Manipulating The Human Brain For Financial Gain
Affiliate Marketers Are Experts At Nothing

Manipulating The Human Brain For Financial Gain

One of my favourite books on marketing – and one that you’d be a fool not to own – is called Ca$hvertising. You’ve probably heard the title in passing mention. The book has an entire thread dedicated to it on WickedFire and I couldn’t possibly overstate how brilliant it is as a resource for affiliates.

Forget all the guru secret spilling bullshit that crosses your path. If you’re going to make one investment this week, snap up a copy of Ca$hvertising and learn some REAL marketing tricks that will actually serve you well in this industry.

In the book, you’ll find a section called “What People Really Want”, and it’s here that you’ll learn about the Life-Force 8.

The idea is simple. As human beings, we are all prisoners to our own instinctive desires. Those desires, Ca$hvertising’s so-called Life-Force 8, can be summed up as:

  • Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension.
  • Enjoyment of food and beverages.
  • Freedom from fear, pain and danger.
  • Sexual companionship.
  • Comfortable living conditions.
  • To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses.
  • Care and protection of loved ones.
  • Social approval.

We cannot help ourselves from chasing these qualities in life. As marketers, our job becomes immeasurably easier when we realize that tapping in to those fundamental desires is the easiest and fastest way of selling a product.

So why do so many marketers get it wrong? For me, it traces back to the “Benefits vs. Features” argument. If you’ve educated yourself in the art of copywriting, you’ve already established that good writing sells the benefits of a product – not the features.

Nobody gives a shit that the acai berry diet is rich in antioxidants. People only care that the chemicals they’re chugging might possibly shave a couple of inches off their waistband, right? That’s your classic Benefits over Features argument. But I would argue that it doesn’t go far enough. And many affiliate marketers are guilty of this.

While we would all love to be ripped and chiseled like statues made from marble, you’re not selling hard enough if this is your only punchline. It’s a want rather than a need.

Being ripped must be great. But for stud muffins like yours truly – ahem – we are quite happy to look every bit of the nine pints we’ve drunk. Why? Because it doesn’t fuck with our deepest desires. Unless you’re spelling it out to me that I need to put the pint down right now or I’m not getting laid until 2018, getting ripped can wait til next week.

Forget the features of a product – and forget the benefits too. Focus on how you can ride the biological train of what human beings want most, and ride it all the way to the bank.

With the acai berry diet, it’s not a case that we want to be slim. These are secondary desires, symptoms of our greater needs. What might they be? It’s usually that we want to appear better looking to the opposite sex, or that we want to revel in the jealous glances when we bust out a washboard stomach on the beach. We want to be socially desirable and confident in our health.

How many times have you seen ads that preach “X can cause cancer”. I bet in that briefest moment, your brain judders and you think to yourself “Shit, I better think twice about X in the future…” It’s because we cannot help ourselves from reacting to ideas that compromise our integral desires. In this case, our biological desire to stay healthy and live a long life is enough to invoke a reaction. It might not last, but it still happens in our brains.

Which line is more effective to a red blooded male?

“Eating X is a proven method of losing weight, helping you stay in shape and get ripped in time for summer.”

“Only Eat X if you can handle the jealous stares at your ripped physique on the beach this summer. Girls just love guys who use our proven recipe. Shed the pounds and be the envy of your friends.”

90% of affiliates are happy with the first example. They assume that getting ripped is the real benefit of the product. It’s not. The second example tackles several biologically programmed desires in every male. We can’t escape them. The reader is living those words in his head. Did you see yourself on a beach surrounded by adoring female faces?

As marketers, there is no greater weapon than the ability to write copy that drives daggers through the reader’s innermost conscience. Ca$hvertising states the importance of using positive imagery with your writing. And I agree, it’s probably the single most effective copywriting technique you’re ever going to master.

Picture the most satisfied customer imaginable in your head. See how positively they’ve been affected by your product and then write copy that FORCES your reader to live those scenes for themselves.

I’m willing to bet that if you take the time to look over your recent landing pages, you will find numerous examples of weak selling. Instances where you’ve assumed that your job is already done when the prospect lands on your page. Great marketers understand that the human brain is fickle. And to sell a product, you sometimes have to stir the right emotions to ignite a response.

No matter whether you’re selling car insurance, dating websites or the latest “get ripped fast” recipe – you will always enjoy more success when you adapt the benefits of the product to appeal to our biological human desires.

Don’t just plant vague ideas and product benefits in the reader’s head. The reader will always analyze them negatively until he has a reason not to buy. Force vivid imagery that inspires them to answer their own questions positively. It sounds so simple and yet it works so well.

Interested in more language secrets?

You can grab a copy of Ca$hvertising for less than $10 on Amazon. I’m not usually one to recommend spending money on guru products, but this isn’t a guru product. It’s simply a fantastic read which will improve your fundamental marketing skills. If you don’t have it, slap yourself in the balls and go get it.

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Affiliate Marketers Are Experts At Nothing

What’s up, affiliasphere?

Business Protip for the day: If you’re going to take a break and spend 6 days camping at a festival without email access – remember to tell your affiliate managers. It seems as if some networks are quick to pronounce me dead if I stop running traffic for more than 24 hours.

Unfortunately I’m not dead. But I am severely tanned with sun kissed balls, and ready to get back to the grind again. Glastonbury Festival, for those of you who haven’t been, is the sugardaddy of all musical events. You need to go. I still feel pretty partied out but I’m going to do my best to address something I’ve noticed that affiliates seem to get wrong. All the time.

If you’re a full time affiliate working from home, what’s the one thing you have that a part-timer doesn’t? It’s time. Complete control of your hours, and the ability to be as productive or as unproductive as the day is long. Nobody chomps your balls for strolling in to the office at 9:06 and if Brazil vs. Holland tickles your fancy, the to-do list can always wait a couple of hours, right?

How many marketers actually take the time to nurture a talent or to learn something new? It sounds pretty irrelevant. You’ve got all that split testing to do, those new offers to rig up to fresh campaigns. Christ, I’ve got a thousand tweets in my face telling me that snoozing is losing.

An affiliate marketer is more often than not a middleman. You can be a complete retard and still make good money if an advertiser has a good product and an audience has a strong need. But it doesn’t give you any kind of asset. You have no market value. That’s unless you develop websites that stand on their own two feet.

We basically seize the loopholes of traffic brokerage and exist in a state of limbo where our main talent is to capitalize on opportunity. That’s rosy and sweet, but it’s pretty fucking moronic to not have a Plan B. If you’re not designating an hour of your day to nurture a talent, you’re wasting the one freedom you always dreamed of when you jacked in your day job.

Real businesses exist to be the best at something. They provide real solutions. All the truly great businessmen of our time have a talent that puts them above their peers. The problem with affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to be the best at anything. You can be merely competent and still pay the bills.

But that shouldn’t be your attitude. In the worst case scenario that affiliate marketing gets nuked in the morning, we should all have been busy developing our assets to a point where we can say that we’re the best at something…anything. Being an expert at affiliate marketing isn’t enough. How many real life human beings give a shit if you’re the smartest handler of EPCs? It adds no value for anybody.

If, however, you decide today that you’re going to focus on improving your copywriting, for example, that’s an investment worth so much more than any late night split testing binge. If you can become an expert who writes the best damn copy in the business, you’re going to be in demand.

We have so many hours on our hands and if we’re not striving to improve, we might as well go back to the 9-5.

For me personally, my main passion is writing. You might accuse me of being just another marketing blogger with his dick up his own arse and willing to push any second tier referral he can throw your way. But actually, this site is like my CV. I could devote all my hours to painstaking research of new offers, but it doesn’t add any long-term value to my business. Whereas this blog will remain here long after my bizopp campaign of the week has faded.

More affiliates are soon going to appreciate the need to develop websites that provide genuine quality content. Because there are enough passionate people out there to drive you out of business. Soon we will need to put the quality of our content first and THEN worry about monetizing it.

How far do you have to look for proof? Just look at the search engines. Google is backhanding websites it deems to be “bridge pages” from the sponsored listings. I can only imagine that if this is their outlook, it will soon translate more heavily in to the organic listings too. If you don’t offer your own unique commodity, you’re dispensable.

This blog is an example of how I like to monetize. I’ve never offered sponsored content and I’ve never accepted payments to endorse networks or products in my posts. The main appeal is the writing style and the trust that I’ve managed to forge with readers. It’s a site that I’m happy to put next to my business name because I trust in what I’ve published here.

Too many affiliate websites are built on flimsy foundations. With $10/articles outsourced to so-called experts who know jack shit about the subject matter despite what they state in their Elance proposals.

The next time you focus on a micro-niche, don’t make your first question “How can I monetize this concept?”. Think first to satisfy the needs of the target audience. Be an expert in your field. How can you produce something outstanding that shows more than your ability to rank in Google?

Quality content will always stand the test of time. And so will your business if you drive it forward and become the best in a particular field.

It’s not easy, but you know what is easy? It’s easy to set aside one hour in your working day and learn something new. Ask yourself what you can be the best at, then go out and be it.

Need a larger slice of Finch?

I haven’t been posting much recently, that’s pretty obvious. I did take the time to do an interview over on Jonathan Volk’s blog though. You can check it out below.

Stuff you never thought you needed to know about Finch Sells

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