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The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics

Mar 12, 2021

Do you think that hyping up yourself or your business is a good thing, or does it feel a little shady to you? Join me in this episode of The Brainy Business as I interview Michael F. Schein, author of the book The Hype Handbook: 12 Indispensable Success Secrets from the World's Greatest Propagandists, Self-Promoters, Cult Leaders, Mischief Makers, and Boundary Breakers, who, among many other topics, discusses his take on that and how he personally believes hype to be a good thing.

After Michael featured The Brainy Business in Psychology Today as the #1 psychology podcast that every businessperson should listen to, he was also kind enough to send me an advanced copy of The Hype Handbook, which is full of great stories across history and different disciplines. I read the book and loved it and couldn't wait to talk with him on this podcast about the 12 ways businesses can use hype to find their audiences and create a dedicated following.

In today’s episode, Michael offers invaluable tips and advice such as positioning yourself against ideas with which you disagree, packaging and branding yourself effectively, being confident in your own unique way, embracing theater and drama, using facts and figures in a way that is not boring, and so much more. We also touch upon topics that have been discussed in past episodes of The Brainy Business, such as herding, biases, framing, and many others.

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

Time Stamps

  • [0:00] – Introduction to this episode's guest, Michael F. Schein.
  • [3:15] – Michael shares his background, explaining how he got into the business he's involved in now and why he wrote The Hype Handbook.
  • [5:51] – Melina praises The Hype Handbook, pointing out that she loves the connections that it makes throughout history.
  • [8:29] – Melina and Michael comment on the problem with trying to copy what others have done in that it's not going to be innovative when you do it.
  • [10:48] – Michael explains why he used the word hype in his book title and what the word means to him, giving hip hop music as an example of something that has had to use hype to succeed.
  • [13:18] – Melina mentions her favorite TED talk and talks about the importance of appreciating your first follower.
  • [14:02] – Michael offers abstract art as an example of something that was generally hated when it first came out but is now so popular it’s almost mundane.
  • [15:48] – Michael discusses the first strategy from the book – make war, not love – emphasizing that it's the foundation on which the other 11 strategies are built.
  • [19:04] – Michael suggests positioning yourself against an idea that a lot of people seem to share in your industry, which you fundamentally disagree with (there are followers waiting for whomever is first to speak up).
  • [20:10] – Michael shares Basecamp as an example of how positioning yourself against ideas works and is powerful.
  • [22:56] – Melina points out that even though Basecamp is user friendly, some people do still prefer more complex systems.
  • [24:15] – Michael expounds upon another one of his strategies – packaging and branding.
  • [26:18] – We learn that we should focus on our weaknesses rather than our strengths and see if there is a way to turn the weaknesses into strengths.
  • [28:47] – Melina and Michael agree that confidence in things such as pricing is crucial.
  • [30:55] – Michael mentions his Psychology Today article in which he named The Brainy Business as the #1 psychology podcast businesspeople should listen to.
  • [33:44] – Michael provides his insight on survivorship bias and the importance of hyping yourself up.
  • [36:24] – Michael offers Tony Robbins as an example of someone who fits his strategy of embracing theater and drama.
  • [38:14] – Michael explains his strategy of making things scientific and using facts and figures in an interesting way.
  • [40:16] – Michael provides an example of branding yourself as an expert by using scientific lingo.
  • [42:58] – Michael comments on behavioral economics and how Melina has made use of it using his first strategy: make war, not love.
  • [45:01] – We learn about how Simon Sinek has used a simple slogan to sell his ideas.
  • [47:27] – Michael further discusses Sinek and his video about millennials.
  • [50:00] – We discover how we can connect with Michael online by joining HypeReads (and many more links in the list below)
  • [51:28] – Melina encourages everyone to reflect on whether or not Michael's take on hype has changed how you think of it.
  • [55:16] – Melina shares an interesting story about Michael’s serendipitous timing in reaching out as she completed her new book, What Your Customer Wants (And Can’t Tell You). Now on presale – will you help spread the word?

Let’s connect:

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Past Episodes and Other Important Links:

Check out (and preorder!) my upcoming book, What Your Customer Wants (And Can’t Tell You) on AmazonBookshop, and Barnes & Noble

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