Marin pulled out his phone, “Here, look at this.”
Up came a picture of a diamond the size of a baseball.
“This is a $56-million diamond. It’s from a diamond exchange I’ve helped over the years.
“Do you want to visit their vault? I can set up a personal tour of the exchange. They’ll let you hold $100-million worth of diamonds in your hands.”
Jami & I were having dinner with Marin Katusa & Marin Svorinic (MK & MS).
They run Katusa Research. It’s easily the most unique financial publishing company in the industry.
MK also showed us a picture of one of his original Michelangelo pieces. (Yes, as in the guy who painted the naked people on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel).
A couple weeks after our dinner MK sent two emails to his readers.
The email detailed a deal he’d put together to invest in a uranium company.
Not exactly a hot sector.
Yet those two emails generated so much investor interest the company raised around $40 million.
Yes, $40 million of direct investment.
The company was only looking to raise $20 million.
But Marin’s readership base oversubscribed the deal by double.
In terms of its ability to generate investment, Katusa Research publishes the most successful private placement newsletter on the planet.
Marin pioneered the private placement newsletter back in 2005.
But Marin doesn’t just “cover” private investments.
He’ll often write the lead order on the deal.
And put $5 million into the deal himself.
In other words, he’s not simply an analyst covering an industry.
He is in the industry.
He is a deal maker.
He is the real deal.
Why does that matter?
Marin is real.
His readers love him because of that.
And because of his success rate.
He has been helping his subscribers get into private investments long before private markets became the rage it is today.
And private investments are absolutely the rage right now.
$3 trillion has flowed into just 8,300 private equity and venture capital funds over the past ten years.
Think about that.
The trend toward private market investing has been bigger than the crypto and cannabis booms combined.
And Marin anticipated the trend in 2005 when he launched the original private placement investment newsletter.
A few months ago, I was talking to Mike Ward, publisher of Money Map Press, consistently one of the largest financial publishers in the industry.
We were talking about the launch of their cannabis franchise.
They brought in John Boehner, former Speaker of the House, to be part of their launch promotion.
Boehner had specific, relevant credibility on cannabis.
As Speaker he was leader of the principal opponents to legalization.
But he changed his mind.
And joined the board of a cannabis company.
Mike pointed out that when you have real, credible stories like that you don’t need a wildly creative copywriter.
Notice the subhead: Countdown to legalization.
Boehner’s credibility would NOT help nearly as much if the promotion simply talked about the potential gains in cannabis.
Instead if focused on the potential catalyst of cannabis legalization.
Where Boehner’s specific credibility was strongest.
His credibility also creates a halo effect extending to the publication.
The publication must be a very mainstream pub in order to for a former Speaker of the House to be involved.
Money Map Press also launched Angels & Entrepreneurs this past year.
It is focused entirely on angel investing and private placements.
It quickly become one of the fastest growing franchises in the industry.
Who is the face of the advertising campaign?
Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank. A show built around angel investing.
His celebrity and credibility are pitch perfect for a product around angel investing.
Again, he’s real.
The copywriter didn’t have to stretch the story. Didn’t have to exaggerate his credibility.
Here is a crazy example to illustrate how increasing credibility changes your promotional & product opportunities
Imagine if you tried to create a “how to become a billionaire” training program.
The sale is literally impossible to make unless you create credibility.
Otherwise you end up with something like this:
Contrast that with this (made up) but dramatically more credible concept.
Notice the promise & benefit is essentially the same in both examples.
“Become a billionaire”.
In the first example the promise is completely unbelievable.
No one believes a 42-yr old Walmart greeter living in his mom’s basement can teach you to be a billionaire.
On the other hand, Warren Buffet & Bill Gates are two of the most recognizable billionaires on the planet.
If they got together and decided to create a billionaire incubator it the benefit and promise feels real.
It feels possible.
That’s what credibility does in a promotion.
And if you did have Buffett and Gates putting a product like that together what do you think you could charge?
People have paid $4.57 million just to go to lunch with Warren Buffett.
Buffett & Gates’ credibility creates entirely new product opportunity and promotional opportunity.
Their credibility allows for a publisher to create an entirely different type of business.
This is why one of the big trends in the industry is the up-leveling of editors.
Would a billionaire ever want to face an investment newsletter?
And how would you get someone like that to work with you?
Funny you should ask. I talked about just that in this article a couple of weeks ago.
In an upcoming issue of FML Insights I’ll share ways for your existing editors to up-level their credibility.