I believe that one of the biggest problems with the way in which information products in the Internet Marketing niche particularly are currently being delivered, is that basically you receive far too much information in one BIG chunk, leading for the most part to complete Information overload!
I’m sure you’ve purchased products which include volumes of PDFs and hours and hours of videos.
Nowadays it seems as though the general rule of thumb is that in order to give purchasers the best possible value for money, the product has to contain vast quantities of information.
But come on, be honest, how do you feel when you’re faced with multiple PDFs together with 20+ hours of video footage and another 10+ hours of audio interviews – and that’s not including the bonuses…!!
You’ve lost the will to live before you’ve even finished downloading the product!
So then you go ahead and open it up and the first thing you think is OMG – I’m going to be up all night (for the next year or so!) Seriously though, you get completely overwhelmed and not only do you not take the recommended action, but you probably don’t even get past the 3rd video!
I have no doubt that the value is in there – for anyone who has hours and hours to spare.
Believe me this is not a dig at the many sincere and hard working internet marketers who put their heart and soul into their products, genuinely concerned to provide their subscribers with the best possible value by making sure that they cover absolutely everything – A to Z – and also of course to ensure that potential customers don’t feel as though they’ve been short changed.
But the simple fact of the matter is that nine times out of ten – it’s just TOO MUCH!
Trying to process too much information at once
And not only that, trying to process too much information at once – leading to information overload – can actually be harmful to your health.
The International Stress Management Association’s David Lewis coined the phrase ‘Information Fatigue Syndrome’
Psychologist Dr David Lewis states “We’re often seeing a failure of concentration. We’re seeing a loss of motivation, loss of morale. We’re seeing greater irritability.”
Author David Shenk, looking at psychological studies covering a period of 30 years, has come up with a list of symptoms which can manifest as a result of information overload:
- Increase in blood pressure causing heightened cardiovascular stress
- Deteriorating vision (from a Japanese study which has forecast an almost global near-sightedness in the near future.
- Frustration and confusion created by the feelings of helplessness when faced with a barrage of information.
- Increased self-doubt when making decisions, sometimes leading to a complete paralysis when forced to make important choices.
- Reduced efficiency in the work place.
- A feeling of overconfidence created by impaired judgement
- Decreased ability to operate with compassion towards others
- Difficulty in functioning within the family environment with personal relationships suffering.
Even if you dismiss the dangers of ‘Information Fatigue Syndrome’, it is true to say that to get the most out of any learning environment, the majority of people need to completely understand one instruction before they move on to the next – most of us are simply unable to digest too many instructions in one chunk.
The best way to avoid information overload and optimize the learning experience, is to distribute content in bite-size lessons delivered sequentially over a period of time. This way your brain gets only a small chunk of actionable content to digest at any one time and you are consequently able to FULLY understand and take the necessary action before the next lesson arrives.
And the easiest method to deliver this bite-sized actionable content? In my opinion, via email!
It’s both simple and easily accessible, giving the end user the unaccustomed feeling that they might actually be able to understand and follow the actions because they’re not trying to ‘cram down a week’s worth of food in one sitting!’
By just having one bite sized lesson to consume in one sitting, you can focus all your attention on that one specific piece of actionable content – only moving on to the next piece of the puzzle when you’re completely ready.
Of course it’s important to give customers value for money but ask yourself – how many courses have you got gathering dust on your hard drive because they simply took you too long to figure out?!
Value can be perceived in different ways, but the two most important things to consider are:
- The learning experience and the feeling of achievement at the end of a course SUCCESSFULLY completed.
- The ability to actually assimilate the information and, even more importantly, PUT IT INTO PRACTICE
In the internet marketing world, this really can mean the difference between success and failure.