If you recall, in part 2 of this series on persuasion, I talked about Richard Vatz and his two principles:
We know that without an agenda, we have little chance of achieving what we want.
We also know that the type of agenda we’re talking about is an intent, rather than a plan.
Well, the truth is, the only plans worth making are those that have an intent (otherwise, what’s the point?).
What Vatz really meant was this:
Unless you go into any negotiation with a clear vision of what you want from that negotiation, you’ll be at the mercy of the other party.
Unless… they don’t have an agenda either!
And that is great because most people don’t.
Just like our simultaneous seller/buyer mindframe I mentioned in part 3 of this series, people are generally too lazy to spend any time figuring it out.
That’s not us though. We know that understanding everything there is to know about why someone buys is what we’re here for.
It’s why the word ‘persuasion’ was coined in the first place to explain how people are coerced into doing something on a whim or a want rather than a need.
But inventing a word is the easy part (as is defining it in a sentence in a dictionary).
So let’s look at my own agenda: I need you to trust me enough to become an ICA member.
Those who are already members (thank you) will still be reading this because they know it will help them.
Every bit of copy you read from marketers is useful. Read it, think about what it makes you feel, think about the bits that confuse you, think about how you might change anything that doesn’t feel quite right.
Do the above every time. It will help you decide what’s good without even needing to test. And it will develop an exceedingly useful lifetime habit.
I can be transparent about my agenda because the only people I want as members of the ICA are those who are willing to do what it takes to get paid to be the best.
I want you to be able to submit copy to our Copywriting Critique group on Facebook so good, it doesn’t need any critiquing other than a big smiley face from me.
If I can help you contact clients using everything we teach at the ICA so you can land big contracts, then my job is done.
That’s what I care about. The more success you have, the more it benefits all of us.
As you know, my next ICA course starts in October. The topic is persuasion, but it’s not some throwaway Cialdini look-a-like, this is a long-term cutting edge course on rhetoric and how to use it with emotion to move people to take action.
But there’s a lot more to the ICA. Here’s some of it:
1. ProCopyClub – my premiere 52 week build a copywriting business (freelance or agency) course (with 52 weekly email prompts to keep you on track). The question is: Where will you be 12 months from now if you start today? And where will you be if you don’t? – that’s part of the agenda here – what are the consequences of not taking action as well as the consequences of taking it.
2. AP Style Book guidelines. Pro copywriters understand that big businesses have style guides, and the most globally known of all is the one produced by the world’s largest journalists’ association – Associated Press. Whether a business follows a style guide is one thing, but positioning yourself as a pro because it’s something you can help them with takes you to an altogether higher level.
3. Advanced Business School. My 5 module course on business principles that helped me build 6 businesses over 4 decades. I also used it to help 15 other UK businesses who each paid 4 figures to become a part of it. This is real world advice, not theory, or made up stuff collated from academics who have never been near a real business in their life. I left school at 16 and learned everything I needed from the ground up. I even took accountancy exams in my 50s to add more credibility to my accounting software company (and encouraged my 20 staff to do the same). I’m not saying you need to push every boundary, but when you do, it definitely helps.
4. SEO Expert. I spent 18 months helping the UK’s largest private hospital company by leading their SEO team. With 8,600 employees, they are the major league player in one of the hardest industries to conquer. We won the prestigious Drum Search Awards during my tenure (the highest SEO award in the healthcare industry). SEO Expert shows you precisely how to win with SEO – something your clients will appreciate a lot if you also do content work for them (and why wouldn’t you if you have this to back you up?).
5. Science of Copywriting 52 original newsletters. I put my heart and soul into a series of 52 weekly email newsletters, every one of them on a specific theme, and each linking to further reading published in my Facebook Science of Copywriting group. Over 250 pieces to help you move ahead in the industry. When you need some inspiration, dip into these.
6. SEO Roadmaps App. If you’re an ICA Lifetime Member, you also get free access to my premier SEO software along with 10,000 credits (that’s enough to help you write a thousand or more detailed pieces of content using the built-in analysis along with AI and track your results). This was the secret weapon I used to help the work I did with the UK’s largest private hospital group.
7. The Elements of Persuasion. This is my new course to be published episodically starting October 2023. This will build to become the single largest resource on persuasion available anywhere. Welcome to the new world of persuasive tools and devices.
8. Access to all future releases. Lifetime ICA members get everything published in the ICA both now and in the future. No more to pay, ever (we don’t do upsells, downsells, cross-sells). Annual members get access for as long as they remain members.
9. Certification. When you become a member of the ICA, you can use the letters MICA after your name and a certificate to display on your site or office wall. You also get your own page on the ICA website with links back to your site (or any other asset), plus an ICA Accredited badge you can add anywhere.
OK, back to this series on persuasion…
There’s one thing I haven’t covered so far, and that’s spin.
We’ll dig into that in part 5 here.