Dear WSO and other product creators

38 replies
I have been buying some WSO's lately and I have a few issues with the quality of the products coming out lately.

1. Streaming video only.
If you are going to sell me a course on anything. Please consider using something other than streaming video to deliver. My time is very valuable and I don't have 2 hours to watch all your modules to find the one thing I didn't already know.

Consider offering PDF text versions for those of us who are advanced. Not to mention anyone who's second language is english and may need to read more than listen.

I know many will argue on this and say that people will rip off your content but guess what. Streaming video is just as easy to steal as a PDF If Hollywood cant slow piracy don't expect you will either.

2. Making me join your list
I have no problem with list building. In fact I do it myself but there are plenty of ways to auto add me to your list. If I am buying a product I don't want to have to check my email to confirm my subscription just to download your product.

3. Fluffing it up
Most of the products I have seen that take an hour to watch or 40 pages to digest could have been condensed into WAY less. I think product creators and buyers attach too much value to volume and not enough to substance. If you can say it all in 2 pages then say it in 2 pages. If you deliver value people won't refund.

Some of my best products were short and got comments like "You could have written this on a napkin and charged me double".

Don't be afraid to get to the point and deliver the goods. We buyers respect that
#creators #dear #product #wso
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Good points, Brad.

    When I created my current video product, I came to the forum to see what people were looking for. Luckily, there was a thread running on the subject and it helped a lot.

    For the record, each my videos is 5 minutes long so it can be gone through quickly. That time limit also helped me stay focused on each video's topic. Man! I can't stand it when someone rambles for an hour. (I once watched a video where the person said you should open 20 tabs in FireFox, then actually ran the video as they opened all 20 tabs. Trust me, we are smart enough to get the concept after, say, 10 tabs!)

    Then I saw a lot of people were asking for PDFs to go along with the video. I read this after the videos were done, but before I released it. So, rather than release it as is, I took the time to make the PDF. Even though it delayed the release date, it was a smart thing to do.

    I also did my best to make sure there was no fluff. If anything, I felt I may have been cramming too much solid information into each video. However, videos have pause buttons, and there's also the PDF.

    Anyway, this is just my way of saying I agree with your post 100%. (Oh yeah, it still remains one of my best WSOs, to date).

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author smartdoctor
      Great post I Totally agree with you
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      • Profile picture of the author M Thompson
        Good post......


        Guilty of #1 and i ain't changing

        Totally agree with #2 and #3


        Brad how about a WSO about #2
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        • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
          Originally Posted by M Thompson View Post

          Good post......


          Guilty of #1 and i ain't changing

          Totally agree with #2 and #3


          Brad how about a WSO about #2
          Hi Mark,

          Of course that's entirely up to you, but the way I look at it is you're getting solid feedback on how you may be able to increase the perceived value of your product.

          Creating a PDF of the videos really doesn't take that long. It doesn't have to be a word-for-word transcript. Just as long as you're covering the same information, you're fine.

          Again, it's up to you, but I think you could be doing even better by taking this extra step.

          All the best,
          Michael
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          • Profile picture of the author M Thompson
            Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

            Hi Mark,

            Of course that's entirely up to you, but the way I look at it is you're getting solid feedback on how you may be able to increase the perceived value of your product.

            Creating a PDF of the videos really doesn't take that long. It doesn't have to be a word-for-word transcript. Just as long as you're covering the same information, you're fine.

            Again, it's up to you, but I think you could be doing even better by taking this extra step.

            All the best,
            Michael
            Michael. i was actually talking about embedding the videos rather than having downloadable ones.

            Yes people can download them with a bit of effort but once they get in the membership area i know whose done it .
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      • Profile picture of the author boldguy
        Originally Posted by smartdoctor View Post

        Great post I Totally agree with you
        Great post...add my vote also
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    • Profile picture of the author donhx
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      Good points, Brad.

      When I created my current video product, I came to the forum to see what people were looking for. Luckily, there was a thread running on the subject and it helped a lot.

      For the record, each my videos is 5 minutes long so it can be gone through quickly. That time limit also helped me stay focused on each video's topic. Man! I can't stand it when someone rambles for an hour. (I once watched a video where the person said you should open 20 tabs in FireFox, then actually ran the video as they opened all 20 tabs. Trust me, we are smart enough to get the concept after, say, 10 tabs!)

      Then I saw a lot of people were asking for PDFs to go along with the video. I read this after the videos were done, but before I released it. So, rather than release it as is, I took the time to make the PDF. Even though it delayed the release date, it was a smart thing to do.

      I also did my best to make sure there was no fluff. If anything, I felt I may have been cramming too much solid information into each video. However, videos have pause buttons, and there's also the PDF.

      Anyway, this is just my way of saying I agree with your post 100%. (Oh yeah, it still remains one of my best WSOs, to date).

      All the best,
      Michael

      My strategy too. I created my present WSO as a 2 + hour multimedia e-Learning course. But I discovered it would do better as a PDF. I like the idea of using multimedia to teach, but most people still prefer a PDF I think.

      Should each form of media be offered for one price? No, each has its own market. When you buy a book in a store, you don't get the audio book at no extra charge. I think PDFs are on the low end, audio at a middling price, and multimedia/video at the high end.
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      • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
        I would like to see more common sense and less copycats in terms of what media to use.

        you can read a pdf very fast, jump what you already know and spot the info.

        with the video...you have to see it all, there is no way around it.

        there are certain things that are best showed that talked about, for those cases video is much better; but for concepts, written material is the most efficient one.
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        • Profile picture of the author jan roos
          I agree with some of what you are saying such as the fact that people value the volume of their product too much and most of the time the products an be shorter.

          Regarding video I disagree to some extent. I have a course that's all video and people prefer it 300% over written because it involves a few technical things which is just easier for them to watch over my shoulder as I do it but then again certain products will be better in PDF it just depends.

          Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author Melody
    Totally agree with both of you - I hate to say it, but most days are full down to the last minute right now. 5 minutes vids are perfect, and I like to make notes on the pdf as I watch.

    This is the way to make USEFUL products that we keep buying.

    A 2 hr video is never necessary, I don't care how complex the project is. Break it down into easily watched and digested pieces, that I can fit into my schedule - and you will have a repeat customer, otherwise it may be digital dust.

    And I HATE having to confirm my email before I can download. Do you have any idea how long an Aweber email can take to get sent? It's sometimes 30 minutes before it arrives - by that time, I may have forgotten I even bought it........

    Melody
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    • Profile picture of the author Archeon
      Completely agree with you.

      The problem is people that are charing you $99 for a big secret feel the need to make you feel you are getting value rather than giving you an ebook with the words:

      "use ppv for crazy traffic"
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  • Profile picture of the author KristofferIM
    I agree with you Brad. There are exceptions to #2 in my opinion though. If the WSO is $4 or less, it's fair to add yourself to the list for delivery. At least IMHO.
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinP
    Great post Brad. I am definitely guilty of feeling the "need" to make my products huge if I am charging a premium. But you really nailed it. It is all about substance. If you can deliver value in fewer words... DO IT. If there is one thing we IMers need is LESS data.

    Cut to the chase and everyone wins.

    As usual, you really have me thinking now
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  • Profile picture of the author femkeshe
    Especially number one!!! When there are only videos I don't buy.

    I want to do a quick read to pick out the valuable stuff. And even when it is usefull I don't watch the vids. I have enough knowledge to go without them.

    Ps: WF only allowed me one time to thank you, but you deserve 100x imho ;-)
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    • Profile picture of the author edlewis
      I love products that are short and sweet.

      My biggest PET PEEVE is when I buy a product that promises KILLER techniques about, just for an example, Adwords....then the first half of the product is about HOW to sign up for Adwords!!!

      Or I buy a ebook supposedly about how to make money on Fiverr and 2/3 of the ebook is what Fiverr is and how to sign up for it...

      No offense, but I don't need step-by-step tutorials, screenshots, and videos showing me how to go to a website and SIGN UP for it!

      It's pretty basic stuff, no?

      When I see a product start off like this, it makes my head hurt.

      However, it seems like there are some customers out there who actually WANT this type of information!!!

      I've seen WSO comments where customers actually complain that this type of info was not included....

      As a product creator, it becomes a struggle whether or not to simply ignore these customers and risk refunds...or to cater to them and include this simple information.

      Part of me wants to sell more and not have refunds, but another part of me wonders if I even WANT someone who NEEDS this type of information as a customer...???

      If someone desperately needs an in-depth step-by-step hand-holding tutorial about how to SIGN UP for a website - maybe they aren't quite ready to be an "internet marketer"...

      (I'm not trying to be RUDE, but if someone is struggling to simply SIGN UP for a site...well...you draw your own conclusions.)

      There is a good chance it might mean they could be a "handful" down the road as a customer too.

      I am honestly struggling with these as we speak.

      I just got done recording a screencast video on the most basic of basic concepts.

      My gut told me not to waste my time, but I see more and more customers who seem to WANT this info...what is a product creator to do?

      My current plan is to go ahead and include it, but to let people know ahead of time that the info is added only for complete NEWBIES, so those who want the REAL content and strategies can skip the FLUFF and get right to business.
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      • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
        Originally Posted by edlewis View Post

        No offense, but I don't need step-by-step tutorials, screenshots, and videos showing me how to go to a website and SIGN UP for it!

        I just got done recording a screencast video on the most basic of basic concepts.

        My gut told me not to waste my time, but I see more and more customers who seem to WANT this info...what is a product creator to do?

        My current plan is to go ahead and include it, but to let people know ahead of time that the info is added only for complete NEWBIES, so those who want the REAL content and strategies can skip the FLUFF and get right to business.
        As long as you separate the "newbie fluff" and "get to business" materials into separate PDF's or Videos, plus label them clearly, then it should not offend seasoned veterans, but will enhance the product for someone new to the game.

        The veterans will simply choose to bypass the "newbie fluff". It is your job to make sure they know what to skip and what to watch...

        Barry
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        • Profile picture of the author edlewis
          Originally Posted by Barry Unruh View Post

          As long as you separate the "newbie fluff" and "get to business" materials into separate PDF's or Videos, plus label them clearly, then it should not offend seasoned veterans, but will enhance the product for someone new to the game.

          The veterans will simply choose to bypass the "newbie fluff". It is your job to make sure they know what to skip and what to watch...

          Barry
          Yeah...that's what I was thinking. Thanks for the reinforcement.

          I was going to add a PDF that basically says - hey here is this really basic beginner info if you need it or have extra time to kill. If no, just skip it...
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      • Profile picture of the author M Thompson
        Originally Posted by edlewis View Post


        No offense, but I don't need step-by-step tutorials, screenshots, and videos showing me how to go to a website and SIGN UP for it!


        Funny you should say that one of the comments on the wso of the day today said something along the lines of... great product but you skipped through the basics

        suppose you'll never please every one!
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Miranda
    I agree 110%!!

    The WSO section has become a money making store. It needs more QUALITY and less QUANTITY.
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  • Profile picture of the author Furyx2
    I like getting the replays so I can move around the video. What I really think would be helpful though is an outline for the replays. Or maybe even the powerpoint slides they use during their videos. These little things would help so much.
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  • Profile picture of the author AUKev
    Great post Brad.

    As others have said, if you are going to do videos, you really need a PDF to go with them, and break them up into smaller chunks where we can skip the 'How to sign up for X' or 'Here is how to do keyword research'.

    Also, if you are doing videos, make sure they are in a format that can be viewed and/or downloaded to mobile products. I spend a ton of time away from my computer and like to download to my Android phone. I have watched countless videos walking around the block, on my treadmill or sitting in traffic. This is a HUGE bonus to me if I can stream on my wireless device. Also consider that tech companies are predicting that there will be more tablets sold this year than laptops. You can widen your potential audience if you can promote (works on iPhone/iPad and Android devices).
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  • For information products, I really can't stand long, streaming videos. I'm a "quickstart" kind of guy. I want the info I need to be fast and concise.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    I have a course that's totally video. But like Michael, they're all very short videos and I worked hard to make them fluff-free. I get a lot of very positive feedback about them. But I do take your point, Brad. I think the more ways you can accommodate the various preferences of your audience, the better. Something to consider.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Collette
      @Edlewis: I second the suggestion to separate out your content if you feel you have to cover basic stuff. I've bought several products that did that, and it was a real time-saver. Plus, I really appreciated the product creator's thoughtfulness in thinking of "me".

      I've also NOT purchased products that consisted entirely of video. Hell, most of the time, I won't clickthrough on emails that have their main message on a video. I don't have the time to sit around and listen to someone waffle on for 20 minutes, before they give me the money shot in .05 secs. Frankly - pisses me off when they do that.

      I'm a .pdf gal. Get it. Scan it. Get the info I need/want. And get on with my life.
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      • Profile picture of the author edlewis
        Originally Posted by Collette View Post


        I've also NOT purchased products that consisted entirely of video. Hell, most of the time, I won't clickthrough on emails that have their main message on a video. I don't have the time to sit around and listen to someone waffle on for 20 minutes, before they give me the money shot in .05 secs. Frankly - pisses me off when they do that.
        Doh...you touched slightly on my other PET PEEVE....

        All these SALES VIDEOS that don't have controls on them!

        No controls and no way to tell how LONG the video is going to be...

        Will this video be 2 minutes....or 20...? Maybe it will take an hour....? Who knows!?!?!

        I guess that's supposed to be fun?

        Granted, I realize that there is a reasoning behind it, but it annoys the heck out of me. Let me know how you're gonna help me and tell me how much it's gonna cost....and lemme fast forward if I want!
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        • Profile picture of the author Pandan
          Totally agree... with all 3. Plus, besides video and PDF I would also create an audio, it's easy and takes just minutes to extract the audio in mp3 format. Like that I can listen to it while driving...
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  • Profile picture of the author TimG
    I prefer PDF files also just because I can carry them with me and whenever I have a break in my schedule I can read them or jot something odwn on them.

    Videos are not necessary for me unless they are showing a procedure being implemented. Sometimes I do like to see a process done first prior to my executing it.

    Respectfully,
    Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author Maria Gudelis
    GReat post Brad!

    Totally agree because with videos I download (rather than stream) - I love playing it at 1.5 X speed or even 2 X to 'speed watch' the course...time is money afterall!

    I've also started to put 'cliff notes versions in PDF' format to summarize my videos as I got a lot of positive feedback that was wanted...just adds extra value!
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  • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
    I definately agree with #2..I absoultely hate that!
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Originally Posted by Brad Gosse View Post

    I think product creators and buyers attach too much value to volume and not enough to substance. If you can say it all in 2 pages then say it in 2 pages. If you deliver value people won't refund.

    Some of my best products were short and got comments like "You could have written this on a napkin and charged me double".

    Don't be afraid to get to the point and deliver the goods. We buyers respect that
    Amen to that.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketwarrior06
    Banned
    totally indicated the real problem.
    i think its the main problem with most of the internet managers. they make the offering page lengthy and due to this most of the people become boring and left the page! conversion rate also gradually reduces.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
    Originally Posted by Brad Gosse View Post


    2. Making me join your list
    I have no problem with list building. In fact I do it myself but there are plenty of ways to auto add me to your list. If I am buying a product I don't want to have to check my email to confirm my subscription just to download your product.
    AMEN!

    I actually refunded 2 products last week BEFORE EVEN SEEING THEM because of that...If I buy your product, I'm going to wait 10 minutes for aweber or anyone else to send me a confirmation so I can download it...and sign up to a list that I don't want to be on as a requirement to get what I paid for.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

      I actually refunded 2 products last week BEFORE EVEN SEEING THEM because of that...If I buy your product, I'm going to wait 10 minutes for aweber or anyone else to send me a confirmation so I can download it...and sign up to a list that I don't want to be on as a requirement to get what I paid for.
      Amen Two.

      Being forced to sign up to a list, after paying, without having been told first that you'll have to, as a condition of downloading the product, is objectionable. It's also varying the terms of the contract (i.e. imposing an additional one) after payment, which clearly isn't right! (PayPal will close an account for this trick, at the very first complaint, if they find that that's what someone done).
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
      Originally Posted by Jeremy Kelsall View Post

      AMEN!

      I actually refunded 2 products last week BEFORE EVEN SEEING THEM because of that...If I buy your product, I'm going to wait 10 minutes for aweber or anyone else to send me a confirmation so I can download it...and sign up to a list that I don't want to be on as a requirement to get what I paid for.
      I donĀ“t really mind about the fact of registering, what they do with the list is a different thing. A buyers list should be treated with awesome information and the best products, if they just blast links... well, karma bites...
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Solem
    I'm in complete agreement with your list Brad, but can I please add one more... being oblivious to your competition!

    I've noticed a trend in recent months of well respected warriors who don't visit here too often coming by to launch their latest facebook or SEO etc... WSO and are completely oblivious to the six other WSOs just like theirs that came out in the past six weeks.

    Of course they all have great testimonials from their friends who stop by every few months and therefore think it's the greatest thing they've ever seen, and then I feel like an idiot when I buy it and have to ask for a refund because it's exactly like one I already purchased!

    Some of these WSOs do really well and I can only assume it's thanks to newer members that haven't already purchased something similar, but for those that have been around longer or are more active here, you and your friends are quickly losing our trust.

    Cheers,

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by Steve Solem View Post

      I'm in complete agreement with your list Brad, but can I please add one more... being oblivious to your competition!

      I've noticed a trend in recent months of well respected warriors who don't visit here too often coming by to launch their latest facebook or SEO etc... WSO and are completely oblivious to the six other WSOs just like theirs that came out in the past six weeks.

      Of course they all have great testimonials from their friends who stop by every few months and therefore think it's the greatest thing they've ever seen, and then I feel like an idiot when I buy it and have to ask for a refund because it's exactly like one I already purchased!

      Some of these WSOs do really well and I can only assume it's thanks to newer members that haven't already purchased something similar, but for those that have been around longer or are more active here, you and your friends are quickly losing our trust.

      Cheers,

      Steve
      Hi Steve,

      This is something I've been thinking about recently.

      Now, I think I'm a regular contributor to the forum, and I'm also pretty sure I don't fall into the group you're referring to.

      That being said, I have noticed a major increase in my posting after I release a product, but it's not intentional. How so? When I'm in "product creation mode" there is less free time available to interact here at the forum (I still try to, but just can't do it as often).

      Then, once the product is done, there is suddenly more free time. Here's the catch: to an outside observer, this pattern could suggest that I only post when I have something to sell, but the reality is that I have more TIME to post when I have something to sell. But it's not BECAUSE I have something for sale, it's because I'm not spending time on finishing a product.

      Again, this isn't quite the type of behavior you seem to be talking about. But it fits in with what I've been thinking about recently.

      All the best,
      Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author Gary King
        Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

        That being said, I have noticed a major increase in my posting after I release a product, but it's not intentional. How so? When I'm in "product creation mode" there is less free time available to interact here at the forum (I still try to, but just can't do it as often).

        Then, once the product is done, there is suddenly more free time. Here's the catch: to an outside observer, this pattern could suggest that I only post when I have something to sell, but the reality is that I have more TIME to post when I have something to sell. But it's not BECAUSE I have something for sale, it's because I'm not spending time on finishing a product.

        All the best,
        Michael
        Ditto - getting down to the finishing parts of a project often results in a tunnel vision kind of thing - I'm in GO MODE, so I'm not looking at what others are doing because I'm believing in my project.

        I do see your point though Steve - it does happen, but sometimes it's not an intentional thing.

        Have a great day!

        Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author rcritchett
    Brad man!

    It's always nice to see someone confirming some of the ideas and points that have firmly planted themselves in my neurology.

    I especially align with forced opt-ins. I want to WANT to opt in to your list, not have to, and most of the time it's not all because of the product, a great deal has to do with the humanization of the interaction.

    It's funny to me that some people haven't caught on to this thing called "giving a crap" about people.

    Great thread, great replies. I'm out.
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