selling information- when most information is freely available

31 replies
I have a question for you all guys
How can you sell information when most information is freely available online ?
Just do a Google search and you get all the information for free.
Are all the information marketers really selling a false dream or hope?
Water is free - so yes you can sell bottled water.
Air is free - you can sell oxygen.
Information is free - yes you can sell information.
But selling water or air is a hard sell.
I personally do not buy bottled water when I can get free water.
I personally do not buy oxygen when I can breathe free air.
Will people buy information when so much information is already free online?
Please anyone can explain the psychology of these people who buy information when most information can be obtained by doing a simple Google search.
#freely #information #selling
  • Profile picture of the author Ghoster
    Time is money. If you can provide someone with information in an organized way so that it saves time, you have a product. The price that you can charge for that product depends on demand and how long someone would have to look for the information through free channels.

    Ideally, however, your product should contain some information that is not easily obtainable through a Google search.
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    On the whole, you get what you pay for.

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  • Profile picture of the author UnkwnUsr
    Yes, information is free online but it is not usually presented in a systematic step by step approach. If you look for free information you will often find that a key piece is missing or not explained very well. The other problem is that much information online is outdated and no longer works the way that it should. For example I could go and search Google for Facebook marketing and find tons articles that are still ranking even though the methods no longer work. I would have to hunt around for the right information from among the trash.
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    Originally Posted by fahadabrarkhan View Post

    Are all the information marketers really selling a false dream or hope?
    Many info marketers that hang out here are selling snake oil like weightloss, make money online, law of attraction, dating, disease cures, etc.... Don't confuse those idiots with the legitimate world of info products.

    If you wanted to build your own shed and you go to the hardware store and buy a how-to book or you pay for the info online, that is an info product. It's just that the production value that goes into that kind of thing requires a higher bar of entry than being an idiot typing out a .pdf file on how to meditate for money to enter your life.

    Originally Posted by fahadabrarkhan View Post

    Please anyone can explain the psychology of these people who buy information when most information can be obtained by doing a simple Google search.
    Authority.
    Structure.
    Production value.
    Completeness.
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  • Profile picture of the author IgniteFeed
    Information is meaningless. It's worth $10 an hour. KNOWLEDGE is priceless. It's what you do WITH the information, every person can add unique value. You are adding unique value to the world, but your life is free is it not.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    A few things for you to think about.

    If people can wash their car for free, why are car washes so popular?

    If people can cook for themselves, why are restaurants and cafes so popular?

    If people can clean their own house, why are cleaners so popular?

    Simple.

    People pay for convenience. If you can give them all the information they need in a nice, clear and concise manner, then many will happily pay for that convenience.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marco Moeschter
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      A few things for you to think about.

      If people can wash their car for free, why are car washes so popular?

      If people can cook for themselves, why are restaurants and cafes so popular?

      If people can clean their own house, why are cleaners so popular?

      Simple.

      People pay for convenience. If you can give them all the information they need in a nice, clear and concise manner, then many will happily pay for that convenience.
      I guess you brought it perfect on the point Will!
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    • Profile picture of the author entrepreneurjay
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      A few things for you to think about.

      If people can wash their car for free, why are car washes so popular?

      If people can cook for themselves, why are restaurants and cafes so popular?

      If people can clean their own house, why are cleaners so popular?

      Simple.

      People pay for convenience. If you can give them all the information they need in a nice, clear and concise manner, then many will happily pay for that convenience.
      Good answer Will well said and so true
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

        One point that seems to have been missed is that a lot of the free information available is wrong.

        I have reviewed a lot of free books dealing with importing physical products, and have found a lot of stuff that is not only outdated as a couple of warriors have mentioned, but it is dangerously wrong.

        Some even advocate illegal activity.
        I can't speak to the import business directly, but in many markets the same can be said about paid products. A price tag is no guarantee of quality information all by itself.

        Especially by the "who cares if it's good as long as it sells" crowd.
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  • Profile picture of the author bemyboss
    Yes, information is freely available on the internet. But too much information is there. People pay for good quality information or the information that they really are searching and save alot of precious time. They have to spend time to read all the relevant and irrelevant information before they get what they want.

    Originally Posted by fahadabrarkhan View Post

    I have a question for you all guys
    How can you sell information when most information is freely available online ?
    Just do a Google search and you get all the information for free.
    Are all the information marketers really selling a false dream or hope?
    Water is free - so yes you can sell bottled water.
    Air is free - you can sell oxygen.
    Information is free - yes you can sell information.
    But selling water or air is a hard sell.
    I personally do not buy bottled water when I can get free water.
    I personally do not buy oxygen when I can breathe free air.
    Will people buy information when so much information is already free online?
    Please anyone can explain the psychology of these people who buy information when most information can be obtained by doing a simple Google search.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Sarlo
    Customers with wallets in their hands usually need more than just an article or two to solve their issues - although there's a lot of free information it's either a) low quality b) missing parts c) unspecialized d) requires hard research.

    It's anything like buying an ebook specialized on a specific cure and problem filled with case studies, examples and so forth. Quality products take a lot of time to create, and they will be truly unique and uncomparable with anything free online.

    Perhaps you're not used to buying quality products seeing there's lots of crap online lol.

    I personally as a customer do try to learn for free online but sometimes you need something more of quality and depth then free articles or videos can provide.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Good question and good answers so far. But I'd like to add a different angle to the discussion. Yes, you can get a lot of valuable information for free, in fact the bar is constantly raising on the quality of free information.

      But one thing it can't supply is what I call 'after sale service'. Any information marketer or publisher who isn't raising the bar on their after-sale service will eventually go the way of the cassette tape player.

      The burn and churn information marketer is an endangered species for the reason you just revealed in your question. So, aside from providing what free "Googled" information isn't providing, service will play a bigger role in the future - when it comes to information marketing.

      Get ready for the new normal
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  • Profile picture of the author drewfioravanti
    People don't buy information. They buy solutions to problems or increased pleasure.
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  • Profile picture of the author gluckspilz
    Originally Posted by fahadabrarkhan View Post

    I have a question for you all guys
    How can you sell information when most information is freely available online ?
    Just do a Google search and you get all the information for free.
    Are all the information marketers really selling a false dream or hope?
    Water is free - so yes you can sell bottled water.
    Air is free - you can sell oxygen.
    Information is free - yes you can sell information.
    But selling water or air is a hard sell.
    I personally do not buy bottled water when I can get free water.
    I personally do not buy oxygen when I can breathe free air.
    Will people buy information when so much information is already free online?
    Please anyone can explain the psychology of these people who buy information when most information can be obtained by doing a simple Google search.
    Good timing, I was just talking about this topic to another marketer.

    First, you have the wrong mindset.

    As one pointed out, we're selling solutions not information.

    But to keep it simple, let's say we are selling information and let's use the theory you gave us.

    Now, if what you say is true...

    ... No one will go to a restaurant to eat because they can just find the recipe on the internet

    ... No one will pay lawn mowers, plumbers, painters to do their job because again, they can just learn how to do it themselves.

    ... No one will to go school because AGAIN, the information is all over the internet.

    So to answer your question.

    We are selling:

    1. Conviency
    2. Solutions
    3. Action plans
    and so and so on which ultimately leads to solution anyway.

    BIG TIP: When it comes to marketing or selling. Paid product has more perceive value than free stuff. It's just the way it is.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      I understand a lot of you guys point, in answering the OP's question. But his concern is more legit - than many people think.

      The bar is indeed raising concerning the free information available on the net. All free information is not junk ( at least compared to the past).

      For example, observe the quality of free ebooks, mp3's and even video courses being given away now for a simple email sign-up by more marketers. I've seen products that easily sold for $37 a year ago being given away for an email address. And the bar is raising on free giveaways. It's seems like the beginning of a free information giveaway war on the horizon. It's almost like a one ups-manship vibe brewing.

      In one second ... and one click of my mouse, here's some more examples


      Plus, the growing army of authority sites, blogs, email giveaways, forums (like this) and newsletters. Marketers have no choice but to" up" the quality of their free information just to survive.

      I'm not disagreeing on general principle with many of you, just pointing out the free information paradigm is shifting and the bar is getting higher. For the very reason most people has given in this thread, people are fed up with valueless free information. And the smart marketers are listening and responding. Many get how their "Free item" can reflect on them and their business .. in the eyes of their savvier customers now.

      So, that's an 'alarm warning' for marketers who sell information. They'll have to raise their bar too ... or starve!
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  • Profile picture of the author James.N
    If I wanted to learn how to create an HTML website I can google different things to figure out how to do it.

    I can find out whats needed for a basic website
    I can then find out how to change the background color
    I can find out how to create a menu
    I can find out how create an image gallery
    I can find out how to load a form onto my website
    I can figure out how CSS affects the website
    etc
    etc

    Or I can go to Udemy and purchase a step-by-step course with the systematic approach to building a full fledged website from scratch for $20.

    One of those ways will probably save me a lot of time. Everything costs time and money. A lot of times you are just spending money to save time.
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  • Profile picture of the author KingServers01
    Yes, Google is big search engine and you can get every information needed. There is not need to sell information or buy information. Some people purchase unnecessary things which are already available on search engines.
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    • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
      First, choose the customer you want.

      For example, a guy (real), sells his daily stock market OPINIONS on commodities for several hundred dollars a month. His customers can A) AFFORD and B) WANT his advice.

      So, my advice is don't sell information which is freely available. There are many black hat forums which sell WSOs and all kinds of stolen property, but, you won't find my friend's daily newsletter on commodities on ANY of them.

      I don't want freebie seekers, low end buyers. I go after LIFETIME VALUE, and, therefore, create or acquire INFORMATION products which they will continue to buy for years.

      Start with WHO you want as a customer, then, see what they already buy, and then get in their parade and work your way to the front of it.

      gjabiz
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by fahadabrarkhan View Post

        I have a question for you all guys
        How can you sell information when most information is freely available online ?
        Just do a Google search and you get all the information for free.
        Are all the information marketers really selling a false dream or hope?
        Water is free - so yes you can sell bottled water.
        Air is free - you can sell oxygen.
        Information is free - yes you can sell information.
        But selling water or air is a hard sell.
        I personally do not buy bottled water when I can get free water.
        I personally do not buy oxygen when I can breathe free air.
        Will people buy information when so much information is already free online?
        Please anyone can explain the psychology of these people who buy information when most information can be obtained by doing a simple Google search.
        The problem with doing a simple Google search is that Google makes no attempt to separate the gold from the mud. The result you see on the SERP may be perfectly relevant and matched to the search, and at the same time be totally and utterly both wrong and useless.

        The avalanche of freely available information is one of the best things that ever happened to competent information marketers.

        There's another flaw in your reasoning. It's the word "personally"...

        I never bought bottled water until I went to an air show and someone wandered down the 117 degree tarmac with a cooler filled with bottles of water and ice, along with a sign that said "Ice Cold Water - $2". That afternoon, I spent $10 on water, gladly...

        If I had a medical condition that dictated I supplement the free air with oxygen, you're damn right I would buy oxygen, and it would be an easy sale.

        You Are Not Your Market.

        It works the same way with information products - and that goes far beyond the kind of crap that passes for information in the most popular IM markets. If you provide easy access to solutions people crave, they will trample each other to give you their money.
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  • Profile picture of the author borsaronero
    If you know how to filter and combine the information in the right way is like to put the water in a well done bottle and deliver it straight to your home.

    Most of people would buy it
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    fahadabrarkhan,

    Let me ask you a question: Why are you asking this question in the forum and then waiting for the answer to be given to you?

    Why don't you just Google your question? Your answer is online somewhere if you have the patience and determination to find it.

    Here are the reasons you are willing to pay for free information:

    1. Convenience. It takes time and effort to dig for information online. Most people would rather have it given to them on a silver platter, even if it costs something.

    2. Uncertainty. Often people don't know what they want. They go online to discover, to find new things, to get information they are seeking but sometimes don't even know how to ask the right questions.

    3. Credibility. People like to be fed by experts, especially as they seek technical or specialized information. They want a "tour guide" who speaks from the position of authority.

    4. Context. Sometimes, information taken out of context can be anything from useless to dangerous. People are willing to pay for their information to be put into a framework that makes sense and is timely for the moment.

    5. Purpose. Information in a vacuum is not usually very helpful but often that is what is found online - tidbits, facts, snippets, and data. Without purpose and intent attached, the info is quite meaningless.

    6. Editorial. Many people spend money to hear what an expert in the niche says about something. People want the human touch, the analysis, the review, the critique of the lifeless information.

    7. Presentation. Most information is pretty boring and hard to assimilate just on it's own. But present that same information in a new, exciting, visually stimulating or fun way and it is much easier to digest.

    8. Condensed. The sheer volume of information in any field conceivable online is mind boggling. People will pay handsomely for someone to cut through all the clutter and just hand them the condensed, authoritative, "meat only" version for their consumption.

    9. Where to look. Anyone can find information online but people pay others to put them on the right path. The expert knows where to look. Often the novice has no clue and doesn't want to spend the time to learn.

    10. Instant access. When you gotta have information right now and you can't wait, so you pay for the privilege to have someone hand it to you. Sure, you could find it yourself later - but later is not always an option.



    Originally Posted by fahadabrarkhan View Post

    But selling water or air is a hard sell.
    Not at all!

    The key is finding the right audience that absolutely needs water or air right now. That audience exists in every market. It is your calling as a marketer to understand where the demand in the market lies and how to get in front of those people with your offer.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author WPThemeGuru
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      fahadabrarkhan,

      Let me ask you a question: Why are you asking this question in the forum and then waiting for the answer to be given to you?

      Why don't you just Google your question? Your answer is online somewhere if you have the patience and determination to find it.

      Here are the reasons you are willing to pay for free information:

      1. Convenience. It takes time and effort to dig for information online. Most people would rather have it given to them on a silver platter, even if it costs something.

      2. Uncertainty. Often people don't know what they want. They go online to discover, to find new things, to get information they are seeking but sometimes don't even know how to ask the right questions.

      3. Credibility. People like to be fed by experts, especially as they seek technical or specialized information. They want a "tour guide" who speaks from the position of authority.

      4. Context. Sometimes, information taken out of context can be anything from useless to dangerous. People are willing to pay for their information to be put into a framework that makes sense and is timely for the moment.

      5. Purpose. Information in a vacuum is not usually very helpful but often that is what is found online - tidbits, facts, snippets, and data. Without purpose and intent attached, the info is quite meaningless.

      6. Editorial. Many people spend money to hear what an expert in the niche says about something. People want the human touch, the analysis, the review, the critique of the lifeless information.

      7. Presentation. Most information is pretty boring and hard to assimilate just on it's own. But present that same information in a new, exciting, visually stimulating or fun way and it is much easier to digest.

      8. Condensed. The sheer volume of information in any field conceivable online is mind boggling. People will pay handsomely for someone to cut through all the clutter and just hand them the condensed, authoritative, "meat only" version for their consumption.

      9. Where to look. Anyone can find information online but people pay others to put them on the right path. The expert knows where to look. Often the novice has no clue and doesn't want to spend the time to learn.

      10. Instant access. When you gotta have information right now and you can't wait, so you pay for the privilege to have someone hand it to you. Sure, you could find it yourself later - but later is not always an option.





      Not at all!

      The key is finding the right audience that absolutely needs water or air right now. That audience exists in every market. It is your calling as a marketer to understand where the demand in the market lies and how to get in front of those people with your offer.

      Steve

      Your answer make my day. Best answer according to me. People somehow have a tendency about if a thing come with a price, it will be better than free one. Its all about the power of persuasion.
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      • Profile picture of the author Importexport
        One point that seems to have been missed is that a lot of the free information available is wrong.

        I have reviewed a lot of free books dealing with importing physical products, and have found a lot of stuff that is not only outdated as a couple of warriors have mentioned, but it is dangerously wrong.

        Some even advocate illegal activity.

        I have also reviewed a lot of authority websites relating to importing, and many of them have been set up to promote paid services that in my opinion are totally unnecessary. The free information they publish is biased to convince readers that without the service being offered by the site owners, they are doomed to failure.

        A huge proportion of the "free" eBooks are offered free only as bait for upsells.

        A lot of this free information has been published by cowboys who have managed to make some short term money importing physical products, but they have done so by sheer good luck, using methods that I know to be risky.

        It's no wonder that IM has a bad name.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Originally Posted by fahadabrarkhan View Post

    I have a question for you all guys
    How can you sell information when most information is freely available online ?
    Just do a Google search and you get all the information for free.
    Are all the information marketers really selling a false dream or hope?
    Water is free - so yes you can sell bottled water.
    Air is free - you can sell oxygen.
    Information is free - yes you can sell information.
    But selling water or air is a hard sell.
    I personally do not buy bottled water when I can get free water.
    I personally do not buy oxygen when I can breathe free air.
    Will people buy information when so much information is already free online?
    Please anyone can explain the psychology of these people who buy information when most information can be obtained by doing a simple Google search.
    Why would I hire a Plumber for my toilet when I know how to do it myself ?

    Because it is more convenient and easier for me to do that and I'm lazy
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    Nothing to see here including a Sig so just move on :)

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  • Profile picture of the author Doug
    True enough I reckon I could Google, "how to make gasoline," and get the information I asked. But that doesn't fill my gas tank.

    And, even Google monetizes all that free information they have available at their algorithms.

    I go to a doctor, and pay them for their knowledge - that's the psychology behind selling information.

    Peace

    Originally Posted by fahadabrarkhan View Post

    I have a question for you all guys
    How can you sell information when most information is freely available online ?
    Just do a Google search and you get all the information for free.
    Are all the information marketers really selling a false dream or hope?
    Water is free - so yes you can sell bottled water.
    Air is free - you can sell oxygen.
    Information is free - yes you can sell information.
    But selling water or air is a hard sell.
    I personally do not buy bottled water when I can get free water.
    I personally do not buy oxygen when I can breathe free air.
    Will people buy information when so much information is already free online?
    Please anyone can explain the psychology of these people who buy information when most information can be obtained by doing a simple Google search.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9652936].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ericando12
    People pay for information not because information is free around the web but people pay to get resultd,try to copy a system that works.
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  • Profile picture of the author JakeStatler
    There's a ton of great knowledge and responses here in this thread and I thought I'd just add my 2 cents..

    There are 2 main reasons people will buy information that is already out there from free..

    Reason #1: People want packages of information that is all in one place. Usually, in order to find out everything you need to know on one topic, you have to hit like 20-30 blogs, youtube videos, articles, etc..

    If you can provide someone with a package of everything they're looking for in one spot, they are more likely to pay you to save all that time..

    Reason #2: People buy from other people who they believe in. If you can sell yourself, then you can sell anything as the follow up. This means that if you provide sincere communication, excellent training, and huge amount of support to your audience, they will soon become your customers!

    People want someone to believe in, not something.. sell yourself, and everything else falls into place
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  • Profile picture of the author jonb
    Awesome stuff so far in this thread. I'd only add this:

    People will ultimately pay (and pay a lot) for access to an expert who cares about them. That's more important than the raw info. Think about the IM folks you consider to be your "guys" (or "gals"). They have an interesting personality, they focus on your needs and they are there for you when you need them.

    *That's* what people pay for. Be that, and Google is no competitor at all.
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    .

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  • Profile picture of the author skyro
    Yes most of the information is free but how long will it take you to compile all the information together to get the answers you are looking for and are you going to test this information yourself to see if will bring results. When we buy information its because someone already did the ground work for us. We paying for all the researching and testing took place to put this information together for you so it be less of a grunt work. Time is money!
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Trujillo
    You can search all you want freely as you want for information online. But if you want specialized knowledge from a particular expert in your field eventually you are going to have to pay. You can learn a lot of stuff online, but that don't make it true and useful information. Whereas you can learn from a particular coach or somebody in your niche that knows what they are doing, and they can save you a lot of time and headaches and money getting no where. The decision is your. When I first started online I all I had was free information and that led me to analysis mode, and a lot of confusion. When I started getting specialized knowledge from particular sources thing got a lot clearer. So the choice is your, learn things the hard way, or short cut your path to success?
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    One of the big differences between free information (at least the vast majority of it) and information products is that effective paid info products are selling a solution that promises to help your customers achieve a desired transformation from where they are today to where they want to be easier, faster and/or more effectively.

    What this means is that you (as an information publisher) are packaging information into a usable, testable and effective system, progression or set of tips that will help your prospect achieve their desired outcome to a greater level than any once piece (which they may find free) online.

    So, you are actually targeting clear end transformational outcomes (lose weight, feel better, look better, get a date, become more confident, have more money, etc...) with step-by-step help offering more hope to your customer backed by tests and proof (ideally) so they can be confident you will help them achieve their highly desired outcome

    Free information (for the most part unless it is packaged in the same way as above) does not accomplish this psychologically in the minds of prospets

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author th3genie
    absolutely true
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  • Profile picture of the author th3genie
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