How to create great video products In the last year we have seen an explosion in the online video market. Try these tips if you want to create great video products for sale on the Internet: You'll be more successful if you show how to solve a problem. Forget about trying to impress people. Forget about trying to look good. Be natural, be yourself, and show people how you solved a problem in your own life. Then give your viewers tips for applying these lessons and strategies to their lives. Focus on action. Always think about action-about what you want your audience to do. Then build your video around that action. As the Roman statesman Cato said, "Find the message first and the words will follow." Failure is the result of a lack of focus. To be effective-for people to remember your message-focus on a single power point and present it as truthfully and as entertainingly as you can, rather than presenting a series of topics in a single video product. The power of structure Keep this basic structure in mind as you create your video product: * Start with a powerful, attention-grabbing lead. Clearly state your theme in the first minute. * Use smooth transitions to link one segment to another. * Use action verbs. Change verbs in passive voice to active verbs. Keep adjectives and adverbs to a minimum. * Give viewers a few suggestions to help them apply what they've learned to their lives. * Be yourself. Use short words and sentences. If you're stuck and you don't know what to say next, explain it the way you would to your best friend or spouse. * Connect with your audience. Wrap everything in human terms-make it something your next-door neighbor can relate to. * Finish with a satisfying conclusion that reemphasizes your theme. When you have an idea for your video, you'll know it's the right one if you can answer "yes" to each of the following questions: * Does this need to be done? Am I the right person to do it? Can I see the world from the point of view of my audience? Can I think their thoughts? * Can the market I'm targeting understand my video? Can I express the idea better in half the time? Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, "Perfection is attained, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." * Does the idea hold together from start to finish? Does it move smoothly? Does the video make sense as a whole rather than just as the sum of its parts? * Am I willing to say what I think is true, no matter what? Now you're ready to create a great video product. As you develop your video, keep this checklist handy at all times. It will let you know what elements in your video product need more work, and it will let you know when your video is ready to be distributed and sold on the Internet.