A common excuse I hear when it comes to product creation is “I don’t have the money” or “I don’t have the software or tools to do it”. Sure, there are some premium tools that I use that I would not live without but what if I told you that you could create an entire product on a budget of zero? How would that sound?
Of course you should not under estimate your own time. This is not free, but the tools I outline in this post certainly are….
I am certain that just by using the tools outlined here you could make a product that would sell in the market today. If enough of you reply to this post, I may take that up as a challenge!
So, here is a list of Free Product Creation Tools that you can use.
I have talked about this free screen capture tool before here on the blog. This is a great free alternative to Camtasia. With this you can start to make your own over-the-shoulder tutorial videos. Package a few of these up and show people a method they can learn from and you have a product. For example, you could make a series of “How To Set Up Your First Blog” videos. You could break all this down into 5 to 10 minute videos and then you are all set. You can include a webcam stream too on video. This is an optional feature which you can disable if you want to. The only small gripe I have with Screencast-o-matic is the hot-key controls; if you want to do certain functions it can be a little tricky with the keys. With Camtasia you shoot first and edit after – which I prefer. That said, as a free screen capture tool it is very good indeed.
An alternative free screen capture tool is Screenr. This is a web-based tool which allows 5 minutes of video recording free.
Pixlr is like having your own version of Photoshop straight from your browser, well maybe not fully but it is a very good image editor for free. This has many functions for manipulating images, cropping, editing as you wish. The effects studio is really great. It will literally transform any image you have giving it more vibrancy and life. You can add borders, text etc – which is great if you are making a product where your media is in the form of PDF guides etc.
There are many tools within the package including a very useful screen-grabber. This is a very handy tool when making tutorial guides, because rather than trying to explain in words how to do something you can just take a screen capture snapshot at the click of a mouse, and then edit the picture with some text if you wish. I have used this method many times before.
Online eCover Creator
No product is complete without a good eCover. Some people say it does not matter but I believe it does. I know you are not getting any of the value from the eCover but I once read that a good cover for your product can increase sales. So, you may as well make one. The Online eCover Creator is as good as them come really. You do not need anything else. You may have seen the post where I show on video how to make these, its very simple. If you can drag and drop and input some text then you can have great looking eCovers made in just a few minutes. Check out the post here on how to make eCovers. There is a premium option with this but free members get to access 5 eCover templates so you will have enough to get started.
Google docs is brilliant. Get yourself a Google account if you haven’t already. If you do not have a rather expensive copy of Office in your arsenal, then you may want to consider Google Docs as an alternative, in fact I use both. Google Docs allows you to write on the go from any machine you can log into your Google account from. It will update the documents you work on live so you can pick up where you left off from any other machine. If you do not own a decent word processing platform then this will do the trick just fine. You can also assign other users access, so if you are working as a team then again, the content will update as you process it. The Docs package comes with a presentation tool, a word processor, plus more.
As all your work is stored on the Google Drive (cloud storage) you can pick it up and carry on working on the go without having to transfer files etc. So – you can start your report at home and then carry on with your work during your lunch hour at work for example.
You may fancy creating a few audio files as a product. I know this is a very popular method and a great product you can use is Audacity. This is a free piece of software which allows you to record and edit your own voice. If for example you are in the Health and Wellness niche and you wanted to make a series of positive thinking files then this would do the job just fine. It doesn’t have to stop there though, some people simply like listening to material as a form of taking it in rather than reading it. So, you could create a few reports on a certain subject matter that you intend to sell and you could make audio versions of each report that you can add as an upsell to give more value.
It can seem a little tricky to begin with getting to grips with this software, but once you get the hang of it you will start making your own audio files just fine. A small tip here, never under estimate the value of a good microphone. If your laptop or webcam has one built in it may do the trick but if you find the audio is a bit “noisy” then a small investment for an external one will go along way.
So there we have it, 5 tools all of which I use by the way that are free to use. Check them all out and start playing around with them. Once you get to grips with these you will have a nice product creation toolkit that did not cost you anything!
Are there any more tools on the list I have missed? I am always on the lookout for more tools to add to my toolbox – paid or free. Drop a comment in below with your suggestions.