I’ve been writing about hypnotic stories since the 1990s.
My first e-book, Hypnotic Writing, described them.
I created Hypnotic Writing out of two passions of mine in the 1980s and 1990s: literature and copywriting.
Jack London, Mark Twain, William Saroyan and other great story telling authors fascinated me.
But so did great copywriters like Robert Collier, Bruce Barton, and John Caples.
After speculating on how each wrote their stories, I developed Hypnotic Writing as a way to explain it and teach it.
In short, I combined both styles of writing to create a third style.
I’ve written about this in many of my other early marketing books, including Buying Trances.
Of course, my book on P.T. Barnum, There’s A Customer Born Every Minute, is packed with hypnotic stories.
But I just discovered even more proof that hypnotic stories increase sales, influence, and more.
Let me explain:
I came across a project called Significant Objects.
The idea behind Significant Objects was to create a scientific study to see whether creative stories about mediocre objects could persuade people to buy near worthless stuff.
In other words, the authors would take a simple object that you might find at a garage sale for one dollar.
Then they would write a fictional story about it.
And then they would list the item, with the story, on eBay.
Surprisingly (or not), the item sold for many times its original price.
They did this for 100 objects.
The results were astonishing.
Objects that originally sold for around one dollar, were each placed on eBay with an accompanying made-up story.
The story triggered sales.
Those meaningless objects, now given meaning, sold for thousands of dollars in total.
For example, a Missouri shot glass, which looked like trash to me and originally sold for $1, had a fictional story written about it.
The story and photo were put on eBay.
That shot glass then sold for $76.
That’s a $75 profit from a hypnotic story.
That’s the power of a story.
The point being, the stories did the selling.
Of course, I’m not at all advising you to write fictional stories about your product or service.
But you have stories.
They are from you (how you began your business or why) or from your customers (testimonials from satisfied people).
It’s those hypnotic stories that can increase your sales and influence.
In my book, The Seven Lost Secrets of Success, I advised revealing “the business nobody knows.”
In other words, tell the story behind you, your product, your service, and/or employee.
Your hypnotic stories will bring your business to life.
There’s a site you can visit http://significantobjects.com/ that fully describes the Significant Objects study, and their stories. It’s worth a look.
Their site opens saying, “Significant Objects, a literary and anthropological experiment devised by Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn, demonstrated that the effect of narrative on any given object’s subjective value can be measured objectively.”
Meanwhile, what’s your hypnotic story?
PS – My newest book is out this week: Dr. Joe Vitale’s “Greatest Law of Attraction Quotes.” You can find the printed and Kindle versions at Amazon. Open the book anywhere and see what “hypnotic story” begins for you. 🙂
Robert Collier remains one of my all-time favorite authors.
He influenced me when I was a kid in Ohio in the 1960s, with his books, The Secret of the Ages and The Amazing Secrets of the Masters of the Far East.
Collier was the first to introduce me to the Law of Attraction, mind power, positive thinking, and more, while I was a teenager searching for truth in books. His writings deeply influenced me.
“Plant the seed of desire in your mind and it forms a nucleus with power to attract to itself everything needed for its fulfillment.” – Robert Collier
I didn’t know Collier was a copywriter and direct response marketer until, as a struggling adult living in Houston, I stumbled across his magnum opus, The Robert Collier Letter Book.
I still remember seeing the hardback book, with a faded yellow jacket, on the shelf of Colleen’s Books in Houston.
I stared in disbelief.
I carried the hefty book to the front desk and asked Colleen if the author was the same one who wrote all those metaphysical books.
She didn’t know.
But as I scanned the pages, and saw sales letters for those esoteric books I had read decades earlier, I knew Robert Collier was the author of all of it.
It changed my life forever.
I was an OK copywriter before the letter book; I was a hypnotic copywriter after it.
And it was a mention in the letter book that sent me on a wild adventure to discover all I could about Bruce Barton, which led to my writing a turning point book in my career, The Seven Lost Secrets of Success.
And knowing that Collier was a marketer as well as a metaphysician paved the way for me becoming the same, and led to my book Spiritual Marketing, which was later retitled The Attractor Factor, which still later got me invited into the hit movie The Secret.
He so influenced me that I dedicated my book, Hypnotic Writing, to him.
I collect everything by and about Collier.
I have a paperback version of the Letter book, published during war years to save money.
I have an autographed copy of the first edition of the Letter book.
I have a little course he wrote on making money by mail.
I have a complete set of his original booklets.
What was Collier’s secret to success?
It wasn’t sales letters, as I would have guessed, it was ideas.
“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build.” – Robert Collier
Robert Collier felt the idea was more important than the sales letter for it, though he obviously made an icon status legend for himself with his letters.
Collier knew numerous people of fame during his lifetime, including strongman George Jowett. I thought that was synchronistic as I know many strongmen of today, including Dennis Rogers and Iron Tamer David Whitley.
I was having lunch with Jerry and Esther Hicks, of Abraham fame, a decade or so past, when Esther said that the greats of long ago met and had lunch, just as we were having lunch that day. They, too, had been influenced by Collier.
Collier left us in 1950.
I was born in 1953.
I often wondered if I were the reincarnated version of him.
Of course, I never got to meet him, let alone have lunch with him, but his spirit, ideas, and wisdom live on, in all of his books, but particularly in his magnum opus, The Robert Collier Letter Book.
PS – Learn more about the Law of Attraction with these in-depth audio programs http://www.nightingale.com/authors/joe-vitale.html
I’ve been reading the book, The Einstein of Money, about the legendary investor — the inspiration for Warren Buffett and countless others — Benjamin Graham.
While I’m not personally an active investor in anything but guitars, a couple of cars, and rare books on marketing and metaphysics, I wanted to learn what this icon had to say about money.
As I was reading it, I was reminded of my own formula for attracting more money.
It goes like this:
Profit = P + P.
I failed algebra in the ninth grade (retook it with a different instructor the next year and got straight A’s, thank you for asking), so my formulas are simple.
They need to be, so I can understand them.
Mine goes like this –
Profit equals your Passion plus the Public’s Interest.
Here’s an example:
Waaaaay back in the early 1990s, I was inspired to learn all I could about Bruce Barton, the now forgotten ad man of the Roaring Twenties, cofounder of BBDO (the giant ad agency), a bestselling author of many books, including The Man Nobody Knows (still in print today), and so much more.
I was fascinated and mystified by the man, his enormous successes, and the strange reality of his being virtually forgotten by the 1960s.
All my research led to my writing a book that became (and still is) one of my most popular ones.
So let’s see how the formula worked in this case:
My Passion urged me to investigate Bruce Barton.
There was no rhyme or reason to it.
No contract from a publisher.
No one paying me. (I was in fact broke at the time and struggling.)
From outer reality, there was no evidence at all that a book on Barton would go anywhere.
But I followed my passion anyway.
When it came time for me to title the book, I knew the Public didn’t care about Barton.
After all, he was already forgotten by the 1930s and dead by the 1960s and a footnote in advertising today.
The Public would not buy a biography of Barton.
What would the public buy?
What was their interest?
I knew from my own interest in self-help, self-development and success literature, that the Public has a solid, always hungry interest in success.
So I titled the book The Seven Lost Secrets of Success.
I used the formula of Passion (my interest in Barton) and added Public (their interest in Success) and created a new product (a retitled book).
But did it lead to Profit?
The book was first published in 1992. It quickly went through numerous editions, being sold to my mailing list at the time (this was before the Internet, so it was all snail mail).
One mutilevel marketing company loved it and bought 19,500 copies of it for everyone in their business. (!)
Later, a big publisher bought it from me and published it.
It’s still in print today.
So, yes, it led to Profit.
The formula works
The problem with most people is that they never focus on passion to begin with.
They just chase money.
Money is a lousy motivator.
Passion, on the other hand, is real fire.
But when people follow their passion, they often forget to think of what the public wants.
The public pays for it, so you need to tie your interests to their interests.
You have to find the intersection of your passion and their desires.
While someone later came out with a biography of Bruce Barton, it did not sell well. I’m glad Barton got the attention and respect a biography gives, but from a Profit standpoint, thinking of what the Public wants is wiser. (Actually, if you look at the subtitle of the biography on Barton, you’ll see that the author tried to widen his reach to appeal to the public by not just writing a biography of Barton, but by making it about America itself.)
Here’s my formula again —
Profit equals your Passion plus the Public’s Interest.
A lot of my thinking about this developed decades ago, when I read a little book from 1928 called, How to Profit from that Impulse. While that 68 page book, which was about poetry, didn’t reveal any formula that I remember, it got me thinking about how to profit from your passion. That led, in time, to the formula I just revealed to you.
I’ve applied this same formula to my music.
When I decided to become a musician, I did enough research to shockingly discover that there are 3,000 new albums released weekly. (!)
That’s overwhelming competition.
How would I ever stand out in the crowd?
I looked at my Passion (making original music), thought about what the Public wants (to be healthy and happy), and opted to become the world’s first self-help singer-songwriter.
My Product/Profit became a new category of music that I call Healing Music.
This has paid off with seven albums so far, all doing well enough for me to be encouraged to make more. (And I will, including me playing the saxophone on a future album.)
As you can see, the formula works.
You just need to apply it.
Here it is one more time for you to ponder —
Profit equals your Passion plus the Public’s interest.
I’m still reading The Einstein of Money, but doubt Benjamin Graham had much to say about my formula for success. And remember that even high rollers and big time investors are often motivated by something other than money.
As Donald Trump once said –
“Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.”
Play the game of attracting money, try out my P=P+P formula, and see what you think.
PS – Want more? The definitive audio course on attracting money is still The Secret to Attracting Money.