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How to hypnotize your audience to your will

“A person’s never too old for stories, Bill. Man and boy, girl and woman, never too old. We live for them.”

—Roland from Gilead (aka the Gunslinger)

Gotta another business lesson from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series for you today.

This one comes from The Wind Through The Keyhole book again (which is funny because this is book 4.5 out of 7, and it’s the shortest of them all, but filled with good biz lessons).

Anyway, Roland, our main character, is holed up with his ka-tet during a starkblast. A starkblast is a vicious wind storm where trees snap in the frigid air the wind breathes. And since they last a while, Roland tells his ka-tet a few stories from his when — one real one and one tale his mom used to read him.

In fact, the book contains a story within a story within a story within a story. Pretty fkn cool right?

In the real story Roland tells his friends about his past is where the quote from the top of this email comes from. He’s in a jail cell with Young Bill who has witnessed one of the most brutal and traumatizing events of his life.

Young Bill is scared, miserable, and has lost everything important in his life in the last few hours.

To calm Young Bill’s mind, he tells him the tale his mother told him when Roland was a child.

Roland goes on to tell his friends…

“I started slowly and awkwardly, because storytelling was another thing that didn’t come naturally to me in those days (he was 14 at the time) . . . although it was a thing I learned to do well in time. I had to. All gunslingers had to.

…[I] could see him fall into the tale, and that pleased me—it was like hypnotizing him again, but in a better way. A more honest way.

(Emphasis mine.)

Lots to unpack here.

First, stories hypnotize your audience. The human brain is “hard-wired” for stories. That’s one of the reasons we evolved from brutal cavemen to the brutal-but-in-a-sneakier-way people we are today.

And by telling stories, you can “get away” with selling something in every email you send. It’s not over-the-top sales and discounts 24/7. Instead, it lures your readers in like bait on a fishing rod. And sucks them into the story so far that they don’t even realize their being sold to.

It’s a powerful trick, indeed.

In fact, nothing sold more Aviator sunglasses than Top Gun (even though there wasn’t a CTA to go buy Aviators).

Such is the power of stories.

And in terms of telling stories, nobody is better than King. He has goofy politics and makes for one of the worst follows on Twitter. But he’s authored over 50 books and each of them became worldwide bestsellers for a reason.

Next lesson:

All gunslingers had to tell stories.

In Mid-World, where Roland comes from and most of this Dark Tower series takes place, gunslingers are revered. They’re the peacekeepers. They hypnotize people wherever they go — through their gunslinging, story-telling, and in some cases, literal hypnotizing.

In today’s terms, they’re like entrepreneurs (even though you aren’t as revered as gunslingers, because the world has moved on).

And as an entrepreneur, you need to be able to tell stories. A story is a way to creep into your customers’ psyche and “ethically force” them to buy.

Such is the power of stories.

And the final lesson:

Roland sucked at telling stories when he was 14.

But you know what?

That didn’t stop him.

(“All gunslingers had to.”)

And by practicing, he got better.

So good, in fact, that time literally stands still when he tells stories. In Wizard and Glass, the 4th book in the series that takes place right before the 4.5th book, Roland tells his love story to his ka-tet in a single night. That book is the longest book in the series, clocking in at over 800 pages. That book is the longest book in the series, clocking in at over 800 pages. Yet only lasts one night in Roland's world.

And so it is with you.

When you tell the right story to your customers, time literally stands still.

That’s why VSLs can be an hour long (or longer) without losing interest. And why sales letters can be 3,000, 5,000, and even 10,000 words without sacrificing sales.

Sure, not everyone will watch the whole VSL or read the whole sales letter.

But for some folks, it will make time stand still. They’ll devour every word. And then take immediate action.

Such is the power of stories.

And before we wrap up, let me give you a bonus lesson:

Your audience is like Young Bill.

They’re scared. They’re in pain. They don’t know what to do or where to turn.

Maybe inflation petrifies them.

Maybe they’re riddled with chronic diseases which will sabotage their way of life.

Maybe they’re overweight and desperately need to lose weight to find a girlfriend and prevent more serious problems from arising.

And maybe, just maybe, you have the solution to some of their biggest problems. And by telling a story, you can hypnotize them in a way that makes them buy your products and services, so they can finally overcome their biggest obstacle in their path.

Such is the power of stories.

Understand this and prosper.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a gunslinging ka-tet member who can write and send all your emails while you watch your bank account rise up and up and up, book a call here.

If you have a proven offer and a list, we can make literal magic happen.

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