5 Powerful Ways to Increase Your Influence Online

Most online businesses are still overly focused on short-term marketing tactics to sell their products. They pitch people over and over again with the belief that if they do do it enough times, they will eventually will make some sales.

Now, short-term tactics are not necessarily ineffective. Some are, but tactics are not strategies. Without first establishing the latter, short-term tactics are nothing but, well, short term...

In this post, I'd like to suggest a killer strategy that any internet entrepreneur should use to grow into build a long- term business. As the title of this post suggests, the strategy I’m referring to is: increasing your influence.

You see, influence is the one of the most valuable assets you can have. When you have influence, you have much more power to produce the desired actions you want your potential customers to take.

In this post I'd like to offer five psychological triggers that directly influence how prospects act and make decisions. They’re all incredibly powerful and work on both the conscious and subconscious level.

With this in mind, let’s get started with the first trigger.

#1 Reciprocity

Reciprocity is a powerful psychological trigger. The primary idea is that when we get something from people, we feel obligated to give them something back in return.

For example, by creating free, quality content, you’ve somewhat created of a reciprocity imbalance that you’ll be able to use in the future.

Now, when we talk about reciprocity, the first focus should be on your email subscribers. Ask yourself: what else can you freely give to your subscribers?

Can you, for example, cooperate with another online influencer and give his or her book/tool/resource for free? Or perhaps, you can create another brief guide or special report yourself.

If you offer coaching and consulting services, can you draw a free Skype coaching session with your email subscribers? How else can you improve your current email series and provide more and better content?

You get the point. The idea is fairly simple: the greater the value you can bring to your subscribers, the greater tendency they’ll have to reciprocate later on.

The same can be said for any business relationship you encounter—be it with partners, other bloggers, or your current clients.

My suggestion: be creative and think beyond what already exists.

#2 Social Proof

Our second psychological trigger that directly influences how prospects make decisions is social proof.

Social proof is the idea that we make decisions based on what we observe to be the norm in our surroundings. For example, if we believe that large numbers of people are subscribing to someone’s site, we feel compelled to go along, too.

Basically, we are inherently social creatures who are influenced by what we observe other people around us doing.

Due to the social nature of today’s digital landscape, you can create many kinds of social proof. In fact, because of all the content created these days, the need for social proof is more important than ever.

Here are a few ideas to boost your social proof, some of which you may have already been using:

1. If you acquired a decent number of social media followers, consider displaying those numbers in a prominent place on your site. Otherwise, wait until your numbers are satisfactory. (The power of social proof can work for or against you.)

2. Social media stats are one kind of social proof, so is the number of downloads of your resource guide. For example, you can state the number of people who requested your content (i.e., “X others read our resource guide... it's free!").

3. Similar to the previous two points, if you have decent number of subscribers, you can simply mention those numbers on your site (i.e., “Join X of other go-getters and start achieving your goals!”).

4. Keep asking for detailed testimonials (preferably with photos) and display them on your sale pages and near opt-in forms on your site.

5. Publish case studies of client successes on your blog. Include charts, logos, stats, or any other social proof elements that you have with those clients.

6. If you have decent traffic to your blog, encourage people to leave public comments on your posts at every possible opportunity. You can do it, for example, at the end of the post or throughout your email series.

7. Include social proof in some of your emails to your subscribers. For instance, you can talk about positive feedback you got from clients or share some other impressive stats and numbers.

8. Encourage your clients/subscribers to share their success stories and make it really easy for them to do so. You can, for example, provide a custom link in one of your emails or simply add a well-placed call to action (e.g., "Liked this lesson? Share it with me here!”).

9. Feature tweets from satisfied readers or customers. Here’s how: Click the “--- More” icon located within the tweet, then from the menu that pops up, select “Embed Tweet” and copy/paste the code provided into your site. This powerful testimonial can be incorporated on your About page or any landing page associated with signups.

10. Keep interviewing influential, popular people on your blog. It provides solid social proof of how well-connected you are to other experts in your niche.

Improve your social proof as you go along, so that new customers come to find your products credible. Remember, tactics are short-term, while strategies such as social proof and reciprocity will never go out of style.

#3 Likability

Our third psychological trigger is likability.

The idea is simple: We are more influenced by people/businesses we like than those we don’t like. In other words, we prefer doing business with people we know, like, and trust.

Consider Richard Branson and his multi-billion dollar business, Virgin. Those who love Branson’s adventurous, outrageous, fun, and innovative identity are far more likely to choose Virgin over anyone else.

The same story can be told with Steve Jobs and the Apple brand. Steve Jobs represented to many what it means to think outside the box. His charismatic nature and performance style has influenced millions of people around the world who swear by Apple’s products.

So, how does likeability apply to your online business?

Becoming likeable online matters. After all, you could be anyone behind that computer screen.

To become more likeable, you need to... well, do things that your target audience likes. Here are few ideas:

1. Humanize your business as much as possible. For instance, share stories from your own personal life on your About page—not only successes, but also mistakes and failures. This makes you more real. Remember, people like to do business with people they feel like they know.

2. Put your real self out there all the time. Don’t hold back. For instance, share photos on social media, even the ones you take with your phone.

3. Work on inspiring side projects that can catch your target audience’s interest. It’s far easier to like someone who's doing something inspiring than someone who’s fairly generic.

4. Keep sharing great content and build connections with your subscribers by responding to their questions. This will only make you more likable in the eyes of your audience.

One last note: don’t try to please everyone. Being liked by anyone and everyone online is pointless and it won’t take you very far. Just strive to live according to your values and the message that you want to share with the world

#4 Scarcity

Scarcity is one of the most powerful motivational influences out there. The idea behind it is fairly simple: the rarity of something makes it more desirable.

Think of diamonds and gold as examples. Their scarce supply and the fact that they are harder to find contribute to their desirability.

Now, when it comes to spending money - online or offline - most people tend to put off a decision if you give them a choice. Scarcity reverses this trend by motivating potential buyers to make a decision.

Limiting numbers, for example, influence people into placing more value on what is offered. This, in turn, inspires them to act quickly before the scarce offering goes away.

In other words, to create more demand for your offerings, you need to integrate scarcity into the wording of your pages.

Here are a few ideas:

1. “Spots are limited...” -
2. “X number of copies left…”
3. “For a limited time...”
4. “Act quickly before this deal expires…”
5. “The price is going to go up in…”
6. “There’s only one day left for…”
7. “This sale ends on...”
8. “The early adopter price is…”

Another way to create scarcity is to make your offerings more unique and less generic. Otherwise, why get it from you if what you offer can be had easily elsewhere?

Finally, make sure you walk the walk, too. If you’re going to use scarcity in your marketing, follow through on what you say.

#5 credibility

Our fifth and final psychological trigger that directly influences how prospects make decisions is credibility.

Credibility is a powerful influential force and can have many positive impacts on your business. When people perceive you to be a credible authority on a topic, they listen attentively to what you have to say.

You can probably recall times when a credible friend or family member advised you on something that you accepted as true without question because of your relationship with that person.

In other words, similarly to all the other psychological triggers, being credible helps you to shortcut the decision-making process of others.

The online world is no different. Let’s explore a few ways to enhance your credibility online.

Go over your sale pages, blog posts, About page, and every part of your sales funnel, and ask yourself the following question: “Am I giving visitors the right impression about my credibility?”

For example, one way to build your credibility is to emphasize your qualifications, unique experiences, and expertise throughout your website. Are you doing a good job in this area? If not, go back and improve it.

Also, if you are part of a group, a club, or an association, it might be useful to mention that as well. Any additional organizations that you’re affiliated with are going to add some credibility.

Another way to build your credibility is through time. People usually develop a sense of trust over time, when you prove to be reliable, value-oriented, and useful.

This is why having a well-crafted autoresponder sequence is so important. It helps to establish credibility with your subscribers in a much more natural way, than let’s say, bombarding them with hundreds of marketing messages daily.

Go over your email series (if you still don't have a list, here's how to build one) and see if you can improve it in any way that feels meaningful to you.

Next, pay attention to your web design. Does it communicate the professionalism that will positively impact a first-time visitor? If not, how can you make it so? Remember, first impressions about your credibility happen in the matter of seconds.

Lastly, make sure that you link to credible influencers, experts, and authority sites in your content. By doing so, you associate yourself with credible sources and provide proof that you can back up what you’re talking about.

Remember, optimizing your website for credibility puts you in a whole different playing field.


Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.


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Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

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