The 5 Lightbulbs: A Messaging Framework for the Rest of Us


Messaging strategist Billy Broas has dedicated a lot of time and energy to understanding marketing messaging. His mission? To take everything he’s learned and make it accessible and useful to everyone else. That’s where the “5 Lightbulbs” come in. 

In his recent Traffic & Conversion Summit talk, Broas shared this easy yet effective framework for finding the perfect words to sell your products or services. 

Why You Need this Framework 

Before jumping into the 5 Lightbulbs framework, Broas addressed two primary reasons why it’s useful.

  1. It creates a common language that makes it easier for anyone to successfully use marketing to grow their business. 
  2. It’s a mold for producing high-converting marketing. Just answer a few questions to start churning out powerful copy that gets results. 

Get to know the Five Frameworks

Imagine that your customers are preparing to cross a dark bridge, but aren’t sure about the way forward. Each lightbulb in Broas’ framework illuminates a part of their journey. 

Another way to look at it? Think of the lightbulbs as categories of messaging. All you have to do is check a few boxes to turn on a lightbulb and move your customer further on their journey.

Lightbulb 1: The (Unacceptable) Status Quo

This lightbulb is all about empathy. The customer is currently in a state where they’re unhappy because they’re not where they want to be.

In order to spark action, you must show your audience why you understand them.

Lightbulb 1 writing prompt:  “We know it’s hard…”

Lightbulb 2: Other Things They’ve Tried

Your potential customers have tried other things to fix their problem without getting results.  That’s because they haven’t been trying the right things.

Lightbulb 2 shows customers where they should be looking instead and knocks down objectives to buying. 

Lightbulb 2 writing prompt: “You think your problem is X, but it’s really Y.” 

Lightbulb 3: Your Unique Mechanism

This is the “secret sauce” or active ingredient in your product. It’s not the product (that comes next). Rather, it’s the thing that makes the product work.

Lightbulb 3 writing prompt: “Here’s what really works when it comes to…”

Lightbulb 4: Your Offer

Most businesses ONLY focus on this part of the framework. This is important, but it’s not enough on its own. While the offer is about your products and services, the true selling point is the “unique mechanism.”

Lightbulb 4 writing prompt: “Here’s everything you get…” 

Lightbulb 5: Their New Life

Where do your customers want to be when they’re standing on that bridge in the dark? This final lightbulb paints a pleasing picture of life on the other side.

Even if you have the most amazing product, you can’t assume that your customers will automatically understand how it will change their lives. This lightbulb shows them. 

Lightbulb 5 writing prompt: “Oh the places you’ll go…”

One final tip from Broas? Testimonials are a great place to start when it comes to utilizing the 5 Lightbulbs framework.

If you look at your testimonials, you’ll see that most if not all of them correspond to Lightbulb 4. However, if you want to create a truly robust, comprehensive, and strategic sales argument, your testimonials need to address all five lightbulbs. 

Looking for more info on this transformative framework? Go here to download the 5 Lightbulbs One-Pager. 

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