The first time I was riveted in my seat in college was during my abnormal psychology class.
I never missed class, no matter how hungover I was (sorry mom!) or how little sleep I’d gotten even though it was an early morning class.
I filled an entire notebook from that class. Besides my introduction to psychology course, it was basically my introduction to psychology.
I mean, we all know, intro to psych is a gimme class where you don’t learn much.
During abnormal psych, I realized there was a subject I couldn’t get enough of. I’m kinda embarrassed to admit that I went to the campus bookstore and bought an advanced psych textbook that wasn’t for any classes I was taking, because I wanted more and didn’t know how else to get it. (There was no Amazon back then…)
Nowadays, I still love psychology, but I love learning about it in context to business–not psychopaths.
For this blog post, I’ve compiled 10 psychology techniques that you’re probably not using but should.
Since you’re an entrepreneur who enjoys growing and wants to stay on top of the best tools, I knew you’d like this one! (P.S. Once you read the first technique, come back to the previous sentence to see what I’ve done. P.P.S. I still mean it! You da best!)
How did you feel the last time someone told you they loved your tomato red flats or new haircut or DIY manicure? Pleased? Giddy? Happy? Angry? Frustrated?
Most people feel the first three when they receive a compliment.
When you flatter your readers in a sincere way (which means not exaggerating), they tend to like you more and keep reading or paying attention to your video.
You might be wondering how you can compliment your followers in a genuine way.
First, it’s all about really knowing them.
If you know that your followers care about their style, you could say something like, “As someone who puts time into looking her best each day, I know you’ll appreciate…”
If you know that your readers are dog lovers, you could say something like, “You go above and beyond for your four-legged friends.”
If you know that your YouTube subscribers all love knitting, you could say something like, “As someone who gets the importance of picking the exact right yarn for a project, you’ll understand…”
When using flattery, remember that it shouldn’t be over the top. It should make sense for your audience. And, the best place to use it is at the beginning of your blog post, email or video. It’s more likely that your reader or watcher will start to feel those “liking” feelings and keep reading or watching.
Always give a reason why.
In an experiment conducted by Harvard psychologist, Ellen Langer, it was shown that people like to be given a reason why.
In the experiment, people were waiting in line at a copy machine. In the first round, an experimenter asked if she could go ahead of them saying, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”
Ninety-four percent said yes.
The experiment was repeated but the experimenter said, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” Only sixty percent agreed.
They repeated it one more time with the experimenter saying, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make some copies?”
Ninety-three percent said yes!
Even though there was no significant reason, they still said yes.
What does this mean for you? It means that whenever you ask your readers, followers or subscribers to do something, you need to give them a reason to do it now.
For instance, you might say, “You need to watch this video detailing how to refresh your morning routine now because it’ll increase your daily happiness immediately.” Or, you might say, “Check out my new line of prints now because they are limited edition and are already running low.”
Consider a reason why people shouldn’t wait and share it with them.
Does anyone else have a love-hate relationship with cliffhangers?
They grab my attention, but I kinda wanna strangle some people when they use them. When I read an entire book and get to the end and it’s a big cliffhanger, I’m like, “Man…why?!?!?”
Here’s the deal: cliffhangers work. They get you to watch the news to see if B12 actually drops prevent cancer. They get you to read the next book in the series. They get you to click to the next article.
And, if you use them well, you can get away with it without driving your followers crazy.
For instance, if you upload a YouTube video with your seven favorite essential oils and how you use each of them, you could send an email describing one of the oils and how you use it and then use a cliffhanger to get your subscribers to click the link to watch your video to find out about the other six.
You might write something like, “The six other essential oils that make me happy and healthier and how I use them are detailed in my new YouTube video. Watch it here.”
You can also use cliffhangers by breaking up a big topic into multiple blog posts or videos and teasing them at the end of each. Once they’re all posted, go back and link to them.
Research studies have proven that people who’ve recently been surprised with little things such as a free food sample at a grocery store or finding some spare change rate their happiness higher than others.
This means that if you can associate your brand with small surprises, then you can associate your brand with spikes of happiness for your customers.
You can get really creative with this, but here are some ideas: 1) Include a free gift in your packages. 2) Hand out free samples at your next craft show. 3) Give your customers free two-day or overnight shipping upgrades but don’t tell them until after they’ve paid! 4) Surprise your email subscribers with free, valuable content you know they’ll love. 5) Do something extra surprising in the middle of your next Facebook Live such as taking off your pants and doing a shot of Vodka…or maybe something less illegal than getting naked on FB like running a quick contest for those watching or smashing a whipped cream pie in your face if viewers can answer five questions correctly.
Surprised I recommended getting pantless? I’ve gotta a little winky face emoji in me!
When you use the word “secret” in a headline or title (for a blog post, email newsletter, FB Live, YouTube video, etc) or imply you’re going to reveal secrets, people can’t help but click.
It implies scarcity and we want to be in on the secret. We also want to be a part of the in-crowd that knows the information.
“We all love being entrusted with a secret (some of us even keep them). And having been entrusted with it we feel more powerful than we did before. Power is one of those things most people crave, even if they don’t, won’t or can’t admit it. Which makes it a very useful tool for influencing their behaviour.” -Persuasive Copywriting, Andy Maslen
Here’s the caveat: you can’t do this with every headline and title. Use it sparingly–for when it really makes sense–and it’ll pay off big!
6. The Zeigarnik Effect
“The Zeigarnik effect refers to the state of mental tension and unbalance caused by uncompleted tasks.” -Web Copy that Sells, Maria Veloso
For instance, when someone clicks on your website and she sees multiple things that interest her and she wants to click on multiple buttons/pages, she won’t be able to concentrate on anything until she’s clicked on everything. That means she probably won’t concentrate on anything on your website.
The point is you need to declutter your website. All those cute buttons and extras NEED. TO. GO. They only help you to lose out on customers.
Links to other websites…ads…unrelated pages? NEED. TO. GO. You want people to stay on your site.
And, you need to use the linear path method on every sales page. That means there is nowhere else to go on your sales page. The only option is to stay and read and keep reading and click the buy buttons.
7. Small Favors First
According to Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Noah J Goldstein, Steve J. Martin and Robert B. Cialdini, Benjamin Franklin wanted to win over someone who bothered him and opposed his politics. Franklin wrote this person a note asking him to borrow a book that he knew the person had in his library and the person sent him the book.
Franklin kept the book for a week and sent it back. The next time Franklin saw this person, he spoke to him in a friendly manner which he’d never done before. This person served Franklin on multiple occasions, they worked together and became friends.
The takeaway that has been repeated through research studies is that if you want to make nice with someone or get someone to do you a large favor, you should ask for a small favor first.
Once someone has done a small favor for you, they tend to like you a lot more just because they did you a favor.
Isn’t that interesting?
How can you take this brilliant tactic from Benjamin Franklin and apply it to your business?
Have you ever revealed a lie in your industry? Have you ever used the word “lie” in one of your headlines?
If not, you’re missing out on a huge psychological technique.
We hate being lied to. It links to one of our six primary emotions–anger.
If you want to get more eyes on your content, think about a topic that fits into this category.
For instance, let’s say (just for the sake of an example) that you’re a business consultant and you disagree with the advice that creative entrepreneurs should use live video to promote their businesses. In fact, you think it could hurt their businesses if they’re not careful. You could write a blog post titled, “The Lie All the Businesses Gurus Are Telling That Could Tank Your Creative Business.” That blog post would get a bunch of clicks.
Here’s the caveat: You have to be able to back it up! You need to believe whatever you’re writing or talking about or else the extra eyeballs won’t do anything for you.
Reframing is a technique where you take something that your prospect might see as a disadvantage and make it desirable. Look for the hidden elements that make it a plus.
For example, let’s say that you’re not including any live calls in your next course and you know that potential customers are going to ask you about it because they love having live calls in your courses.
In your copy and when answering questions about live calls, you can reframe it as a good thing by saying, “I’ve decided not to include any live calls for this course. That means you won’t have to make yourself available according to my schedule or miss part of the course because you’re not available or in a different part of the world. Instead, I’ll be answering questions in the Facebook group as they come in. You’ll still get your questions answered and you’ll get them answered on your time!”
Almost anything has some pluses and reframing is about focusing on the positive which is important in sales.
10. Emotion over Logic
The best psychological tool that you should always use is digging deep into your potential customers’ emotions.
If nothing else from this blog post sticks, you want to make their hearts beat faster.
Three ways you can do this immediately: talk about their problems and pain points, talk about what it will feel like when their pain point is eliminated, have them imagine using your product or service.
Emotion wins the sale every time.
Which one of these ten psychological techniques can you use right away?
Can you add the word “secret” or “lies” to your next headline? Can you put more emotion into your sales page that isn’t currently converting very well? Can you use flattery in the beginning of your next email to your list? Can you add an element of surprise to your brand?
Decide which one you’re going to use and let us know in the comments! You’ll be more likely to REMEMBER and to do it if you make a decision and share it with others.