Gil-Ad Schwartz


“Takes the science of writing persuasive advertising that SELLS for any product or service, and makes it simple.”

Scott Murdaugh,
Marketing Strategist
Springfield, MO


“Gil-Ad Schwartz could very easily become the next Gitomer for the Advertising world. His style brings to the forefront common sense that relates direct to profits.”

Kim Kalan,
VP Marketing & Sales
Route 29 Caramels
Golden Valley, Minnesota


“I’ve long said that the best copywriters also make great teachers, with that rare ability to make key points so clear and easy to understand -- they seem obvious... Gil-Ad Schwartz proves that point, presenting deep concepts with a practical, easy-to-grasp approach.”

Alan Carr, Author,
Carr’s Copywriting Checklist for Professional Copywriters

The Jack Bauer
guide to persuasion

I should hastily point out: it’s probably not what you think it is.

In other words, I do not recommend you electrically shock (or otherwise physically torture) your clients into submission.

What I’m talking about is something completely different. I’m talking about the way Jack Bauer – protagonist of TV drama 24 – persuades his allies, colleagues, and superiors to go along with his plans. To the untrained eye, it might appear that Bauer’s go-to persuasion strategy is to shout into his phone something along the lines of:

“I don’t have time to explain.
You’re just going to have to trust me.”

It hardly seems to be hypnotic mind control. But it works, time after time.

If you think that’s a sign of poor scripting – merely an excuse to get the plot moving in an exciting direction – think again. The same principles Jack Bauer employs to get his way are used in the real world by cult leaders, politicians, and con artists.

So what’s the secret?

The key is what’s happening under the surface. I’m not a big fan of wishy-washy stuff, but I do believe that your mindset affects how people perceive you on a subconscious level. That’s because, whenever we communicate, we also sub-communicate our state of mind. Ever get a good or bad “vibe” from someone? That’s sub-communication at work. You intuitively pick up on people’s background intentions and beliefs, and they form much of the basis for your opinion of them.

The reason Jack Bauer is so persuasive is that he projects a specific mindset – one which happens to be highly attractive. I call it “The Charisma Mindset” or “The Cult Leader Mindset.” Believe it or not, adopting the intentions and beliefs that make up this state of mind will make a real and shocking difference to the way others respond to you.

The “Charisma Mindset Formula” is simple:


“Certainty” doesn’t mean having supreme self-confidence. It doesn’t mean professing to know all the answers. What it does mean is that you have your convictions, and that you believe in them 100%. You truly know – deep down in your bones – that you’re right in what you believe.

Don’t just “think” that your way is correct. Know it. Stand behind it. Commit to it.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to “know” that every decision you make will turn out as expected. That’s just deluded. But it does mean that you need to know that your decision was the right one to make at the time, regardless of how things turned out.

If this scares you a little, that’s excellent news. It means you understand what’s required: a certain boldness that makes you both charismatic and, at the same time, vulnerable. The two go hand in hand. In the words of Winston Churchill:

“You have enemies? Good.
That means you’ve stood up for something,
sometime in your life.”

If you take a stand, you’ll be criticized. I guarantee it. The good news is that, in my experience at least, most of this criticism goes on behind your back and manifests itself only in subversive, passive-aggressive ways, so it’s really not all that bad.

On the subject of criticism, there’s another point worth mentioning: being certain in your convictions does not give you a license to become an arrogant know-it-all. What’s the difference between the two? It lies in your sense of entitlement. Arrogant know-it-alls may believe that they’re right, but they also believe that this entitles them to aggressively impose their rightness on other people. That’s not exactly a recipe for cupcakes and rainbows.

Instead, I suggest that you stand secure in your convictions and, in parallel, accept that you have no right to force other people to agree with you. In fact, if you feel that disagreement undermines the validity of your principles, then that just shows that you’re not truly certain of them at all. The key with certainty is to stand behind your beliefs regardless of other people’s approval or disapproval. That’s what makes you charismatic.


Your next step is to discover some larger purpose in what you do. Start to see how your work contributes to a cause bigger than yourself – a higher calling, if you will. How is your work important? How do you make a difference to the world?

For example: you think I just sell advertising advice? Nuh-uh. I’m saving the world economy. That’s because the vast majority of jobs come from the small business sector. Entrepreneurs keep the market alive and dynamic. When giant corporations fall, small businesses emerge from the ruins and rebuild.

I know that whenever I help a business, I’m contributing – in my own small way – to a stable economy and a healthy job market. That’s why my job is one of the most important and rewarding jobs that exist. It’s why I love what I do.

That’s my calling.

What I should stress is that a “calling” is not some cute little story that you tell would-be clients. That’s not what this is about at all. Remember: what’s important here is your mindset, which means that simply coming up with feel-good elevator pitch isn’t going to cut it. You’ve got to believe what you’re saying. This isn’t something you can fake.

Thankfully, with a little imagination, finding a suitable calling is easy. Just ask yourself:

Bear in mind that there’s no need for megalomania here. You don’t have to save the world single-handedly. Anything you do that contributes – in your own small way – to a worthwhile cause can count. Maybe you improve people’s health. Maybe you give them unique experiences. Maybe you help them save money or fulfill their potential. Whatever it is, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can find a worthwhile, meaningful calling once you put your mind to it.


The final element is to always – genuinely – act in the other person’s best interests. Persuade from a position of wanting what’s right for them. If that means letting go of a sale because the product isn’t a good fit for the client, so be it. Let go of the sale. If that means advising clients to go for your lower-end option because that’s all they need, so be it. Tell them to save their money.

This mindset sub-communicates both integrity and empathy. And people can feel it. They feel that you’re “on their side.” Yes, you might lose an occasional sale. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s a small price well worth paying.

Putting it all together

In summary:

And that’s the recipe for charisma.

>>> Next: A tale of WWII propaganda —If you say these six words, people will be open to believing anything y0u tell them

“Gil-Ad’s advice is direct and actionable... His insights on salesmanship, customer- (not company-) focused ads and measurable results are refreshingly simple.”

Chris Williams,
MBA (Harvard)


“Concise and credible... takes much of the confusion and clutter out of what good advertising is all about.”

Tim York, CEO
Unistraw Int’l Ltd
Sydney, Australia


“The letter Gil-Ad wrote for us got a 6% response rate and brought in over £23 for every £1 we spent on the mailing. It is -- by far -- the most successful fundraising package in the club’s history.”

Philip Young,
Secretary 2011-13
Oxford University
Pistol Club


“[15-minutes of advice] like a college course in sales copy.”

Will Atkinson
Texas-based online entrepreneur


“You are amazing in your copy, I love the [headline idea], that is light years ahead of what I had and that was just off the top of your head. Wow.”

Edward W. Smith, MBA
New York

* required fields

Captcha image

Can't read the image? Click here to refresh.

Thank You

Thanks for your message. I’ll get in touch with you ASAP.
- Gil-Ad Close this window