Church of the Invisible Hand

How to Fear-Monger for Fun and Profit

I once heard a prominent fear-monger in the "truth" community make this analogy.


While defending his sensationalized way of reporting, he said he was not fear-mongering. He claimed that "if your house is on fire, and I'm warning you to get out, that's not fear-mongering." And it raised some interesting questions for me.


I don't like to fear-monger. And I feel bad about the times in the past when I did.


Maybe it's that I don't like wasting energy on things I can't control. Especially when there are things I can control, that could use that energy.


Maybe it's that I don't like to take on anything with a defeatist attitude. I feel like a lot of the "truther" doom and gloom sets people up for failure. You don't send your team into a game, convinced that the other team has already won. And that's what a lot of these "truth" mouthpieces are doing.


Can I stop putting the word "truth" in quotes now? You get my point.


Anyways, in my content, I have always been careful not to be guilty of fear-mongering. And now I'm starting to rethink my previous condemnation.


Here's why.


So, there are two different ways to sell an idea.


You see this in every movement. You see this in every bit of direct response copywriting. You have to agitate the situation, and then promise a solution.


I've heard Ben Settle say that you gotta get into your customers pain point, and you gotta rub salt in that wound.


Ray Edwards says you need to know your customer's pain point. You have to explain it to them, better than they can explain it to themselves. And then you have to show them how bad it can get if they don't fix the issue.


Now, this is one part of copywriting that I've always found distasteful. I do it, but I always feel kinda dirty about it. Until today.


So, here's the deal.


I'm re-writing my sales page, over at Podcast Blastoff. And so I'm going over a bunch of articles and interviews about sales pages. And I heard someone explain it in a way that I never thought about it. The part that I always thought of as fear-mongering, that is.


He said this, and I'm paraphrasing;


People tend to suffer in silence.


They don't want to talk about their problems. Either because they don't want to burden others, they're embarrassed, or a bunch of other reasons.


And here's what a lot of us do. We know we have a problem. We know we need to fix it. But we don't talk to anybody about it, and we have no idea on how to fix it.


So we ignore it. It sits in the corner, all blurry and confusing looking. And we pretend it's not there.


Sound familiar?


So, now you're selling something that will solve that problem.


Maybe it's a societal problem, and you're selling a new way of thinking to solve it.


Maybe it's a lack of information, and you're selling a course to teach people.


Maybe it's a lack of buttons problem... Well, I'm not sure if that's a thing.


Anyways, someone has a problem, and they're ignoring it. And you have a solution, but it does them no good if you can't get them to buy. To help them, you have to put them in a mindset to take action.


So, how do you do that?


Well, you reverse engineer.


You know what their problem is. And you know the reason they haven't taken action yet is because it's still out of focus for them. There's a monster in the corner of the room, and they either can't see it clearly, or are choosing not to look.


So you have to make it clear for them. You gotta point out the fangs. You gotta describe the glowing red eyes. You have to bring the threat into focus. You gotta make so they can no longer pretend it isn't there.


If you can do that, they'll be ready to solve their problem. And they'll assume that you know the solution. They might even beg for you to sell it to them. And you should.


Just as long as what you're selling will really solve the problem. And that's where the trouble comes into play.


The technique works.


I use it, and I see results. But I also see other people use it to sell false promises.


I see televangelists use it to sell tickets to Heaven. I see politicians use it to sell greater restrictions on freedom. I see opportunity marketers use it to sell git-rich-kwick schemes. And I see professors use it to sell failed social systems to impressionable college kids.


It works. No doubt about it. But I think I dislike it for how often it's been abused.


But just because people can abuse it, does that mean you shouldn't use it in your marketing?


Obviously, I use it. And up until today, I did so with a heavy conscience. But now I'm re-thinking my position.


What say you?

Nathan Fraser

Written by Nathan Fraser
Direct Response Copywriter
Marketing Consultant
High Priest of Propaganda



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How to Build Better Relationships by Pushing People Away

I always hear that you should never talk politics with clients or potential customers. It's kinda like an unwritten rule of business. Never risk offending someone who gives you money, right? Wrong!


This is something I totally disagree with. And it drives my business partners insane. But give me a few more lines and I bet you'll feel the same way I do.


So, here's the deal. I've been doing radio and podcasting for about 8 years now. And I've always made it a point to be divisive in my content. I known my target listener, and I deliberately do all kindsa things to repel anyone else.


I may lose listeners from time to time. But I have the most loyal community. I have listeners and supporters that go the extra mile. And I thank them all for it.


I am real with my audience, I let them know about my shortcomings as readily as my proudest moments. And I tell them things that I know will hurt some of their feelings. And that's ok.


Recently, I started new business, with two other partners. They were stupid enough to put me in charge of marketing.


I handle marketing the same way I handle my podcast. And this is something we go heads over, all the time.


I make a course, and leave subtle hints to my political believes, and they freak out. I send out an email that will trigger some feelz, they say "No way, Jose". I use words like "feelz", they tell me it's "unprofessional".


Well, jokes on them. I do it anyway. And let me tell you why.


Because, I only care about you. And I don't mean that in a "just got caught cheating, boyfriend" kinda way. I mean it in an "I don't care about people who don't get me" kinda way.


See, here's the thing. Running a business is kinda like running a podcast. You gotta pick who you wanna serve, and give them everything you got. And most of all, give them the real you.


Your podcast might not be for everybody. Mine isn't. That's for sure. And your podcast, product or service will not be for everybody. But that's ok. Because it is right for some people.


And every ounce of energy you waste being fake for people who don't love you, is an ounce you can't give to people that do.


Now, does this mean you should just shove your political opinions in all your costumers faces? No. And I try not to make a habit of it. But does it mean that I hide that part of me away, where nobody can ever see? Not at all.


Truth is, I am a free market anarchist. I love the freedom of the marketplace. Now, you don't have to agree with me. But I won't hide it from you, just to get your money.


And if knowing this does stop you from doing business with me, I don't want your money. Well, I mean I do. But I want money from people I love serving. Not just from people who hate me but are willing to pay for my results.


This is the way I have always been. And I rarely hate my work. I may not always get as many jobs as other people, but I always love the clients that I work with. And I'm always willing to give them my all.


So, here's the deal. If you are starting a podcast, no matter what the subject, don't be afraid to be you. If you are starting a business, don't be afraid to be you.


Gary Vee gets up on stage in front of billionaires and drops the f-bomb. He speaks what he feels, he gives great business advice, and he curses like a sailor.


Ray Edwards is another brilliant business mind. I've listened to him on (literally) a thousand different podcasts. And I've never heard him swear. Not once. But I've heard him call out socialists for the hypocrites that they are, on many occasions.


Pat Flynn is right up there with both of these other two guys. I love his podcast, and listen to it all the time. I've never heard him swear, and I have no idea about his political beliefs.


Which approach is correct? All of them. As long as they're being real.


Yes, I may offend you from time to time. And if it happens too often, you'll stop reading, or listening. And I'm ok with that.


I have customers that I want to serve, that I love to serve. And if you're not one of them, move aside so I can get to them.


The point is this. Love the ones you serve, serve the ones you love. And give them all you have. This is a life rule. It applies to podcasting. It applies to business. And it drives my business partners insane.


Yes, it defies conventional wisdom. But, in this case, conventional wisdom is wrong.


I'm gonna keep living by it. Because it works for me. And you can know that if I ever work with you, it's because I love doing so, and you will get my 100%. And that's the way it should be.


If you're about to start your business or podcast, make sure that you keep it real. People don't follow those who they can't connect with. And people can't connect with you if they never even get to know you.

Will Robots Take Your Job?

So, Jane (a totally made up social justice warrior) was out protesting her job today.


She was demanding that her employer pay her $15 dollars an hour to bag burgers and give customers bad attitude.


Her employer only operates at a 3.5% profit margin, but Jane has a right to a living wage.


She spent all day waving her sign and shouting out sound bites she learned from her gender-studies professor.


Tomorrow, she'll go into work, and realize that she protested herself out of a job. She'll walk into her place of employment, and be greeted by a shiny new kiosk. Sucks to be Jane.


Now, while it's easy to laugh at Jane, she isn't the only one facing this problem. Yes, low information, entitled brats will be the first to have a robot replace them. But, is that where it will stop?


Not likely.


Now, before you start calling me Peter Joseph, hear me out.


I am a devout capitalist. I would be miserable in a Venus Project utopia. But, I am a realist, and my head is not in the sand when it comes to automation.


In the coming years, more and more labor jobs will be replaced by robots.


Is this the end of society as we know it? I doubt it.


But, will it bring a lot of change? Almost certainly.


As the horse and buggy disappeared, the cab industry was born. And sometimes, automation actually increases labor in a field.


So, what about you? What will happen to your job in the very near future? What are your chances of being replaced by a robot, like poor little SJW Jane?


Well, today I came across this interesting article. It talks about some of the least likely jobs to be replaced with robots. Is yours on the list?


Check it out, and see.


Hint, if you're on my mailing list, you're already in a better position than most. (see number 1)

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