As I delve more into the world of internet marketing and social media, I am beginning to understand that there are some things that aren’t quite as free as you might be led to believe. Now we have all heard the expression, ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that much of the ‘free content’ you are offered every day via, email, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube etc, does have a price attached.

At the very least, to receive your ‘free ebook’ or pdf you will almost certainly have to register your email address. What you probably aren’t aware of, is that your email address alone has a value. If you sign up, you have just joined someone’s mailing list, which can be a very lucrative marketing tool. Moreover, if you download the content, you are committing your valuable time to engaging with that content and are now a qualified lead to try and sell a bunch of stuff to. 


Now, I don’t have a problem with this, as I’ve actually found most of the content I have engaged with very useful. I especially enjoy Russell Brunson’s, content. His perfect Webinar Secrets is gold; I love Russell’s honesty and I learnt a huge amount from this –

Russell is a marketing expert who fronts ‘Clickfunnels’, which is a brilliant software designed to supersede a flat website. Using a Clickfunnel you can turn your internet content into a sales funnel which is especially good at converting idle visitors into paying customers. 


Go and visit Russell’s site and you’ll find it difficult to leave without buying something or, at the very least, entering an email address. Every time you click anywhere on the page, you’ll be offered something, via an up sell, or a down sell. You’re offered a ‘free book’ and all you have to pay for is shipping; on reflection you realise that the shipping actually covers the cost of the book, the profit on the book and the shipping! Again, I don’t have a problem with this, and I think you’d be pretty foolish not to have worked this out. In fact, as a Sales Professional, these techniques intrigue me, rather than irk me. I am impressed with the clever use of psychology. 

Where I do start to have a problem is if the content itself is lacking. I started writing my first book 'Complete Selling’ with no actual plans. I’ve always enjoyed writing, so I just started jotting down my thoughts based on my experiences as a field-based Sales Professional. This built over a number of years and I added to it whenever I had some inspiration. I decided to publish this content with honest intentions to provide anyone in the sales industry with some useful content, but with no expectation that it would make me a millionaire.

Now, what does concern me, is that there is whole industry which trades in selling you the dream of being a millionaire. Since creating 360 Group, my Facebook feed is full of ads for Webinars or courses that will teach you the ‘secrets of the wealthy’ with promises that if you copy these secrets you too will become wealthy (N.B there is always a disclaimer). I’ve been on a few of these Webinars out of curiosity rather than any real expectations and the majority are lacking in substance. Unfortunately, there are so many who have no scruples and just want to make themselves wealthy. They produce scant content selling you a dream of wealth in a cynical ploy to up sell you on yet more scant content, in which they promise to teach you how to copy them and produce webinars which sell the dream of wealth! Some might say that I’m being naive, and this is just network marketing, but it just doesn’t feel right to me.

My assertion is, there’s got to be substance behind the hype! The internet is a mine of information and there are some very clever people providing value that a few years ago would have only been available in specialist circles. You can become an expert in just about anything now from the comfort of your own home. One of my favourites is Jeff Cavaliere from Athlean X. Yes, Jeff is selling supplements and his fitness programmes, but Jeff backs it up with his amazing content. If you’re into fitness and weight training, Jeff’s content on YouTube is really strong , with excellent scientific credibility that years ago would have been very difficult to access. 

So, I’m not suggesting that ‘Free Stuff’ that isn’t really free is bad - it’s a great marketing tool. I just that don’t think stringing people along without giving them some value is ethical. We all want to be successful, but don’t underestimate the value of being able to look yourself in the mirror. 

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