Are Copywriters Mind Control Merchants?

32 replies
Mrdomains brought up an interesting point
about mind control in another thread, and
it got me thinking...

Are copywriters a bit like African witchdoctors,
with their bags of bones and dark secrets,
peddling their mind control expertise to the
highest bidder?

And if we are "mind control merchants," how
ethical is this?

OK to control someone else's mind and get
them to do what we want them to?
#control #copywriters #merchants #mind
  • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
    Originally Posted by Copydog View Post

    Are copywriters a bit like African witchdoctors,
    with their bags of bones and dark secrets,
    peddling their mind control expertise to the
    highest bidder?
    Eldo,

    Yes... we're exactly like that.

    But when I took control of your mind and made you start this thread, I telepathically instructed you to make the post title read "Are Copywriters Mind Control Mercenaries?" -- NOT "Are Copywriters Mind Control Merchants?"

    If you can't even get a simple detail like that right, next time I'll just have to find someone else's mind to control.

    - John
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
      Originally Posted by Johnny12345 View Post

      Eldo,

      Yes... we're exactly like that.

      But when I took control of your mind and made you start this thread, I telepathically instructed you to make the post title read "Are Copywriters Mind Control Mercenaries?" -- NOT "Are Copywriters Mind Control Merchants?"

      If you can't even get a simple detail like that right, next time I'll just have to find someone else's mind to control.

      - John
      John,

      You're not doing it right.

      Go to www.copywritingmindcontrolsecrets.com and you'll discover how to do it properly.

      Just $47 a month...

      -Dan

      P.S. For a limited time only, every membership comes with a FREE tinfoil hat!
      Signature

      Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

        John,

        You're not doing it right.

        Go to www.copywritingmindcontrolsecrets.com and you'll discover how to do it properly.

        Just $47 a month...

        -Dan

        P.S. For a limited time only, every membership comes with a FREE tinfoil hat!
        Damn Daniel, the link is broken and I want MY tinfoil hat!

        Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Eldo,

    You should do comedy.

    Oh, sorry, you just did
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  • Profile picture of the author Hesster
    Mind control merchants? No. If the reader doesn't want what you're selling, there's no way you're going to make them buy it.

    You could have the best sales letter imaginable selling a book/ebook on how to cook for your dog, but if you're targeting it at people who don't own dogs, they're not going to buy it. You might pick up a few sales from people buying it as a gift for others, but it's gonna flop.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by Copydog View Post

    Mrdomains brought up an interesting point
    about mind control in another thread, and
    it got me thinking...

    Are copywriters a bit like African witchdoctors,
    with their bags of bones and dark secrets,
    peddling their mind control expertise to the
    highest bidder?

    And if we are "mind control merchants," how
    ethical is this?

    OK to control someone else's mind and get
    them to do what we want them to?
    I hope you're not believing all the crap floating around about controlling people's minds and forcing them to do your bidding. Last time I checked, people are not mindless robots.

    On the ethics subject, if you persuade people to buy what's in their best interest, you're on pretty solid ground.

    Which leaves all the "magic bullets" being sold in the IM niche out.

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
    Originally Posted by Copydog View Post

    And if we are "mind control merchants," how
    ethical is this?

    OK to control someone else's mind and get
    them to do what we want them to?
    If that was truly the case, then copywriters like me could routinely stay out of the dog house with our wives instead of having to have our mail delivered there. :p
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  • Profile picture of the author Fweez
    Mind control merchants?? Yep, they're really... oh, why am I posting a reply here? OMG!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Zentech
    Mind control? Heavens no. If that were the case, every copywriter would be rich.

    Image control? Yeah, that's more like it - particularly, the copywriter's own image. With a good image, the copywriter can get clients - and perhaps create a good image for them as well (ideally).

    Copywriters would *love* to present themselves as mind-control experts, but generally, it's all just tried and true sales techniques.
    Signature
    * Stupid Offer: Killer Sales Letters ***$897*** Just For Warriors. Ethical Clients & Legit Products Only. *
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    • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
      Originally Posted by Zentech View Post

      Copywriters would *love* to present themselves as mind-control experts
      Actually, IME it's the other way around.

      CLIENTS often expect copywriters to be mind-control experts and overcome myriad deficiencies in the products/services with our Jedi hand sweep over the prospect.

      Here's the result:

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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Clients may want mind control.

        Persuasion is a gentle art.....
        Signature
        Saving one dog will not change the world -
        but the world will be forever changed for that one dog.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    Originally Posted by Copydog View Post


    OK to control someone else's mind and get
    them to do what we want them to?
    Yes.

    Buy now.

    $197.

    I accept most major credit cards.

    Do it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
      Originally Posted by Paul Hancox View Post

      Yes.

      Buy now.

      $197.

      I accept most major credit cards.

      Do it.
      Paul, I swear to god... if you interfere with my tinfoil hat launch, I'm comin' for your ass...
      Signature

      Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

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      • Profile picture of the author nepeterson
        Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

        Paul, I swear to god... if you interfere with my tinfoil hat launch, I'm comin' for your ass...
        Do not threaten the man with two eyes in one... He has more power than you could ever imagine!
        Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author Domenic Carlson
    In a way they are. Copywriting is about giving people what they need, and delivering it in a way that really connect with them. So, mind control? Not quite. But, it can involve some subtle persuasion.
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    Always interested in news about Bing, SEO, SEM Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.

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    • Profile picture of the author Copydog
      Originally Posted by Domenic Carlson View Post

      Copywriting is about
      giving people what they need, and delivering it in a way
      that really connect with them.
      Well put.

      Which answers the question about whether or not
      copywriting is ethical.

      However, when we start using NLP in copywriting,
      the issue of mind control comes more to the fore.

      And so does the question of ethics.

      I'm now ducking behind the wall...
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  • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
    Only the good ones... and they're so good, those under their influence don't even know it.

    Amused... not at the original question but some of the responses here.

    Isn't the first rule to capture someone's attention? Sure, it's not total slavish "you will do what I say NOW" mind control. But isn't the job to direct the person, a prospect into taking action? Aren't you supposed to keep it interesting, relevant, even valuable to lead them to do what you want ie. control? I'm guessing this is against the grain of thinking but I think good copywriters ARE mind control merchants. Ever read a Carlton piece and want to order it? How about a Halbert masterpiece? Now consider what you were thinking before reading it... would you have thought about buying?

    If you're not doing everything you can (and that doesn't necessarily mean hitting them over the head with BUY THIS NOW) to control the mind while they're reading your sales page/letter then to me that's just being a baiter (someone who takes money for pretending)... the really bad 'copywriters' are just masters of this.

    That said, I get it. Some people will have issue with the idea "control". No one likes to be controlled or have even be associated with control over someone else.

    Get this though... in this world we're either of influence or at influence.

    I know which I'd rather be.
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    Scary good...
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    • Profile picture of the author Copydog
      Originally Posted by bf68 View Post

      I think good copywriters
      ARE mind control merchants.
      Agreed.

      Just like good storytellers.

      From the opening sentence of an entrancing story
      (like a sales copy headline) your readers are hooked,
      and enter an altered state of consciousness.

      The trick is to KEEP them in that trance-like state until
      the end of the book (or sales letter, email, etc.).

      They have to WANT to keep turning the page to see
      what's next.

      Or when they reach the end of a paragraph, they must
      feel an urge to continue to the next paragaraph, which
      is where the mind-control masters of the written word,
      the Bencivengas, Carltons, and Makepeaces excel.

      Magnetic, hypnotic copy is certainly a form of mind
      control.

      And in my view, this only becomes unethical when you're
      selling an unethical product/service - that harms rather
      than benefits your customer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    I noticed there are a couple of people making serious posts and actually trying to answer the question...

    STOP IT!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Axelrod
    That's definitely a good way to SELL your copywriting course. Big market for the evil manipulative power.
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    How to Improve Your Sales Conversion Rate 50% to 283 %

    Start Making Sales NOW With My Help
    http://www.realsalescopy.com

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  • Profile picture of the author BobV
    Basically, it's indeed correct that we are giving them what they want.. Actually most of them already know most of it but they wanted to hear more and more..


    I think if they like what they sees then they buy it but if not they have their choices..

    It's a bit more likely of Psychology coming in than totally mind controlling.. You just tend to know and study as observants what the mass is longing and you give it to them and they follow you the way you designed it...


    Best regards,
    Bob
    Signature
    "It is one thing to study war and another thing
    to live the warrior’s life"
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  • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
    Um.. mind control was perhaps the wrong phrase. I didn't mean mind control literally as in hypnosis, or as in cold war acid experiments or the mental powers of the mischievous Braniac (not the TV show).
    Bad phrasing. I´m from Sweden, my excuse :p

    I meant that to create good copy you need to understand and leverage the psychological environment around who you are writing for (no, not the client) and their relation to whatever it is that needs selling. That is why I proposed that copywriting is (should be?) 20% art, 20% science (as in methods, structure, form, etc) and 60% psychology. Psychology, as in understanding the target consumer on a emotional level and using that knowledge.

    Good copy influences the target by pushing emotional buttons. The difference between influence and manipulation is sometimes very small. Ethics will direct how you use the skills you have. Accepting the fact that copy sometimes is manipulative, even coercive, may not be to everyone's taste but knowing how to push people´s buttons through the written word is what separates copywriting from just.. writing.

    Anyway, mind control wasn´t correct. Maybe psychology is also not quite right. How about empathy?
    20 art/ 20 science/ 60 empathy
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    Free action plan : Think less. Do more.

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  • Profile picture of the author kcorps
    This forum is really funny. I really enjoy the comedy you brought to me fellas.

    *Wait, why would I write this anyway @o@*
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  • Profile picture of the author vip-ip
    Originally Posted by Copydog View Post

    Are copywriters a bit like African witchdoctors,
    with their bags of bones and dark secrets,
    peddling their mind control expertise to the
    highest bidder?
    I keep my bag of bones under my bed. For good luck.

    Best Regards,
    vip-ip ...
    Signature
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