Author Sally Hogshead outlines seven “Fascination triggers” or persuasion strategies in her book, Fascinate. The idea behind the Fascinations is to understand how we humans are wired psychologically: what drives us to take action?
What causes us to pay attention to a message — and what makes a message compelling enough that we will spend money to buy a product or service?
The fascinations that Sally emphasizes provide useful framework for creating a marketing message. You can consider your message and how it speaks to each fascination, or consider your audience: which fascination triggers them the most?
By understanding the attraction behind each trigger, you can more precisely explain and predict why otherwise meaningless things can become intensely desirable.
You can also utilize these to make your marketing much more dynamic. D
Sally Hogshead’s Seven Fascination Triggers
MYSTIQUE — Why we’re intrigued by unanswered questions. Adding mystique to your message adds curiosity, which we humans can’t resist.
LUST — Why we’re seduced by the anticipation of pleasure. Adding lust by speaking to pleasures brings warmth and humanity to your message.
ALARM — Why we take action at the threat of negative consequences. Adding alarm gives adventure, immediacy and danger. In other words, it spices things up.
POWER — Why we focus on people and things that control us. Adding the appeal of power or control can be alluring, and can inspire respect or fear.
VICE — Why we’re tempted by novelty and “forbidden fruit”. This can tie in with lust as well, adding the appeal of forbidden or hidden desires.
PRESTIGE — Why we admire or aspire to have rank and respect. Appealing to this in your message adds strength/courage/pride/esteem (?)
TRUST — Why we’re loyal to reliable options. Adding trust speaks to some of our most fundamental concerns and builds rapport, stability and comfort.
As an example, let’s play with the fascination Sally calls “Mystique.”
How To Apply More Mystique In Your Marketing
It doesn’t require adding anything new or changing your product or service to begin using fascinations. Rather, you need to shift from speaking about what you have to offer(the features of your product or service) and instead consider how you’d describe it if you’re talking with one of the fascinations in mind.
So, for example, how would you enhance your marketing with the fascination “mystique”?
There’s several strategies you could use. Even applying one or two of these strategies can elevate your audience’s curiosity, and draw them closer to learn more.
Strategies to Add Mystique To Your Marketing
1. Withhold Information.
2. Spark Curiosity.
3. Raise the Reward.
4. Build Mythology.
5. Limit Access.
6. Stories, Not Facts.
7. Ask Questions (rather than giving answers).
Let’s say you are a corporate motivational speaker and you want to be hired by companies to present half-day and full day workshops. Now, we’ll apply several strategies I just mentioned to create different marketing messages:
1. Withhold Information: As a speaker, you could offer a list of topics or titles for your different workshop presentations, with several bullet points to explain further. Then hint at the “secret sauce” formula that you reveal at the end of your presentation that keeps people coming back to hire you repeatedly. Even better, include several testimonials from past participants that speak to the unexpected value they received from attending your event because of your “secret sauce formula”.
2. Spark Curiosity: Like having a “secret sauce formula””, you can build your presentations around an exclusive method, technique or unique strategy that you’ve developed that helps companies achieve the results they’re looking for. Perhaps it’s the “6-Step Employee Engagement Blueprint”, or the “Master Management Method” or something like that.
3. Raise the Reward: Can you go above and beyond to add more value to a company that hires you by including a bonus, a free offer, a complimentary follow-up consultation package, etc?
4. Build Mythology: What’s behind your philosophies and your success? How have you become the expert authority a company is hiring now for their next event? The story around you or your content holds the power to engage and create intrigue. Think of Lady Gaga, or Tom Cruise with Scientology or Michael Jackson. There’s always going to be an air of mystery behind them and what makes them tick. The mythology is attractive to our curious human minds
5. Limit Access: Perhaps you decide to plan only 3 workshops this quarter. When you speak with a company considering hiring you, mention that your other slots are taken, so it’s key that they schedule you now before you’re fully booked.
6. Stories, not facts: A prospect will be easily bored by the facts of your resume, your professional experience, your educational background. These are lifeless facts that many other great speakers have listed in their qualifications. What sets you apart is the story behind them. HOW did you decide to become a law student and then break into public speaking? What life event rocked you so much that you knew you wanted to be on stage, captivating audiences? It’s the story that engages and makes the sale.
7. Ask Questions: Become curious in your prospect. When you have them in conversation, ask about their values, their goals, who they’ve enjoyed as a speaker in the past, what they want to avoid, etc. Being curious about them helps YOU to become better at selling to them. Hold your tongue on talking about yourself until they ask.
I hope these examples of how to apply Sally Hogsheads’ Fascination of “MYSTIQUE” to the marketing message of a corporate motivational speaker gave you some ideas for your own marketing.
By starting with a few example products/offers as practice, you’ll begin to get a feel for how to naturally work the appeals of fascinations into your own messaging.