As a professional in the association industry, you’re no stranger to the value of expertise. You know that the knowledge and experience you and your colleagues possess are valuable to others. Your association has likely already found a way to monetize this expertise through membership dues, events, and other revenue streams. But what if you could find additional ways to generate income? Multiple income streams provide a financial cushion and allow you to expand your reach and serve your members in new ways. In this article, I’ll share five proven tips for creating video courses that can help you monetize your expertise and create additional revenue streams for your association.
Understanding the Need for Multiple Income Streams
The world of association management is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of the curve is more important than ever. Your association needs to be agile, adaptable, and resilient. One way to achieve this is by creating multiple streams of income. With multiple revenue streams, your association can withstand economic downturns, changes in member demographics, and other unforeseen challenges. By diversifying your income, you can invest in new initiatives, take calculated risks, and provide more value to your members.
Tips for Monetizing Your Expertise through Video Courses
You’re an association on a mission to provide excellent benefits to its members, so why haven’t you made your resources available 24/7, 365 days a year? Ask this: “When are our members able to engage with our knowledge base of training, tips, best practices, and standards? Is it at our annual conference? Our quarterly webinars? When we send out our experts to their local offices?”
Ongoing learning can and should be accessible to your members on demand. It can and should be an additional revenue stream and recruitment system for your association to develop more resources and grow your membership! Dive deeper into this question: what’s the annual expense and return on investment for the hours we devote to limited-access professional development opportunities?
The biggest hurdle you have between the brain trust of experts at your association and a better-served membership that’s generating new revenue is launching your LMS stocked with strategically priced educational video content… NBD right? Ok, being real, this is a very BD; a mountain for you and your team to climb. BUT we have 5 actionable tips that you can use to make your journey to the summit more efficient and less stressful!
- Understand the most significant needs of your membership by surveying them using a tool like Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, or Qualtrix. By assessing your members’ most pressing needs and interests, you can better plan a rollout calendar of the courses you’d like to produce. Ask questions about what certifications, processes, and techniques will help them grow their businesses faster, what would help them achieve a goal they’ve been chasing, or expand their client base this year. Ask what their revenue and expansion goals are and what kinds of leads they want to be talking to. Action step: Develop a primary market analysis survey and deploy it to your members.
- Get started on your course framework by deeply digesting all facets of your content. It’s not uncommon for your source material to be spread across white papers, PowerPoint, workbooks, speaker notes, zoom recordings, and other mediums. Thinking through the big picture of how you can assemble the pieces of this puzzle into an outline will save you a WORLD of time (and money!) when you begin working with a production partner. Action step: Collect, read, and organize your content in an order that tells the entire story.
- Get honest with yourself about who the right person to deliver your content on screen is. There are three main options to consider when thinking about the actual communication of your educational content to a viewer: someone from your organization (perhaps the subject matter expert who wrote the training), hired talent (your production partner will be able to assist you in casting talent adept at delivering content off of a teleprompter), and voiceover. Each has pros and cons, but the most important is having a face and/or voice to your expert knowledge to communicate confidently and engagingly. Action step: talk to your team about the best presentation strategy before you engage a production partner.
- Analyze your tangential opportunities. How can you maximize your return on the financial and time investment that course production will cost you? List out every possible way the course can be used: Sold to the general public at a premium, sold to members at a special rate, specific sections made available to a mailing list as a lead magnet, OTT advertisement for both association membership and course purchase, group buys webinar presentations with Q&A from the subject matter expert behind the material, the list can be endless! The best first step is using your market analysis results to see which tangential steps have the greatest potential ROI and targeting those first. Action step: create a spreadsheet of potential sales and distribution points, and use your marketing data to estimate ROI loosely.
- Find partners to deliver your educational content to your membership and target market. You are the expert in your field. You need experts in video production, animation, and content management. If you’re considering producing, distributing, and managing your educational content internally, do a quick cost estimate on the hourly cost for your employees to organize your content, re-write it for the screen, purchase and become proficient in video production and/or animation, research LMS systems for your web platform, install, design, populate, and manage the final content, and market it to your membership. Some sections may make sense for you to handle internally, but if efficient use of your money, time, and project timeline is important to you, this isn’t a mountain to climb alone. You should look for a production partner who:
- Has a portfolio of work you feel would well represent your brand visually
- Has experience in producing coursework at the scale you’re hoping to produce
- Has demonstrated process and infrastructure to ensure that you can trust them to transform your expertise into a valuable resource for your current and future membership
- Has relationships with content management partners that have a history of building LMSs and launching courses for associations like yours
Your ideal production partner might not be local to your headquarters. You can either work with professional on-camera talent local to your production partner, use voiceover, or fly your team out to the production partner’s studio for several days of filming. Partnership and cohesion between your association, your production partner, and your content management team is the greatest asset your project can have as you move towards building a library of education your members will line up to purchase. Action step: research video production companies and agencies with experience producing long-form educational content, open a dialog and explore if they fit your project.
Creating multiple income streams can help your association thrive in a constantly evolving industry. By monetizing your expertise through video courses and other income sources, you can provide more value to your members and create a more sustainable financial model. Use the tips and best practices outlined in this article to get started, and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. You can create a thriving association that benefits everyone involved with the right mindset and approach.
We’re excited to discuss your course! Vivid Bridge Studios is passionate about bringing educational content to life and has spent years developing a framework that makes it manageable for our clients. We’d love to be a resource for you as you work your way through these questions, no matter if we ultimately are the best fit for your project or not. Please set up a callback with us today.