How To Build And Record Your Product

tech Sep 28, 2020


This is the lesson where the magic happens. 

So far you’ve outlined everything you need in your course and should now have a great skeleton for building the body of course content.  

Now, the great part about all this is you don’t have to get everything right or perfect to succeed.  That’s because, after you create the course, we’re going to release it for free to your audience and then use their feedback to shape your course into the final product which you will sell. 

>> Click here to get a FREE instant download of the PDF version of this post... I'll throw in my audio narration as a free bonus.

I know that might sound strange at this point... giving it away for free!? 

But trust me it’s going to make sense when we talk about your beta program release in two lessons.   

So let’s dig into what we’re going to cover in this lesson: 

  • You don’t need to record direct to camera, instead focus on smooth slide narration with superb audio quality 
  • How to teach inside your online course 
  • How to create your slide decks 
  • How to avoid overwhelming your audience 

Let’s jump in! 

Don't Photobomb Me!

I still remember the first time I recorded something for my first online course.  I spent hours and hours just planning for the moment.  And I spent an inordinate amount of time making sure everything was perfect. 

I wish I could find that video to show you how horrendous it was.   I bet I took it down because it was so embarrassing.

Anyway, I remember the entire thing like yesterday:

I was working in Times Square NYC at the time near Bryant Park.  During my lunch break I took my tripod and Nikon DSLR into the middle of the park.  I then spent like 20 minutes trying to figure out how I was going to focus the camera. 

It's easy to focus when you can see what you're focusing on but since I was on the other side being recorded, I couldn't see if I was in the frame, if my face was in focus or anything like that.  Also, since I was in public, people kept "photobombing" me and stepping into the shot, doing stupid stuff and making my life super frustrating.

I eventually managed to record the thing only to get just a few views on Youtube.

I honestly had no idea what I was doing!  I just knew I needed to create content and share it with the world.

My problem was that I thought everything needed to be perfect.  I kept thinking I needed a tripod, I needed to record video on my fancy digital camera, I needed to make it look super professional... yeah don't make my mistake.  

Getting your audience results is more important than making yourself look polished.  The polishing is what you care about, results is what they care about.  And since people pay for what they care about you should focus on results.

NoteDownload the FREE PDF Version of this article so you can read offline, anytime and print it for easier viewing.  As free a bonus, it includes the audio narration as an MP3 file so you can listen on the go.  Just enter your email address to get the entire thing.  It's free, instant and available now. 

Stay Away From The Camera 

So here's Vonimus Rule #1: 

When building your online course, you generally want to avoid talking into a camera. Why do I say this?  I say this because most people aren’t good at it and even if you do feel comfortable direct to camera you have to worry about more complicated video editing and graphics manipulation. 

The other issue with direct to camera video is that it can often feel scripted to your viewers.  So for these reasons I suggest you avoid direct to camera.  You don’t need to be on camera to have an awesome product that gets your audience massive results. 

That being said, if you really want to try your hand at the camera stuff just keep it simple.  On the positive side of things, recording direct to camera has the potential for making your content feel more personal.  And if you only do it as a lesson or module introduction then you’re probably in the safe zone just don’t freak out about buying a fancy Nikon or Canon DSLR.  Don’t go nuts. Just use your iPhone or smartphone to record video. 

When I did this for my courses, I would set my iPhone video quality to 1080p at 60 frames per second so the video was super smooth.  I also had a little clip on mic, that I found on Amazon, and I had the wire running under my shirt to my other iPhone which was recording the audio.  

I never scripted anything because I didn't want the delivery to feel scripted.  I mean what if I forgot my lines right?  So I would just review my lesson notes to the point where I could get in all the details and then I would just "freestyle" as many of the points as I could so it would feel more natural. 

After I recorded the audio and video, I would copy them to my computer, drag them into Camtasia to sync up the audio and video and then mute the audio coming from the video stream.  That’s how I got the audio quality to sound so good.  Lining up the audio feed with the video but silencing the audio coming from the video feed allowed the audio coming from the lapel mic to shine.  

Now my suggestion to you is to just avoid all this.  

It’s a complicated mess and you honestly don’t need all this crap when starting out.

Click Here To Download The PDF Version of This Article

Let’s keep your first course simple.  Let’s just get it out there and then when you start earning some money, we can look at ways of improving the visual quality of your content. 

That being said, it is my conviction that the audio quality is the most important part of any online course because that’s the central thing that can drive home results. For this reason, I suggest you do a slide deck recording with audio.  It’s a whole lot simpler and in many cases, is more effective.

Teaching Tactics 

In order to maximize the outcome in your audience you need to have a few things in place: 

  • Record a welcome video.  You will record this last (after you’ve built out all the content for your flagship product).  Remember, you want to keep this simple (it can be direct to camera or slides with audio) but the point here is to reaffirm the purchase decision your customer just made.  This is going to be the first video your customers see after they buy your course so you want to get them pumped by thanking them for the purchase and briefly going over all the awesomeness you have waiting for them.  In this video you also want to take them on a tour of the product.  Show them the different links and buttons and what they do. Show them how they can leave comments.  Show them how they can contact you.  Literally walk them through that process and explain how you want them to progress through the course and what they can do if they get stuck or get behind. Oh, and one added benefit of the welcome video is it can decrease your refund rates 😊  Just sayin’... 
  • Embrace Story.  In the beginning of your teaching lessons you also want to set the stage right from the start about how you want them to move through the course.  Encourage them with personal stories, examples and little anecdotes as you address the fears you know they have.  For example, if you know your audience has major fears about getting behind in the training curriculum you might want to say, “And you know, you have lifetime access to this course so even if you get behind you can always loginanytime and pick right up where you left off!” 
  • Focus on Steps. Provide a tangible strategy for completing the course.  If you focus on steps, namely, your system for getting them results then they will feel like everything is logically spread out for them and all they need to do is follow your lead one step at a time.  For this reason I think it’s really smart to create a course calendar as a PDF so people can chart their path through your course and have a reasonable timeline of when they can expect to finish and get the results they want. 
  • Be Inspiring! This may sound strange but you want be the source of inspiration for your students.  You aren’t just here to teach them – that's boring!  No, you’re here to motivate them, to get behind them and support them and charge them forward with a fearless zeal to get results!  This is one of the reasons I think it’s smart to include a video at the beginning of each module that tells them what’s coming up in the module and also gives them some motivational courage to jump in before they get started.   

Creating Your Decks 

So here's how this breaks down.  You’re going to want to copy your course outline into a PowerPoint slide.  The recorded narration of your slide deck is going to ultimately end up as your flagship product so it’s really important that you know how to do this right. 

As a general rule of thumb, you want to keep your slide content simple and uncluttered.  In the slide notes you can put stories and examples you want to tell. You can also get great royalty free images from  I've been using these guys for years.

By the way, another great resource for getting graphics for your online course is Canva.

Your slide deck also should have a theme.  So each lesson could include slides like this: 

  • Introduction Slide 
  • Story slide 
  • Content Slides 
  • Pitfall Slide 
  • Inspirational Quote 
  • Coming Up 

The goal here is to create all your lesson slide decks BEFORE you record your course.  This will give you maximum flexibility so you can reorder things later.  If you go through any of the online courses at Vonimus you'll see that I follow this exact formula.

How To Avoid Overwhelming Your Audience 

Now it's time to think about how you are serving your audience.  Think about how much content you’re giving them.  Remember, you only want to give them enough to get the quickest results.  So if it takes you 60 minutes to help your audience get results your course should be 60 minutes (not 70 minutes). 

>> Click here to get a FREE instant download of the PDF version of this post... I'll throw in my audio narration as a free bonus.

Obviously, the goal is to make it shorter if possible.  As a generally rule of thumb, it’s usually good to try to keep the videos 10 minutes or less.  As videos get longer the completion rate will drop which means you’ll get less results from your students. 

I know some course creators like to drip the content over several weeks, but I suggest giving everything at once so your customers can download what they want - when they want it.  I think giving your customer's everything at once really puts them in control of what they want to learn - when they want to learn it.  On the flip side, it also has the potential to overwhelm them if you don’t control access.  So this is a balance you need to think through.

Quick Action Result 

In the next lesson we’re going to dig into the tactical semantics of recording the course using Camtasia and Snagit.  Well also dig into just how you can enhance the audio to make sure it sounds great. 

So for this lesson the only thing I want you to do is to decide on your teaching method.  Are you going with the slide narration method or direct to camera?  I also want you to start thinking about how you’re going to organize your slides.  We’ll dig into more detail in the next lesson!


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