How to Use Market Psychology to Convince More People to Invest in Crypto
America is lagging in crypto adoption, and with inflation and economic uncertainty, americans need hope and help. They need crypto
Only one in ten people invest in cryptocurrency. So the question is: how do we convince the other nine?
Cryptocurrency is growing in popularity. With Bitcoin’s running of the bulls, the Bitcoin futures ETF on the market, and pending applications for backed BTC ETFs, the future is looking bright. And adoption in Canadian and E.U. markets of ETFs for months shows growing support globally.
Yet, the U.S. still lags behind.
According to a CNBC poll, only 11% of Americans say they invest in cryptocurrency.
And of that, 11%, 35% of adults (18–65+) invest in cryptocurrency because it’s exciting. In addition, 24% of poll respondents trade daily, while 34% trade weekly. And to be clear, when you get above people who are 65 and older, investing participation drops off steeply to 4%. So, the main focus here is young to middle-aged adults.
Now, when I read this, my first thought was, “they’re gambling.” And not because I believe they’re bad people. Most people are basically good. But we’re all susceptible to vice. We suffer most of our lives, and through that suffering, we gain benefits. But hell without reprieve is disastrous. And what I mean by that is life is a struggle, and it should be.
Because I have, and I’d argue you have, gained significant benefits from the struggles I’ve gone through and am going through in my life, I understand the benefit of delayed gratification. However, I still struggle from time to time.
Still, constant struggle without respite leads to burnout. So whether that’s physical such as sickness where the body breaks down from continuous function without a break, or mentally where maybe you don’t get enough sleep, that constant push against resistance will break you.
So, you seek ways to find pockets of refuge. For some of you, that’s your favorite T.V. series, a movie, or gaming. But, for some, that’s not enough. Some people need to up the ante on the risk/reward scale. So, gambling might be an option where the stakes aren’t numbers in a video game but real money with real consequences.
And that need comes about through the need to escalate the dopamine response for reward. And the point I’m getting to is that investing has all the same components as gambling. It’s not spoken about that way on a surface level because it’s bad for business. But broken down to the essential elements and how it affects the chemical responses in your brain, it’s the same. So your mind can’t tell the difference between gambling and investing.
Your mind uses symbols and patterns to recognize what actions and thoughts create what stimuli. That’s why, for example, those who watch their favorite team win a basketball game and those who play and win a basketball game experience similar chemical reactions in the brain.
It’s no different to the mind. The mind is experiential as far as data processing goes. So when your team wins, it’s as if you won because you’re part of the team.
Now, back to the point. The younger spectrum of age groups likely invests in crypto because of the dopamine response and similarity to gambling. And there’s something to be said for day-trading and investors who make money that way. It’s certainly viable. Yet, although CNBC’s data doesn’t mention if they polled investors who do it for a living, I’m guessing, based on their intent, they surveyed a varied group of Americans.
Because that’s what you’d want to get a diverse sampling and provide as close to an accurate statistical representation of the entire country as possible for your research.
So then we reach the part where we want to talk about marketing. But I felt it essential to bring up the previous train of thought because as salespeople and marketers, which we all are every day, we want to be effective and responsible.
So, how do you market cryptocurrency to a generation susceptible to addiction without contributing harm? What does healthy investing look like?
Well, while you’re not responsible for everyone’s actions, you can focus on selling the better aspects of long-term investing and, this is crucial, sell the consequences of habitual short-term investing.
And the best way to do that is through empathy.
Emphasize the problem of immediate gratification
Whether you’re talking to a friend, colleague, family member, or client, you need to have put in the work of laying out the most robust case for the long-term and the pitfalls of short-term investing. And understand, again, I’m not dismissing short-term investing. But I am talking about onboarding the other 9 out of 10 potential investors without appealing to the addictive properties of immediate gratification.
So, for example, do you have a personal story where immediate gratification hurt you or held you back in some way in your life? I’m betting you do. And that’s the angle to empathy. So let whoever you’re talking to know, “yes, I’ve been through the short-term fix and it doesn’t last.”
Tell them your story and make it detailed. Explain your feelings. That part couldn’t be more crucial. If you can convey how you felt to the person you’re talking to, and they say, “yes, yes, that’s what I felt,” you’re in.
Now you’ve begun to build trust. You aren’t some person trying to tell them what to do. No. You’ve become a like-minded mentor with a shared experience. How much more do you think they will consider your words?
Quite a damned bit, I’d wager.
So, you’ve presented the problem of immediate gratification. You’ve empathized with your counterpart or whoever you’re talking to. Now, you need to agitate. I’m sure you’re aware of PAS (problem, agitate, solution. It’s what I’m using to write this piece). That’s good because it’s time to prove that the short-term isn’t the best way to start investing in crypto.
And so, you lay it down.
Provide the proof of negative consequences with examples
This part of the conversation is where you can use the weaknesses or scary parts of investing in crypto to make your case — such as volatility. Show them how much more the market fluctuates compared to trad markets. Give example after example and hammer it home that while investors can make money short-term trading, they usually do it full-time. And if that’s their plan, great. But if they’re not at that point where they can quit their job and do it, then why the hell would they act like it? It doesn’t make sense.
However, there’s more of a chance the person you’re talking to isn’t full-time and is investing because they know, to some degree, it’s the way to make money or have their money work for them. So they want to reach the point of critical mass where their money starts making enough money so they can quit their 9–5.
So, you hit them with that. Why? Because they’re going to resist.
On a deep level, you’re making sense to them, right. Most people know what they need to do. However, the damned ego has a thing or two to say about it. And I remember these words from David Goggins. He’s a former Navy SEAL who had to go through BUD(s) training three times before he passed. BUD(s) training is a nightmare by design. To weed out candidates who aren’t cut out to be a SEAL. So, Goggins is relentless when it comes to going after his goals in life.
So he said, “there are two of us inside. And I don’t mean you’re crazy. But there are two voices. One that wants you to take it easy and play it safe. And the other voice that says, get the fuck up and do it.” And how I’m using that here as an example is the ego likes to be comfortable. It hates change that it doesn’t produce itself.
It’s like a scared wounded child that wants you to stay safe in the corner and never come out. But there’s another voice. There are many philosophies on what this voice is or even if it’s another voice at all. But for the sake of representation, you have the ego and the spirit. That’s what I’m calling it. Label it however you want.
The client’s ego will reject all the logical examples you’re laying out before them. But there’s another voice inside the person you’re speaking to that knows you’re right — the voice of the spirit. Hell, that voice has probably already spoken to the person many, many times. But the ego’s voice is louder — much louder.
That’s why you must make it abundantly clear how negative the outcome could be if your client stays on their current course of short-term investing. Tell them how it relates to gambling without outright making an accusation. You don’t want to create an adversary. But show them the losses and present cases.
Offer the solution of playing the long game
This point of the conversation is where you have to be careful. Because if you go too far, you’re pushing people away. Earlier, when I said hammer it home. Perhaps a better way of putting it would be to show an abundance of concern. You want them thinking, “why are they so adamant about this conversation? Why do they care?” And that’s because, in the end, they must be the ones to realize that long-term investing is healthier and better for them.
They must ask and answer the question you pose.
They won’t reach that conclusion during your conversation. And people won’t conclude it in front of you either. The ego is too embarrassed to allow it. So the battle between the spirit and the ego voice must happen throughout a person’s day. When the conclusion they draw seems to come naturally from all the data they’ve gathered.
Your job is to be the most compelling damned piece of data they’ve ever run across. And they may call, text, or message you and ask questions. And it may take them months before they change their mind. It might take longer. But that’s what makes a long-lasting sell — consistency, repetition, thoroughness, and empathy.
Because as much as it takes time and patience for them to change their minds, it takes the same from you to nurture the sale and the conversation. You’re convincing them to play the long game for their benefit. But it’s for your benefit too. Building relationships takes time. So, in the beginning, you’re not going to see immediate results. Your ego is constantly whining in your head about how you failed to convince them of your point of view. Or how you are wasting your time.
But your spirit knows the truth. Anything that comes to you quickly is by chance and isn’t worth putting merit into. It’s the long struggle that reaps the most benefits for human beings. And that’s true for every part of life. Whether it’s marketing, sales, or, let’s say, physical fitness, good things take time.
Only one in ten people invest in cryptocurrency. So, how do we convince the other nine? Whether you’re talking to your dad or a client. Cryptocurrency has a bright future, and the more people participate, the brighter it can be for all of us.
But people who invest in crypto now mostly do it for perceived quick gains and the rush of immediate gratification. We need to transmute that into a genuine sense that long-term investing is really where the real gratification lies.
It’s hard to see because of the ego, but through persistence, strong arguments, and empathy, you can win the long game of convincing someone that they can win with the long game too. It feeds upon itself. It’s a battle to knock the ego’s voice down and raise the volume on the spirit voice, but the rewards are long-lasting.
In so many examples throughout life, we all see the benefit of playing the long game, and it works. You know what you need to do, and so does your friend, colleague, family member, or client, so research. Please go out and present a strong case, empathize with your counterpart, show them the downsides of inaction, then show them the solution. Then, Wash, rinse, repeat.
They’ll benefit, and so will you.
Oh, one more thing, if you’d like to support my writing directly, you can do so by signing up to Medium through my link. When you do, part of your subscription goes to me.