Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: To Free or not to Free - Help Needed

  1. #1
    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Edenvale
    Posts
    337
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 34 Times in 24 Posts

    To Free or not to Free - Help Needed

    Over the last few days I've been toying with the idea of allowing people to download any document from my website for free, except my books. I want to and need to change my whole strategy and mindset regarding the webpage.

    My question is should I do it or not?

    As I don't want to influence anyone's thinking, I would like to leave this as open as possible. I would prefer a Q & A and from the Q & A develop a strategy.

    Your comments, viewpoints, suggestions and question would be greatly appreciated.
    Vincent Marino
    Maximising the sales value of your business!

    Business 24-Seven |MyBlog Twitter |facebook |Phat feesh & chips






  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    This could turn into quite a long thread if a few people participate, because it cuts to the core of the value (and saleability) of information in the internet era.

    I know Paul Jacobson was contemplating the same dilemma not too long ago. Should he just make a substantial collection of legal documents available free, and then live off the inquiries of people needing or wanting personal attention? I tried to visit his site to get a link to the actual blog post, but he seems to have server problems just at the moment.

    Obviously I've gone the free route with this site, so it might seem I've got a predisposed bias here. But that particular decision was more Gung Ho than carefully structured reason. So I'm quite interested in trying to analyse the issue in a more structured way.

    I'm tempted to hare off down a particular line of thinking, but I suppose the first thing is to ask a few questions. Off the top of my head, the first two are:

    What is the environment?
    What is the objective?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  3. #3
    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Edenvale
    Posts
    337
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 34 Times in 24 Posts
    Thanks Dave. First off I'm not a lawyer, but I do have access to people who can provide legal advice. Secondly the environment that I work in is that of Business rescue, business turnaround, change management etc., and also do comprehensive business valuations.

    The objectives are simple:
    1) grow my customer base via people registering - offering something of value
    2) grow my customer base by presenting seminars of two and a half hours for R100.00 - have my books and CDs with a variety of documents and open source programs for sale.
    3) Use the open source concept - the documents are free but my services are billed.

    One of my strengths - good at presenting seminar/workshop

    PS - will be away from my computer most of the day - will answer any other questions when I get back.
    Vincent Marino
    Maximising the sales value of your business!

    Business 24-Seven |MyBlog Twitter |facebook |Phat feesh & chips






  4. #4
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    I consider various aspects of internet culture are big factors in this discussion.
    • Most internet savvy folks expect stuff for free. Particularly the younger age groups. They have a totally different value perspective to folks conditioned to doing info business pre-internet.
    • Information that is charged for on one site is often available free elsewhere (or at least something similar, but still useable) - you just need to know how to use the search engines.
    • Many of the commercial online information models I've seen give some information for free, but have an added value option for those who are looking for more.

    What else is there that we need to consider on the "internet culture" side?
    Last edited by Dave A; 16-Nov-07 at 11:00 AM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  5. #5
    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Edenvale
    Posts
    337
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 34 Times in 24 Posts
    Dave:
    I was at a networking evening yesterday, and I posed the same question. The general consensus seems to be, give for free, but have an added value option, pretty much the same as what you have said.

    The decisions that I've had made are:
    1. webpage to change and reflect the work I do - seminars, change management, business rescue, comprehensive business valuation and turnaround.

    2. use the open source concept

    3. Provide docs for free - link up with another internet site that offers free docs.

    4 Seminars - co-brand with other business

    It has been an enlightening experience writing all this out and talking to and meeting people who you 'don't know.'
    Vincent Marino
    Maximising the sales value of your business!

    Business 24-Seven |MyBlog Twitter |facebook |Phat feesh & chips






  6. #6
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Thanks for the feedback. Let me know when you've got your site redone so that I can admire the fruits of your labour.

    Although my exerience is it's an ongoing thing.
    A little addictive even
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  7. #7
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    180
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 29 Times in 21 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    This could turn into quite a long thread if a few people participate, because it cuts to the core of the value (and saleability) of information in the internet era.

    I know Paul Jacobson was contemplating the same dilemma not too long ago. Should he just make a substantial collection of legal documents available free, and then live off the inquiries of people needing or wanting personal attention? I tried to visit his site to get a link to the actual blog post, but he seems to have server problems just at the moment.

    Obviously I've gone the free route with this site, so it might seem I've got a predisposed bias here. But that particular decision was more Gung Ho than carefully structured reason. So I'm quite interested in trying to analyse the issue in a more structured way.

    I'm tempted to hare off down a particular line of thinking, but I suppose the first thing is to ask a few questions. Off the top of my head, the first two are:

    What is the environment?
    What is the objective?
    Dave I would have gone with the Business Warrior model, small fee access to a lot of free advice.
    But thats me......... always ready to make a bob.

  8. #8
    Silver Member Vincent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Edenvale
    Posts
    337
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 34 Times in 24 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by QUINN View Post
    Dave I would have gone with the Business Warrior model, small fee access to a lot of free advice.
    But thats me......... always ready to make a bob.
    QUINN:
    I would agree with you, but it's not what my business is about. I'm not there to sell documents, but rather build a client base to whom I can sell my services. The documents are all freely available on the net, if you take the time to search.
    Vincent Marino
    Maximising the sales value of your business!

    Business 24-Seven |MyBlog Twitter |facebook |Phat feesh & chips






  9. #9
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by QUINN View Post
    Dave I would have gone with the Business Warrior model, small fee access to a lot of free advice.
    This site certainly was not based on the BW model

    Pete's site is well worth the subscription by old style value systems - no doubt. But the low cost/high volume nature of the internet has turned those old style value systems on their head. Not to mention the idea of building closed information resources.

    One big change I'd have made if I had gone that route would be to carve off a slice to go back to the major contributors. It's something I have back of mind if ever we get huge here too.

    A different path.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  10. #10
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    180
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 29 Times in 21 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    QUINN:
    I would agree with you, but it's not what my business is about. I'm not there to sell documents, but rather build a client base to whom I can sell my services. The documents are all freely available on the net, if you take the time to search.
    I am thinking along the same line but I have found you end up giving a lot of free advice and people take up much of my time and then just DIY the issue.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Your credit record: free annual report
    By Eugene in forum National Credit Act Forum
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 08-Nov-10, 12:32 PM
  2. is there a future for free legal content?
    By duncan drennan in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-Sep-10, 08:00 AM

Tags for this Thread

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •