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Unleash Your Money-Making Mojo!

image of wendy wanging the wonga

You could be earning $5,000, $10,000, or even $15,000 per month by this time next year!

Learn how to transform your life with freelance writing, even with no education and zero experience.

The 6 Principles of Persuasion — Elite Copywriting Codes From Cialdini

by | Writing | 0 comments

Blonde woman on pink background using the principles of persuasion

The 6 Principles of Persuasion are the holy grail of marketing wisdom. Way back in the 80s, 1984 to be precise, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini wrote his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, laying out these guidelines. It’s now widely considered a seminal book on marketing and one of the best copywriting books out there. I’ve used these techniques, my students use these techniques, and guess what? So should you! 

Robert Cialdini is like the Yoda of persuasion — he spent decades unravelling the mysteries of human behaviour and distilling his findings into six powerful principles that form the backbone of effective persuasion. These principles aren’t just some flimsy gimmicks — they’re grounded in solid psychological research and have been proven time and time again to influence decisions ethically and impactfully.

The principles outline the secrets behind crafting copy that captivates your audience and compels them to take action, all while keeping your ethical compass pointing due north. Meaning? No underhand strategies. You’ll learn to promote and sell in a positive, value-driven way rather than being sleazy or manipulative. 

Mastering Cialdini’s principles is NOT about manipulating people into doing your bidding. It’s about understanding the underlying drivers of human behaviour and using that knowledge to create genuine connections with your audience. No sly sales techniques here! 

Whether crafting sales copy, writing email campaigns, or penning killer social media posts, these principles will be your secret sauce for cutting through the noise and getting straight to the heart of what makes your readers tick.

If you’re ready to level up your copywriting game, join me as we dissect each of Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion, unpack their real-world applications, and arm you with the tools you need to become a persuasion powerhouse. 

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What are the 6 Principles of Persuasion?

I adore copywriting. Why? The money. Ha! No, I mean, that’s certainly a fabulous bonus. But I’m fascinated by human behaviour and what drives us to do all the weird and wonderful stuff we do. There’s something downright mesmerising about unravelling the psychology behind why people whip out their wallets and make that purchase or engage with a brand. It’s like peeking behind the curtain and discovering the magic formula that makes marketing tick. And when you understand the art of influence, it can take your marketing game from zero to hero in no time.

Enter the one and only Robert Cialdini, the OG “godfather of influence.” He dedicated his entire career to dissecting the science of persuasion, especially in the wild world of marketing and sales. After years of hardcore research, he blessed us with his wisdom, breaking it down into six juicy Principles of Persuasion that form the backbone of effective persuasion.

What are these magical Principles of Persuasion, you ask? Here’s the grand reveal:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Commitment and consistency
  3. Social proof
  4. Authority
  5. Liking
  6. Scarcity

These pillars form the ultimate dream team. They’ve been tried, tested, and proven to be the real deal.

As a copywriter, you’re a Jedi of conversion tactics, using your powers to sprinkle persuasive magic into every word you write. But the principles are like Swiss army knives —they’re handy in all aspects of life.

So, grab your notebooks because we’re about to explore each in detail.

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1. Reciprocity

Ever heard the phrase, “Give with a leading hand?” That’s reciprocity in action — a.k.a. the golden rule of give and take. It’s all about planting the seeds of generosity and watching them bloom into action.

It works by giving someone a little somethin’-somethin”, and suddenly, they’re itching to return the favour. It’s the magic of human nature.

So, how does this play out in marketing? Well, imagine you’re scrolling through your feed, minding your own business, when suddenly, you stumble upon a juicy piece of content that’s just too good to resist. Maybe it’s a killer blog post, an epic ebook, or a cute infographic — all for free! Now, tell me you wouldn’t feel a teensy bit inclined to show some love to the brand behind that goodness.

That’s the power of reciprocity! And let me tell you, it’s the winning formula behind some of the most kickass content marketing strategies out there. Look at some of the big names  — Neil Patel, Canva, Grammarly. They all serve up high-value info and tools for free, which builds trust and credibility with their audience. And when it comes time to whip out that credit card? You bet your bottom dollar their fans are ready to reciprocate the love.

You can use the power of reciprocity to attract clients. I’ve won clients over by offering free social media posts when sending them an LOI. They’re impressed at your generosity; it shows you’re genuinely interested in them as the post is personalised for their brand, and it’s a handy dandy sample of your writing prowess. Plus, it’s short ‘n’ sweet and should only take 5 minutes. Power move or what? It’s like karma but with better ROI.

2. Commitment and consistency

Commitment and consistency are the glue that holds your goals together. They’re the building blocks of getting stuff done. You know when you promise yourself or someone else you’ll do something, and suddenly, you’re on a mission to make it happen? That’s commitment in action!

Now, in marketing, commitment is your trusty sidekick. Whether sticking to your word with regular emails or blog posts or generally delivering on your promises, consistency builds trust with your audience. And once they’re on board, they’ll likely stick around for the long haul.

You can leverage this through the “low-ticket” approach. You offer a little teaser of what you’re offering at a super affordable price. They say yes. They buy from you. They’ve committed to you as a seller and are more likely to buy in the future. Sure, you might not be rolling in cash immediately, but once your clients get a taste, they’re hooked and ready for more.

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3. Social proof

Humans are sheep. Sheeple. Not in a bad way, but we tend to go with the crowd. Have you ever been about to hit that “buy now” button but then checked out what other people said about the product and changed your mind based on their opinion? Sound familiar? Yep, that’s the power of social proof. It’s that little nudge we all need to confirm we’re making the right choice.

Social proof is invaluable in marketing. Whether it’s glowing testimonials, impressive case studies, or a sea of five-star reviews, showing off the love from real people adds significant credibility to a brand.

That’s why you should always ask your happy clients to spill the beans about working with you and the remarkable results they’ve seen. It shows you’re a dream to collaborate with and gives future clients that extra push to hit you up for their next project.

And hey, don’t be shy about flaunting those testimonials! Whether you’re showcasing them on your website or using them to handle objections in your sales pitch, let your happy clients do the talking for you.

4. Authority

Authority means being the big cheese in your field. When you’ve got authority, people listen. It’s a VIP pass that gets you straight to the front of the line.

Now, in marketing, authority is a golden ticket. Whether dropping knowledge bombs in your niche through thought leadership content, snagging prestigious awards, or having a killer track record, establishing yourself as an authority figure makes you the go-to guru for your audience.

So, how do you flex your authority muscles in your copywriting biz? Simple. Show off your expertise! Whether it’s dropping stats about the number of clients you’ve helped, sharing their success stories, or flaunting fancy credentials, let your audience know you’re the real deal. 

But what if you haven’t had many clients? When chatting with clients, you can still own your space like a boss by demonstrating a deep understanding of copywriting and marketing strategies. Study, learn the lingo, and show people you’re the solution to their problems!

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5. Liking

Everyone likes to like and be liked! And if you’ve ever heard of the golden trio — know, like, trust — you’re already halfway to copywriting success.

Think about it like this: First, your audience needs to know who you are. Then, they’ve gotta like what you’re all about. And finally, they need to trust that you’re the real deal.

People want to work with people they genuinely like. Think about your email inbox. You see an email from some people, and your stomach sinks, and you think, “Oh f*ck! What now,” and you dread opening it. Then there’s the other type. You see your notifications and think, “Yeah, it’s them. Wonder what’s going on?” The energy is entirely different. 

So, how do you apply this likability factor to your copywriting gigs? The “like” factor sets you apart from the sea of other writers out there. So be likeable! Be the kind of copywriter that clients rave about. Deliver killer results on time, make the process enjoyable, go out of your way to help people, and watch as those happy clients keep coming back for more.

You can also let your killer personality shine through in your emails, sprinkle relatable anecdotes throughout your blog posts, and show off your genuine passion for what you do. Be likeable, be awesome, and watch clients fall in love with your work. 

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6. Scarcity

Who doesn’t love a little FOMO? Scarcity leverages the fear of missing out. Think limited-edition drops or even the last piece of your fave choccy cake at the cafe. You might not want the thing that much, but it’s suddenly much more crucial when there’s the chance of missing out. 

Scarcity is all about creating urgency and making your audience feel like they’ve gotta act fast before it’s too late. It’s your not-so-secret weapon. Whether it’s a flash sale, a limited-time offer, or a “while supplies last” deal, scarcity taps into that primal fear of missing out and gets people off the fence and into action mode.

Take Black Friday sales, for example. They’re the holy grail of scarcity marketing, with brands offering jaw-dropping discounts for a limited time only. And you better believe those deals fly off the shelves faster than you can say “sold out.”

You can also use scarcity in your copywriting game by creating a sense of urgency. Whether it’s a countdown timer on your sales page, a limited number of spots for your blog writing packages, or a one-time-only discount code, make sure your audience knows that if they snooze, they lose.

Got a client on the fence about working with you? Let them know your schedule is filling up, and if they want their dates, they’d better get a move on. Otherwise, they could lose out. 

Transform your work with the Principals of Persuasion

That’s the Principles of Persuasion decoded, dissected, and ready for action. From reciprocity to scarcity and commitment to authority, these six pillars are the cornerstone of effective persuasion and can help you write copy and elevate your career. 

Whether you’re crafting killer sales copy, writing irresistible email campaigns, or slaying it on social media, these principles are your roadmap to success.

Have you used the Principals of Persuasion? How? Let me know in the comments!



Zia Sherrell

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