Vitale’s “Hypnotic Writing” Chapters 6-8

Welcome back to our book club reading Joe Vitale’s Hypnotic Writing.

Chapter 6 is about the hypnotic writing that Agatha Christie used. Evidently they did a study on her because her books sold a measly 2 billion copies. Not like that’s a world record or …oh, it is? Yes, according to Guiness Book of Records. They complied all her books to figure out what made them so compelling and found words that are often used in hypnotic inductions. Words like “she, yes, girl, kind, smiled and suddenly.”

The conclusion of the study was that certain words and phrases set off the pleasure centers in our brains. Use them and you too can be a compelling writer. Some other words Joe suggests are “wonder”, “imagine” and “story.” If you want contemporary examples of compelling writing, check out the Harry Potter series or The DiVinci Code.

At it’s core, Chapter 7 is about translating features into benefits. Joe does it in lively fashion though by starting with a paragraph in Italian. Joe could have used any banal phrase to make his point but instead, he uses an NLP technique called the quotes pattern or speaking in quotes. He not once says this is actually what he’s saying to you but notice the effect the following paragraph has on you:

I’m about to tell you my million-dollar secret for writing sales copy. This is something I’ve never told anyone else in the entire world. I’ll tell you right now, if you promise to keep this a secret. Agreed?

Like I said, he only says that’s the translation to the paragraph that was in Italian. Doing it that way, he doesn’t have to vouch for what’s actually being translated. Another way to do it is to quote someone else. The effect is the same. We have a tendency not to notice that the words were meant for a different context and take them at face value.

Another easy example of Joe’s point was in a brochure he rewrote for a company. In their brochure, they had, “When was the last time you felt okay?” Instead of just okay, Joe changed it to read, “When was the last time you felt fantastic?” Again, it all depends on the audience and the context, but you get the point. There’s a substantial emotional difference between feeling okay and feeling fantastic.

The overriding point of these two chapters is to realize that hypnotic writing is compelling, emotional writing. It’s not necessarily a sob story, but little tics along the way add up to a big feeling by the end.

Chapter 8 is a quick story about a guy who sent Joe a terrible joint venture request. It started out good by sending it in a Fedex package and attaching a $20 bill. But then he goes on to say he needs to buy a motorcycle, he’s broke and he’s on vacation and wants to make some extra money. He wants to do this JV by emailing Joe’s list and charging a huge retainer for marketing services which is what Joe already does.

There’s no benefit for Joe in this exept the guy offered to give him half the profits. That’s no incentive really though because he’d be damaging his relationship with his list by recommending this unknown guy who obviously doesn’t know how to speak to his audience himself. This chapter was intended to tell us how NOT to write hypnotically.

Stay tuned for next time when we start with Chapter 9, “What Is Hypnotic Writing?”

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