The Free Means Free! Initiative
I am a firm believer in the Free Means Free! Initiative. Maybe it comes from my upbringing. I was raised on the Louis L’Amour stories. He was one of the great writers of the Western genre. You may have watched many of more than thirty movies based on his stories. He wrote of himself, “When I write about a spring, that spring is there, and the water is good to drink.” Having drank from some of those springs, I know this is true. He wrote of time when the value of your word was paramount.
In many ways, the Internet of today is a lot like the Wild West of early America. With few real watchdogs, many people believe they are free to do as they please. They don’t realize the power of reputation. It may not always be easy to determine who you are dealing with but it should be. Why would you want to do business with someone when you don’t know if they are as good as their word?
That is one of the reasons that I like conducting much of my online efforts through IBO Toolbox. With the online profile and regular interaction, it is fairly easy to determine for yourself who is real and who is all “smoke and mirrors.”
The Free Means Free! Initiative is about standing up for ourselves and our promises. Whether they are implied or direct, we are responsible for making sure that our promises are worth the pixels that are presenting them.
Those involved in the Free Means Free! Initiative are making a point of being clear in their promises. If I say that it is “Free” then that is what I mean. In today’s world, there are many levels of free. That is understandable. But, “free” should not be a cover word for, “until you get the bill.”
Many of the worst offenders use terms like, “Free Video”, where you watch for forty-five minutes only to discover that this 99.99 value can be yours for only 29.99. This is WRONG!
It has gotten to the point where every time we hear the word “Free” we are wondering where the catch is.
The Free Means Free! Initiative is about making it clear what we are really offering. Let me give you a few examples.
The *Free GIMP, GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a *Free tool available from http://www.GIMP.org that will allow you to create some amazing graphics. It is the only Graphics tool that I use. It costs Nothing to download, there are no fees to use it. The only thing they want is to include their name in the Comment attached to the creation of images. I think that is Fair.
*Free Means Free!
Another good *Free resource is IBO Toolbox. There are no sign-up fees, no upgrades, and no “levels”. It is a *Free tool that I have been using for nearly a year with spending a penny. Now, before someone brings it up, let me tell you that there is a way to spend money at IBO Toolbox. You can purchase extra advertising. That’s it.
*Free Means Free!
My point is that there truly are *Free Opportunities and Tools all across the internet. You need to examine each carefully but when you find people supporting the Free Means Free! Initiative, you have a good chance at finding offers that are real.
*Free Means Free!
I have no problem with marketers who make their offers clear. One of the simplest is “buy on get one free”. This is quite clear. We know that we will have to spend a little money to get whatever it is that we are after.
A “free trial offer” lets us know that we can expect to have pay after a given period of time. It is important to read the fine print.
Some services offer “limited services for free”. As long as they make it clear from the beginning, I don’t have a problem with that. Sometimes the free service is all that you need until it becomes an economically responsible decision to upgrade.
I utilize several advertising tools that are free to use. There are some significant advantages to upgrading but they are perfectly useable in their free modes.
As Internet Marketers, we need to take responsibility for our offers. We should only use the term “Free” when that is the right term. If there is clarification required, we should make it clear. Like the Wild West, our honor is only as good as our word.
If you believe as I do, please feel free to Join the Free Means Free! Initiative by leaving your comment below.