A few days ago, I got an email from Joe Polish, the founder of Genius Network. There are several lessons that can be learned from this email for anyone wanting to create more influence on a specific audience.
In this short article, I will break down a few of those lessons:
1. Title of Communication
The title of communication is very important. I've learned this writing hundreds of viral blog posts. People won't open or respond if it doesn't feel interesting, relevant, or useful.
An important communication notion which Joe often teaches is: What's in it for them?
Good titles excite the reader because they are based on what the reader wants.
However, another good form of title taps into people's interests. One thing people are very interested in is other people. Specific people. For example, the news follows Donald Trump. In the sports world, you hear about LeBron James every single day on every single show on ESPN.
Utilizing famous people's names, which are of interest to a particular audience, is also a very strong strategy for titling an email, blog post, book, etc.
And that's what Joe did. The title of his email was: "What Jay Abraham just did..."
Good titles also build intrigue. They draw you in, making you wonder. That's why list based-articles do so well. They make you want to see the items on the list, out of intrigue more than anything else.
2. Above The Line Of "Super Credibility"
"Each of us has an internal "line of credibility." When we hear of an idea that is introduced below this line, we dismiss it out of hand. If the teenager next door declares his intent to fly to Mars, you smirk and move on. We also have an internal line of supercredibility... When we hear an idea presented above the supercredible line, we immediately give it credence and use it to anchor future actions."―Peter Diamandis
In the books, Abundance and Bold, written by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, they present the idea of presenting an idea "above" the line of "supercredible."
You build credibility, often by borrowing the credibility of someone else. That's what Diamandis did when he launched the XPRIZE contest. He had several astronauts, credible people in the space industry, and even billionaire backers to give SUPER-credibility to his idea.
People couldn't say no to him.
In Joe's email, he himself is already credible, as is his Annual Event, which he was pitching. However, he went above the line of supercredibility by having the whole email be in the words of Jay Abraham.
Jay is considered by many people to be one of the top influential minds in marketing and business. Many many people value what Jay says and have made millions or even billions of dollars off his thinking and ideas.
Here's how Joe started his email:
"Jay Abraham, one of the most preeminent advisors in the world, recently sent out an email to his mailing list. If you're not already signed up for this year's Genius Network Annual Event - you're going to want to read what Jay has to say about the event. And, if you ARE already signed up for this year's event - Jay's email will be more proof of the smart investment you've made in yourself..."
The rest of the email is what Jay emailed out to his email list, all about the Annual Event. Here are a few things from Jay's email to provide context:
"Joe Polish is a dear friend. More importantly, he's a remarkable person. Single handedly, he has built - arguably THE most impressive organization of staggeringly impressive icons, experts and entrepreneurs.
They gather together annually, for what can only be called a mind-meld of the highest order.
Sharing ideas, exchanging breakthrough business concepts, collaborating with one another - each and every waking hour.
The dynamic exchange of intellect and business growth discoveries is... well, it's quite unimaginable...
Imagine THE preeminent influencers in something like 350 different fields - ALL coming together under one roof for three explosive days.
Think special guest presenters the likes of which you NEVER see in this type of intimate environment.
Every year, Joe allows about fifty non-members (if nominated by someone he respects) to attend the annual event.
Fortunately, Joe respects my judgement and I believe a few people on my list are of the quality - and have the capability and budget - to both appreciate and congregate with Joe's heady group at the level of contribution and collaboration he requires from ALL attendees.
My positivity about the Genius Network Annual Event really does NOT do justice to the experience you'll encounter - if appropriate and if you participate.
Attendance at the event is exceedingly limited..."
This email, going out to Jay's own list is pretty impressive. But for Joe to then share it with his own list-- a group of people, many of whom respect Jay Abraham-- is pretty amazing.
This email clearly struck a nerve above the line of "supercredibility" to many people.
If you want to present a message and idea or business, do it above the line of supercredibility.
It's worth it.
It may take some extra time to get those endorsements. But if you take that time, you'll not only learn to pitch your ideas to important people, you'll learn how to position yourself in general so that people take you seriously.
One other thought is the notions of "scarcity" and "authority." These are influence triggers as described by Dr. Robert Cialdini, the world's prominent scholar on the psychology of influence and persuasion.
In the email Jay (and Joe) sent, there was mention of the limited capacity of seats left. This wasn't "false" scarcity as many online marketers use. It was real.
But the scarcity makes it powerful. Using exact numbers.
Jay mentioned that only "50" "non-members" are invited to attend and then said there was "limited space" left. At the top of Joe's email, he mentioned there only be "6 spots" left.
Authority was also used on multiple accounts. Joe Polish is considered an authority to many people, as is Jay. They then used their communications to position the authority of each other. Jay also positioned the authority of the Annual Event itself, as well as the level of speakers and other entrepreneurs that will be in the room.
3. Confidence (Sometimes Borrowed)
When I read Joe's email, I was struck by how confident it was. I've personally known Joe for a few years now. He's a confident guy. But knowing him personally, I've also seen him in his more vulnerable moments.
But what I loved about the email was how confident Joe felt. As the email stated (emphasis mine):
"And, if you ARE already signed up for this year's event - Jay's email will be more proof of the smart investment you've made in yourself..."
Getting the support of important friends and others is essential when you're doing big work. It's okay to borrow the confidence of other people when you're attempting something courageous.
Despite Joe having run this event for over a decade, it still takes courage.
He was able to lean on the confidence of Jay Abraham in this instance, and it connected me further to Joe. It inspired me.
Recently, I had a conversation with Seth Godin. I was asking for a blurb of an upcoming book I've written.
Seth sent me to this link to one of his blogs. The blog post is to authors seeking blurbs or endorsements for their books.
Godin argued that blurbs don't sell books, but that they can build the confidence of the person seeking the blurb. Here's what Seth said:
"While they don't sell books, they do a lot for an author, particularly one who is leaning out of the boat, doing brave work. I remember when Tom Peters took the time to blurb my book Guerrilla Marketing Yourself. It made me stand a little taller."
Whether blurbs sell books or not, they definitely can make an author stand taller.
Getting a big endorsement from someone who matters allows you to lean on their confidence. You'll need that when you're making big leaps.
I loved the confidence I saw in this email from Joe as he built-off the confidence Jay had in him.
Sometimes, you can't read the label from inside the jar. Sometimes, when you're in the heat of your emotions, fears can take over. In those instances, it's great to get support from friends or trusted people who have a higher vantage point of your situation.
"Personal confidence comes from making progress toward goals that are far bigger than your present capabilities."--Dan Sullivan
You can learn a lot from this one email.
You can become more influential.
You can and should, as an entrepreneur and creative, be pitching and attempting stuff beyond what you've ever done before. In so doing, you can and should work to go above the line of "supercredibility."
And can and should borrow the confidence of others as you're going to the next level yourself.