Month: October 2021

Don’t Let Them Brainwash You

People always use the words “manipulate” and “brainwashing” in negative ways.

But it’s so wrong.

Of course, I’m not trying to argue with y’all, but let me tell you a story.

You see, 2 years ago I got an offer to work with a top 5 Nigerian bank.

I was just done with NYSC 3 months before, recently moved to Lagos, the selection process was crazy but I’d scaled through quite easily.

Didn’t have a background in traditional finance but I planned to do an MBA within 2 years.

Everything was perfect, or at least I thought so. And it looked like my stars had aligned.

But there was a small issue.

You see, just before that job offer came in, I’d been teaching Spanish on the side as a way to get by while waiting for a job.

The first client I had suggested I get a job in sales.

He’s a big time sales manager in one of the biggest wine distribution businesses in Nigeria.

I won’t say I really understood because everything I knew about sales, especially in corporate Nigeria was those bankers with wornout shoes walking under the sun begging people to come bank with them.

Didn’t sound appealing at all.

Just at the beginning of October, my client had to cancel because it was the start of the ember months and it was the season for serious business.

I was in a rut.

My only source of income at the time and I didn’t have a place of my own – I was sleeping around Lagos like an ashewo, fam 😁

As fortune would have it, I stumbled on this tweet.

I said as fortune would have it because my notifications were turned on for Toyin Omotoso.

I jumped on it and he replied, I asked to DM and we booked a date for the first meeting.

Subsequently,  we agreed on 2-3 sessions every week for 2 hours per session.

I’d leave my friends house at Satellite Town on those days we agreed on by 10-11am in order to beat traffic for 4 o’clock meetings in Lekki.

Omo😆

Now, this is where it gets iffy.

You see, something crazy happened during those meetings.

After I was done teaching Toyin Omotoso Spanish, we’d start talking about stuff in general and next thing he’d start talking about sales and marketing, direct response,  copywriting and lots of stuff.

I had no idea I was being brainwashed – in a good way 😆

Because when the job offer from the bank came in, I was in a bus at CMS when my phone buzzed that afternoon, I wasn’t so sure I wanted it anymore.

After our class that day, I told him I’d gotten a job and he was happy for me, congratulated me and all.

But then I told him I wasn’t sure about the job anymore. 🤔

I said I wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted out of life.

He told me to go take the job, and if I didn’t like it, I could leave.

Mind you, there wasn’t any job offer on the table from him.

But that was all I needed to hear to validate my feelings.

After the first day of work, while in the bus on my way back home, I kept asking myself:

“Is this what I’d be doing for the next 2 years? Living like this?”

It was around 11pm when I got to my street, I took out my phone and called 2 people: my good friend KCee who I always bounce ideas off and my mother.

My mother said 12 of the most shocking words I’ve ever heard:

“Whatever you decide to do is fine by me. I support you.”

It felt like a strange load had been lifted from my shoulders.

Made me wish I had dropped out from uni when I wanted to.

Never did because of her.

I knew it would break her heart so I just stayed on.

So this was crazy!

When the girl I used to ride the bus with called me the next day as she didn’t see me around, I made up some flimsy excuse.

I never went back.

I quit after one day.

I went back to teaching Toyin Omotoso Spanish and after each session he took my brainwashing and manipulation programming up a notch.

He’d print out tons of sales letters and give them to me to copy out by hand over the weekend and show it to him at our next meeting.

He’d give me books on sales, marketing and direct response to read.

The stories I was hearing then.

People running direct response campaigns and making millions.

Someone making one million Naira in a day.

From words.

As in the ABC?

You have no idea how things like this rewire your mind & recalibrate your brain.

But fam I kid you not, at some point it felt like pouring water on stone because I was a complete rookie.

I didn’t understand zilch. Nothing. Nada.

Big headed olodo 😑

This week makes it 2 years since then.

The internship program ends in October and the girl I used to ride the bus to work with sent me this message weeks ago.

Did I make the right decision?

Lol, yes I did.

Because hunger wire me like thief between December and January 2020. 😭

But roughly 3 months after I turned that job down, I got an offer to be an apprentice copywriter under Toyin Omotoso’s tutelage.

Now, I’m currently the Digital Content Manager, Chief copywriter and content creator at Expertnaire.

2 years later, I’m in the sphere of Copywriters who are good enough to charge $5,000 per pop.

But job titles, money and growth aside, I’ve had a more peaceful and fulfilled life.

I’ve grown like weeds, my guy.

There’s something CJ Johnson always says on Twitter:

Keep reading those books and listening to podcasts and brainwashing yourself.

I want to add keep taking risks, betting on yourself, manipulating your mind and brainwashing yourself.

Like the title of this article says: Don’t Let Them Brainwash You, instead do the brainwashing yourself.

It’s worth it.

– Uche

PS: If you’d like to be brainwashed too, then you should read this 👇🏿

https://tinyurl.com/f55p2rwy

Why You Should Make It Harder For Them

Apple releases a new phone almost every year, and when they do they increase their prices.

Why?



It’s a marketing tactic not talked about enough.

It’s called FRICTION.

Now lemme explain.

Now, most marketing books you’ve read tell you to reduce FRICTION in the sales process, remove barriers for your customers blablabla

But introducing friction into an idea has always been one of the easiest ways to build a perception of high value, scarcity & exclusivity.

It’s how you build a rabid fanbase.

It’s how women get men who are simps to do everything for them.

By making it hard for him.

It’s the same way Cults tell you to sacrifice who you love most.

When you do this, you show one thing:

You’ve replaced who you love most with the cult.

Which means they’ve achieved a top of mind position in your life, and whatever you’re asked to do next you’re 99% likely to do it without arguing.

It’s the same way we’re prone to hold inaccessible people in higher regard.

It’s why fans go crazy for celebrities.

With their star power, huge security & inaccessibility they’re not just ordinary day to day people.

(Even the 2nd Law of See Finish states that them no fit see you finish if them no dey see you at all).

Have you ever heard of the adage “Good things come to those who wait”?

It’s used to make people value things that come via hardwork, labour & patience.

Because of Apple’s positioning, an iPhone has become a status symbol.

People stay out under sun and blistering cold whenever a new release drops just to get it.

You see someone with an iPhone (in a country like Nigeria) and the first thing that comes to your mind is they’re rich.

Nothing else matters.

Doesn’t matter how they’re dressed or how they look.

A Mac user doesn’t call his Mac a laptop, he calls it a Mac 😁

POSITIONING 👌🏿

But why am I telling you all this?

You see, a course creator/digital product owner who raises the price of his course from N10,000 to N15,000 after a deadline isn’t doing the wrong thing.

If his course is good enough and the offer is crazy, it’s necessary that he introduces friction somewhere along the line.

We preach about making grandfather offers all the time, but sometimes make it harder for everyone to get in.

Those who eventually get in will love you for it.

That’s why people say Apple is a cult.

Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not.

But I hope this helps you.

– Uche

How Is It Horses Feel No Fear While Charging Into Battle?

If you’ve seen epic movies like Lord Of The Rings, The Last Kingdom, Spartacus etc, you’ll notice something:

How most of their war scenes are men riding horses charging into battle.

Now it’s amazing that these horses know they are charging into their potential death and yet keep going.

Why?

Preprogrammed conditioning.

Before taking them into battle, over a period of time the riders feed these horses, water them, talk to them, rub them etc.

They make them start responding to certain actions.

They talk to them even though they are horses and will surely not understand human language.

But there’s a reason why.

The idea is simple.

And it’s to make the horses comfortable with them.

To make the horses used to them.

To make the horses trust them.

So when they command the horses to charge into battle, they don’t hesitate.

Even at the cost of death.

Because once the horse hesitates or doubts, it’s doom for the rider.

Now think of this when you put out sales messages and run marketing campaigns.

Most of the people who see your promotions for the first time won’t buy.

It happens to me too when I see a great offer.

Instead of buying immediately, I just want to watch.

And it’s not because they don’t need what you’re offering.

It’s not because they don’t believe you.

Sometimes it’s not because they can’t afford it.

Though sometimes it could be because they can’t afford it at the moment.

So what happens when they can afford it and they don’t remember you?

What happens when they make a buying decision and can’t find you or your product?

They’ll spend the money on something else.

This is why it’s important to create what they call a ‘top of mind’ position in your prospect’s head.

When you create a top of mind position, trust is achieved at this point.

Or at least,  they’re willing to try what you’re offering,  even if it’s not immediately.

And once they’re ready to spend their money, it should be you they think of first.

So, how do you do this?

By constantly communicating with them.

Posts, articles, emails, stories, tweets, status updates and all kinds of helpful or engaging content.

You have to be all in their face like acne…just don’t be as annoying as acne.

Make them remember you.

Like John Carlton would say:

The offer is “Who you are”.

It is the biggest part of your USP, and this is where most people screw it up.

You have to be aggressive but not offensive. It is the essence of the Go-To-Guy.

I keep talking about being the Go-To-Guy.

Be that guy your reader needs you to be to trust you enough to take the action you want him to take.

It sounds kind of complex, but it is really not.

If I need my plumbing fixed…my sink has exploded…I need you to be the plumber that is going to show up on time, with a truck that says “Joe’s Plumbing”, with a tool kit.

I don’t need you to show up in a clown costume, with some shuck and jive that you are really a plumber but you are a clown on the side and you just came from a kid’s party or something like that.

I don’t want to hear that stuff. I want you to be that guy, and it really is that basic.

Before you get down to the nuts and bolts of price, delivery system, how soon it is going to arrive, whether it is an ebook or something that you will mail, all that stuff, it is all about who you are.

So, think about you with this offer…who are you?

Who are you in this person’s life?

You have come out of nowhere, you have presented yourself as an intrusion in the guy’s life.

You are at first a distraction and you want to move into some kind of a bonded relationship, some kind of thing where you are now a resource.

The Go-To-Guy is a resource.

It may be that if Scott helps me with my debt consolidation, I may call Scott when I have a legal problem.

And I would say “Scott, I know you are not a lawyer, but do you know a lawyer I could call because I am getting a divorce (or something).

I do that because you are a go-to-guy.

And, of course, the next time I run up my Master Card over the levels I will go back to Scott.”

You need to be the Go To Guy.

And I hope this helps you.

– Uche

How To Write Like Gary Halbert

Gary Halbert’s Coat Of Arms letter written in 1971 was mailed 600 million times and he was bringing in today’s equivalent of $300,000 per day.

The crazy thing was it contained less than 400 words and was just 1 page.

The Coat Of Arms Letter

So, what made the letter work?

Here’s what I found:

1. Personalization

“Dear Mr Macdonald” feels like a neighbour or friend or someone who knows you or is at least concerned about your welfare writing to you.

We hear every time about how important it is to show empathy or at least try to understand people when selling to them.

This is it.

2. It opens up with CURIOSITY

“Did you know that…?”

Whether you like it or not, nobody will buy what you’re selling if they’re not at least curious about it.

The sale starts from getting their attention.

And getting their attention comes from tapping into that deep-seated need to know things – The Garden of Eden Phenomenon.

Or why do you think the serpent managed to deceive Even in the Garden of Eden?

CURIOSITY 😁

3. Lots of Americans are immigrants.

It’s probably the country on Earth with the largest number of immigrants.

This means ancestry is a big thing.

You’re talking about pride plus curiosity. Especially when you notice the name Macdonald is most likely from England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales.

The letter even kills it when it says, “very old and distinguished name.”

Plus, the possession of a coat of arms meant the family was important.

One word: EMOTION

This ties into the next point.

4. A deep aching need for connection.

Have you ever wondered why African Americans take trips to Africa?

Or have deep sentimental attachments to films like Black Panther?

People want to know their history – especially immigrants.

It gives them a sense of identity.

5. Helpful & non-threatening

“We stumbled on it” + “I want to share it with you”

The cool thing is paying for this letter becomes an act of reciprocity: “Oh, she saw this helpful information and decided to do me a favour. I should pay her for that.”

No hard sell.

Fucking smart.

6. Simplicity

Less than 400 words long.

No special writing tactics.

No breaking up of words into one sentence or using parenthesis.

No tricks, no gimmicks.

Nothing special on the surface.

7. Social Proof

(Some friends who have the same last name as you do) + the possibility of the long lost family (famous people who share it)

Who wouldn’t like to be family members with some famous people?

Brilliant!

8. More information + extra curiosity

(other information about the name)

Are you trying to sell something?

If there’s more information, tap into this.

Curiosity always works.

9. Addressed by his wife.

This part is super charming and just spectacularly brilliant.

Now let me explain.

You see, this is a case of double jeopardy.

If a man opens this letter, he’s easier to sell to because women find it easier to sell to men (beauty, feminine nature etc.).

But if a woman opened it, it felt like gossip.

Gossip she was going to tell her husband.

Plus, let’s not forget that as much as men have the buying power in the house, women make most of the buying decisions.

Also, some wives might likely not know their husband’s immigrant family history – a solid recipe for dinner conversation.

Plus, “My husband and I” also speak deeply about family values.

Powerful 🙌🏿

10. Autosuggestion

(You don’t have to buy it, you can gift it to someone)

This already sets up the possibility of more than one order.

(Use it as a wall decoration)

Tapping into pride again.

11. The offer

No cost.

Doesn’t sound like a hard sell (just pay for shipping).

Price almost comes last (feels like an afterthought). More like I could have sent it to you for free, but I’m just an old lady who doesn’t have a lot of money, lmao 🤣🤣🤣

12. Scarcity

The coat of arms was scarce already.

Yet he still injected some form of scarcity making it even more scarce.

At the root, people like things they can’t have or hard to reach.

It’s how humans are wired.

This is why scarcity works all the time.

But above all, everything about this letter to end was PERSONAL.

Nothing looked like a sale.

Add the handwritten signature at the end.

Mad, mad, mad stuff 🙌🏿

Gary Halbert was a fucking genius 🙌🏿

In his own words, “in the heyday of the family crest promotion, we were using a semi-truck to haul our mail from the Donnelly Corporation in Oakdale, Illinois to the little town of Bath, Ohio where the letters were actually mailed.”

Gary Halbert would eventually sell his direct response marketing business for 70 million dollars (90 million dollars today).

But what would have happened without this coat of arms letter?

We’ll never know.

“When I became interested in direct response marketing, I was obsessed. I wrote copy during the day, studied copy in the evening and dreamt about it at night.” – Gary Halbert

Top ad writer Paris Lampropoulos may have put it best when he said…

“In the world of copywriting, all roads lead back to Gary Halbert.”

America, Dopamine, Nigeria & Yahoo Boys

Why Is America The Greatest Country In The World?

Because it knows how to reward dopamine.

There’s a common misconception dopamine is released in the brain as a result of engaging in pleasurable activities like sex, eating a nice meal, having a drink etc.

But hold on to that thought for a second.

In which other country would an immigrant from Mexico, Italy, India or somewhere in Africa move to, start a business or get a job, see five of their kids through college and then one of them goes on to build a Silicon Valley startup worth $ 7 billion.

I don’t know whose family history this is exactly, but if you drew a line across the stories of immigrants, and even people of colour (despite the depths of institutional racism reported across the country), America rewards dopamine.

America rewards hardworking people.

Which takes us back to the third sentence in this post.

The misconception surrounding dopamine.

We commonly believe dopamine is only attributed to activities that can be termed as natty and time-wasting like Netflix & gaming.

But where else can a gamer (regarded as deadbeat in other cultures) go on to become a reality star, stack bundles of cash and even build a business off such natty behaviour?

Yet another reward for dopamine.

But this isn’t even the misconception of dopamine.

The bigger misconception is we believe dopamine only comes as an end product. We don’t even know dopamine is also tied to the process.

The process of building a business and racking small wins like your first order, your 10th sale, your 50th customer and then onto bigger things.

Dopamine hits like waking up everyday to Nike adverts and seeing these NBA players in the flesh and knowing that if you could put in work, chances are you could make it.

Dopamine hits like seeing Serena Williams on TV and being able to relate to her because her cousin was your classmate in high school.

Dopamine hits like walking down the Hollywood Boulevard and bumping into your favourite actor.

That kind of dopamine hit.

The one that assures you that everything is possible if you keep striving.

There’s a win around the corner.

Success isn’t far away.

This week there was another conversation again concerning the Yahoo menace in Nigeria.

I recall a friend sharing this story on Twitter:

“I just had one of the most unnerving  experience of my life.

So this woman on my street called me to help her to talk her child that’s been moving with Yahoo boys and apparently started doing it too, the woman started the conversation by saying I’m an example of someone the boy should emulate and see as a mentor, seeing how I’m nicely dressed going to work everyday and I how I keep my life off drugs and going about things the right way.

So I told the boy, why old fashioned hard work pays and how there are legit ICT skills he can learn.

The part that blew me away, boy started by saying no disrespect to me but looking good in shirt and tie or being unproblematic doesn’t pay the major bills, that he doesn’t see me driving a car, but bro Tunde who didn’t even finish secondary school but does “G” drives a nice car.

Boy said he can’t waste the next ten years of his life just to become a guy that wear shirt and tie to fly bike to work or wait for office bus.

I tried to tell him that I have responsibilities and buying a car is a luxury I can’t afford right now that there are guys who are like me who can actually “ball” and that I enjoy life in a different way than spending money on call girls and alcohol.

Boy said he got an iTunes gift card of $200 within 2 days of asking and no work can guarantee him that..

At that point I just kept mute and told the mother to pray for him or find someone he respects to talk him out of it.

Kids these days see Yahoo boys as mentors than regular hard working guys because our society worships money and we live in a country that rewards greedy politicians than Doctors, teachers and co.”

This tweet is over 1 year old.

But it still lives in my head.

I remember writing “We need role models in our community. But we don’t just need role models, we need RICH role models with legal means” as a response.

But I don’t just think that’s enough.

Rich role models are great.

But people want to also feel like their efforts matter.

People want to believe their work can bring them success. Not get snuffed out by a system that rewards the guy who can break the law and get away with it.

In this fast paced Indomie world we live in today where instant gratification reigns supreme, we also need a system that rewards dopamine.

But not dopamine as we know it.

But as Americans & American immigrants know it.

I have a feeling this is why comedy, skit making & social media influencing are on the high nowadays.

With the exposure, monies, sponsorship & endorsement deals, it’s the closest thing to a reward system.


A dopamine reward system.

How To Enjoy Copywriting, Write Easily And Make The Most Of Your Time & Effort.

Copywriting is hard.

Don’t let anyone lie to you.

All those talk about writing how you talk, communicating simply, using power words, copywriting hacks blablabla

But here’s the ONE way I approach it everyday that makes it easier for me:

If you look at my bio, it says “Swiss Army Knife”

But what exactly is a Swiss Army Knife?

Before I define it for you, lemme give you a background.

You see, I’m what you call a telescopic learner.

Telescopic learners are people who like to know a little about everything, unlike microscopic learners, who know so much about one thing.

I’m a telescopic learner.

It’s why I can easily have conversations about sports, women, music,  red pill, books, history,  government,  current affairs, religion, coding, business, writing etc.

I’m the guy who can conveniently have a 3 hour conversation with someone talking about different things.

Truth is, I don’t know any of these things deeply. I just know enough to carry a conversation.

Secured a half a million Naira contract in my 4th year in University because I could speak coding.

Mind you, I tried to learn how to code for about 2 months in my first year in Uni. Didn’t have a laptop, couldn’t afford it so it never worked out.

I got that contract and I didn’t even know how to code.

But I knew people who could and I got it for them.

I still don’t know how to code.

Got my current job from a client I was teaching Spanish.

But teaching Spanish? How?

I’ve never even left the country as an adult.

The two times I left Nigeria for Cameroon was as a child and a teenager.

But Spanish simply sounded cool at the time and I decided to learn it.

The other helpful thing is I’ve learned how to listen.

It’s a skill you pick up when you listen to a different girl every night vent for close to 4 hours during midnight calls in your teenage years.

So, I mostly just chip in, crack a joke and let them talk while I listen.

“Smartest kid in class, most informed kid in class, sabi boy blablabla”

I’m none of that.

Being a telescopic learner has been how I’ve been able to survive for most of my life.

This is how I’ve mostly survived up till now.

But somewhere along the line,  I noticed if I wanted to thrive,  then I had to go into something microscopically.

And copywriting was one of the first things that challenged my telescopic learning abilities.

The only thing I’ve ever tried to learn microscopically in my life is Copywriting.

So much so that for an entire year in 2020, I didn’t do anything else except studying Copywriting.

But not everyone has the time to do this.

Plus, remember this thread wasn’t supposed to be me talking about myself, but about how you can enjoy the Copywriting process.

Great!

So, how do I enjoy Copywriting?

Well, I approach each new project with the idea of learning something new.

For example,  I found out recently that the bags under your eyes can be measured during a hospital test from a project I just finished working on.

That’s something I never knew before.

But it’s now a cool fact I have in my pocket to pull out during conversations 

I wow my girl every time we talk about health related stuff and I just tell her random things she hasn’t heard before.

If only she knew my health plug is Matt Cook 

Yesterday,  while sourcing for ideas for a client, I wrote a line about Thanos and the Avengers.

The truth is, I’ve never seen Avengers Endgame because I hate sci-fi movies.

But I could pull out that random idea just to illustrate a point.

Last night,  while watching Lord Of The Rings 2 (The Two Towers), I noticed a cool sales and marketing lesson embedded in one of the scenes.

I was up at 1am writing an article on it.

Copywriting has helped me noticed even the most mundane things.

And that’s because I approach every single project with an open mind – to LEARN.

I know I make rookie mistakes every now and then.

I know I might write crap every now and then.

I’ve written copy that was unreadable.

I’ve written copy that has tanked.

But the only thing that makes me wake up every morning with renewed purpose to keep going is that singular possibility – LEARNING SOMETHING NEW.

And I remember I was supposed to tell you what a Swiss Army Knife was at the beginning of this post.

Anyway, Google is your friend 😁

But here’s what a Swiss Army Knife looks like, and what it means.

Cheers,

Uche.

If You Teach Your Child Nothing, Teach Them This.

Everyday when I come online I see one new tweet, post or an article about what people say they’ll teach their kids or what they’ll make sure their kids learn.

I’ve seen people say they’ll make sure their kids learn skills like sales and marketing,  copywriting, red pill and pickup artistry, coding, writing and whatnot.

I’ve seen people use terms like love, family, happiness, satisfaction etc, to describe what they’ll ensure their kids know and understand.

And of course, this is all good.

But I haven’t seen anyone talk about detachment yet.

Maybe it’s because it’s not as popular as the rest. But imagine training a child to learn how to be detached from outcomes.

And that’s because a detached person isn’t carried away so much by success they forget there are still battles ahead to be fought and won.

A detached person isn’t weighed down so much by failure or a series of failures they stop believing in themselves or fail to realize there’s always a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. And that this light is in fact hope, and this hope is a hope of success.

A detached person isn’t tied down by sunk cost fallacy – choosing to stay in a relationship, partnership, country, business or deal because of how much they’ve invested in it already whether emotionally,  financially,  physically or with their time and energy.

A detached person can always pack up and leave.

A detached person is willing to let go.

And that’s the beauty of detachment – from outcomes and people.

It’s the greatest form of freedom because it allows you see the forest for the trees.

It also gives you the much needed dose of clarity when everyone else is being led by their emotions.

It’s the greatest superpower.

If you teach your child nothing, teach them detachment.