Change your distribution (change your results?)

Not reaching enough customers? Maybe it’s your distribution model.

Traditional radio distribution vs do it yourself radio distribution

One is recorded in a studio (probably at the station itself) and is available at the same time, on the same station or network every week, maybe it has a podcast too.

Transistions is a weekly radio show recorded by house DJ John Digweed.

John records the show (I imagine) in his home studio (note, if you have a laptop you too have a ‘home studio’ for 99% of radio shows).

He has a weekly guest mixed no doubt emailed/Dropboxed in by the guest DJ who recorded it on his own laptop somewhere far away.

That’s putting together the content cheaply and easily, but what about the distribution?

John distributes his radio show to Proton Radio (a premium, online only radio station specialising in electronic music), it’s available on his website of course and he distributes a shortened version of it via MixCloud (and no doubt other services).

The best part though is that on the two hour full length version of his show he pre-records ad slots (blank of course) telling the listener to stay tuned and welcoming them back afterwards.

This show can now be re-packaged and used by any radio station in the world John chooses to work with.

He controls the content, he can cross-promote his own stuff, but most importantly he can reach a huge worldwide audience.

The radio station is happy because it gets a professionally produced radio show that it can slot right into it’s schedule and monetize with local content.

Teaching a repeatable skill

Perhaps you’re a college teacher who helps classes after school for some extra income or maybe you’re a tech whizz in a new sector teaching clients how to use some fancy new tool.

Of course nothing compares to one-on-one teaching but in many cases that’s not efficient or even desired by either the teacher or the recipient (who may want the expert knowledge but prefer to learn at their own pace).

An article-based website or ebook could naturally take the place of a teacher here but neither is really close to a satisfactory replacement in many cases.

A better way could be using online video to record yourself explaining and demonstrating the skill directly to your students.

Talking in a natural way about the skill you’re passionate or knowledgable about and breaking the areas of learning up into short, manageable videos.

If you’re showing something on your computer screen, many easy to use and affordable screencasting programs are available.

If you’re recording something ‘out and about’ ask a friend to come and record you on their HD camera and buy them lunch.

You can set-up a simple WordPress website as a channel for your distribution (plugins are available which let you charge people either recurring one-off fees for access).

You can use YouTube or Vimeo if you’re looking to share your videos as widely as possible or something like Bits on the Run if you’d rather host video yourself (and restrict access). (EDIT (Dec 2014): Since I first wrote this article, Wistia is now a popular option for distributing video in this way too).

You might end up helping more people and making more money (if that’s your goal) as well.

If you’re worried about losing direct access to your customers or not being able to help address student’s questions directly, you can easily set-up a forum for questions to be asked.

You might even encourage other members to answer questions too, building a community of like-minded learners.

And of course you can still offer your one-on-one services via Skype (if suitable for the skill) or in person too.

This is exactly what user experience (UX) guru Amir Khella did a few months ago with his popular online UX video course distributed via Udemy.

(EDIT (Dec 2014): Here’s another, more recent example, of using Udemy in this way by Rob Cubbon: ‘How I make $5,000 a month from Udemy and Skilled‘).

It’s also what top copywriting consultant Neville Medhora did with his online only, all video (and brilliantly titled), ‘Kopywriting Kourse’, which quickly became the best ever selling deal on monster deals website AppSumo.

Next time you’re endlessly tweaking the content or the bits round the edges of your product for that breakthrough moment, why not step back and think about whether you should even be distributing to your customers in that way at all.