There are two types of funny:
“Funny because it’s true” and “Funny because that almost never happens”.
This tweet I saw today is a prime example of the former:
“Today, I got a big math test back.
Good news: I can connect abstract ideas beyond what was taught.
Bad news: I can’t do simple math, such as 30/-5.
When I read that tweet, here is the scene that played in the movie theatre of my overactive imagination:
13-year old Alp with huge glasses, furiously writing out a mathematical proof on a blackboard.
“… I must therefore conclude that, given some quantity of energy, it can be equated to the product of mass and the speed of light raised to the second power. In other words, E=mc².
Anyway, back to the original question: 30/–5 = purple.”
My archnemesis from the second row says:
“I got Greece.”
Alp: “I think you forgot to carry the 1.”
Yes, I’m prone to daydreaming.
Especially when I’m avoiding admin like filling out tax returns.
But back in the land of real business, this little daydream has practical implications.
It’s a parable for how most business owners approach their marketing.
They’re great at the complicated stuff - like webinars, selling in person, or giving podcast interviews about their business.
But they can’t do basic math.
In the context of marketing, basic math is turning the amorphous m(e)ss of what your product/service does into ONE tangible promise.
Most normal people struggle with this.
Either the promise is too vague and wishy washy…
Or it’s about what people NEED (vs what they WANT)...
Or the product promise is all over the place (because the product/service delivers multiple benefits and they can’t decide which one should be the primary promise)...
You know this is you If you’ve ever had a potential buyer say, “I don’t really understand what you’re selling”.
Another litmus test to see if you’re suffering from this problem:
You take an offering that you think is absolutely amazing and you show it to potential buyers. Then those buyers say “No, that’s not what I want.”
It’s exactly what they need to solve their problem, so why the F* (with a capital F) can’t they see that?!
The product promise is wrong or unclear or boring, so your potential buyer’s gut reaction is “I don’t care about this.”
Distilling your product/service into one tangible, primary promise should be the first marketing skill you conquer, because you can’t put lipstick on a pig.
No amount of good copywriting can save a bad offer.
And a good offer is mainly about nailing the right promise.
The best way to master this skill is to practice it in the context of opt-in offers because (a) it’s easier and (b) the right opt-in offer gets the right buyers in through the door.Once you master the opt-in promise, you can carry it forward to all your other marketing materials like sales page, webinars, and emails.