I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about giving away free material vs. charging for it. Here’s a recent 1-hour interview where I talk about free vs. paid material, including how I went from charging $4.95 for my first ebook to $12,000 for my most recent course.
I also did another interview on the psychology of monetization, too, where I cover more academic psychological and marketing theory. This is for the true psychology/marketing nerds, so I reveal some gems that only they would appreciate. Based on the kinds of emails I get, I assume about 80% of you are huge huge nerds.
So, let’s talk about monetization and information addicts. Whenever people say “all information should be free,” I laugh. Nonsense. I feel absolutely comfortable charging premium prices for my most valuable courses because they deliver quantifiable results, and I give away so much free material — free material that I aim to make better than anyone else’s paid stuff.
Sometimes, though, I offer something in between. I’ll give away something I could charge hundreds of dollars for for free, like a 4,355-word email. But I always ask for something from you — because if I invest in you, I expect you to invest in yourself by taking action. Sometimes it’s leaving a comment. Sometimes it’s sharing with a friend. Or sometimes it’s joining my email list.
I ask you to take action because I’m not simply giving away information. Anyone can give away information. (Just google Top 10 [anything].) In fact, there’s something far more powerful than information alone.
For example, when I released my interview with Stanford psychologist and persuasion expert BJ Fogg, which took me 16 hours to prepare for, I told my readers that I could charge $1,000 for the material in the interview. (It has easily been worth 1000x that to me.) But I gave it away for free. Instead of charging, I told my readers to treat it like a $1,000 purchase, and to implement the strategies we outlined, in order to effect true behavioral change from it.
And that’s the real goal: behavioral change. It is far more challenging and rewarding to change behavior than to write some crappy pageview-generating post with “information” alone.
All of this is designed to sift the true action-takers from the information addicts — the people who wake up every morning, load their RSS reader/Twitter, and look for that new information to flow over them. “AHHHH! I NEED IT!! GIMME THAT BLOGGY GOODNESS!!!” they cry. I kick their asses to the curb.
I have no interest in information addicts. They use phrases like, “This site jumped the shark! Why don’t you write about investing any more?” When I calmly reply, “Have you read my book?” they say, “No…I should definitely do that….”
When I hear morons like this, I retreat to my happy place, a dream-like state where I am sitting on a behavioral-change throne, dismissively waving off losers and whiners with one hand, while holding a gold scepter in the other. Naturally, I am being fanned with bald-eagle-feathered wands waved by bikini-clad women.
Of course, I have to earn my wayy into your life. Why would you invest your time unless my material actually produces results? To judge for yourself, here’s some of the free material I’ve released this month on finding your Dream Job:
- How to use Natural Networking to connect with anyone — including the exact email scripts (160+ comments)
- What the pros know about networking that you don’t (100+ comments)
- YouTube videos
I invite you to compare my free material to anyone else’s paid material to see how it stacks up. I don’t say this to be arrogant, but because I invest years in studying this material so I can offer you the best — and I respect you enough not to pander to the lowest common denominator.
So, for the final week of the Dream Job Boot Camp — starting today — this blog will be quiet. I’m releasing new material only to the people who sign up for my Dream Job launch list. Here’s what you’ll get in the next 7 days:
- The Dream Job Guide to Finding Your Passion (never before released)
- How to get paid what you’re worth
- Specific psychological insights on regret
- BONUS CONTENT: the 80/20 Guide to Finding Your Dream Job
I’ll also be releasing my new Find Your Dream Job course only to people on my launch list. (Interesting behind-the-scenes note: When I first released Earn1K, I told people I might raise the price down the road. And in fact, just as I promised and based on student feedback, I doubled the price immediately afterwards. IWT readers who didn’t join the first time had to pay 2x what my pioneer students paid.)
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