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Self-help guru teaches persuasion

It was a cloudy Sunday.

As usual, even though my list of books is always overflowing, I felt like I needed another one.

There’s this really cool book shop in town. Books are free, you just pop in, take whatever you like or leave any of your used books and leave. You can always find cool gems.

Anyway, I started looking and one book caught my attention. On the cover (that looked like it was from the 80s) this guy smiling.

“Awaken the giant within” by Tony Robbins.

I was familiar but never gave a chance to this this guy. What I knew about him, were mostly the huge fanatic following and expensive seminars. He’s like the rockstar of self help gurus.

I opened the book and inside, found a piece of paper from the previous owner with a few lines of text. One line said “leave my husband”. It was a list of her goals.

I had to get it.

Turns out the book is really quite good. Some of the concepts are phrased in a way I rarely hear them explained.

One concept that I really paid attention to is the concept of beliefs as he explains it, and how to change them. Beliefs are those ingrained “truths” that we come to accept and use day in and day out whenever we make a decision.

He specifically divides beliefs in 3 categories that I think are useful to keep in mind when thinking of how you can change what your prospects believe to be true or not on your website.

After all if Tony Robbins can create so much excitement and change in one single seminar (literally, people are screaming, like they are possessed), no matter how scammy that sounds, I will be paying attention and trying to learn from it.

The 3 categories or degrees of belief are:

  • Opinion
  • Belief
  • Conviction

An opinion is loosely held and can be quite easily changed or influenced. A belief is already set deeper in one’s mind, and requires gradual and consistent effort to sway in one direction or another.

But a conviction, that’s what you want from your prospects.

They will land on your site with an opinion, sometimes with a strong belief. And it’s your job to write copy that prepares them and bridges the gap between what they believe and what they should believe, to accept your offer.

Eugene Schwartz called it the “readiness to accept your claims” in “Breakthrough Advertising.

Your goal is not only to change their beliefs (either removing limiting or creating more empowering ones), but also to create conviction.

During and after the sign up process, or check out. You have to convince them and confirm to them that their decision was right and most convenient at the time.

How?

Good UX, copy and user flow. And an understanding of how logic and emotion interplay.

Do that right and you’ll gain a cult-like following.

Do it wrong and something will inevitably go wrong in the process.

Need help to understand what your visitors believe and how to change that so you can crush any friction in between? Get in touch.

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Every day (yes!) I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

Let’s nerd about decision making, persuasion, habits, and conversion optimization.