The Weight Test: The Wrong Way to Measure Your Content’s Value

Imran Esmail Stories 0 Comments

The way you measure your content's value is all wrong. Let me tell you a story…

In 2009, I was working at Deloitte as a Accountant / Analyst with the Financial Advisory Group in Toronto. The group was fairly new and we had a mix of people from different backgrounds – consultants, accountants, bankruptcy experts and everything in between.

We struggled to find business – our formal title for the group was “Performance Enhancement” which was so nebulous – people didn't know what to hire us for, we would apply for every project that came across our desk that we thought we had a shot at.

So basically everything.

A typically week would have my boss come to my desk and ask me and another analyst to start putting together a powerpoint presentation (everything was done in powerpoint by the way) for a new prospect.

So we'd bust our ass for two weeks putting together this immaculate deck. I mean this f***ing deck was stacked – graphs, deep research into the subject matter, we would spare no expense and cover every detail.

Typical powerpoint presentations would come out at 100 pages or so.

So at the end of the two weeks, I'd hand this into my boss. He'd come back to my desk 20 minutes later and tell me:

Imran, your deck doesn't make our weight test. Go back and make it more meaty.Boss Who's Name I Don't Care to Remember

What is the weight test you ask?

We'll the senior staff had this theory that if you held a proposal in your hand – like balanced on top of your hand – and it didn't feel “heavy” then more slides needed to be added.

What. The. Fuck.

Our Collective Problem

Here's the problem with where we are today – there's too much random shit out there and not enough people solving problems.

Like my former boss, we feel like the more we put out there – doesn't matter what it is – eventually something will stick, someone will realize how brilliant we are and we'll have made it – yippie!

It's all a one way conversation and if we're not getting a response – the solution is to throw more stuff their way.

So two things to remember as you build your online content:

Have a Tight Focus

Out of the several proposals the client would get, I'd say at least one was dedicated exclusively to the problem the client was having. They could speak directly to the 5 issues the client was having and had tons of testimonials of successful fixes. We did not – because we weren't focused enough.

People can sense BS online now – they want solutions that take them all the way through their problem. They want results and will see through people that have not done their homework.

Do your homework, share freely and wait for people to come to you.

Have Multiple Touch-points

Corporations know how to schmooze their clients. Dinners, drinks, regular phone calls to catch up and just shoot the shit. At Deloitte, because we had so much going on – so many clients in different industries – we weren't able to develop that rapport that can take months or years.

People need to see and hear from you 4-5 times before they will even consider making a purchase. That is why retargeting, email lists and Facebook are so powerful if done correctly. One of the things I plan on teaching on this site is not just how to get engaged people but how to keep them coming back.

Imagine – 100 people read this article and 5 signup for email so I can stay in touch. What happens to the other 95 – I probably lose them forever unless I can setup another touchpoint with them on another platform.

It would be such a waste to put all the work to get their attention and then never hear back again. ;(


My goal with this website is to help you find your first business and leave your corporate job. Period. Having experienced some success I have great advice that I'd love to share with you.

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