Yet another blog on the intertubes

Home | Knowledge | Resumé | About


This page is a collection of notes, snippets, references and other tid-bits I have found and gathered from websites, online forums, books, and courses.

It is barely organized, and is dropped here with the intention of serving as a reference in case I want to just say “here read these books”, or “here’s the TL;DR.”

It should be noted that I intend no copyright infringement, these are here for educational purposes, and as a ’starting point’ for further research - if you wish that I remove any of the content here, please let me know.

Notes from the Web:

Michael B. Tager’s twitter thread on keeping trouble away

Note: taken from Michael B. Tager’s twitter. I am reposting this here because it’s worth remembering, and don’t want this lost.

I was at a shitty crustpunk bar once getting an after-work beer. One of those shitholes where the bartenders clearly hate you. So the bartender and I were ignoring one another when someone sits next to me and he immediately says, “no. get out.”

And the dude next to me says, “hey i’m not doing anything, i’m a paying customer.” and the bartender reaches under the counter for a bat or something and says, “out. now.” and the dude leaves, kind of yelling. And he was dressed in a punk uniform, I noticed

Anyway, I asked what that was about and the bartender was like, “you didn’t see his vest but it was all nazi shit. Iron crosses and stuff. You get to recognize them.”

And i was like, ohok and he continues.

“you have to nip it in the bud immediately. These guys come in and it’s always a nice, polite one. And you serve them because you don’t want to cause a scene. And then they become a regular and after awhile they bring a friend. And that dude is cool too.

And then THEY bring friends and the friends bring friends and they stop being cool and then you realize, oh shit, this is a Nazi bar now. And it’s too late because they’re entrenched and if you try to kick them out, they cause a PROBLEM. So you have to shut them down.

And i was like, ’oh damn.’ and he said “yeah, you have to ignore their reasonable arguments because their end goal is to be terrible, awful people.”

And then he went back to ignoring me. But I haven’t forgotten that at all.

Project Management:

Critical Chain Project Management, Lawrence P. Leach

Note: I am currently <2023-04-02 Sun> reading this book, and will include my notes and tidbits from the book that I find useful here, for future reference.

Important ideas:

  • People’s behavior is the only evidence of what they believe.
  • Three elements to meeting project goals:
    • Scope
    • Budget
    • Schedule
  • Concerned about missing parts of the project? Examine the gaps between tasks first, before adding more detail to existing ones.
  • Reasons oft-repeated solutions to problems are not proven:
    • Theory of knowledge: One or more successful cases do not prove a theory.
    • Environment: If the system has poor practices, any degree of discipline will cause an improvement.
    • Regression to the mean: A very bad performance is likely to be followed by a better one.
    • Hawthorne effect: Workers respond positively to any change in the way they work.


  • Table 1.2, ’Immutable Laws of Project Management’
    1. Law 1:
      1. No major project ever completes
        • on time,
        • within budget,
        • with the same staff that started it,
        • the project doesn’t do what it was supposed to.
      2. Corollaries:
        • The benefits are smaller than estimated (if they were estimated at all).
        • The deliverables will be late and won’t do what’s needed.
        • It will cost more but meet the specs.
    2. Law 2:
      1. One advantage of vague objectives is that you can avoid embarrassment in estimating costs.
    3. Law 3:
      1. The effort needed to correct a project that is off course grows geometrically with time.
      2. Corollaries:
        • The longer you wait, the harder it gets.
        • If you wait until the project is complete, you’re too late.
        • Do it now regardless of embarrassment.
    4. Law 4:
      1. Everyone understands the project brief differently.
      2. Corollaries:
        • You can’t explain it clearly enough for everyone to understand it.
        • If you do something that you think everyone will agree on, you’re wrong.
    5. Law 5:
      1. Measurable benefits are real. Intangible benefits are not measurable, thus intangible benefits are not real.
      2. Corollary: Intangible benefits are real if you can prove they’re real.
    6. Law 6:
      1. Anyone who can work effectively on a project part-time certainly does not have enough to do now.
      2. Corollaries:
        • If a boss will not give a worker a full-time job, neither should you.
        • If a project participant has a time conflict, the work given by the full-time boss will not suffer.
    7. Law 7:
      1. The greater the project’s technical complexity, the less you need a technician to manage it.
      2. Corollaries:
        • Get the best manager you can. The manager will get the technicians.
        • The reverse is almost never true.
    8. Law 8:
      1. A carelessly planned project will take three times longer to complete than expected. A carefully planned project will only take twice as long.
      2. Corollary: If nothing can possibly go wrong, it will anyway.
    9. Law 9:
      1. When a project is going well, something will go wrong.
      2. Corollaries:
        • When things cannot get any worse, they will.
        • When things appear to be going better, you overlooked something.
    10. Law 10:
      1. Project teams detest weekly progress reporting because it shows their lack of progress.
    11. Law 11:
      1. Projects progress quickly until they’re 90% complete. They they remain 90% complete forever.
    12. Law 12:
      1. If project content is allowed to change freely, the rate of change will exceed the rate of progress.
    13. Law 13:
      1. If the User does not believe in the system, another system will be developed. Neither will work well.
    14. Law 14:
      1. Benefits achieved are a function of the thoroughness of the postaudit check.
      2. Corollary: The prospect of an independent postaudit is a powerful incentive for a project team to deliver on schedule and within budget.
    15. Law 15:
      1. No law is immutable.
  • Conditions to starting a project:
    1. The right problem.
      • Ensure you’re working on the correct issue.
    2. The right solution.
      • Ensure that completion of the project solves the issue.
    3. The right design.
      • Ensure the scope and design yield an inmplementable solution.
    4. The right implementation.
      • Execute the project to meet the designed scope, time, and budget.
  • Factors and Influences:

    Factors are things which directly affect project success (scope, budget, schedule):

    1. Selection of the right problem.
    2. Selection of the right solution.
    3. Creation of a good plan.
    4. Effective project control system.
      • Resource quantity.
      • Resource skill.
      • Resource behavior.
      • The project management process.
      • Project execution tools.
      • Project changes.
    5. Effective project execution.
    6. An Effective method to manage uncertainty.

    Influences to these factors which are internal to the team:

    1. Management.
    2. Measurement.
    3. Rewards.
    4. Policies.
    5. Social normas.
    6. Variation in the processes that produce results.

    Influences external to the project team may include:

    1. Competitors.
    2. Suppliers.
    3. Client.
    4. Regulators.
    5. Physical environment.
    6. Other stakeholders.
  • Uncertainty:
    1. Small increases in the effort applied to estimating the time tasks require significantly improve the estimate.
    2. The accuracy of the overall plan improves as the plan is divided into more equal-sized pieces if the accuracy of the individual time estimates is the same.
    3. Adding more tasks to a project plan increases the number of connections much faster than the number of tasks you add. This increases the probability of errors in the project task network.
    4. Failure to effectively manage uncertainty is the reason most projects fail.
  • Right Execution:
    1. Improvement to the project system is itself a project.
    2. These types of projects can distract people from getting things done.

Success with Critical Chain

  • Benefits over Critical Path Theory:
    • Improved project success:
      • Projects completed on time all the time.
      • Projects delivered in full.
      • Project cost under budget.
      • Improved market position and business growth.
    • Reduced project duration:
      • Projects completed in half the time (or less) of previous similar projects.
      • Individual project plans reduced by 25%+.
      • Multiple project durations reduced by more.
      • Project changes reduced.
      • Early returns for commercial projects.
      • Reduced payback times for investment projects.
    • Increased project team satisfaction.
      • Less multitasking.
      • Ability to focus on one task at a time.
      • Less changes to the plan.
      • Less reworking deliverables.
      • Less pressure from multiple project managers.
      • Date-driven task pressure eliminated.
      • Buffer reporting used by individuals to decide task priority.
      • Less new priority tasks.
    • Simplified project measurement:
      • Quick and easy plan status.
      • Real-time project status.
      • Immediate focus by buffer, chain, and task.
      • Decisions defined by buffer report.
      • Focus on buffer reporting on management priority decisions.
    • Simplified project management:
      • Clear focur for project manager (critical chain).
      • Simplified project plans.
      • Simplified reporting.
      • Planing/ acting is decided by measurement.
      • Resource priorities decided by measurement.
    • Increased througput with same resource:
      • Less resource demand conflicts.
      • More done faster with same resource availability.
      • Less need to hire new resources.
      • Less delays.
      • Improved cash flow.
      • Better ROI.

The Direction of the Solution

  • Defining the project management system

    The PM system delivers results that satisfy all stakeholders.

    • Delivers the promised scope:
      • on or before schedule,
      • at or under estimated cost.
  • Project failure is an undesired effect

    Possible UDEs in projects:

    • Overrun schedule.
    • Overrun budget.
    • Compromise on scope to deliver on time or in budget.
    • Too many changes.
    • Multiproject companies end up fighting over resources.
    • Durations get longer and longer.
    • Projects are canceled before they are completed.
    • High stress on participants.

    Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.

  • Towards a core dilemma
    • Longer project durations
      • Contingency is the difference between a 50% probable estimate (for the duration of completing a task or project) and a 90% probable estimate.
      • We must plan each task to include the contingency, because task performance is uncertain.
      • There is pressure to approve shorter project durations, but that removes the contingencies

Copy and Advertising (With Some Sales)

Blair Warren

“People will do anything for those who:

  • encourage their dreams
  • justify their failures
  • allay their fears
  • confirm their suspicions
  • and help them throw rocks at their enemies.“

Chris Laub - Copy Crash Course (Copy Client Kit)


I took part in Chris’s Copy Crash Course in, I believe, either 2016 or 2017. This is a copy of my notes as I went through it - there is very little that is verbatim, and to the best of my knowledge, keeping this available as reference should fall within fair use.

Please note that this is based on a video course. A lot of this is based on slides that I no longer have access to - I lost the videos in a hard drive crash. If parts of this don’t make sense, that’s why.

  • Selecting a Niche
    • Pros
      1. Easier to network, prospect, and build relationships
      2. Easier to build reputation for oneself
      3. Easier to create content around the niche
      4. Specialists make more money than generalists
    • Cons
      1. Big Money Niches have HUGE competition
        1. Health
        2. Money
        3. Relationships
      2. Smaller Niche -> less money, easier clients
      3. Still have to:
        1. Get results
        2. Create Content
        3. Network
        4. Build reputation
    • DO BOTH
      • Work with any client for portfolio and skills
      • Niche over time and experience
      • Begin networking and prospecting in the niche
      • Take your time - can’t compete with the Big Dogs
      • Don’t try breaking into Big Money right away
    • The Big Three
      • Between 80-90% of money in direct response flows through:
        • Money/ Wealth
        • Health
        • Relationships (personal development/ spirituality/ PUA/ persuasion)
      • These niches NEVER die
      • Products go stale. Campaigns blow up, and fade out.
        • Desires change.
        • Sophistication levels change.
        • People get older.
    • Positioning!
      • Companies CRAVE copywriters that can help them develop fresh positioning for products.
      • If you expand beyond writing, get a bigger picture of the market, tapping into an evergreen niche can be a Gold Mine.
    • Runner-Ups
      • Personal Development
      • Technology
      • B2B (lead generation, linkedin ads, sales pages)
      • Pets (not very DR)
      • eCommerce
      • Newsletters
      • Funnels
      • Coaching & Consulting
      • Courses (growing, probably saturating in 5-10 yrs)
    • More advice
      • Choose an interesting niche first
      • Drawbacks of niching for money
        • Not being able to do high level market research
        • No passion in writing
        • Hating life
      • Be nice
        • Deliver on time
        • Don’t sell your soul to get cash
      • Braindump potential niches
        • Cross-reference to see which ones are:
        • Spending Money on ads, funnels, direct response, etc.
        • Actually Interesting
        • Not insanely hard to break into (easy to contact decision-makers)
        • Pick one that fits all criteria
    • Notes
      • Write content about the niche
        • Talk about your niche in terms of copy
        • Create lead magnets - ebooks
        • Copy critiques of other companies
          • Sales pages
          • Landing pages
          • E-mail sequences
          • VSLs
          • etc
      • Most business owners don’t want to know about copy - they want to trust you
        • Are you going to get them results?
        • What are they doing wrong?
        • What can they do better?
      • Much more money in own products/ services.
      • Execution is King
  • Copywriting
    • The headline is the most important part.
      • Headlines, subheads, bullets:
        • Useful
        • Provide Urgency
        • Unique main benefit
        • Ultra-specific
      • Questions for writing headlines
        • Does it offer a reward for reading?
        • What specifics can be added for more interest and believeability?
        • Does it trigger a strong actionable emotion?
        • Does it present an agreeable proposition?
        • Could it benefit by including a proposed transaction?
        • Can I add an element of intrigue to drive the reader into reading down?
    • Structure of persuasive copy
      • Focus on the reader
        • Important promise -> What’s in it for them?
      • Each part of the narrative must have a main idea and purpose to support the bigger point
      • Ultra-specific assertions - never be vague
        • Always have “reasons why”
      • Demonstrate credibility, using statistics, expert references, or testimonials.
        • After demonstrating competence and credibility, what’s there STILL for the reader?
        • Restate the hook and promise that engaged them in the first place.
      • Make an Offer. Explicitly present the product/ idea for acceptance.
        • Bold and firm.
        • Relieve the risk of acceptance by standing behind what you offer.
      • Summary, demonstrate fulfilled promise.
        • Benefits and FEatures
          • List every feature of the product/ service
          • Why is each feature included?
          • How does this connect with the reader’s desires?
          • Get to the root of what’s in it for the prospect at an emotional level
    • Length of Copy
      • Product + Audience + Purpose + Price-point + Unusual item
      • Four Lengths
        • Convenience products
        • Shopping products
        • Specialty products
        • Unsought products (longest)
    • Good copy - trust, authority, builds relationship - gets people talking.
      • Sentence
        • Short
        • No unnecessary words
      • Paragraph
        • No unnecessary sentences
      • General
        • Avoid all detail
        • Treat subjects in an outline
        • Every word counts
      • Style Rules
        • Common, normal spelling
        • Avoid hyperbole and fancy words
        • Put the reader first
        • Write in a natural way
      • Work from an outline
        • Set goals to accomplish
        • Write nouns and verbs
        • Revise and rewrite
        • Do NOT overwrite - keep things simple
        • Do not overstate
        • Don’t mix metaphors - use one at a time
        • Make every word tell
    • Varieties of Copy
      • Plain copy - simple presentation of facts and benefits
      • Storytelling copy
        • Outline
          • Opening - introduce problem
          • Conflict - challenge, problem
          • Dialogue - conversations increase interest and investment
          • Solution - product is introduced as cure for the problem
        • The story doesn’t have to be dramatic, just interesting to the audience
      • Conversational copy
        • Pretty much transcribed sales presentation
      • Imaginative copy
        • Imagine your life is easier/ better… () ….because of our product/ service.
      • Long copy
        • Lay everything out
        • Lots of facts and benefits
      • Killer poet copy
        • Copywriting as means to sale
        • Copy itself as art (moving story, beautiful design)
      • Direct-from-CEO copy
        • Levels the playing field
        • Best approached conversationally
      • Frank copy
        • From ugly to beautiful
        • Builds trust
      • Superlative copy
        • Outlandish claims
        • Requires proof (statistics, testimonials, research)
        • Tough to not sound like hyping the product
      • Rejection copy
        • “Only an exclusive set of people are worthy”
        • Velvet rope
        • Slight reverse psychology
  • How to start
    • Premise
      • Proposition supporting desired conclusion -
        • Emotional concept
          • Attracts attention
          • Maintains engagement
          • Ties the narrative together
          • Stimulates desire
          • Maintains credibility
          • Opens wallets
        • What does your market want?
        • Can you reach the market?
        • Is it worth your time?
      • Fix the offer
        • Make an offer
        • Provide information to help people accept it
        • Make it easy to respond to your offer
      • Premise Step 1 - Create the Concept
        • Be unpredictable
          • Gets attention
          • Unique on the market
        • Be simple
        • Be real - message has to be isntantly understood
        • Must communicate meaningful benefits that are also tangible
        • Be credible
      • Premise Step 2 - Execute with the 5P approach
        • Premise
        • Promise - ultimate benefit
          • Benefits pyramid: Features -> Advantages -> Benefits -> Ultimate Benefit
        • Picture - images, storytelling, tangible language
          • Holds emotional interest
          • Gives facts, features, benefits
            1. Have reader imagine himself enjoying the benefits of his desired outcome
            2. Then get specific about how the proposed solution makes the benefit happen
        • Proof
          • Statistics, studies, graphs, charts
          • Third party facts, testimonials, demonstration
        • Push - CTA

Copy Crash Course 0.1 - Mindset

  • Why it matters:
    • Success in business is 80-85% mindset
    • Success = Persistence
      • Hard Work
      • Enthusiasm
      • Emotional Stability
      • Risk/ Fear management
    • Can’t fake it in copy
    • Success is measured in conversion rates and sales
    • Emotional episodes (depression, anger) kill productivity
    • The further you go out of your comfort zone, the faster you progress
    • All that matters is execution
      • Figure out what needs done and execute
    • Dan Meredith’s GRIT course
      • Guys who crush it don’t have a “secret”
      • They take MASSIVE action
      • “If someone is not in my family, or putting money in my bank account, their opinion means nothing to me.” - Dan M.

Copy Crash Course 0.2 - Ways to make money with copy

  • Options:
    • Pure freelancing
      • Jumping on jobs, from gig to gig
      • Upwork, Freelancer, CoCJB
      • Get paid to ONLY write
      • The hardest path to making money
      • Not scalable
      • Constant Hustling
      • Freedom
      • Writing takes lots of time
    • In-house/ remote full-time positions
      • Pretty much 9-5
    • In-betweens:
      • Retainer model
      • Ongoing repeat clients
      • Part-time
  • What are you actually being paid for?
    • Writing Copy
    • Writing Content
      • Advertorials
      • Funnel Educational content
      • blog posts
    • Copy Critiques (scalable!)
    • Creating Templates for other copywriters
    • Consulting for Online Marketing
    • Creating information products
  • Important Notes:
    • Critiques and consulting is easier than writing copy
    • Being more than a writer:
      • More valuable
      • Easier to get continued work
    • Focus on Getting more work from clients you already have
      • Retainer + one-off projects = WIN
      • Stack retainers for massive damage

Copy Crash Course #3 - How to write “Just Good Enough”

  • Just Good Enough
    • Just Getting Results
    • Can’t charge $3.5k ifyou write at $1k level
  • Markets + Offers > Copy
    • “80% of success in direct response comes down to the list and the offer” - Dan Kennedy
    • Become a student of markets/ offers
  • What clients want
    • Someone who:
      • Is a pleasure to work with
      • Delivers on time
      • Converts
    • Given this:
      • You can get far without having to write super high converting copy
      • You should still do your best
      • Guarantee you’ll hit delivery dates with a 5% penalty for every 24h late time
        • Write this into contract
      • Be pleasant to work with
  • The Goal of Your Copy
    • Get the Conversion
      • Opt-in, email click, registration, sale
      • Vanity metrics don’t matter
    • Copy = Sales - Salesmanship in Print
  • Perry Belcher’s 21 step template
    • Take artistic liberties
      • Hell to Heaven
      • Story has to be emotionally compelling
      • Common enemy
        • Doctors
        • Big pharma
        • Wall street
        • Banks
    • Use common lingo/ jargon
    • Ease of use
      • Faster, cheaper, easier
      • …than if they do it on their own
    • Desire
      • Future cast - “Imagine”
        • More clients than you can handle
        • Vacation
        • etc.
      • Use at least 3 times
    • Authority
      • Awards
      • References
    • Benefits
      • Not features, unless tied to benefits
      • Crank them up to 11
    • Proof/ Testimonials
      • Case studies
      • Research
      • Aligning with authority
      • News references
    • Offer in detail
    • Build up the value
      • Break the offer
      • Make the parts worth more than the whole
    • Bonuses
      • Some people buy for them
    • Reveal the price
      • Apples to oranges (consider the cost of (expensive solution))
      • Build massive exaggerations
      • Put price in context
    • Scarcity
      • Don’t use it on digital
    • Urgency - Price goes up
    • Guarantees - reverse risk
      • Go in-depth
    • Call to action
      • Walk them through the entire process of buying
    • Give warning if they don’t buy
    • Close with reminder (PS summary)
  • How to get better at writing
    • Write for a set block of time
    • Halfway through spend 30 minutes studying
      • More ideas
      • Better recall
      • Improved execution
  • Copy Editing
    • Bond Halbert’s Copy Editing Book
  • Magic Happens in
    • Market research (30% of the time)
    • Editing (65%)
  • Writing part
    • Writer’s block is an excuse
    • Force yourself to write - even braindumps
    • Set your own deadlines
    • Setspecific times when writing

Copy Crash Course #4

  • Hustling up Clients
    • 3 Approaches: Short, Medium, Long
    • Methods change - Principles never do
    • Problems:
      • Getting caught up in tactics
      • Giving up too soon
    • Success is a marathon (“The Slight Edge”)
  • 5 Questions to Answer:
    • Why am I doing this?
      • Why:
        • am I writing copy?
        • did I pick my niche?
        • do I care about getting my clients results?
        • should they hire me instead of the next guy?
    • Who do I want to work with?
      • Who:
        • Multi-million $
        • Solopreneurs
        • Alpha vs. Chill?
        • Older vs. younger?
        • Values
        • Personality
    • Where do they spend time?
      • Events?
      • Social media?
      • Listening to podcasts? Watching TV?
      • Are they private?
    • How can I get in front of them?
      • Is it appropriate to PM via FB?
      • Cold mail?
      • Direct mail?
      • Mutual contacts on LinkedIn for intros?
      • Paid Facebook groups?
      • Posting on Job Boards?
    • What should I say to get their attention?
      • Bait
      • Content Marketing
      • Sales techniques?
  • Process:
    • Track statistics in a spreadsheet
    • Analyze
    • Change what isn’t working
    • Double down on something else
    • Repeat every 2 weeks.

Copy Crash Course #4.1 - Short Term Hustling

  • Quick Cash
  • Not scalable
  • Terrible for positioning (negotiations)
  • Good:
    • You don’t publicly hurt your rep
    • You only need some samples + LinkedIn
    • HUGE pool of opportunities
    • Numbers game
  • Bad:
    • BAD positioning
    • People pursue that which they can’t have
    • Expect most prospects to run
    • Not the most productive path
  • Niching and positioning makes clients bite
  • Fish where the fish are:
    • Upwork
      • Spent >$500
      • Job at least $500
      • Find their website
      • their addresses
    • LinkedIn
      • Connect to established copywriters
      • Search for “copywriter”
      • Open a guy
      • Who recommends him?
      • Connect - find any excuse - keep it simple
      • Don’t go straight for the jugular
    • Facebook
      • Group: “Screw the 9-5 community”
    • Cold Mail
    • CoCJB
      • Look for jobs more than a month old
      • Check comments for leads on copywriter’s ads
  • Rules:
    • Reach out gently
    • Templated messages are OK, but PERSONALIZE
    • If possible, the first 2-4 interactions should be legit
    • Don’t waste their time
    • Don’t be an ass
    • Confidence
    • Schedule calls on Fridays
  • Schedule:
    • Monday - Prep
    • Tue-Fri - Pitch
    • Friday - Calls

Copy Crash Course #4.2 - Cold E-mail

  • Quick facts:
    • Billions of dollars of deals annually
    • Works
    • 2 options:
      • Highly personalized (less scalable)
      • Non-personalized (very scalable)
    • Smaller niche -> personalize a lot
  • Prep
    • Select whom you’re going after (be brutal)
    • Select sources for finding their email
    • Create your cold email spreadsheet
    • Scrape emails
    • Use templates & Personalize the INTRO
  • Template
    • Subject Line
    • Super personalized intro
    • What you can help them gain
    • Quick credibility building
    • CTA
  • Send at 11:30 AM their time, usually.
  • Tips:
    • Practice on yourself first
    • Always, always personalize your intro
    • Aim to send 25 per week (5/day)
    • Persist
    • 8-20% response rates
    • Commit to doing this for 60-90 days
    • Don’t cold-mail the A-listers - build relationships

Copy Crash Course #5 - Medium Term Client-Getting Strats

  • General
    • Not as within control
    • Time consuming
    • More leverage
    • Limited by the size of your network
    • Require more planning and prep
    • Much better positioning
    • Higher value deals
  • Bad
    • Relationships rather than numbers
    • Less control
    • Investment in assets -> network
  • Good
    • No more chasing people
    • At worst, you transition into a natural conversational pitch
    • At best, clients chase you
    • Improved position and negotiation power
  • Where to focus?
    • Referrals from existing clients
    • Networking in niche oriented communities
    • Players who have access to your potential clients
  • Relationships
    1. Patience is critical
      1. Some might take months to develop
      2. Don’t go for the kill too soon - most people will be more advanced
      3. This is a long-term relationship
    2. Don’t pussyfood around the issue
    3. Don’t waste time
    4. Network = Net Worth
      1. The DR industry is very small
      2. Your reputation is everything
      3. Just ONE relationship can change your career
      4. Play the long game
  • Retainers -> better relationships

    Recurring revenue -> WIN Referrals -> networking -> WIN

  • Steps
    • Get ONE solid client
    • Provide really good service (hire someone to critique)
    • Put in your dues
    • Ask for referrals
  • Waste of time
    • Pretending to be networking
    • Networking with people who’ll never be clients
    • Not taking action
  • Execution
    • Be strategic - 7P
    • Be brutal with your time
    • Plan every day
  • Social

    FB Comments -> Relationships Linkedin -> Copywriter’s recommendations -> pitch Cold-mail -> Coffee on me?

  • Spec Work
    • Never
      • “Thanks for getting back to me, however given my experience, I don’t write spec. If you wish, I can send you relevant samples. Sincerely, X.”
    • Except when….
      • You can write for a guru or A-lister (Dan Meredith’s program - copywriting coaching)
      • Creating reputation is Key
      • Requires research, patience, personalization
  • Justin Goff
    • Rewrite a company’s copy
      • The lead (first 2 pages)
      • FB ad
      • First three autoresponder emails
    • Get in touch with the person behind the funnel (Owner/ Marketing Director)
    • Show them. Ask if they’d like to discuss
      • Confidence
      • Be professional
      • Provide killer copy
  • Relationship Hacking
    • Genuine Outreach
    • Persistence
    • Never Lie
    • Don’t get emotional about criticism
    • Be tenacious, not annoying
    • Remember you’re talking to people
  • Plan
    • Quality > Quantity
    • Laser in on 10 big players in your niche and network 1/week for a month
    • Fill out your Dream Client Spreadsheet
    • Start slow by adding value to what they’re already doing
    • If they have a book, buy it and send them a PM explaining what you learned
    • If not, add value (shares, comments, etc)
    • If they’re not on social, or don’t produce content, find a piece of high value content and send it to them
    • NO timetable
    • Don’t stalk
    • Once they start responding, wait a week, and shoot them a PM explaining your desire to work with them

Copy Crash Course #6 - Power Positioning

  • Leads, Leads, Leads
    • 99% of business owners are obsessed with getting new leads
    • They think that’s why their business is failing
    • In reality, they just need to close more
    • This is even more true if they learned how to negotiate
      • Landing one $5k client is easier than several $1.250 clients
  • The Deal
    • Learning Sales, Positioning, Negotiation goes much further than learning how to generate more leads
    • generate few leads, close half
  • Why positioning matters
    • Critical to success
    • Perception = Reality
    • You choose how you’re perceived; up until the first impression you’re a blank slate
    • Everything affects your position
  • High status positioning
    • Really Hot Girls - snobby, hard to get attention, only want the best, bitch shield
    • Celebs - known by everyone, impossible to get in touch with, body guards, super exclusive
    • CEO’s - layers of gatekeepers, power over people, dominant
    • Highly esteemed doctors - expensive, exclusive, know they know more than you, dominant
  • Become the Doctor
    • How does a doctor get paid?
      1. Client books appointment
      2. Asks lots of questions
      3. When he finds a pain point, dig deeper with more specific questions
      4. Ask intelligent questions toshow you know what you’re talking about
      5. LISTEN!
        • Take notes by hand
        • Prescribe the diagnosis with 100% confidence
    • What would a great doctor NEVER do?
      • Give a wishy-washy diagnosis
      • Change the diagnosis because a patient doesn’t like it
      • Get emotional if the patient doesn’t follow through
      • Discount his services because the client can’t afford it
      • Trash competitors
  • Positioning 101
    • If all you do is write, you’re replaceable
    • Specialist = charge more
    • Offer more than words on a page
    • Specialty must be related to marketing they’re already doing
    • Real key = ongoing work (consulting)
      • Writing VSL’s -> one and done
      • Optimizing, consulting -> ongoing
  • Positioning 201
    • Expert status -> the average Joe will never assume they know more
    • You must know more than your prospects
    • Convey this to prospects
      • Caveat: cut-throat, upper echelons of direct response
    • Confidence is critical
    • Speak with authority
      • Statements, not suggestions
      • Give commands wthout being a jerk
      • Don’t use weasel words
      • Age doesn’t matter - professionalism does
      • Be a leader, get results
    • You’re NOT selling logos!
      • The contract isn’t finished when the copy is handed over.
      • The real value depends on if your work converts into positive ROI
      • Hiring a copywriter is a massive gamble
    • You’re not selling copy, but certainty
      • Hard to gamble on someone who isn’t sure of themselves
  • Positioning 301
    • Wiseman at the top of the mountain
      • Hard to reach
      • Only talks to a few people
      • Known to impart wisdom
      • Revered, Respected
    • Business People
      • Hard to reach
      • Not always available
      • They don’t respond to shit right away
      • They ignore a large percept of the people who try to reach them
    • Position yourself the same way without being an asshat
      • NEVER respond to emails the same day, unless it’s an existing client
      • Clients pay and expect customer service
      • Almost never reply to comments or PM’s on FB right away
      • Instantly responding is bad positioning.
    • Weird time zone?
      • Work on your own schedule and never adapt because they’re not available when I am
      • Either they book during the time slots available, or we don’t talk. (Don’t be a dick)
    • Supply and demand ALWAYS affect price
    • If you’re too available, S/D works against you
    • The goal is to be busy
      • Network
      • Book calls
      • Write to improve
      • Create content
    • Advanced Tips
      • Get a virtual assistant
      • Use an online calendar tool
        • Make sure it’s not showing you’re wide open
      • Publish your calendar live on your website
      • Set-up a “waiting list” landing page you can point your visitors to
      • Set up a Results/ Case Studies list
        • Ask prospects that don’t convert if you can add them to your list (90% will say “yes”)
        • Send your results to people 1/mth

Copy Crash Course #6.2 - Sales

  • Positioning
    • Will take you far
    • You won’t have to try hard
    • Until you have positioning, sales skills are critical
  • Sales 101
    • Build rapport
      • Find their style and run with it
      • Talk about hobbies, family, etc.
      • Warm them up so it’s not a robotic transaction
    • Learn what’s going on
      • Ask and listen
        • Let them know you’re taking notes by hand - if you go quiet, it’s not because you disappeared
        • Close your computer
        • Only capture the mega-important points
      • Probe pain-points
        • Have a pre-planned list of questions
          • Don’t be a robot
          • Going on tangents is fine as long as it’s relevant and you have time
        • Types of questions
          • Open ended (why/ what/ when/ where/ how)
          • Intelligent/ Provocative
          • Challenging
        • Turns you into a consultant, in their heads
      • Dig deeper into their problems
        • Problem - Agitate - Solve
          • ID the problem
          • Rub salt in the wound
          • Offer a solution
        • Get them to reflect on these points
          • “What have you tried in the past, and why didn’t it work?”
          • “Whgy has this become a proprity for you now? Why can’t you continue on the way things are?”
          • “What kind of impact is this going to have on your revenue if you don’t get this handled?”
    • Regroup
      • Figure out
        • Timelines
        • Pricing
        • Scope of work
      • Lay out a plan for Improving their situation
        • “I can definitely help you with this. Is that something you’d like me to tell you about?”
        • AND THEN WAIT
    • Pitch
      • Keep it focused on results
        • No one cares about you, who you’ve worked with, or past results at this point
        • Speak in terms of how you’re going to help them overcome the problems they just told you about
        • Spoon feed what they said back to them
        • Keep it short and sweet
      • Don’t be obsessed with closing deals
        • The more you want someone’s money, the less they’ll want to buy
      • People respect you more for taking your time to come back to them with a thorough plan/ proposal
        • DON’T RUSH THIS
      • Maintain Control of the conversation
      • Remain rock solid confident
      • Eventually it’ll come to a point where they need to decide
      • “Based on everything we discussed is this something you’re interested in?
        • “YES”
          • Stop talking, move towards further steps (proposals, contracts, signing, payment)
        • “No”
          • Just let them go, no hard feelings
        • They hesitate - they want to, but have objections
          • Address objections
          • Take it easy
          • If you can help them, it’s your obligation to make sure they do the right thing
  • Sales 201
    • Quoting Prices Early
      • Only question is price -> Generally bad sign
      • Never give prices in first interactions
      • Don’t serve bottom-of-the-barrel price shoppers
    • Red Flags
      • Late to calls w/o apologies or explanations
      • Same goes for no-shows
      • Refuse to discuss details without knowing fees
      • Are arrogant
        • Think they can do it better
        • Say they’re only hiring because they don’t have time
        • Refuse anything up-front
        • % of sales w/o upfront
        • Delivery in a ridiculous timeframe
        • Write on Spec
        • Super-complimentary and flattery (nice guy approach, they’re hiding something)
        • Try to get you to do things you’re not comfortable with
        • Don’t truly value copy, just want words on a page
    • Green Flags
      • They already do Direct Response
      • Make it clear you work WILL get published
      • Have hired multiple copywriters in the past
      • Have a clear idea of what they need
      • Know they need to pay AT LEAST 50% upfront
      • Have a large list and a good relationship with them
      • Have the budget to throw serious traffic at the copy

Copy Crash Course #7.1 - Pricing

  • Pricing Trio
    • Positioning/ Rep
    • Selling/ Negotiating
    • Writing Skill
  • Plan & Strategize

    Improve Selling & Negotiations Write and Study Copy

    • Get better at writing
      • One big win
        • REP
    • Charge by
      • Client’s potential profits
      • Their revenue
      • Target revenue numbers
      • Profit margins
    • Consultant vs. Copywriter
      • Takes Investigative work
      • Requires Questioning
      • Understanding Marketing as a Whole
      • Understanding where copy fits into their business
    • Consulting - Understand Key Performance Indicators
      • Speak in terms of goals, revenue, growth, etc.
    • Back end > Front end
    • Focus on Selling High Impact Stories
    • Understand the money-flow in the client’s business
  • Pricing
    • The more you charge, the more seriously you’re taken
    • The more they pay, the more confident they are
    • Your writing must match your pricing
    • Better to quote a bit high than a bit low
      • It’s impossible to raise your fees
  • Chris’s Minimum Fees
    • Emails - $100
    • FB ads - $50
    • Opt-in pages $375 short $750 long
    • Website pages - $150 min, $250 avg.
    • Sales letters - $1500 min.
    • VSL’s - $1500 min.
    • Webinars - $2000
      • Can use templates
      • Webinars are LONG

Copy Crash Course

Copy Crash Course Call #1

  • Halbert - Starving Crowd
    • Find those who already:
      • Are interested in copy
      • Know the value of a copywriter
      • Spend money on copy
    • Examples:
      • Financial niche
        • Cryptos are not profitable if they’re not allowed to advertise
      • Personal development
    • Send them a cold-mail “Do you have openings for clients next week?” If yes -> PITCH
    • If you’re doing revenue share, make sure they already are bringing something to the table
    • Dividing target audiences
      • Separate pages
      • Separate funnels (ASK Method) - max 4

Copy Crash Course Call 8/5/2017

  • FB Ads - length should depend on trafic temperature

    Warmer -> Shorter Colder -> Longer top copy

  • Bond Halbert’s Copy Editing book
    • Take your time
    • Do heavy-duty cleanup first
    • Print copy first and use red pen
    • Read it out loud
  • Lead generation
    • Contact people up to a month after they posted on UpWork/ Freelancer
    • Use common sense
    • Script in Module 4.
  • Proposal Building Process
    • Onboarding sequence: A-Z process the client goes through
    • Evaluate how warm they are
    • “Yes -> Cold”
    • If they type up more
      • Give them more options
      • Get more info
  • Cold-mail
    • Personalize
    • Use HubSpot Sales
    • Opening a few times -> Interest
  • Autoresponders
    • 3-emails storytelling
    • 3rd should hint at sale
    • 4-5 hard sale
  • Copywriting is almost entirely trust-based
  • Contracts
    • Get paid 50% upfront and 50% about 75% of the way
    • Getting sued basically doesn’t happen
    • Sales -> Module 6
    • Quarrels -> Not enough qualification
  • International
    • Send Proposal
    • If they want, send legal agreement

Copy Crash Course Call 15/5/2017

  • Hook - Big Idea for dime-a-dozen firms
    • Eugene Schwartz// Todd Brown
    • Exaggerate
    • Unique Mechanism (99% of the time it’s enough)
    • Storytelling
    • Positioning, positioning, positioning
  • Lead has no online presence
    • Direct Mail
    • High quality paper
    • Hand address mail
    • 2 page pitch
    • Doesn’t need to be personalized
    • Personalization isn’t as relevant
  • Easier to sell if they know what copy is
  • Disqualify a lot
  • Irresistable offer
    • Free up-front
    • Only get paid once they generate revenue

5-figure Proposal Secrets

  • Proposals are Tools
  • Myths
    • You always need a proposal
      • IM/DR generally doens’t require formal proposals
      • Traditional corporations nearly always require formal proposals (multiple decision-makers)
    • Proposal should be short
      • You should puff up
        • List all deliverables
        • List all research
        • List everything you’ll do for the client
        • You should talk about what you do
      • Go hard on deliverables
        • Doesn’t impress sophisticated clients
        • High level business is all about profit
        • Consultant talk
  • Discovery process
    • Learn B2B sales process
    • Find if they’re a fit
    • Their objectives
  • Make the fee look like a drop in the bucket
    • Price anchoring + ranges
  • Discuss everything

How to Generate Leads via Cold Outreach - w/ Jon Buchan

  • Actionable Tips
      • Avoids the issues with youtube ads, recommendations getting in the way, etc.
    • Connect on LinkedIn, then send them a cold email saying “Hey I just connected with you on LinkedIn, thanks for adding me”
      • Builds sense of familiarity
  • Prospecting
    • Any relationship has hunter/ hunted dynamics
    • As a beginner you don’t have much positioning, so you need to hunt
    • Outbound leads generated usually stay on longer
    • Outbound gives you complete control over the process
    • Outbound means NOW NOW NOW
    • Outbound is the sniper-rifle of client generation
  • Effective Outbound Marketing
    • Ice-breakers
      • Hardcore TRUE personalization (faking it is BAD)
      • Humor (lets you get away with less personalization)
      • Coffee/ lunch appointments
      • Helping them beat their current results
      • Helping them achieve some goal
      • Credibility (Relevant Results)
      • “Apologies in advance…” “Greetings, [name], You’ve never heard of me. I’m [name], I got your data from a list (gasp!) Hey, at least you’re list-worthy. That’s gotta be worth something, right?”
      • “Blatant Clickbait”
      • [name] buys a tropical island?
    • Mission-matching
      • Consume your prospect’s materials to get a good grip on their business.

        “Hey I signed up, watched your webinars, read your book, and I really appreciate what you do.

        As [their ideal client] I know how difficult it is to [what they do] and I really believe in the mission that you’re working towards trying to help [their clients].

        Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself, I’m a copywriter helping [niche] experts like yourself get results, if there’s anything I can help you with, I’d be happy to, if not, no worries.

        Thanks, [name]“

        • Even if they’re not interested, they’ll respond.
        • It doesn’t get any more authentic than this.
        • Super-personalized.
        • Uber-genuine.
        • Can’t fake it.

How To Get Retainer Clients

  • Retainers are the HOLY GRAIL of Copywriting
  • Downsides
    • Losing a client means losing a large chunk of income.
    • Project creep

    Clients can get it in their head that they’re your boss, and send you a bunch of work.

    Make sure they don’t get unrestricted access to you - set clear limits.

    E.g. 1 sales page/mth, 5 ads/wk, etc.

    Always keep track of your general hourly rate, and never let it drop below what you want to make on average.

  • How to get clients on retainers
    • Understand how to sell the client on retainer
    • You’ll want to generally have a good relationship with the client
    • They need to have an ongoing need for copy
    • Make sure you’re comfortable with the client
  • How to pitch the retainer and close the deal
    • Do a trial run before actually signing a retainer
    • Make it beneficial to them - some sort of bulk discount
    • Ensure specific time commitment
  • Contract
    • Exit clauses
    • Kill closes
    • Penalty fees
    • Make sure everything’s clear and agreeable
    • SCOPE
  • Best way of finding DR copy companies
    • Networking in DR communities
      • Digital Marketer - Engage facebook group
      • Ryan Levesque private FB group
      • Facebook Ad related Groups
      • Funnel related groups
      • eCommerce Groups
      • LinkedIn DR groups/ companies
    • Look at who’s spending money
      • Look at those who spend on Facebook Ads
      • Newspapers
      • Radio
      • Taboola/ Outbrain
      • Just find out where the money is

80/20 Marketing Funnels

  1. Pain Traffic -> Content
    1. Retargeting -> Email Capture
  2. Email Capture
  3. Low Dollar Offer
    1. 6-10 automated emails promoting low dollar offer
  4. Main Product
    1. 4-8 automated emails promoting main product
  5. Upsells

Chris’s 8 step process

  1. Research
    1. WHY is a sales funnel a good idea?
    2. WHAT exact purpose does it serve?
    3. WHO is the audience?
  2. Define
    1. Positioning
    2. USP
    3. Differentiators
    4. Emotional hot-buttons
    5. Brand, etc.
  3. Strategize
    1. Map out the funnel
    2. Look at your sstrengths and weaknesses
    3. Make the funnel model that makes the most sense for you
  4. Build
    1. Putting the pieces together
    2. Copy, design, etc.
    3. Manual labor
  5. Soft Launch
    1. Send as little traffic as possible
    2. Find problems
    3. Which points aren’t converting?
    4. Collect data, analytics, find the issues
  6. Fix
    1. Fix things!
    2. Optimize!
  7. Scale
    1. Throw in more people
  8. Perfect
    1. Repeat 5-7
    2. Add heatmaps
    3. Add live chat
    4. Get as many conversion points as possible
    5. Repeat and work on it


  • Digestive health niche
  • Weak offer (old ebook) -> lead gen quiz
  • 750 opt-ins to 9k/mth (1100% gain)
  • Each lead worth $1.27
  • 8,250 x $1.27 = $10,477/mth
  • 10,477 x 12 = $125,730 annual gain
  • Online business (paid traffic)
  • Cold traffic -> conversion-optimized blog post (ungated -> opt-in CTA)
  • Webinar registrants @ $3.69 each, w/o retargeting or ads
  • 429% ROAS

Gary Halbert’s 30 day challenge

  • Phase 1 — Read The Classics Without Taking Notes
    • Scientific Advertising — Claude Hopkins
    • How To Write A Good Advertisement — Victor
    • The Robert Collier Letter Book — Robert Collier
    • Tested Advertising Methods — John Caples
    • Gary Halbert Newsletter — Gary Halbert
    • The Boron Letters — Gary Halbert
    • Breakthrough Advertising — Eugene Schwartz
    • The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches — Joe Karbo
    • 7 Steps To Freedom — Ben Suarez
  • Phase 2 - Write Letters By Hand

    Gary says to write out famous advertisements by hand. This will imprint the masters who wrote them in your mind (and hand). Gary swore by this technique and did it even when he was already considered widely successful.

    Here’s the list of what he recommends:

    • “Do You Make These Mistakes In English?”
    • “What Everybody Ought To Know About This Stock And Bond Business”
    • “The Nancy L. Halbert Heraldry Letter”
    • “How To Burn Off Body Fat, Hour-By-Hour”
    • “At 60 Miles An Hour The Loudest Noise In This Rolls Royce Is The Ticking Of The Electric Clock”
    • “Why Men Crack”
    • “How To Collect From Social Security At Any Age”
    • “The Admiral Byrd Transpolar Expedition Letter”
    • “The Lazy Man’s Way To Riches”
  • Phase 3 — Go Through The Mechanical Process

    This step seems tedious and feels outdated but if a legend swears by it, you best listen.

    Here’s what you have to do:

    • Create a hand-drawn layout of each ad you just copied
    • Take that to a typist and then a typesetter to have it typeset.
    • Proof the ad and make any necessary corrections
    • Have a velox (stat) made out of it
  • Phase 4 — Note Taking

    For this stage all you’re gonna do is go back and read through the books from phase 1. Only this time, TAKE NOTES.

    Write down anything that catches your attention, makes you stop, interests you, or sounds like a gold nugget.

  • Phase 5 — Headlines

    Go through ALL the material we’ve covered. Books, ads, direct mail pieces, etc.

    Write down EVERY headline you see.

  • Phase 6 — Storing The Notes & Headlines (Your Toolbox)

    Take every note you’ve written and individually transfer it onto 3 x 5 index cards. Put those in a shoebox.

    Next, take every headline you’ve written and put those onto 3 x 5 index cards. Put those in a separate shoebox.

  • Phase 7 — Take A Few Days Off

    I know. I know. It seems counter intuitive.

    But it’s what Gary Halbert recommends.

    Take your mind off this whole process for a few days. Play golf, go for a run, enjoy time with your family. Anything but note taking and shoeboxes.

  • Phase 8 — Study The Product

    What is it you’re trying to write about?

    Let’s say you need to write an ad for for a new email software. Something that competes with Mailchimp and AWeber.

    First, read every piece of direct advertising that has been written about what you’re trying to sell. For the example, see what Mailchimp, AWeber, Direct Response, etc have written to promote their product.

    Next, read every piece of direct advertising that has been written about something CLOSE to what you’re trying to sell. In our example you could look at other marketing software advertisements, not necessarily for email.

    Finally, examine what you’re trying to sell. Spend some time looking through every menu, every feature and function.

    Take notes during this and put them onto notecards, and then in a shoebox.

  • Phase 9 — Take Some More Days Off

    Take some more days off and refresh.

    Don’t write down any ideas that pop up in your head during this. Ignore them and wait.

  • Phase 10 — First Draft

    Isolate yourself. Shut down all distractions. All you should have in front of you is a piece of paper (or word processor) and your boxes of notes.

    Shuffle through the cards you wrote about your product or service. Read through them and think about what catches your eye.

    Next, shuffle and look through all the other cards that have the notes and headlines you wrote. Think how these could apply to your product or service.

    Jot down ideas as they come to you.

    Write headlines that are dumb. Write some that make sense. All that matters is you keep writing, writing, and writing.

    Then, the magic happens.

    If you’ve done everything Gary recommends, a central selling idea (CSI) should appear.

    Write that idea down as the first sentence or headline on your draft.

    Now let the mental flood gates open.

    Write like your pants are on fire. Don’t worry about spelling mistakes or grammar. Write. Write. Write. Write!

    Don’t worry about getting it perfect. Don’t worry about anything at all, just WRITE!

    When your mind is exhausted, put your work aside.

    Take some more time off, maybe a day or two and take your mind off what you’ve just written.

  • Phase 11 — The Final Product

    Rework what you’ve written into this sequence:

    Say something that gets attention Tell them why they should be interested (expand on CSI) Tell them why they should believe what you’re saying is true Prove it is true Itemize and describe all benefits Tell them how to order Tell them to order now Check and edit for grammar, misspellings, flow, etc.

    Remove the word “that” as many times as you can and words ending in “-ly”.

    Your copy should flow much better with those changes.

    Finally, read your copy out loud and make sure it’s easy to read. Everything should flow smoothly.

Chris Haddad

The following are notes from I believe videos of his talks I found on YouTube. It was so long ago that I genuinely don’t remember when that was. I do feel like these are valuable examples, and worth sharing.

8 “Stupid” Copywriting Tricks

  • Figure Out The PRIMAL DESIRE Of Your Market And Give It To Them
    • Come up with your promise, hook, and even whole sales video BEFORE creating the product
    • (Nobody cares what you want to sell them - they care about what they want to buy)
    • Appeal to the PRIMAL DESIRES of your market. What do they want DEEP IN THEIR LIZARD BRAIN (they might not evenknow themselves)?
    • PRIMAL DESIRES are often 100% irrational
      • Examples:
        • “Make Him Beg To Be Your Boyfriend” (Women want to be desired and even OBSESSED about.)
        • “Text Your Ex Back” (“I want her back but I don’t want to do any work.”)
        • Numerology Market (“I want to be SPECIAL. I want cosmic forces to blame for the bad things in my life.”)
        • Make Money (“I want to wipe that smug look off my brother in law’s face and PROVE I’m worth something. Also, a Porsche and a hyper-intelligent donkey would be nice.”)
  • Use “Punched In The Gut” Storytelling
      • Cause an immedia, visceral emotional impact.
      • Create eye catalepsy when you say them to people in person.
      • Get people to stick around and watch your video (or read your copy) and buy your stuff. (Can’t bore me into buying.)
    • Most people buying online are sitting at home INCREDIBLY BORED!
  • Make Promises With Balls
    • Make a Bold, Over The Top Promise
      • Most marketers make WEAK promises
      • Forget your product, forget the FTC, forget reality (for now.) What’s the promise you WOULD make if you had a magic wand and there were no rules and no limits?
      • After you’ve got that on paper, pull it back to something you can actually back up and fulfill and that won’t get you arrested or go to marketing hell.
      • Good promises are detailed and specific promises.
      • “You’ll slash your power bill by 70% and will run out like a happy puppy when the power company sends you a check.” vs. “You’ll save money on power.” (Paint a picture in the prospect’s mind)
      • Go TOO FAR and THEN pull back to something you can stand behind.
    • Examples:
      • “Your ex girlfriend will crawl over broken glass to get you back, forgive you for everything and pull off your pants like a tigress going after a porterhouse steak.”
      • “You’ll watch the pounds MELT off your body… will throw away your ‘fat clothes’ forever and will be sliding back into your favorite jeans from college… just by doing a few simple exercises and eating DONUTS!!”
  • Use a magic mechanism to add an Irresistible Hook to Your Offer
    • “Mechanistic” benefits versus “naked” benefits
      • Mechanism makes the promise seem simpler, easier, and more “done for you”
      • Creates a more specific picture in your prospect’s mind.
      • REMEMBER: Your prospect has low self-esteem around the topic you’re selling them. They don’t believe they can do it themselves and want to rely on a “magic button” to do it for them. (I don’t want to learn to fish. I just want an endless supply of fish for free.)
      • “Dummies” books are successful because of low self esteem.
    • Examples:
      • “Get your wife into bed” vs. “TEXT Your Wife Into Bed”
      • “Do sit ups” vs. “VIBRATING AB MACHINE!!”
      • Adding “tools” and “done for you” stuff to your product always increases conversions.
  • Confirm the prejudices, Irrational Beliefs and Soul Crushing Fears Your Market Already Has Around Your Big Idea Or Niche
    • Mind and Heart
      • Enter the conversation already going on in their mind.
      • But also dive into the WAR already being waged in their HEART.
      • Humans love to be agreed with or made to feel like they’re RIGHT.
    • Examples:
      • “You’ve been lied to by every man you’ve ever met… every man you’ve ever loved. Every man you’ve ever trusted.”
      • “Your wife is going to leave you because you’re not good enough in bed.”
      • “Obama is a socialist alien mutant who wants to steal your guns!!!!”

    “If You Can Give voice to what I privately believe or fear in my heart but have never told anyone, I’ll trust you forever”

  • Transform buying your SHIT into a noble and HEROIC Acted-
    • Justification
      • People buy based on emotion and justify with logic
      • Transform buying your stuff into “The Right Thing To Do”
      • Buyer’s pride vs. buyer’s remorse
    • Examples:
      • “Saving Money On Power” becomes “Protecting my little girls from those idiots in the government”
      • “Picking up chicks” becomes “`rescuing` women. I want them to date me so they don’t date some douchebag. I am a hero!”
      • “Get Rich On Line so I can buy a Ferrari” becomes “Survive the upcoming financial apocalypse and be there to help your friends and family who can’t help themselves because they’re not as smart as you”.
  • Use ’aftercare’ Q and A to Remove Objections And Boost Your Sales
    • Increases conversions by ~20%
      • During your pitch you sell as hard as you have to (If they’re still watching they’re ready to be sold)
      • Aftercare - post pitch shift in tone to answer questions. “We’re just friends talking”
  • SEVEN DEADLY SINS bullets Cut To The Core of What Your Market Wants
    1. Gluttony - More than you need. Excess.
    2. Greed - Flashy Cars.
    3. Sloth - Easy, simple, lazy, done-for-you.
    4. Envy - The look on your neighbor’s face…
    5. Wrath - Finally get back at the power company assholes.
    6. Pride - Protect your family.
    7. Lust - Women drawn to you like an electromagnet.
  • Cut Through Writer’s Block With If/Then/Why
    • If [pain or desire] Then [this is the most important message you’ll ever read] because [in the next x minutes -> result].
      1. Here’s whom it’s for.
      2. Here’s why it’s important.
      3. Here’s what they’ll get.

Niche Invader: Dominate Any Niche Almost Overnight

  • How To Invade Any Niche In 6 Steps
    • Pick a Niche With A LOT of Competition
      • Competition -> More = Better (Every competitor is a partner.)
      • PASSION (“I NEED this Solved.”)
      • An “Endless Problem Chain” (Can you sell them more stuff? No “One Time Needs”.)
      • Mass Appeal (Niche vs. hyperniche. You can make money in both, but you’ve got to find balance.)
      • Good Examples:
        • Gold
        • Weight Loss (Mass Appeal)
        • Make Money (Endless Problem Chain)
        • Relationships/ Dating (Incredible Passion)
        • The World Is Ending
        • Finance/ Doom and Gloom
        • Playing Guitar/ Drums/ Piano
      • Bad Examples:
        • Mini gold (no passion, tiny crowd)
        • Extremely Rare Diseases (“this only affects half black, half asian accountants between 35 and 37”)
    • Figure out the PRIMAL NEEDS of your niche
      1. Examine the top sellers in the niche
        1. What do you see over and over again over time?
        2. Same promises over and over again.
      2. Empathy
        1. What’s their Anxiety about?
        2. What freaks them out deep in their bones? (moms with ADHD kids -> shame)
        3. What do they have low self-esteem about? (I tried, and I’m not good enough to do it myself)
        4. What prejudices does your market have? (The gurus are scammers!)
    • Create a sideways offer to enter the niche
      1. Sideways offer is unique, hooky,
        1. complimentary to what your niche offers and
        2. in a lot of ways it fulfills the same promise
      2. You can do it
        1. Mechanistically: “thing that does the work for you”
          1. Machine/ Software/ Thing/ Idea
        2. Counter Conventional Wisdom:
          1. “How can I say the opposite of what everyone else is saying?”
            1. It’s not X, it’s Y
        3. Different Delivery Mechanism
          1. Ebook/ Video Course/ Software
        4. Done-for-you service
          1. The more done-for-you, the better it sells
          2. Worksheets, cheat-sheets, templates, blueprints!
    • Sell Like Your Life Depends On It
      • Affiliates are STARVING for converting offers.
      • Nobody will mail you out of pity, EVERYBODY will mail you if you make them money.
      • You get ONE CHANCE to impress an affiliate. If your stuff bombs for them the first time they will never mail it again.
    • Foolproof Sales Video Formula
      1. Grab Attention Through Emotion or Incongruity (Big Promise, Emotion, WEIRD)
        1. First 5-10 seconds decide whether they’ll stay or go.
      2. Foreshadow Amazing Results (“Your Ex will crawl over broken glass.”)
      3. Teach The Viewer TO Be Your Customer (Give away the what and sell the how. “Why texting is the magic key to your man’s heart.”)
        1. Teach the idea behind WHY it’s going to work well.
      4. Present Your Product As The Only Logical Conclusion (“But How Do I DO All That?”)
        1. Transfer into features/ benefits of the product.
        2. Price justification.
          1. Compare to the price of other stuff that would get the same result, but has nothing to do with it.
          2. E.g. “Let’s talk about alternatives”
          3. “You could take her on a vacation, you could do counseling, you could hit the gym, etc.”
          5. “It’s going to cost you more money and it’s not going to work anyway”
        3. Bonuses
          1. Future problem bonus
            • “You’re going to have SO MANY WOMEN going after you, you’ll need this other product that teaches you to date multiple women without any of them getting mad”
            • “Here’s my personal investment counselor’s number, because you’ll be so rich you won’t know what to do with that money”
          2. Specific Objection Bonus
            • Bonus that solves
        4. Guarantee.
        5. Urgency
          • “If you’ve watched this far into the video, you have three options.
            • 1. You can leave this page right now and go back to doing whatever it is you’re already doing. You can go back to sitting in your chair, desperately feeling the weight around your stomach expanding, feeling older and unhealthier every single day, you’re turning into your mom, you’ll never fit into those jeans again, etc. etc. You can do that if you want to, but we both know if you’ve watched this far into the video, that’s not working for you, and it’s probably not going to work for you again in the future either.
            • 2. You can take what you learned in this video and try to do it yourself. You can try to take out your cellphone and try to text your ex back, right now, completely by yourself, just using what you’ve learned in this video. But we both know, the odds of you doing that and messing it up, and making things worse is pretty high.
            • 3. You can buy my product for $47, take the easy path towards success, get your ex back by simply sending a few simple text messages and have her back in your arms.
    • How do you get your first affiliate
      • Marketplace Listings (Clickbank)
      • Generous Commissions (75% standard. More if you can)
      • Show that you’re a pro.
      • How can you help them? They don’t owe you anything if you’re new.
    • From player to Dominator
      • Whoever is the most prolific usually wins (one offer vs. many offers)
      • Launches and sales contests.
        • Find the “iPad” - people do anything for them.
        • “First place iPad, 2nd some $$$, 3rd+ lottery for another iPad”
        • Affiliates are customers, too.
        • MAIL THEM, SHOW THEM LEADERBOARDS, make fun of them (with them)
      • “Mainstreaming”
      • Be generous with new affiliates. They could be eating your lunch some day. Best to have them be your friends.

Frank Kern

How To Write Good

  • 4 Basic Ad Angles
    • How To
    • Story (Mutual Frustration or Discovery/ Gain)
      1. Cliffhanger Headline
      2. Intro
        1. Fast relationship building
      3. Backstory
      4. Discovery/ Intro to Offer
      5. Benefits/ Results
      6. CTA
    • Straight Sale/ CTA
    • The Counter: Myth Debunked (Reli8ef From Pain)


  • 3 Pillars of Organic
    • Push Content Every day. Do lives.
    • Understand that every piece of content you make is an asset
    • Paid Advertising.
    • Binging = Buying
    • Push lots of content

Intent Based Branding

  • Organic Posts
    • Video posts!
      • Followers don’t matter
      • Engagement improves reach!!!
      • ASSET!
    • Characteristics
      • Provides VALUE
      • Creates Good Will
      • CTA
  • Assets (content you create lives forever)
    • People look at old posts!


  • Ads - Paid Traffic
  • Every piece of content drives people into the sales process

How to Write Good

  • Ad Frameworks
    • Counter Framework
      • Counter-Intuitive Statement/ Headline/ Question
        • Do you really think your potential clients actually care about what car you drive, or what house you live in?
        • Do you think they care about where you went to school, how many followers you have, or what credentials are?
        • THEY DON’T.
      • Expand
        • They care about ONE THING: How you can help them.
        • Once you really understand this, shift your focus from “how can I convince them” to “how can I help them in advance?”
        • If you demonstrate you can help them by ACTUALLY HELPING THEM, they start to pursue you!
        • Wouldn’t it be cool to have clients chasing YOU instead of the other way around?
      • Big Picture How-To
        • Here’s how to do it:
        • First, identify people who have a BIG problem you can solve quickly.
        • These are the people who are LOOKING for help. (Also known as people most likely to say “Yes” to you.)
        • Now it’s time to help them BEFORE you ever try to sell them something.
        • The “Trick” is to give them something they can use immediately. Give it away for free.
        • This could be done in an online video, a report, a whitepaper, a webinar… it’s up to you.
        • This essentially “whets the appetite for more” and causes them to become very interested in working with you.
        • Why? Because you helped them get some relief from their problem.
        • Here’s a good analogy. It’s like having a restaurant, and you’ve identified a VERY hungry crowd.
        • Then you just pass out some amazing appetizers for free. They love the appetizers and now they’re even HUNGRIER.
        • How easy would it be at that point to get them into your restaurant at this stage?
        • VERY
        • Why? Because you gave them a little taste of what they wanted and whetted their appetite for more.
        • This works the same way.
      • CTA
        • Would you like me to show you EXACTLY how to do this?
        • Right now, I’m offering THE book that outlines how to get high-paying clients… even if you hate sales… even if nobody knows who you are.
        • And I guarantee you’ll love it.
        • I guarantee it will change your life in some way.
        • If it doesn’t, I’ll give you a full refund and let you keep the book anyway, no questions asked!
        • How’s that for fair?
        • If you’re in the Business Services category in any capacity, you need this book.
        • Here are some things you’ll learn:
        • [Bullets]
        • This book is only 68 pages but it is PACKED with valuable content on every single page.
        • This is a limited time offer, so get your copy here, now!
        • [LINK]
    • Straight Sale/ CTA (not best for cold traffic)
      • Dog Whistle Headline
        • Read This If You Want More Clients Fast
      • Dog Whistle Intro
        • If you want to get more clients… NOW, this is for you.
      • Announce Product
        • I’m offering you a 68 page book that outlines how to get high-paying clients… even if you hate sales.
        • And I guarantee you’ll love it.
        • I guarantee it will change your life in some way.
        • If it doesn’t, I’ll return your $5.60 and let you keep the book ANYWAY, no questions asked!
        • How’s that for fair?
        • If you’re in the Business Services category in any capacity, you need this book.
      • Benefits
        • [Bullets]
      • CTA
        • This book is only 68 pages but it is PACKED with valuable content on every single page.
        • This is a limited time offer, so get your copy here, now!
        • [LINK]

CORE Influence

  • E + I = L
    • Experience. We do not crave things. We crave the experience things give us.
    • Identity. Out Experience, Beliefs, and Values create our identity. All Communication Actually Comes From Your Identity.
    • Life. Out Experiences and Identity Work Together To Form Our Life.
    • What we all really want is a new life.
  • How To Create A New Life

    “If There Were No Limitations Or Consequences, What Would Your Perfect Average Day Look Like?”

  • Find our who your Market REALLY is
    • Key Word: Empathy… sort of.
    • You must GENUINELY identify their CORE Identity, know what their real desired outcome is, and know what life they REALLY want
    • You MUST actually give a damn, and must actually help them move toward it.
  • Kern’s Secret “Weapon”
    • Not a good copywriter
    • Not a good salesman
    • Not a marketing Genius
  • Instant Bond Method
    • Person-to-Person communication is the most effective way to sell, in terms of closing rates
    • When Marketers Design Campaigns, They Usually Market to A “Group”
    • To be really effective, you must design EVERYTHING so that you’re communicating with ONE person
    • Creating the CORE Customer
      • If you could manifest a single person who would be the typical embodiment of a “classic” customer or prospect in your market, what would they be like?
      • Gender?
      • Age?
      • Married?
      • Who are they as a person?
      • Kids?
      • If they’re married, what is the spouse like?
      • What does the spouse think of all this foolishness?
      • What’s the relationship with the children like?
      • What would this person be wearing?
      • What do they do for a living?
      • What is their biggest frustration?
      • What is their biggest SURFACE desire?

5 Pillars of Webinar Profits (I don’t remember who this is from)

  • 5 Pillars
    • Recon
    • Registration Process
    • Authority Process
    • Actual Webinar
    • “After” Chunk
  • Recon
    • Three Questions
      • What do they want the most?
        • The webinar is ultimately about THEM and WHAT THEY WANT.
        • The answer is the overall theme of the webinar.
      • Why do they want it?
        • Thgeir big “reason why” is directly related to the main benefit.
      • What are their main reasons for NOT buying?
        • Address objections. CRITICAL.
        • Most of the audience will have objections.
        • If you address them head on and honestly you’ll be like nobody else and sell like crazy.
  • Registrants
    • FREE Registrations
      • BIG BREAKTHROUGH: Sell something immediately after registration.
      • URGENT: The thing you sell must NOT compete with the thing you sell on the webinar. Complimentary but NOT competitive.
      • Acknowledge the fact they registered.
      • Teach them the side-sell.
      • Make the offer relevant to the topic of the webinar.
      • Email the link ONCE – immediately after registration
      • Include webinar info and position pitch as tutorial
  • Authority process (what to do before the webinar)
    • Most webinars have a TERRIBLE show-up rate
    • We don’t want them to JUST show up
    • We want them to show up and be predisposed to buy
      • Know, Like, Trust BEFORE THEY SHOW UP
      • Want what we’ve got BEFORE THEY SHOW UP
      • Handle objections BEFORE THEY SHOW UP
      • And then show up
    • Indoctrination sequence 1
      • Re-sell them on the value of attending
      • Pre-positions you as an authority
      • Increases TRUST via Familiarity
    • Indoctrination sequence 2
      1. Ad.
      2. Registration page
      3. Indoctrination Video 1
      4. Indoctrination Video 2
      5. Reminer x 4
  • The Webinar Itself
    • 5 Steps to a Webinar That Sells
      1. Confirmation
        1. Confirm they made the right decision to attend (5-10 minutes)
        2. Re-establish familiarity
        3. Sell them on staying by future-pacing what the rest of the webinar will be like
      2. Difference
        1. Achknowledge skepticism and objections
        2. Light takeaway by stating who this is not for
        3. This silences the inner dialogue which will otherwise be constantly asking “Yeah but what about _?”
        4. Skeptics:
          1. All buyers have valid objections & concerns.
          2. All buyers have been lied to and mistreated by someone.
          3. All buyers are skeptical on some level.
        5. Address concerns and talk about who this is not for.
      3. Bond
        1. Tell a short (TRUE) story
          1. Feel, Felt, Found
          2. Struggle, loss, discovery, rebirth
        2. Use the story to address objections and defeat skepticism (and ideally future pace possible results).
      4. Payoff (the real content)
        1. Three ways we can influence people
          1. Talk about how good we are
          2. Others talk about how good we are
          3. Demonstrate how good we are
        2. To maintain trust and desire, you simply demonstrate you can help them by ACTUALLY HELPING THEM
        3. Teach 3 or 4 core things that you identified back in the recon phase (MUST BE ACTIONABLE)
        4. Do not bog them down!!! (focus on the core things, so as not to overwhelm them)
      5. Offer
        1. There’s an art and sicence to making the offer in a natural, comfortable and respectful way
        2. There’s many forumas for presenting the offer and making the close.
        3. Simple formula that works well (no-frills offer):
          1. NLP Confirmation
          2. Reason why intro
          3. Big Benefit
          4. Just for you
          5. Walkthrough
          6. Price
          7. Booster #1
          8. Risk Reversal
          9. Booster #2
          10. Recap
          11. Repeat Booster #2
          12. Repeat Risk Reversal

3 Step Sales Pitch (I don’t remember who this is from)

Pattern Interrupt

  • Grab Focus
  • Ask them a question!


  • People want to BENEFIT from your ads
  • Write, Star in, Narrate or otherwise make the video about THEM
  • Talk about their desired outcome
  • Show them what their desired outcome looks like
  • Show them how to get there

CTA – every video should have a purpose

  • WHY?
  • Why NOW?

The Template I Use To Write FB Ads That Tend To Get Clicks/ Sales @ /r/Entrepreneur by /u/Jpwl

(Note: I can’t seem to find the original post at the moment - reproduced here for safekeeping, since this does have a lot of merit from a ’down to earth’ standpoint. -Phil)

I audit a lot of Facebook ads accounts, which means I get to see what works and what doesn’t across loads of different industries, countries and ad types.

By far, the most common area for ‘big potential improvements’ is the copy in their ads.

For example - I took on a Gym as a client in the summer who had never managed to make Facebook ads work, despite having all the ‘assets’ in place (nice website, big social following, loads of photos & videos, a good facility, great reviews, admin team to handle leads efficiently…).

We had a short timeline to get ads out, so all I did was re-use their existing visuals, package up one of their popular classes in a new way, and write new copy.

That campaign brought in around 120 leads in 3 weeks for under £4 a lead, and then we had to shut it down because the classes were full.

Here are the most common mistakes that I’ve seen in the accounts I’ve audited this last few months, and then the fairly simple way that I approach writing a new advert.

Note, I’m not a professional copywriter, I have hired a few great copy guys in my time, who’s ads generally do outperform mine, but what I’ve learnt to do is like the 80/20, 80% of the results for 20% of the time/ money invested.* Most common mistakes:

  1. Talking about yourself, not the reader -

    This is what the gym above were doing, and it’s something that most local businesses do too much“We’ve been operating for 30 years” “We care about our clients” “We are passionate and experience” - your reader just does not care about all that, what they want to know is what’s in it for THEM.

  2. Not testing variations -

    Often business owners will latch onto one phrase/headline that seems to work, and just use that for every ad. That’s understandable, because they don’t have the time to give FB ads the amount of attention required to do proper testing, but it is a waste. An commerce client was spending £300 a day on ads, and they were the primary driver of his sales, but he was relying on just one phrase, and as soon as we tested some other headlines, we found variations that outperformed his.

  3. Dry copy -

    This is VERY common in B2B - for example, a business I audited who helped graphic designers build website without having to deal with web developers, they wanted to look professional, or like a bigger business, and so they got all corporate, but the person reading your ad IS A PERSON, and their boring ads weren’t persuading them to do anything.

  4. Not qualifying the reader -

    When people are scrolling their news feed, 90% of the time, it’s the visual that gets attention, then the reader is going to scan the ad to see if it’s worth another single second of their day.

    What they’re looking for is relevance -so make it easy for them.A good friend of mine runs a course on investing in property, and this was something he was missing out on.Just starting his ads with a phrase like “For people who’ve wondered how to actually make money from property” helped people self-qualify, and increased clicks immediately.

  5. No Call To Action -

    If you want people to sign up with you, then you’ve got to take people by the hand and walk them through each step of the way.

    This was the case for a meditation coach I audited, her ads were interesting and engaging, but because she wasn’t telling people exactly what to do next i.e. “Click the button to download it now” or “Hit Learn More and fill in the quick form, one of our team will then call you to arrange an intro session” she was missing out on a lot of clicks.

  6. Features over Benefits -

    This is such a big one, and a current SEO agency client were guilty of it.

    They would talk about the technical aspects of SEO and what was included in the services, rather than what that would actually mean for the client (more traffic, more leads, more clients, more money)

  7. Not telling stories -

    Us human-folk like a story. It’s fundamental to our society as a race that was pass on information through stories.

    Yet many businesses are hesitant to use them.I audited a driving instructor instructor (he taught people how to become an instructor), and he had the potential for great stories “Bob was bored of office life and hated the rigid hours of his corporate job, but after he qualified with me, he’s now in charge of his working hours and doesn’t answer to anyone but his wife“


Copywriting is a thing that people spend decades trying to master, so don’t worry about emulating the pros, and instead keep it simple and follow a few rules.

It’s not about writing award winning ad copy, it’s about being able to come up with a functional group of words that connect with the reader and get them to take action

My favourite ‘template’ for quickly writing ad copy (or any copy) is the 4 why’s:

(This I learnt from the wonderful Colin Theriot, who runs a FB group called the Cult of Copy)

Answer these questions (in order) that the reader is asking in their heads.

  • Why me? (How do I know that this is for ME specifically?)
  • Why you? (Who the fuck are YOU? Why are you the person telling me this?)
  • Why this? (Why is THIS AD/OFFER relevant and interesting to me and my set of circumstances?)
  • Why now? (Why do I need to pay attention/ take action RIGHT NOW? Can I ignore this until later?)

That is going to cover your bases.

From there, here are some specific tips to help add a bit of shine.

  1. Make sure you have a VERY clear avatar defined. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, it will come through in your copy.
  2. One problem, one solution - focus on one thing per ad, don’t try to sell 8 different things.
  3. Use testimonials wherever you can, they make easy, meaningful stories to tell.
  4. Speak naturally - read the ad out loud and make sure it doesn’t sound clanky or awkward.
  5. Avoid big blocks of text and break up your ad into different sentence/paragraph lengths.
  6. If you run a local business, then start your ad with the name of the place - i.e. “BRISTOL pet owners…“
  7. Get someone else to read the ad and ask them if it makes sense, it’s easy to get lost in the finer details and end up with something that doesn’t actually communicate what you want it to, or explain the offer properly.
  8. And finally, read back every sentence of you ad, and ask yourself “So What?” This will help keep you on track and avoid waffling on.

There you go - you won’t become Claude Hopkins overnight, but you’ll do better than 90% of your competition.

Sales Collection


Successful sales daily routine from /u/nycsalesguy @ /r/sales

I would say its like this.

5:00-5:30am Mediation ( if you guys want to learn more about the type that I do. 6am-7am go to the gym or crossfit for an hour. Do some High intensity interval training. 7-8:30am - getting ready and eating breakfast. I take my creatine, amino acids and supplements like whey protein,etc.

8:30am preparing my top 6 goals and plan out the activities of what I want to get out of today. Ex: 60 phone calls. 100 emails. 30 Linkedin messages, so on.

9:00am to 10:00 this is prime calling hour. If you can start the day early at 8am that’s even better. That’s when the executives get in and the Executive assistants aren’t in yet so you have the best chances of reaching someone between the hours of 8am to 10am.

(Tim Ferriss swears by this as well when he was in tech sales). Being data driven. I found it to be true as well. 4pm to 6pm is also prime calling hours if you are calling different time zones just do the math.

I would highly recommend taking an hour lunch just to recharge and rest up a little bit. I usually just walk the local parks.

Taking 15 minutes break every 2 or 3 hours is important as well.

I spend a lot of time doing research to figure out who to call and who the DM is. Figuring out the organizational map is important and taking notes to figure out who is what is super note. The data needed to figure out budget, timeline, and other specific account details cannot be understated.

The hours between 10 to 4pm is spent mostly on whats the best revenue generating activities. Doing RFPs and always adding new prospects to your pipeline.

Having email templates is important but make sure you are customization it enough. There is not the right way. A/B testing is important. I noticed that Quick Question has a subject line is very effective.

I just left you a voicemail works as well.

Some people like having a check where they check off every phone call sort of like a game.

I think celebrating the little victories is important. Every time I have a good conversation with the EA and they help me get one closer I literally pat myself on the back.

Anyone else want to chime in?

At night from 6-8 I usually attend networking events to learn more and just build my network.

8-9 I usually spend time with my girlfriend and eat a pretty late dinner.

9-10 is me time where I just relax journal, reflect, work on my podcast, etc.

and then go to sleep by 1030pm.

I forgot to mention during my half hour commutes or when I am driving in the car or anything like that. I’ll listen to sales/ motivational podcasts to keep my mind sharp and learn about the latest trends in whatever subject you are selling in.

I also try to finish a book a week as well and read before I go to sleep if I have a spare 30 minutes and then on the weekends I try to read the other half of the book.

Rinse and repeat Monday to Friday. Weekends I typically go hiking and do more fun activities like visit my family or work on my coaching business. etc.

/u/edgarallen10 on call scripts

Every good, workable script I’ve read or used has some common elements:

Positive opening Confirmation of Suspect Identity Introduction (You and Your Company) “Bail Out” Opportunities Reason for Calling Benefit Highlights Offer or Next Step Positive Close


How I perfected my cold calling, and it might help you too - /u/MVPhillips @ /r/sales

This Cold Calling Script Booked Me Meetings With The Biggest Law Firms in Adelaide

Cold calling is a unique weapon in the salesperson’s arsenal. I send emails, texts, Linked In messages, and heck, even hand-written letters, but nothing compares to picking up the phone and making the call. It’s like bringing a bazooka to a knife fight. Here’s my take on a perfect B2B cold calling script which you might find helpful too.

Alternative types of communication are all one-way. Through mediums such as emails, texts, social messages and letters, it doesn’t require the other person to “buy-in” to the communication. Consider that for a moment.

Those contact efforts are easy for the prospect to put-off, save for later, ignore and forget. They definitely serve a purpose, and I believe a great salesperson uses all forms of communication available, but nothing will replace a phone call.

Phone calls are a personal, two-way, real-time interaction. I’ve achieved more in a single call than weeks of touches via other channels. Honestly, while prospects seem “annoyed” at cold callers, they also can appreciate the effort of a human wanting to get in contact with them, especially after multiple attempts.

But there is a right way and a wrong way to execute a cold call, and it can be confronting for both the salesman and the prospect. Immediately, people raise their defences when they receive an unsolicited call, so we need to disarm them and instil trust.

I’ll explain the theories behind each section of my call so you can tailor it to your industry and company.

I’ve conducted a lot of research on how to perfect cold calling, because it’s arguably the most important call in your relationship with a prospect. It’s the “first date” of the business world, so you’d best impress!

The Cold Calling Open/Introduction

Hi John, this is Michael from XYZ, have I caught you at a bad time?

Let’s break this down.

Introduce yourself in a happy tone. Keep it short, succinct and polite. Speak confidently – like you would talk to a friend.

Address the prospect by their first name, to infer you’re of equal status. While saying “Mr.” or “Mrs.” can be a sign of respect, it also communicates that the prospect is more important than you. You’re calling with a solution to help them and your time is also of great importance; don’t put the prospect on a pedestal.

I stopped saying “My name is Michael…” and started announcing “This is Michael…” I found this yields more positive responses, perhaps because it conveys a sense of authority. It also cuts the total number of words down.

I also experienced better results using my first name and the company, but not my last name. I want to remove any unnecessary words, and simplify my message as much as possible for the prospect. Not to mention, when talking to a friend, you’re on a first name basis.

I hate it when sales people ask me: “How are you?” I know they don’t care, and it’s honestly a waste of time asking. They’re interrupting my day, they’re a stranger to me AND they’re asking me a shallow question? Save that for people you’re acquainted with. Instead, I’d prefer to be asked “Have I caught you at a bad time?” for four reasons, so I tend to do the same:

  1. It’s courteous and shows I respect the prospect’s time.
  2. A question encourages the prospect to “buy-in” to the conversation; it takes two to tango.
  3. When someone receives an unsolicited phone call, their immediate reaction in their mind is negative and hence no, no, no. By asking if I’ve caught them at a bad time, the answer “no” is actually the positive answer. This isn’t a Jedi mind trick, but it often buys you a bit more time to get your point across.
  4. Even if I have caught them at a really bad time, the prospect often says “Yes, but can you call back in an hour?”

The Reason

The reason I’m calling is because we’re helping the big law firms in Adelaide with their property valuation needs, and I thought you might be interested too. Then stop talking and wait.

The aim of stating the intention of my call cuts to the chase and “sets a hook” in the prospect. I want to create enough interest so they want to learn more. But you don’t have to hit the prospect with facts and figures; you just have to arouse curiosity. Remember, people buy from people. Be real and authentic.

The way you deliver this is crucial. You must be articulate, but excited; clear but upbeat.

I realise this pitch on paper doesn’t sound exactly exciting, but the reason it works for me is because (most) lawyers are open to learning about how we can benefit them and their clients.

I tried different variations such as: “The reason I’m calling is because we help save lawyers time and money with property valuations…” but the response I got was that it was “too salesy,” and they became more hostile over the phone.

“…we’re helping the big law firms in Adelaide…” is social proof that we’re helping companies LIKE them, and we’re local. This cements a trust in the prospect that we can actually provide some value to them.

“…and I thought you might be interested too.” Who could be angry at that? I disarm the prospect but letting them know I’m not selling anything at this stage; all I’ve done is explain we’ve helped others like them and now I’m thinking we MIGHT be able to help them too. This provides a great avenue for more questions regardless if their response is “yes” or “no.”

Then stop talking and wait for a response. In many instances, the prospect has already started talking, but if not, use the silence to create an atmosphere where the prospect HAS to say something. Often the prospect is interested and wants to hear how we can help, but on the odd occasion some they say they’re not interested.


The aim here is to “investigate” by asking questions. While my hypothesis is that we can help them, I want to make sure they’re a good fit for us. There’s nothing worse than a bad customer, or wasting time with someone that the product/service isn’t going to suit.

Using a date as a scenario, imagine if you just talked the whole time about how good you are. Personally, that would be an awkward situation. The typical salesperson (myself included) is a type-A, extroverted personality who enjoys conversing, talking and having a laugh. Our job is to ask questions, and then shut up, listen, and absorb what they tell us.

If they say they’re interested

Great. If I could ask you real-quick, how many family law clients do you have at the moment?

On average, what percentage of those would need their property valued?

Who do you typically use for property valuations?

What’s your experience been like with those firms?

Sounds like we might be a good fit for you. Lawyers find us useful because we service a bigger area across the state, and we also value all types of property. So we’re able to save you time because we’re more of a one-stop-shop.

If they say they’re not interested

Oh, that’s okay, I understand. If I could ask you real-quick, is it a timing issue or something else?

If it’s a timing issue, organise a time then and there of when they’ll be able to give their full attention, and lock them into a meeting via email calendar. If it’s something else, you should have your objection/complaint responses ready. Then, depending on how that goes, you can re-direct to the questions from the “interested” category.

Closing on a Meeting

I’d love to meet with you and learn more about what you do, are you free sometime next week? Preferably Monday morning or Tuesday afternoon if that suits you?

Emotional words like “love” create impact and show how interested you are, just to learn more about them. The sales process is all about the prospect and getting them to the “promise land” with your solution.

Narrow down their options to make it psychologically easier for them, but also leave it open to working around them if need be. That’s polite.

A better way to make sales scripts

While scripts can boost your sales, conversations aren’t linear. It can be difficult to work off of scripts on paper, because when you ask the prospect questions, the responses can vary. This is why I created, so no matter what direction the conversation takes, I can maintain control and work toward the goal.


To be a cold calling master, you need to be enthusiastic and deliberate in the words you speak, while engaging the prospect in a two-way communication. Being short, sharp and shiny is effective; don’t beat around the bush. Keep the goal of the call in mind and never forget: people do business with people!

TL;DR - simplicity, deliberate, short, sharp, shiny, script, questions, listen, close meeting and be an empathetic person

Selling advertising on the first call - /u/JRDN7 @ /r/sales (comments)

Every call I go into as if they will buy what I’m selling and they would be stupid to not buy, so I just need to uncover which exact condition needs to be met to close them. If it’s out of their budget, will offering a discount get them across the line? They haven’t tried this before, if I offer a shorter duration trial would they consider this?

Always aim for a one call close - if they need an email, I’ll ask if price is still a consideration.

“Would a better price help you make a quicker decision? You’ve got emails on your phone right? Ok let’s kill two birds with one stone - check your emails in about 20 seconds and have a quick read through - I’m going to quickly pop you on hold and ask my manager if I can get a better price for the first year, I’ll be back with you in 90 seconds.”

Come back with a better price and hopefully they buy and its still on the first call, if not it may bring up another objection to handle.

In my spiel they have said yes about 15 times before I close. All the way throughout I am adding in little tie downs after most sentences. Right? True? Correct? Do you agree?

I’ve refined my spiel so I can get from picking up the phone to close in 3-4 mins so I hammer out lots of calls and put as many opportunities in the pipeline as I can. If it’s of interest I will try and dig up from my PMs a script that I used to use selling advertising to trades companies e.g. builders, plumbers, electricians.

Get at least 3 companies interested in the same area (where only one position is available). Sell it, call the others back and let them know unfortunately their competitor already took it and offer them something else, they’re likely to buy if their competitor bought it too. Give them FOMO, I read out 4 or 5 companies who WON’T be offered the same opportunity if they take it up right now.

I structure my day so my callbacks are in slots, not peppered throughout the day at random times. E.g. at 10AM I will have 20 callbacks, if they don’t pickup I will add them to my next callback slot at 2PM or 5PM. If they pickup I either close them, work out the next step and confirm what time I will be calling them back, or delete them from my pipeline. This way I have solid blocks of time between callback slots to purely cold call.

Try and spend the first hour of each day making cold calls. Choice close next steps, the ball is never in their court where I am waiting to hear back from them.

I always give a couple of options rather than asking a question where they can choose their own answer.

“Ok I’ll send you that email and call you back, is 10AM tomorrow morning or after lunchtime better for you?”

Here’s how I handle a few common objections I didn’t cover above.

“I need to think about it.” Yeah of course, that makes sense. Let’s think about it together. What’s the main think you’re considering, is it our service offering or the investment amount?

“Need to run it past the Mrs”. Sure, that’s fair enough. If it’s just down to you are you happy with this? Why don’t we do this. I’ll process the first instalment now and have you up and running on Google, when you’re having dinner tonight get her to pull out her phone, do the search, and she can see you coming up on Google for herself. Explain you got an amazing deal for the first year before any of your competitors could have it. If she thinks it’s the worst decision in the world, call me tomorrow morning, we’ll refund the first instalment and put one of your competitors there instead. Fair enough?

“I don’t make quick decisions like this over the phone.” Ok I understand, if we send you an email and it matches up verbatim with what I’ve described are you happy to go ahead? - if they say ’no’, dig deeper and uncover their real objection.

“It’s too expensive.” If I could make it more affordable for you are happy to come on board today?

The Complete Script for Cold Calling B2B SaaS - /u/Techn1que @ /r/sales

Here’s an unpopular opinion - cold calling isn’t dead. You’re just doing it wrong.

In fact, outbound cold calling is incredibly easy to scale once you figure out a repeatable process.

During the last 6 years, I’ve been helping companies of all sizes build successful sales teams that revolved completely around cold calling.

One team was closing nearly $1 million in net new MRR (monthly recurring revenue) per month from strictly cold calling. And they were only targeting small businesses with $150 per month sized deals.

Now, you can start using these best cold calling techniques and book more business.

(Note: This approach is ideal for B2B SaaS outbound sales teams focused on SMB and mid-market. This might not be as effective if you’re selling multi-million dollar enterprise deals to Fortune 100 companies.)

The process is broken down into 5 simple steps:

  • The Person - speaking to the person that matters
  • The Hook - getting 2 minutes of their time
  • The Pitch - the who, what, and why you’re calling
  • The Questions - qualifying their fit and interest
  • The Close - winning them over and setting next steps

You can skip straight to the bottom of this post to see a TL;DR, but I highly recommend reading through the steps in detail.


First off, the first step in successfully cold calling is making sure you actually speak with the right person - the Decision Maker!

Depending on what you’re selling, this can be someone at a C-level (CEO, CTO, CFO) or VP (VP of Sales, VP of Marketing, etc).

You can consistently get to the Decision Maker by “flying under the radar” - meaning the Gatekeeper (receptionist, office admin) doesn’t realize you’re cold calling.

Gatekeepers responsibility is to screen calls for the more senior people at the company (as their nickname implies). Getting past them is crucial to your success.

You can do this effectively in a few ways:

  • Volunteer as little information as possible (“Hey, this is Mark”)
  • Sound casual and authentic
  • Try to only use your point of contact’s first name
  • Use strong language (“I need to speak with Bill”)

Step 1 should look like this:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “Hey this is (Your First Name) and I need to speak with (DM’s First Name)” #+END_QUOTE

However, sometimes they’ll block you (“He’s no longer at this company”or “She doesn’t take calls directly”). In this case you’ll want to “rollback” and try a different approach:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “Actually, I’m not 100% sure that they’re the right person to speak with…do you think you could point me in the right direction?” #+END_QUOTE

By asking for their help, you’re subconsciously making it that much harder for them to reject you. The Gatekeeper will usually respond with “sure”, and you can follow up with:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “Thanks. I’m calling from (Company) and I’m usually speaking with someone that handles the technology (or your ideal contact), do you know who that would be in this case?” #+END_QUOTE

The “usually speaking” portion is also very important, since it makes it sound casual, and that you’re speaking with them frequently. At this point you should have been connected, or found out the right person to call later.


During the hook you’re simply asking for their permission to speak with them for 2 minutes. Once you get to the Decision Maker, you can use:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “Hey this is (Name) from (Company), did I catch you at an OK time? Thanks, I’ll be really quick.” #+END_QUOTE

Try to keep this simple enough for them to digest in a single sentence. They should say “sure” most of the time - if not, you can make a bad joke or complain about it only being Tuesday.

Don’t forget to thank them for their time.


The goal for the pitch is to quickly answer who you are, what you do, and why it’s interesting for the prospect.

It’s very important that you accomplish this within 1-3 sentences. If you keep rambling, your prospect will stop listening or simply hang up.

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “So I’m in the (your specialization) division over here at (Company), and we specialize in (problem you’re solving) for (their specific industry).“ #+END_QUOTE

For example:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “So I’m in the Construction Enablement division over here at Cool Company, and we specialize in real-time cloud based collaboration for Architects” #+END_QUOTE

The pitch is also where you can make the most impact with A/B testing. You should constantly experiment with different phrases and see what resonates with your prospects.

By tying in a unique problem and their industry, you’re able to paint yourself as a credible expert with a specific use case. This is incredibly important in building credibility, especially on a call that lasts less than 2 minutes!


Now that your prospect knows who you are, why you’re calling, and what’s in it for them - it’s time to get them really intrigued. By using “qualifying question” you can guide prospects down a very specific conversation path.

Start off by asking the first question:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “So most of the companies that I work with are either using (x solution), (y solution), or (z solution). What about you guys?” #+END_QUOTE

The first thing you notice here are the X, Y, and Z solutions. By mentioning specific examples in their workflow you’re painting yourself as an expert in their business.

Try to leave these questions open-ended so that the prospect can give you a great answer. Afterwards, you’ll want to further qualify them with one or two more questions, such as:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “Ok perfect, and how are you handling (insert another issue they’re running into)?” #+END_QUOTE

This really varies the most depending on your business case, but you can usually elaborate on another pain point they mentioned earlier.

For example:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “Okay perfect, and how are you handling product x? Most of my clients say that it’s really expensive/buggy/outdated/slow/whatever” #+END_QUOTE


Finally, the fun part. At this point you should have built some intrigue, pitched your solution, qualified them, and are now ready to schedule a demonstration.

If they have answered the qualifying questions properly, and they could benefit from your product, then dive straight into the close like this:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “Perfect! I’m glad I caught you then. So all I’m doing now is just setting up some quick 15 minute webinars, showing you why (people in their industry) are loving (your product).

Do you have your calendar open in front of you? I usually schedule these on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which one works better for you?” #+END_QUOTE

First, you need to show genuine excitement. You’re making hundreds of sales calls, and you just found someone that could actually benefit from your product! YOU’RE EXCITED AS HELL!

Funny enough, this will get them excited, though they might not know why.

The last sentence is very important because you’re assuming they’re interested. And why shouldn’t they be? You’re an expert in their industry, and you just qualified them!

Instead of asking the prospect IF they’re interested, you’re asking if they prefer option A or B. It’s subtle, but very effective.

There’s a decent chance you’ll receive an excuse from them at this point, that you will have to overcome. No matter what they say, you must try to close at least 3 (THREE!) times.

Take the first objections/excuse that they give you, effectively counter it, and then suggest Friday at 10:00 AM.

If another excuse comes up, counter that, and ask if next week is better. With every objection that you counter, you should push the date back a little (as a compromise).


Now, let’s tie everything we learned into a smooth script:

The Person:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “Hey this is (Name) and I need to speak with (Decison Maker’s)” #+END_QUOTE

wait patiently and enjoy the hold music

The Hook:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “Hey this is (Name) from (Company), did I catch you at a good time? Thanks, I’ll be really quick.” #+END_QUOTE

The Pitch:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “So I’m in the (your specialization) division over here at (Company), and we specialize in (problem you’re solving) for (their specific industry).“ #+END_QUOTE

The Questions: #+BEGIN_QUOTE “Most of the companies I work with are either using (x solution), (y solution), or (z solution). What about you guys?” #+END_QUOTE

wait and listen to their answer

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “Ok perfect, and what about (insert another issue they’re running into)?” #+END_QUOTE

The Close:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE “Perfect! I’m glad I caught you then. So all I’m doing now is actually just setting up some quick 15 minute webinars, showing you why (people in their industry) are loving (my product).

Do you have your calendar open in front of you? I usually schedule these on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which one works better for you?” #+END_QUOTE

Seem simple? That’s because it is. I’ve helped build countless successful sales teams over the years with this script and some training.

Yes, outbound sales can be difficult, especially if you’ve never done it before. But if done right, your business can be set up for tremendous success.

Remember that cold calling is always a work in progress, and you should constantly experiment with different hooks, pitches, and questions.

The Simple Way To Close - /u/NoMiddleGrounds @ /r/sales

You’re looking for an answer, no one has given you a solid one. Here’s the answer.

The goal is to never walk away from a sit or phone call with a smile on your face and a prospect that

“Might Go Through With it”. You don’t want interest, You want answers.

When someone says let me think about it or I’ll get back to you,

There is an under lying reason for it, some concern you haven’t satisfied.

Don’t waste time trying to convince someone on a hunch, you must know exactly what the issue is so that you can address it.

Most over the phone salesmen for instance absolutely hate getting a mad customer. They take it personally and try to prove themselves to be nice People. If you are trying to convince anyone to be your friend, you are going to take things personally. They are no longer rejecting your service or product, but they are now rejecting you as a person.

The prepared sales professional loves objections because they can be resolved. He knows the pattern of the sale.

If you don’t have an answer for every objection after the first time you hear it, you are doing yourself a disservice.

To skip straight to closing and what your doing wrong, head down to the bottom of the page (Why aren’t you closing?). For tips and advice on how to get more closing opportunities and tighten your game, please read on.

The basic example for a purchased lead opt-in warm call.

Mr.J-Hello Mr.Client?

client-Yes, who is this?

Mr.J- This is Mr.J with generic company, We (insert direct value statement)

Client- I’m angry! I don’t want any! I’ve been getting calls off the hook! I’m unreasonable!

Mr.J- I’m not a telemarketer, I am a ( job description), HAVE OTHER PEOPLE BEEN CALLING YOU?(engagement)

Client- Oh goodness yes, I’m sorry.

Mr.J- No problem, lets take care of that issue, I’ll explain how to avoid unwanted calls, then I can help you with your request.

Learn To Love Objections

The objections you encounter are the most sure and solid part of being a sales Professional. If you master objection responses you will succeed in getting presentations. Keep in mind that even a poor method with consistency will gain you opportunities. However, you should always be improving your skills. If there is one thing you should hold fast to when it comes to objections, find a catch all thing to say to general situations. Assume that everyone is lying to get you off the phone or to avoid you, Also assume that the reason they are upset has only two main causes.

The reasons they don’t like you

  1. They know they are easy to sell and know that you will convince them to sign on the line which is dotted
  2. They’ve been bothered by other salesmen.

The key in this example is; Have Other People Been Calling you?

If you Implement that simple question into your phone prospecting script, you will see a massive increase in customer reception.

But your problem isn’t getting someone on the phone or getting someone to hold their door open for you. You already know that it’s a numbers game and even the worst speaker and most unprepared bumbler will eventually make the sale. The reason we Stress efficiency and a personal disconnect is to improve your number of closing opportunities and stop you from destroying your self confidence.

If you don’t have the same conversation with five or ten catch-all objection responses, then you may suffer from anxiety.

We want you to pick up that phone, and say the same thing to everyone. No side tracking, No Taking it personal, No Small Talk. Straight to the point and ignoring their Particular responses.

This is an example of what we mean by a catch-all response and implementing it.

We already know that they will say Yes if this is a shared lead.

We know that they will complain, we know that we can use this response to separate ourselves from the rest.

We know we have a solution to this problem. We know how they will react and we have enough experience to go from point A to point B and Close.

Quit calling me!- Have other people been calling you?

I don’t have time- Have other people been calling you?

I already have it taken care of- Have other people been calling you?

I didn’t request anything- Have other people been calling you?

I’m not interested- Have other people been calling you?

Wrong number- Have other people been calling you?

She/he’s not here- Have other people been calling you?

Why Aren’t You Closing?

Your problem is that you aren’t getting a solid yes or no.

The most common reason for this is because most salesmen are trained in office to be “buddy buddy” with clients. The first thing you need to realize is that you aren’t in the friend making business, you are in the sales business.

  1. Are you joking with your prospects?
  2. Are you acting like you know them when you don’t?
  3. Are you small talking about your personal life or the personal lives of clients?

If you said yes to any of that, no wonder you didn’t close this sale.

The fatal idea of sub-par sales is that being professional chases away customers.

To the contrary, professionalization qualifies your customers.

You don’t want price buyers, complainers or remorseful buyers.

What you want is big sales, big contracts, big buyers with money and friends who have money.

The reason you aren’t getting those huge sales everyday is because your wasting time trying to make friends.

I make sales,

My clients go out and make friends,

And they’re friends become my sales.

The rich want to buy from professionals.

The poor and double minded want to be your friend, don’t do it.

One More Thing,

Go look up Dave Yoho’s version of the “Columbo Close”

If you follow that exactly as described, you will close sales.

PRO TIP: Don’t do free customer service if you work a commission only position, they have a customer service number they can call. Don’t waste time retaining customers that can’t come to terms with your product being the best that ever existed. Always Be Closing.

Feel free to reach out to us personally and we’ll do our best to respond in a timely fashion to your questions and concerns.

Stay Bold Forever, My Friend.

For those who refuse to be less than what they choose to be,

There is no compromise, There is no backing down,

There are NoMiddleGrounds,

Kindest Regards,


General & Principles

Sales Basics from /u/TheUltimateSalesman @ /r/sales

I started this post 20 mins ago and I didn’t like my attitude, so I’m just going to drop some knowledge, and if you can glean anything from it, awesome.

Most of the posts I see in this sub are about compensation and repping. I rarely see any solid sales advice, and I think it’s because we are all in a wide and varied market, selling service or software or widgets, and we think that there isn’t much overlap, but there is.

Sales is a process. I’m going to outline it, and do my best to impart some info. I don’t care if you’re an introvert or joe quarterback, if you force yourself to do the steps, and fine tune yourself, you will succeed.

Always ask yourself, “Is this a selling activity?” If it isn’t listed below, you aren’t doing your job. Every step below is just as important as every other step. If you can automate any part of this, do it, but not at the expense of any value of a step. Nothing will ever be better than doing any of these steps in person. If you can do them in person, do it.

Identify prospects and leads. What’s the diff? A prospect is someone that fits the description of your buyer. Maybe it’s a company with >50 employees that makes silkscreen t-shirts or maybe it’s hair salons that do braids. Whatever it is, if they make it onto your prospect list, these are most likely qualified buyers. A lead is prospect that has expressed interest in your product. Whatever it is that you do, THE LEADS ARE PARAMOUNT. The leads are the highest priority of what you deal with everyday. Second priority is generating more leads. If you are one of the lucky few that don’t have to generate leads, then go to step 2. Always go straight to the top. The secretary is going to slow you down. You want to talk to the CEO, every time. I don’t care what you’re selling. The CEO will tell you who to talk to. You can’t beat that referral.

Ask questions and listen. Once you have a lead on the phone or better yet, in person, you need to ask questions. These questions are to identify three groups of answers. Wants, needs, and must-haves. If you can’t meet the needs, you most probably should not be trying to sell your product to the buyer (sometimes buyers think things are needs when they aren’t, so stay vigilant). Either way, WRITE DOWN everything you hear about their wants, needs, and must-haves. Then ask them how they currently do things. What problems do they have? Write all the pain points down. These will be used to create implications. The implications are what drive the urgency on the purchase.

Create the implications. We all know what Dennis was saying on the boat. And he was right. It’s the implication. It’s creating fear in your buyer. The easiest and slimmest question to ask is, when they say “sometimes this bad thing happens”, you say, “And what will happen if that bad thing continues to happen? How does that affect you or your product or your customer?” These are pain points. This section benefits GREATLY if you know your competition. This is where you start to lockout your competition. This is when price starts to not matter. If you have features that your competition doesn’t have, this is when you start asking questions that create implications that require answers that only YOUR FEATURE can fix. This is the key to being the #1 salesman.

FFB - Feature, function, benefit This is where you need to know your competition. Anything you tell your customer should be in the format of, “This is our x feature. This is what it does, and this is how you benefit.” and that benefit should answer those wants needs and must haves. When you do an FFB that answers the pain point that ONLY your product can solve, you have now effectively completely locked out the competition. They can’t buy from anyone else but you because only you can solve the problem.

Price no longer matters.

At this point, you’ve answered their questions, and solved their problems and hopefully created some problems that only you can solve. The next best thing is a demo where you demo the FFBs and make sure they get it.

At this point, there are about a hundred closing ’techniques’, I’ll leave this here:

If you run a sales org, you should really be role playing. If you ARE a salesperson, then you should really be arguing with yourself in the shower in order to be prepared to overcome objections when they happen later in the day.

Enough typing.


Budget - who has the money? Is that expense /project approved?

Authority - who influences, who decides, and who signs. These could be separate people, or the same person depending on factors like company size and revenue.

Need - why would they need what you have? The value proposition.

Timelines - by when? Does it align with your sales cycle?

Expectations - what do they expect in terms of the results of the product / services? Does it align with what you have to offer?

Risk - who else is involved (competition) ? What happens if you (customer) do nothing? Can be personal or professional.

Stuff = value

Lead Generation

Jay Abraham’s Lead Letter

Dear <name>

Are you getting the __ you want out of _?

A couple of the examples Jay gives are: “are you getting the productivity out of your computer network?” and “are you getting the fun you want out of your married life?”

If the answer is no <name> I can help you get greater______. I’ve done it for other (people/companies) in this community/industry. I think I could do it for you too. At the very least I am offering a way to find out without risking a minute of your time or a penny of your money“

And then go into an explanation of you and your offer.

Pete Dunn’s Cold Email

Hi <NAME>,

I know you’re very busy as <WHATEVER THEIR ROLE IS> but I’ve been wanting to have a brief chat based around <MY SERVICE> and how it can really help <THEIR COMPANY NAME> achieve <BIG RESULT>

If a few minutes of your time isn’t too much to ask, then maybe we could jump on a quick call to discuss?


AffAnon quick sales

AffAnon (Affiliate Site Owner)

I think the best way for finding leads is this: go on google, search “<industry title> in <city>”, go to page 8+ and find the independent people with bad looking and bad ranking sites. Send them a cold email (learn basic copywriting before this) and offer a productized service [ 12:04 AM ] AffAnon (Affiliate Site Owner)

obviously add in upsells for social media, verification on sites, addons to their new site, etc. The best part is you have a functionally infinite list of potential clients. Think about the combination of search terms: dentist in Atlanta metro area, best dog groomers in Fort Worth, etc.

Reasons to buy

Being able to lord the item over your friends


Disguise upsells as benefits

  • Bonus programs
  • Discounts for immediate purchase of other stuff


Doorknob (Columbo) Close - Dave Yoho

AFter the presentation if they still aren’t buying, and you’re about to leave…

When you touch the doorknob, turn around and say.

“I have a problem and I need your help.”

“Here’s my problem. I spent as much time, or more time with you today than I spent with my family.”


“Here’s my problem. I kinda thought that you liked the way we built this product, and the way we put it together.”


“And the other thing that appeared in my mind as I was walking out the door… was it the company or anything the company did or didn’t do? I mean the way we perform the installations, the wya we back it up with a guarantee, the kind of guarantee we have, and the way we cover customer service, and the wya you can contact us at any time…

Anything about that that didn’t seem to fit what your needs are?“

[“no everything’s fine”]

“Then here’s my problem. Was it something I did? Or something I didn’t do?”

[“nah, you’re a good guy etc”]

“So here’s my problem. You say you like the product, you like the company, and you said that I’m a pretty nice guy.”

“So what would need to exist for us to [get this product in your hands]?”



4U’s Urgent Unique Useful Ultra-specific

Kyle Milligan Checklist

  1. New/ Only
  2. Easy/ Fast
  3. Big
  4. Safe

reddit snippets


  • /u/kroboz - Why Selling is Ethical

    You don’t sell things. You solve problems. If you’re withholding your talent from your clients, you’re being selfish.

    There’s this idea that using something you enjoy doing to make a living is “wrong” or an abuse of talent. “Writing should be art,” they say.

    But who is “they,” most of the time? It’s adjunct professors who know they’ll never make it big. People who want to make excuses for why they’re not living the comfortable lives they want. Those who resent their current economic status and want to blame it on something other than their life choices.

    It’s not your conscience telling you that you shouldn’t close a deal; it’s these voices who are trying to keep you down because they’re miserable. Screw those guys.

    I’m not saying everyone needs to find a way to monetize their passion or art. But I’m saying that many (if not most) of the people espousing the gospel of not “selling out” would gladly get paid for their craft, if they only knew how.

    I’ve literally written an entire book about how English majors need to learn how to sell themselves in order to find financially and artistically fulfilling work.

    I’m a copywriter. I’ve worked full-time freelance, and now I work full-time as a senior agency copywriter. I love my work. There’s art to it. It’s creatively fulfilling. And I have plenty of opportunities to guide the ethics of conversations about how we can morally promote our clients’ work (or fight sexism in the office, etc.).

    There’s a lot of good to do. And a lot of good work.

    But first, you need to learn how to close.

    So how do you do it?

    It’s very simple once you learn how. I paid someone $1500 to coach me on this, and it was money well-spent. Here’s the gist of it:

    When you start the conversation with the potential client, focus on their problems.

    • Why are they hiring a copywriter?
    • What problems are they trying to solve?
    • What have their tried before, and why didn’t it work?
    • The answers to these questions might be as simple as, “We don’t

    have the bandwidth to create enough copy/content in-house,“ or it could be more vague, like, ”We need to increase sales, and we heard copywriters can help.“

    Once you understand their problems, get them talking about how their lives would be different when their problems are solved.

    “What’s your average customer worth, in sales? How many sales are you currently getting? How many sales would you need to get extra to pay for my services? How would X new customers/sales per month affect your business?”

    This gets them focused on the outcome and result, not the nitty-gritty.

    Then, when it’s time to move forward, here’s what you say.

    It’s very important you say this with confidence. Practice saying it yourself if you need to. But if you are confident in yourself, your clients will be confident in you.

    Say this: “All that sounds good, and I can definitely help solve this problem for you. As I mentioned, my fee for this is $X. It’s nothing personal, but I require full payment up front for new clients. I trust you, but I’ve just seen this as a good practice to make sure I can get right to work and deliver your copy ASAP. Once I get a signed work agreement and that invoice paid, I’ll get started. Where should I send my info?”

    Note that I don’t ask, “So, uh, do you want to hire me?” Or, “Are you sure you want to get started with little ‘ol me?”


    None of that.

    I change the conversation so it’s about next steps. Questions with a yes/no kill sales conversations. So don’t give them a chance to say no. Frame so it’s about when they want to begin.

    This absolutely works. I’ve used it to close $500 deals and (recently) $750,000 deals for the agency I’m working with. When I take this approach, clients don’t need to see samples, nor do they need to check with their bosses. They get right to work. I think my close rate is 98% with this method.

    Last year, I earned nearly $140k as a copywriter – most of that freelance. I average $13k/month right now. And I give at least 10% of my profit to charity.

    I don’t share this to brag – earning that much as a single income for a family in southern California means less than it sounds, trust me – but just to show you what’s possible by learning some basic skills. You can do a lot of good in the world if you learn these skills.

  • /u/AlanPCarr-Copywriter

    The tricky bit is not coming over as an asshole, holding out for cash.

    The way to do that is to just trigger some business imagery. A classic I’ve used is to immediately write back, saying “Great to hear from you so quick! I’ll reply properly later, as all my notes are in my briefcase and I’m just using my laptop today.”

    Boom - you just put an image of a briefcase in their head, switching you from Wannabe to Business Person.

    There is a downside. Once you trigger the business mindset they will automatically start thinking in terms of deals, profit, bargaining hard. That’s an improvement from giving them stuff for free, but it does mean they’ll be hard-nosed in bargaining, so start high ;)


    • The Concepts Behind High Ticket Selling
      1. I only sell to clients who I know can invest at least 30k in marketing.

      How do you find them? Yellowpages half to full page ads cost around 5k to 20k depending on the city, their’s your target client list.

      1. How do I get their attention?
        1. I simply send them a letter, hand written, with a little trash can and ask them if they feel like their investment in the Yellowpages ad feels like their throwing cash into a trash can?
        2. Then I share my client results and ask them if they’d like to have a discussion about how they could revamp their marketing strategy… {along with some other methods I’ll discuss shortly}
      2. most businesses don’t have a good online marketing strategy, so I “sell” that, I don’t sell a website – though that is exactly what I’m delivering.
      3. I don’t let them decide what should be on the site, I control the whole process and ask them to trust me. (cuts down on revisions quite a bit)
      4. I keep the sales process in my control, basically play hard to get and play the chess game clients generally control. It’s all about keeping the sales discussion in your court, generally I don’t even do phone calls because it’s easier to control the conversation via email. Keep it super chill and personable, treat them as an equal not a boss. BTW I’m an introvert, I hate going out and doing sales and all the traditional sales stuff that goes along with it, I keep it super chill and just keep the convo focused on results.
      5. I give a discount for paying in full upfront (20%) – this saves time and pressures the client to get me content quickly, if they don’t get me content? I’ll write it myself – or hire a writer for $10/hr on
      6. My Design Process:
        1. I usually build everything myself if I have the time (i really enjoy making websites) – the main point is to make the design process focused, again, on results for the customer…
        2. Sliders in the header on the home page are cool, but they don’t help sales…
        3. Contact pages don’t generate sales, about pages don’t generate sales – I get as much of the sales material on the home page (or a specific service page) as possible,
        4. I build the credibility of the client on those pages as well (not the about page where most people try to do this)
        5. I don’t have contact pages, I have lead capture pages with a ebook/video/mindmap that the customers customer can opt in to get, then my customer can follow up via email (or retargeting) with them.
    • Answers to frequent questions…
      1. I’ve been in business for 5 years and I’ve done about 500k in sales and 30m+ in (revenue) sales for my customers.
      2. Most my clients are in the business software space, some are in the information training (info product) space.
      3. I’m 29 years old grew up in ohio, now live in san diego
      4. I generally don’t charge a percentage of sales – though I regret that – I could probably stop doing client work if I would have tired in even a small percentage on all my sales.
    • Simple things you can do now…
      1. don’t talk tech in the sales process, they don’t care.. they just care about results
      2. try and gauge a demanding client in the first meeting,
      3. if they’re talking specific colors and ‘details’ that you know don’t actually matter, just run away from that client before they turn into a crapy client
      4. if you don’t have ANY sales yet, partner with an SEO or PPC company, use their results as the base of your selling platform, split the sale with that company and tie their services into yours (if you sell web design services)
      5. always talk results in sales “Here’s where you could increase sales 20%, by just having a landing page where you capture leads!” things like that again, only sell to companies that can afford the price range you want, but don’t go larger or corporate (too much red tape and too many chefs in the kitchen)
      6. most importantly – deliver on your promises, if you don’t think you can help a company – don’t accept them as a client.
    • How to get clients on Facebook (without being a creep)
      1. If I find a company that I think qualifies I don’t always jump right in and send that info, usually I’ll add the owner on Facebook – 9/10 I’ll get added, I use my Facebook almost entirely for business.
      2. I like to post content that helps business owners grow their business online, lots of times the owners of these businesses (potential clients) will interact with that content… and here’s where magic can happen
        1. i’ll message them and let them know I added them because I too am a local business owner and always love to connect with people locally who are doing awesome in business
        2. i always talk about their business in that convo, i might mention mine, but I don’t play the “i ask you something so i can talk for an hour about my business’ card, I just keep asking questions about them
        3. if you message people on FB, Facebook priorities you in THEIR newsfeed, so they will see MORE of your posts.
        4. if it’s someone i REALLY want as a client i’ll set them as a ‘close friend’ so i can get notifications when they post, and when its appropriate (i.e. not like super personal) I’ll leave a chill comment or just drop a like people associate Facebook with friends, if you become their friend they’re going to be wiling to have a business conversation with you.
        5. I’ve never NOT been able to close a deal this way (double negative hah)
    • Answering Concerns about the ‘direct marketing’ side of my client sites, and why a lot of them are kinda ugly

      ps. stated below but – I only work with customers who’s products I would purchase myself – I don’t sell in the health, make money online, MLM, fitness, or dating niches… I stick to “business growth” products, products that people can use to grow their businesses, just makes the ethics of it all a lot easier to manage.

      • Do you not use client input? That’s kinda cocky!
        1. They have input – but the input is what results they’d like to get through marketing online…
        2. I don’t start without approval of course – but if they don’t trust me, why would I want them as a client?
        3. I don’t want to be micro managed, and MOST clients have zero clue of what actually works in online marketing… Sure i’m flexible, they don’t love the image I picked for something? Happy to change it..
        4. Generally my response to a revision is, ok – happy to test that, the reason I chose that element was you see XYZ results increased.
        5. Yes – you do need to know what works to increase sales on a website, and yes you should LISTEN intently to your client, make sure they feel understood… but it doesnt make them right.
      • How I Deal with Client Input That I Think Is … Stupid… Rant

        I see it this way – I know next to zero about how lawyers do their business, yes I will give them input on things when I need legal advice, but I’m always going to defer to their judgement, because i KNOW they know what’s best and my research or guess on what might work is just that, a guess.

        I expect the same professional courtesy from my clients, and not one has been pissed off or mad at me because I told them I respect their idea but “here’s why they’re wrong in my experience”.

        I usually end that kind of conversation with ‘we can try it, but I’m going to test it because I’m invested in you seeing results from this site’, clients love it when you test their ideas…

        It actually pisses me off when I read ‘’ because yes – clients can be stupid – but we let them be stupid, there IS a fine line between confident and cocky, but you’re doing a disservice to a client if you don’t do what you know is right.

        It’s also why I charge up front – I don’t feel like I HAVE to bend to their will to get paid, my incentive is to get an amazing case study of a site that rocks and a client that is super profitable so that I can share it with my next lead.

        edit: specific example – a client wanted to change a headline on their site (one that I knew generated leads at around 45%)… they basically demanded i change it to include that ‘they had been in business for 25 years’ (which i had further down the page) sounds like a good thing to add, but it cut conversions by 20% – because yes, its important information, basically a trust element, BUT it was about the business not about the benefit to the customers… and customers only care about themselves (marketing 101)

        i shared the stats with him, he laughed and said “I guess i should have trusted you!” and he never quested my judgement again.

        how do i know what works? I test too – for 30k i’m giving them a site, and it may just be one page… but I’m also making sure it converts to leads and sales for them

      • How to Manage Realistic Results and Still Use Result Based Selling

        It’s really important that you don’t exaggerate results.

        You’ll find that clear expectations lead to happier long term relationships with clients (just like dating i suppose haha)…

        I track my other clients with google analtyics and tools like infusionsoft (or improvly) i usually have a really good gut when it comes to what a new lead can expect, but I generally will just show them what I did for another client and the results they experienced.

        I make a proposal usually that breaks down what CAN work and what might not work in their specific business. I’m not terribly vague, but you can’t say YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE 50K IN THE NEXT 6 WEEKS!

        You have to express that – if you see similar results to my past clients, implementing these systems you could see growth of XX sales over the next six months if we hit these key metrics…

        Saying basically the same thing without getting non FTC compliant (with income claims). Bottom line – show case studies of past clients, compare to what your new lead could do

        Edit: VERY IMPORTANT – do your best to get as much data about your lead as possible, current sales – project sales, how many leads it takes to get a sale on avg, how much a lead is worth – stuff like that… IF YOU DON’T THINK YOU CAN GROW THEIR BUSINESS DONT WORK WITH THEM – that was a huge lesson i learned early on

      • How to sell to clients that “just want a brochure website” aka – they just want a site with their mission statement and about / contact pages (sites that don’t do jack for sales)

        Your leads that simply want an online presence – you need to go Don Draper on them and ask some hard questions…

        “Do you REALLY just want an online presence? In my experience (and looking at your competition) an online presence is just going to turn into a grave yard of corporate brochure content. What if we build out a simple site that’s goal is to generate MORE leads for your business? Could you use more leads?”

        Ok that’s a little over the top but you get the idea.

        Sell Insights Not Solutions – (google the book) – you need to teach the client what they really needs, that’s what consulting is anyways.

        They can buy an off the shelf corporate website off oDesk for $500 these days, don’t sell those because you’ll just have a portfolio of ‘grave-sites’ (just made that up i think I’m going to totally use that in my marketing haha) results model is all about working with clients you know you can grow – because then you can charge more, and more importantly FOCUS more on their results.

        side note.. just don’t sell to these clients that ‘don’t get it’

      • Im introverted, I want to focus on what I like ‘building stuff’! How can I use this if I hate sales?

        Small bit of advice – if selling isn’t your skill set, don’t FORCE yourself to do it, it can take years to get really good at sales….

        A quick shortcut, find a friend with a Type-A personality who loves to talk, teach them how to sell the benefits of your services (heck just print out this post and say ‘do this’) – then have them do the sales part and give him/her a cut (maybe 20%).

        Point is, you are a business owner not just a freelancer, outsource your weaknesses – leverage those around you and make everyone better.

        I LOVE design, i’m technically an introverted person (I get warn out doing this honestly hah) but I forced myself to do it…

        I could have saved a lot of time just getting someone who is naturally a people person to do this. #noregrets heh

    • Tools I use:
      • Analytic tracking:
        • google analtycs,
        • Improvely,
        • Maxly (very important if you want to show leads your past results)
      • Website Building: Wordpress (duh)
        • OptimizePress 2.0,
        • Cool themes from themeforest,
        • sometimes bootstrap landing pages from themeforest,
        • currently: for most things.
      • Copywriting / Marketing idea gathering has great posts on marketing, copyblogger, Cashvertising, what I also like to do is look at what people are doing and just capture screenshots and dissect their funnel.

      • Email Marketing: Active Campaign

        if you need to reach me shoot a note to – email or twitter @seanvosler or cheers!

Sales Letters

Perry Belcher’s 21 Step Copy Template

  1. Call out to your audience… Be specific! It seems unnecessary to put “Attention: _(insert your audience here)_” at the top of a sales letter, but you see it – and even hear it on the radio – all the time…particularly from top direct marketers
  2. Grab their attention with your Big Promise Headline telling them, specifically, what you are going to teach them
  3. Backup the big promise with a quick explanation (sub-headline)
  4. Identify the problem by telling a story (see my final thoughts about Perry below) and make sure they know that it is NOT their fault that they struggle right now
  5. Provide your solution – and prove it is the best option
  6. Show pain (with empathy & affinity)
  7. Explain ease-of-use
  8. Show speed of results
  9. Future cast – Explain to them how their life will be better because of your solution
  10. Prove that you are the expert (credibility)
  11. Detail the benefits in bullet points – And here’s an additional bonus tip from Bedros to make this better…
    1. …”Whenever you are creating bullet points, use the phrase “so that” to make the bullet even better.”
    2. For example: The simple benefit “You’ll lose fat with this workout” can be improved by turning it to, “You’ll lose fat with this workout so that you turn heads at the beach & get all the attention you want from the opposite sex“.
    3. (That’s not a great bullet, by the way, but it’s just a sample of how to use that formula to improve your bullet copy.)
  12. Show proof/testimonials … you can also use an outside authority…such as statistics from research, or quoting an authority (i.e. “According to the Wall Street Journal“)
  13. Make your offer in detail
  14. Build up your value – Fragment your offer and then add it all up to increase value
  15. Add bonuses – increase the value even more
  16. Reveal your price (this is where the pop up buy button shows up in a VSL) …NOTE: If you are going to split test, start with Price, then test headline, and then test your offer
  17. Inject scarcity – Find a way to deliver this…via increased price, limited time, etc.
  18. Give guarantee to remove/reverse all risk
  19. Call to action – Be specific and tell them what to do to take action now
  20. Give warning that if they don’t buy, here’s what will happen (i.e. will remain in pain)
  21. Close with a reminder – a PS recap of everything … Perry said one of his best PS’s went like this:
    1. “PS – As my grandmother said, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again when it doesn’t work. So if you keep doing what you’re doing now, you’ll be in the same place next year.” And then it went into a summary of the problem, his solution, the offer, and his guarantee.

Dan Lok’s Sales Letter Template

  1. Headline
  2. Opening
  3. Credentials / Why Should I Listen to You?
  4. Offer
  5. Bullets
  6. Testimonials / Third Party Verification
  7. Value Justification / The Problem Solution Scale
  8. Risk Reversal / Guarantee / Promis

9.Call to Action. Make it Obvious

  1. Urgency / Why do I want to Buy Now?

MindValley - System of Long Copy Sales Letters

  1. Headline and Subheadline
  2. The Opener: Hooks and Leads
  3. Pain and Solution
  4. Crossheads
  5. Future Pacing
  6. Why You
  7. Benefits
  8. Social Proof
  9. Offer
  10. Bonuses
  11. Price
  12. Incentives and Discounts
  13. Price Justification
  14. Lists
  15. Scarcity
  16. Guarantee -
  17. Call to Action
  18. Warning
  19. Reminder
  20. FAQ

Anik Singal (interview wtih Grand Cardone)

  1. Introduction (Be specific, make them FEEL it, tangible things)
  2. Story (Relate to the audience member, “I’m nobody special, this system is”, story of HOW I DISCOVERED THE PRODUCT)
  3. Content (Give enough of the WHAT not the HOW, Lay it out in step by step, explain the process not the content)
  4. Transition (Address the elephant in the room - Typically Price and Cost, Setup the Value - remind them of the old way “the hard way” - “who wants to do it the hard way?” - “I’m providing you with the easy way for only $XXX”)
  5. Pitch (They’re already sold, establish a monetary value of the product - “if I give you give me 1 dollar and I give you 10, would you do it?” “This product is worth $4,999 but today I’m giving it away for $497”, Introduce urgency)


Email sequences

Viking Velociraptor

  1. Verify something the mark has seen, heard, observed, or thought.
  2. Validate their emotional gut reaction to that stimulus.
  3. Use this Vantage (perspective) to inject your desired information.
  4. Reinforce the relationship by expressing common Values.
  5. Show that you’re on the same team by slamming shared VILLAINS or obstacles to their progress.

Advertorial Formula from Jake Hoffberg

Step 1: Identify the “smoking gun” – we need a piece of proof… recent event… or something interesting to kick off the story.

Step 2: Amplify– then we need to take that smoking gun… either positive or negative… and then make it bigger. Either more dangerous or more greedy.

Step 3: Pivot– then we need to pivot over to the “expert” who has uncovered this thing that is going to save you from crisis or help you make even more money.


Step 4: Image–– this is a critical part of the advertorial! It’s the one, visual proof point (or hero shot) you have.

Step 5: Build interest / Answer objections –– then we need to create more interest or answer any objections the prospect might have in their minds about the solutions (Without giving too much away)

Step 6: Call to action–– then we need to get them to click.

Facebook posts

Chris Laub - The 3 Types of Posts That Have Helped Me Sell the Most High Ticket Stuff

*And why you should steal these to sell YOUR high ticket stuff ;)

Since launching my agency in May, I’ve generated tens of thousands of dollars in new revenue and profit for my agency…

…entirely via Facebook posting.

No ads. No tapping into past clients. No relying on referrals.

And while this list is not exclusive, hopefully it will give you some ideas for selling more of YOUR high ticket stuff.

#1 - Value Bombs

Usually these were longer posts that pushed into the “Continued Reading” territory.

But they weren’t profitable because they were long.

They were profitable because they shared insights and helped my audience to understand their situation in a new light.

I won’t lie, I didn’t realize the power of Insight Marketing until recently.

Yet thanks to some awesome trainings from the brilliant Kevin Nations and Travis Sago, I had a Come to Jesus moment.

And as I looked out at the experts that were making the most money via organic, I realized something:

The people making the most money on social are NOT the ones beating their audience over the head with technical, educational content.

In fact, of the social media trifecta of Education, Entertainment, and Inspiration, I’ve come to the conclusion Education is the least important.

Instead, its the guys and gals who provide DEEP, mentally stimulating insights (in an entertaining fashion) that are making the most money on social.

*If this is a concept you’d like me to explore further, let me know in the comments, as this stuff is fascinating (and very Meta)

#2 - Industry Relevant Controversy

As many of you know, my attacks on the high ticket industry got me a lot of attention back in April and May.

More important, that attention ended up landing me some serious opportunities.

And while I’ve toned it down lately…

…mainly because half the industry is clenaing its act up, while there’s nothing I haven’t already said about the other half…

…I want to point out that the controversy I used was Industry Specific.

While a handful of influencers are creating controversial content around issues that have literally nothing to do with business or IM…

…they’re few and far between.

In fact, the more I study the greats, the more I realize they don’t have to stoop to that level to create value for their audience / make sales via social.

Yes, randomly controversial content WILL get you engagement.

And yes, it can deeper the bond with your audience by showing them you share the same worldview and values.

But doing so is quite possibly one of the “cheapest” ways to get engagement and build a bond.

With that said, strategically using controversy to display how my audience and I share the same values and worldviews…

…regarding how we wish people would conduct business / how we think people should conduct business…

…has been pretty profitable for me.

#3 - Daily Posting

Ok, this isn’t so much of a type of post, as a behavior.

Look at most anyone who’s crushing it via organic and they’re showing up day in and day out.

Yes, there are a tiny handful of influencers who seem to pop in and out of FB land at random and still do well for themselves…

…but the majority are showing up every day (or as close it as possible).

(The two people I know who don’t post very often but still crush it go HARD on inspirational, insight-based posts. Just saying…)

Anyways, yeah, that whole thing about showing up everyday really does work.

I’ve had some big names tell me: “Chris, I see you EVERYWHERE, how do you do it?”

And while I do in fact have a strategy for being “everywhere” (if I so choose)…

…90% of it came down to showing up every day and interacting with the right people (in the right places)

Brand buiding post from reddit - /u/the_lamou @ /r/marketing

The first rule of brand building is have enough runway to last until you’re self-supporting.

The second time of brand building is if you don’t have an existing audience or money to spend acquiring one, you’re going to fail.

The third rule of brand building is an addendum to the second rule: no successful brand has ever been built organically. All of them pay either in time or in cash.

The fourth rule of brand building is that it’s mostly luck, though there are some things you can do to shift the odds.

The fifth rule of brand building is if you haven’t identified a high-value champion (s) before you launched, you’re probably going to fail.

The sixth rule of brand building is there’s probably nothing unique or uniquely interesting about your brand, so don’t count on your awesomeness carrying you through.

The seventh rule of brand building is that every single person who works for your startup brand needs to be putting in 40 hours of marketing work in per week. If they have other take, that 40 hours goes on top of them.

The eighth rule of brand building is you should expect to lose money for a long time before you make money. Plan accordingly.

The ninth rule of brand building is that hockey stick growth is a myth.

The tenth rule of brand building is that brands are built on great content, but great content isn’t enough unless you’re putting in the time to get it placed. If you’re not spending more time thinking about how to spread your content far and wide than you are creating it, you’re eating your time.

  • All that said, how much time have you actually devoted to distribution?
  • Are you interesting with influencers outside your following?
  • Are you pitching multiple reporters every day?
  • Are you responding to every HARO query, even if it’s only tangentially related to what you do?
  • Are you posting your best content to every aggregator you can find?
  • Are you spending hours per week scouring forums for places you can add value?
  • Are you giving shit away for free to anyone who will mention you?
  • Are you showing up to local events dressed head to toe in swag?
  • Are you calling out to your following to promote you every chance you get?

It’s one thing that you’ll almost never hear about in origin/founder stories, but most successful brands spent a lot of money to get there. Either that or they plugged away for years while basically living like hobos until they got enough traction to expand. It took my fiance and I almost a decade to make a name for our agency. During that time, we either lived on $100/week or one of us worked a real job to support us.

You should be able to find decent micro-influencers in your target demographic that will charge around $100 for a few thousand impressions. When dealing with influencers, make sure you have a contract that clearly stipulates what you’re going to get for providing money or product. You should never pay in advance. If they are legit, then they’re a business and they can invoice you for the money after completing the assignment (or at most will ask for half up front.) If they ask for cash up front, they are either unprofessional or scammers, and you should avoid them. Again, and I can’t stress this enough, make sure you have a contact.

Google “<your product> reviews” or “best <your product>”. Go down the results, opening each one in a new tab, and don’t stop until you have like 50 articles. Contact every one of the reporters, bloggers, whatever. If you get a rejection from one, email then back and ask for feedback. Find out why they’re not interested in covering you, and what you can do to improve your pitch. If you don’t hear back from them, connect with them on Twitter and strike up a conversation - not about your product, but about something related to them. Make their acquaintance, then try again.

Speaking of asking for feedback, talk to your existing customers and find out 1) how they found out about you, 2) why they like your brand, 3) what you can do to be an even cooler brand. Use that feedback to improve your pitch to future customers. This might sound harsh, but most brands are not nearly as cool as their creators think they are. The ones that end up working are the ones that can separate “I think this is useful/awesome” from “my customers think this is useful/awesome.”

Established or not, no one who takes their work as an influencer seriously would ask for full pay up front, nor should any business no matter how young pay full up front. Personally, I would tell anyone who wasn’t ok with net-30, invoice due after posting, with payment variable based on engagement, to go pound sand. Influencers are a done a dozen, and while many of them have a very inflated sense of importance and bargaining power, the reality is it’s fairly trivial to find one that works and is amenable to your terms.


Certain things are constant accross the universe.

Some of these include:

  • light is the most prominent energy source as all solar systems have a sun
  • sensing light is the most practical way of gathering information about your surroundings because it’s the fastest and practically always present
  • an atmosphere is required to develop complex life as it shields he organisms from harmful cosmic radiation
  • an atmosphere also provides a medium for transmitting sound
  • sound is the second most convenient way of gathering information of your surroundings as it’s not too slow, doesn’t require direct focus and is practically always present
  • as practically any movement causes sound it’s easier to develop organs to make sound than it is to develop organs that make light
  • sound will become the preferred method of communicating among a species
  • if a complex language develops, it’ll most likely be based on sound
  • if a system for non-time-specific communications develops, it’s most likely to model the earlier system but use a more convenient method of sensing, as in using sight

Same sorts of constraints apply to basic math. Simple counting and arithmetic couldn’t become wildly different from how we do it. Things like base might change, but all the same rules would apply.

And about computers, silicon is the only material you could hope to build computers with because of it’s electron loadout. No matter where in the universe you go, computers are either built from silicon or from organic neurons.

And the silicon computers are most likely to still use binary or trinary, simply because of how complex hardware would grow if it used bases other than 2 or 3, as that’s the most you can do with a single element that holds a charge.


Head Hacking – Free Your Mind

Kev Sheldrake - July 28, 2014

Note: I am re-publishing this because I have since lost the link to the original publication, and feel that this article has immense merit to anyone seeking to understand the way our minds work. I’m more than happy to link to the original article if anyone happens to have it. Thank you. –Phil

Note <2022-11-12 Sat>: I was fortuitously linked a copy of the original text, and so have included the references, which I didn’t have before, and added a few links to the videos. The original can be found here: –Phil

Popular Models of Hypnosis

When Josh mentioned that some of his subscribers had asked about The Automatic Imagination Model, I immediately thought “Great! That will be quick and easy to write about.” However, once I started thinking about where and how to introduce it, I thought back to where we were 2 years ago and realized just how much we have changed in terms of our mind sets and approaches to hypnosis in that time.

What we now think about hypnosis would have been unrecognizable to us back then – we thought we knew at least something about how it might work when in actuality we only knew something about how to do it (witnessed by our ability to quickly teach others). In this article I will review the popular models of hypnosis, in the next part I will introduce the science, and in the final part I will explain our own model of hypnosis, The Automatic Imagination Model, and explain why we’re confident that it works.

First things first, one of the best hypnosis resources that you should consider owning is The Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis (2008) by Nash and Barnier (Oxford University Press). It’s not cheap, but it is large and comprehensive; compared to purchasing access to just a few of the numerous academic papers it references, it is a steal.

So, what is hypnosis and how does it work? I think most hypnotists accept that hypnosis is caused through the communication of ideas from the hypnotist to the subject, and that this communication does not need any paranormal means – in other words, talking and body language are sufficient.

If you think that an energy flows between hypnotist and subject or that telepathy is somehow involved, then I’m sorry, but this article probably isn’t for you.

In the simplest of cases, the hypnotist talks and the subject listens and as a result, the subject experiences hypnosis – I’ve done this over the telephone and via Skype text chat so I’m pretty confident that the words alone are sufficient to cause hypnosis.


What do we mean when we use the word hypnosis? This is important to nail down because hypnotists often tend to disagree over exactly what is and what isn’t hypnosis. The lay person knows what hypnosis is, it’s making people do things they wouldn’t otherwise have done, whether that be quitting smoking or dancing like Beyonce.

There are two ways of defining hypnosis, the first is ’hypnosis as process’ and the second is ’hypnosis as product’. Hypnosis as process is what I described in the previous paragraph – the hypnotist talks and the subject becomes hypnotized – in the case of waking hypnosis (including James Tripp’s excellent Hypnosis Without Trance), there is no obvious induction and the process appears to only consist of an introduction followed by a series of suggestions.

This is actually the definition The Oxford Handbook presents – an Introduction followed by a First Suggestion; the first suggestion could be an induction but the definition doesn’t preclude non-induction approaches to hypnosis. This is important to note: The Oxford Handbook considers response to suggestion without a preceding induction as hypnosis.

The next question is “How do we know when hypnosis has happened?” and that is wrapped into definitions of ’hypnosis as product’. It is possible, although unlikely, that everyone that has ever responded to a suggestion was simply playing along for their own reasons, knowing they weren’t hypnotized and fooling the hypnotists in the process.

How would we know? A more relevant scenario might be that most capable subjects respond to suggestion hypnotically but that your last subject was simply playing along. How would you know that they weren’t?

They could slump in the same way and they could act in a fashion that simulates response to suggestion, including feigning amnesia for what they had done. It appears fair to suggest that the only person that knows whether they were hypnotized or not is the subject, as they are the only one who knows whether they did the things that happened or whether the things that happened appeared to happen to them by themselves.

In essence, we are interested in whether the subject felt that they were hypnotized and, as they are usually a lay person, this usually translates to whether they feel that the hypnotist made them do something that they didn’t intentionally decide to do.

This leads us to the ’classic suggestion effect’ – the situation where the hypnotist suggests a particular effect (hand stuck to table, for example) and then challenges the subject to defeat it (“Try to lift your hand”) and they fail (the hand remains on the table). This is ’hypnosis as product’; the product being the subject’s sensation that something happened automatically or involuntarily and that the cause was the hypnotist or the hypnosis.

Suggestions are often grouped into three categories: ideomotor, where physical movement is caused; challenge, where the subject cannot defeat the suggestion; and cognitive, which includes the realms of emotion, amnesia and hallucinations.

Now we know what we are talking about: hypnosis looks like the hypnotist introducing themselves and giving the subject suggestions, resulting in the subject feeling like the suggestions are happening to them rather than them being the cause of the resulting behavior.

By not specifying the form of the process, we are including approaches to hypnosis that vary in how they look as long as they result in this directed, subjective sensation of automaticity or involuntariness.

Given this relatively broad definition of hypnosis, let’s now look at the popular models that attempt to describe how hypnosis might actually work.

Erickson, Elman and Estabrooks

The Ericksonian model of hypnosis (as described in Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D, Vol. 1 – Bandler and Grinder) features two minds (often referred to as the ’two minds model’): the conscious mind that is logical, rational and limited and the unconscious mind that is abstract, emotional and expansive.

The model claims that when the conscious mind is bypassed, the unconscious resources can be accessed and directed; it is essentially a dissociative model whereby the conscious mind is dissociated from the unconscious mind, preventing it from interfering with the functioning of the suggestions.

The Elman model of hypnosis (Hypnotherapy – Elman) features three minds and is reminiscent of Freud’s model of mind. Elman’s model focused on the role of the ’critical faculty’ which, he claimed, decides which suggestions to take. The aim of hypnosis in this model was to bypass the critical faculty and establish selective thinking. It too is a dissociative model whereby the critical faculty is dissociated from the unconscious.

Both the Ericksonian model and the Elman model feature hypnosis as a state or trance that subjects enter; typically it would be the induction that causes the subject to enter the state or trance, within which they would take suggestions.

Both models feature a ’watchdog’ of sorts (unconscious mind in the Ericksonian model and critical faculty in the Elman model) that supposedly protects the subject from taking suggestions that would be detrimental to them.

In contrast, Estabrooks (Hypnotism – Estabrooks) did not outline a model as such (referring to the two minds model as unscientific), but he did appear to believe that a hypnotic state was induced and that this provided the ability to give suggestions to the subject.

A significant difference was that he believed that capable subjects would take suggestions that were detrimental to them and did not appear to believe that there was an inherent, ’best interests’ protection mechanism to prevent this.

Hypnosurvival tested a few of these ideas:

The Elusive State and the Illusion of Consciousness

State theories of hypnosis get quite a beating in academia, although there are still academics that appear to believe in the basic notion of state, as a shift of processing away from that which is considered ’normal’, unhypnotized behavior.

The main reason that state gets a beating is because, regardless of the considerable effort expended looking for reliable physiological markers of the hypnotic state, none have been found.

Brain imaging can determine when a subject is acting upon a specific suggestion and when they are simply acting, but the confounding nature of inductions being made up of suggestions (if only the suggestion to enter hypnosis) means that attempting to study ’neutral hypnosis’ where a subject is hypnotized but no suggestions are given, has proved difficult.

In other words, physiological markers for state are very difficult to separate from physiological markers for specific suggestions and this has been compounded by the fact that different inductions involve different suggestions, producing different physiological markers.

In short, there is currently no reliable and consistent evidence from brain imaging that an independent hypnotic state or trance exists.

It’s true that hypnotized subjects look like they are in a hypnotic state or trance and often report supportive statements, but it’s also true that subjects that cannot remember their names look like they cannot and also often report the same if questioned. We accept that name amnesia is suggested, so why do we not accept that the state or trance is also suggested?

Lynn and Kirsch (Essentials of Clinical Hypnosis: An Evidence-Based Approach) highlight the case of how the unanimous Mesmeric ’crisis’ was replaced by Puysegur’s ’artificial somnambulism’ simply because one of his subjects was entirely unaware of Mesmerism and its usual effects; when Mesmerised, the farm hand didn’t fit and convulse for over an hour but instead went still and silent.

Puysegur preferred this and all his subsequent clients achieved the same effect; Lynn and Kirsch concluded that the effect of Mesmerism was suggested and that it was mistaken for a state.

It would be unwise to ignore this observation and assume that our subjects are in a trance just because they look like they are and report that they are, especially given the lack of physiological evidence to back it up.

If that hasn’t rattled your cage, then I expect the next observation to do so, that is unless you are already a step ahead of me. This video, produced as part of a programme for the BBC in the UK, features Marcus du Sautoy (the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science) getting his head well and truly blown apart by a simple experiment featuring a couple of push buttons and an fMRI brain scanner.

In case you fancy recreating it yourself, here is the likely Amex bill:

#+BEGIN_QUOTE Marcus du Sautoy (or own subject) – £100; 2 x push buttons plus USB interface (from Farnell) – £50; Laptop computer (from Apple) – £995; fMRI scanner for an hour – absolutely priceless. #+END_QUOTE

There do seem to be some things that money can’t buy, and access to an fMRI scanner is probably one of them. Unless you’re Alan Sugar – “You’re a neuron; you’re fired!” (Alan Sugar is a very successful British entrepreneur and the ’boss’ on the UK version of The Apprentice.)

Seriously though, watch the video; it’s amazing.

In the video, Marcus du Sautoy has his brain scanned while he is lying in the fMRI scanner. All he has to do is wait, then decide to push one of the two buttons (he has one in each hand), and as soon as he has decided which button, he is to push it. Then wait, then repeat, and again and again, etc. After calibration, it was possible to determine six seconds before Marcus pushed a button, which button he would push.

Six seconds. Marcus concludes that the consciousness of the person operating the scanner could tell six seconds before Marcus’ own consciousness could tell, which button he would push. This implied to him (and to us) that the conscious awareness of decision making lags behind the actual decision making by a sufficiently significant delay that the conscious awareness cannot in any way be considered ’in charge’ or a ’decision maker’.

It simply becomes aware of decisions that have already been made – there is no free will. Further implications of this are that conscious awareness must be generated by the unconscious and that the conscious mind is therefore an illusion.

You’re still you, but the sensation you have of thinking and deciding is not real; it has been generated by the biological computer that is your unconscious mind, otherwise known as your brain.

Anthony obliges me to make our standard caveat at this point which is to say that whatever you do with this information is still your responsibility. If you decide to rob a bank to either demonstrate your belief in your own free will, or alternatively because you believe you actually had no choice in the decision and that robbing the bank was inevitable, then you are deluding yourself.

You’ve existed thus far without robbing a bank (most of you) and nothing has changed other than possibly your perception of where decisions are made and how you become aware of them. So don’t rob a bank, but do question multiple-mind models, such as those of Erickson and Elman.

Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)

In the late 1970s, John Grinder and Richard Bandler modelled some great therapists. Out of this modelling process came methods for modelling excellence and methods for causing hypnotic change. NLP consists of solution focused, brief therapy, using language patterns and reframing processes to change clients for the better.

In 2011, Professor Irving Kirsch presented at change | phenomena, the hypnotism conference, and included research on NLP. He described studies that showed that the one-session phobia cure as outlined in Frogs Into Princes (fast phobia cure) was less effective than one session of a five session cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) course of treatment; that subjects’ use of representational system predicates in language were not consistent with their thinking styles; that eye-accessing cues were not reliable; that age-regression did not work because it required human memory to work in a way that wasn’t consistent with the evidence; and that the 45-minute double-induction, that was claimed by Bandler and Grinder to hypnotize the most number of people and to the greatest depths, was less effective than a 15-minute, tape-recorded, basic progressive induction delivered by a radio DJ who wasn’t a hypnotist.

In short, the assumptions on which NLP is based are flawed, regardless of whether you have experience of the change patterns working. These Head Hacking articles are interested in how hypnosis works, rather than whether a particular approach to therapy works in general. I’m not asking you to change what you are doing, but I am suggesting you may want to examine the reasons why you believe the approaches work.

The Human Givens model

Human Givens (Griffin and Tyrrell) is a therapy model that is based around nine human needs and how well they are being fulfilled in each aspect of the client’s life. It uses the rewind technique, a variation of Bandler and Grinder’s fast phobia cure, to reduce emotion connected with a past event or imagined future event.

The model of hypnosis presented by Griffin and Tyrrell does not use a multiple-minds model; it simply talks of firing the ’orientation response’, which fires up the ’reality generator’ or ’dreaming brain’, and then providing content in the form of suggestions.

This definition avoids dissociation and state, although it is, in reality, a ’special process’ model of hypnosis. Special process in this regard refers to the concept of hypnosis triggering or causing a brain process that isn’t otherwise running, or modifying one that is (or stopping one that blocks hypnosis).

Special process models have sometimes been regarded as ’state by the backdoor’ as the presence of the special process (if it exists) could be used to distinguish between unhypnotised and hypnotised modes of operation, otherwise referred to commonly as states. Regardless, at Head Hacking we found the human givens model of hypnosis to be useful in terms of allowing (or forcing) us to question the various aspects of hypnosis as process.

The lack of depth in the model meant we could dispense with deepening techniques and we found no change in our results, other than that things took less time. The idea of the reality generator or dreaming brain provided a more tangible vision of who/what was taking the suggestions, which allowed us to change how we approached a hypnotized subject: instead of talking to a ’sleeping’ subject, we were talking to a ’dreaming’ subject and painting their dreams for them. Suddenly (to me, at least) the practice of telling a subject that in a moment they’ll be dancing like Beyonce didn’t seem quite so ridiculous.

Firing the orientation response could be seen as an induction, and rapid and shock inductions could easily be viewed as triggering or firing a process; conversational and progressive inductions could potentially achieve the same ends through a more gradual or sneaky process with the reality generator being drawn into action gently rather than as a response to the orientation response.

As well as opening the door to an infinite number of ways of creating inductions, it also provided another way of viewing the model: that maybe you could fire the orientation response without using an induction.

In 2006, we worked on the pilot of I Know What You Did Last Friday – a game show that features a hypnotized contestant with amnesia for the events of a particular day. You can see a 9 minute fun-packed trailer here, courtesy of Eyeworks:

During a break in filming, Anthony asked our subject if he could lift up a bottle that was on the table – he expected that he would be able to do so; he was then going to ask him to put it down and focus on it and then to “try and lift it and find you cannot”.

Gaining or directing the subject’s focus had become one method of induction by that time. Instead, our subject found that he could not lift the bottle, simply in response to Anthony’s initial question. Anthony seized upon it and had the guy hallucinating in moments.

After the location filming we had a break of three weeks where we did not have contact with the subject. Our next meeting was in a great (for fish lovers) restaurant in Amsterdam ahead of the studio filming.

Anthony repeated the exercise with the bottle with the same results and Permanosis (as we called it) was born: this was the idea that, once hypnotized, a capable subject remains permanently open to suggestion.

I should add that when Ant was two suggestions in, I dropped in a ninja suggestion that his hand was stuck to Ant’s arm; I hadn’t hypnotized the subject before myself, which meant that there didn’t need to be a pre-existing hypnotic relationship with the subject in order for suggestions to be taken.

(Ninja hypnosis is the practice of stealing other hypnotist’s subjects, while they are in the act of delivering suggestions. It’s a lot of fun – you just need to be more of a hypnotist than the current hypnotist.)

Summary of Popular Models

In summary, the most popular models among working hypnotists are state-based, multiple-minds models where hypnosis is caused by an induction (Ericksonian, Elman and NLP models). Neuroscience suggests that the conscious mind is an illusion and not the source of decision-making, therefore causing multiple-minds models to look less likely.

There is a lack of evidence for state or trance per se, although there is good evidence to show brain function changing in response to suggestion. The Human Givens model dispensed with depth and allowed us to dispense with the induction with subjects that we knew were capable.

Hypnosis Scales

Many hypnotists have heard of the Standford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale Form C (SHSS:C – Weitzenhoffer and Hilgard original, Kihlstrom modified version) but I doubt few, outside of academia, have spent time understanding what it is and how it is used.

It has often been referred to as the ’gold standard’ of hypnosis scales, with high reliability across the population and over time; subjects have been retested after 25 years and their scores were found to be reliably consistent with their original scores (Piccione, Hilgard and Zimbardo, 1989).

The SHSS:C was designed as a means of measuring the hypnotisability of a subject; it consists of an eye-closure induction, followed by deepening and 12 scoring tests ranging from easy (arm drop) to difficult (hallucinated voice). Subjects score 1 point for each test passed and these are totaled to provide their overall score.

While it is commonplace to refer to an arm drop suggestion as ’easy’ and a hallucinated voice suggestion as ’difficult’, in reality these could easily be described as ’common’ and ’rare’ instead; there is little to suggest that the hallucinated voice suggestion is at all difficult for a subject capable of it, but capable subjects do seem to be relatively rare.

Instead, the notion of suggestions being easy or difficult rides with the hypnotist rather than the subject, with the perceived ease of achieving responses to them being determined by how often they achieve them. i.e. suggestions that are only responded to on rare occasions are considered more difficult by the hypnotist than suggestions that get responses most of the time, but this has nothing to do with the difficulty that the subject experiences when taking the suggestion.

Importantly, the rarer suggestions are in fact no more difficult for the hypnotist; it’s just that subjects capable of them are less common. It is literally just as easy to suggest “I am invisible” as it is to suggest “Your arm is heavy”; if you haven’t tried it, do it. You might be suggesting it to a capable subject, and the results will be amazing.

Back to the SHSS:C. If you were to take a random sample of the population and deliver the SHSS:C to them individually as prescribed, then you would be very likely to obtain results that followed the normal distribution, otherwise known as a bell curve. This is a curve on a graph where a small number of people achieve low scores, the majority score somewhere around the middle, and a few score high scores.

The reason you would expect the normal distribution is because multiple experiments using the SHSS:C around the world have resulted in just that with sufficiently high consistency between them to suggest that the general population would respond with a very similar normal distribution to these.

If your group is a random sample then it is reasonable to assume that this group would also follow the normal distribution too (in fact it is more than reasonable, the range of deviation of each sampled group from the most average group also follows the normal distribution, allowing us to know how different our group would need to be for us to think that something had affected the results. See Experiment, Design and Statistics in Psychology by Robson for more information on normal distributions and standard deviations).

The results for the SHSS:C show that approximately 10% of the population achieve low scores in the range of 0 to 2; 80% achieve medium scores in the range of 3 to 8; and 10% achieve high scores of 9 to 12.

As a general rule of thumb, subjects who score low only achieve ideomotor suggestions; subjects who score in the medium range achieve ideomotor and challenge suggestions with some achieving some cognitive suggestions; and subjects who score high tend to be able to achieve the majority of the phenomena. A range of other scales also exist with similar items, some being shorter and others being designed for group situations. All of the scales in use have produced results consistent with the SHSS:C.

A range of clinical scales of ’depth’ also exist which are generally given during clinical settings rather than laboratory settings; these too are consistent with the academic scales. It is fair to say that the various academic approaches to testing the capabilities of subjects are at least consistent.

If they are wrong, in that they are incorrectly measuring hypnotic capabilities, then the majority of hypnosis academics in the various laboratories have not spotted the error and given that a number of these also provide clinical hypnosis as part of a therapy programme, it would be unfair to claim that the academics approach hypnosis differently to hypnotherapists as many of them are also hypnotherapists too.

I hope that all hypnotherapists care about ’what works’ – I think the difference is that the academics want to use reliable data and statistical methods to determine ’what works consistently’ and I think they are right to do so.

There is a problem with the SHSS:C however. By title, it measures hypnotic susceptibility, which has long been assumed to be a synonym for hypnotisability. Since the early days of hypnosis, it was assumed that an induction was necessary to create a hypnotic state in which suggestions could be given. Waking hypnosis (i.e. without an established hypnotic state) was generally seen as producing only the ideomotor phenomena and that a hypnotic state was required to produce challenge or cognitive phenomena.

We know from Hypnosis Without Trance and our own Permanosis that the full range of suggestions can be given without an induction, but this wasn’t the prevailing view when the scales were developed in the 1950s and 1960s.

The problem was that by assuming that an induction was necessary, no one had tested to see if the subjects would take the suggestions anyway. Kirsch reports on experiments where the SHSS:C scoring suggestions were given to subjects who had not been hypnotized (Kirsch, 2008) and shows that the induction makes very little difference to the scores. He suggests that such scales should be referred to as measures of response to suggestion rather than measures of hypnotic susceptibility or hypnotisability.

There has been debate about whether subjects respond in the same way when given suggestions without an induction as they do when hypnotized (following an induction). A paper by Raz et al (Raz et al, 2006) shows that ’highs’ (subjects that score 9-12 on SHSS:C) can act on a suggestion that suppresses the Stroop effect without an induction.

An example of the Stroop effect can be seen when naming the ink color that a word has been printed in; ’color’ words (’red’, ’blue’, etc) printed in the same ink color as the word can be identified quicker than neutral words (’work’, ’drive’, etc), and these can be identified quicker than ’color’ words printed in mismatching colored inks. Suppressing the Stroop effect means to decrease performance on congruently colored words (’red’ printed in red ink) and to increase performance on incongruently colored words (’red’ printed in blue ink).

Due to the nature of the tests, it is believed that the subjects cannot fake response to this suggestion, or in any way otherwise willingly improve their incongruent word performance, and that they are therefore (at least functionally) acting upon the suggestion in the same way as the hypnotized subjects (as both must be responding to the suggestion and not simply complying). We could assume that suggestions given without an induction can be taken just as readily and in the same manner as suggestions given following an induction.

There is another problem with the SHSS:C and that is that it only records behavioral responses, or the overt actions of the subjects. As I outlined in Part 1, only the subject knows whether they were responding to the suggestions or whether they were acting.

The underlying assumption was that behavioral responses correlate with the subjective sensations, that if a subject raises their hand in response to a suggestion then this must have occurred non-volitionally. Spanos et al (Spanos et al, 1983) demonstrated that this was not the case with a study involving the Carleton University Responsiveness to Suggestion Scale (CURSS).

The CURSS scores responses to suggestions on three dimensions: the objective score (CURSS:O) that records a point for each suggestion for which the subject makes the appropriate behavioral response; the subjective score (CURSS:S) that records between 0 and 3 points for each suggestion, depending on how much the subject experienced the appropriate sensations, from “Not at all” to “A great deal”; and the objective-involuntariness score (CURSS:OI) that records between 0 and 3 points for each suggestion that was experienced as involuntary to some degree, ignoring those suggestions that did not elicit a behavioral response or a sense of involuntariness.

Spanos et al showed that behavioral scores were substantially higher than objective-involuntariness scores, implying that scales that only measure the behavioral response, such as the SHSS:C, systematically over-estimate the response to suggestion.

Hypnosis scales are important in academia but are probably irrelevant to the work of the average hypnotist. What we can take from them are the expected results from hypnotizing random members of the public.

For example, Kirsch et al (Kirsch et al, 1995) showed that approximately 25% of college students achieved suggested amnesia; this is quite useful if we plan to use hypnotic amnesia as part of a performance as we could assume that for every 4 people that we test, only one will achieve the amnesia suggestions.

We can also benefit by incorporating their evolved pre-talk or introduction. A handful can be obtained from and from John Kihlstrom’s website, – they are worth reading as they have been tuned to make subjects as cooperative and at ease as possible.

Neodissociation Theories

Ernest Hilgard developed neodissociation theory (Lynn and Rhue, 1994) which is based on the concept that hypnosis causes consciousness to be divided into parallel streams of processing that are separated by an amnesic barrier; a ’hidden observer’ would remain present which could later be interrogated to reveal information that the subject has post-hypnotic amnesia for.

Hilgard’s descriptions of neodissociation theory had sufficient latitude for Kenneth Bowers to define an alternative version of neodissociation theory, known as dissociated control theory (Woody and Sadler, 2008). More recently, Erik Woody and Pamela Sadler (2008) have integrated the two theories into a framework that could support either one exclusively or a combination of both theories.

Hilgard’s neodissociation theory suggests that when subjects take a simple suggestion, their stream of consciousness is divided into two streams of consciousness. One stream of consciousness produces the behavior required by the suggestion knowingly and the other stream of consciousness, that is on the other side of an amnesic barrier, observes the effect as happening involuntarily, with no knowledge that the other stream is actually producing the behavior.

The stream of consciousness that produces the behavior is aware that it has done so and can be quizzed by a hypnotist by simply suggesting that the ’hidden observer’ will answer. Hilgard produced evidence for the existence of the hidden observer, and used this to support his theory of multiple streams of consciousness, separated by amnesic barriers.

Nicholas Spanos attacked the hidden observer and concluded (Spanos and Coe, 1991, quoted in Kirsch and Lynn, 1998) that “reports of experiencing a hidden part and ratings of hidden pain reflect the construals that people develop from the instructions used in hidden-observer experiments.” This means that the existence and character of the hidden observer could be dictated in the instructions given to subjects in the pre-talk.

Over a series of experiments, Spanos demonstrated that the hidden observer’s presence depended on the instructions given by the hypnotist – give one set of instructions and a hidden observer is present. Give a different set and there isn’t one.

He also showed that the hidden observer’s reports could be influenced by the instructions given – tell them the hidden observer sees a mirrored view of the world (due to brain-vision cross-wiring), show them the number 81, give them amnesia for it, ask the hidden observer what they saw and they will report the number 18.

Further he showed that he could create multiple hidden observers (each amnesic of each other), and therefore supposedly multiple streams of consciousness and multiple amnesic barriers, through variations in the instructions.

The simple conclusion is that the hidden observer is the result of suggestion and is therefore not part of the mechanism of hypnosis, but part of the effect.

Kenneth Bowers attacked the amnesic barriers by pointing out that suggested amnesia was a relatively rare occurrence (25% of subjects achieving it), yet it was being used implicitly to provide the mechanism that allowed the more common ideomotor and challenge suggestions to be achieved.

Instead he favoured his model of dissociated control that claimed that in hypnosis, suggestions can be accepted by subsystems of control below that of executive control without the awareness of this executive. It implies that suggestions bypass the executive control (the central decision making entity) and act directly on the parts of the brain that cause things to happen (the subsystems of control) by dissociation between the executive control and these subsystems.

What Bowers’ theory fails to explain is the physiological mechanism that permits the dissociation and also the granularity of selection in how the dissociation manifests. For example, some suggestions are taken and others are not and differences can be seen within the same subject on different occasions – why are there these differences in which dissociation’s are possible on different occasions?

Another example would be selective amnesia; a subject can be amnesic for very selective information (their name, for instance) but have access to other memories as normal. A mechanism of dissociated control would need to be flexible enough to cope with very specific dissociation on some occasions and very broad ones on others.

In addition to these questions, Kirsch and Lynn do a thorough job (Kirsch and Lynn, 1998) concluding, “The evidence supporting either version of dissociation theory is slim, and both are beset with serious conceptual difficulties.”

Woody and Sadler (Woody and Sadler, 2008) propose an integrated framework that supports dissociated control theory and a revised version of neodissociation theory, known as dissociated experience theory. Dissociated experience theory suggests a dissociation between the executive control and the executive monitor, which is the part that observes the current situation. In this version of the theory, the executive control acts out the suggestion but the executive monitor is unaware that it is doing so, thereby causing the subject to experience the effect as involuntary.

While this simplified version of neodissociation theory (lacking the amnesic barriers, hidden observers and streams of consciousness) stands up to much of the previous criticism, it doesn’t provide a mechanism for causing the dissociation and therefore does not explain why some suggestions are taken and others are not.

It also still suggests a form of amnesia as the effect of the dissociation, falling to Bowers’ original criticism of neodissociation theory, that explaining the occurrence of common suggestions (ideomotor and challenge suggestions) through the use of a rarely displayed occurrence (suggested amnesia) is contradictory.

Social Cognitive Theories

If neodissociation theories don’t stand up or tell the whole story, then what are the alternatives? The main ones are social cognitive theories; these are theories of hypnosis that assume that hypnotic behavior is, in fact, normal behavior that is interpreted as being hypnotic, due to the social context and the resultant, elicited cognitive strategies.

The social cognitive arena is quite broad and represents a number of viewpoints, but it can often be too easily (and wrongly) generalized to represent only “social compliance” theories of hypnosis, the over-simplification that the subject is only ever playing along and is always entirely in control of their own behavior. By generalizing in this way and dismissing the “social compliance” answer, it is possible to (wrongly) dismiss the whole social cognitive arena and miss out on the fascinating evidence and insights that it has to offer.

Graham Wagstaff proposed that subjects enlist cognitive strategies in an attempt to achieve the suggested phenomena with the sense of hypnotic involuntariness, and in some cases succeed, but when they fail they would often fall back on simply complying with the suggestion without the hypnotic sensations, in order to meet the demands of the social context.

There are two key ideas: the first is that successful hypnotic responding involves cognitive strategies and only accounts for the highly hypnotisable subjects; the second is that the majority of the moderate and low hypnotisable subjects (and potentially a proportion of the highly hypnotisable subjects) are playing along, pretending to be hypnotized and pretending to accept the suggestions.

There is an argument that is often levied (wrongly) at stage hypnosis by some hypnotherapists, often as part of their marketing literature, that subjects on stage in a hypnosis show are natural show-offs that want to act in outrageous ways. The equal and opposite argument is also often made, that the shy person who ends up on stage actually secretly wants to do outrageous things and that stage hypnosis provides the acceptable context within which to do so, without having to take responsibility for their actions.

These could both be true, accounting for different subjects with different natural personalities and different responses to the context, but for the fact that no one can act as well as a hypnotized subject, especially without acting lessons or any acting experience. Hardly any subjects that appear on stage at hypnosis shows have any acting abilities in their normal life, but somehow they magically manage to instantly turn out excellent performances when vague, improvised scenarios are sprung upon them.

What we should take away from Wagstaff is that the people on stage are probably the highly hypnotisable subjects who naturally manage to experience the suggestions in an involuntary way, because if they were not, then their acting abilities would let them down as they attempted to comply in order to show-off. With these subjects, the suggested scenarios are perceived as real and their behavior is not an act, but their natural response to what they perceive to be reality.

Unfortunately, if we are to accept the social compliance argument then we have to accept that most of the people who visit a hypnotherapist will end up complying, or pretending, rather than actually being hypnotized and acting upon the suggestions in an automatic fashion.

There are other social cognitive views, however, and they provide more hopeful and promising evidence. Donald Gorassini and Nicholas Spanos (Gorassini and Spanos, 1986) proposed that successful response to suggestion was due to a skill and that the skill could be acquired.

They developed a 75 minute training course, the Carleton Skills Training Package (CSTP), that involved three key components: the first was being given information aimed at removing misconceptions and improving attitudes to hypnosis; the second was watching a video of a highly hypnotisable subject being hypnotized and successfully acting upon suggestions – the subject narrated their thoughts during the hypnosis session and was interviewed about it afterwards; the third was practicing acting like a highly hypnotisable subject in pretend hypnosis sessions.

Gorassini and Spanos randomly allocated low and medium responding subjects to four groups. All subjects were scaled for response with the CURSS. One group was then given the CSTP hypnosis training, two groups were given different partial versions of the CSTP training, and the final group, the control, was given a personality questionnaire to fill in (to consume the same amount of time). All groups were then scaled with the CURSS again and a version of the SHSS:C, modified to include subjective and objective-involuntariness scores.

In the group that was given the full CSTP, half of the originally low responding subjects and 80% of the original moderates, responded as highly hypnotisable subjects when rescaled after the hypnotic training. The control group showed no change and the partial groups showed partial improvements. In 75 minutes, Gorassini and Spanos had changed how the subjects responded to hypnosis; not only that, but the subjects retained their new scores when retested later and the effect appeared to be permanent.

Gorassini went on to develop a shorter hypnotic training course (Gorassini, 2003) that took only 4 minutes. It actually involved a 2 minute script: the subject was given a transcript to read while listening to it being read on tape; they were then given a further 2 minutes to read the transcript again, totalling 4 minutes. Still, with only 4 minutes of training, subjects improved their response as measured on a standard scale.

Modification of response to suggestion has been criticized, however, for only causing behavioral responses without the sense of involuntariness (Bates and Brigham, 1990); in other words, the subjects learn to act like good subjects but do not actually become good subjects.

Still, other studies have confirmed that the subjects significantly improve on their subjective ratings of involuntariness, even if the effects are not as pronounced as Gorassini and Spanos originally reported (Gearan, Schoenberger and Kirsch, 1995; Cangas and Pérez, 1998).

Modification techniques have extended to working successfully with subjects with zero response to suggestion (Cangas Díaz and Pérez Alvarez, 1998). A study testing a ten minute brief training, however, failed to find any significant improvements in response to suggestion and specifically for the effect of analgesia (Milling, Kirsch and Burgess, 1999).

Overall, the evidence suggests that response to suggestion is modifiable through training, even if it is not fully understood what the training needs to include and how it needs to be delivered. The fact it works, however, has ramifications for all hypnotists. If it is possible to condense the training into something that approximates a pre-talk or introduction, then we could improve all of our subjects before we even attempt to hypnotize them, thus significantly raising our success rates.

More importantly, however, it indicates that what the subjects do when they are given a suggestion matters; if they engage in the right cognitive strategies then they are more likely to succeed at taking suggestions. These cognitive strategies appear to result in subjects experiencing the effects of the suggestions with the sensation of involuntariness.

At this point, it is worth remembering that response to suggestion is not dependent on an induction and that a trance may be the effect of the induction suggestion, rather than a special state or process. The social cognitive theories have resulted in brief training courses that modify subjects’ abilities to respond to suggestion in a manner that feels involuntary.

The evidence points towards cognitive strategies being the mechanism of hypnosis, with the experience or appearance of dissociation being an effect rather than a cause. With that in mind we approach a key social cognitive theory from our heroes, Irving Kirsch and Stephen Jay Lynn. Response Set Theory Remember back in Part 1, I told you that we had no free will. Well that actually has further implications for models of hypnosis. If we do indeed have no free will, as the neuroscience suggests, then everything we do is automatic and therefore involuntary. Response to suggestion is no different, it is just as automatic and involuntary as all of our other normal actions. The difference, as I highlighted in Part 1, is that response to suggestion is accompanied with a sense of involuntariness.

If everything we do is involuntary, then normally we must (automatically) ascribe an illusion of intention to our actions; this causes us to believe that we intended to cause our actions, supporting our illusion of free will. Response to suggestion, on the other hand, removes this illusion of intention and leaves us with the reality; we become aware of the true, involuntary nature of the behavior associated with acting on the suggestion, while preserving the illusion for all our other behavior.

That’s probably worth reiterating: in normal life our actions are automatic but we perceive them as being voluntary and intentional; when we respond to suggestions, this perception is removed for the associated behavior and we get to observe it without the artificial sense of intention we would normally feel if we perceived that we were acting ordinarily and voluntarily.

This viewpoint was suggested by Irving Kirsch and Stephen Jay Lynn (Kirsch and Lynn, 1997) as part of their Response Set Theory. The theory suggests that in all waking moments, we elicit appropriate behavior (response sets) in response to stimuli, then act, and then ascribe intention to our actions.

For subjects that respond to suggestion, the hypnotic context provides the stimulus for the hypnotic response set; this includes acting on the suggestions and experiencing the effects as happening automatically. For subjects that do not respond to suggestion, the elicited response sets do not result in a hypnotic experience.

Kirsch and Lynn’s approach to researching response set theory could be characterized as the search for the personality traits or cognitive strategies that are associated with good subjects and therefore good response sets for hypnosis. They have identified that the subjects’ expectation of their response to suggestion, particularly after they have been given a suggestion and had a chance to act upon it, is correlated with their actual response.

Experiments where the researchers gave suggestions that the subjects’ vision would slowly change color, while also (secretly) simultaneously slowly changing the color of the room lighting in sympathy (providing the effect that the subject was experiencing the effects of the suggestion automatically), had the effect of increasing the subjects’ expectations of responding to suggestions and therefore also increasing their actual response to suggestion (discussed in Kirsch, 1985).

It has been shown that the personality traits of absorption, fantasy proneness and dissociation are not indicators of response to suggestion, while expectation and attitudes towards hypnosis are to a degree (Kirsch, Comey and Reed, 1995).

Response set theory, while embracing the illusion of free will, fails to fully explain what leads to good response sets for responding to suggestion and how those response sets remove the veil of ascribed intention to lay the automatic processes bare for us to become aware of. It does, however, provide a simple and grounded model from which to explore and answer these questions. Summary of The Science Hypnotic scales are reliable and consistent although not directly applicable to working hypnotists. They can, however, be a useful source of data and the pre-talks are good. Dissociation theories suggest that one bit of our brain become less aware of another bit when acting upon suggestion; these theories generally suffer from conceptual problems.

Social cognitive theories suggest that cognitive processes are key to successful response to suggestion but suffer from failing to fully identify what those processes actually are. Response set theory highlights that response to suggestion removes the illusion of intention over our actions rather than adding the illusion of involuntariness, but fails to fully specify how this occurs.

The Automatic Imagination Model

I feel it worth pointing out that when Anthony and I first had the insight that led to the Automatic Imagination Model, it was more of a flippant joke than anything serious; we were traveling back from a course, summarizing to each other the bits of the scientific research we had read.

At that time we had some faith in the Human Givens model of hypnosis (see part 1) which was essentially a special process model; we had relieved ourselves of state and depth, but were still expecting hypnosis to be something akin to a shift in processing, from ’normal’ to ’hypnotized’.

To conclude that it was all possible with just the imagination seemed ludicrous, but that was what the science appeared to suggest. We arrived at Anthony’s house and did some tests – neither of us are good subjects but I achieved amnesia and Anthony hallucinated, both with the sense of involuntariness that accompanies hypnotic experiences.

Wondering whether our success was more related to our increased expectations than anything revolutionary, I described the process to Marcus Lewis over the telephone; that night he tested it on someone who previously did not respond to suggestions or inductions, and got the guy to experience amnesia and hallucinate, without an induction, in under two minutes. At that point we all decided that this was something that needed further investigation. What do we Want? As hypnotists, we are interested in the subjective experience that our subjects are having; the sensation of involuntariness or automaticity, that the behavior is happening by itself and that they (their conscious awareness) is just a mere observer.

If you’re performing with hypnosis, then you want the subject to be hypnotized, not acting, because no one can act as well as a hypnotized subject. If you’re a hypnotherapist, then you want the subject to be hypnotized, not pretending, because if your therapy model relies on the hypnosis then it may not work if the client is pretending. What we want to achieve in our subjects is this sense of involuntariness. Imagination John F. Kihlstrom, a social cognitive theorist, stated (Kihlstrom, 2008): “Hypnotic experiences take place in the realm of imagination – there isn’t really a balloon lifting up the subject’s hand, or glue holding the subject’s hands together, or a loudspeaker on the wall; nor does the age-regressed subject grow smaller in the chair. Nevertheless, the relationship between hypnosis and mental imagery is rather vexed.

For example, hypnotizable individuals have no better mental imagery abilities that the rest of us.“ He notes two clear things: first is that hypnosis relies on the use of the imagination; and second is that subjects that respond well to suggestion generally have no better skills of imagination than those that do not.

This is quite significant because it means that what you see when you imagine a rat, for example, is the same as what you would literally see if you were acting on a suggestion that you could see a rat; obviously, they would feel different because when you simply imagine the rat it doesn’t feel real at all. The difference isn’t in the quality of the imagining, but how it is perceived.

If hypnosis causes subjects to imagine, then what is it that they are imagining? Traditionally, suggestions have contained what academics refer to as goal-directed fantasies (GDFs); these are instructions to imagine that helium balloons are lifting the arm or glue is sticking it down.

If the goal of the suggestion is arm levitation, then a goal-directed fantasy would be an imagined scenario that would be likely to cause the goal to occur, such as hundreds of bright red helium balloons attached to your wrist, pulling it upwards. If the goal is a stuck hand, then a goal-directed fantasy could be imagined glue sticking the hand down.

GDFs are also referred to as means imagery, to distinguish them from goal imagery. If the goal of the suggestion is arm levitation, then the goal imagery would be imagining the arm lifting up; if the goal is a stuck hand, the goal imagery would be imagining that the hand is stuck and cannot lift. Means imagery (GDFs) and goal imagery are quite different and it is important to appreciate the difference. Means imagery is indirect, creative and expressive, while goal imagery is direct and specific.

Gail Comey and Irving Kirsch investigated whether instructions to imagine goal-directed fantasies (means imagery) affected how well suggestions were taken (Gail Comey and Irving Kirsch, 1999). They took 259 subjects who had no prior experience with hypnosis and randomly divided them into two groups.

One group received the standard Carleton University Responsiveness to Suggestion Scal(CURSS) and the other group received a modified version of the CURSS, with all instructions to imagine GDFs taken out and replaced with repetitions of the remaining suggestions. For example, “Imagine that your arm is like a balloon. Imagine that air is being pumped into it making it feel lighter and lighter,” was replaced with, “lighter and lighter. ..the arm is becoming more and more light, and is rising, rising …moving up …higher and higher.”

Each subject scored their objective behavior (CURSS:O), their subjective sensation (CURSS:S), whether the effect of the suggestion was experienced as being involuntary, whether they believed in the reality of the suggested situation, whether they engaged in goal imagery, whether they intentionally engaged in GDFs, and finally whether they noticed any spontaneously occurring GDFs.

Subjects were also scored for their “passive responding”, which was an indication of whether they remained passive and didn’t engage in any strategies at all, i.e. “Did not report intentional behaviors of imagery.”

The results revealed three striking observations. The first was that, “Passive responding was negatively correlated with subjective response.” This means that the subjects that remained passive, didn’t engage in any intentional behaviors and didn’t imagine anything relating to the suggestion, were more likely to not respond to suggestions, than subjects that did engage in some way.

This indicates that, in general, subjects have to do things in order for hypnosis to occur; passively waiting for it to happen is not a good strategy. If you are telling your subjects or clients that they can just relax and let it occur, then you are probably reducing your effectiveness.

The subjects that you fail to hypnotize are not necessarily resisting your suggestions; they might simply be waiting for hypnosis to happen which, as long as all they do is wait, it appears it will not. (Given that they think that their job is waiting for hypnosis to happen, further instructions to “Let go” are unlikely to be understood as any different to what they are already doing.

It is easy to see how this situation could be misconstrued as “resistant” by a hypnotist, even though the subject is willing and cooperative.)

The second striking observation was that, “The only GDFs that are positively associated with successful responding are those that are judged to be nonvolitional.” This means that subjects that reported spontaneously imagining GDFs (i.e. did not feel that they were intentionally imagining them) responded better to suggestions than those that did not. Spontaneously occurring GDFs were rare, however.

It also means that subjects that intentionally imagined GDFs (i.e. volitionally) did not respond better to suggestion; in fact, they responded worse than those that did not intentionally imagine GDFs! Intentionally imagining GDFs was negatively correlated with response.

The group that had been given the modified version of the CURSS (with the instructions to imagine GDFs removed) scored higher for objective behavior, subjective sensation, involuntariness and, to a lesser significance, the perceived reality of the suggested situations, than did the group that received the standard CURSS, with the instructions to imagine GDFs. This shows that instructing subjects to imagine GDFs – the balloons of an arm levitation or the glue of a hand stick – will, in general, reduce the effectiveness of the suggestions.

Comey and Kirsch suggested that one reason why intentionally imagining GDFs reduces response might be because the effort involved in intentionally imagining GDFs distracts or detracts from whatever effort is required for the suggestion to succeed.

In other words, doing something that isn’t involved in making the suggestion work (imagining the GDFs) reduces the brain power available to attend to the task of making the suggestion work (whatever that is).

This turns the typical format of suggestion on its head – asking subjects to imagine GDFs actually reduces the effect of suggestions, whereas the rare, but spontaneously occurring GDFs may simply be an occasional effect of suggestion rather than a mechanism that is significant in their working.

If that wasn’t enough, the third striking observation was that, “Intentional use of goal imagery was very common and was significantly associated with subjective responses to suggestion,” and, “Our data indicate that intentional goal imagery is a modal strategy even for very difficult responses (i.e., auditory and visual hallucinations).”

Comey and Kirsch sorted the data to reveal which strategies the successful responders were using, broken down by suggestion. Successful response was judged as passing the behavioral criteria of the suggestion.

In all suggestions other than amnesia (in which they asked if the subject “Tried to forget” rather than whether they imagined they couldn’t remember), successful responders reported engaging in goal imagery (imagining the goal of the suggestion), on average, in 73% of cases, and this was reasonably consistent regardless of suggestion: arm rising was 79% and hallucinated kitten was 77%.

Imagining the goal of the suggestion is correlated with feeling the effects of the suggestion. This means that imagining the goal of the suggestion is a good strategy for succeeding at experiencing suggestions.

It also works equally well for all phenomena, rather than only working for a particular class of phenomena, meaning that is a good strategy in general, rather than only being a good strategy for, say, ideomotor suggestions.

It has long been known that imagining an action can cause its effect (James, 1890, and Arnold, 1946, ideomotor hypothesis, cited in Comey and Kirsch, 1999) and most of us should be able to experience this.

Chevreul’s pendulum is a good example; if you take a pendulum (about 30cm of string with a metal washer tied to the end) and hold the free end with your fingertips, resting your elbow on a table and allowing the pendulum to hang freely over the table, then if you imagine that it will move in a straight line backwards and forwards, then it will begin to do so; equally, if you then stop imagining that and imagine instead that it will move around in a circle, then it will change and follow your newly imagined scenario.

You should be aware of imagining the desired action, but unaware of the tiny muscle movements required to make it happen. Through imagination, the mind creates the physical effect without the awareness of moving the muscles.

A good question could therefore be, is everyday imagination enough? The pendulum task requires constant attention in order to experience its effects – if you stop imagining or get distracted then it is likely to stop – and therefore doesn’t really feel involuntary, even if we do temporarily experience a sense of dissociation from the actual muscle movements.

The Raz et al paper (Raz et al, 2006), referred to in part 2, shows that suggestion alone (without an induction) can reduce the Stroop effect. Is this possible with just the imagination? The following video shows Marcus Lewis being tattooed under hypnosis without any pain, awareness or bleeding. Is that possible with just imagination?

It may be possible to simply imagine these effects and cause them to happen, but, as with the pendulum, the process would require effort and attention and would not feel involuntary. Clearly something else is required beyond everyday imagination, and that is the sense of automaticity or involuntariness. Quick recap At this point I think it is worthwhile to quickly recap what we know.


  • Goal imagery is significantly associated with subjective responses to suggestion (Comey and Kirsch, 1999).
  • Goal imagery can cause behavioral responses akin to hypnotic responses but without the required sense of involuntariness (James, 1890, and Arnold, 1946, ideomotor hypothesis).
  • Highly hypnotisable subjects do not have greater skills of imagination than others (Kihlstrom, 2008).
  • Therefore, goal imagery is a good strategy for succeeding at taking suggestions, but it isn’t sufficient as the results of everyday imagination do not feel involuntary.


  • All thoughts and behavior are automatically generated, some of which we become aware of and to which we usually ascribe intention (Kirsch and Lynn, 1997). (See part 2 for more discussion.)
  • Hypnotic responses are defined by their subjective sensation of automaticity or involuntariness, because they lack the knowledge or feeling of intention. (Kirsch and Lynn, 1997).

We are automatons, presented with an on-going illusion of consciousness and agency. No matter how much it feels like you have conscious control, you don’t – that’s just an illusion created by your automatic brain. Altering this illusion causes actions to be perceived as happening automatically or involuntarily.

While we are imagining the effect of the suggestion, it is not that we need to create the sensation of involuntariness – for everything is actually involuntary – it is that we need to remove the sensation of intention that has been ascribed to the action.

The Automatic Brain

This is our simple model of the automatic brain. In pictorial form, the green/yellow part is essentially the brain; and the white part is the body. Awareness, the yellow part, is generated automatically by the brain.

The brain senses the environment through our senses; generates an imagined reality based on what it already knew and what it has sensed; generates awareness of this reality including the automatic thoughts about the reality; senses the effect of the awareness of the imagined reality, such as the imagined sights, sounds and sensations; and, combining the data with the real senses, produces action in the form of muscle movement, hormone production and emotions, by matching these ’inputs’ to the most appropriate ’output’.

This happens continuously and rapidly and, because our awareness only has access to the imagined reality, we are largely (completely?) unaware of it going on.

The permanent ’amnesic barrier’ prevents us from accessing our actual thought processes and brain functions as these lie literally outside of our reality; instead we confabulate or guess at the reasons why we do or think certain things from the information available to us from within our imagined reality. Automatic Imagination The insight that Ant and I had, that I referred to in the opening of this part, was that if everyday imagination can create reality, other than the fact we know that we’re imagining it, then we should be able to use the same mechanism (imagination) to create a reality in which we were unaware that we were imagining!

In other words, use imagination to create the effect and then use imagination again to cover up the fact that we know that we’re imagining the effect. This should result in us experiencing the effect as if it is real, while being unaware that we are imagining it, hence being unable to stop it, and experiencing the effect as occurring automatically.

This can be tricky to convey, so I’ll try again. If we imagine that our hand is stuck to the table, then while we continue to imagine that, we will be unable to lift our hand; we will know that we’re imagining it, however, and can stop imagining it any time we want, in the blink of an eye, simply by needing our hand for something else. While we continue to imagine that it is stuck, though, it should remain stuck (based on the ideomotor hypothesis).

If, while we’re imagining that it is stuck, we also imagine that we are unaware of imagining that it is stuck, as if it has happened all by itself, then we should experience the stuck hand without knowing how it happened, and therefore no way of undoing it.

Exactly! That’s a wacky idea to come up with, isn’t it? Well it was initially a joke; it was a simple application of pseudo-logic to the evidence that we had become aware of. We didn’t expect it to work; it was just a bit of fun. Even so, we ended up playing with the idea that evening and it worked for us.

Neither of us had been particularly high responders before – we could both achieve arm levitation and I could get catalepsy, but little else – but that night I had amnesia for my name and Ant hallucinated his hand turning into a modelling balloon. I explained the process to Marcus on the phone the next day and he tested it with another known low responder and achieved the same classes of phenomena with him.

The format of these sessions resembled a normal conversation where the hypnotist simply asked a series of questions and gave clear instructions, and the subject remained awake and fully alert throughout. “Can you imagine that your hand is stuck to the table?” – “Can you continue to imagine that and also imagine that you’re not aware that you’re imagining that, like it’s happening by itself?”

By assuming that the ideomotor effect can be generalized to include all phenomena, the same process can be used to achieve any hypnotic phenomena. The theory suggests that, as long as the subject can imagine the scenario (including it happening automatically), then all phenomena are equally as likely as each other. This can be seen in how Ant, Marcus and I all use slightly different approaches.

I prefer to stick to the conversational, question style where I simply ask questions and modify what I’m asking them to imagine based on their answers; I start with a hand stick, then arm levitation with laughter, followed by amnesia. Marcus uses a similar structure but directly instructs the subject to imagine, rather than asking them if they can imagine; Marcus will often start with a hand stick and then go straight for amnesia although he also starts with amnesia on occasion.

Anthony often sticks much more closely to the structure outlined in Reality is Plastic and The Trilby Connection, but with his language now laced with Automatic Imagination instructions; equally, though, he will just as often start with a visual hallucination and then go to other phenomena from there.

Our experiences with Automatic Imagination suggest that once subjects understand what is being asked of them, that they usually find it easy to do and are therefore surprised at the effect that they achieve. Once their imagination becomes automatic – that they are no longer aware that they are imagining the effect – they appear to be stumped for how the effect occurred and seemingly cannot undo it.

We often liken it to disappearing down the rabbit hole so far that you cannot find your way out. It appears that subjects cannot connect their awareness of imagining that they’re not aware that they’re imagining (follow that?) with the effect that they have produced through their initial imagining.

Whatever it is that they are imagining – dancing fairies, that everything in their pockets belongs to me, that they cannot remember their name – persists without any awareness of the effort or process that is producing it, nor how to stop it, causing the effects to be perceived as automatic and involuntary. Generally, audiences are surprised at how little we appear to do to cause these effects that mimic hypnotic phenomena in all characteristics.

Reminders of Reality

In some cases, the subject will imagine as requested but will be left with some knowledge that the effect is not real; we call these pieces of knowledge, ’reminders of reality’. With our eyes open (as many of our subjects experience the effects of AI), we have a lot of reminders of reality. Just seeing our hand would normally remind us that we have (the perception of) volition over it, that if we choose to move it, we can.

In a classical hypnotic context, these reminders of reality would threaten our suggestions, potentially causing them to irrevocably fail. With AI, however, we can do things with these reminders that can remove their effect.

First, however, I’d like to discuss higher-order thoughts (HOTs) and Cold Control Theory (Barnier et al, 2008). There is a theory that we have lower-order thoughts and higher-order thoughts. Lower-order thoughts are those that we are not aware of, that actually sense the environment and construct our awareness; higher-order thoughts are the thoughts that we become aware of, which include thoughts about our awareness.

Cold Control Theory is a theory of hypnosis based on the absence of HOTs (higher-order thoughts). Barnier et al stated, “Cold control is executive control without appropriate HOTs” and “Hypnotic responding does not involve changes to first-order representations (intentions can function as normal) but a change in a specific type of second-order representation – the awareness of intending.”

This implies that hypnosis causes a shift in the thoughts we have in awareness, rather than anything special happening in the rest of the brain. While this aligns with our ideas, cold control theory doesn’t provide a mechanism for causing changes in the HOTs, other than that provided in suggestibility modification (such as the CSTP – see part 2).

Barnier et al stated, “The change involves avoiding accurate HOTs as well as entertaining inaccurate HOTs.” If we apply this to reminders of reality, then we can see that all of our reminders must be HOTs, because they are in awareness (only lower-order thoughts are outside of awareness). Cold control theory is a manipulation of these HOTs in order to alter our awareness of our intentions.

Applying the imagination ideas of AI, we simply ask the subject if they can imagine the same things again, but this time also imagine that their reminders will not be present, or that they will not notice them, or that they will not affect the process. This approach can be iterated for as many reminders as the subject becomes aware of, until no reminders remain and the effect then works.

Another way of attacking accurate but obstructive HOTs (reminders of reality), is to use emotion against them. The neuroscience suggests that our emotions affect the way we think (for a review see Dolcos et al, 2011). The Human Givens model suggests that high levels of emotion result in what they term ’black and white thinking’. This is where extreme levels of emotion causes extremities in thinking, with equally extreme emotional content.

A phobic person in the presence of their phobic stimulus would be a good example: in that state of emotion all they want to do is end the situation and avoid the stimulus as quickly as possible, no matter how irrational that makes them appear. They might shriek while they do it too. The HOTs that drive their behavior are extreme and specifically relevant to the perceived immediate danger.

While we could find no academic literature testing a link between levels of emotion and response to suggestion, we did find a study that showed that the admission of nitrous oxide increases response to suggestion (Whalley and Brooks, 2008). The authors could not rule out the possibility that the increase in response was due to the emotional effects of the drug, rather than a specific chemical effect, and suggested additional research.

While reviewing the effect of other drugs on response to suggestion, they noted, “The fact that such a wide range of drugs with varying pharmacological properties have been demonstrated to affect suggestibility argues for a non-specific effect of drug upon suggestion,” which could support the idea that the increase in response was due to a common drug effect, such as the presence of emotion caused by the psychological effects of the drugs, rather than the chemical compositions of the drugs themselves.

Our informal testing has shown that if subjects are emotional (excited or laughing, for example) then our results improve significantly; this is one reason why we usually aim to get our subjects laughing early on in our routines. We suggest that increased levels of emotion change the significance of HOTs, possibly making those with higher emotional value more significant to us and those of lower emotional value less so.

In a hypnotic context, the HOT of “Hypnosis doesn’t really exist or make any sense so this is unlikely to work” is quite rational and of lower emotional value, while the HOT of “What if this works?” has much higher emotional value as it could potentially lead to novel and challenging situations. Our suggestion is that when we are emotional, the “What if this works?” HOT becomes much more prominent and the “this won’t work” HOT fades into obscurity. The result is similar to imagining away the reminders of reality; the effect works and the obstructions appear to disappear.

The Trance Killer Suggestion

The Trance Killer suggestion is the reversal of the Automatic Imagination process. It is, “It’s just your imagination; you can stop imagining that any time you like, can’t you?” This single line ’suggestion’ provides the subject with the awareness that they are actually imagining the effects that they are experiencing and that they also have control over this process and can simply stop it. This line has never failed to end any AI session instantly; hands become unstuck, information that was amnesic returns, and dancing fairies vanish.

We have also used the Trance Killer suggestion on hypnotic sessions set up with traditional approaches (induction and suggestions). Again, it has yet to fail, ending any supposed trance or state the subject was in and cancelling all suggestions. We’re not convinced that it is necessarily a good way to end a traditional “Sleep” hypnotic session, particularly if it involved long periods of time “in trance”.

We are concerned that there could be physiological changes that result from imagining that you are asleep for 45 minutes that the suggestion to “Wake Up!” helps to reverse. While the trance killer will end the suggestions and session, the subject might benefit from the positive, energetic suggestions that a traditional wake-up process provides.

In terms of versatility, the trance killer can be delivered by someone other than the hypnotist, ending any ideas that an exclusive hypnotic relationship exists between the hypnotist and subject. So far, we only know of hypnotists delivering this line; when we deliver it, we give it with all the directness and authority we can muster. I have, however, sung this line, across a busy and noisy hotel bar in the trendy East End, as I was walking away from the subject, who was in the middle of a session with Marcus – it still worked.

We think that this implies that traditional hypnosis may actually be a social construct that causes the cognitive processes of automatic imagination. We think that when a subject takes a suggestion, they are actually imagining the goal of the suggestion and also imagining that this process will happen automatically. If they have been commanded to “Sleep!” then we think that they are imagining that they are asleep; if it was suggested that they “go into a trance” then we think that they are imagining that they are in a trance.

Accordingly, we can see how the subject’s expectations interact with their success at imagining the effects of the suggestions; if they can literally imagine it happening then the suggestion can work, otherwise, it will not. We can also see how modification of suggestibility fits in; it is simply a case of teaching the subject how to interpret the suggestions so that they automatically do the right things when hypnotized, rather than nothing or the wrong things.

The trance killer suggestion was so named, not only because it ends hypnotic sessions, but because for us, it ultimately killed any notion of trance as a special state or special process. Even calling it a suggestion is an ironic statement. If, as was suggested by Barry Thain at change | phenomena, the hypnotism conference, 2012, that the trance killer may just be another suggestion (on the premise that a special process or hypnotic state exists and that hypnosis relies upon it), then that too would kill, for us at least, the notion of trance as a special state or special process, as I’ll attempt to explain.

If hypnosis relied on a special process, state or trance that was initiated with an induction and ended with an enduction (wake-up), within which hypnotic suggestions could be given, and we are to assume that the subject interprets the trance killer as a suggestion to reframe the entire hypnotic session as just an exercise in everyday imagination that they can stop at will, then at the very least we would either need to conclude that the special process, state or trance is very flaky indeed (if it could be ended so effortlessly), challenging the notion of focused attention, hypnotic relationship, and depth, or that the subject remains within the state – with the suggestion that all suggestions, including that of being in the state, are cancelled – but now without any awareness that they are still in the state, confusing it with the everyday “normal” non-hypnotic state.

The idea that the subjects are still hypnotized is questionable (if the state can be indistinguishable from the normal state, then how much of a state is it?), leaving us to conclude that the trance killer is an enduction at the very least. As an enduction, it’s wording is interesting and rare in that it doesn’t mention “waking up”.

We fail to see how an automatic, physiological special process could be ended with a simple instruction about imagination, unless this physiological process was itself the result of automatic imagination. As such, we think the trance killer kills trance, which ever way you look at it – unless you happen to already accept that trance is the effect of suggestion, rather than a requirement of hypnosis within which suggestions can be taken.

In summary, we think the effect that the trance killer suggestion has on traditional hypnosis, implies that traditional hypnosis is actually an oblique form of automatic imagination. By stripping away the rituals and replacing the suggestions with instructions to imagine, we think we can create genuine hypnotic phenomena in more subjects and get more hypnotic phenomena out of each subject.

Results to Date

At the time of writing (June 2012), we have tested the Automatic Imagination Model on about 200 subjects in informal situations, many of which were in performance or training. Excusing our confirmation bias, we are finding that 95% of self-selecting subjects can achieve a physical challenge suggestion, such as a stuck hand, and 90% can achieve amnesia. Traditionally, we would expect those figures to be closer to 52% and 23% (Kirsch et al, 1995).

We ran an informal study in 2011 where we attempted to develop a standardized approach that could be used in experimentation. We tested AI with 23 subjects and found that 19 of them (83%) achieved the physical challenge suggestion but only 6 (26%) achieved the amnesia suggestion.

All of these 6, however, were in the final group of 8 that received a modified version of the process that included a component to increase levels of emotion prior to the amnesia suggestion. In fairness, this small informal study was not about producing reliable results, but was more about developing the process so that it could be given in a standardized form and still achieve the results that we were seeing informally outside the lab.

We intend to take the final version of the process and test it along side suggestions from the SHSS:C on randomized groups of volunteer subjects. Developing this experiment has taken far more time and effort than we originally anticipated, but we now feel that we will soon be in a position to run a formal trial.

In Closing

Even if our informal results turn out to be skewed by confirmation bias and poor experimental design, and that in fact AI is no more powerful than traditional approaches to hypnosis, our ridiculous insight on a car journey will still have resulted in a no-induction method of hypnosis that works with those subjects that don’t respond to the traditional approaches; and it will still have left us with the trance killer suggestion that appears to allow us to end any hypnotic session.

If, on the other hand, it turns out (as we hope) that AI is much more powerful than traditional approaches, then we hope that all hypnotists will take an interest and that, together, we can hypnotize many more people to dance like Beyonce.

I hope you have enjoyed reading these articles, that they were easily understandable, and that you don’t think I’ve wasted your time with needless detail. At Head Hacking, we’re passionate about hypnosis and at Head Hacking Research, we’re passionate about knowing how it works. Even if we’re barking up entirely the wrong tree, we’ve certainly enjoyed the journey and feel that we now know more about hypnosis than we did when we started. I hope you feel the same way.


  • Hypnosis scales -
  • 1983, Nicholas Spanos, H. Lorraine Radtke, David C. Hodgins, Lorne D. Bertrand, Hernerikus J. Stam & Debora L. Dubreuil, The Carleton University Responsiveness to Suggestion Scale: Stability, Reliability, and Relationships with Expectancy and “Hypnotic Experiences”
  • 1985, Irving Kirsch, Response expectancy as a determinant of experience and behavior
  • 1986, Donald Gorassini and Nicholas Spanos, A Social-Cognitive Skills Approach to the Successful Modification of Hypnotic Susceptibility
  • 1989, Carlo Piccione, Ernest R. Hilgard, Philip G. Zimbardo, On the Degree of Stability of Measured Hypnotizability Over a 25-Year Period
  • 1990, Brad L. Bates and Thomas A. Brigham, Modifying hypnotizability with the carleton skills training program: A partial replication and analysis of components
  • 1991, Nicholas Spanos and William Coe, A social-psychological approach to hypnosis
  • 1994, Stephen Jay Lynn and Judith W. Rhue, Dissociation: Clinical, theoretical and research perspectives
  • 1995, Paul Gearan, Nancy E. Schoenberger and Irving Kirsch, Modifying Hypnotizability: A New Component Analysis
  • 1995, Irving Kirsch, Christopher E. Silva, Gail Comey and Steven Reed, A spectral analysis of cognitive and personality variables in hypnosis: Empirical disconfirmation of the two-factor model of hypnotic responding
  • 1997, Irving Kirsch and Stephen Jay Lynn, Hypnotic involuntariness and the automaticity of everyday life
  • 1998, Adolfo J. Cangas and Marino Perez, The effect of two procedures on hypnotic susceptibility modification
  • 1998, Adolfo Cangas Diaz & Marino Perez Alvarez, Transformation of instructions into suggestions using operant procedures
  • 1998, Irving Kirsch and Stephen Jay Lynn, Dissociation Theories of Hypnosis
  • 1999, Leonard S. Milling, Irving Kirsch and Cheryl A. Burgess, Brief modification of suggestibility and hypnotic analgesia: Too good to be true?
  • 2003, Donald Gorassini, Brief Hypnotic Suggestibility Training
  • 2006, Amir Raz, Irving Kirsch, Jessica Pollard, and Yael Nitkin-Kaner, Suggestion Reduces the Stroop Effect
  • 2008, Prof Irving Kirsch, Suggestibility or Hypnosis - What do our Scales Really Measure?
  • 2008, Erik Z. Woody and Pamela Sadler, Dissociation theories of hypnosis (in Nash and Barnier, Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis)
  • Barry Thain,
  • Human Givens,
  • 1890, James, W, Principles of psychology (Vols. 1-2). New York: Holt
  • 1946, Arnold, M. B, On the mechanism of suggestion and hypnosis
  • 1995, Irving Kirsch, Christopher E. Silva, Gail Comey and Steven Reed, A spectral analysis of cognitive and personality variables in hypnosis: Empirical disconfirmation of the two-factor model of hypnotic responding
  • 1997, Irving Kirsch and Stephen Jay Lynn, Hypnotic involuntariness and the automaticity of everyday life
  • 1999, Gail Comey & Irving Kirsch, Intentional and spontaneous imagery in hypnosis: The phenomenology of hypnotic responding
  • 2006, Amir Raz, Irving Kirsch, Jessica Pollard, and Yael Nitkin-Kaner, Suggestion Reduces the Stroop Effect
  • 2008, John F. Kihlstrom, The domain of hypnosis, revisited (in Nash and Barnier, Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis)
  • 2008, Amanda J. Barnier, Zoltan Dienes & Chris J. Mitchell, How hypnosis happens: new cognitive theories of hypnotic responding (in Nash and Barnier, Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis)
  • 2008, Matthew G. Whalley and Gabby B. Brooks, Enhancement of suggestibility and imaginative ability with nitrous oxide
  • 2011, Florin Dolcos, Alexandru D. Iordan and Sanda Dolcos, Neural correlates of emotion-cognition interactions: A review of evidence from brain imaging investigations

  • Footer

    Copyright © Phil Bajsicki

    I strongly disapprove of republication of the articles I write on proprietary platforms - please do not republish any of this on the likes of scribd, reddit, Facebook, and so on. Please don’t do that, and link instead.

    Additionally, no permission or license is granted for the use of the materials contained on this wed server for any purposes related (even tangentially) to training Large Language Models or AI systems.