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Navigating the Wilderness of "Free" Info on the Internet: a Survival Guide

Hi All!

To say things are busy is an understatement! There's so much to do when organizing an online business: creating products; building a blog and populating it; organizing Facebook and marketing streams. The options for what you do and how you do it are almost unlimited as the digital realm continues to evolve and everyone, I mean EVERYONE wants to show you the way...for "free". Hooray!

They have a system. They have a proven strategy. They know what's working now.

In fact, there's so much "free" information on the net being offered on social media or through email marketing, and so many options are vying for your precious time, that it seems almost impossible to choose! 

Feasibly you could do it all, fall prey to the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), taking advantage of everything that is "free" but that is the fools game. You'll get bogged down in all the iterations, options and updates cluttering your online journey that you'll never launch, only continue to polish your non-existent online business to a high shine, sparkling perfectly...in obscurity...for no one. 

Please, DON'T do this!

"How?" you say?

Well...

As Red Fracture has grown, all of these options have been placed before it as well, and upon review, a few opportunities have risen to the top, opportunities which have revealed real nuggets of wisdom while, with a bit of forethought and some planning, most of what is being offered is either being sidestepped due to redundancy or lack of import to the project. Here's a few tips that will hopefully help you navigate this minefield of "FOMO information overload".

* Please note: Since every business's needs differ, no specific courses, webinars or opportunities will be listened in this post.

Know Where You're Going - At Least a Little

Understanding where you're going right out of the gate isn't always clear, but putting together a basic business plan and having an end goal (even if it's loose) is a great way to weed out what info on the net is going to be useful to you and what isn't, especially when it is tantalizingly "free". For instance, if you sell a physical product, maybe Instagram is a great marketing platform for you. If you sell a service such as your accounting skills maybe Linkedin is a better choice. Knowing this ahead of time will help you navigate the invading hoards of "free" info proposals at your doorstep.

Start Small

Once you've got an idea of what is pertinent to you, chose ONE option and digest what's being offered. Most of the time this will require a sign up process (Yep. They want your email. Why? Marketing of course!) and probably a commitment to a date and time for a webinar, a free video or online course. Be open. Be alert. Pay attention. Take notes even. This is your time, this is their time and neither of you have any to waste. This will also assist you in weeding out "new" opportunities that are offering you the same info in the future.

Take What You Need and Leave the Rest Behind

Even if the "free" opportunity you've signed up for seems perfect for your situation, not everything that is proffered to you will be useful. Nothing is 100%. Everything that falls outside of your mandate, dump it. This is a guide you've signed up to preview, not a plan you have to follow to the letter. If it's pointless, useless, doesn't pertain to your business, or is flat out something you don't want to do, don't bother with it. It's okay. Not everything "free" is worth hanging onto.

Take What You've Learned and Test it Out

Go back to step one and start small. Take the nuggets you've gleaned from your "free" online instruction and see what works for you. This may take the form of reinvigorating a previously disused form of social media or perhaps reaching out to a mentor for one-on-one instruction. Whatever it is, set it in motion and then give it some time. You'll need to observe the effects of your choices and only time will tell if they were the right ones for you. The direction you've chosen may need some minor course corrections or it may need an overhaul if it's just not working. In that case, go back to what is being offered and pick another option and start the process over. Be bold!

***A couple of end notes***

Most of What is Being Offered is Redundant

It's true. Much of what is being offered for "free" has already been stated over and over and again. Take Instagram for example. As Red Fracture's presence grows on Instagram, more and more ads for classes on how to bend Instagram to its will have shown up in the feed. So far, two have proven useful but were so similar to each other as to be nigh on identical. All the ads that are coming up now are stating exactly the same promises as the last two. At this point, there's no point in bothering with any new info unless our current Instagram marketing efforts go sideways. Sorry FOMO. Better luck next time.

EVERYTHING is a sales pitch

This is also true. You may have noticed how every instance of the word "free" in this article is glibly bracketed in parentheses. That's because none of these online courses are really "free". They're the lure getting you in the door so that the real sales pitch can be made to you; the four week 'master course' which will unearth the real secrets of the internet, the business retreat for you and other like minded entrepreneurs which will train you to dominate your prospective field. Don't be surprised when the pitch comes at the end and don't begrudge these individuals for trying either; after all, they've given you some possibly vital info for free and now it's their turn to grow their businesses.

Trust your experience

If you take nothing away from this article, take this. Trust your experience. This will be the best indicator of where you should go and what you should take advantage of. Even when instruction is "free", it may not work for you. Even when it's dressed up with a fancy video, hosted by an Instagram entrepreneur with a million followers or is disarmingly charismatic, only your experience working with what you've learned will really help you to find your path. Ultimately, you may have to pay for the next step in your journey but at least you've eliminated the "free" options.

For now. That is all.

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