Buying Information Products Can Be a Waste of Money
You probably get offers almost every day to buy information products, and sometimes it's hard to sort out whether a particular one will help you or not. How do you know if it's worth your money? How do you know if it's going to help you? Because, you know, most of us buy information products that are training programs, and often we don't fully implement them. When that happens, we waste our money!
Here's how to evaluate an information product that's a training program. Use these 5 criteria when you are buying information products to make sure it's right for you.
5 Ways to Evaluate Information Products
- First and most importantly, do you have the time to open the product, watch the videos or read the program, and implement what you are learning? Can you go to your calendar right now, and find time to block out so that you can concentrate on getting through the training? TIP: If you've bought 2 or more products in the last few months and have not yet implemented them, it's probably not the right time to invest in more products.
- Does the product offer a solution to something you need for your business? Does it help you meet the goals in your business plan? Read the sales page copy and make sure that what is being offered looks like it helps you in a specific way. TIP: Buy what you need to have, not what is nice to have.
- For how long do you have access to the product? Personally, I only buy products or training where I have access for at least a year. I want to be able to go back and review something when I need it. I don't like products that give me access for only a month or 12 weeks. TIP: Make sure you can get all the way through all the material in the time you'll have access to it.
- Does this product offer updates, and is there a charge for the updates? This won't apply to everything you might buy, but it's important if, for example, it's about software or a tool that is regularly changed. Know what you are buying and what the shelf life of the training will be. TIP: If updates aren't part of what you purchase, make sure you use the training right away, and get the benefit while it still is current.
- Does the investment you will make seem reasonable? Can you see how you will get a return on your investment? My own rule of thumb is that I want to at least triple the investment cost as a return. Just making enough return to pay for the training is a zero-sum game. TIP: If you can't see how you will use this product to create income, it's a red flag.
Bonus tip: Make sure the product is offered in a format you will use. If you hate to watch videos and the training is all video, you'll resist getting through the material. If it's audio only and you prefer to read, you might not get as much out of it as you like.
Buying information products has helped me with my business. But like many people, I've also bought products I've never had the time to implement, so even if it was good I wasted my money. The rule of thumb for me is to buy information products and training that is well designed, and on a topic that I most want to learn or need help with.
Take the time to read the sales page and understand what you get, and make sure you've got the time to get the most out of what you buy. Buying information products can be a cost effective way to get help with your business. Evaluate the offer using these 5 criteria, and walk away if it's not a good fit for you.
By the way, if you design information products you can get design tips in this blog post.
Do you have specific things you look for when you are buying information products? Please share them below.