The Reasons I Buy Your Stuff, Finally Explained

Why is it that people pay you money for your services, products and memberships?

It really helps to figure out not just how people found you, but what is their reason for joining your community? That way, when you send emails and write sales letters, you can appeal to all the groups.

I can't speak for anyone else, but here are the reasons I buy your stuff...

The Entire Step-By-Step Training

Four years ago, I joined a Membership site from Jim Edwards that taught everything I needed to know. It taught how to create videos, how to make reports, gave me tips on sales letters... And a lot of the things I learned were not taught directly to me. They were things I observed from his marketing and his videos.

I joined that site as a relative newbie because I wanted to learn and apply one hundred percent of what he showed me.

That training helped me get over a lot of obstacles. For example, I had not ever created video. I had some idea in my head that I needed to have green screen, that I needed to have different camera angles and different screens. But most of his videos were simple PowerPoints. At the time, PowerPoint videos were not very common. And that was the biggest benefit I got from learning and taking all his training, was making PowerPoint videos.

Eventually I outgrew that training and quit. But I short-cut a lot of things that I might have taken a long time to figure out, or maybe would not have figured out at all.

The Quick Fix

I have joined other membership sites, just to get one piece of the training. It is very important that when you join some kind of site, you know what your goal is.

Jeanette Cates delivered a three-month training program about product creation. And although most of the things she taught I already knew, I joined because I wanted to get motivated enough to record more audios. That was my one goal from joining: to record more audios.

I joined the site, picked up some extra tips about how to make my audios better, recorded them and then showed them to her for accountability. I also used those audios to build my list, and I reported back to her about how many opt-ins they gave me and how many sales those led to.

More often than not, I will join someone's site just for one particular thing. This is why, in addition to explaining the step-by-step of what they are getting in your sales letter, go into the details. Tell them EXACTLY what result they will get from your training - because you never know what outcome people are looking for.


I have joined a number of monthly membership sites, just to get my name out there. It is one thing to leave blog comments, or post on a free forum. But the audience there has not been proven to buy anything.

On the other hand, if you join somebody's "$100 per month training" and are allowed to leave comments or make forum posts, you know that every single person reading your messages has at least $100 per month to spend on some form of training.

Also, because it costs money to get into this community, it is more exclusive, which means it is a smaller crowd, which means you have less competition as far as getting your information read.

Some of my best connections came from the inside of these communities.

Brownie Points

When a friend of mine, Stu McLaren, offered training about his WordPress Membership Software, I joined - even though I had previously taught similar membership training.

I joined this site basically to become the "Star Student." I listened to all the training calls, read all the blog posts, and when he had call-in days, I made sure to have some kind of question, to make sure I understood all of the content. And I contributed a couple of things just to make sure all the bases were covered with his training.

Although you should definitely position your sales letter and marketing materials to "Why newbies can best benefit form your course," keep in mind that some experts may join, to keep their own training up-to-date, or even show support for you.

And those are the four reasons why I buy eBooks, reports, services and memberships. Did I leave any reasons out? What is the top reason YOU join someone else's community or pay them money for something?

Let me know down below, in the form of a very brief comment.

Filed in: CopywritingProduct Launches

Comments (35)

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  1. Britt Malka says:

    Very brief: I buy things to learn, and to get inspiration, and to network.

  2. Andrew says:

    I bought products from people whose systems I could surely follow that were related to what I was trying to figure out myself at the time.

    My latest purchase was for the 5 Dollars per page training since this relates very well to what I am currently doing with niche affiliate sites.

    Also, I need to be convinced that the vendor is not simply churning out product after product in the IM niche, since that is all they do and they are not really making money any other way.

  3. Sarah says:

    motivation to succeed and structure.

  4. I have bought a lot of your stuff for these reasons.

    1) To see how you put everything together, how you deliver it, how you present and package your information.

    2) Accountability as you say above. You and Lance take action, it is a trait I wanted to improve on.

    3) See if there were tricks and tactics I was missing.

    Not been dissapointed in any of those areas. Observing you guys has made me realize that action wins over perfection, you make more money in less time and you have more fun doing it 🙂

  5. Ron Barrett says:

    To learn something that I don’t already know.

    There are a lot of people out there today that are teaching things I already know so I don’t buy in.

    You and Lance have numerous sites that cover a LOT of ‘what you need to know’ to grow my business and that others are not offering, so that’s why I buy YOUR stuff!

  6. Dave Doolin says:

    You pretty well nailed my what and why. If I have any roadblock, it’s trying to do too much too fast. Stuff gets done, not always the right stuff at the right time. It’s getting better.

  7. Kenny says:

    Robert- excellent post with great suggestions.
    I think inthe IM space- sometimes people buy for the ‘guru love’. What I mean by this is that people buy because they love the guru and they are just ‘buying the dream’. They don’t have specific goals for the training- and they dont do accountability. Which is why I like your article so much- we can all benefit from your advice.
    And I think that’s why your followers love your products and material- because you push people to act and to achieve based on what they are learning.

  8. Joyce Hansen says:


    I vote you the best blog post I ever read. You made me instantly sit up, take notice and learn a very valuable lesson which will save me tons of time and money. I’ve not seen anyone be so honest about how to continue to grow and gain respect from fellow Internet marketers at the same time. Also loved the Brownie Points graphic. I’ll never look at a brownie the same way again.

  9. Good morning Robert,
    I just started IM in January and I bought first because I needed the instruction. And, much to my credit, I bought wisely – first with Connie Ragen Green and Jeanette Cates. I continue to buy from Connie on a regular basis. She’s one of the best teachers I know. Jeanette is one of the smartest women I know and I buy from her, too. I have also bought to support a new IM friend and make new friends. I don’t think I have ever bought from a “guru” with whom I could not have at least an email relationship. I bought from you (TMOC) because I needed it, and because I met you in LA, and you were recommended by others whom I knew. I rarely buy something without running it by a mentor first. I think I have saved a lot of time and money that way. The people whom I have chosen to listen to are honest and not selfish. Oh, and I also buy from Deb & Mynders, especially as affiliates of a product that I need. Met them in Vegas and again in LA and we’re going fly fishing together in CO in August. I’m happy with my growth and with my friends. This really made me think, and thank you for bringing it up.

  10. Robert Plank says:

    Myrtle Beach,

    You’ve only been at this since January? Wow, you’re so confident that I had no idea! I’m no longer going to judge you for freelancing, since you’ve just started this game.

    Running it past a mentor is a great idea, it’s good to have the voice of reason to talk you out of it, to avoid that buyer’s remorse.

  11. Ranga Rajan says:

    Hi Robert,
    Very thought provoking analysis of “your buying mind”.
    I do buy for a.learning, b. building, c. operating and d. reselling for profit.

    The building and operating refer to the business process.

  12. Sally K says:

    I take training or join sites because I want to add another tool to my tool kit, and be inspired to see what can be achieved, especially by groups that comes from a different perspective.

    I check them out first, as much as I can from outside, because I want the experience to be a good match for me.

    Thanks! This will help me stay my course.

  13. Talk about a splash of cold water in the face on a Sunday morning!

    I have a history of making impromptu or, I guess you would say, “impulse” purchases. Not good. Now I catch myself every time I’m about to reach for my credit card or hit the PayPal button. Some of the points you’ve made in this post, Robert, are reasons I’ve learned to stop and think before I spend. No more buying things just because they sound interesting or I “might” need the information sometime before hell freezes over.

    I’ve bought some killer programs and products from Jeanette Cates, Connie Ragen Green, and Cathy Goodwin (Cathy’s Bragging 101 course is worth ten times the $17 fee!).

    However, the product that took me from ZERO success to building a list and moving my business forward – without question – is Jessica Swanson’s Shoestring Marketing Bootcamp. It’s in webinar/workbook format and she’s left NO stone unturned. It’s an all-inclusive soup-to-nuts product.

    Really enjoyed this post – woke me right up this morning and grabbed me by the collar,


  14. Robert Plank says:

    Melanie, I think a lot of us struggled with impulse buying in the beginning.

    There are a quite a few people whose courses I want to buy just out of curiosity or even to network with the other students, but it’s not what I need right now — like with the audio training thing.

    That’s also a really good argument for taking your webinar classes and packaging the replays as membership sites once they’re completed.

  15. I usually join for several reasons.

    1. Emotionally compelling presentation about a product I need (or didn’t even know I needed)

    2. Evaluate the product to compare with others I’ve purchased in the past.

    3. Meet and connect with other members (if it’s a membership site)

    And more… but of these three, the first one is usually the most unsatisfying after getting delivery of the product.


  16. Warren says:

    Robert thanks for the insight into your buying reasons. Here are mine.

    I have only bought into memberships from you and Sean D’Souza.

    Sean D’Souza’s ia half community half membership site. There is marketing content, but the real value initially for me was the feedback and learning from other members. It helped offset the fact that I am working alone, and allowed me to learn from others’ experiences.

    I bought from you, because I had a specific need. I had a copy of Wishlist Member for about 2 months and I had not even cracked the surface of what it could do. I had a choice of either hiring someone else to do it for me, or learn how to use it. I chose to purchase for two reasons,

    First, I decided if I joined the site and actually took on the challenges, I would add skills which would allow me to build multiple sites, versus paying for someone every time I needed a new site.

    The second and deciding factor was that several people I had met on 5000BC were customers who said good things about your course.

  17. lynn says:

    I’m a newbie on a tight budget so I am following a JIT – just in time – methodology of only buying just the information I need, just when I need it. I haven’t launched my product yet. Right now I’m researching more information about the market, and trying to decide if I need to reposition my product another way (other than I had planned originally). So, I’m googling “keyword research”, “market research”, and so on. I’m not in the buying mood yet, but once I decide on how to position my product, I will need to purchase: 1. a domain name with my keywords that position my product correctly, 2. a really good ebook or template for writing my sales page, and 3. another Rentacoder programmer to convert my Windows desktop app into a PHP web based app (*sigh* I totally chose the wrong format to begin with…). So, right there, I have some JIT purchases I will need to make at some point, but not just yet. I have purchased products in the past that would motivate me, or get me over an attitude slump for sure. I also attend as many free webinars or teleseminars as I can, to get motivated, especially if they are on a topic I need JIT. I have opted in to email lists from many of those, and purchased products later. I don’t always make an immediate buy, simply b/c of my JIT policy, but I often will print a sales page and put it in my folder of future purchases to make, when I reach that stage.

  18. Warren says:


    One other factor that has kept me buying (both membership and product) is when the marketing emails do more than just sell.

    You and Sean D’Souza are masters of this. Jay Jennings, who sells software is also very good.

    All of you provide value in every email I receive. Free education, ideas, or solutions to people’s problems. This gets me to open your emails. I don’t always read the sales pitch at the end, but I am much more open to look at what you are selling than someone who sends me the sales page in my email. I delete these immediately.

    You convey a feeling in your customers that they are more than just an ATM for you to tap.

  19. The proven niche group is great. It’s why I sell stuff for $2.00 at times instead of giving it away


  20. Dennis Wagoner says:

    Hi Robert,

    I pay for other people’s products or memberships to get certain information.

    Sometimes it’s info I’m familiar with, and want to see if they can add to what I already understand.

    Other times I’m looking to just get started.

    For me, forking out cash over time is a big motivator to dig in and truly assess and use the content.

    This means membership sites tend to pay off better for me when it comes to cash vs usuable content.

    Something else to admit… I’ve bought a couple products just to get the bonus material.

    ::Oh the shame!::

    Rock on!

  21. You nailed the points very well. I also buy to get new input, and when I see a specific need fulfilled in the presentation of the sales letter. So you, and fellow commenters, have already said it.

  22. Nancy Boyd says:

    Hi Robert,

    The top attraction for me is not only the content but the community. These days I’m looking to cover more ground and places like Third Tribe and (yes, still. . . ) the Warrior Forum do that for me. (I think you’d have to define “community” more loosely for the WF now though.)

    If I can find what I want AND have community around it, that is what I’m hoping for. Don’t always find that, though — which means there are lots of opportunities still out there for people who want to do it that way.


  23. Gwen Tanner says:

    Hello Robert,

    Depending on the topic of the product, I buy to see how a product is unique from other products on a similar topic. If it’s something I know nothing about, I’m pretty skeptical. So I might buy a low-end product to see the style and service of the person. But like you said, lately a lot has been for community.

    Nice way to get people thinking about what motivates them to buy or join!


  24. Robert Plank says:


    When I make products and write sales letters coming from their perspective, thinking, “What brought them here?” “What is their problem?” “What magic solution do they want?” The sales letter is exponentially better.

    I like buying weird or unique products too. Like I showed with the Jeanette ProductCoaching example, I’ll pay hundreds of dollars just to get the piece of the product that I want. When I was doing stock market stuff, I’d pay 50 bucks just for one piece of paper — and I made many times more than $50 back from it.

  25. Rae Shagalov says:

    I did wonder why you joined Wishlist. Of what benefit was it to you to be the Star Student? How do those brownie points help you (other than feel good)?
    Be blessed with success!

    Rae Shagalov

  26. Nice thinking.

    Now you mention it I picked up some good business by being a ‘good student’ in a couple of different courses a copywriting one I did a few years ago with Ray Edwards and also Rich Schefrens Business Growth course back in the day.

    I missed out on your last video course, I wanted into that just to learn and get the script to how you do those camtasia video replies. They are cool.

    Next time that is on a sales page I’m in LOL


  27. I buy products NOT to learn, but to make a profit. I live by this main business theory: everything you buy will have a great ROI.

    From Rich Dad Poor Dad: assets put money in your pocket, expenses take money out.

    If the product I buy isn’t putting $$ in my pocket by the end of the month I toss it off. If it’s a membership site, well that’s a bit more complicated though. That’s for another topic 🙂


  28. Robert Plank says:


    That’s a good mindset. It irritates me when people say things like, “Of course I haven’t done anything… I’m still learning.” With most training you have enough to take some kind of action after the first class to at least try to make your money back.

  29. Lynn Jordan says:


    You’ve given me food for thought this Sunday morning. I buy from you because you make everything simple. When I listen to you, I’m convinced that I can do this as well.

    It’ also a reminder to get back to my membership sites.


  30. Sherm says:

    Aside for the great information and community, one of the biggest rasons I join a membershipo site is to keep me focused and motivated. Unlike a one-time product purchase, a membership that continues to drip new content keeps mt “eyes on the prize.”

  31. John Soares says:

    Robert, I’m one of the 2400-plus members of Third Tribe Marketing. I have multiple good reasons to be there, including networking with the other members, getting advice in the forums, and listening to the new audios.

    And you are right about the higher quality of folks inside a forum that costs money.

  32. One thing I’m looking for is more direct access with the expert. That may be regular Q&A teleseminars or webinars, or a message board. Regardless of how good a course or product is at explaining things, I always have questions to fully implement the teachings in my own business.
    Some type of access to the creator of the course/product is extremely valuable to me.

  33. I don’t buy many “learning” products these days. But I’ve bought a LOT in the past. The primary reasons I buy are:

    1. Time-saving technique. This may be one 10-minute portion of a 5 hour course. But if it saves me 10 minutes a day over the next year – well, I just bought myself 3 weeks! Soooo worth it!

    2. Connections – either with other participants, but in the early days, with the instructor. As a result of buying a LOT of materials AND applying them, asking questions and showing up (both mentally and in actual seminars, teleseminars and webinars), I became known. It was a technique I didn’t even realize I was using. But it has definitely paid off by knowing and being known by most of the major marketers.

    3. Observation – I’m an instructional designer by trade. So I love seeing how someone teaches the same concepts I do. I’ve had people call me and ask why I was signing up for their basic course – it was just to see HOW they presented the information. Was there a tip I could pick up that would make ME a better teacher?

    Those are my top three –


  34. Thomas says:

    Buy, buy, buy I say Why, Why, Why,
    indeed, to expand my scope of knowledge, hopefully to find some piece of information or knowledge that can make me more valuable to myself and others.
    It might seem like, you are chasing Green pastures, after chasing more green pasture, it is. You will finds it is the same basic green pasture just a little different flavor, so eat what you have now.
    That is where I am at now. Settling down in one of the fields and building.
    Still tech challenged, slow to get it, but I am still moving forward.

  35. For me, I guess it’s mainly after the Education, and also the Community. I want to learn how to be better, but also I want to network with like-minded people. Excellent post Robert 🙂

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