I’ve wrestled with the paradox of the value for money of information products for many years.
I’ve bought plenty of excellent books for £10 and I’ve also paid hundreds of pounds to hear someone teach a small part of what is in a book in a day or even half day seminar.
Sometimes I’ve felt ripped off. Other times I’ve thought that I’ve had great value.
I’ve had to think about what makes the difference.
The Value For Money Of Information Products
I think there’s two aspects:
- The information – is it something new and innovative or is it a rehash of old ideas that I’ve seen or heard better elsewhere.
- The impact on me (or you)
The Value Of The Information
Reading, listening or watching information that you already know has limited value although there are exceptions:
- You need to ask “am I doing this” for ideas that you like and believe would work for you. If you’re like me, you’ll have a bad habit of not making best use of what you already know in the search for new and exciting things. I admit I’m a business information and advice addict. In some ways that’s part of my appeal to clients. I do much of the studying that they don’t have to.
- Many business experts (including me) believe that you should read business classics regularly. The idea is that you’re a different person when you read it again and again and you’ll get different things out of the experience. You may recognise this phenomenon if you have a favourite film or TV show that you watch again and again. The pleasure seems to be based on anticipation and confirmation.
The other aspect of the information itself that gives value is the scarcity. This is linked to the new and innovative but not exclusively. Sometimes great ideas are forgotten and need to be revived. As an example, consider how the film The Secret revived interest in the law of attraction although it spawned too many info-products that made success sound too easy.
The main value of the information comes from the second issue.
The Impact Of The Information On You
A great book or training programme can change:
- The way you feel and the feelings you have.
- How you think and the thoughts you have.
- How you make decisions and the decisions you make.
- The actions you take and how you prioritise and commit your maximum effort to particular actions.
If you’re feeling desperate, something that gives you genuine hope (as opposed to false hope) is very valuable. If you’re stuck, then something that gives you the courage to face down your fears is valuable.
If you’re confused then anything that helps you to think more clearly can give you great insight. Business can feel very complicated but anything that simplifies it like:
or my own free report, the Six Steps Profit Formula will give you great insight and give you a framework to keep referring back to so that you can stay focused.
The ultimate value of feeling differently and thinking more clearly will show through in the decisions you make and the actions you take.
The bottom line is that if you’re doing different things and they work, the information has value.
The Financial Return – What Is A Fair Price?
If training costs $1000 and you don’t do anything differently and don’t feel more confident about doing it, then the money has been wasted.
If the training costs $1000 and you earn an extra $1000 profit, you could think you have broken even.
In money terms, you have.
What you don’t have is a return on your time.
It takes time to read a book or work through training materials.
To get the best out of it, you shouldn’t do it passively.
When I was studying for my MBA I would read through a text book very quickly, highlighting things that looked important. Then I’d read through it more slowly, taking notes and doing any recommended exercises. Then as it approached exam time, I’d read through my notes, highlighting the most important things. Then I’d create short notes that I’d keep reading through, hoping to memorise.
This gave me a big overview of the course and I could see clearly how everything fitted together. In places where I was unsure or where I felt I wanted to go deeper I’d go back to the core text books and perhaps search out other sources.
By the time of the exam I would feel that I’d know and understand the subject. I earned a distinction for my MBA and no exam was marked below B+ with the majority at grade A.
My system worked and it seems to be a folly to think that you can master any training without doing something similar.
And then doing more because you have to apply those ideas to your business.
Getting value from training takes time.
In my one-to-one coaching, I offer a 500% return on investment guarantee. I believe that’s the type of return you should be looking for.
If an info product costs $1000, then you should be making a minimum of $5000 extra profit.
Sometimes you’ll find an outstanding bargain.
Info Products – A Great Bargain Or A Huge Waste Of Money
The truth is, information products and training lie at both extremes.
Some provide brilliant bargains because they guide and motivate you to take great actions.
Others are literally a waste of money. Many are never consumed. Those that are often don’t lead to action.
Focusing Your Learning Where It Matters Most
Beware of just in case learning and buying info-products.
The product launch process creates a great buzz that can make it hard to reject in the excited frenzy but ask yourself two questions:
- Will this help me improve my biggest constraint?
- Will I take action?
If the training is focused on your biggest problem area, then there is a good chance that you will be motivated enough to work through the training and if the ideas make sense, you can apply them.
Get To Know Me
Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck or struggling with disappointing marketing, to get unstuck. You can then start attracting, converting and keeping more customers. If your business is based in the UK and you feel stuck, get a Business SOS consultation for up to 2 hours (please click) with me to get you unstuck.Don't forget to download and read my FREE Report - The SIX Steps PROFIT Formula: The Simple Rules That Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know available to download at Six Steps Report (Please click).