This is easier than you might think. What you want to do is remember a true story that happened as a result of someone using your product or service. It needs to be true because I'm trying to spread honesty and good will across the Internet and everywhere else. It also needs to be true so the FTC doesn't jump on you for fabrications in your promise. Finally, if it's true, it's easier to write.
For example, I recently recorded Dr. Robert Anthony's powerful material Beyond Positive Thinking, which I think is the holy grail of self-improvement wisdom. When I was creating the web site to promote the CD set—which you can see over at http://www.Beyond PositiveThinking.com—I asked Dr. Anthony to give me a few stories of how people used his famous material to get results in their lives. One of the stories he gave me is now on the site. Here it is.
Dr. Robert Anthony Many years ago I met a man named Ramon. In fact, I dedicated an entire chapter to him in my book Doing What You Love—Loving What You Do. Ramon is one of the most successful businessmen in California as well as one of the most spiritually evolved beings I have ever met.
I met Ramon because a friend had given him a copy of Beyond Positive Thinking. Ramon buys every self-improvement tape album sold. He has all of Nightingale-Conant's products, plus more. He never plays the radio in his Rolls Royce. Instead, he listens to personal development programs on his 60-minute ride to and from his office—even though he is already a successful multimillionaire.
Ramon told me, "Your Beyond Positive Thinking recordings are the best ever produced by anyone. I should know, I own all of them!"
He was so impressed at how they could help other people, he would buy 25 sets at a time and put them into the trunk of his Rolls Royce. Anytime he met someone whom he felt needed help, he would give them a set free of charge. He frequently called me to tell me of the "miraculous" results they had had with the tapes and how it had changed their lives.
Over the years he has bought over 300 sets from me and to this day says that he has never found anything more powerful to change lives than Beyond Positive Thinking.
As you can see, that story silently communicates an almost hypnotic message: Dr. Robert Anthony's recordings work.
Had I just come out and said, "Dr. Robert Anthony's methods work," you could dismiss the thought. You might think I am just trying to sell you something. But when someone else proves the statement without actually saying it, through a captivating story, then the message goes right into people's unconscious mind. You slipped in past their mental radar.
Of course, someplace on your web site you might declare: "Dr. Robert Anthony's methods work." That's fine. Declarations can be hypnotic, too. That's why hypnotists say "You are getting sleepier and sleepier" and not "Are you getting sleepy yet?"
Commands work. But what I am advising you to do here is to also create a story that conveys the same message. This way you are speaking to people's conscious as well as subconscious minds.
I learned about the power of stories from Jack London, Mark Twain, Robert Collier, Shirley Jackson, and from the greatest hypnotist of all time: Milton Erickson.
Erickson was an eccentric, highly skilled therapist. He used the patient's problem to solve their problem. If someone walked in complaining of a nervous tick, Erickson might use that tick in some hypnotic way. He might ask the person to see if they could speed it up, or slow it down. Erickson, in short, helped people regain control.
What I just told you is a hypnotic story. It is entertaining, educational, and even hypnotic. It conveys several messages. Some you got consciously. Some you got unconsciously. Do you see the power in a story?
Let me share with you one of my popular articles on the magic power of a good story.
How One Hypnotic Story Brought 15 Automatons to My Door
In 1844 the great circus promoter P.T. Barnum bought an automaton from the famous magician, Eugene Robert-Houdin.
An automaton is a mechanical device that imitates life. Think of them as early robots. In the middle of the eighteenth century, automatons were all the rage: mechanical ducks and elephants, pictures with moving parts, even human androids that could write, draw, and play musical instruments. They were haunting, magical, intricate, detailed, and usually meticulously crafted out of watch parts, metal, and wood.
The one Robert-Houdin created was a life-sized figure able to write and draw, and even answer simple questions. He once displayed it before the king of France. Barnum heard of it on his tour in Europe with General Tom Thumb and bought it. But that legendary automaton was lost in one of Barnum's many fires.
I spoke to a few people who still build automatons— which is an almost lost art today—to see if someone could rebuild the one Robert-Houdin made and Barnum owned. Most said it would cost about a quarter of a million dollars and take well over a year to complete.
But then one day a month or so ago I got a call from a potential new client. He was a delight to talk to. He performs magic, runs a speakers bureau, and was familiar with most of my books. During the course of our lively conversation he floored me by announcing that he inherited a few automatons.
I couldn't believe it.
"You what!" I blurted, almost too excited to speak.
"I have some automatons my best friend made," he explained. "He left them to me in his will."
"How many do you have?"
"Oh, I dunno, maybe fifteen."
"Fifteen?!?" I mumbled, truly shaken to the core that he had any automatons let alone over a dozen of them.
"I have one that does mind reading and another that levitates," he said. "They all do something different."
You can't imagine how stunned I was to hear about this. It was like finding the Holy Grail of Automatons. While these particular devices are all modern and nowhere near as valuable as the one made by the great magician Robert-Houdin, any automaton today is a rare and collectible item.
I was intrigued.
And I wanted those automatons.
"How much do you want for them?" I asked.
"I could never sell them," he said. "I inherited these from a man who lived to be ninety and treated me like his own son. I've got them in storage."
At that point I did something naturally and instantaneously. Right there on the spot I weaved a hypnotic story that changed my life—and his.
Here's how it went.
"I understand how you feel," I began. "About twenty years ago, the landlord I had at the time knew I was into music. He heard me play the harmonica and knew I had an interest in learning to play the guitar. One day, he just gave me a guitar he had for over fifty years. He just handed it to me. But he said one thing I never forgot: 'You can give it away but you can never sell it.' I promised him I would keep my word. I still have that guitar today. I'm never going to sell it but I will give it away when the right person comes along."
Well, that hypnotic story did the trick. The prospect on the phone heard my story and in his mind he heard the phrase, "It's okay to give the automatons to Joe but you can't sell them to him."
All we had to do from there is negotiate a fair arrangement so he could feel comfortable giving me the fifteen automatons. After a week of going back and forth, we agreed that I would help him with some specific marketing in exchange for his collection.
I now own those automatons.
Later, once the deal was done, I asked him what made him change his mind about parting with the rare items.
"It was your story about your landlord," he explained. "That really got to me. I could easily imagine my friend who gave me the automatons being okay with me giving them to you but not selling them to you."
Hypnotic stories can work wonders. Whenever you want to persuade someone, consider telling a story about someone who did what you want the person you are persuading to do. The story can seep in easier than a direct command. And the results can be miraculous.
Look at me—I'm now surrounded by automatons. I'll soon be opening The Joe Vitale Museum of Automated Life and Other Curiosities.
As you can see, hypnotic stories are an important part of Hypnotic Writing.
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