If you read my article yesterday, you know that I am continuing today with my series inspired by Marie Forleo, about why people will pay for information that is available for free on the Internet. If you didn’t read that article, why not go give it a look now, and also watch the video in the article, it is stuffed with great information from Marie.
The first point that Marie raised in the video that we have to consider in this area is truly a key point.
Results vs. Random Information
Let’s say that you want to learn about how to build a paper airplane. You go to Google and type in “how to make a paper airplane”. Of course, Google is a great search engine, and it returns more than 15 Million results! Well, if you are like me, probably most of us, you probably open up the first 10 pages that Google gives you to look and see what the best method is to make a great paper airplane. So, you are getting information on how to build your paper airplane from ten different people, and you really have no idea if these people know the first thing about how to make a paper airplane. What you do know is that these 10 people are good at building a webpage and getting it listed on Google.
It is even possible that these people use completely different airplane building methods that do not work together, but you are taking in their information in combination and may build something that will not even fly!
However, maybe that first website listed on page 2 of Google was set up by an aeronautical engineer who is a true expert in the field. But, you never saw those instructions, because you only checked the top 10 search results. How would you have known?
You got random information, just by the stroke of luck… was it luck at all?
Now, if you really looked in depth at the search results you might have seen that Mr. Aeronautical Engineer offered a complete course on Paper Airplane construction for $99. You could have taken that course, not for free, but you might have gotten the world’s best paper airplane information! Mr. Aeronautical Engineer would have delivered your results, not random information. Let’s face it, by just browsing the web, what you ended up with was a bunch of random information that really was not very effective.
So, most people are willing to pay for results. If you can guarantee results you are way ahead of the game! I know that in my business, if somebody buys a book of mine, or if they take a course that I am teaching or hire me for consulting, I keep working with them until they have received what they were expecting. No matter what they have bought from me, I go out of my way to deliver for them… I am always available for email, I will often even call them on the phone if that is the best way to deliver the point that I want to make. So, if somebody spends their hard earned money with me, I make sure that I deliver. It is simply the way that I believe I should handle the situation to make sure that I am delivering value for the money spent.
If you called or emailed those 10 first results in Google and asked them why your paper airplane won’t fly, do you think they would help you? Well, it is doubtful, I would say.
So, what do you think? Are results preferable to random information? Are you willing to pay for results? If it is a topic that is important to you, I am betting you are willing to pay if you are guaranteed results!
Service after the sell has made you a success Bob:)
Thank you, Roger. I do feel that it is very important to be there to assist after the sale is made.
Thanks! I try my best!
The paper airplane analogy is a good one, Bob. It is so true that Google’s main fault is that they don’t rank the value of information in their listings ..; they rank pages by how well they meet a secret criteria involving over 200 “signals” Google determines regarding a page when they crawl it. Whether or not the information on a page is valuable or worthless, Google neither knows nor cares.
Example. I have a little “micro” business making special purpose maps that are used in the trucking business. Nobody else on earth makes these maps so far as I know. You can make such maps also using free tools, but that takes time and knowledge, so plenty of people are happy to pay me a very nominal fee to make them such a map.
But if you look up the particular type of maps I sell on Google, I usually rank in third or forth place. The top two places are always held by a couple large commercial map making companies that are well known in the business. They obviously score well on Google’s algorithm. Fine with me, that’s Google’s business BUT:
These two big commercial sites that Google “loves” DO NOT MAKE THE MAPS that I make. So a person wanting one of my specialized maps may spend a lot of time searching “for free”, and will wade through a lot of nice and well made web pages about the maps these other guys sell, but they won’t be able to buy the product from these other guys because the other guys don’t offer them.
How worthwhile would it be if you needed one of these maps to comply with a Federal law and you spent hours of your day looking for tem, “for free”, but never found them?
Many things on line are “free” simply because they are not worth much. “Free” can be very costly if you find the wrong information, or can’t find any at all.
Hi Dave – Glad that you liked the paper airplane analogy. Your map example is on target as well. I had not thought about that one.
Google is so secretive in the way that they come up with rankings, it’s always a guessing game. I saw an online article yesterday about how Google is wanting to change from the prime factor in determining rankings going from incoming links to “facts”. Well, my understanding is that using “incoming links” to determine ranking went out the window a couple years back, although it was a current article. Ranking based on which sites have the best facts would be great… the problem is, who determines what the facts are. How does Google decide the accuracy of facts between one website and another? I see a whole new can of worms if they pursue that line of ranking determination.
It’s always frustrating when you’re looking for niche information because there are thousands or millions of results that might _sort of_ match the same search criteria. So, learning how to create search words and phrases that match what you offer, and what you need is a key problem.
You’ll find “facts” from different perspectives vary widely.
For example, who was right, Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis ? It all depends on which side of the issues you find yourself, which side of the Mason-Dixon line you live on, and which values were more significant to you.
Benefits anyone ?
Even there, the benefit you seek might not be the same as the one I desperately need.
It’s a bit like solving the unsolvable problem.
But that’s exactly the benefit that your expert offers. When he’s been there and you haven’t, it’s totally unsolvable to you…at least without considerable time, effort and research, but not for your mentor.
Hi Byron – Thanks for following this series. You have some good thoughts and ideas along these lines.
I so agree that for every “fact” there are many different versions, it is hard to even know what a fact is anymore! It’s more opinion than anything else, it seems!