conventional wisdom in messaging

also: homepage mistakes, levels of buying decisions, and the "dumb zone"


Last week, I published a plea for help to find a PMM role for a friend. (Yes, I am the friend.)

Conventional wisdom says posts like this make you look desperate, which I was afraid to channel publicly.

But the amount of support I’ve received from the friends I made on LinkedIn dwarfed my wildest best-case expectations.

I was not prepared for the level of support that single post received

I’m still looking, but I’ve received more inbound requests about my services than I have in the entire Q1, so it’s safe to say conventional wisdom was proven wrong this time.

Meh conventional wisdom

This made me think about all the conventional wisdom in marketing and messaging that some of us don’t know better than to believe.

I like the way Anna Ursin explored some of them on LinkedIn recently.

E.g. most people’s first instinct is to quantify at least something about their ICP — X amount of employees, Y million in ARR, Z million in funding, etc.

But should you default to that? Anna doesn’t think so.

I consider this a mechanism for coping with not knowing enough about the ICP — slapping a “Y million in ARR“ sticker onto the ICP definition packs more of a punch in a slide deck, makes us look like we really know what we’re talking about, and—most of all—helps us sleep better at night knowing that we’re being very specific with your ICP.

But “specific” doesn’t mean “intentional” — and “vague but intentional“ beats “random but specific“ any day of the week.

So when you’re filling out a value prop canvas, challenge yourself to avoid any and all numbers unless you absolutely know the answers to these questions:

  1. Why should this be a number at all?

  2. Why this number?

Do report back, I’m genuinely curious how it’ll work for you.

Things I found for you

Meme of the week