Apparently it was either Woodie Guthrie, Albert Einstein, or Confucius (or perhaps someone else entirely) who said…
“Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make it simple.”
I saw a video promotion today from one of the top financial publishers on the planet. And it was BRILLIANT in its presentation. I don’t know who the copywriter was (yet) but I passed my kudos on to the top dog I know in their copywriting department.
The video promised to share a moneymaking strategy so simple, they could go to anybody on the street, and in minutes, walk them through the simple steps. Within just a couple minutes, suddenly hundreds of dollars were showing up in the investment account.
I’ve been around the investment publishing world a bit. I recognized, in a moment, exactly what this strategy was. I’ve seen some pretty creative, compelling presentations of the strategy…
But what they did next, shocked me!
The video started inside the front door of this publisher’s office, in downtown Baltimore (any guesses?).
The “host” proceeded to explain the setup. They weren’t just going to tell you, “It’s so easy a total investment rookie can do it,” they decided to SHOW you.
If you’ve studied infomercials at all, you’ll recognize the use of “man on the street” in what they did next.
They headed out of the office, into the streets of Baltimore.
They stopped random people on the street.
And they offered them a simple proposition…
“If you’ll do what I tell you here, a big chunk of cash is going to show up in my bank account. Simply by following my directions, you will have made me as much as a couple hundred dollars. And for your help, I’ll give you HALF of what this makes me, in CASH, right now.”
Random people. The first of which (at least, in the edited video), was visibly computer illiterate. She had trouble getting the mouse to do what she wanted it to do.
The first two people said they had ZERO financial market experience. No experience buying and selling stocks. And certainly not with any advanced investing or trading strategies.
They were recording these people’s reactions, as well as what they were doing on the screen…
The first woman, within about four minutes (even with her computer struggles), had suddenly made over $200 “appear” in the host’s bank account.
You saw it for yourself — with the screen capture video.
And then, the host pulled out a wad of cash, counted out half of what this woman had just made “appear” in his bank account, and handed it to her.
He did the same thing, with an 18-year-old kid headed into Comic-Con, in costume. He sat down, and in under three minutes, he’d made almost $200 appear.
The third, the kicker!
Investors have a “hot button” that they want to at least believe that the strategy that they’re using is new and unheard of.
And so the host set up camp outside the offices of a prominent financial services firm. The kind of company many Americans rely on to hold their retirement accounts, and provide the “best” financial advice.
The host promised that even though this strategy is so simple and it can make cash show up in your investment and retirement account so fast, that the vast majority of financial professionals simply don’t know about it.
So he flagged down an employee of this big financial services firm, and sat him down in front of the laptop.
In two minutes, over $200 more in cash, into the account.
This guy — this seemingly competent, capable employee of a leading financial services firm — was visibly in shock.
The host asked if he’d ever seen the strategy before — he hadn’t.
This was such a compelling demonstration of this strategy, you don’t really need much else!
Now I warn you, if you watch this video, it will probably make you want to buy it.
I’ll go ahead and give you a link at the end of this email — click at your own risk!
It’s not my copy, and I don’t get compensated for sales. It’s just a a really, really strong use of demonstration for a product (a financial advisory publication) that is typically thought of as being very hard to demonstrate.
Which speaks to a bigger lesson, that’s been coming at me from many angles recently…
There’s incredible POWER in simplifying…
And here, I’m NOT talking about “behind the scenes.” I’m talking about the customer experience.
Whether we’re talking about your selling message — or the fundamental proposition of your business…
It’s all about making your customer’s life simpler.
The demonstration in that video was how simple it was to use this strategy to get fast cash deposits into your investment account.
In copy, simple language (as measured by a FK score of 7.5 or below) typically performs best.
(In college, I was lauded by professors for writing papers that were off-the-charts in terms of FK — papers whose messages were so obfuscated by supererogatory sinuosity that, in hindsight, I’m not even sure if I knew what I was talking about. But I sure thought I sounded like it!)
And in products, simplifying the user experience leads to huge winners. Think Google simplifying finding the world’s information. The iPhone simplifying the computing experience. The drive through simplifying fast food.
(In fact, my friend Perry Marshall is building an entire consulting business around finding SIMPLIFIER businesses. This letter — which I reviewed for Perry before launch — is all about businesses that simplify: http://simplify.fm/.)
Usually, it’s a dirty, complex process behind the scenes to make something simple…
Writing simple copy — until you get the hang of it — usually requires a lot of painful editing.
Showing simple demonstrations of that financial strategy required complex thinking and preparation to put together the video, and ultimately to come up with the strategy in the first place, and turn it into a service providing a string of recommendations.
Building the iPhone — and especially, designing the simple user interface — required some of the most forward-thinking, brilliant designers in the world.
Creating simplicity is hard, but it is rewarded beyond measure.
Regarding that video…
I’m an outsider looking in on this. I don’t know if it’s a winner or not. But I think it would be hard for it not to be.
Watch at your own risk…
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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