Google is our friend and there’s admittedly a lot of great free content/resources online on any topic you can think of. In a recent Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, Success Magazine the who is who of business, entrepreneurship and success have endorsed in many ways Google as the new university.
As someone who has benefited from free content, I am not about to discredit the tremendous value of these resources. But I do have experienced the serious adverse effects of free.
In this blog post I discuss 3 significant ways that “free” hinders business success rather than propel it.
1) When something doesn’t cost us money, it will most often cost us in time
With the entrance of free social media platforms, blogging, article marketing is the focus on trying to get the greatest reach for our business without spending money to get it done.
Does the strategy work, absolutely!
There are brands that have built a significant presence and stream of revenue online without spending a single dollar to get it done. But start digging and you will find the majority of six and seven figure businesses have spent large sums of money generating quality traffic to their products.
Reality getting results from free marketing takes time. Nothing is truly free and where you may not invest money, be prepared for the trade off of having to invest more time. Are there free strategies for speeding up your results, yes, but I can assure you that those who have spent the time and effort into discovering, testing and proving these strategies are not giving away that kind of advice for free.
It comes down to this, and I love the way my coach put it “would you rather spend $0 to make $500 or $500 to make $5,000
Paid methods of advertising help your business to grow faster, you’re able to expand your reach and cut your time in half.
What’s the better approach for the small business looking to get results?
Create some kind of budget, even if you start out really small. The benefit of social media is that you can advertise for as little as US$5 per day (Facebook). It’s a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing and can yield similar results. An important point to make here is to ensure you know how to create effective ads and set up a system that will not just get people seeing what you have to offer, but help you to convert that traffic into sales. There are very cost efficient course that can guide you on how to get it right and save you from wasting money on bad ads. Here’s one on Facebook Marketing that I HIGHLY recommend.
2) Free can create overwhelm
Information overload is one of the most common experiences of online business owners. There’s so much great content, advertisements bombarding you with the next big secret to create massive income online and before you know you’re properly confused about which model really works and will get you to the level of success you so desperately want to create.
The truth? You and your business are unique and while there are many great strategies online that can create results not all will necessarily work for you. Most importantly you need only ONE to achieve success.
Access to great free content can have us getting carried away. Overwhelm leaves us stuck and following are thoughts of quitting and feelings of failure that make you wonder if you’re cut out for this. I believe anyone can successfully create/market a business online if they craft a strategy and consistently follow and implement their plan.
What will best help you overcome overwhelm, help you get clarity and speed up your results?
Invest in a great coaching program or a mentor who will you help you get clarity and chart a course from their experience. You’re not alone and they’ve been through tit and are on the other side. They’ll help you dodge every pot hole and get to your destination quickly. This is hands down one of the best and biggest investments I made in my own business.
3) Free is taken for granted
In my own experiment to find the difference between students who paid for access to a course and those who got access to the same content for free, I found that in 100% of the cases those who got free (or heavily discounted) access don’t take it seriously. They may show up for one class, never to return or never show up at all. We tend to take things just because they’re free and not necessarily because it’s what we need or want. We take free for granted and before we know it we have acquired tons of content and strategies that we really don’t need and won’t help us get to where we want. Those things we make a significant investment in we tend to give more time to ensuring it was worth our expense. We work for the return. If we didn’t pay for it, there’s frequently no urgency to generate the return by implementing those strategies.
Solution: When I needed a kick in the butt to stop wasting time and actually start giving it the “all” I needed to give, I chose to hold myself accountable by my financial investment in a great coaching program. That investment gave me the quality training and guidance I needed from successful 6 figure business owners but it also challenged me to step up my game to get my return on what was a significant investment. I am not saying that you need go and mortgage your home, but find a great course that will help put you in the frame of mind of taking your work seriously and generating your desired outcome.
4) YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
Even in the age or abundance in great free content/resources, the old adage is still true, you get what you pay for. You want to be like the best, learn from the best, follow the best. That kind of access to the best will not come to you for free. No one expects to learn from Donald Trump and not pay anything as a matter of fact they would most likely first determine they can’t afford it.
I’d love to hear from you, have you experienced ways in which even good free content has hindered you rather than helped. Leave a comment and let me hear your thoughts.