Author Archives: Louis

Knowing and Doing

In planning for an upcoming Toastmasters conference, I’ve met a number of NLP trainers.

The idea was to get speakers who could deliver some real value to our members. I know NLP can do that.

After listening to 3 different NLP trainers, only one seemed suitable for our conference. It turns out he happened to be a Toastmaster too and I didn’t know it. The others could use Toastmasters as their speaking abilities left much to be desired.

That got a conversation going with a friend… why is it that many folks in the NLP or hypnosis community don’t lead enviable lives? Even without meeting everyone it’s obvious they weren’t all in the top of health.

For some reason there seems to be a disconnect between knowing and doing. Some of these guys (Richard Bandler included) know NLP backwards and forwards but you look at them and think they must not be practicing what they preach.

It was Mark Twain who said, "The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them." It also seems true that the man who doesn’t apply what he learns has no advantage over the man who can’t learn.

As with all things, you must apply what you learn. NLP is no exception.

Have you noticed NLP is everywhere?

Some people might be concerned that deliberately using NLP in their marketing might be too manipulative.

The simple fact of the matter is that NLP is an organized way of describing all communication that goes on between people.

Take presuppositions for example. Presuppositions are things that have to be true for your communication to make sense.

If you walk up to someone, stick out your hand and say "hi," that belies several presuppositions. You’re assuming they can hear, they can talk, they speak your language, and that they’re familiar enough with local customs to know you’re greeting them.

When we call something NLP marketing or copywriting, it’s because we’re deliberately layering on additional presuppositions. The mind can only keep track of about 7 chunks of information at a time so anything over that goes unfiltered to the subconscious.

Say you want to tell the world you have a really quiet car. You could just say that and hope people believe you. You could tell them that you can’t hear the engine even at speeds of 60 miles per hour. "Yeah right," they’ll say.

So instead you wrap it up in a presuppositions and it comes out this way:

"At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock."

Some of the presuppositions I notice are:

  • It has an electric clock
  • The electric clock makes noise
  • It’s louder than any other noise in the car
  • It’s a new model of car
  • It’s a Rolls-Royce so it’s luxury
  • It can go 60 miles an hour
  • It’s a very quiet car

After reading that headline, what’s your response? Do you argue with any of the presuppositions? Or do you want to take a test drive and compare noises with the electric clock?

Presuppositions are all around us. NLP makes a study of using them elegantly.

How many presuppositions did you notice in the title of this blog?

What other NLP patterns are we regularly using… perhaps without realizing?

Get Keywords in Your Anchor Text

Steven Lohrenz recently posted on getting content rich backlinks .

It wouldn’t have caught my eye except a reader recently posted a comment and had "NLP" as their name. I thought that was strange but didn’t think much of it until I saw Steven’s explanation.

The deal is that you upload two plugins and then people can get their keywords in their anchor text. That helps their SEO since they’ll have links with their keywords included.

It’s a good idea now that I get it and I’ve installed it too. Feel free to get your keywords in your comments from now on too. So if "NLP" wants to comment again, you can use a name now. 🙂

The two plugins are KeywordLuv and DoFollow .

PS. When I went to look for a trackback address, I saw a commenter on Steven’s site that linked to a subscribe to comments plugin. So now that’s installed too. If you comment you can subscribe and see who replies to that post too.

Stories and Therapeutic Metaphors

Most marketers know that stories are one of the best ways to draw people in.

In NLP, stories are much more complex and known as therapeutic metaphors. Now that I’ve pointed that out, you may be wondering what the difference is.

Stories are often used to create internal movies in the reader that convey certain emotions or have a particular moral.

Therapeutic metaphors work with existing internal movies and help people get from where they are to where they want to be. They can be layered with NLP patterns on many layers. They could easily contain 50 patterns with the conscious mind being aware of no more than 7. The rest slip through without resistance.

If you’re wondering how this applies to marketing, consider the possibilities: you can use quotes patterns, embed commands, preempt objections and use all sorts of other patterns that you’d have to conceal more elegantly outside a story. Some winning sales letters are nothing more than one long therapeutic metaphor.

So rather than simply getting a reader to empathize with your story, a Therapeutic Metaphor can pace and lead a reader to where you’d like to take him. And since everyone loves a good story, he’ll enjoy it along the way.

If you’d like to learn how to write your own Therapeutic Metaphors for use in your marketing (along with guided practice), sign up for my course Be a Hypnotic Writer . The first lesson is free:

[Update: The first lesson isn’t free anymore. Sorry.]

[Update: Just kidding. It’s free again.]

All the Jobs I’ve Had

This post doesn’t pertain to NLP or marketing per se.

I was preparing for a speech I gave at my Toastmasters meeting yesterday. I started to make a list of all the jobs or businesses I’ve had that I’ve been compensated for one way or another.

Since this list is so long, I’ll bold the ones that I held for one year or longer. There’s too many for me to try to order them chronologically. Some I can’t remember when I started or stopped exactly.

The total count comes to 43 though I lumped several of the same things together (ie. pizza delivery for different companies or temporary clerical work).

  1. Produce clerk
  2. Deli clerk
  3. Loss prevention
  4. Mover
  5. Courier
  6. Sacker
  7. Vending route owner
  8. Knife salesman (Cutco)
  9. Restaurant cook (Owens Family Restaurant)
  10. Phone book delivery
  11. Pizza delivery (3 different companies)
  12. Carpet cleaning
  13. YMCA after school care
  14. B2B lead generation
  15. Car salesman
  16. Realtor – 3 years
  17. House cleaning
  18. Scored standardized test essays
  19. Misc clerical temp work
  20. Lawn care
  21. Army Airborne Medic – 1 year
  22. Texas Army National Guard – officer candidate – 2 years
  23. Substitute teacher – all subjects and ages
  24. Clinical trial participant
  25. Home remodeling
  26. House sitting
  27. Middle school math teacher (a year when including subbing)
  28. Proofreader – textbooks and paperbacks
  29. Fact checker
  30. Soccer coach
  31. Telemarketing
  32. XBox 360 technical support
  33. Satellite TV service sales
  34. Yahoo classified ads sales
  35. Ghost writing articles and blog posts (not paid)
  36. Created several websites (including this one)
  37. Insurance sales
  38. Network marketing – 2 different companies
  39. Church college staff
  40. Copywriter – part time since 2006
  41. Self published author (not paid)
  42. Online entrepreneur – including this site
  43. Marketing consultant

Testing Bullets

I was pleasantly surprised to see the results of James Brausch’s testing on bullets versus paragraphs.

I’ve often felt that leading with bullets intuitively felt more appropriate. Clayton Makepeace often does it and it makes a lot of sense. Check out this sales letter he has up. After you read the headline, you can read some bullets and really decide whether you want to plow through the long copy or not. Of course long versus short copy is a different discussion.

Since Clayton does it and James has verified it usually converts better through multivariate testing, you might think there’s nothing more to say about it, right? Well…

What if in addition to testing feature, benefit, or nothingness bullets as James recommends, you also tested an NLP pattern? You’d figure out what kinds of patterns converted better for your particular market. You’d also begin to figure out how elegant you need to be.

One copywriter insists that you can use the equivalent of BUY NOW type embedded commands and get results. So test it. I don’t recommend testing something that obvious but you can sure calibrate it down until the conversion rate starts to turn against you.

You’re free! You’re free! Run wild… free from the shackles of paragraphs. 🙂

The first lesson

As I mentioned previously, I’m converting my video into a series of lessons.

The first lesson is now available for download. I’m going to go back and reformat it so that it has a title page, table of contents, copyright, etc, but the content of the lesson will be the same.

In the meantime, I’ve posted that the first lesson is free in several forums. Here’s more or less what I post:

I’m creating a course on becoming a hypnotic writer. I’m giving away the first lesson and would appreciate any feedback… testimonials or suggestions for improvement.

Here are some overall benefits for the whole course so you can see if it’s worth your time.

  • Acquire readers’ good will through calculated ordering of words
  • Allow prospects to lower your resistance while accepting the message unconsciously
  • Implant subliminal commands directing readers to a predetermined outcome
  • Compel prospects to resist misdirected words as the real message is received
  • Distort time and perception… adjusting readers’ desired frame of mind
  • Bottom line: increasing conversions, winning more sales and lowering return rates leading to…
  • More readers buying the results they want = more money = more overall happiness for all parties involved.

It’s a mix of brief, clear explanations and challenging practice exercises. If you realize you want the rest of it, instructions are at the end of the free lesson. Also, for reference, I’m a Certified NLP Copywriter (by Harlan Kilstein) and have since studied many of the original source material books and seminars. I’m incorporating all I’ve learned about NLP into a 12 lesson course delivered once a week.

After blogging on NLP Copywriting for a while I had folks commenting that there wasn’t a good way available to learn it. Most of the original materials are hard to find and harder to understand. I’ve been both a soccer coach and a middle school math teacher so I’m comfortable breaking things down into simpler components and creating exercises.

Harlan may teach NLP Copywriting again if he decides to have another seminar. If so, you’ll have to have the available funds and time and hope he decides to promote it in time. Last time there was only a couple weeks’ notice. Based on the emails I’ve seen from him and his teleconferences, I don’t know if that’s in the future plans or not.

Here’s what a previewer said:

“Louis I like your part 1 a lot. You have used notes, which are really what I would have hoped for, even though I could not have told you that before reading it. Using your notes gives me confidence in a way it would be difficult to achieve with just explanation. The critique of examples is the heart of your teaching.

“As you have spotted the explanation of the device or technique only takes a couple of pages. After that it is practice, practice, practice, hopefully with an experienced sounding board for guidance and advice.”

John Sadler

The lesson is 100% free. It’s a real lesson rather than a cloaked sales pitch. It’s a pdf so you can scan through it and see for yourself. I’m not asking for an email address or anything. If you want to go get it , visit


You may have noticed I used a few patterns even in that post. It’s fun to find yourself using patterns even in simple communications like forum posts or emails too.

[Update: The offer has since changed. The first lesson isn’t free anymore. Sorry.]

What do you call NLP?

One thing I’ve noticed since having begun studying NLP is that very few people here in the USA have ever heard of NLP.

If you look at NLP trainers, many of them have taken to making up other names for it. Bandler has Persuasion Engineering . Tony Robbins doesn’t mention it much except that he had to start calling it NAC (Nuero-Associative Conditioning) due to a lawsuit. One of the top corporate trainers in it wrote a book on it and called it Influencing with Integrity . Another wrote about NLP in terms of optimal happiness and titled it Flow . Others have named it Hypnotic Writing, Covert Persuasion, or Speed Seduction depending on the niche.

And don’t even get started on NLP trainers. There are so many different names for it now. They usually have to do with life enhancement or development. I read about a medical treatment called something like Lightning Therapy. Evidently it treats a condition that sounded like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with a surprising success rate. It was a UK newspaper and they actually reported that it was like NLP. That was surprising because you’d never see a US newspaper refer to NLP. If they did, they’d have to explain it because so few people here have heard of it.

All that said, I’m still wondering what to call my upcoming course. How about something like Hypnotic Copywriting or Covert Copywriting? Any other ideas?