Through the help of social media, the word "influence" takes on a new meaning. While there are a lot more platforms for you to influence an audience, the market is extremely saturated. You have to do more than influence to drowned out the noise, you have to persuade.
You constantly have to be marketing yourself, or your brand. Now more than ever, the art of persuasion is a part of everyday life.
Whether you're pitching a your startup up idea to a group of investors, trying to get more followers on Instagram, or just trying to get a date you're going to need to know a thing or two about persuasion.
That's why I've come up with a cheat sheet. Here are the three most imperative things you need to know about persuasion:
1. Curate your message to individuals, not to the masses.
It's easy to try and cast a wide net, but it's not efficient. In the entrepreneurial and digital space it's crucial that you tailor your message to your audience.
Time and time again, I see entrepreneurs trying to come up with an idea as big as Facebook--an idea that will reach everybody. While there's merit in that, there's more power in building something that speaks to a particular group of people.
People respond well when you personalize a message to them. It makes them feel acknowledged. I personally find it offensive when brands do the opposite, and clump me in a category--I'm talking to you, tampon commercial that features a girl bicycle kicking a soccer ball while on her period.
Be genuine. Create clean and concise content.
This should speak a particular interest, or lifestyle. When done correctly it persuades those people to trust you, and to want to listen to you.
2. Your message should be personal. It should reflect your personal attributes.
When you're trying to persuade someone of something, a great way to bring their guard down, and to peak there interest, is by showing them something real or personal.
What makes your business idea, podcast, or Hinge profile stand out? Startups especially need to have a "je ne sais quoi" factor. They need to have something that sets them a part from every other app or innovative idea that's building built and pitched.
It's a vibe. It's something that unexplainably attracts your audience. That in itself is beyond persuasive.
I'm currently wrapping up recording the first season of my podcast. It's a show where my guests and I discuss humanitarian or social issues. I don't want this to be just another news podcast, so I aim to create a show with depth by encouraging the intimate sides of my guests's stories.
I do this by sharing aspects of my own personal story (and by serving my guests wine). Before the interview has even started, we're engaging in a real and interesting conversation. It's personal, honest, and hopefully really fun to listen to.
Being open is attractive. It attracts others to feel safe enough to do the same.
As entrepreneurs, we tend to neglect this. We fail to tell our story--or our idea's story. We end up losing out on leverage.
Explain the origins of why want this the world to use product, or idea. You'll give your idea life--and a real-world application.
3. Your message needs to be both compelling and relatable.
If you want to really convince someone, speak to their emotional side and their logical side at the same time. Make your audience laugh, or sympathize with a frustration you've felt--while simultaneously exposing a statistic that speaks to the point you're trying to make.
That's what makes people want to join you. The most compelling ideas come across as movements--something way bigger than yourself--while also seeming tangible, functional, and relatable.
Overall, persuasion isn't about a product, item, or ask. It's about your message--how you're saying what you want to say. When you make people feel acknowledged, they typically react well.