Simple sells
3 min read

Simple sells

Yo! Welcome to the next episode of The Content Strategy Reeder. If you want to share this newsletter with your friends, you can send them this link. I'd also be honored if you shared on LinkedIn. Here's an example from Thomas to make it easy.

Last week I shared some examples on... examples (so meta, dude).

This week I’m going to get tactical and show you how to create those examples.

Because when done correctly, examples will “sell” for you.

You sell all the time: your idea in a LinkedIn post, your content on a landing page, your CEO on why to give you more budget.

But most people think selling is about bragging or exaggerating. That usually means complex wording and over-the-top explanations.


Instead, keep it simple.  

Use simple words and tell simple truths.

Let’s break down an example.

I recently watched my 4th favorite movie of all time, There Will Be Blood.

In case you haven’t seen it, it follows Daniel Plainview (played by Daniel Day Lewis) as he creates an oil empire between 1900-1920.

The movie is phenomenal from front to back, but my favorite part is his sales pitch. To build his empire he travels city to city, offering to drill for oil on the community's land in exchange for part of the profits if he finds any.

His goal is to get permission to drill on their land (or buy it outright). Check out part of his pitch – I bolded a few key parts:

(Here’s the full video if interested - I recommend it):

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve traveled over half our state to get here this evening. I couldn’t get away sooner because my new well was coming in at Coyote Hills and I had to see about it.

That well is now flowing at two thousand barrels and it’s paying me an income of five thousand dollars a week. I have two others drilling and I have sixteen producing at Antelope. So Ladies and Gentlemen, if I say I’m an oil man, you will agree.

You have a great chance here, but bear in mind: you can lose it all if you’re not careful. Of all the men that beg for a chance to drill your lots, maybe one in twenty will be oil men; the rest will be speculators – men trying to get between you and the oil men – to get some of the money that ought by rights come to you.

Even if you find one that has money, and means to drill, he’ll maybe know nothing about drilling and he’ll have to hire out the job on contract – and then you’re depending on a contractor that’s tryin’ to rush the job through – so he can get another contract just as quick as he can. This is the way this works.

Notice he never brags or exaggerates.

He doesn’t say he’s trustworthy – he shows you he’s the real deal by telling you about his business, how fast it’s growing, and the profits it makes. He knows this cash flow will reel in his prospect.

He doesn't tell them he's their best option, he builds credibility by sharing something they don't know – the "vendor landscape."

He doesn’t bash his competitors – he explains exactly how the competition operates. By describing their faults objectively, he conveys the risk associated with not working with him, directly positioning himself as the clear best choice.

His word choice is also very simple. Plainview knows he needs to appeal to these people who may view him as a greedy businessman hoping to swindle them out of their land and money.

Winston Churchill summed up this concept perfectly: “Use simple words everyone knows, then everyone will understand.”

This is how you communicate clearly and persuade effectively.  

When writing examples for your content you don’t need to rely on big words or unrealistic promises.

Use real, concrete examples that your audience relates to. Pick something they’re seeing/doing/feeling every day.

If you learn how to tell simple truths in your content, your audience will trust you because they'll see themselves in your story.

Try it this week. You’ll instantly become more relatable and that will build your credibility.  

Holler at you next week,

PS: If you’re curious, here’s my top 5 movie list:

  1. The Godfather
  2. Kesari (worth reading the subtitles for folks like me who don’t speak Hindi).
  3. Lagaan (yep, another Bollywood movie)
  4. There Will Be Blood
  5. The Matrix