The “make money online” crowd is probably the most actively targeted niche market on the internet. Which is quite ironic when you think about it; “The hunters become the hunted.” And it’s not surprising we are so serviced with offers continually, the truth is we are, on the whole, information junkies. We are suckers for a good ebook, report, or video.
The problem is that an over supply of internet marketing tools (even good ones) can leave you feeling overwhelmed, unproductive (too busy reading about internet marketing to actually DO any), and flat broke!
So how do we filter the offers we are bombarded with, so that we invest sanely in our education and resources? Let me offer this simple “buying guide” to help.
When you boil it all down there are basically 4 different kinds of products on the market, and you have to be able to recognize them so you don’t waste your time and money:
1) Basic training guides & tools. Everyone needs some of these, but you don’t need to be buying 10 versions of the exact same information.
2) Advanced techniques. These are the “Shazaam!” products. The ones with truly unique and creative ideas. If I can identify which ones these are, I’ll buy them all day long. If I can get ONE really good, repeatable idea, it is money in the bank. The caveat, though, is you’ve got to actually implement them – otherwise you’re just wasting your money, and spinning your wheels.
3) Tools that make life easier. These are OK if you’ve got disposable money to spend on them, but if you’ve got a limited budget (like most marketers that are still getting going) you’re probably better off spending it where it can be best leveraged for the most effectiveness.
Case in point: At the time that I’m writing this article I’ve been getting emails all week — I’ve had at least 15 just today – promoting a particular hot product. The free teaser report is great — it includes a couple of really exciting ideas (see point 2). However, when I looked at what is actually being offered in the main package – 8 software programs that collate information in various forms from around the internet — they’re all really cool tools, but they are nothing that you can’t already do yourself for free. Cool, but not necessary. Convenient, but not essential.
4) Snake oil. These are the products that are thrown together to make sales to newbies, but they do not work. They are bad advice. You’ll discover that usually the author hasn’t had any success with the method he’s teaching at all, but he can make a few bucks wasting other people’s time with it.
So, when you’re considering buying resources to help you build your online business, read the sales copy discerningly. Honestly evaluate the product and classify it in one of the above 4 categories. Then it’s a simple decision to make the appropriate response:
Category 1: Buy it if you don’t already have a product covering the same topic, or if you are reasonably convinced that your understanding is going to be increased sufficiently to justify the investment.
Category 2: Buy it, and DO something with it! Don’t procrastinate — take action. Winners are taking imperfection actions while others are still formulating their “perfect” plans.
Category 3: Buy it only if you have surplus cash, and don’t mind blowing some on a luxury — because that’s what it is. Ask yourself, “Could I leverage the money I’m about to spend on this to better effect in my business?”
Category 4: Click that little “x” button at the top of the browser window, and be proud of yourself that you’ve developed the wisdom and experience to stop wasting time with that kind of rubbish. If you already bought it before you figured out that its “snake oil”, ask for a refund and chalk it up to experience.
Buying is far more an emotional decision for us than we “savvy entrepreneurs” would care to admit. Anything we can do to take pause and inject some thought into the process will save us time and money. This buying guide offers a place to start.