hypnosis

What It Takes To Change

People are fond of the quote stating that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results.

The hardest part is to figure out what you want that as a different result. Anyone can complain about something they don’t like.

After you figure out what you want, it’s simply about planning with the goal in mind. What resources do you lack for your outcome? What habits will make it happen?

Successful people develop certain habits. Unsuccessful people develop habits too. The difference is that successful people are deliberate about planning out the habits the want. Unsuccessful people get into a routine that keeps them busy but never accomplishing worthy goals.

A different routine is required to make real changes. That’s when you can reasonably expect a different outcome.

For example, let’s say you want to learn a foreign language. What do you do? You got it… you need to practice deliberately. You need to plan some time into your daily routine so that it becomes a habit and finally a skill. If you’re in business and you want to persuade others to change their buying habits, you need to present a context where it makes sense to do that.

Buying a product or service for the first time is another change. They weren’t spending that money on you before. For you to encourage that, you need to show them how they’ll be making a change for the better by doing business with you.

When you cultivate a relationship with your customers so that buying with you becomes a habit, you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing your business goals. Changes takes structure. It’s your habits and deliberate planning for the outcome you want. You need to see the end you want to reach before you’ll be able to achieve it.

Your next action step is to create the structure you’ll need to support the life you desire

Maximizing Your Copywriting Skills

I just finished a book called, “Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else.” I picked up a few lessons to apply to copywriting.

What I got out of the book was that it’s not “natural” talent or even experience that give us greatness. And if you think it’s hard work, you’d be in good company, but that’s not it either. There are plenty of people who work hard but aren’t the best.

What is it that makes the difference? The author calls “deliberate practice.” It’s not just practice. A good example of it is how most adult city league soccer teams that I’ve observed practice.

Few adult soccer teams have a coach unless it’s informally the captain/manager. Not many practice as a team either. If they do, they typically divide into 2 groups, set up two small goals and then play until people get tired. Do players get better doing that? Not really. Is it fun? Yep. You get to play where you want, take a break when you want, play with who you want… who doesn’t enjoy that?

I was on a team once where a friend and I were able to convince the other players we needed to do some skill specific drills. We practiced playing keep away where the goal is to maintain possession of the ball. We put goals in the middle that had to be dribbled through. We put a limit on the number of times we could touch the ball before passing. We played offense against defense with each playing in our game formations.

Challenging ourselves with these drills made us better than other teams. We ended up moving up divisions each year that I played with them. I’ve seen other teams do that as well. It’s really not rocket science to be better than most everyone else. Deliberate practice will do the trick.

What can you do as a copywriter? Most people have heard you ought to copy other good letters so you get the language into your system. The author suggested 3 models for practicing: the music model, the chess model and the sports model.

Music Model

When you perform music, you know exactly what it’s supposed to sound like and you rehearse it. If you get hung up at a part, you step back and rehearse that part until it’s perfect. In copywriting, that’s what we’re doing when we copy other good letters. But we have two other ways to improve as well.

Chess Model

Evidently the way you learn to be great at chess is to use the “what you would do in this situation” model. That’s also how Harvard Business School teaches… through case studies. You look at specific scenarios and try to figure out what you would have done. Then you compare that to what actually happened.

For copywriting, you can re-write letters. You can pick a product, write a letter for it and then see how it compares to the real one. You can critique letters.

You can also chunk it down to smaller elements. How would you rewrite just a headline or offer? There are plenty of smaller opportunities if you want to test yourself against PPC ads or catalog copy.

Sports Model

Sports teams condition themselves for specific skills. For copywriting, you can build your swipe file and analyze each letter. You can take courses. You can read books. You can cross train in fields like sales, story telling, NLP and hypnosis, logic and debate. You can getting mentoring.

If you’ve been stuck at reading books and copying good letters take heart. Now you have plenty to keep you busy and take your copywriting skills to the top.

Top Copywriting Habits

Recently, I combed through over 60 interviews with A list level copywriters. No doubt, there are a number of interesting patterns that emerge.

All the copywriters had a pattern of doing research, writing and editing. That’s no shock. The difference came in how much time each copywriter spent in each area.

Funny to find that there was almost no consistency between our copywriters. There was a wide range of anywhere from 40-80% of their time spent on research and then 20-55% on writing. One guy even claimed he didn’t do any editing at all (not recommended). The lesson here is to find your own way. As long as you’re getting good results, it doesn’t’ matter.

A common theme developed on what it’s like for top copywriters when they write. There was always some kind of core emotion involved in the creation process. Sometimes each segment had its own state of being (detective, conversationalist and editor). Others, it was a simple enjoyment and fascination with the entire process.

That strong emotion could be described as a flow state. Athletes know about being in the zone. It’s the same thing. It’s where your ability comes up against a commensurate challenge and everything else seems to fade away while you fully immerse yourself in the experience.

What if you’re new to copywriting and don’t know how to find that flow experience? Look for it in another area of your life. Maybe you’ve lost yourself in a dance, a painting or while cooking. What’s it like during that activity? Consider what brings on that flow state for you. If it’s music, a feeling, etc apply that to your writing.

Our copywriters have other qualities in common too. Take time of day for writing. Isn’t it true that the early bird gets the worm? Or how about the old saying, “Early to bed, early to rise…”

The pattern was that there was very little consistency there either. Many copywriters like to knock out an hour or two of writing first thing in the morning. Some say though that they do their best writing in the afternoon or evening once everyone else is gone to bed and all is quiet. So it’s really up to you to find your most productive time.

What’s the consensus on how long should you keep editing things? Some writers pride themselves on getting a job out in a day or two. Others revise and revise… until the company finally calls and asks for it to be submitted.

The bottom line is to get out there and do it. Yes, brush up on your skills but don’t worry that you’re not doing things in the optimal amounts or times. Find what works for you and gets going.

What Is Hypnotic Writing Good For?

Hypnotic writing… you’ve heard of it, right? You’ve heard how it can magically steal money right out of peoples’ wallets? I intend to demolish some myths surrounding hypnotic writing and share with you what it CAN do.

For any given marketing campaign there are 3 components seasoned marketers know determine the outcome: the list, the offer and the copy.

Of course, the list is the group of people to which you’re marketing. Your best list is the one you created yourself through opt-in offers. Ideally, you have an ongoing relationship with these folks. You may even have more than one list for more than one market. That’s smart market segmenting. That’s also where the next part comes in…

The offer is what you’re selling. It make a difference if you offer golf supplies to home school parents (wrong list). If you offer a golf product to a golf list that no one wants at a price no one would dream of paying, then that’s going to ruin your promotion as well. So you need the right offer made to the right list AND…

Great copywriting. Even hypnotic copywriting. If you have a great offer for the right people but they can’t understand why they should buy it… they probably won’t. That’s where hypnotic writing comes in.

Some people mistakenly believe hypnosis is about tricking people while they’re tranced out… or something like that. Hypnosis is only a state of heightened awareness. The awareness is focused inward which is why people “trance out.” Fortunately though, you can’t make anyone do anything they’re normally against. Stage hypnosis works because most people don’t have anything against clucking like a chicken or becoming as stiff as a board.

Hypnosis and hypnotic writing work because they gently make suggestions that allow the inner mind to do what the person thought they wanted to do but couldn’t. Will hypnotic writing make buying decisions easier for people? Most definitely… as long as the person was open to buying in the first place but maybe just on the fence. If you do manage to trick people into buying, you’ll have plenty of returns to show for it. Obviously that’s not a good long term business strategy.

Using hypnotic writing ethically will ensure you boost your bottom line. It’s the icing on the cake of a good offer made to the right list.

Using the Right Words to Apply Covert Hypnosis

[NOTE: I saw this article and felt it was worth sharing. I’ll probably look for other guest posts in the future as well – Louis]

by Rob Andrews

What are the correct kinds of words to use covert hypnosis?

Using words that cause someone to see things in a different way is one way to influence how they feel and think. This is called reframing.

A famous example of reframing is glass half empty, half full metaphor. This reframing from viewing the glass not as half empty, but rather as half full, helps people see the positive side of something.

You can use reframing for more complex things by changing some very simple words in a sentence. For example, think about the difference between these three sentences:

It’s very pretty outside today, but tomorrow it’s going to rain.

It’s very pretty outside today, and tomorrow it’s going to rain.

It’s very pretty outside today, even though tomorrow it’s going to rain.

These sentences describe the same things, but the small change of only a word or two makes you think about the weather differently. Go over these sentences again and be sensitive to how each one makes you feel about the weather today and the weather tomorrow. Can you feel the different attitudes they bring out?

There can be many ways to reframe things.

Choosing words that expand the frame cause the person listening to see the bigger picture.

Like, when a person is at a store and is worried about buying a pair of shoes because she knows that a store across town has the same pair for a few dollars less, you may say something like, Wow, I know that the other store has the same pair for a couple dollars less, but that’s an hour away. How much gas do you think you would use up driving over there?

You can also reframe the context of a situation.

Friend: Man! I really wanted to go to the beach today but its so windy outside it wouldnt be any fun.

You: Ya, it wouldn’t be much fun sitting on the beach in the wind, but look at the wave! It would be a great day for surfing!

And there is also the content reframe.

Friend: What a jerk! That man blew by us doing 100 mph. Can you believe some people!

You: He sure was going fast. Did you see he had his emergency lights on? I wonder if he was going to the hospital.

So you can see how changing the language you use can actually change someones attitude about things.

One powerful type of conversational hypnosis is reframing.

Reframing let’s you distract the listener’s conscious mind and causes her to listen to her subconscious brain.

There is no obvious hypnotic trance here like you would see in overt hypnosis, but nevertheless, this use of words in conversational hypnosis causes the listener to respond to things using her subconscious mind.

Learn more about conversational hypnosis and reframing, and try it out.

Author: Robert Andrews publishes articles to teach the power of conversational hypnosis. Learn more about this amazing form of covert hypnosis

It’s not stage hypnosis

I gave my copywriting model its first dry run today.

I have a friend who’s interested in learning copywriting so I gave him the model and walked him through the acquisition protocol using a little trance work.

We’ve had our share of political discussions in the past. When I asked him if he wanted me to use hypnosis to make it go easier, he asked if he’d wake up libertarian.

I realized that most people only know about stage hypnosis… you know the kind where a magician makes people cluck like a chicken or go a rigid as a board. Well, my experience as an amateur hypnotist tells me that’s just for show. Most of it is more the variety of spacing out while driving or getting engrossed in a good book. It’s just a more focused state of internal awareness.

I expect to finalize my copywriting model in the next few weeks. It’s going to include an audio that uses hypnosis to smooth the acquisition process. It can be acquired without the audio if working in trance seems spooky to you. I’m including directions on doing it either way.

Calibrating Pacing

Last week I attended a Hypnosis MeetUp group.

After some explanation we broke up into groups to practice putting each other into trance. As newbies, we have a long way to go in calibrating our paces. Even though my partner “missed” several times, I was still able to go into trance.

What occurs to me is that as you’re using NLP in your copy, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Your reader does have a modicum of vested interest in interacting with your message or else he wouldn’t be reading it. She can help you at points where you’re less than elegant.

There are limits of course. In one exercise we were supposed to say, “that’s right” every time we noticed our partner going deeper into trance. One of my partners had a hypnosis audio she used to fall asleep to. The voice was almost comically deep and repeated, “that’s right.” So every time she tried to say it, she started giggling. I wasn’t able to go into trance like that because I would end up laughing too.

All that’s to say you don’t have to be perfect to be effective. As long as you’re not completely breaking state, you’re probably getting through to some degree.

Is NLP Manipulative?

Since I didn’t take the practitioner courses, I’ve been learning NLP on my own.

I realized that I could benefit from being able to practice NLP in persuading people in person as well so I joined a couple of local Meetup groups. One is a hypnosis group and the other is an NLP group. I’ve also considered starting a Toastmasters club based on learning NLP in any and all contexts.

In talking to people about NLP, I’m faced with the difficult issue of trying to explain NLP. Usually I say it has to do with hypnosis and behavior modification. Now that I’m studying modeling, I might tack on modeling excellence. If someone said "modeling excellence" to me, I doubt I’d know what they were talking about so maybe not.

Once I’ve said that much though, I often get looks like I’ve just told them I’m dabbling in black magic or the occult. Sometimes I get asked (or accused) whether it’s manipulative. And I haven’t even mentioned the applications of speed seduction at that point.

Here’s how I see it: NLP is a tool like anything else. It can be used for good OR for evil if you like to make that distinction. It’s an especially helpful tool if you’re wanting to persuade another person. Any moral judgment about that persuasion is up to the intent of the persuader or observer, not the techniques employed… as long as you’re not violating another person’s will. Obviously involuntary trauma based brainwashing is something totally different.

As a persuader, are you responsible for respecting other people’s boundaries? It depends on your worldview I suppose. Does your doctor? Does the car salesman? Once you realize how maliable subjective reality is, you may wonder how useful boundaries are at all. That’s a topic for another time though.

Another consideration is in using any tool. Do you want to be more versatile and skilled or less? Do you want the tools of persuasion used on you or do you want to be the one using them? You have a responsibility to safeguard your own interests as well.

So is NLP manipulative? Absolutely. It’s as manipulative, dirty and evil as money, cars or hammers. 🙂

Death of the layman

I’ve been reading a bunch of different articles about authority and decentralized responsibility lately.

In case you’re wondering, none of the following links are affiliate links.

Mark Joyner recently published a report entitled, Rise of the Author which is about how you’re automatically an expert if you publish a hard copy book and how you ought to do it soon because books are going out of style… but only if you want to be famous (probably not at all his point- that’s just what I got out of it).

Doctor Douglas wrote an article about how doctors are firing patients who do their own research and have concerns about diagnosis or prescribed medications.

Harlan Kilstein said NLP is dead because there haven’t been any industry wide advances or even cohesion recently.

Ryan Healy wrote about how we ought to make sure our hypnotists have enough training … or at least as much as our barbers. I was completely enjoying that article until it took an unexpected turn into a sales pitch.

And of course we’re all probably familiar with Michel Fortin’s report entitled Death of the Sales Letter .

Incidentally, I just finished reading a book called, The Laughing Jesus: Religious Lies and Gnostic Wisdom . I highly recommend it. Of course, don’t read it if you like the idea of clergy and having religious middle men.

And then I began reading Therapeutic Metaphors and Big Mind, Big Heart .

What do all these threads have in common? They all suggest that the layman is dying if he’s not already dead.

Here’s what I mean by that.

The reason we even have the word, "layman" is because there’s the assumption (perhaps presupposition), that people can be divided into two categories: the expert or the layman. The other assumption that’s less helpful is that if you’re not an expert, your effort or contribution is questionable. In the academic community, you don’t even have a valid opinion without a PhD.

What I see in all of this is that the internet is brining down the walls between expert and layman… at least for the layman. I recently met a financial planner who routinely uses NLP to get his clients to take action in their best interest. Where did he learn NLP? From reading books. I guess he didn’t know he needed an expert to bless his efforts.

This isn’t to say that there is no place for the wise and experienced among us to practice our crafts. And there’s no question that all the different establishments held together by experts will continue on for some time yet. It simply means that if one person can do something, another can too. You don’t have to be an expert. NLP modeling can expedite that process but someone way back in the day had to figure out how to light a fire on their own too the first time.

It reminds me of my training as a medic. We finished our EMT basic certification the first 6 weeks of the 4 month training course but our senior drill sergeant became famous for constantly telling us we weren’t medics yet. We were only about 45% medic. And then about 80% medic. And on and on. Finally, after graduation, he said we were 100% medic and competent enough in our skills to go out there and do something.

The good news is that you don’t have to wait to be christened an expert before you get going. The not-as-good news is that the upcoming generation of buyers and sellers don’t recognize the same marks of authority as previous generations. Keep in mind that Generation Y might as well mean, "Why?" as in, "Why should I listen to you at all about anything even if some people think you are a so-called expert?" Credentials won’t go as far as they used to.

As for me, I’m glad. It just means there’s more opportunity for us non-experts.

Let’s toast to the death of the layman.

PS. My NLP copywriting for non-experts video is coming along nicely. Today I was suddenly overwhelmed by the amount of examples all over the web. I’m having to pick and choose which ones to showcase this first time.