How do you persuade someone to pay for “free” information?

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Photo Credit: ·•●❤ Ginny Le ❤●•·

What’s the main difference between people who grumble that “INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE” and those who happily pay for content?

Here’s what I’ve learned through 15 years of selling stuff:

What Payers do.

Payers value their time more than their money.

They’ll pay you to:

  • do research
  • gather sources
  • weigh options
  • explain things clearly, in order
  • cover all the bases
  • build a narrative
  • make recommendations
  • design curated educational experiences

… all so they don’t have to. So they can learn faster, better, more enjoyably — and get on with whatever else they want to do.

What Non-Payers do.

Non-Payers often don’t even think of their time as something to value.

A Non-Payer would rather spend his time: pouring through poorly written documentation, or 12 months of blog posts scattered across the entire internet.

A Non-Payer would rather gather hundreds of tiny, flawed windows into a topic, than entrust that job to an “expert.” They don’t mind running into invisible potholes when their “free” information is missing major chunks.

Some of them even enjoy it.

Can you convert a Non-Payer to a Payer?

No, almost never. P != NP. (Ha ha ha.)

The dividing line is not a specific decision on a specific day, but fundamental view of the universe and personal values.

Do you think you can write a sales pitch so awesome you can change someone’s fundamental view of the universe?. Hint: if you answered “Yes!”, you’ve either already made millions selling widgets, or you’re fooling yourself.

The fact is, you can’t sell Non-Payers. Because they can’t be sold. You can’t persuade them your widget is “worth the money” — because that’s simply not how they think.

In the 30×500 universe, we call these fundamental views of the universe Worldviews, and worldviews are the most important fact about selling that you’ll never hear anywhere else. Get my free Worldview lesson/manifesto.

So what can you offer a Payer?

So, once you give up on wasting your time (see what I did there) on trying to sell to Non-Payers, you’ll logically want to focus more on seducing and serving Payers.

What can you offer Payers beyond “more of what I put out for free, but for money”? (Which is not a real exciting sales proposition.)

How can you save them even MORE time?

How can you help them learn and decide better, faster, more enjoyably?

How can you help them feel more confident?

What do they spend too much time on now?

Learn more, in 30×500…

We’re running our next 30×500 Bootcamp this Sept 13th & 14th, 3 - 5 pm Eastern time. We’ve totally redesigned the lessons to serve you, the Payer, to help you get out there and start acting right away — and reaping the rewards right away, too. (And if you want more advice and hand-holding, we’re adding a brand new support component.)

Learn more, get free goodies, and don’t miss the launch window! Just drop your name in the box below:

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  1. steve

    I mostly agree with what you’re saying, however, I think you’re missing something.

    A certain segment of non-payers think “I can build this myself.”

    Yeah, that’s a version of “time,” but I think it’s important to note because that’s how a lot of OSS projects start.

  2. Ethan

    I absolutely adored the P != NP joke. Thank you for that.

    Also, thank you for hitting the point that not every product is right for everyone. Such an important one to learn. I’ve recently come to see how this works in consulting too.

  3. Chris

    Everyone is constrained by a finite amount of time. There’s only so much one human being can do with the time they are given.

    The smart people are happy to pay someone else to do what they can’t.

    The dumbasses will waste a ton of their own time trying to protect their money.

    Money is the ultimate, ubiquitous commodity. It shuffles from person to person like lightning, flying around the globe with the click of a button. And it’s stupidly easy to get, if you can provide something of value.

    On the other hand, your time is a rare and precious commodity that no amount of money can buy. You get what you get, and when it’s gone you die.

    Payers spend their money trying to get more out of their life. Smart!

    Non-payers spend their life trying to get more out of their money. Madness!


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