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Help in promoting my educational channel...

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Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Tue May 14, 2019 8:32 am

I own two web sites: Samplecraze and the Audio Production Hub. Samplecraze has been around for just over 20 years now and provides ebooks and video books on the subject of audio production. I am in dire need of solid advice on how to promote Samplecraze and the Hub.

The Hub is a subscription based site that provides video tutorials on the subject of audio production. I currently have around 200 videos on site and not enough subscribers.

I want to promote the channel and try to gain more subscribers. I have costed the subscription to be cheaper than most of my competitors and I believe I provide decent and varied content.

When I set the channel up 18 months ago my target for subscribers was 200. I am woefully short of that target.

I have tried all the usual social groups, forums etc to promote awareness of both sites but that hasn't worked either.

I have tried Google Adwords to direct sell specific products and that ended up costing me a small fortune and didn't yield any sales or subscribers.

I am not a marketing man and therefore have no idea as to how to garner new subscribers and sell my content.

My site is well optimised for SEO but apart from the odd banner ad I don't have an advertising campaign as I don't know where to advertise.

If I had to be honest the only times I garner any sales is when I drop a press release to SOS. Their single endorsement generates more sales for me than any other medium I have tried and that includes press releases with all the major site likes KVR. Audiofanzine etc...

I would greatly appreciate any guidance you Jedis can provide. I strongly believe in my content and it is sad to see so many companies like mine that provide truly poor educational content and at a price point much higher than mine.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby The Red Bladder » Tue May 14, 2019 3:44 pm

Random thoughts in no special order -

1. I am less than sanguine about the viability of 'Pivotshare' as a platform.

2. I doubt your competition is doing much better.

3. There's just too much free info out there!

4. A free YouTube channel might earn more through advertising.

5. There's no 'Call to Action' on your website. i.e. no 'Buy now and save $50!' and no trace of a 'Summer Special - ONE WEEK ONLY!' The stuff just sits there - a good product at a fair price - well, that's not very exciting! There has to be a real buzz and something new every couple of days!

6. Sell something people MUST have and use a YT channel as a vehicle for that. e.g. John Cadogan sells new cars to Australians but gets his customers via his 'Tell it like it is!' channel on YT. See here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy3JJZKBAZs
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Tue May 14, 2019 4:26 pm

I am not crazy about Pivotshare and my site is currently being migrated to Shopify.

Call to action just finished with an extensive sale over Easter. I have run sale after sale only because I have been forced to by competitors running continual sales. These continual sales are damaging and actually work against providing premium content. So, for me, they are business killers.

I have a Youtube channel that houses a ton of free video tutorials. No joy there either even though I have a lot of subscribers. The channel has been there for over 12 years now.

I understand that the competition is rife but I believe it is the free content that is most damaging to all of us in this business. Even group members steer potential customers away by always suggesting Youtube for free content irrespective of how poor the content can be.

Anyways, I am after constructive suggestions as to where I might yield better results advertising or promoting my content.

Thanks for your input.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby The Red Bladder » Tue May 14, 2019 4:50 pm

I wish I could be more constructive, but TBH, it is not a product I would want to sell. I don't mean that there'as something wrong with your tutorials, but (IMO) it is a product that I would bundle with hardware or with a software package.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Agharta » Tue May 14, 2019 10:15 pm

I enquired about the hub and whether it supports Android devices as it specifically mentions “iOS devices, Apple TV, even Chromecast”. You couldn’t answer and seemed a bit defensive when I criticised the lack of a firm response so I walked away as that didn’t inspire confidence with the platform being used. I expect the content is very good as you have a great reputation. But I am conscious that the platform is important as well as support.
At the very least change the wording so that it doesn’t imply that Android is not supported or is seen as a 2nd class citizen.

The wording is here:
https://theaudioproductionhub.pivotshare.com/

Good luck with the project as you are clearly very highly regarded on a forum brimming with people that really know their stuff which is a very good word of mouth.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Guest » Wed May 15, 2019 9:57 am

Sorry but I have no advice. I don’t like promoting myself, being the centre of attention or playing socialising games, nor am I competitive and I pathologically hate, hate, hate social media. I also know others like me and you seem to be the same. The present situation is that quality and ability count for little, I have many examples of this.
After playing for dance for over thirty years I had my contract for a short project with a professional dance company withdrawn as they decided to employ someone from Belgium who was on holiday in London and had been playing the accordion for two weeks.
With a name ballet company I was replaced by someone who could not play piano so played a recording of the ballet music during workshops - however she was engaged (and now married) to the head of the funding body.
I work with classical musicians who are among the best in the U.K., when they teach in name conservatoires they get paid very little, if you want to make money in education be an administrator. My wife worked as a choreographer/rehearsal director for a community dance company and she was told by the board’s chairwoman that the dancers and musicians could ‘drop dead under a bus’, all the company needed was the manager.

After all this negativity my point is that I think there is little chance of your idea succeeding. Unfortunately many people expect everything for nothing now. I am also certain that most people could not tell the difference between excellent teaching and someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. It seems to be pervading all of society, Herr Bladder writes about many companies that replace excellent staff with new graduates. If the best pianist in the world charged £50 for a workshop and the bloke down the pub said he would do it for £49.50 the administrator would employ the bloke down the pub. After all, 1000 x £0.50p is a £500 bonus.

However I know two people who are successful doing one to one Skype workshops, one gives guitar workshops, the other poetry workshops. I don’t know if this is a possibility for you in your field.

Sorry all this is negative but most of my colleagues in the creative arts - and they are all a high standard - are struggling. And things are getting worse. Just about everyone contributes to this as well: illegal downloading, using Uber and Amazon even though the employees struggle to earn enough to live on. It is a race to the bottom. Most people want cheap, or even better free.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Wed May 15, 2019 11:41 am

Very sobering. I appreciate your honesty Still.

I am aghast that it has come to this but not surprised.

If this is the consensus then I am well screwed...
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Guest » Wed May 15, 2019 11:58 am

Zukan wrote:
If this is the consensus then I am well screwed...

I think we all are. On the Erasmus scheme it seems these world class teachers don't get paid either, just expenses and travel. This is from the EU that has tons of money.

However one to one teaching seems to be one area that has not suffered at all - if anything it seems to be thriving. Maybe that is applicable to what you do, either in person or via Skype.
Another area seems to be workshops, people seem to attend them as well. Maybe through the local arts centre or college.

I will give a personal example, I have only ever bought one ebook, and that was £8.99 (incidentally it was yours) and never subscribed to a course of lessons or an educational channel. However I frequently pay £60 for a Skype workshop with a professional poet. I also had a lesson with a classical pianist who charged me £40. They all were so inspiring I was on a high still the next day. It seems that business advisers recommend personal connection so that could well work for you.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Wed May 15, 2019 12:22 pm

I already provide 1-2-1 tuition and both on location or via Skype. I have 3 students but cannot seem to acquire any more....I have designed a flyer which will get distributed once the universities open up for the fall but until then I have no idea of where I can have flyers distributed..

I would love to just teach 1-2-1 or in groups as I want to get away from making videos. I have been churning out videos for two years now and it has been a bit of a waste of time TBH. The one good thing about the huge catalogue of videos I have created is that it acts as a resume.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed May 15, 2019 12:31 pm

Zukan wrote:I own two web sites: Samplecraze and the Audio Production Hub. Samplecraze has been around for just over 20 years now and provides ebooks and video books on the subject of audio production. I am in dire need of solid advice on how to promote Samplecraze and the Hub.

The Hub is a subscription based site that provides video tutorials on the subject of audio production. I currently have around 200 videos on site and not enough subscribers.

I want to promote the channel and try to gain more subscribers. I have costed the subscription to be cheaper than most of my competitors and I believe I provide decent and varied content.

I'm not a marketing person but here are my thoughts for what they're worth, specifically on the videos which I think are a great asset.

These days it is increasingly difficult to convince people to buy content (even quality content) with the rising numbers of channels on youtube that overlap your subject matter. However, I am an eternal optimist and I believe it can be done if you go about it the right way. I suspect it's not so much about 'the big thing' that will give a huge boost in one go but through a change in approach that will increase traction going forward.

I think you need to big yourself up more. Not so that you come across as cocky but as an experienced professional offering a relatively rare opportunity for anybody to learn from your content. I know that's the message you already give, but I think it could be shouted from the rooftop more.

You believe in your content (and I think rightly so), and the little 'About Eddie' section on samplecraze contains very relevant information, but I think that could be expanded significantly so that the overriding message on the site is "You've found something really special and here's why".

Then, take that message, distill it into something shorter and more to the point and use that in all your promotional stuff.

I think what I'm trying to say is that you need to sell yourself, not the videos or other services. Once people 'get' what you are all about then your content should be naturally attractive to them as a consequence.

After all, so much these days is about image/reputation rather than actual content and that's probably the reason why poorer offerings than yours are doing better. Work on the image! That's probably something your youtube channel can help with, via some calculated videos which talk a little bit about this and that and in the title of those videos reference some of your previous work with the clients listed on samplecraze.

When people search for 'Arturia', 'Petshop Boys', 'Propellerheads', 'Spandau Ballet' etc. on youtube then it would be good for them to discover you as a related hit, for example.

A couple of other random feedback notes:

I'm a subscriber to the audio production hub and having watched a number of the videos I've sometimes found it difficult to navigate effectively. You'll sometimes mention 'this series' or 'earlier in this series of videos' in your narration but there are no quick and easy ways to get the definitive playlist for any given sequence. The videos are in categories but I think adding proper playlists within those categories would be beneficial to users.

That said, if I've missed the feature, by all means point me at it! (and maybe make it a little more obvious in the natural navigation of the site).

I think the A/B comparisons and active/bypass demonstrations could be lengthened a bit, as sometimes I'm listening for the change but before I know it you've moved on (and sometimes before I've discerned the change in question).

I know it's a grind ... that's partly why I don't do music commercially for a living, but if I'd put as much effort into that as I ended up putting into 'easier' alternatives I might have done OK after all. Who knows? :-)
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed May 15, 2019 12:46 pm

Zukan wrote:Very sobering. I appreciate your honesty Still.

I am aghast that it has come to this but not surprised.

If this is the consensus then I am well screwed...

I think differently :thumbup:
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed May 15, 2019 12:52 pm

I work with classical musicians who are among the best in the U.K. when they teach in name conservatoires they get paid very little, if you want to make money in education be an administrator. My wife worked as a choreographer/rehearsal director for a community dance company and she was told by the board’s chairwoman that the dancers and musicians could ‘drop dead under a bus’, all the company needed was the manager.

I'm liking that chairwoman already! Actually, it's six of the one and the square root of 36 of the other. You need both!

I am invested in a music school and sadly, despite having a waiting list of clients that want to be taught sax, piano, fiddle or brass (we don't do guitar, as those are ten-a-penny) it is looking as if the whole thing has to close this Summer. We can't get good teachers.

I have an entire building that is not being used fully because one teacher started to steal pupils, the other (who came to us, desperate for a full-time job) only wants to do one day a week and the third is doing two other things and also can only do a day here and a day there.

Yes, we can find musicians - but we can't find musicians who are also qualified teachers and just shoving any old muso in there does not work. You need the real thing if you want the 'aspirant middle-classes' to trust their sprogs unto your care at nearly £40 per hour.

The net result is that an entire building is earning less than £100 a week - and that is madness. A charity - I am not! I'm running a business and that space can be used far more profitably as space for TV and movie sets.

Which brings us neatly to this tuition enterprise. That is a resource that should be earning money. If online ain't working and he does not want (or otherwise cannot) bundle the course with another product, the only answer I can think of is to sell the whole thing as a Blu-Ray disk (or a series of disks) promoted with hard-hitting 'teaser' videos on YouTube.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Wed May 15, 2019 12:59 pm

Thanks Eddy. Loads to take on.

Sadly, there is not a lot I can do with the Pivotshare platform. I can't even embed the channel on my existing website. It is dire for keywords and just general promotional features and it has no 'news' section whereby I can dialogue with my subscribers or announce product updates etc. You cannot cross-link products either which is a real pain.

I am trying to migrate across to Shopify but am hesitant to do so with the current climate as the migration costs amount to a few thousand pounds. At this juncture I do not believe it is a worthwhile investment even though it would tick all the boxes for me in terms of having the subscription channel within Samplecraze and the powerful ecommerce tools the Shopify platform provides.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Wed May 15, 2019 1:01 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:
I work with classical musicians who are among the best in the U.K. when they teach in name conservatoires they get paid very little, if you want to make money in education be an administrator. My wife worked as a choreographer/rehearsal director for a community dance company and she was told by the board’s chairwoman that the dancers and musicians could ‘drop dead under a bus’, all the company needed was the manager.

I'm liking that chairwoman already! Actually, it's six of the one and the square root of 36 of the other. You need both!

I am invested in a music school and sadly, despite having a waiting list of clients that want to be taught sax, piano, fiddle or brass (we don't do guitar, as those are ten-a-penny) it is looking as if the whole thing has to close this Summer. We can't get good teachers.

I have an entire building that is not being used fully because one teacher started to steal pupils, the other (who came to us, desperate for a full-time job) only wants to do one day a week and the third is doing two other things and also can only do a day here and a day there.

Yes, we can find musicians - but we can't find musicians who are also qualified teachers and just shoving any old muso in there does not work. You need the real thing if you want the 'aspirant middle-classes' to trust their sprogs unto your care at nearly £40 per hour.

The net result is that an entire building is earning less than £100 a week - and that is madness. A charity - I am not! I'm running a business and that space can be used far more profitably as space for TV and movie sets.

Which brings us neatly to this tuition enterprise. That is a resource that should be earning money. If online ain't working and he does not want (or otherwise cannot) bundle the course with another product, the only answer I can think of is to sell the whole thing as a Blu-Ray disk (or a series of disks) promoted with hard-hitting 'teaser' videos on YouTube.

So, how do you make a living Andy?
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed May 15, 2019 1:10 pm

Zukan wrote:Thanks Eddy. Loads to take on.

Sadly, there is not a lot I can do with the Pivotshare platform.

...

I am trying to migrate across to Shopify but am hesitant to do so with the current climate as the migration costs amount to a few thousand pounds.

Valid points, both. However, you can link to pivotshare from anywhere, so perhaps you can drive up visitors through promoting it via the methods (or something like them) I mentioned before.

I've discovered so much cool stuff on youtube over the years it's ridiculous. I also know that if in my 'suggested videos' list I saw something along the lines of "Creator of <something> for <well known band or record> recreates it using modern plugins" I'd certainly find that quite intriguing.

Then, in the description of the video you have your distilled bio/credentials together with links to similar videos in your channel, a tempter "if you enjoyed this video you'll probably love our series on the Audio Production Hub about managing the low end and making kicks awesome" etc. and ... well, you get the idea. It's all about laying out those paths in a way people want to follow. Subscribers go up, some of them flow over to your other services and so on.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed May 15, 2019 1:17 pm

Zukan wrote:So, how do you make a living Andy?
In no special order, studio, property, other investments, business consultant, German company owner.

BTW, I like what Eddy Deegan has just written!
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Wed May 15, 2019 1:31 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:
Zukan wrote:Thanks Eddy. Loads to take on.

Sadly, there is not a lot I can do with the Pivotshare platform.

...

I am trying to migrate across to Shopify but am hesitant to do so with the current climate as the migration costs amount to a few thousand pounds.

Valid points, both. However, you can link to pivotshare from anywhere, so perhaps you can drive up visitors through promoting it via the methods (or something like them) I mentioned before.

I've discovered so much cool stuff on youtube over the years it's ridiculous. I also know that if in my 'suggested videos' list I saw something along the lines of "Creator of <something> for <well known band or record> recreates it using modern plugins" I'd certainly find that quite intriguing.

Then, in the description of the video you have your distilled bio/credentials together with links to similar videos in your channel, a tempter "if you enjoyed this video you'll probably love our series on the Audio Production Hub about managing the low end and making kicks awesome" etc. and ... well, you get the idea. It's all about laying out those paths in a way people want to follow. Subscribers go up, some of them flow over to your other services and so on.

Good points. I always try to promote the Hub both here and everywhere on my FB pages but I have yet to see any direct signups though these outlets.

I like the Youtube ideas. I will try to incorporate them but have found I get little interest re my audio production videos. Not sure why. Yes, I have a thousand or so subscribers to my Youtube channel but not a lot of views when it comes to audio production videos. When I was creating Propellerheads Reason videos I had 30-40000 views per video. Now, with the focus being on audio production, I get views in the tens or hundreds.

Ideally, and something I have been after for a long time, I would like to take on a marketing partner who can handle all these issues, create product descriptions, handle marketing etc...but no takers.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Martin Walker » Wed May 15, 2019 1:51 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:I think you need to big yourself up more. Not so that you come across as cocky but as an experienced professional offering a relatively rare opportunity for anybody to learn from your content. I know that's the message you already give, but I think it could be shouted from the rooftop more.

You believe in your content (and I think rightly so), and the little 'About Eddie' section on samplecraze contains very relevant information, but I think that could be expanded significantly so that the overriding message on the site is "You've found something really special and here's why".

Then, take that message, distill it into something shorter and more to the point and use that in all your promotional stuff.

Spot on Eddy - I've been saying this to Zukan for years, and at first he was even loathe to put up the little history he has on his websites now.

You won't get musicians hanging on your every word if they are not convinced that it's worth their while to do so, and currently that means them taking the plunge and spending some money. Your website has to convince them that their money will be in safe hands and that they will emerge with new skills and more refined production techniques that will stand them in good stead in the future.


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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Zukan » Wed May 15, 2019 1:53 pm

I don't know how to approach this Martin. I abhor blagging achievements and when I do start to put something together it ends up being a Tolstoy affair.
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Re: Help in promoting my educational channel...

Postby Guest » Wed May 15, 2019 1:56 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:
I'm liking that chairwoman already!

You would love her manager then. Because I was working all day I wrote a piece of music for her company in the evening when I got home, it took me eight evenings. This work has been performed on Radio 3 twice and in concerts in several countries. However her manager screamed at me as if I were a badly behaved, stupid child 'is this a joke? Are you winding me up, for god's sake eight evenings to write five and a half minutes of music, you're treating me as if I'm stupid'. These two described themselves as "tough, hard-nosed business women". I have another word for them but by feminist wife says I'm not allowed to use that word.


The Red Bladder wrote:the third is doing two other things and also can only do a day here and a day there.


That is true of all the good teachers I know, they can't turn down work with major orchestras and ensembles to teach children at a regular time every week. My teacher at college was so busy I wouldn't get a lesson for three weeks, then I would a long lesson when he was back from touring.

Incidentally, I know so many excellent saxophone teachers that there must be something else going on.
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