Book Club

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?”

Vitale’s “Hypnotic Writing” Chapters 3-5

Welcome back to my series on “Hypnotic Writing” by Joe Vitale.

Chapter 3

In chapter 3, Joe challenges the reader to think big by starting out with a story of a 93 year old woman sky diving for her birthday. The point of this chapter is to encourage us to think bigger. If you want a book for that, he recommends, “The Power of Impossible Thinking.” I also recommend, “The Magic of Thinking Big.”

Joe ends the chapter asking you what you want to accomplish by studying this book. Think about your own impossible dream and any “could not fail” kind of goals.

Chapter 4

This chapter is a disclaimer Joe wants to make that he doesn’t know everything. It’s a little ironic to me that it follows the chapter on accomplishing impossible goals. It almost makes it sound like he wants you to think big but then not expect big things from the book. Joe recommends you read other stuff too.

Chapter 5

Now the book actually starts. This chapter is titled, “A Beginning” and so it is. Joe tells us that his interest in hypnotic writing came from reading classic literature as well as great sales letters. Specifically, he mentions Robert Collier, Bruce Barton and John Caples. He also mentions “Hypnotic Selling Power” too.

Joe says that hypnotic writing generally is any writing that hold your attention. He then goes on to define hypnotic writing as “intentionally using words to guide people into a focused mental state where they are inclined to buy your product or service.”

So again, we’re seeing a difference in hypnotic writing and NLP copywriting. Yes, they’re both about getting more sales. The difference is that hypnotic writing limits itself to guiding a focused mental state while NLP copywriting is about short-cutting that process and using patterns specifically designed to elicit a response.

If you’re only doing hypnotic writing, an interruption could ruin your whole set up. If you’re using NLP language patterns, your reader can skip around and still have a few patterns embed on his brain… keeping him up at night until he either buys or forces himself to stop thinking about you.

Vitale’s “Hypnotic Writing” Chapters 1-2

As promised, I’m rereading Joe Vitale’s book, “Hypnotic Writing: How to Seduce and Persuade Customers with Only Your Words.” There are 56 chapters and many are a page or two long so I’ll combine them at times.

Chapter 1

Joe starts out with a brief history of hypnotism. Of note is his mention that arguably the most famous hypnotist of modern times, Milton Erickson, theorized that hypnosis (or more accurately, trance) is a state of mind that we’re all entering “spontaneously and frequently.”

He then goes on to define hypnotic writing by saying it’s not hypnosis at all. It’s irresistible writing that keeps readers’ attention. It’s “spellbinding, unforgettable and filled with embedded commands.”

Joe gives several examples including Shakespeare and a number of books. He reminds us of the experience we’ve all had of being engrossed in a book.

Then Joe lays out the point of the book:

“My intention is to reveal – for the first time anywhere – the principles and strategies that will transform your writings.” This transformation of course is to irresistible writing with hypnotic writing.

Joe finishes the chapter future pacing the benefits of learning hypnotic writing and then throws in a few things it’s NOT (like manipulation or controlling people).

One major comment I have at this point is in our definitions. Most people wouldn’t know the difference between hypnosis and NLP. NLP started as a model of a few of the most effective hypnotherapists in the English speaking world. And even today, there are two main branches of NLP – the hypnosis related personal change system AND the process of modeling through which they got that system.

The main difference between hypnosis and NLP is the structure. Whereas hypnosis seems to concern itself with different inductions (the part where you relax and drift off), suggestions, outcomes and repetition, NLP is a systematic organization of changing the way the mind thinks. The approach is as different as painters and software engineers.

The reason this distinction matters is that hypnosis based hypnotic writing could veer off into artful use of inductions and suggestions. NLP copywriting is an organized system of tools to shift people’s perception of reality. Hypnotic writing seems more suited to books and prose (which are all the examples Joe gives). NLP copywriting is about sales letters and getting results.

NLP was the structuring of hypnosis so that anyone could pick it up and get the same kind of results. NLP copywriting is the same thing for hypnotic writing. We’re not just going for irresistible. We’re going for action. We want the sign up or the sale. We want a direct response.

Anyway, that’s a little plug for my course too. It’s about compelling direct response NLP copywriting, not simply being irresistible. The tools and tactics you might have spent years refining as a novelist are immediately at your fingertips. The reason I’ve called it, “Be A Hypnotic Writer” is because I’ve found few people who have even heard of NLP.

The first lesson is free too. In it, I review an excellent case study of NLP copywriting. Get yours at:

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 is a page long and asks you to write down your current strategy for writing as a reference point.

If you’re meaning to write persuasively and you don’t have a written strategy yet, feel free to borrow the one I created. You get it free when you opt-in to my blog notification list in the sidebar. It’s a model of over 60 world class copywriters. So for what NLP did for hypnosis, I did for copywriting.

Look for upcoming chapters soon.

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