A friend recently asked me a few questions:
Why would I pay for something in a course or a program form if I can find it all online? Why do people pay money for something that they can find for free?
I also heard them from a few of my past clients and saw them in online groups. And this raises a question. Which is better: free knowledge or an online course?
Have you ever heard one of those questions? Maybe you were the one asking it.
If you want to know why people do pay for courses or programs that keep reading or watching, because today I’m going to show you a few of the reasons why people do so.
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FREE KNOWLEDGE, MANIPULATION AND TRUSTWORTHY SOURCES
Today we’re taking a look at why people decide to give money to the course or program creators for the knowledge that they could find for free.
One of the greatest things that happened to us as a society is the availability of information. But with that comes also a challenge. We live in an era of information is easily available, but it’s also very easily manipulated. Fake news, fake articles, information that’s more opinionated, rather than fact based.
Thinking about the vast amount of information available it becomes harder to trust the source.
1. Quality of information
One of the reasons why people pay for courses is so they can have this information sorted through. And save themselves the misery of searching through millions of information pieces. Pieces that then, not only have to be filtered out first, but also pieced together.
When our parents were going to school, the world was different. The education system taught students to have knowledge at a specific topic. And they didn’t have to know anything else to do well in life.
Nowadays one of the most desired skills is the ability to filter information available online.
Our society and world gets advanced very quickly. Our current knowledge is so vast that it becomes difficult to find one source that’s true.
2. Precious time
It would take us probably hundreds of lifetimes to acquire all knowledge and sift through it to get what we actually need. And therefore, one of the reasons why people pay money (sometimes quite a lot of money) for a course or a program is for pure convenience. For the ease of having information readily available, organised in a structure or process so they can then save time.
I remember the first time I paid for coaching. I remember it was $5,000. It was so scary for me because I just left a job with a chronic pain condition and I wasn’t earning any money.
For the first time in my life I risked everything that I could and I used my credit. At first I was excited. Then came buyer’s remorse, because I didn’t know whether it was a good decision. Every single one of us usually goes through the same process.
After a while I realised that what I paid was actually quite a lot of money for the type of information received. I could have found it online for free.
BUT – we don’t know what we don’t know. It seems easy once we stumble upon the format that fills in our gaps and makes us realise what we didn’t know.
If it was so easy to piece thee pieces of information together (aka if I knew what to look for), I wouldn’t need to pay for it. So, instead of feeling guilty, mad or angry with myself, I was thankful.
Someone saved me time, showed me a few routes, and strong foundations that I needed for my business. And I learned to put the puzzles together.
When you want to learn something new, when you don’t have specific knowledge, it looks like hundreds pieces of a puzzle lying there on the table. And you do not have an image to base your puzzle (your journey) on. So, people pay for courses and programs to have this picture given to them. To know what they are working from. And to know what they’re going towards.
3. Sense of belonging
People pay for courses, as hey desire to be part of something (and get out of their own heads). As Maslow stated, we have a sense of belonging as human beings. Courses and programs offer us to be in the company of people who are like us. To be able to bounce back ideas and opinions. We do that in a safe environment, which is not the case on social media or in groups that are public.
We are often judged because people who are watching us are not like us. In course groups or programs we are with the community that has a similar goal to us. Hence understands our challenges, problems and hardships. It’s so much easier to share with a group of people with the same struggles because they understand you.
Free knowledge or an online course?
CONSIDERED INVESTING IN SUPPORT?
If you ever considered buying a course but you’re scared to invest, I feel you. It is scary, as any investment should be. You are worth it though! The text below will help you decide if you should use free knowledge or an online course.
Here are a few signs that will help you to know when it’s time to invest in an external support:
I don’t know what I need to move to the next level.
You reached certain level of success. And that’s fantastic! Although you feel like you’ve hit the glass ceiling when it comes to knowing what to do. You see what is possible yet don’t know how to reach it.
The higher you go in life and business, the harder it will be to get free information. Because the people on top worked hard (and often smart) to get there. Only a few selected ones reach the top. That’s why it’s never crowded. And why it is so precious to be there because it means they are part of a group with similar values: who also invested significantly. So – harsh truth – they don’t want to be around people who have different values.
I don’t know what to do at all/where to start.
You see, free content is great. BUT it has one catch – you’ve got to know what you’re looking for and how to connect the dots. I f you don’t, then here’s what happens.
I made a video explaining it.
Why freebie hunters rarely get results
CONSIDERED CREATING A COURSE OR PROGRAM?
Yes, there’s plenty of content available for free. And that’s why it’s your chance to present it your way.
Not everyone has time or patience to find what they need.
Not everyone will be able to connect the dots (for various reasons).
Not everyone will be the best choice for the buyer.
You see, we all learn differently. We consume information and learn via different channels. And the fact that you will always have a different spin on something already known can make the difference between someone making it or not.
When I was fifteen years old I went to a ski camp. It was my first time skiing. The teacher was a guy who preferred to talk to his buddies and leave the group with just a few instructions. Then he went off to the ski slope. He was clearly annoyed he had to take care of a group of students.
Needless to say 80% of people came back from the camp not knowing how to ski and generally repelled from the sport. The remaining 20% were children whose parents already took them for skiing trips.
Years later, at a university, one of my tasks to pass an exam was to organise a ski trip for a few tenths of students and at the end of it take them through various ski slopes. With safety in mind.
Majority of us never skied before. And I already had dramatic scenarios how much I am going to hate that trip. Then something amazing happened. We got a teacher who loved what she did and got me to love skiing. They couldn’t take me off the ski slope. I was the last one to leave! And I wasn’t the only one.
You know why? Because the same information was taught very differently.
In life and business, there will be some things you’ll grasp on your own and there will be some you’ll need support with. Don’t be scared to create, just because something similar exists. Only you can deliver it your way.
Thank You For Reading!
I am very grateful that you have chosen to spend your time reading this text from me.