One of the beauties of the internet is the massive amount of free information.Â There is so much free information, we begin to assume everything should be free.Â In this blog post by Amber Naslund, provides a different insight on this common assumption about â€œfree information.â€Â Enjoy and prosper.
On the web, the battle rages on every time a example of paid content or expertise comes on the scene.Â Iâ€™m not talking about
sponsored posts or tweets â€“ thatâ€™s a different argument that weâ€™ll have to have another day.
Iâ€™m talking about projects likeÂ Third Tribe, or other membership-based learning communities. Or ebooks that arenâ€™t free. Events, either live or on the web. Or time to consult, advise, speak, whatever.
There is a ton of information out on the web thatâ€™s free, and itâ€™s given us a bit of anÂ expectation that things we find on the internet shouldnâ€™t cost us anything. But I just donâ€™t understand the griping and whining that happens when someone decides to charge for their stuff.
There are three big reasons I pay for things, have charged money for my expertise and services, and think you have a right to try and do the same:
1. Experience Requires Investment
What you know didnâ€™t get there by accident. Whether it was formal education or learning in the trenches, you paid for your education. You paid in time, in effort, perhaps in money. The stuff thatâ€™s in your head and the practical, tangible experience youâ€™ve accumulated over the years. It all cost you something.
Employers pay for that expertise in the form of a salary. Audiences pay for books written by people who have detailed their experiences or knowledge. University tuition costs money. And you can argue all day long about how to determine the value of learning and how to filter out the good from the bad. But the fact remains that experience and knowledge can be worth money, and those that have it have reasons to put a pricetag on it.
2. Concreteness and Context are Valuable
Events cost money to produce. Curating ideas into organized information and content takes time and a certain amount of talent. Making a tangible product or executable services requires time, materials, and management. And doing the research to combine and present information or expertise through the lens of my business can be beneficial.
Iâ€™m also willing to pay for some filters to be applied, like knowing that my fellow community members have also invested money to be here, so weâ€™ll all try and squeeze the most value from the experience and contribute in kind.
3. Mistakes Cost Money
Many times, I pay for someoneâ€™s expertise or knowledge because Iâ€™m paying for the mistakes theyâ€™ve already made. Iâ€™m buying shortcuts, to a degree. Perhaps theyâ€™ve already learned how to apply theoretical knowledge in my industry to a practical solution. Perhaps theyâ€™ve failed three times before the fourth time was a charm, and Iâ€™m getting the benefit of seeing those potential obstacles before I hit them myself.
Precedent isnâ€™t always proof, but the value in a case study or experienced perspective is that it can help me better navigate the situation that *I* might be faced with, and benefit from someone elseâ€™s hands getting dirty first. I know that there are plenty of things I donâ€™t know that Iâ€™ve gladly paid for so I can shorten my learning curve and add other peopleâ€™s context and experience to my ideas.
Value is undoubtedly in the eye of the beholder. Only you can choose for yourself whether spending the money to learn something new is a good risk, and whether youâ€™re likely to walk away better equipped than you were before. Sniffing out the snake oil is partiallyÂ your job and the due diligence of a business weighing their potential investments. Thatâ€™s been the truth since the days of hair tonic being hawked on the street in tents.
Donâ€™t think youâ€™re going to get your moneyâ€™s worth? Donâ€™t pay.
But just because a single endeavor might not be worth the moneyÂ doesnâ€™t mean that the idea of charging money for something is out of line.Â And that means that MLM and â€œmake money onlineâ€ scams will abound â€“Â the opportunists have always existed. Bad apples donâ€™t spoil the entire barrel.
Letâ€™s remember that we live in a world of free enterprise, thank goodness.Â And the good side: there will always be a great deal of valuable, helpful, and truly useful information, events, and people across the web that cost a few bucks to access.
We have to put filters on and do some homework. But having the opportunity to earn a living based on the knowledge youâ€™ve built over your career and how you assemble, share, and apply it?
Thatâ€™s more than okay with me. http://altitudebranding.com/2010/02/3-reasons-why-expertise-costs-money/
To be continued, your comments are welcomed…