“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.” – Pablo Picasso, Born Oct. 25, 1881.
We can all use a little more of Pablo's kind of art in our lives and businesses.
Are you getting bogged down on a project because of how you imagine it has to be?
Look at it. Break it into a list of pieces that NEED to be there for it to be functional at a minimum.
Eliminate everything else.
That is your new goal – your new definition of “done”.
All the stuff you cut? That stuff you loved and wanted because it was cool or cute or funny or clever – save it for future improvements IF the project PROVES a success when offered at the minimal functional level.
A lot of times, you'll find that you never needed that fat and fluff. What you needed was to trim it and distill it. Make it minimal and elegant and sharp in its simplicity.
And you can skip the wasted effort you would have spent “improving” something the audience doesn't feel is needed.
Instead, invest that into your next project, focusing only on what is strictly necessary.
Eliminate everything else.
That's the secret to speedy productivity.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I'm not saying to half-ass anything, or only ever put in a minimal effort. Be excellent. Just don't waste your time on unnecessary fluff that you don't really need to put your excellence on the market right now.
Think of Picasso, who had a famous “blue period” where all his works were done in shades of blue. It was all he could afford when it came to supplies. But he used the color blue like a master, making works of great skill and beauty, despite an incomplete palette.
It turns out that he didn’t NEED a dazzling array of color to express what he wanted to, and to please the audience for his work.
Minimalism in execution does NOT mean short-changing the work or the customer…
So: If you're waffling and wallowing in irrelevant details, and because of it, you're keeping your core awesome unique whatever-it-is away from people. Quit it. Get it out there.
Be arty like that. Be Picasso.
<!—- lagniappe Be Picasso. Tall order. Here are a few ways you can strip your info-product projects down to the bare bones. Note: This is mainly advice to the product creator who writes their own copy, but also works for copywriters wanting to get into making their own info-products, too. First, write the pitch first. Before you make anything. Figure out what people want to buy from you (your knowledge) and sell it to them. Package it up in a way that is appealing and deliverable as a single solution to a common problem. Go for an “alpha” version test with the public. If they like it, go farther if you want to. Or maybe they like it enough how it is. If they don’t like it, ask why and fix it, then go again. I create all of my products as live training events for the first time I sell them. After that, I sell the recordings. Zero advanced work. This “alpha” approach means the presentation is scaled way back. Graphics, design, layout, etc. all can be left off for the sake of simplicity. Use default settings. Focus on making the content excellent, and let that carry it. If people love the content, feel free to make the future version prettier for a mass market offering. But here, we are going “alpha” and that means your pitch is for the “advanced” market. This isn’t for newbies that need coddling. This is pro-to-pro for sophisticated audiences that can see the quality in the concept and content, and don’t care for polish. Don’t worry, newbies will also still buy it anyway so they don’t get left out. Anything “automated” can be left off. This is “alpha” version. If need be, deliver the download links one by one to people who pay with paypal or venmo or whatever. Like, if we are talking in the range of a hundred or so sales, it’s not that hard to send that many emails or direct messages, you know? Way easier than back in the day when you had to like, mail stuff. Advanced: solicit feedback. Do a Q&A thing where you answer all the FAQs and fill in any and all gaps you may have messed up on in the alpha version. Include that with the product recordings moving forward. Hell, call it a “bonus” if you want. That’s it. Do it this week. Sell one. That’s a start. If you’re already selling stuff, try this stripped down approach for your most loyal customers and you’ll be amazed at the LOVE it will bring you. —->
1 thought on “Distill Your Offer Down To Its Essence (By Boiling Away The Unnecessary)”
Thanks again Colin. Love this. Your whole mindset and approach is helping me break the old ossified way of thinking about sales, marketing and content creation. Don’t worry about polish when the ideas and inspiration are there – and people are enjoying and benefiting from what you do. Inspired me to crack on and get my next product out there. Really appreciated!