“People are cheap bastards on the Internet.”
– Gary Halbert
In 2005, I was on the panel at Gary Halbert’s “Root Canal” seminar in Orlando, FL along with another Halbert mentee, Caleb O’Dowd.
Everybody was asking about the differences between selling online and offline. Gary summed it up in his own unique way with the quote above.
Giving away free stuff has become a popular technique for getting traffic and selling online.
And it seems to have “thrown gasoline on the fire” of an entire generation who is already hamstrung by their huge entitlement attitude.
Here’s why I think “FREE” Sucks…
Nobody values anything they don’t pay for.
Come on… you know it’s true.
I’ve given away more valuable content and actionable ideas on my website than many courses priced in the thousands.
People have written me thanking me for sharing my experience and providing such valuable content.
But how many have actually taken ACTION on what I’ve shared?
Truth be told, probably none.
(If you’re one of the few who has taken action and profited from something on my website, then please chime in with your comments below.)
Where was I?
Oh, yeah… almost nobody has taken action on the info I’ve shared on DobermanDan.com.
And why is that?
Because they got it free. They have no skin in the game. They’ve got nothing invested so the natural reaction is to do nothing.
You get what you pay for and “free” stuff is valued at exactly the price paid…
Let me share a personal example…
I was given a marketing course a few years ago consisting of 10 DVDs, a manual and a bunch of bonus reports. This course sells for $5,000 but the publisher gave it to me as a gift.
After leaving it on the shelf for two years, I finally watched the first DVD… a year ago. The rest of the stuff is still sitting on the shelf.
It’s probably a really good course. The publisher is well known and highly respected in the direct response community. (He’s not one of the IM gurus. He’s REAL.) But there it still sits on the shelf.
Now let me tell you about another course I PAID for. It was Gary Bencivenga’s DVD course from his first and last seminar in New York City.
I paid $5,000 for this product and he didn’t really make it easy to order. You had to jump through several hoops, he only allowed you to pay with check or money order and would only accept payment via FedEx.
On top of that, you had to sign an agreement about the use of the course. If you violate the terms of that agreement, Gary sends a guy named Guido to your house to “kneecap” you and take back your course. (My memory of the agreement may be a little foggy, but it was something like that.)
Five grand is a pretty hefty chunk to invest in a marketing course… so guess what I did. The very MINUTE it arrived, I ripped that package open and started digging into it.
I had some “skin in the game” and wanted to get my investment back as quickly as possible.
By the way, with just one headline change based on Gary Bencivenga’s formula I made more than 20 TIMES my investment in his course.
Anyhoo, my point is this:
I place an extremely high value on that $5,000 course because of the investment I made. And most importantly I took IMMEDIATE action on it.
The other $5,000 course I got for FREE is still sitting unused on the shelf.
“Free” Is A Disservice…
Ben Settle says you do a huge disservice to your subscribers by giving away free information and not selling something. For all the reasons I explained above.
He says it makes the entitlement attitude even WORSE.
This may be true. And we’re going to find out really soon because I’m about to release my very first Doberman Dan product.
The price point is very reasonable and you’ll be overwhelmed with how much value you get and how much I over-deliver.
It will be an interesting experiment to see what kind of list has been built on DobermanDan.com by giving everything away free.
In other niches I’ve worked in, “free” has built big costly lists of entitlement-attitude losers who hardly bought anything.
Look, I don’t care how big your list is if all you have is a bunch of freebie seekers.
And why foster an attitude that is only going to hurt people?
People will only implement and take action when they have something invested.
So if you value what you do… go sell something!
All the best,