This week we will be continuing our topics of how to influence your customers and readers to say yes to your products and services using content marketing.
What is the Influence Principle of Authority?
People will follow the advice of credible, knowledgeable experts.
- Example 1: Physical therapists are able to persuade their patients to comply with exercise programs, if they display their medical diplomas on the wall.
- Example 2: People are much more likely to give change for a parking meter to someone who is wearing a uniform.
The science here is telling us that it is important for you to signal to others that you are a credible and knowledgeable authority before you make your influence attempt.
How Do You Present Yourself as an Authority?
You can’t just always go walking around with your diplomas and say, “Hey look! I’m smart, my diplomas say so!”. Well, I suppose you could, if you are a CPA and you’re having your clients walk through your office or a doctor, but what about all of the rest of us digital only marketers?
What we can do is make relationships with others in order have them say that you are an authority or an expert in the subject matter. The interesting thing here is that the person introducing you doesn’t have to be connected to you or prosper from you.
A group of real estate agents were able to increase the number of property appraisals and contracts that they wrote by having the reception staff mention their colleagues’ credentials and expertise.
When someone calling in to sell their home in a specific area, the receptionist would say, “let me connect you with (agent name) who has over 15 years of experience selling properties in this area, I’ll put you through now”.
The impact of the introduction led to an increase of 20% in appointments and a 15% increase in the number of signed contracts.
How to Use the Principle of Influence in Content Marketing?
- Testimonials: These are fantastic for your website. You want to line these up on the left or right column of your site. One of the best places I see this is from the Psychotactics blog. Get as many testimonials as you possibly can. If you can place an image of the person giving the testimonial, then it’s even better! Faces make people say, “Yes, that is a real person. I can trust that”, we won’t get into the details and psychology of it just yet, but trust me that faces make people feel good.
- Place your Followers on Your Blog: One example is how socialmediaexaminer.com does this. When you show that there are a ton of followers it has a way to digitally validate what you are doing. I highly recommend that if you aren’t growing your social media following that you start doing that before you use this technique.
- Guest Blogging: There is no better way to establish your authority in a given subject matter than actually showing that you have what it takes by writing for an industry blog, newspaper, magazine, etc. Since the place you are writing has the authority, it validates your claim to be an authority in the industry. This strategy isn’t difficult to do, but it does take time and you really have to show that you know what you are talking about.
- Guest Speaking: This isn’t as difficult as you might think this might be. I started doing this at the SBA at the library and several other location and it improved my standing in the content marketing industry for small business consulting substantially. When you speak at a place with more than one person there, it tends to have an amazing validation of your expertise in the subject matter. Think of it this way, no one would show up if you didn’t know what you were talking about and you weren’t an authority right? Mix in this with an amazing introduction from another person and you got yourself a winning authoritative start.
- Have Others Say You’re an Expert: Getting a small mention or even a slight pitch from your industry colleagues or other leaders are huge! I can’t tell you the number of books that I’ve read simply because Dorie Clark or another industry leader simply said they were reading a book. On that note, if you’re in the fashion industry, this is why you get top models to show off your clothes.
I hope that this helps you with your content marketing and gives you the needed authority to strive in your industry. If you found this information helpful, please share this with your friends, family, colleagues.