You too

As you can probably gather, what you are doing in this second step is explaining how you solve the problem mentioned in the first step. This will keep people reading. If you are truly focused on their problem, you will be putting them into a waking trance with Hypnotic Writing.

PROOF

Next, you need proof. We live in the age of skepticism. People are used to going to web sites and hearing wild or unsubstantiated claims. Their guard is up. Not only that, but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is watching you. They want proof, too, that you can deliver. So step three in my formula is to focus on your proof, or your evidence. These can be in the form of a guarantee, testimonials, or anything else you can think of to convince people you are being honest with them. Examples might be

Your heel spurs will disappear in 30 days or you can have all your money back. 11,500 people healed of heel spurs so far. Research shows people lose an average of 33 pounds with this new plan.

You will feel so relaxed from my massage that you will fall asleep on my table.

And so it goes. Again, what you are doing is proving your promise. This is where you bring in your evidence that your promise will work.

PRICE

Finally, you need to ask for what you want. If you want people to sign up for your newsletter, say so. If you want them to buy your product, say so. If you want them to call you, say so. People want to be led. But they won't take action unless you spell it out for them, and tell them the price for doing so. Examples might be

If you don't take care of those heel spurs today, where will you be tomorrow? Order our special herbs right now for only $19.95.

MY UPDATED FORMULA

Philosopher Vernon Howard once said, "If we believe in the necessity of trying to win over others, we will also believe in the need for wearisome scheming."

Let's not scheme. Let's not try to win people over with our interests in mind. Instead, let's focus on what they want. Let's focus on their pleasure, not their pain. The more you can deliver the good that people long for, the more people will be almost hypnotically drawn to you and your writing.

Remember, I said I don't think we need to add to the bleakness of the world. So I am bold and say let's delete step one altogether. If you focus on pain, you surely get people's attention. You are speaking to their greatest concern.

Have you noticed how often ads on television and in newspapers focus on pain to get your attention? The method works. But I don't want to add to the pain in the world. Since a basic truth in psychology is that people get more of whatever they focus on, I don't even want to mention their pain.

There's an article on my web site at www.mrfire.com about this whole subject. I reproduce it here because it so relevant.

The Greatest Motivator Isn't What You Think or

What I Learned from Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler on Valentine's Day Joe Vitale www.mrfire.com

It's Valentine's Day as I write this. Nerissa and I just returned from watching the new movie 50 First Dates starring the beautiful Drew Barrymore and the funny Adam Sandler. Besides being a hilarious movie in a beautiful setting with a heartfelt message of true love, it also caused me to have an "aha" right in the middle of it.

Somewhere around halfway through the movie, as Adam is again reminding short-term memory loss victim Drew that he loves her, I suddenly realized the power of the greatest motivator of all time.

But let me first set the stage.

Most psychologists, direct marketers, and anyone who persuades for a living will tell you there are only two basic motivators: pain or pleasure. You either go toward what you want or away from what you don't want.

The standard argument is that pain is more powerful. I've tended to agree but also have stated I would not focus on pain for idealistic reasons. I simply don't want to spread pain in the world. Focusing on it causes you to feel it. I don't want to contribute to the misery many feel. So my stance has been to focus on pleasure as a motivator in my sales letters and web sites.

Most marketing experts agree that pain is the best trigger to focus on in any ad or sales campaign.

They love to find a prospect's basic problem and then rub their noses in it. They figure the pain would make the person buy or change.

The most common example they give is the insurance salesperson who tries to sell you home coverage. If he focuses on pleasure, you will put off buying. If he tells you your house is on fire, you will buy. Pain causes immediate action.

So, like everyone else, I "knew" pain was the greater motivator. I simply focused on pleasure because it is a more noble route.

But then I saw Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in their new movie and suddenly I felt awakened, energized, and validated.

Here's the film's plot in a nutshell:

Adam is in love with a woman who can't remember anything from the day before, due to a head injury in an auto accident the year before. Every day is a new day. And every day Adam has to win her over again. Every date is new. Hence the title 50 First Dates.

At one point in it, as Adam is again wooing Drew, I suddenly realized what I was really seeing.

I saw that pleasure was the greatest motivator of all.

Adam is pursuing Drew every day, despite the pain and the odds, because of his growing love for her. He is going after pleasure. The pleasure goal is so powerful it erases every pain he might experience.

In short, all the marketing experts who say pain is the greatest motivator have forgotten the power of our driving force in life: love.

People will scale mountains with luggage on their backs, swim upstream in a hurricane, and battle armies and all odds in order to fulfill that hardwired emotion in us to love and be loved. Love rules.

All the examples we were given were unfair. Someone trying to sell insurance and resorting to pain hasn't figured out the real pleasure button to make someone buy. They've been too lazy to search for the pleasure trigger. Focusing on pain was simply an easy cop-out, a handy approach.

It's the same with all the massive ad campaigns that fail. Trying to get someone to quit smoking or stop drugs because of the pain they depict in the ad is the wrong approach. If we suddenly focused on the pleasure someone would have when they stopped smoking or taking drugs, we'd be moving in the right direction.

This is obvious to me after watching the movie.

Our goal as marketing and businesspeople isn't to tell people what's wrong with them or to remind them of their pain, but to help them imagine and then experience the pleasure they long to have.

It's noble, yes, and it works.

Love moves everyone.

Love is the great motivator.

Love is the great pleasure trigger.

According to my friend Kevin Hogan, author of The Psychology of Persuasion, love isn't an emotion but a mind-set. And as a mind-set, it is actually stronger than any emotion.

In short, you're dealing with the most powerful motivator of all time.

Reveal what there is to love about your product or service and you'll give people authentic reasons to do business with you. Call it Love-Based Marketing. You won't sell everyone with it. You'll sell only those who are a match for your offer. That, in the end, is all you want. Then you're happy and so are your customers.

Just like Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, you'll find a match to write home about.

And you might make a little money along the way, to boot.

I have to confess that since writing this article, my thoughts have changed a little. For example, I think that gently reminding people of the pain they are in may be a wise and even loving thing to do. After all, if they are suffering and are in denial about it, a little Zen whack may be in order.

I also know that sometimes you want to mention the pain up-front because that is where the person's mind is. In other words, keeping Collier's advice in mind, if someone has sore feet, the best headline of all for them may very well be Sore Feet?.

I would still want to test that headline against one based on pleasure, such as Want Foot Relief? or At Last—No More Foot Aches!

The point is, I want to focus on the positive for idealist reasons, but I'm enough of a realist to know sometimes people need to be reminded of their pain in order to nudge them in the direction of their pleasure.

Eugene Schwartz, one of the greatest copywriters of all time, wrote in his famous book, Breakthrough Advertising:

"A copy writer's first qualifications are imagination and enthusiasm. You are literally the script writer for your prospect's dreams. You are the chronicler of his future. Your job is to show him in minute detail all the tomorrows that your product makes possible for him." Ah, yes!

Show your reader his or her dreams.

"You are literally the script writer for your prospect's dreams."

That's focusing on the positive.

MOTIVATION WITHOUT PAIN

So let's try creating a basic hypnotic message with just the other three steps:

1. Promise

2. Proof

3. Price

Here's how it might work.

Promise

In step one, you round up your audience by focusing on what they want. An example might be

Want to play the guitar fast and easy?

Proof

You then go to step two and offer proof. An example might be

Amy's Stripped-Down Guitar Method promises to teach you how to play your favorite song in one weekend flat

Price

Finally, in step three, you ask for their order by mentioning the price.

For only $19.99, you can be playing the guitar at the end of this weekend. Just click here

There you have it. You created a basic hypnotically written message and didn't cause people to feel bad at all. Your final piece of writing might look like this:

Want to play the guitar in one weekend flat? Amy's Stripped-Down Guitar Method e-book shows anyone how to do it, guaranteed or your money back. Click here to pay $19.99 and download it right now

Not bad for a few minutes' work. But is that good enough? And how do you apply this to your web site, anyway? Just keep reading.

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