Today I want to talk about Hotmart and other technology providers.
The 3 levels of dependence of a technological partner
Our online business will always have technological needs that will evolve over time and to which we will have no choice but to adapt.
Technology partners are another part of our digital business. That’s how it is.
Now, be careful because not everything is worth it. There can also be bad companies here.
When hiring any provider it is essential to evaluate the service, the price and the level of dependency that it supposes for your business. The problem is that the latter, as it only appears in the fine print, is something that almost always goes unnoticed.
I differentiate three different states of dependency, each one with its advantages and also with its risks. I will explain what each of them consists of.
Low level of dependency
This is the ideal level. Your technological partner provides you with a service, without having to intervene too much in your company. You have total flexibility, to such an extent that you practically do not remember or that it exists, unless some problem arises.
To understand it better, think about a hosting provider.
Average level of dependency
Here things are starting to get complicated.
I speak of an average level of dependence on your technological partner when you continue to maintain control over your business, but there are difficulties in changing suppliers.
Let’s go back to an example. A platform of this type would be Teachable.
In this case, you can upload the materials of your course and manage them yourself, but what would happen if there was a problem and you need to migrate to another solution?
The truth is that there are not many of this type, so it would surely be expensive to make the transfer.
In any case, it continues to be an acceptable level of dependence.
High level of dependence
This is the red line that you should never cross if you want to remain a free entrepreneur.
“The greater the dependency with your technology provider, the lower your flexibility.”
The solutions that are included in this group almost always offer a 360º service. They give you everything in exchange for, supposedly, a small commission.
Platforms like Hotmart, Udemy or Amazon would be good examples. All of them provide a valuable online service and remove many technological headaches, but they invoice for you.
You do not sell. They do it for you.
And, now tell me, if you do not control sales or customers, who are the soul of an entrepreneurial project, are you still the owner of your own business?
The answer is clearly no.
Hotmart and the fine print that you do not read
Probably not, me neither.
When the fine print arrives, the mouse moves almost alone and accept!
Without realizing it, you are likely to sell your soul to the devil. You will not know what you have consented to or in exchange for what. And, surely, at some point it will end up happening invoice.
An example about the aforementioned is Hotmart. I’m going to tell you what you really accept when you sell your courses with them and at what price.
Your courses are not just your courses
Once you enter the Hotmart universe, the content becomes the platform.
You voluntarily assign those rights “for all purposes and legal effects, free, irrevocable, irretractable and non-exclusive, for the period in which the CONTENT is registered in the HOTMART PLATFORM”.
But there is still more…
Your leads are not just your leads anymore
When you work with Hotmart, as a producer or as an affiliate, all those contacts that you generate during the launch will also become their property.
It is important that you know and expressly accept that HOTMART collect, receive and store Personal Data and information automatically on their servers regarding the resulting activities of the user’s browser, which includes geolocation, IP addresses, cookies or other sequences of identifying characters, as well as information about the transactions carried out through the platform.
And why do they want those leads?
The information that the platform feeds thanks to its thousands of users is used to:
- Being able to provide the service adequately.
- Promote communication among users (producers, affiliates and buyers).
And attention to the last three points (textual words):
- Carry out analyzes and studies related to the behavior, interests and demographic data of the users, in order to understand their demands and needs and be able to provide more adequate, effective and interesting services, improving the usability experience of the HOTMART tools;
- Perfecting our commercial and marketing strategies with the aim of improving the services offered;
- Send messages to Users with information about products, services, advertising, promotions, banners and HOTMART news.
In other words, they use your leads to sell more of their own product. That is the real benefit that Hotmart and other platforms of this type such as Udemy or Amazon get when they provide their service.
You pay for this 360º service and not only economically. You also do it with your content and your leads.
Your business is no longer your business
At this point you are sold.
Not only because you have lost control of your content and your leads, but also because once you agree to work with Hotmart you also accept exclusivity. You have fallen into the trap.
Your contract with them forces you to market the content of your course only in Hotmart. You will not be able to use any other platform for it.
Of course, if something went wrong with a client and it was necessary to incur in a judicial process, you would be solely responsible for the content of the course and the economic costs involved in that process.
Find a model that minimizes your risks and generates value in the entrepreneurial ecosystem
When you have such a high dependency on a technological provider of this type, you can imagine that the risks multiply.
- How will you manage quality control if the content is not in your hands?
- What would happen if that provider stopped working from one day to the next?
- What if, over time, the solution will increase your commissions?
- What would happen if a technological error ruined your entire launch?
The conclusion is clear:
The biggest risk of completely relying on a technology provider is that you lose control over your own business.
However, beyond this, there is another drawback that I have not commented so far and that has been one of the key reasons to stop working with Hotmart.
These types of companies do not generate value in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The model in which I believe is not this one. Here all the benefit falls on a large company that becomes large at our expense, while the work of small freelancers and infoproducers is reduced.
Honestly, it is something that goes against my values and those of my team.
Instead, what do I propose?
“Build your own assets and ask for help from other digital entrepreneurs like you. Grow this ecosystem.”
Hope this post has been interesting for you and looking forward to your comments and recommendations.