When “FREE” isn’t Worth the Paper or Pixels It’s Printed On

free junk image

I made a decision recently that many of you reading this post will not understand and think me fool crazy. I ask you to hear me out to the end as there may be a lesson for both of us in this story.

I am an avid reader of marketing books. Marketing for an entrepreneur is the blood that runs through the business’ vein and the basis for most success. It is completely worthless to the world if you have a great product or service that is just what people are looking for but they don’t know about it or even you.

It is true that great products have failed because of poor marketing, and mediocre products have made millionaires of their creators by great marketing. Combine great product and services the world needs with great marketing and you have a grand slam home run.

So I came across a marketing book recently I wanted to get. It doesn’t matter what the book is called or the author’s name as the story frankly is elsewhere.

I buy most of my books these days to read on my kindle. I found the kindle version on Amazon for $9.99.

I also found it available on a few sites as an eBook for download to my Kindle for FREE. To the best of my knowledge these were not pirated copies. The book was a series of letters and were published online available to the public before being compiled into a book.

I happily handed over the $9.99 for the Kindle version.

Crazy, eh? Why pay $9.99 for something I could get for FREE?

Let’s talk about that for a minute.

I paid for the book not because of some idealistic thoughts about keeping a starving writer from being homeless – the author is dead and doesn’t need the money. No the reason was much more selfish.

When you get something for FREE, be it a product or service, do you feel any loss if you don’t use it or throw it away? Probably not. Your bank account didn’t get hit. There wasn’t a high value put on it by the seller you feel so why should you feel bad. No pressure on you to do anything with it, right?

But hand over just a few dollars of your hard-earned cash and everything changes. Your expectations and demands rise dramatically.

You see by paying I wanted to send a message to my brain – both conscious and subconscious.

Read the book and apply what you learn through the investment in money and time.”

Because I am more likely to read what I pay to get, I am more likely to implement what I read. Otherwise it’s a waste and a runaway thought not worth pursuing.

We could just stop there now I’ve explained my reasoning, and you’ve already decided if I’m crazy sick… or a genius. The truth is I’m neither. But for fun let’s take this example a little further.

Let’s for kicks talk about a habit you want to lick. It could be sugar addiction. Very topical at moment given all we are uncovering about the impact on our health and body that sugar in our diet has on us.

You go looking for help and find that Suzy Sugar RD, is offering a free eBook on how to get sugar out of your diet. You download the book to your laptop and save it for later or read opening pages and discover there is actually effort and time on your behalf to get sugar out of your diet. So you decide you’ll get back to it later. In effect you were really a casual looker at changing your habit.

That by the way is okay and you’ll hear no criticism from me. I have at gigabytes of drives at home full of FREE stuff I’ve never read. So no calling the kettle black from me!

But let’s say Suzy Sugar RD book is $9.99 and suddenly the game is different. You have “skin in the game” now and there is a reason for you reading what you bought. As part of the book Suzy introduces you to her “Neapolitan Low-Carb Replacement Plan” – I made that up by the way. You figure nothing to lose and it could just work, so you invest money – $197 – and time and energy in implementing it.

Whether your investment in this instance, or any other, works is irrelevant for this story. But the fact is you spend the money and do the work because it just might work for you – and that’s worth the price of admission.

That’s my story – and I’m sure you have your own stories around valuing something much more that was earned and saved for rather than just thrown your way without any effort or sacrifice. At times it seems we live in a world of entitlement but the truth is that’s probably what our parents thought about my generation as well.

I would early love to provide my hypnosis services for free to help people, but the rent has to be paid and food put on the table and last time I looked my bank account wasn’t large enough to not be concerned about paying bills. I’m sure you whatever job you do its the same.

I’d love to hear your thoughts around a free product or service and how it’s worked or not for you.

Erika Slater
Director
Free At Last Hypnosis

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