I would like the opinions of my readers on this. Please comment after reading this post.
A while back I downloaded a free ebook online. The author was giving away the ebook and accepting donations for charity. Now, many people use an ebook as a lead capture. There’s nothing wrong with that. This particular ebook, however, was endorsed by people like Jack Canfield, Joel Comm, Marcia Wieder, Alex Mandossian, Byron Katie, Mike Dooley and a few others. I figured he was a reputable person.
All throughout the ebook, the author said extra bonus material is available at his membership site and linked to it. He even included an appendix where he listed all of the bonus material that was supposedly available in his members area. He even acted as if he was doing the reader a favor by including a “code” to enter to get a one month free trial of the members area. I don’t know about you, but I’ve joined many member areas where I got a free or $1 trial and found the material useful and continued on at $27, $97, even $147 per month. If the content is good and added to on a monthly basis, the membership is worth it. Anyone who wants to be successful in life knows that it’s very important to be learning on a consistent basis.
When I signed up for the members area, NONE of the bonus material referenced in the book was there. When I asked about it, as did many others in the member area, I got the brush off from the author. At one point he told me that the material in the bonus area is “better than the original bonuses”. I left the member area letting the author know that I was disappointed that he not only made false promises in his book, but on his sales page as well (the sales page listed the same material that the appendix in the book listed).
Yesterday, almost a full month after I voice my concerns, I received the following email:
The comments in italics were added by me. The remainder of the comments in parentheses are the author’s comments.
I saw your comment from ages ago regarding the other materials, and wanted to get back to you.
We’ve added the Faculty Hour now so you can call in once a week and ask any question on any topic of (author’s assistant name here).
And we are (finally!) launching a higher level of (member area) which will have the remaining resources (spread over three months though, so people don’t just join for a day then download and leave – it’s tricky with membership sites).
Curious – what’s your business/site? What are you up to?
I sat there for a minute after reading with my mouth hanging open in disbelief. Here is part of my response to him:
It’s an interesting comment you make about not making material promised in your book available right away because you think people will download it and leave. You are coming from a scarcity mindset. That surprises me based on what you’ve done by giving away your book. If you are always concerned about people ripping you off, that is what will happen. I heard of another trainer with a members area who allowed nothing downloadable in his members area for fear that a group of people would get together, pool their money and have one person join, download the material and pass it around. That trainer is long gone now. When you come from a lack mindset, you will continue to attract lack. Sure, you may have success for a time, but it will not last. I feel very sorry for you. Maybe you should consult with the people who endorsed your book and discuss this with them. I can’t imagine Joel Comm, Marcia Wieder, Alex Mandossian, Byron Katie, Mike Dooley or any of the people who gave you an endorsement agreeing with your philosophy.
Will there always be people who join, get the free stuff and leave? Absolutely. However, if you make the ongoing content good enough, they will stay even though they got the “good stuff” up front. I continue my membership with a few different sites because they provide great ongoing content. Most of them gave me a free trial and made a ton of great content available during that free trial. Those of us who are true entrepreneurs understand the importance of ongoing learning. That is who you want to attract.
I also suggested that if the author feels the material available now is better, he could provide the bonuses he promised in the book and then, in the next month step people up to a new level where the “better material” is available – incentive for them to hang around for at least a month, right?
So…what are your thoughts on this author’s lack mentality? Agree? Disagree? All comments are welcome!
**UPDATE** – I’ve received about 20 emails on this topic. Please comment here on the blog so we can all mastermind together if you have an opinion on this. Thanks!!**
Make it a great day!!