If You Can Get Out Of Your Head, You’ll Stay Out of The Red (book#8)


So my wife is listening to the Rolling Stones with her headphones in, and she’s putting on a real show for her audience (me and the kids).

She’s doing the Mick Jagger dance. You know the one?

Well, like any good performer who’s giving it their all, she was not too impressed when her audience started pointing at her and bursting into fits of laughter.

“Hey, what’s so funny”, she yelps.

Me: (trying to get my words out through the laughter) “What kinda dance is that?”

Bec: “I’m doing the Mick Jagger dance!”

Me and the kids: “Hmn, OOkay then.” (followed by more laughter)

Funny stuff.

You see, in my wife’s head, what she was doing was “cool”.

But to the rest of us, who could not hear the music (she was wearing headphones), she just looked like a chicken scratching around for grain.

Well anyway, I bet you’re wondering if there’s a marketing lesson here, right?

Cuz, let’s be honest, the only reason you open my emails is so you can suck me dry of all my marketing and sales knowledge, am I right?

Sorry, did that sound a little snarky to you?

I must still be slightly agitated.

You see, before sitting down to write this, I had been setting up my LinkedIn profile. It took me well over an hour to do it. And I’m beginning to think it was a total waste of time. I mean, who am I kidding? That platform is far too “professional” for a maverick like me.

I tell ya, on LinkedIn I feel like a Hells Angel member at a church picnic.

Well anyway, I’ll stop running my yap about LinkedInI and get back to the task at hand, which is: giving you another one of my semi-famous marketing insights.

So here goes.

The ‘marketing insight’ to be gleaned from my wife’s pitiful Mick Jagger impersonation is this:

Most business owners are making the exact same mistake as my laydee.


They’re too much in their own heads!

You see, in most business owner’s heads, their product or service is the coolest thing ever. Yup, in the business owner’s mind, everything about their product or service makes perfect sense.

But to everyone else, it’s kinda confusing. In fact, it may even look downright silly.

You know, if you read some of the promotional emails some business owners spew out, you almost have to be telepathic. Because the words in their emails sure as hell don’t make it clear what their business offers.

Hey Kelvin, aren’t you referring to the curse of knowledge.

By golly, you’re right!

Yes, assuming your prospects and customers have the background knowledge to understand what you’re harping on about is a common sales killer.

A classic case of “curse of knowledge” is when you ask someone what they do for a living and they rattle off some obscure job title you’ve never heard of.

It happened to me recently.

I was at some party and I asked this guy what he did for a crust, and for the life of me, I still can’t remember the job title he gave me. All I remember is, whatever he said made my brain hurt. I then asked him for clarification to which he willing obliged. His elucidation confused me even more. I felt like a dog being shown a card trick.

I simply nodded like I was following everything this guy was saying and then exited stage left.

I tell ya, that dude could talk someone into a coma.

Now listen, if you always have to go into a lengthy explanation about your business after you’ve just explained your business…you have a bad case of the ‘curse of knowledge’.

Hey, I just typed ‘the curse of knowledge’ into Google and here’s what it spat out:

The Curse of Knowledge: a cognitive bias that occurs when an individual, communicating with other individuals, unknowingly assumes that the others have the background to understand.

In other words, the more familiar you are with something the harder it is to put yourself in the sneakers of someone who’s not familiar with that thing.

And for a marketer, that’s a real shituation.

Because if you can’t successfully (clearly) communicate to a prospect how your product or service is the solution to their problem, they ain’t buyin’.

You see, a solution (your product or service) that isn’t understood is not a solution.

OK, so how does one avoid writing incoherent emails that spring from a mind cursed with knowledge?

Well, it’s really quite elementary my dear Watson.

You stop assuming your subscribers know all your industries terms, concepts and other “insider” jargon.

You stop talking like a “professional” and start talking to your prospects in plain English.

You stop using flowery and pompous words.

You avoid abstract language and use more concrete language.

Steve Jobs understood the power of concrete language. When launching the iPod, Steve didn’t get up there in his black turtle neck, blue jeans and white sneakers (BTW, that was all concrete language) and just talk about small files and digital storage and transmission.


Here’s how Steve Jobs explained the iPod: “One thousand songs in your pocket”

Steve didn’t assume people understood the technical concepts. He made damn sure the average person could understand his product by using concrete language.
Here are a few examples of ‘abstract language’ versus ‘concrete language’:

* Abstract: Mp3 format Concrete: A thousand songs in your pocket.

* Abstract: Very powerful Concrete: A V12 Engine

* Abstract: 12 – 10 = 2  Concrete: 12 beers – 10 beers = 2 beers (or rat-assed)

Here’s one more:

* Abstract: The Maverick’s email methodology will make your email marketing extremely successful. Concrete: Buy The Maverick’s Playbook, read it, write a promotional email using the Maverick’s secrets, push send, make money!

P.S. Playbook will be ready in about two weeks.

That’s it. I’m done.


Email Marketing Maverick