NLP

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.

Creating Time Travel With Hypnotic Writing

Were you aware that you can bend the illusion of time by altering how you reference time?

If you weren’t, you are now and you’ll be aware of opportunities to take advantage of this strategy from now on.

As with anything sold, there are pros and cons. If you want to highlight the pros, describe them in the present tense. If you want to deemphasize the cons, talk about them in the past tense.

Living in the present and talking about anything now gives it the most life and immediacy. This is where you want to talk about all the great things your buyer gets.

Conversely, you ought to address the drawbacks unless you want extra returns. You don’t have to make mountain of a molehill or unnecessarily scare anyone. Place it gently in the past when they’ve already successfully dealt with the issue.

Deep down, people buy things because they’re looking to feel better. Maybe it’s a dinner at a nicer restaurant or a new car. Help them feel good now by buying now. Talk about the good feelings they will have in the future right now. Help them imagine the pride of ownership or the better experience buying will eventually give them.

Perhaps you noticed how I used the technique in the second paragraph.

Here it is again now that you understand it:

You may have been listing benefits and drawbacks randomly before reading this article. Even so, you now know the best way to maximize those things. From now on, you’ll begin to see higher conversion rates and stretch your copywriting buck.

Let’s recap… put the drawbacks as far away in the past as you can. Highlight the immediacy of your benefits in the present. And talk about the future great results now too. Time is your friend as long as you recognize how it can help you.

About the Author:

24 Hour Special on Copywriter’s Mind

The copywriting model is finally available.

I’m going to be selling it for $100 but for the next 24 hours you can buy it for $35. That’s my way of thanking you for reading this blog.

If you missed the discussion below, I used David Gordon’s NLP modeling protocol (enhanced by some other modelers) to create a model of direct response copywriters. There were about 68 copywriters worth of interviews that I combed through with an eye to the essential features required for a complete model.

If I were to name the copywriters, you would probably recognize many of their names. If you want to know if a certain top copywriter was included, I can say there’s a 95% chance they were.

What I ended up with is a complete model for anyone who’s ever wanted to learn copywriting. Normally you’ll read a book or take a course and pick up some skills and techniques but you won’t really have the ability or the confidence that a pro has. This model bridges that gap.

In addition to it being a model, I took the acquisition protocol and turned it into a dual induction hypnosis session like Paraliminals. One ear has the modeling protocol and the other has a therapeutic metaphor containing the optional strategies, beliefs and emotions. While most people will go into trance easily with a dual induction session, I made sure of it by overlaying the audio with theta brainwaves. As long as you’re really listening and using headphones, your brain will go into that meditative state.

Since the sequence matters and the copywriters I modeled use a set procedure or checklist, I included one as well. It will help activate the model that your subconscious learned while listening to the audio. As with hypnosis, it’s possible that it might take more than one listening to get the full effect. I’m really not sure.

If you’re not a fan of hypnosis, you can use the included model and acquisition instructions to run the the entire process consciously. You can also listen to one track at a time of the audio. So whatever your learning preference is, there’s a solution for you here.

The link to Copywriter’s Mind is:

http://copywritingmind.info

The sales page says $100 but if you click through to Kunaki, you’ll see the 24 hour special price of $35. Once the special is over, I’ll change the price to $100. I intend to do that around 10 am CST tomorrow.

Future Matrix Learning Topics

Although I’ve been pretty swamped between my involvement in Toastmasters and freelancing lately, I’ve still been thinking about the next matrix learning titles.

I recently finished viewing a DVD course put out by Target Focus Training (TFT) called, “Surviving the Most Critical 5 Seconds of Your Life.” It occurred to me as I was watching it, that some of the participants were asking questions that indicated that they weren’t understanding any of the principles that had been explained. [Cue superhero music] I thought this would be perfect for matrix learning.

On the TFT blog, they just posted about how it’s not the techniques but the principles that make the difference in this system. Principles can be absorbed and integrated fairly well with this kind of matrix learning. It would also make sense to include something along the lines of the permissions protocol so that listeners get over their aversion to violence when their life depends on it. So that would be a fun product to create.

Another topic I’m considering is an ability to “do math.” During my time as a math teacher, I often heard adults tell me they weren’t “good at math.” By that I imagine they mean they aren’t as fast as they’d like to be with arithmetic and don’t have effective problem solving strategies when facing numbers or conceptualizing a live word problem. Again, that’s an easy thing to model. It’s really a set of attitudes rather than memorizing formulas.

Some other matrix models I’ve considered are public speaking, impromptu speaking, business building (online or raising private capital for example), athletes (how about an instant soccer pro product?), artisans (musicians, cooks, illustrators, etc), or different social skills. The list is really endless.

I also got the book “Know How” that contains a number of models. I’m hesitant to do the ones on weight loss (ie having effective nutritional strategies) because I don’t know how I’d distinguish it from other weight loss hypnosis products. Maybe by the time I get to it, it won’t be an issue.

If you can think of any other cool ideas for matrix learning, let me know.

Acquiring a Model Versus Generating a New Behavior

I’ve started writing the script for the dual induction that will act as the acquisition protocol for the direct response copywriter model I created.

In outlining that script, I took several things into consideration:

  • Scripts from Paraliminal recordings
  • The acquisition protocol from Expanding Your World by Dawes and Gordon
  • The New Behavior Generator protocol from Dilt’s Encyclopedia of NLP
  • The time recommended to allow the brain to reach the theta frequency

The acquisition protocol (AP) is:

1. Assess the ecology of having the Ability.
2. Connect having the Ability to satisfying one of your Prime Motivators.
3. Identify a PAST SITUATION in which you really needed the Ability.
4. Access the Criterion/Definition/Evidence and the Sustaining Emotion, then step in the PAST SITUATION while holding those elements in your experience. Practice this until you can access them easily.
* Recognize how in satisfying the Criterion you are also satisfying your Prime Motivator.
5. Access reference experiences for any Supporting Beliefs, and take them into the PAST SITUATION.
6. Run through the Primary Strategy and External Behaviors in the PAST SITUATION, and practice them until they are working for you.
7. Recognize that the Enabling Cause-Effect is true.
8. Practice the entire Ability in other past situations, until you are sure that you can easily access the elements.
9. Think of any real-world difficulties that could arise (difficulties that could stop you from manifesting the Ability), and practice overcoming them by using Secondary Strategies.
10. Identify the next time you will need the Ability, and rehearse manifesting it in that situation.

The New Behavior Generator (NBG) protocol is:

1. Ask yourself, “If I could already achieve my new goal, what would I look like?” (Do this while putting your eyes down and to your left. Ad)
2. Picture yourself achieving your goal. (Look up and to your right to help stimulate your imagination. Vr)
3. To help you visualize:
a. Remember a similar successful achievement.
b. Model someone else.
c. Picture yourself first achieving a smaller part of the goal.
4. (Move your eyes up and to the left or right. Vc or Vr)
5. Step in to the picture so you feel yourself doing what you pictured. (Put your eyes and head down and to the right as you get into the feeling. K)
6. Compare these feelings to feelings from a similar past success. (Keep your eyes and head turned down and to the right. K)
7. If the feelings are not the same, name what you need and add it to your goal. Go back to step 1 and repeat the process with your expanded goal. (Move your eyes and head down and to the left. Ad)

The main differences I noticed is that the NBG starts out with an undefined goal and incorporates a lot of elicitation for calibration while the AP starts as a well defined goal (acquiring a defined ability) and so can be more specific about calibration and outcomes.

After giving each step some thought, I decided not to use the NBG and stick to the AP as closely as possible. I considered including steps 4-7 of the NBG but realized that you don’t need to look for a feeling of success to acquire the model.

It’s the chicken and the egg problem of teaching children math. It seems that modern educators believe that you teach children self confidence first and then they’ll be able to successfully learn math. Most of us that got “good” at math learned it the opposite way. We learned to solve math problems and that gave us self confidence.

It’s also like motivational speaker Zig Ziglar says regarding motivation vs education. He says you always educate before you motivate otherwise you only get a motivated idiot.

Obviously those things aren’t mutually exclusive. It just seems like emphasis on education before motivation yields better results. And in the end, most problems are issues of education, not motivation. I think we call things motivation problems only when we don’t understand conflicting motivations or there’s not enough education to take the proper action.

As long as you feel the sustaining emotion and the rest of the model is effective, you’ll be able to perform the ability.  You can feel as successful as you like when you’re getting the desired outcome of the ability.

Of course that’s just my opinion so I’m happy to hear others.

The syncs and liminals

I mentioned in an earlier post that I’d explain what Holosync and Paraliminals are.

Of the “syncs” I’ve heard of Holosync, Hemisync, Brainsync and Mindsync. None of the links below are affiliate links.

Holosync: brain wave exercises that take your brain into deeper and deeper delta brain waves as you progress through the program. The short of it is that deeper brain waves force your brain to reorganize. It’s basically automatic meditation on steroids. I’ve been doing it for at least an hour a day now since 2004. I’ve noticed significant changes in my life that I can attribute to this program. I’ve also found that I have an easy time doing trance work because of this meditation experience.

Hemisync: if Holosync goes deep, Hemisync goes wide. It’s a series of exercises in meditation and visualization. I’ve only heard parts of the program but I must say it’s been an interesting experience.

Brainsync: topical meditation sessions. I have a very limited experience with this one.

Mindsync: a shareware audio editing program. It can overlap multiple tracks and add brain wave frequencies so you can create your own dual inductions or meditation audios. As of this writing, I haven’t used it yet but I’m planning to create my copywriting acquisition audio with it.

Paraliminals: topical dual induction NLP (and now theta brain wave) audio sessions. I’ve used a number of these with good effect. My first experience was in 2000 when I worked for an outsourced sales/lead generation company. I’d cold call into businesses all day and it was fairly nerve racking given that I’m mostly an introvert. I’d take my lunch to eat and listen to the audio, “Self Esteem Supercharger” and face the rest of the day with renewed confidence. Learning Strategies that creates these also has a number of other great programs I recommend as well like Photo Reading.

There are probably a number of other programs similar to these. These are just the ones I’ve used before. I recommend you check them out.

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