The art of influence in under 500 words

The art of influence in under 500 words

Some say Robert Cialdini wrote THE BOOK on influence.  So let’s play a game.  Let’s bring his six key concepts together to make your copywriting influential AND I’m going to add 1 more; brevity. (Hence the word count) His principles of influence: reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking, and consensus.  Mine? Brevity. So let’s get into it. 


You can’t ask if you haven’t given.  You can’t request the sale or the trust or the relationship if they haven’t received anything. Give first, then receive.  In influential copywriting, live by the phrase “Give away the gold, sell the goods and services” and your copy will influence. 


Simple right? When there’s not enough, we want more. So your mind wanders to “limited time offers” and 1 left!”, but in copywriting it’s different. Intentionally don’t explain everything.  Leave the reader wanting more.  That’s effective, that’s influential. 


You can’t just baffle readers with bulls**t when you’re being effective in your copywriting.  Being effective means that you actually know what you’re talking about and you come from a place of confidence, a place of proof, a place of absolute certainty or ideally, you come from all 3. 


Relationships build over time.  As the founder of Spotify likes to point out, every relationship has a “trust battery” that begins at a 50% charge and every time we add trust, the charge rises, every time we drain trust it goes down.  Consistency in copywriting is your own personal trickle charger.  When combined with all the other pieces of influence, keeping your trust battery being fully charged is an influence superpower. 


Like it or not, humans are emotional creatures with a big of a logical lump placed over top of it all and if we get a bad vibe, or we just plain don’t like you, it will be impossible to influence us.  In copywriting that means that your copy needs to create a voice that is likeable and relatable.  Remember relatable=likeable.  If we see ourselves in you, or your copy, then we are going to want more of it. 


“Let’s get on the same page” you say.  Well, your reader is already on your page, so your copy’s job isn’t to get them on the same page, it’s to keep them there.  Get their head nodding.  Don’t let them think “You’re right”, help them think “That’s right”.  When your copy confirms their biases, their feelings and their needs, you’ve got consensus and you’ve gained some serious influence. 


Finally, there’s Brevity. Say no more than is needed.  Don’t fluff, don’t puff, don’t steal your reader’s valuable time because the only thing we all have in common is 24 hours in a day.  T That’s it – copy that’s likeable, authoritative, forms a consensus, is brief, gives more than it asks, and keeps them wanting more is copy that is built to influence.  Have I left you wanting more? Reach out and see what these principles can do for your copy strategy. 
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