This started out as a reply back to Brian, one of our superstar nerd fans but
I figured the topic was too good to be buried in the comment section of a post you may or may never get to.
It was birthed as a result of a post he made in regards to a comment I made about my last post… “Could it be possible that the smoothest way known to man to get a woman open to the idea of a threesome… would be the same technique you could use to get maximum money from your ideal customers.
It had to do with the idea of “Original vs. Re-purposed” Content…
Here’s what Brian said…
“Not to be controversial re Tony Robbins. I think he’s very good at what he does but most of his stuff is not original.
The difference between Tony and many of the originators like Bandler etc was that he brought it to the masses. Kind of like Ford and the Model T way back. As you can see, it’s a pretty good lesson and business model.”
Here’s what I started writing back to him…
Damn you Brian and bless you,
It’s about 1:34 A.M. on my side of the planet as I’m writing this and I’ve got some kind of cold that’s attempting to assault my throat & sinuses. Yet, with the help of Vitamin C I’m here with you.
What an awesome observation about Tony’s stuff not being original.
While listening to Harlan Kilstein’s “Value Based Copywriting” program (fabulous resource by the way), Harlan talked about how he’d found out that Tony’s secretary had called and ordered one of his Golf “Inner Game” visualization programs.
Kilstein brings this up to a guy he knows worked with Robbins’ and the guy says, “Yeah, he’s probably coming up with a new program.”
Or, what I’m thinking is he’s got some big shot Golf client and he’s trying out any new technology that can enhance his coaching by specifically learning what Harlan offers.
Whether he’s trying to enhance the experience his clients get with him or as an upstart he recognized that sitting in a room trying to be creative would be a sloooowwww process.
I can say with relative certainty that Tony’s “Six Human Needs Psychology” is of his own creation and this only came years later through distinctions made working with what he learned from the creators of NLP.
The key here is that he didn’t wait until he could create something his own to get out and start making a difference in peoples lives and making some real fuckin’ money.
Look at these guys like David Garfinkel, Mike Morgan and Ray Edwards. They’re all guys who teach copywriting. They’re all disciples of John Carlton.
None of them bring anything ‘Revolutionary’ to the market but they’ve carved their own little niche to where they’ve all sold pretty big ticket info products selling the same info you’d get from Carlton’s ‘Kick Ass Copywriting Secrets’.
You & I have both brought up Eugene Schwartz here before.
For anyone who doesn’t know about Eugene, he is known as one of the legends of marketing. Some people would say “Legends of Copywriting” but not me. I know that to be a great copywriter you must be a great marketer.
There’s a lot of wonderful writers out in the world but they couldn’t sell “free money” even if they had John Carlton’s gun to their head philosophy.
Schwartz was an old school direct mail man. In fact he wrote a book called “Mail Order” all about making money in that business before he wrote the classic “Breakthrough Advertising” which lays claim to the “most stolen book from libraries.”
He became a great marketer running his own business back in 1954 selling books through space ads in newspapers and magazines. Knowing the ins & outs of the math that made his business hum and knowing that if his ads bombed he, himself, was losing money he needed to take care of his family… put the gun to his head.
He had to get good or else it was his ass on the line.
Ted Nicholas sharpened his skills this way, Gary Halbert did as well as did Joe Sugarman.
What we never see is the garbage they wrote when they we’re just finding their way as ‘babes in the woods’. I want to see a pro do this one day. Show people “If I can go from writing a piece of shit like this to writing the way I do today, you can too.”
You see, most copywriters that stay copywriters do so because they don’t have what it takes to run their own company. And this is just how it goes. I mean, look at Gary Bencivenga. Arguably one of the greatest copywriters to have lived and as far as I know he’s never owned a company that sold any info products or services besides his own & the one seminar.
Then, contrast that with the message of a guy like John Carlton, who like Bencivenga has sold tons of stuff for other companies but has started his own online empire selling basically what Gary did with his seminar plus more but also telling people he coaches…
“If you can write damn good sales copy, why the hell would you do it for someone else? Find something to sell and keep all the money.”
Some people just aren’t wired that way. Our friend Eugene is. And when asked ‘What makes you so creative?’ he was fond of saying…
“God is the only one who can create. We don’t create anything. We merely re-assemble what’s already available to us.”
Pretty heavy words from a guy the Super Guru Copywriters would credit with possessing tremendous creativity.
I believe Tony Robbins has mastered this Eugene Schwartz principle through the NLP principle of Modeling.
Modeling says you go and find someone who’s getting the result you want (Ala Harlan’s golf mind product or a winning headline/landing page) and you find out the ‘why’ behind what they do and the actions they take and mirror them and you too can get similar results.
As we both know Bandler and Grinder set out to model kick ass therapists who were actually helping people like Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson and used parts of Gestalt Therapy along with other distinctions they came up with on the way to making NLP what it is today.
They pulled a Eugene Schwartz. Or, as they’d say in Space Balls, they used “The Schwartz”
I know Robbins isn’t original and he’s the guy that reached me when I was a young punk with low self esteem who’d never heard any kind of personal development stuff.
This guy cut through all this noise to connect with a kid who listened to at least 4 hours a day of one of the most negative messages, hard core gangster rap, you could ever put into your mind.
Had someone put my old school Richard Bandler “Building Generalizations” program or the Robert Dilts “Sleight of Mouth” videos in my hands at the time I would’ve just zoned out and been looking for the exit door ASAP.
Tony’s stuff is definitely more entertaining. Not nearly as intricate but it gets you to a productive place where grasping the super advanced stuff Bandler teaches is all the more possible.
So, like you said Brian, for anyone new to personal development coming in from the cold, damp,
atmosphere of the masses… Tony’s a great first step toward greatness.
The lesson here is to use whats already out there and make it better. That’s all we can do. Improve on what exists.
Then as you’re on the path of modeling what works, you inevitably come across teeny or humongous distinctions that enhance the process of what you’re doing.
One of the keys you’ll learn once you own a copy of the notes for Dan Kennedy’s “Influential Writing Program” you’ll see that one of the 31 principles he cover there is what he calls “Welcomed Prophet Status”.
Here’s one of the lessons from this report on the house…
Principle 24: Welcome Prophet Status
This really has to do with source and it fundamentally says that most of what is
profitable for us to do in writing to influence is not to change people’s minds but instead to give them what they want. To appear as the prophet they hoped would appear not has the prophet they don’t want.
Selling unwelcome advice is an ugly, grimy business about the only time that it pays to do it is after you have somebody who has ascended in a relationship or maybe in a private client environment.
In terms of numbers, the sale of unwelcome advice is a losing proposition. People will simply leave. They’ll shop for the advice they like until they find somebody giving them advice they like and they’ll give him all their money.
You won’t really keep a lot of people around by ramming down their throats what they resist.
We want to show up and appear as “X” to an audience that wants “X”. We don’t want to show up to an audience that wants “Y” and try and convert them. When you study all the cults, you find that cult recruiters do not go out and try and convert people.
They go out in search of people who are ready to join a cult. There’s a big difference in those two things. Now, you need to know your ideal customers profile and you need to match yourself up with your profile.
There’s a new weight loss Infomercial broke not too long ago. I watched half of it this morning. It’s gonna make a fortune. They built a fairly complicated product. They got this book with little tabs.
You fill out a questionnaire and you figure out your body type. When you turn it over on the back, after you put the right pieces together, it tells you what to eat.
The best thing they got in the whole pitch…
The bonus. It’s a pocket size book for 50 of the major restaurant chains in America. It’s got their logos all over it. Bob Evans, Applebee’s, McDonald’s, etc. One page for each one of them that tells you what to eat to lose weight while you’re there.
Here are the foods to eat at Bob Evans to crank up your metabolism and it’s in a book. You walk in. You open the book. You look at the menu, it tells you what to eat. I am looking at this and I’m saying “The phones are going to ring off the hook right now”.
Here’s what they did that’s so smart. First of all , everybody else is telling everybody stay the hell out of them places. If you want to lose weight, the first thing you do is don’t go there. Get your nose out of the trough and you ‘ll be better off.
That’s a prophet nobody wants.
The prophet who shows up and says “By all means eat lunch a McDonald’s, go to Outback for dinner and stop by Krispy Kreme in the morning on the way to work. Here’s a page for each one of them that tells you what to eat that will crank up your metabolism.
This guy is the most welcomed prophet yet to arrive this year for weight loss. It’s brilliant because it’s this. It is exactly what to do. No thought required. And it’s actually what they want to do.
Exercise: Two things. What do people believe in general that you can show up and agree with in order to influence them? What do the people you seek to influence believe specifically that you can show up and agree with them about?
This is what I believe Tony did so well when he modeled NLP. He understood where his market was so he knew that to become a “Welcomed Prophet” he had to come in with the approach that Joe Sixpack, the everyday man and woman could relate to.
Then once you went through all of his seminars, and only then would he present the idea of his super goddammit certification course which dissolved and turned into Mastery University.
Screw creativity. We don’t have to re-create the wheel entirely. But we have to re-fashion stuff to fit where our market is.
Thanks Brian for the conversation, talk to you again soon,
Note Taking Nerd #2
P.S. You’ll be hearing from me about your magnificent contest entry.
P.P.S. If you want access to the other 30 principles Dan Kennedy covered in his $12,500.00 per person seminar they were all divulged to the members of the Ultra Product Launch group last week. CLICK HERE to get in now and you’ll have access to these must-know secrets too.