persuasion

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.

Don’t Try Hypnotic Writing Like This

One of the fundamental mistakes people make when trying out hypnotic writing is to assume that something you SAY works the same as something you WRITE.

For instance, one of the most widely known patterns are embedded commands. They work in spoken language because some words and phrases can have two or more meanings and your subconscious can recognize both.

The most obvious use of this is when writers use the phrase, “By now…” With that, they’re hoping your subconscious will take the suggestion, “Buy now.” That might work in person depending on a bunch of factors (voice inflection being the most important), it won’t achieve the same result in writing.

For a more involved example from the seminar “Persuasion Engineering,” John La Valle tells a story. It’s about how his young son came up to him and said, “When is now a good time to get me some ice cream, isn’t it?”

Clearly, the command is that now is a good time to get him ice cream. In speech, when you embed a command in a question like that it’s more likely to go unnoticed. And if it IS noticed, you can pretend you said something else.

As you were reading that ice cream command, did you have to go back and read it again? If so, it’s because it’s not grammatically correct. Also, in writing, you CAN go back and read it again so people will catch you if you’re not much more subtle.

This applies to all hypnosis and NLP. You can say and do things in person that simply won’t work in writing. You could speak in continuous run-on sentences. If you did, the transcript would be a mess.

“Notice how sad you start to feel inside, as you realise that no other course or training on the market has ever (or will ever) teach you the True Inside Secrets of NLP, CMT and Clinical Hypnotherapy in the way this course would have done ? How Sad does that make you feel?”

If someone did this to you in person, you probably couldn’t help but go along with it especially if the person had been talking for a while already and established some good rapport.

But here you see it and immediately catch on what he’s trying to do. “How Sad does that make you feel?” Really? How do you feel seeing IN PRINT that someone is callously trying to make you feel bad so you’ll purchase his course? You’d probably feel something like irritation, not sadness.

If you want to achieve stellar results with hypnotic writing, you have to help people feel good in a way that doesn’t feel obviously manipulative. That’s where the real power is.

Realize that hypnotic writing is substantially different than spoken hypnosis or NLP. Take the time to learn elegance and you’ll be well on your way to greatness.

You can learn elegance by reading this blog over time. If you’d like to get everything I know altogether, check out my course, “Be A Hypnotic Writer.” The first lesson is free:

http://hypnoticwriter.org

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:

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