“Two important characteristics of maps should be noticed. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.” – Alfred Korzybski, Born Jun. 3, 1879.
Consider that the human mind is basically a really detailed map of the universe you live in.
You have memories and beliefs and guesses all coming together to create a simulation – a model of the world around you.
We use this model to make plans and predictions about how we should behave in the real world to achieve certain goals.
Now, a multitude of human woe comes from the fact that people with INCOMPLETE or INACCURATE maps will make BAD choices and decisions. They might have SEEMED like a good idea based on the “map” being used to make the plan…
But the map is NOT the territory.
So what are we, o cultists?
When we aim to persuade another person to take an action, we are essentially map-makers.
Depending on the situation, we may be persuading them to edit their existing map to one that better suits our ends. Or perhaps we are providing them a new map for an unfamiliar territory they've never explored.
You can use this metaphor to create informational products that people will want to buy. Maps like these can lead people from their current situation to one they find more desirable. You take a complex territory and reduce it down to only the key landmarks and choices that are needed to reach the target outcome/destination.
But you can then create a map to your map…
Your sales message is a map that leads from a problem to a solution. From pain to relief. From non-ownership to possession of the cure for all their troubles.
What are the waypoints between being unfamiliar with your offer, and being well versed enough in it to be convinced that they need to accept it urgently?
And then you can create a map to the map that leads to your map…
By creating content that leads people from a steady state of ennui and acceptance, to a state of agitation and discomfort. You can lead them from a state they've settled for, to a state that will not settle for the status quo anymore.
Between where your mark is, and where you want them to be, there is a wilderness, So work on your cartography, metaphorically speaking.
<!—- lagniappe Here’s how you can implement this strategic idea on a tactical level: Map making in copy is about focus. A map doesn’t have every little detail that exists in reality. It includes only the key information needed to get people from one place to another. So that’s what we do. Using words, you paint a picture of their current situation that highlights the factors that will lead to a decision, and blurs out the aspects that would confuse or complicate that decision. So as I usually recommend, this process starts with a list. Make a list of the things the prospect NEEDS to make this decision. And make another list of the things that would prevent, or complicate the things on that first list. This gives YOU a “map” of the objections you will have to create paths around, over, or through. The next part is to make a list of all the things that make indecision impossible. Why is it unacceptable to ignore the problem and do nothing? What will happen? What consequences are there for inaction? Ripples widen the effect of the problem, and dominos make it worsen over time. Now we are ready. Your job is to make the map so it is untenable to stay put, easiest to follow the path you've laid out for them, and leads them to an endpoint they feel is better than where they started. How do you make your map appealing? With shortcuts. With roadblocks clearly marked to be avoided. With fun sights to see along the way. And in the case of competition for the attention of the market, remember. The map is NOT the territory. You don't need a superior product or service. You don't need to outwork your rivals. You just need a superior map that your prospect finds more compelling to follow. The story of WHY they buy from you can be even more important than WHAT they are buying. And the answer to “why” is because you made it look like a fun trip to take. —->