A 7-Step Guide to Mind Control: How to Quit Begging and Make People Want to Help You

A 7-Step Guide to Mind Control: How to Quit Begging and Make People Want to Help You

Reader Comments (99)

  1. Jon,

    Fantastic post. You (as usual) have inspired me to keep things going at a level that I know I need to.

    The trick for me is this;

    Writing posts that are a nice mix of showing my true passion for helping would-be franchise owners increase their odds of real success, while at the same time teaching these people that they don’t have to always drink my industry’s Kool-Aid.

    Again, great job, Jon.

    The Franchise King®

    • One of the best bloggers ever, he had a guest post on Problogger than won me over, and now I can’t wait for the next John Morrow post!

  2. Jon,

    I’ve never felt compelled to comment on copyblogger before but this post is magnificent. It has moved me in a way that a post never has. I am filinf this post under my keeper file.

    Thank you, and keep up the great work.

  3. When I was at DU I ad to read ” the power to persuade” . Many Years later I have realized that without persuation you get nowhere. Good post, I think people needs motivation now too.

  4. Jon, this is brilliant. Influence is my favorite marketing book of all time, but you’ve taken it to the next level with specific to-do’s that anyone can act on. Love it!

  5. Hi Jon,

    Quick question – does JV stand for joint venture? Just for all us newbies 🙂


  6. Thanks Jon!

    Wow. Awesome writing as usual.

    I really appreciate the advice. It can be daunting to get a new venture off the ground, but this should make it easier. It is practical and usable. Like all your advice 🙂

  7. Thanks Jon

    Glad I stuck with reading this to the end. Lots of high quality content I can and will use.

    ps Robert Cialdini reference is superb and I speak from everyday experience using the principles

  8. Wow. Incredible post! Jon, you have motivated me to action. I especially liked the last point. I tend to doubt my writing and become nervous about promoting it, but I believe that I have valuable advice to give and that I can change the world with my writing!

  9. Jon: I dig point #1. To be honest, as consumer’s we need a little direction. Tell us what you want us to do next. Give us a gentle nudge. Don’t overwhelm is with options, and a slew of other things to think about. Make it simple, period.

  10. I read many blogs, I never comment, but this is a very important blog post. Just amazing information
    good for you

  11. Amazing! Fabulous! Incredible article!!! Thank you. Must devour later… hehehe Will share fo sho with my meager 20K network. THANKS!

  12. Jon, you’re posts always slap me across the face and shake me by the shoulders. I loved #7 and I’m going to tape it up on my wall. Thank you 🙂

  13. I’m a big fan of point number one. In order to get customer testimonials, I send a link to a three question survey. The response rate is very high, and I think it helps that people don’t have to write a testimonial from scratch. I like to do all of the thinking for them by asking three specific questions.

    The rest of this post is awesome as well.

  14. A very fine ensembe of reminders leading up to the grand finale
    about mission and love and big purpose. A bracing and
    challenging and inspiring symphony.

    thanks a lot


  15. Awesome post, Jon.

    Points #’s 6 and 7 warmed my heart. Not enough people actually believe in what they’re doing. So why would anyone else?

    Like you say, you have to be willing to fight for something. Take a stand. Forget about looking stupid. Do something you care about – and readers/customers won’t be able to stop themselves from devouring up what you’re offering!

  16. A brilliant post.

    My day job is in marketing, and everything you’ve suggested will change behavior. The funny part is that it boils down to human nature, not creating slick ads or fancy presentations.

  17. “The best strategy is to not ask them to think. Do it for them.”


    This is SO much more effective for asking for book blurbs… and I can imagine just about anything.

    Make it EASY for them and they’re much more likely to help you out.

    Great post, Jon. 🙂

    – Jennifer

  18. Hi Jon,

    Interesting and educative post!

    I love the way you have put across all the points so well, something that makes it so easy for all of us to understand. It surely does inspire and motivate me a great deal!

    Thanks for sharing!

  19. Wow Wow Wow!

    Yes this is TOTALLY doable! I can’t tell how how many times I have asked for a review, a testimonial or
    a thumbs up from my friends!

    I can totally suggest wording for them to copy paste and post. That is ways too easy and with links on the bottom of every email, blog post, and tweet it makes it so easy for them.

    THANK you!

  20. I love number 4, have a REAL deadline. It reminds me on those lame salespages that run a script trying to form a sense of urgency by using the same date as a perceeved deadline. Other scripts start counting down as soon as you are on the page. I guess that one works but it sure does seem a bit lowbrow.

    I love the idea to give something away for a set time period before it goes on sale. I’ve seen that before and it’s a great way to build a list.

  21. Great post, Jon. I’m reminded of Zig Ziglar and all the ‘Closing The Sales’ books I read back in the 80s. There was certainly a good measure of psychology to be found among the practical marketing advice. Yes, the issue is to give the client a choice and ask a closed or leading question as in “Are you free on Monday or Tuesday?”, and not an open question as in “So, what time is good for you?”. The latter is usually yeilds a response like “Oh, no time is good for me!”

    One caveat here is to keep in mind that it’s important to know your ‘clients’ and treat them with respect, as opposed to taking a ‘one size fits’ all approach to dealing with people. Afterall, there is a reason that many people distrust salespeople … even though in many ways, we are all selling something!

  22. Love this post, Jon! First, it’s wonderfully written. Second, it’s incredibly informative. I’m sure you’ve got a lot of folks (myself included) standing up and cheering after reading this one.

    I think the first point is especially important. I used to get so psyched out about guest posts. I thought the other blogger was doing ME a huge favor by letting me share content with their readers. Now, I realize it’s the other way around (if you do it right). If you make it easy for the person, all they have to do is pull the trigger. Then, they have great content for their blog and you have exposure to a whole new audience. It’s a win-win. Of course, this applies to a lot of different proposals too.

    I think the give more than you take comment is also important. However, I think you have to be careful that you don’t get taken advantage of in the process. Any advice for avoiding that pitfall?

    Again, great post, Jon! You always knock ’em out of the park. 🙂

    • Well, for one, just accept getting taken advantage of. It’s going to happen, but probably not very often, and the benefits of generosity far outweigh the costs of a few people abusing your good nature.

      Refunds are a good example. If you have a 30 day refund policy, occasionally people will buy something just to use it for 30 days, and then return it at the last minute, basically having used it for free.

      It’s irritating, so much so that some beginning marketers stop offering refunds, but it’s a mistake. Just look at the math:

      Let’s say the guarantee gets you an additional 10 sales per month. Every month, you also get one person who takes advantage of it. Unless you’re selling an extremely low margin product, you make a lot more on the 10 sales than you do on the one loss, and so offering refunds is a good business move.

      The same goes for guest posts. For every 10 blogs you write for, maybe one or two will refuse to reciprocate in any way, and if that happens, just accept it.

      Of course, nothing says you have to be a doormat. If a particular customer keeps buying products and asking for refunds, blacklist them from ever buying again, and if a particular blogger refuses to reciprocate, stop writing posts for them.

      Hope that helps. 🙂

  23. Yes, it is about building a relationship of trust. If you want their help they have to trust you to represent yourself as an over achiever. Thanks for the post, it is a great reminder that mediocrity does not breed success!

  24. Jon

    THANK YOU. This post is so utterly brilliant, so completely top drawer that I’m sure many bloggers will just quit after reading it!

    I absolutely LOVE your definition of shamelessness! So great to be reminded that our passion is what we communicate — and ‘marketing’ is what we do to share it.

    I am so passionate about supporting, inspiring and empowering childless / childfree women to lead fertile, passionate lives… that I just shamelessly plugged it 😉

    Reading Copyblogger is like attending the best classes at a journalism / marketing school. Your generosity is inspirational and your advice spot on.

    Your passion shows, Copyblogger!

    Jody x

  25. This is a great post. I especially like the last point about being shameless. This is a great idea and has helped me focus my business even further. Thank you very much! I am going to revise my website and my bios. Very exciting. My vision is becoming clearer every day, and today you’ve really helped!

  26. Jon, you swept me away under the hot sun of an August day. An amazing and beautifully written post. Thank you. Philosopher Kalil Gibran once shared: “Work is love manifest.” Fall in love with your work and others will fall in love with you.

  27. Shamelessness! Love this and its all too true, “Write and forget”. As usual another inspiring post but this one is being book marked as its such a good point of reference.

  28. Wow, Jon. One of the best, touching, and true articles I’ve read in a long time. Thank you.

  29. Nice post Jon!
    There are 2 acceptable answers in any sale. Yes and No.
    Anything in between is a soft No. The only person thinking ti over is you. Get the Yes or a No and move on.
    Thanks for sharing great info.

  30. Quite a long post this time… i thought of quitting in the middle… but thank God i read it completely… well, the last point has made me realize that I’m NOT shameless :S i am rather scared and I don’t know how to change myself.. but now I know & hopefully I’ll find a way 🙂 thanks

  31. The problem with fictional deadlines is that the real ones aren’t believable.

    Last week, I was haggling with a guy for an October delivery date. This week, it would be December 19th because the “big order” that we’d been working for a couple weeks came through and ate our calendar.

    We are careful not to oversell the calendar and miss deadlines (we have, and we did, and we learned).

    I tried to tell him, needle him…and then Today – not long ago- he calls ready to go, and I have to break the bad news.

    The bullshit fake deadlines that other people use hurt me, too. I did have clients in “almost” mode, but that strains credulity.

    He thought it was some bullshit closing tactic.

    It wasn’t, I never do that.

    Not even at during smarmiest days as a mortgage broker did I use this when it wasn’t true.

    Turns out, everyone uses it when it’s not true.

    I was trying to be of service for his benefit, not my own. Now, we probably don’t get to do business. I don’t know what I would have done differently- now I guess I can’t use that method to sell..

    • Yeah, it happens. One thing you can do is actually make your calendar public, putting the proof upfront for everyone to see.

      That’s what Dan Kennedy used to do when he was a professional speaker. If you asked to book him, he sent you a calendar for the year already stuffed with speaking invitations he had accepted, along with the name of the event.

      Not only did it prove he was for real, but it also raised his perceived value, allowing him to charge more per speech. Smart strategy all around. 🙂

      • Well, we did that up front, and it strained credulity.

        Then, when the rubber hit the road, and the client did want one, they were livid with me.

        It turned out that bing reasonably indifferent to which clients we help is a good thing. We will sell all the minutes we can make at the price that suits us.

    The core of marketing isn’t customer profiling or market segmentation or any of the other complicated nonsense…..?”

    WHAT?! What what what?! Hahaa. Nonsense? In copywriting, customer profiling is a must and necessary. You can’t implement anything you’ve said above without knowing who you’re talking to, their wants and desires.

    But, aside from that, I know what you;re trying to say =)

    • Well, there’s a big difference between the “customer profiling” they do in business school and what we do as copywriters. In general, copywriters don’t even have a name for it, other than “getting to know the customer” or “building a customer avatar.”

      But sure, getting to know your customer is key. It’s about empathy more than anything else.

  33. This was an awesome post. Recently I have been asking clients for testimonials and it like trying to squeeze blood out of a stone. Not that they didnt want to give them… but time is a huge factor. So I said to hell with it instead Ill have 5 quick questions Ill email to them to answer. I asked to add them on facebook. Verabbly asked to download there pic off facebook, turn there quick questions into logical sentences AND WHALA! I have my testimonials.

    Def learnt my lesson, make it easy for people.

    In terms of writing gigs, you are correct just ask because most editors are happy to hear new ideas and most of all if you want to write for free for publicity they love it… because they don’t have to pay you. So far just my emailing editors of magazines I have had my photo, website, article published in 5 different fitness magazines. Total marketing cost ZERO , only my time… in which I converted old blog posts into an article style piece.

    Great work with your post- LOVED IT!

  34. Great post, thank you! All the psychology involved in the present state of social marketing is so fascinating. Are there any current studies or books on the topic you’d recommend?

  35. I am starting to learn about blogging with the question “Can i do it?” constantly on my mind but when i started reading your enchanting post, the question changed completely into an extremely motivated words ” I can do it!!!”

    Thank you for the motivation.

  36. Hi Jon,

    “Give ten times more than you take.” Awesome!

    The more you give, the more you get. Bringing mind control into marketing is believing in this statement 1000% percent, with no deviation. Give freely, receive generously.

    As for shameless self promotion, it’s the 1 difference between people who REALLY believe in what they’re marketing versus the people who say they do, but don’t, on a subconscious level. People who are annoyed by those who promote themselves aggressively simply lack belief in their own opportunity.

    Thanks for sharing your insight with us!


  37. Great post as always Jon!

    I especially love this quote, “If you want your customers to give you case studies, start by asking for a 1-3 sentence blurb, and then ask for a half-page testimonial, and then talk about doing a two-hour webinar going in depth about their success”. I’ve been racking my brain how to approach some people in my niche for them to share in a case study, and I believe this will work wonders.

    I also love this, “Smart marketers use a 10:1 ratio”. I always try to look at myself and ask myself, “What are YOU doing to help others”? Putting it into a simplified ratio of 10:1 is a great way to break down the process.

    btw the Guest Blogging Course is awesome! I’m learning some great stuff!

    Jared Kimball

  38. Great post, and I totally agree with the first point. People are just too darn busy to have time to think about yet more things and to make more decisions. Make it easier for them and you’ve got a much better chance of success. I haven’t read the book yet but I’ve just placed it on my reading list.

  39. I’ve had a copy of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion on my bedside table for the last year. I pick it up every now and then. The book is just amazing.

  40. These are the exact words I need to succeed in marketing. I was once
    tempted to assume that my prospective audience are ready. But by thinking for
    them like you explained, it become a lot easier and fun. God bless you heavily.

  41. Amazing post!!! I am walking away with so much useful info. I love the idea of giving 10x what you get, makes so much sense. I also love the last part “Shamelessness” , Its something I’m driving towards.

    Thanks Again!

  42. Of course, what I love is that this isn’t just good advice for bloggers and copywriters. I’ve sent anyone who’d interested in career change to this post as well. No one can do “it” alone–substitute what you want for “it.” We all need help, and this is a wonderful guide for getting (and sharing) it. 🙂

  43. Jon,
    Wow! Did Cialdini really come up with this stuff? No, I think the fantastic, concrete do-it-now-and-do-it-like-this ideas came right out of your very imaginative and marketing-fertile head. Thank you for writing it all down for the rest of us. Maybe we can catch up…

  44. I think it can all be summed up in one word, “Belief.”

    If we believe, we can easily do “it” for them, climb the mountain and start an avalanche, keep people moving with a sense of urgency and missed opportunity if stagnation creeps in, give up front AND way more than expecting in return all while spreading a contagious energy in the bigger picture!

    Belief is a MUST!

    Great Post! I now believe in YOU! 🙂

  45. Jon. I just want to say. AWESOME POST. i wrote you guys a message but its pretty much the same thing. its so true that Passion can bring you to greatness. keep it up I want MOARRR

  46. Well said, well done!

    The spirit of reciprocity is a universal truth that I’ve experienced as part of a CEO Network referrals group for years.

    It really DOES work.


  47. right. also show them what they need and why they need it. so often they won’t even know the reasons for their behavior.

  48. Well, not much to say after all that has been said, but this was so brilliant, I felt compelled to throw in my thumbs up.

  49. I think influencing is very related to negotiating. So, before you can apply mind control you need to know, you need to negotiate, you need to ask questions.

    Although it may seem the other way, mind control is better apply to the people you know better and you know more about. So I would add a number zero step of asking lots of questions in that 7-step guide.

    What do you think?


  50. I simply don’t have words to praise this post.I was looking for such advice because I’m tired of all the useless marketimg advice from so called gurus.Thanks for this wonderful post.

  51. Jon, this is a fantastic post from beginning to end. Honestly, I was not planning to read it but your headline grabbed me so vigorously that I could not move past it. Then, everything you wrote came from my experience. Since when did you see me hustling donations for that charity, year after year? And how were you so inconspicuously peering at me when I was the mail marketing guru at a firm in an industry in meltdown? And as a blogger who is invested like 130% in what they are doing, do you see through a periscope how I can push my message until someone literally yells “STOP” without taking it personally. A GREAT example of knowing the mind of your reader even better than they. Now, having read the entire post, I will share it with the frazzled entrepreneurs who have to get up and go to work day in and day out. I know a few guys that need to know about speaking truth to power exactly in the way you’ve explained!

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