by Dr. Joe Vitale
I’m teaching an intensive seminar on Hypnotic Copywriting techniques in September. One of the principles you’ll learn there is the idea that the mind is easily tricked by optical as well as literary illusions.
You’re probably familiar with optical illusions.
There are numerous books and sites showing pictures that can be seen in a variety of ways. One famous image looks like an old woman — until you stare a little longer and suddenly see the profile of a young woman in the same image.
Something similar can happen with words. After all, words are images, too. They are subject to the blind spots in our brains. For proof, read the following.
Aoccdrnig to a rsceearcehr at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.
Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Fascinating, isn’t it?
I’m *not* advocating mis-spelling words or intentionally misleading people. I’m demonstrating a principle. Your mind is vulnerable. It can see things that aren’t there and miss things that are there. This is important information. It’s what allows magicians the ability to fool us.
So, how does this fact help you with your sales letters, ads, emails, websites and any other writing you do?
Here’s how: You can consciously weave your words in such a way that people fill in the blanks. In other words, you can help them imagine buying your product or service without asking them to get it.
This is the sport of hypnotic writing. Here’s an elementary example:
“Imagine driving this sleek car down a country road.”
What did you see in your mind?
Most likely you imagined a sports car.
But why a sports car?
The word “sleek” led your mind to create a visual.
That image came from your mind, not mine. I gave you a prompt and your mind leaped to a conclusion.
Minds are like that.
Also, in the paragraph before that example, I planted the word “sport” in your mind.
Did you notice it?
It’s where I wrote, “This is the sport of hypnotic writing.”
The word “sport” was already in your consciousness, and was easy to bring up when I asked you to imagine a “sleek car.”
Here’s another example: Go back to the opening paragraph of this article. Look at the second line. It says: “One of the principles you’ll learn there is the idea that the mind is easily tricked by optical as well as literary illusions.”
Notice anything unusual?
You shouldn’t have. But your mind interpreted the sentence that YOU will attend my event in September. I could have said “One of the principles *people will learn at my event* is the idea that the mind is easily tricked by optical as well as literary illusions.” But by writing it so YOU would be in the sentence, I am leading your mind to imagine signing up for the actual event.
I was talking with my hero Kevin Hogan (author of “The Psychology of Persuasion” and everything else about influence…) and he says that if you can actually get your customer to see themselves doing or using whatever it is your product does, you win big. The trick is, they have to imagine *themselves* with your product.
Showing how another person is going to experience something or has experienced something isn’t enough to push the “yes” button in most people.
In other words, “Yeah, John felt the same way, then he tried this and found it worked” is a weak persuasion tool.
Kevin explains it this way:
“Joe, what you want your participants to do is see *themselves* writing ad copy and then have them see *themselves* getting the incredible results of Hypnotic Writing. Specifically. The orders racing into *their* email box. Not yours or mine.”
My earlier sentence — “One of the principles you’ll learn there is the idea that the mind is easily tricked by optical as well as literary illusions” — is a psychological switch to get you imaging yourself at my event.
That example may be difficult to grasp at first.
It’s actually an embedded hypnotic assumption, or presupposition. It’s explained in my e-books and will be demonstrated in my seminar in September. So let’s take a final quick example:
I went to the MSN home page and saw a headline that read, “See a Ferrari laptop.” I like sports cars, so I clicked. Imagine my surprise when I saw a picture of a laptop computer, not a convertible. My mind highlighted the word Ferrari and let me slide past the next word.
I could go on and on. For example, sometimes I end a letter with “Stop buy and see us.” Few note I used the word “buy” instead of “by.” The mind sees it as “stop and buy.”
I learned that subtle method when a friend of mine out of town ended an email with the words, “Take Car.” He meant to say, “Take Care.”
He slipped and wrote “Take Car” as a way to speak to my mind and urge me to drive and see him.
In short, these “mind gaps” can be cause for confusion, or for communication. I can’t explain all the ins and outs of this rarely looked at subject here (that’s what my seminar is for), but let this article be a stimulus for your own thinking — without the mind gaps.