If you’re a videographer looking to expand your business into the world of on-line teaching then Phil Ebiner is a great role model for that. Phil is a well-known authority in the online teaching world and is a step ahead of where the trends are. He is unique in that he has videographer and photographer knowledge, but he has not pigeoned himself into just being a videographer. He shares a lot in this podcast. We talk and share tips for filming online video courses and Phil goes into depth about online marketing. He is an inspiration and proof that you can be successful while being trustworthy, transparent, and sharing a lot as an online teacher.
So you made the decision to relocate to Vancouver. If you’re an expat, international student, digital nomad or new to the city then keep reading. Vancouver is a beautiful city on sunny days especially when there is still snow on the mountains. There are few cities that can compete with its natural beauty. It offers world-class winter sports, high standard of living, beautiful nature and international foods. Vancouver is also an expensive city to live and cold and wet for most of the year. If you’re looking for a cheap city to live then you’re better off looking at other countries in Asia.
I’ve lived in Vancouver for over 23 years, but have lived abroad in Asia for the past 2 years in Taiwan and Thailand. I’ve visited Vancouver two Holiday seasons for a row during that time. This trip I’ve been here for over two and a half months so I wanted to write this while the experience is fresh in my head. I’m 37 and I’m not a backpacker. I’m an ex corporate guy who is used to certain comforts like a steamroom, leather chaise, a convenient apartment located close to the Canada line and the seawall. Staying at a hostel is not an option for me. My style is value comfort.
Best time to Visit?
Vancouver is often ranked highly on the livability surveys. What is doesn’t measure and is not often talked about is the weather. You can expect long cold grey rainy days with short daylight most of the year. The best time to visit is between April and September when the weather is sunny at a comfortable 23-27 degrees Celsius. During this period Vancouver can be one of the best places to live not factoring in the expensive cost of living. If you want to enjoy beautiful views with snow on the mountain you may want to visit in March. Its still cold and wet, but you can expect a few sunny days where you can get great photos.
Where to live for long term stay
Even though my family lives here I’m often asked “Why didn’t you stay with your family? Well there is no room so during the last couple of years I’m in a similar boat as you except I have local knowledge. Vancouver real estate is extremely expensive with costs in desirable areas like central Vancouver, Downtown, Burnaby, and Richmond going up since 2005. The rental market is also expensive. The location depends on where you will spend most of your time. Most of Vancouver’s businesses, International school and entertainment centers on Vancouver downtown. Downtown is easy enough to walk to most destinations, and has a decent transit system. Within downtown, waterfront areas like Coal Harbor and Yaletown are highly sought after. I’ve lived most of my time in Vancouver since 2009 living in the Yaletown area of downtown. It is a modern trendy area that is central to the seawall and parks, the Canada line, good restaurants, and the business and shopping district. It is also at the edge of downtown right across from central Vancouver so it isn’t far to commute to the City center or Richmond. Another area I would recommend is Olympic Village. This area has developed nicely since the Olympics and offers similar benefits to Yaletown, but is a newer community and is just outside of downtown. You can also look for rooms or basement suites anywhere that is walking distance to the Canada line. Some convenient Canada line stations include City center station, King Edward, Oakridge, Langara, Marine Drive station, and Richmond center.
I was lucky to stay at an Airbnb for $30 canadian a night. I managed to find a private room with shared kitchen and shared bathroom in a new house near the newly developed Marine drive Canada line station for $30 Canadian a night. I ended up paying $365 Canadian for 12 nights, which is incredibly cheap. A good option if you were staying a week or 2 in Vancouver. I could have booked longer, but there weren’t many reviews and it ended up getting booked up for months after I booked my room. I consider myself lucky.
If you needed a longer term more comfortable option to stay you can search on craigslist. You can find a basement suite in a Vancouver suburb for about $1300 Canadian. The problem is that the majority of landlords want 6 month to a year leases. These places are unfurnished and you’ll end up spending hundreds more to get set up with your essentials.
If you are living here for 1-3 months most likely you’re going to need something fully furnished, wifi, and central. There are not many options here in Vancouver. If you google short-term accommodation your top results will be the Standard, The Lex, and Rentwithconcert. Those apartments cater to corporate executives that have afford to have their companies footage a 3-5k a month bill.
I was fortunate to find the new GEC Student hotel. Don’t let the name fool you this used to be the best Western Plus hotel converted into short-term hotel accommodation.
The suite is located at Granville and Drake at the foot of the Granville bridge on the downtown side. This area used to be a bit seedy, but I can see it has gentrified. Downtown Vancouver is small, but the funny thing is you can be in shady area one minute, and a nice condo residential area the next. Try to avoid Granville street at night especially on the weekends. I recommend taking Seymour or Horny for a more pleasant walk.
The suite is a fully furnished studio with wifi. It has a 40 inch lcd, private bathroom with a shower and hot tub. The desk is solid with a nice view looking up the entertainment district of Granville with a view of the mountains. In my second month I upgraded to a studio with a kitchen and king sized bed. It is also a downgrade in terms of the view and a lower floor.
A so so gym area with hot tub is on the rooftop. The seawall is a 3-4 minute walk away, and the Canada line is 8 minutes walk away. There are bus stops right outside that can take me anywhere in downtown or even to my parents. This is a good lifestyle for a month or 2. It doesn’t come cheap.
Studio $1450 cdn
Studio with kitchen $1580
I had a good stay here. The staff and service have been great the past 2 months. The wifi has been up and down, but more than good enough. They have just recently opened up a business center which offers computers and printers. They have a decent fitness center, parking, sauna, and laundry. In short everything you need in a convenient location.
Where to work from?
This section is for the Digital nomads and location independent workers that work from a laptop.
If you’re looking to find work in Vancouver I can offer deep knowledge as someone who built a 13 year career in Vancouver. For 5 of those years I worked as a manager where I was hiring people for a company. I’ll share knowledge about that in the Vancouver living guide.
Vancouver offers a lot of coffee shops, cafe/restaurants, and public areas with free wifi.
I recommend trying to use your apartment or room as a home base. This is where you can do the majority of your work and have access to everything you need. This means somewhere with a desk, solid wifi, and power. I also look for a large screen tv with HDMI access for video work or playing movies from my laptop.
The room at the GEC hotel served as a good base, but I needed to get out once in a while and find high speed Internet for uploading.
I’ve worked out of coffee shops like Starbucks Marine drive station. Although it ticks all the boxes it’s got too much in and out traffic for me to relax. This is good for a couple of hours. I’ve also worked at the Starbucks across from the downtown Library. There are 2. I worked at the one further west on Robson.
The downtown Vancouver library offers workspace and free fast wifi. In late 2015 it made a major upgrade by introducing the Inspiration Labs on the 3rd Floor. This facility offers rooms, computers, and equipment you can use to content. This means sound proofed recording rooms for podcasters, musicians, online teachers, and even computers with software to video edit. They even offer a green screen recording room where they offer a camera and lighting to create a professional production.
Vancouver Library Inspiration Labs
I’ve also worked from the Inspiration labs at the downtown Library. The recording and sound rooms have been a great resource to create some high quality content. The Wifi is super fast in the work area within the Inspiration Labs. I’ve been able to reach close to 85 mb/s upload speed. The rooms allow you to use equipment like lighting, condensed microphones, greenscreen, and sound mixers. In the hands of someone who has some knowledge like myself you can take full advantage on this free resource. Thanks to the Vancouver Library. This resource was one of the reasons why I decided to extend my stay. I’ve even developed a content schedule to make the most of my studio time. The one drawback is that this library also attracts a lot of bums and the bathroom can be disgusting. You often have to ask someone else you can trust to watch your things while you run to the bathroom. The best workspace is by the tables with the video editing computers. This space serves it’s purpose and is free. If you can obtain a library card the library offers free access to the online learning resource called Lynda. This is an excellent free benefit and I suggest you use it.
In general there are a growing number of co-work spaces located in Gastown area. They don’t generally offer daily or weekly rates, but start with monthly rates start at $300 Canadian. Some of the names I came across included Hive, Suite Genius, Werklab, nd Kickstart (International Village mall).
My freelancer friend had a daypass to the cowork space called HIVE located in gastown
Hive was a decent work environment. The hotdesk area where I was sitting was busy. The wifi was solid and it’s a trendy design with different workspace areas. I worked out of the hot desk area. There were other areas for fixed desk workers. The vibe was fairly quiet and people kept to themselves. There was a mix of solo independent workers and some groups. It’s a comfortable work area with a kitchen if you were to fix yourself a lunch and a lounge area. There are plenty of options around the area such as noodle box or subway.
They had a couple of phone/skype booth areas for private conversations. There is a sustainable theme where they attempt to provide a contribution to the community and the environment. There were plenty of racks for people that commute on bikes. In short I found this to be a solid establish option if you were in need a co-work space in Vancouver.
Cafe’s and Coffee Shops
Urban Fare (Olympic Village)
This grocery store/cafe chain has a modern lounge feel with plenty of desks, food, wifi, and beautiful views. You are footsteps away from the seawall and the popular Craft Beer Market
This café is centrally located near the city center Canada line location. It offers everything you need and some good priced happy hour wine and beer. My favorite Vancouver beer Four Winds IPA is sold here. It’s also located within the Whole foods store should you wish to do some shopping after. After you’re done work you can find any convenience store you would need from post office, liquor store, restaurant, electronics store, or drug store. It’s fairly busy so it’s not the quietest place to do work.
BC’s best coffee (Near Granville and Drake)
This hidden gem offers plenty of comfortable seating and marble desks space if you like to stand up and work. It’s not that busy and offers everything you need. I like it because it is spacious, has all the essentials and isn’t too busy.
Roundhouse Community Center
I actually haven’t worked here,but this is the community center that serves Yaletown residents. If you can find a desk here you can benefit from free wifi and work here for a couple of hours. It’s close to the Yaletown Canada line and is close to the seawall if you want to take a walk.
Waves Hastings locations
Waves is a coffee chain that offers everything you need. The coffee is average, but the location on hastings was a good location to work from. This is close to SFU and international schools so you might find many students studying out of this location.
Gas town and Yaletown remain the trendy district that people like to go to hang out. I enjoyed a drink at the Oxford and even the local chain restaurants like Earls, Milestones, and Cactus are still strong bets for a good night out. Granville Street is the entertainment district and is home to a lot of the clubs and bars that appeal to the younger crowd.
Where to work in Chiang Mai as a Digital Nomad Video Creator & Instructor
Many of the digital nomads who I’ve met in Chiang Mai usually fall into the category of affiliate marketer, e-book writer, seo guru, coder or developer, freelancer, dropshipper, blogger, or podcaster. I’ve met only a handful of video creators or on-line instructors. The goal of this article is to give content creators an idea of where to work in Chiang Mai as a content creator. My main business is video stock footage, which in a nutshell is selling my video clips on Internet marketplaces. I also teach video on-line courses on platforms such as Udemy and Skillshare.
A video creator has unique requirements and I spent some time in Chiang Mai figuring out the environment especially in the Nimman area. Nimman is the trendy neighborhood that is home to most digital nomads and co-working spaces. The problem is that your typical coffee or co-work space with wifi won’t cut it sometimes.
Where to produce as a Stock footage Videographer
As a stock footage videographer you just have to get out and shoot footage. If you’re staying in Nimman you can walk through the Soi’s to find plenty of interesting things to film to begin. You could even film video of digital nomads since it’s a growing trend. To see more of Chiang Mai you’ll need to take a red truck or rent a scooter. If you live here you’ll eventually you’ll need to do a visa run so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get fresh footage from neighboring countries.
Where to produce as an On-line instructor
As an on-line instructor you may need to record somewhere quiet or if you’re teaching a niche topic like my drone course you’ll be filming out in the field. Most likely you will need to film in a quiet place indoors and will discover that there are no co-work spaces with video friendly soundproofed rooms ready to produce Youtube stars. I rented a one-bedroom apartment that has a nice living room space to film my videos. I paid a bit more for this resource so I took advantage of it rather than pay extra for a meeting room. If you do require a meeting room you can check out the Mana co-workspace, which has Skype rooms (25 baht hour) that could function as your recording room. A nice option with great Internet access is at the Camp creative workspace located in the Maya mall. You can occupy the room for 3 hours with a 500 baht spend. The rooms are nice with everything you may need from power, LCD TV, and Internet. Pun Space at the Tha Pae gate also offers large meeting rooms that you could use to record a course. There are also many café’s in Nimman and it is possible you can make an arrangement to film a course there. A few digital nomads have used the Sangdee Art Galley, which is a quiet 2 level café to hold workshops. I don’t see why one couldn’t film some lessons here.
Where to edit
After you’ve got your footage you’ll be ready to edit. You can actually do this anywhere, and you don’t really need Internet access. I prefer to have a larger screen than my 15-inch laptop screen to edit. Most apartment rentals have a modern LCD flat panel that you can connect your laptop to with an HDMI cable. I use the LCD as a second display to maximize my screen real estate. When I get out of the house I also find I can get a lot of editing work done at the Mana co-work space. They have quiet environment with all your basic needs (power, internet, bathroom, water, tea, safe, cheap good eats) taken care so you can focus on your editing. They also have great friendly staff with genuine warmth and customer service that you learn to appreciate if you’ve live in Asia for a long period of time. The camp creative space can also be an inspiring environment to edit especially with the Mountain View on a nice day. When it gets crowded it can also be counter productive. Another less well-known option is the Mac Café. At this café there are a couple of IMacs that you can connect your hard-drive and work off of. I’ve copied my entire system onto my external hard-drive so I can connect my LaCie 1tb thunderbolt hard drive and just use the IMac as a big screen.
Where to upload
When I’ve done editing I’ll need to get the video files to the Internet. The fastest option for this is at Camp. If you purchase the super Wi-Fi Ais sim card on the 3rd floor you can use the 100 mps upload speeds to get your content uploaded very quickly. Most co-work spaces have decent download speeds in the 5-20mbps ranges, but their upload speeds are a lame 5mbps. The current co-work space spaces with exception of Camp are not really catered for content creators. I can get a 1gb batch of video files uploaded in minutes at Camp! If I’m just uploading a one-off video file I can just upload from home before I go out and it will be done before I go home. Watch this live upload from Camp. Almost 1gb in a minute.
check out the amazing upload speeds for my videos live. almost 1gb in 1 min uploaded from Chiang Mai
There you have it. I hope I can save content creators some time figuring out their workflow and where to do it. The Camp workspace really is a special resource that I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world. It’s upload speeds are the fastest I’ve seen, it is the largest, 24 hours, and if you get the AIS sim card it is the cheapest. This also has made it the most popular, and it’s not uncommon to be very crowded.
I’ve had a vision of a space catered for artists and content creators. A place for aspiring Youtube stars or on-line instructors to record their videos in a soundproofed studio room with adequate lighting. Read more about that in this article.
A solution to the frequent Question mark of death for Mac laptops
I hope you don’t have the same issue as I had, but if you have been getting the frequent question mark of death when trying to boot up your MacBook. I want to give you a solution that has worked for me. I’m happy to share the solution!
I was frustrated at the advice that was currently on the web so I decided to once again put on my IT hat and write a post with one possible solution that won’t cost you a lot and that you can do yourself.
Being a digital nomad in Taiwan my laptop is my livelihood, so I was freaking out for the last 48 hours. I had plans to travel to Thailand, but after this scare I was thinking of an early return to Canada. Yes some drama. I have an early MacBook Pro 2013 15inch Retina currently on Yosemite 10.10.2 I used for creating many videos and on-line courses. I have a 13-year background in IT so I have some technical chops that I could lean on to figure this out
Who is this for?
MacBook Pro’s or MacBook air owners with frequent blinking question mark folders when powering on your laptop. I’m going to write a solution in lamen’s terms that you can do yourself.
This solution should work with most recent MacBook Pro’s or MacBook airs with a thunderbolt connection, the one with the lightning bolt.
I started to get frequent blinking folders with question marks infrequently and then more frequently. The common advice on the web is to hold down the option key, which will give you an option to select the start-up disk. They then recommend you go to system preferences to set the startup disk. Great I did this, but then it started to happen more frequently.
I would hold down option at start-up, but it wouldn’t find the internal storage. I even started to press command R to bring up the emergency options. I would then see a spinning globe call Internet recovery. This would install the operating system from the Internet and wipe out my hard drive. I didn’t want that, and besides the laptop couldn’t find the main internal hard drive anyways.
When did it happen?
I think it happened around the time I installed OS X Mavericks. I’m always weary when it comes to upgrading operating systems. In my experience with upgrading the operating systems whether it ‘s an iPhone, windows desktop, or in this case a Mac laptop there is a high chance that something will not work.
What did I do?
I had a hunch it might be a hardware issue, but there was a chance it might be software related. To make sure it wasn’t a software issue I recommend doing the following
1. Turn on time-machine and make sure you have a full-backup
The time-machine back is awesome because it will backup the OSX with all your apps and data unlike the old Windows backup. Make sure you have a successful backup. Disconnect any external hard-drives that you are not going to back up to during this backup otherwise it will take up more space. It will give you the estimated size of back up. If you can’t find time machine search by the spotlight logo and open the clock logo in the top-right.
2. Upgrade your operating system to the latest and backup again
Yes I know I don’t like this, but you have to go in logical steps. Make sure you have a previous back up in the operating system. After upgrading to the latest try starting up your laptop. If you’re still having the problem make sure you back up your system again with the new operating system
3. Replace your hard-drive at the apple store or do it yourself
At this point it looked like my hunch that there were a hardware problem was correct. I found a great resource if you wanted to open up the laptop yourself and try fix the hard drive cable or replace it. This has never been my strong suit so I thought hard for another solution.
I went to a premium apple reseller, as there are no Apple stores in Taipei. They wanted 800nt just to look at it and tell me what the problem was. On top of that they need my laptop for 3 days. This wasn’t an option.
In case you want to do it yourself this site is awesome and provides all the information
4. Restoring your system onto an external hard-drive
You will need to find a space external hard drive. I recommend a 1tb thunderbolt hard-drive, as you need fast access. I’ve always relied on this hard-drive for intense video editing and it has been fine. Thunderbolt is awesome, but expensive.
You will need to Press command and R at the same time at boot up. This will give you the option to access the disk utility and restore using time machine.
You will need to format your hard-drive with Mac OS journaled using the disk utility. After formatting select the option to restore your system on the external hard drive. Make sure you backup your stuff on this hard drive, as it will wipe out everything.
I tried restoring my system onto an external USB 3 hard-drive. It took a long time, but it worked. The system was as slow as a turtle so I made some space on my LaCie 1tb thunderbolt hard drive and restore it on there. I went for a workout as it takes a while. When I came back I restarted the laptop. Anxious to see if my solution worked I logged it after seeing the Apple logo for a long time. The system was a bit chopping doing things on the laptop, but slow on anything on the actual laptop. My instinct was to restart right away. When it came back up things were crisp.
The benefit of this solution is that I didn’t have to open up my laptop and I can now use my laptop with all your programs. I was asked for the serial key to my MS office, and I tried loading Final Cut Pro X for video editing. Everything has been fine so far. Technically I could select the internal hard-drive, but this would give me random success. I could also replace the internal hard-drive at some point if there was an apple store. I think the internal hard drive at 500gb SSD goes for about $105 on this site. In the process I can still use my external hard-drive, but I’ve lost about 200gb on my 1gb to the system. Whew I can take off my IT hat for now.
I’ve heard about the value of creating a vision recently from Arnold Schwarzenegger on the Tim Ferris podcast. I thought I would give it a shot and try to have some fun with it. At the beginning of most years I have written something in my journal or evernote, but rarely look at it again. I thought I would put into blog format to share with the world to see if it works out differently this year.
Link to the podcast with Arnold Schwarzenegger & Tim Ferris
Jan – Mar 2015 Scale business for Stock Footage & On-line Teaching $3000US
I plan to work my butt off to continue to build on my Internet foundation putting my time into the Internet activities that are generating revenue: Stock footage and on-line teaching.
I plan to scale the stock footage business by optimizing skills and leveraging my existing collection on more stock footage agencies like Pixta, Dissolve, 123Rf, Videoblocks and Stockgiant. I would like to find the 3rd and 4th stream that pays consistently to compliment Shutterstock and Pond5.
I would like to continue to build the video library. The Pingxi Taiwan festival and Tokyo are 2 major opportunities to introduce fresh footage. I would like to continue teaching courses on-line through the Internet with subjects that I’m familiar with. A new course “How to build a successful IT career” was just launched at the time of writing. There are 2 Mandarin based courses in the pipeline that I plan to get ready to launch. I would also like to look at minor optimizations and new content to existing course to bring more value and hopefully. I plan to introduce possible 1-2 more courses before the end of the quarter. One course I really want to introduce is a quality course on teaching people how to fly drones for aerial video and photography.
I also want to begin doing paid talks around Asia teaching people to inspire them to begin their businesses by teaching them how I do my stories. I would also like to connect with more like-minded entrepreneurs. Although passive income is volatile I would like to reach at least $3000 US in passive income a month by the end of Q1 and keep that as a minimum average going forward.
Audience building, Gear upgrades and outsourcing April – June 2015 $5000 US
I would like to continue to build an audience on both Chicvoyageproductions.com by introducing helpful how-to content on producing videos. I would like to carve a niche for producing courses and aerial videos. On the digital nomad blog I would like to share great content on the Travel lifestyle, passive income, and Entrepreneur interviews. I’ve learned how to set-up products and services that I sell over the Internet. I would like to try build some direct sales through my website. I would also like to work regularly out of creative environment like a co-working space as a space to do day to day work, video recordings, and paid talks.
This is the time for much needed upgrades. I plan to upgrade my drone and camera gear to make the move up to 4k. I may experiment with different camera lenses to get unique looks. I want to upgrade the hard-drive to back-up the library in the cloud.
Trip to Philippines & outsourcing
I would like to take a trip to the Philippine’s for a beach vacation and relaxation and of course a video shoot. I enjoy shooting the videos, but I would to see if I could find some talent while in the Philippine’s to begin building a virtual team to outsource the stock footage process freeing me to travel in Asia more. I may follow up that trip with a filming food trip to Vietnam.
I return to Taiwan to continue to practice my Chinese. I release 3 new courses on making money with video, Gopro 4, and an updated Drone course and plan the next trip to Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. Using the help with outsourcing I’m able to quickly scale the collection to 6000 video clips and become one of the leaders of Asian footage for 4k and aerial footage. By the end of June I plan to average $5000 US a month.
Plan for q2
Team building, South Korea, Drone Academy, and visit home
July – Sep 31 $10,000 US
I launch the Drone Academy and my own podcast to teach people how to fly drones and build their business. I build my team to include travel assistants from Taiwan to help me with filming and possible teach me Chinese on trips. The next trip is to Shenzhen in China to see what the roadmap is for their products and see if there are any partnership opportunities.
The next trip is South Korea for a filming trip to Seoul and do some paid talks. Next stop is a relaxing stay in Okinawa at the Club Med resort. Kobe is nearby so I take the opportunity to sample the beef and find our more about UCC coffee.
The collection is now up to 10,000 and I am selling stock footage directly to agencies. I take a trip back home to Vancouver for the summer for a couple of weeks. I also do paid talks their sharing the experiences of building a business on-line. I go on a wine trip to Kelowna to film the wineries and enjoy the wine. The monthly income is up to $10,000 US at this time.
India trip, Maldives and more paid talks
Oct – Dec 31 $15,000 US
I take a trip to India to film the footage and enjoy the food. I also schedule paid talks to share what I’ve learned over the year. I end the year by celebrating at the Maldive Islands. Stock footage is now up to $15,000 a month.
Okay well there is the 2015 vision. It may not look like it, but it took a long time to put this together on the blog. Let’s see how this year plays out. Have you created a vision and has it helped your business?
Resources and links from this post
I earn a affiliate income for clicking on some of the links. No cost to you but it helps me out. Thanks!
Once you’re ready to start making some passive income with your videos Pond5 is a great start. Their site was easy to use, upload, and their review turn around is pretty fast. I’ve got my largest collection of videos here and I get paid from this site. I’ve created an on-line video course on “Making Money with Travel videos” if you want the complete process on getting started. The link I’ve provided is an Affliate link so you help me out by clicking the link.
Shutterstock was the second site I started using to sell my travel videos. Once you’ve started to share your video collection on-line it doesn’t take much more time and effort to start selling on another site. Because I choose a non-exclusive model I can sell on this site too. Shutterstock is a public company and has a high Internet ranking so I get paid out from this site. The site is easy to use once you figure out the system and they have a great blog for contributors. The link I’ve provided is a referral link, so if you click on it it helps me out a bit. Thank you in advance.
Skillfeed is owned by Shutterstock so you know that it is backed by a large public traded company based in New York. Skilfeed is one of the platforms I use to upload my video courses. They take care of the marketing and how it works is that after you film and upload your course it accumulates viewer minutes over the month. You will then get paid the following month on the 15th.
Udemy is the the other on-line platform I used to upload and sell my courses. They are more established than Skilfeed and generally pay out more. However, because there is a non-exclusive model you can upload the same course to both platforms extending your earnings per course.
Stitcher is an awesome app and website that is the 2015 version of the radio. I use it to tune into business entrepreneurs and MMA shows. You can download the shows to your phone so you don’t have to stream for later. I find myself using it more often than itunes now.
It’s been almost been a month since I left Vancouver and did my first paid talk. I had 10 tickets sold, and I believe 8 people actually attended. I earned 78 US ($99 canadian) in net revenue. In this post I’m going to share how I earned $99 for my first paid talk in Vancouver. There was a friend of mine that attended, but paid me in cash instead of through Eventbrite so this was not reflected in the image. While this is not life changing income this certainly was a small win to earn income doing a talk. I enjoyed the experience and perhaps I could do more talks in different cities and scale it. Let’s look back at how I did it and what you can learn.
While packing for my trip to Vancouver in Taiwan an idea popped into my head. I thought maybe I could do a paid talk about my working holiday experience in Taiwan. I thought as an experiment I would give the Eventbrite platform a try. I remember I had purchased an event ticket here myself for a Phillip Bloom SLR workshop in Vancouver.
Eventbrite – Platform I used to put the event on-line and accept payments
Mailchimp – Used to promote the event to my mail list
Paypal – Used to accept payments
Facebook Page – Used my Facebook page and personal page to promote the event to my social network
Canva.com – Used this for graphic design for my Facebook pages
After I set up the event I decided I would send out an email blast to my Vancouver mailing list. I didn’t yet have a set venue, but I indicated it would in Vancouver and on December 15th. I set up 5 free tickets for friends and I think 10 tickets at $10 US. Within the hour I had an ex-colleague claim the 2 free tickets. After that the remainder of the tickets would trickle in.
I had to jump onto a long flight 20 hour flight from Taiwan to Vancouver and settle in and get set up. I thought I would check on the event when I had a chance. Once I got to Vancouver I had to figure out which venue to hold the event at. There was the meeting room at the condo I was staying at, but that space was too large, had spotty wifi, and required a fee of about $100. I also considered the Wave’s coffee house, but I was lucky the the folks at the Tree Organic Cheesecake coffee shop let me host my event in their coffee shop for free. They even let me use their projector and let me book half of the coffee shop. All they required was a minimum 1 drink fee from each person. Thanks again to the folks at Tree Organic!
Once I had the venue settled I knew I was capped at a maximum of 20 people in the space. We agreed on a date of December 27th, which gave me about 20 days to promote the event. I wasn’t sure if the holiday season would impact the event. My thinking was that it was post Christmas and post-boxing day and a Saturday afternoon should be okay. Click on the picture if you would like to see the original event details.
The event promotion
In the copy of the event I made sure that I listed some bullet points outlining the benefits of the event. I also included some scarcity in there, which was easy as I was only in Vancouver for a limited time and this was the only talk I had planned. I created an event graphic for my Facebook cover page using the awesome tool Canva.com. I put the graphic on my personal and business Facebook page. Eventbrite had a Facebook integration tool that automatically created a Facebook event using my Chicvoyage Facebook page. It created a purchase button that resulted in a sale. I also set the event up on a Meetup page as I already had access to a Meetup membership.
What I thought
Eventbrite did a good job using their promotional tools to help me with the remainder of the sales. It allowed me to change the name of the tickets, price and quantity. I used this to name the regular priced tickets “Early bird tickets” and I sold them for $10. 10 days before the event the early bird tickets were not available, and only “regular” priced tickets at $15 were for sales. Interestingly, I got some good ticket sales for the regular priced tickets. Eventbrite provided some good tools like the Facebook integration, which I used for the event. It provided a WordPress widget tool that allowed me to create a countdown to the event. Eventbrite also provided good analytics that allowed me to see which type of marketing led to sales. It also had an app that had a check in feature that I planned to use to scan their tickets. A great high tech feature, but I had too many other things to deal with in the end so I didn’t end up using it. The actual talk went well. I spoke for about 2 hours, and I was happy with how the Eventbrite platform worked for this event.
There were some no shows from the Facebook page event and the Meetup event. I find that if they can RSVP for free that there is a chance off no shows. I found it confusing for my attendees that RSVP’d on the Facebook page and the Eventbrite. For the people that RSVP’s on the Facebook event they weren’t required to pay a ticket if they didn’t click the buy ticket button. This left me wondering whether people were going to show up at the shop thinking it was a free event.
Other than that this was a good experience. I focused on entertaining and delivering a lot of value and interesting stories. As I mentioned I enjoyed speaking and earning some income doing something new. I hope to do more talks. Thanks to all the people that attended. Do you have experiences with Eventbrite ? I hope that gave you some inspiration into starting your own talk on Eventbrite.
I came for a visit to Vancouver after almost 2 years away. My friend mentioned that our mutual friend Alex had built a full-time business doing video production and a strong social media following using Youtube and Facebook during my time away.
Alex has built a following of 43,000 subscribers on YouTube and 15,1000 likes on Facebook focusing on Transformer videos and reviews. He also owns a local video production company Ragin Ronin productions.
In this video series I will try to unlock some of the keys to success that Alex has had building his video production company and his social media following.
In video 1 of 3 we will talk about some keys to doing well on Youtube, what gear Alex uses, and how he started his video production business. I apologize for the poor sound quality. We ended up meeting at one of the busiest malls during the Christmas holidays so it was super loud background noise that I’ve tried to reduce in post production.
What I found particularly interesting was that Alex said it took 4 years to build his audience. He also stressed consistently with publishing content on a regular schedule, which is an area I could improve on myself. He also shared what gear he uses, but the important thing he stressed was to get started and play with what you have. He also shared how he got started in the video business by volunteering to do videos for free at the beginning. He even managed to get a $200 donation, a $300 donation, and then a $500 donation before deciding to do it full-time. Alex also reviewed that he does the Youtube videos part-time, but the video production also takes the majority of his time. I think this is a good approach doing free-lance video work because the skill of video production is transferable to youtube.
In video 2 we talked about some Social media tactics such as relating social media accounts to post to your Facebook and twitter simultaneously as an example. Alex also talks about whether he uses a script or does he wing it for his Youtube videos. An interesting point Alex makes is that of Social Media etiquette. One example he talks about is not abusing your Facebook friends network by posting content that they didn’t sign up for. That is what your Facebook Page is about.
In video 3 Alex reveals he supports hootsuite twitter as a source of information and supports Youtube cross-collaboration if it is a good fit. Because his Youtube Channel is related to the entertainment industry his posts musts be timely so he has developed a daily routine to gather information. He also impressively posts about 3 videos a week. His number one advice is to be original and do to something you love. What I found interesting is that Alex doesn’t have a blog yet and chooses to focus his efforts on Youtube and the Facebook platforms to build his business. This is evidence that you don’t necessarily need a website or a blog to generate Internet revenue.
I plan to do more of these videos with Entrepreneurs around the world. Please sign up to our newsletter for an update on other videos and for the rest of the videos from Alex.
If you live in Taipei long enough you’re going to need to do ordinary things like get a haircut or get a dentist. So where to get a haircut in Taipei? I started by googling and recall opening this blog post by Madeline more than once. I tried out her suggestion and went to a hair salon called FIN near the Zhongshan MRT. There is actually a FIN1 and FIN2. I tried FIN2 and got a really good hair cut with the stylist, hairwash with an attractive girl, hair dry and some hair product. I think I paid about 500nt ($16.14 US), which is a good price by Western standards. When I tried to make my next appointment I did it with the same hair stylist. I even confirmed the price with them in Chinese. I think about 500nt. I got there and finished the haircut and then waited for the bill. They told me it is something like 900nt. I was so frustrated and to make matters worst all the staff crowded around the pay counter. I interpreted this as the Taiwanese way to try support their boss. Anyhow, I think their case was that I made an appointment with the master stylist and that was his price. Also the second time the haircut is usually more expensive. My argument was that I confirmed the price of the appointment on the phone. This was probably due to a miscommunication and I couldn’t really argue with people that didn’t fully understand me. I ended up settling on 700nt, and I was super frustrated they tried to take advantage of me especially in foreign friendly Taiwan. I promised I would write this post to protect english speaking foreigners from getting taking advantage of. If you’re going to a salon usually the way it works is they will use a more experienced stylist to cut your hair the first time. You’ll get the hair cut, free drink, hair wash, hair dry, and hair product treatment for about 500nt. The second time it’s going to cost you more for the experienced stylists and a bit less for the junior stylists. Personally I hate going to places with this tiered system.
Taipei organizes some areas well and in trendy Zhongshan (中山 MRT (red and green line) you’ll find a lot of upscale hair salons that are more pricy.
My friend told me if you pay more than 300nt you are paying too much. If you want a haircut for 300nt ($9.70 US) you can find the barbers at some of the MRT’s. They have one if you get off the Zhongshan MRT and walk in the underground metro mall towards Taipei Main station. There is another in the East Mall underground walkway at Zhongxiao Dunhua. If you want something a bit more stylish like a scissor haircut with a hairwash and some product you can go to the Shida area, which is near Taipower MRT exit 3. Once you exit go right on Roosevelt road and turn right on Shida road. If you walk straight on Shida road you will see hair salons on both sides. The hair salon I went to before that I had a great experience with is Park Hair Culture 台北市大安區師大路117巷4號1樓No. 4, Lane 117, Shi da Rd., Daan District, Taipei, Taipei 106, Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan. I was introduced to it by a Swedish friend that cared about his hair a lot. It is in a lane so you will turn right. I suggest you copy and paste the Chinese address in your Google maps to find it. If you’re a student the cost is 450nt. If you’re not a student it’s about 650-700nt I think. They are a smaller modern salon and I suggest making an appointment before.
If you don’t have a student card and you’re a guy I recently found a place called No.1 Male Hair Salon. Yes interesting name I know. Shandao Temple MRT (善導寺站) 臺北士林森南路 2-1號1F。They have a weird racing car garage theme, but they do an alright job with a haircut (with buzzer), quick hair wash, dry, and product for 550nt. Second visit is for 400-450nt. For the ladies if you’re looking for something more posh and fancy you can getting off at Taipei 101 World trade center MRT and looking around there.
If you’re interested in practicing some Chinese at the salon. Here is some vocabulary you may find useful. If you’re interested when the MP3 audio and a full set of the hair salon vocabulary and phrases you can sign up below.
Starbucks Taipei 101 is a must-see If you’re going for a visit to see Taipei 101 which I highly recommend. It offers the some of the best views of Taipei for the lowest cost. The best views for free are at the elephant mountain hike, which I’ll cover on the future post. You’ll need to make an advance appointment to do so. You can watch the video to get the phone number and they understand english.
It is easy to get there. You can take the MRT underground subway and closest station is Taipei 101 World Trade Center on the new red line. The red line was installed around September 2013 so you’re in luck.
The verdict: It is a bit of a hassle to get there, but armed with this information and if you’re already going to visit Taipei 101 this is a must do.
For the price of a coffee and food you can get amazing views and skip competing with the crowds trying to go to the viewing platform.
While you’re in this area here are some ideas of what to do.
Eat at the Xinyi food court in the basement level for good cheap eats
Try the Xiao long Bao at the Din Tai Fung by the same MRT exit 4. It’s probably the biggest and busiest of the Din Tai Fung branches in Taipei so be prepared.
Jason’s market place is nearby which is the closest thing Taipei has to wholefoods. You can grab a nice ipa beer and drink it while you wait.
Visit the ATT4Fun area. There are more places to eat, watch movies, and drink.
Go for a visit to Elephant Mountain for a hike and the best views of Taipei.
Before I start my 1st passive income report lets explain what passive income is. In my words it is a product that you take time to produce and sell on the Internet through a platform like your blog website or Amazon. If the products are digital like an e-book or a video clip you spend time upfront to create it and once you’ve put it on-line the one product can be sold to more than one customer. Because it is digital you don’t have to worry about shipping a tangible product. Payment is automated through paypal. Your products can also reach a global audience. Imagine being at starbucks. You have a starbucks employee that may be paid $15 an hour. I may be at the same starbucks doing work on my laptop At the end of the day I will have a finished digital product that can earn me revenue while I’m doing other things for no set end date. The starbucks employee may earn $90US for their 6 hours of work. The irony is that we are both working at the same location just doing different work.
Some examples of my products
I’ve been inspired by Internet Entrepreneurs Patt Flynn and John Dumas who have posted their detailed income reports on their blogs. By doing do they have inspired me and provided lessons through their successes and failures. I’ve taken some inspiration and information from them and tried to adapt them to my niche of travel, video, sharing, and inspiration. They have taken the idea of passive income that has been popularized by Tim Ferris and successfully executed the idea with a blueprint.
Although I started this entrepreneurial journey in May 2011 I made many mistakes and spent a lot of money up until now. During my time in Taiwan I have been experimenting with different business models in an attempt to see what works.
Let’s get right to it.
Timeline January 2014 – June 2014
I’m contacted by a company in Singapore to pay me an upfront fee of $500 US to organize my video collection and host it on their website
I manage to organize my collection and spend several months figuring out an efficient process to thousands of my video clips on stock footage sites like Pond5.com and shutterstock.com.
It was a lot of hard work to organize the footage and catelogue it, but It was starting to see sales of $20 to 60$ US come in, which was encouragement for me to continue to go forward. This was starting to become my foundation passive income stream. While I’ve not reached the point where I can completely rely on my passive income this month I feel that I’ve built a foundation and have a path to focus on efforts on that I believe I can reach my goal of being financial independent in Taiwan in the next month or two. I was teaching English in Taiwan the past 4 months, which helped supplement my income while I was building up these income streams.
I want to make American money while I’m abroad in Taiwan learning chinese and to travel more in the heart of Asia.
I currently have 2467 video clips and 120 pending video clips pending curator approval. I have just completed a trip to Japan and expect my total clips to be around 2900 after they are approved.
October’s payout will be $ 167.50 US compared to September’s payout of $279.50 US. Payout’s are on the 15th of the following month.
July 2014 $167
August 2014 $292
Sept 2014 $207 US
Total $666 US
Monthly Average $222 US
Although the number fluctuates my focus will be to get the Japan footage up there as soon as I can. My footage collection for this year has been entirely from Taiwan. I will try to be creative and film footage from within Taipei to save on costs. The good thing is that there is always something to film in Taipei. There doesn’t appear to be any particular pattern to hone in on. However, I did sell one of my first gopro driving tours in Hawaii. I have driving tours in Vancouver, New Zealand, and South Africa that have no been uploaded so this is another strategy to focus on.
if you are interested in seeing my pond5 global video library currently over 3000 video clips please click on the link below. I do get a referral commission if you purchase, but it is free to browse my video collection
In October the pay out will be $226.29 US. I have 1890 video clips and 76 waiting for review. Assuming they are all approved I will have 1996 video clips before Japan’s batch. Shutterstock has a higher rejection rates. Too bad I didn’t keep track of how many approved video clips I’ve had on-line as there has definitely been a correlation with my payout’s and the number of video clips I have on-line.
July $335 US
August $ 134 US
September $239 US
Total $708 US
Monthly Average $236
Combined Monthly Average $475
October Total $393.79
Shutterstock is a slightly better performer for me. I have an efficient process for getting the video clips on-line that I put together in an on-line course on Udemy. The potential in stock footage is I can leverage the existing footage I already have and rely on the stock footage sites to market and sell the video clips. Pond5 and Shutterstock combined have performed the best. I have a collection on Motion elements and a Japanese site Pixta. I haven’t seen a single cent from these sites yet. Given that Pixta is a Japanese site I may put more video clips especially from Japan and see what results I get.
Other sites that I’ve tried, but have given up on for now are Revostock and iStockphoto. I have submitted clips and waiting for a collection at T3media to come on-line shortly. Clipcanvas is another site I have read on other websites as being a strong performer. Their site has been going through upgrades lately and I just recently received an invitation to become a contributor. I plan to get a part of my collection on there to try get a 3rd revenue stock footage stream going.
Combined Pond 5 and Shutterstock deliver $474 US
Another goal is to find a 3rd site that can deliver at least $100US. That would bring a monthly average to $600US. Not a lot by western standards, but good money in Taiwan. My goal seems realistic to me given the size of my high quality collection.
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