As an online marketer (or an aspiring one), you've invested a pretty penny on courses, programs and guides. Maybe you started with small-value ebooks from $7 to $27 range.
Or maybe you made the leap and purchased $1997 programs from the gurus or a much bigger amount for a live event.
No matter how much you've put into learning about Internet and social media marketing, I have
DON'T get your money's worth!
No, I haven't lost my mind. Hear me out, because I believe that, instead of getting your money's worth, you should get MUCH MORE than what you paid for each product you buy.
Even if something only cost you $9, if you never use it, that's $9 bucks down the drain.
On the other hand, something that set you back $1000 but brought in $3000 of income becomes practically free.
Now I'm just like everyone else. I've bought stuff, saved them into my computer or placed them lovingly on my bookshelf… and never looked at them again.
Heck, I've even forgotten to download a few purchases (drats, I could've used that $34 for new mineral makeup instead) 🙁
So I'm not perfect. But brainstorm with me for a while to identify ways all of us can squeeze as much value as we can from the investments we do make.
Here's what I've come up with so far:
Don't make the same mistake I did and remember 3 months later when it seems the vendor has disappeared. Blech.
By topic makes sense. You can set up folders in your computer for “Email Marketing,” “Blogging,” “Social Networking,” “YouTube,” etc.
I used to do this when I was still in UNICEF. At the beginning of the year, each of us would determine what skills we needed to acquire or improve and make a training plan accordingly. A training plan helps with budgeting as well.
Put your learning time into your schedule. You could set aside 1 hour a day or half a day per week. It's up to you. The point is to make time for it and make sure it's in your to-do list. If it isn't, then you'll never get around to it.
This is the most important part of getting more than your money's worth from information products. Don't move on to another program until you actually implement what you've learned. It could be one new thing per week. It depends on what you're learning. Just make sure you're actually doing something.
Set up a study group of some sort. You go through the information product together, exchange notes, give each other assignments (for implementation), and make sure you do them. Learning with a group or partner makes you publicly accountable, which is highly motivating.
I particularly like information products that come with some sort of access to the teacher. It could be through a forum, comments on a blog, email support, etc. Whatever it is, use this to ask questions, report your progress and results.
As you implement what you've learned, monitor and track what results you're getting from them. This is the only way you'll know if it's working for you or not. If you've given a particular strategy a fair try and are not getting the results promised or you expected then don't be afraid to…
Hopefully, you've gone through the infoproduct and implemented it within the guarantee period. If so, and it just hasn't worked out for you, then by all means use the guarantee to get your money back. No reason to feel embarrassed if you gave the product a fair try. Some vendors will even give you more than your money back, as long as you've followed their program or system and still didn't get results.
That said, don't ask for a refund just because you need the money. That's unfair to the vendor, even if he/she did promise an unconditional, no-questions-asked guarantee.
If you did get good results from a particular program, do write a testimonial and send it to the vendor. I do this because (a) I like to give kudos and express my gratitude to people who've helped me or touched me in a positive way; and, (b) If the vendor uses your testimonial on their product sales page or other promotional materials, then you get exposure and are perceived as a success.
These are the ways I can think of to get the most value out of information products, home study programs, live events, memberships and other investments we make in our business.
Have I missed anything? What do YOU do to get the best ROI on learning programs?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
PS: Speaking of infoproducts, Darren Rowse of Problogger has just released his latest, The Blogger's Guide to Online Marketing: 31 Steps to a Profitable Blog. If monetizing your blog is in your training plan, then I highly recommend this as the guide for you. Read all about it here.*
photo credit: turtlemom4bacon
* Affiliate links: If you purchase Darren's product through the links on this page, I will receive compensation. Darren is one of the few teachers whose products I recommend even sight unseen. That's because he's proven his ability to make a living online and teach others how to do it. Plus, his products are affordable to boot. I'd recommend Darren's products even if I weren't an affiliate.
Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.