How Millionaires, Celebrities and CEOs Become Influential With the Art of Frame Control
What do Kanye West and Elon Musk have in common? When you put them together, there may be little that you can discern as similarities between the two, but I believe one trait that they share in common is the ability to control their frame, otherwise known as frame control.
Frame control is the little-known underlying phenomenon that might be one of the reasons they are extremely influential and successful despite controversies. However, they continue to position themselves as some of the most powerful figures in our culture.
Frame control is the power of how we frame our personal realities. A frame is an instrument you use to package your power, authority, strength, information and status. Standing strong in your convictions can convince and influence others.
I first discovered frame control in 2016 after coming across the book Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff. I was hooked instantly. I was a freshman in college at UC Irvine at the time and was earning a few thousand dollars a month in my online business. In just a few short months after applying the concept of frame control in my life and business, everything changed — I started dating the girl of my dreams, cleared my first $27,000 in one month and dropped out of college to go all in on my business.
Since then, I have read every book, watched every video and studied every expert-written blog on the topic that I can find. This ultimately led me to get NLP and neuro-marketing certifications — both of which explain the underlying psychology of how our brains frame social interactions and provide techniques on how one can control these frames in themselves and others to become more likable, influential and lead a better life overall.
Frame control is about setting your own authority, but it isn’t just some “believe in yourself” mumbo-jumbo. It’s about actual and validated beliefs. One popular analogy is the glass half-empty or half-full frame. If you believe the glass to be half-empty, that’s what it will be. But someone with a half-full frame can come in and convince you to change your belief, simply by backing it up with the logic of “an empty glass of water would always be empty, but having water in an empty glass makes it half-full.”
Positioning your view as the one that counts does take some practice because you first have to believe in yourself. You won’t be able to convince anyone of your authority if you are not authentic or if you don’t actually believe in what you’re trying to sell.
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Public Figures Likely Practice Frame Control, Whether They Know It or Not
When you’re in the public eye, you have to stay focused on the kind of person you want the world to perceive you as. For example, Tom Cruise stands as an example of frame control due to his ability to maintain dominance in media situations.
In a well-known clip of Tom Cruise being interviewed on BBC, he assertively puts the interviewer in place when he steps out of line and starts prodding into his personal life. Cruise doesn’t do it disrespectfully, which is how he manages to maintain his own dominance, but he does so in a way that holds the interviewer accountable.
How Frame Control Positions the User as Influential or Powerful
Turning toward someone who is dominant or who seems to know what they are doing is a natural occurrence. Generally speaking, we are hard-wired to trust people who believe in themselves and when they are put on a world stage, the effects of it can be almost bewildering.
We often view comedians as mere entertainers, but in fact, many of them are experts in frame control. They challenge your views by making you laugh. Whether you want to accept their frame or not, the moment you laugh, your own frame has been shaken and theirs have taken over.
Taylor Swift is arguably one of the most influential celebrities of our time and for good reason. She stands as another example of the power of the frame by consistently reframing her narrative. Think of the word “frame.” We use it when we say “they’ve been framed” when someone’s had their narrative taken from them and a fabricated story or lie takes its place. What Taylor Swift has done with the public’s opinion of her is reconstruct her person in a consistent manner. Everyone is familiar with her “oh my gosh, I cannot believe I’ve just won another award” face. In fact, she continues to do it even after being called out on it. The lesson here? Don’t let the public’s opinion redirect your frame.
One powerful thing to note about frame control: If you start off defensive, you’ve lost the respect of your audience and, by extension, your influence. It is not possible to hold the stronger frame if you have to defend your authority, power, leverage and advantage. Frame control creates power and power attracts. Therefore you can’t force a frame on someone — it won’t work. My mentor used to tell me, “Everyone wants to buy, but no one wants to feel sold.”
If you want to become a stronger leader or sales closer, remember that frame control is most effective when other people enter your frame willingly and feel empowered to do so, meaning your version of reality is better and requires less mental effort to get the desired result than whatever version of reality they could have drummed up.
The results of framing can be seen externally in the real world, but it starts in your internal world first. Once mastered, it creates an invisible energy field of influence for you. There is no “trick” to the art of frame control; it requires unconscious conviction in your ideas and congruency between your intentions, speech patterns and body language.