This article takes the six “Weapons of Influence” explained in the book “Influence” by the now famous PhD psychologist Robert Cialdini and examines them in the context of online influence.
These weapons of online influence are the driving forces behind the decisions that cause people to take action.
Learn to wield these weapons and the benefits they can bestow on you may be immense.
Simply put, the weapons of influence below will help you become more influential online.
Online Influence Weapon #1 – Reciprocity
The “Law of reciprocity” states that: People tend to return a favor when a favor is given to them.
Reciprocity explains the pervasiveness of lead magnets online. A lead magnet is a free eBook, ecourses, or some other element of value offered in exchange for something, typically a name and email.
The more free stuff you give someone the more likely they are to buy something from you.
The “Law of reciprocity” has been the driving force of my online brand and business.
Reciprocity is perhaps my favorite element of online influence as it aligns well with my intent of helping others as much as possible.
On Twitter reciprocity is especially evident. When you retweet someone else they are much more likely to retweet you back. And one of the most surefire ways to get more Twitter followers is to follow others first.
Guest posting is also a great way to get to get the law of reciprocity working for you. If you write a few guest posts for a big blogger they will be much more likely to help you out if you ask for a favor in return.
If you develop a product that you want to promote, for example, having bloggers who are highly likely to reciprocate a favor you have done for them can help you get some powerful affiliates to help with your product launch and this can be the ticket to earning plenty of additional income online.
Online Influence Weapon #2 – Commitment and Consistency
If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment because of establishing that idea or goal as being congruent with their self image. Even if the original incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement. For example, in car sales, suddenly raising the price at the last moment works because the buyer has already decided to buy.
This model is used effecively by some Internet Marketers to get people into continuity programs that they might not have otherwise purchased. I am not a huge fan of this method, but some marketers make millions with it.
The way it works is a product will be offered for $7, or so and this pays for the first month of a program, and every month after is a set higher price, like $67.
Using this sales model customers will commit to a program and often remain in the program at full price for several months, even though they would never have purchased the program at full price.
Online Influence Weapon #3 – Social Proof
People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic.
Whenever possible use social proof to your advantage. This is why I think it is so crucial to build up strong social media communities, because they are a great way to show social proof.
The social proof that I have been able to build from Twitter, for example, has been able to land me contracts building social media brands for several companies, and has gotten me into a few exclusive high priced events for free.
If you want to learn how to build social proof on Twitter sign up for my free Twitter Course. ;)
Online Influence Weapon #4 – Authority
People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts.
This law of influence is reflected in the way that wealthy people are often viewed. Wealthy people are often considered smarter than average people, simply because they have the authority of wealth behind them.
A crazy rich person is considered eccentric, whereas a crazy poor person is downright insane.
To get the power of authority working for you, strive to establish yourself as an expert in your strongest niche. Authority comes in many forms, but if you are not afraid to tell it how it is you will begin to get respect as an authority.
Anytime you can succeed you will begin to gain respect and attention as an authority. Facebook is a great place to launch an authoratative community, and if you want to learn some powerful Facebook tips I recommend you check out my latest free eBook 25 Powerful Facebook Tips.
Online Influence Weapon #5 – Liking
People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of Tupperware in what is now known as viral marketing. People were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them. There is also a bias in favor of more attractive people.
Cialdini wrote about the importance of liking before the Facebook “like” button existed. These days in the online world the “Like” button is everywhere, and if you install it into your web content you will enable this weapon of reciprocity to work for you.
If you install a Like button into an opt-in page where you are asking for someone’s email not only will you be able to increase your opt-in rate after you get some people to click the “Like” button, you will also get additional opt-ins from the traffic that those “Like” clicks generate.
On my Facebookecourse.com opt-in page, for example, 44 people have already clicked the “Like” button and I am sure that those 44 likes have led to several more opt-ins. Currently more than 50% of the people that visit that page opt-in to receive my free Facebook ecourse and this is partially thanks to the “Like” button.
Getting people to click the “Like” button on your content is not the only way to engage this weapon of influence. The more personality you can inject into your content, the better!!
Don’t worry about trying to please everyone, you never will, instead just try to have fun with what you create and it will come back to you in the form of a more engaged and involved community.
Online Influence Weapon #6 – Scarcity
Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a “limited time only” encourages sales.
I have heard several Internet Marketers say that scarcity is a marketers best friend. The important thing to remember with scarcity is to do what you say you will. If you say that you will be pulling an offer down after 72 hours, make sure that you do.
Limited time bonuses are a smart way to get people to act within a perticular time frame. This also gives you an excuse to follow up with emails about the promotion. Once way to do this is to offer a 72 hour sale. You can then follow up at 48 hours, 24 hours, 6 hours, etc, counting down to the time when your awesome bonuses will be taken away.
Limited technology is one way to implement a scarce offer. For example next week when I launch my new Facebook Training Program called: Facebook Power for the first 100 people who buy I will be offering a free Facebook Webinar. I can only offer this bonus to 100 people because currently my webinar plan only supports 100 people, maximum.
In this article I tried to give insight into Cialdinis weapons of influence from an internet marketers perspective. To get a more wholistic view of these “laws” I highly recommendyou grab a copy of Cialdinis book Influence. If you apply these weapons of influence into your life and buisiness you will be able to exercise greater influence in your life, and achieve more of the results you want.
Have you used or observed any of these weapons of influencein your own life? If so let us know in the comments below.