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Want to really engage your book audience?

It may seem a little counterintuitive and ‘un-literary’, but in this day and age you need to start using video in your marketing.


Because as mentioned in the interview below, we’re moving towards a future where the majority of content being consumed on the Internet is in the form of video. In fact, it is said that well over 80 percent of consumption on the Internet right now is through video.

In other words, you’ll miss out a huge chunk of the pie by not tapping into video marketing.

There is however, an art to this.

To help you navigate this process, we invited Dale Roberts, founder of Self-Publishing With Dale and YouTube content creator with over 10,000 channel subscribers, to share his tips on how to build camera confidence and leverage video in both your marketing strategy and online course curriculum.

For all the details, watch our free video with Dale below to learn how to use video to attract and retain students for your book and online course:


How Authors Can Choose The Right Platform For Video Marketing

You might be thinking – wouldn’t it make sense as an author to stick to writing platforms like Medium for marketing purposes?

And you’d be right. Especially because you’ve already worked so hard to write your book already.

But while there is a benefit to that, according to Dale, what ends up with the most eyes and exposure is video. Especially when it comes to YouTube.

Not only is YouTube the world’s second largest search engine and one of the best organic ways you can reach a large audience, it’s also free.

It doesn’t cost anything for you to shoot a video on your phone and upload it on to YouTube besides time.

But what about other platforms like Facebook, Instagram TV, Twitch, and SnapChat? According to Dale, it’s okay to use those platforms, as long as they fulfill two criteria:

  • It’s where your audience congregates and likes to hang out
  • You feel comfortable sharing videos on those platforms

If your audience doesn’t hang out on those channels, then you’re promoting to no one. On the other hand, if you don’t feel comfortable uploading videos on certain platforms, then you’ll eventually burn out and get sick of it long-term.

So learn to love where it is that you’ll be uploading videos.

Pro tip: It’s best just to choose one platform to upload your videos. Each video platform carries with it a unique culture, and having the same videos on different platforms can turn your audience off. Moreover, you can start cannibalizing your own views because your audience is spread across too many platforms.


Effective Ways To Grow Your Video Channel

When it comes to growing your channel, it’s important to remember that people are not consuming video for you. This applies especially if you’re just getting started and breaking ground.

Rather, they’re coming from themselves, and as Dale eloquently breaks it down, there are 3 main motivations behind video consumption:

  • They want to be entertained
  • They want to be educated
  • They want to be inspired

Either way, it’s about figuring out what their problems are, and seeking ways to provide a solution to those problems via video.

By doing so, you can grow your influence as a thought leader and author, and increase your ability to sell books and courses online.

How To Choose A Topic For A New YouTube Video

If you’re new to marketing your book or online course as an author and you’re a little unsure of how to cater to your audience, don’t fret.

A neat trick is to study those who are already successful, both within your niche and outside. Then see how you can implement what they do, into your own videos.

This is how Dale does this for his business:

  1. Goes into YouTube
  2. Searches up what he thinks an audience member would type in to look up content they want to see
  3. Then waits for YouTube’s auto-suggest function to show him various iterations of currently trending keywords

He then uses this information to create relevant videos that a wider audience is looking for.

“If no one’s looking for it, you’re only serving yourself. You’re not serving your audience.”

– Dale Roberts

At a more narrow and focused scale, Dale recommends starting off by targeting long-tail keywords (i.e. strings that contain 3-6 words) that cater to a more narrow audience for your video content. That way, you’ll be able to reach an audience where it’s not hyper competitive.

By continuing to do so, you’ll start stacking micro victories – small wins where you’re gradually building more and more of a presence with your audience long-term.

Eventually, you’ll reach a stage where people are starting to recognize you. And you’ll be able to target shorter tail keywords that cater to a larger audience without, as Dale puts it, “having to have a fist fight to be at the top of the first page on YouTube.”

How Authors Can Leverage Video To Market Their Online Course

One thing to keep in mind every time you put out new video content is that there are people who are unfamiliar with who you are.

In other words, they haven’t had the chance to develop that know, like and trust factor with you yet.

To quickly accelerate that process, Dale recommends adding ridiculous amounts of value upfront, to the point where it’s almost painful for you to provide this value and you feel like you’re giving away inside secrets.

An easy way to link this strategy to selling online courses or books is to provide that value in exchange for the opportunity to direct them towards either:

  • Your email newsletter
  • Your Facebook group

With email newsletters, the goal is to then further engage them through an effective nurture sequence that leads to your book and online course.

With Facebook groups, the goal is to engage and build awareness within the community to the point where it grows organically, and group members start promoting your books and online courses for you.

Pro tip: After asking your viewers at the end of your videos to subscribe to your newsletter or join your Facebook group, Dale advises authors to not ramble on about why it’s beneficial to do so. Instead, just move on with the rest of your video and close it off.

What Content You Should Create For Video Marketing

Your first few videos will be based on your book and the research you do with the long-tail keywords as mentioned above.

But as you progress, you’ll eventually reach a certain stage where you’re looking for more content ideas. At this point, there’s nothing wrong with trying things out until something works. But as Dale points out, you’ll lose more often than you win by doing so. So don’t make that a large part of your strategy.

Instead, Dale recommends finding out what currently gets the most engagement.

How do you do that? Here are some examples:

  • On Facebook,  keep an eye out for the posts that generate the most questions and create the most conversations.
  • On YouTube, you can pinpoint what people are looking for based on the engagement you get with previous videos.

If you ever find yourself at a complete loss for what to create next and you have a small following, poll your audience. Simply ask your audience what content they’d like you to create. You may be surprised at what people actually want when you ask.

Creating Video Content For Your Video Online Course

It’s good practice to give all your best stuff away upfront for marketing purposes.

But you can’t always give away ALL your stuff.

When content production becomes too labor intensive (for example, when you’re spending several days to create a series of videos), that’s when you need to consider putting that content into an online course and charging a premium for it.

And how do you know that you’re creating an online course that your audience needs, and that it will sell? Dale recommends conducting what’s called a beta launch. Essentially, a beta launch is where you market and sell a product before it exists.

While the idea of selling a product before it’s been created may sound a little strange, it’s the best way to ensure you’re not wasting days, weeks or potentially months creating something that no one wants.

Think about building a skyscraper – you wouldn’t build one aimlessly without having first seen a detailed floor plan or a prototype model. You need proof of concept before investing millions of dollars in your creation.

The same applies to online course creation, or even writing a book for that matter.

To hear more about how Dale Roberts does beta launches for his products, watch the video above!

Camera Confidence: Tips & Best Practices

As an author, you may not necessarily be confident on camera. In fact, chances are you’re introverted and you prefer to be creative behind a keyboard.

And that’s totally okay.

In fact, that’s one of the most common concerns raised by authors looking to create online courses – they’re happy with text creation, but less so with getting on camera.

If that’s you, don’t fret. You don’t have to start recording your face straight on to Facebook Live videos. Instead, just start with what you’re comfortable with.

You can do this in a variety of different ways, such as:

  • Screen share recordings where you demonstrate how to do something by recording your laptop screen.
  • Audio recordings so you’re able to speak with freely without worrying how you look on camera.

From there, you can slowly progress to recording your face on video.

Much like writing your first few drafts and deleting half of what you’ve written, you can take your phone out and record a video of yourself, then delete it immediately. The key thing to know is that speaking on camera is a learnable skill.

And if you want to get better at it, you just need to practice.

Pro tip: A good way to practice your presentation skills is to join a community like Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a group of people that get together regularly to practise and refine their speaking ability in front of large audiences.

We hope you’ve learned a lot about the power of video marketing when it comes to marketing and selling your online courses and books!

To reach out to Dale Roberts, visit, his YouTube Channel,
and check out his online course with Thinkific