tool. Let me tell you how to use it at home. 

Lets say you want to go to see a movie. Most people would say "Lets go out tonight. Do you want to see  (name of movie)? and often the reply is "I've had a bad day today. Lets stay in" or "I don't want to see that film. Lets go for a meal or get a takeaway"

And you are shot in the foot - figuratively of course. You didn't figure that out did you.

If you had firstly talked about the film in broad terms and used expressions like "So and so is in it. I know you like him" "We haven't been to see a movie for ages" and so on.

Then say "Honey how about going out tonight. That movie we talked about looks really good. Shall we go at 7 or would the later show be better?" Suddenly the emphasis is on which performance, not whether to go or not. And that's an easier choice to make. This is so simple but it works well. Not every time but most times. Why don't you try this next time you want to go out. Remember it doesn't have to be the movies, might be a meal or other entertainment. There are about 20 different ways to close in this course so you have plenty of choice. You just need to transform them from a business situation to a home or social occasion.

Kids are easier to persuade with this type of psychology too.


Go to the Course
As a special I'm offering a special discount on this course of 75% dropping from £24 right down to £6 for my regular Blog readers. Click on this link now and start learning these skills today.

If you feel that you have a course in your head and want any help in writing and producing it do leave a comment. I'd love to see you succeed. Whether about a hobby or interest, a skill such as make-up, cooking or motor mechanics this is your opportunity.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Learning from our Fathers

Life should be full of fun. OK. Maybe a few problems thrown in. That's life. And I've a message for you today not unrelated to learning.

I guess the message is that we have benefited from the hard work and creativity of our past generation, well those over 65.
Many have given their life to bringing up a family, giving their children opportunities they never had, and encouraging them to better things. Some parents didn't have that attitude and their children didn't have the best upbringing, but that doesn't mean they didn't try, maybe they had problems of their own.

My point now is that this generation are often being neglected and I was really sad to hear about the elderly couple who dialled 999 because they were lonely and isolated. The local bobbies who called expecting an emergency realised the situation and stayed for a cuppa. The article written by Dr Max Pemberton in the Daily Mail on Saturday 14th November talks about loneliness and the fact that it is estimated that about one million people go without talking to another human being in over a month, and that this has both a psychological and physical profound effect. We all know that their used to be a community spirit around but this has gone. Now we don't often know our next door neighbour.

Christmas is the time when the appeal goes out: Look out for your elderly neighbours and why not invite an elderly neighbour in for Xmas dinner. This is all very good but this should be a round the year effort. I delivered meals on wheels for a year finishing a few weeks ago and was staggered by the number of older people who never see anyone, and often have relatives no too far away who don't bother to call. I was actually losing considerable money offering this service but I didn't stop because I felt I couldn't dessert my customers. Finally I was forced to stop. Whether I was right or wrong is immaterial. What matters is that we can all finf an hour a week and there is just no excuse for not seeking our a lonely neighbour.

Yes! Some will be cantankerous and grumpy but stick with it. You may be surprised and certainly you will get a new outlook on life. And these older people all have amazing stories about a life long gone. PLEASE GIVE IT A TRY.

Some of the skills that many of us have lost are knitting, sewing, darning, gardening and creative hobbies. My mother taught me to iron shirts, clean shoes so they gleam, sew on a button, knitting a hat and how to cook well. I learnt great gardening techniques from my father who always had fresh vegetables ready for the table. In fact on a Sunday we always picked vegetables and fruit and dug potatoes ready for lunch. And to get good crops I learnt how to prepare the soil and grow from seed. I'm sure these skills aren't being passed on nowadays. How do you feel about this?

I hope you have something to think about in this post. I hope I've encouraged you to take some action. Make a comment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Interview Techniques to Make better Video

Interview techniques are straight forward but often we forget some of the basics so here's some tips.

Decide the format of your interview.
  •  Is it a two-hander showing both the interviewer and interviewee
  • Just the interviewee 
  • A documentary with the interviewer  telling the story and cutaways of interviewees to accentuate a point. 
Once you've decided then stick to the same format. If you change mid-stream it will throw the audience.

Are you using one or two cameras? You can make an interesting interview cutting between both parties with one camera but it takes a bit or organising and planning. With two cameras
you can direct one at each party, lay them down in parallel on the time-line when you are editing and then then  cut between. This is the simplest. Firstly when you are editing it's possible to see the two 2 faces and cut to the best shot. If there is hesitation or any reason to edit something out then you just cut to the other party and there is no jump in the

click here to continuity.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The Human Chain Reaction

Hi Folks

Have you ever given way to a car when you are crawling along on rush hour and see what can happen? The driver gives a wave and you all crawl along again. You see a car waiting to pull out ahead and think “I’ve done my share this morning” and think you’ll drive past. Next thing is that the car you helped does the same.

And there is often a chain reaction. I’ve seen it with people being polite and holding doors open, giving way and many other small things. And they almost always result in his chain reaction.

But the opposite isn’t the same. If you have a bad day and snap at a shop assistant or shout at a motorist, you don’t see the same happening. You don’t see that same motorist snarling at someone else, or the next person in the queue be aggressive to the assistant.

After researching this over recent months I’ve come to the conclusion that we all know what we should do, that there is an accepted code of conduct. People ignore that code very often but when someone acts with thoughtfulness then it does snowball, And I'll tell you what. Everybody feels good.

 When we have a kindness then it sort of reminds us start being gallant. Unfortunately I also discovered that this good feeling doesn’t last and needs constant reminding. Maybe it’s because we are all too busy. Maybe we are becoming more self-centred; selfish and introvert. Unfortunately I think it’s a mix of the two.

We do lead busy lives but in many cases that’s our own fault. We don’t have to do everything. We can slow down. Do you look at your emails of Facebook throughout the day? Do you sit around thinking about what you could be doing, but not doing anything about it.

So maybe you should think about slowing down, getting focused and putting people at the top of your list. Try a little experiment. Start really appreciating someone. Might be someone you work with, a friend or even someone in your family. Don't go over the top or you;ll give the wrong signals. Just thank and praise them when they do something. Make them a coffee if you don't usually. Tell them to sit down for 5 minutes. Tell them you like their hair or clothes if they look good. But be sincere, don't flatter and say something that's not true.

You will be amazed at what happens. In the majority of cases that person will start doing better at their job or whatever the relationship is with you. If you go through life acting like this towards everyone you'll certainly gain more friends and influence people.

Finally, thinking or planning to have a stand at an exhibition? I'll be running an online course shortly. If you have a query about exhibitions leave a comment. Meanwhile here is a photo of me with my son the rabbit. This was my Radio Pager Company in the days before mobile phones. "But that's forever ago" I hear you say. No! I think about 20 years. So much has happened.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Shall I SHOUT then?

Hi Guys
I had some top tips given to me yesterday by a lady suffering from a hearing lose. She can hear high tones but not low ones so many people's voices are just lost. And this is a disability suffered by many older people as the symptoms seem to creep up on you.

Going out for a meal, to a busy event or to the theatre can be a nightmare. You just can't hear the other person so there are 3 alternatives that I see. First tell the other person, secondly not say anything but watch their lips and face and nod or disagree by guessing, and third to just not go out.

And staying at home seems normal for many. They'd rather miss out on socialising than not hear and feel left out or being embarrassed by their companions who start shouting or worse.

 You can tell the other person and hope they use common sense and maybe look at you when they talk so you can see their lips better and so connect hearing a little with seeing. Many people react by shouting close up which doesn't help. It doesn't make hearing clear, just puts up a bigger barrier.
  Most people with a hearing impairment will have some lip-reading experience so its very important that you don't cover your mouth. Just look at the person trying to hear and talk clearly without shouting.

The other major issue is the lack of, or ignorance of hearing systems. These are either infra-red or induction loops which we will describe in another post. It is your responsibility to remove barriers for disabled people and in this case you need to make adjustments that will allow them to hear, and this generally means supplying a devise that will improve hearing so that a system must be installed where necessary. You'll have noticed these devices in shops and offices, and at most reception areas. They are kept switched on and the person with a hearing aid switches it to the "T" position. This enables them to pick up the signal and hear the receptionist or whoever.

Unfortunately many devices are switched off, often under the misconception that the hearing aid wearer should ask for it to be switched on. This is not necessary, they are designed to operate off a permanent power supply. And there are battery operated portable models that can  be taken into meetings if necessary.

In larger rooms, theatres and movie houses etc then either the whole area or designated parts are covered. The problems here are that when a deaf person says they need the hearing system sometimes the staff don't know which seats are covered, or the headset has a flat battery or the whole system is switched off. The lady I spoke with said that recently she was seated in the back row so not only was the hearing system not working for her but she couldn't see the signer or the text that was shown each side of the stage.

Not having a system is  have service users, customers, clients, patrons or whatever you call them in your work, then you must have a system avaulable and staff who can use it. In addition there should be suitable signage and the device should be regularly checked and a record kept.

 We have some English/Welsh bi-lingual tactile signs available

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Write a great course

 Getting a course written and up on your sales site is difficult enough. But then there is the marketing without which there are no sales.So there are two stages, firstly creating the course and making it public; and secondly marketing it to make those sales.

Here are some hints that I've found useful already. Firstly, creating and selling online courses is not a hobby, it is really hard work. Nothing comes easy in this world, if it did there would be a lot more successful people around. And it takes time. You hear about overnight success stories but I bet you that if you look up the information about that person you'd find the "Overnight Success" came after years of trying. Edison took 10,000 shots at making a light bulb. No. He realised that each mistake was taking him nearer and was a learning experience. Look at successful people in showbiz. Simon Cowell spent years hawing around music labels and being thrown out of every producer's office before becoming successful. And that goes for the finalists in the X Factor too. It's unusual for someone to suddenly find fame without any experience or pain.

Some platforms such as Udemy will promote you as one of their 30,000 courses but you are just a number and won't get any dramatic marketing that will sell your £200 course. The marketing they do id across the board and they dramatically offer all courses for peanuts. I understand that the average sale price on their courses is around £8. So many course are discounted by over 90%. And that's OK provided you sell enough. You'll also see that many courses have hundreds if not thousands of students but many of these have enrolled free. Free is OK provided it encourages others to sign up, or is it? Now the sad thing here is that most people who have signed up for free don't actually complete on video lecture on the entire course. Many seen to be bounty hunters, seeing how many courses they can get for free, instead of enrolling in courses that matter to them, and then studying. There are some really great courses on Udemy. And you are encouraged to to do your own marketing to bring in your own sales in addition.

Most other platforms expect you to do all your own marketing. They provide the platform, encourage and assist you in creating courses, building your free website/landing page and advising you on way to create sales. They charge a much lower fee on your sales.

Either route is hard work. With Udemy they work to strict criteria and restrict any outward links to yours or other sites. This means that you are in general in a prison of your own making. Nevertheless it is a good route for many people and you can get a good return on your efforts. I think the secret is to write as many good courses as possible and cross-sell where you can. With many courses you only need a couple of sales per course per week and it mutiplies through the range.

I think that many have gone down the other route, particularly when they have a business site and have built up social media. And when they feel they are a in a niche and a leader.

I have courses on both Udemy and other platforms, as do many others.

There is a formula for success from the moment you think about starting. And this post isn't about that formula, its about broad concept.

First you need to look inwards and determine if thee is enough knowledge there to create a course. If not it doesn't matter because you can read up on a subject. They you need to look at gthe market a determined if there is a market for the course you have in your mind. Check it out on search engines and keyword searches.

Next you must actually create your course and starting is the most difficult decision to make. Will it be be good enough, can I do it? These and many other questions pop into our heads and of course procrastination creeps in, the TV show looks good, should take the dog out, what about that loose carpet that needs fixing. You have to be really focused and take postive enthusiastic action.

You have to write promotional material for the site, prepare a promotional video and much more, It takes time. Then, with Udemy, you need approval so there is both a wait and anxiety. Will it be rejected? If it is don't worry just make the changes and submit again. With other platforms you don't need approval so there could be a drop in standards, but in my experience I haven't seen that. In fact I think that many started on Udemy and either changed or added another platform.

I believe it is essential to maintain the highest standards for course content and promotional material, the promo video and the image that you use to front up your course. I personally looked at dozens of other courses and made notes so that i could make informed decisions. You have to do this for yourself, despite the information available on the platforms.

Salesan elude ou for no reason that you can find. You may have atop idea, create a
brilliant course, promote through every possible avenue and nothing, it happens. Try to never get depressed about it. Keep going, it takes effort. You will be rewarded. And there is nothing more satisfying than getting your first sales.

But that is just the beginning. You have to keep on the ball. And if you are lucky and work hard you may get a few thousand in each month. Wouldn't that be nice. Keep that dream in your mind.

Some points will surprise you. Having good English isn't always necessary if your course is in demand. But for most of you a good grasp of the English language and a good understandable voice is important.

The most successful courses are to do with web coding and making money. I do wonder if some authors rely on the financial needs of others, big their courses up, build up huge followings and possibly exaggerate the outcomes. This is just a personal thought. 

.I've said before that I'm happy to reply or talk to anyone who is at any stage of creativity. I don't know everything but I am going through a very steep learning process and know the pain and some answers.  Hopefully in a few short months i will be too busy to spend much time helping so utilise my time now.

Visit my courses here