We’re continuing to talk all about the principles of persuasion — coined by Dr. Robert Cialdini way back in 1984. If you missed episodes 70, 71, or 72, you may want to hit pause on this episode, and start with these as they are all components of my seven-part series on persuasion.

When you match up the principles of persuasion with your marketing funnel, you can create a profit engine that attracts clients, students, and customers for years to come so that you get business results without worry.

In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr. Robert Cialdini explains the psychology of why people say “yes” and how to apply these principles in your everyday life to persuade people. Today, we’ll tackle principle four and how to apply it to your marketing funnel because these will make a huge difference in how effective your marketing funnel actually is for your audience and your own results.

As a quick reminder, Cialdini’s persuasion pillars are:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Commitment & Consistency
  3. Social Proof
  4. Liking
  5. Authority
  6. Scarcity
  7. Unity

So, let’s dive into pillar four — liking.

Why do brands selling automobiles, shampoo, and face cream always feature a highly desirable female model with long, flowing hair? Why does Nike hire well-known athletes? Why do companies, like Microsoft, pay BIG BUCKS to have their products prominently featured on TV shows and blockbuster movies?

The answer is the persuasion pillar of LIKING.

Dr. Cialdini explains that we are more likely to say YES to requests made by people, companies, and brands that we like.

That explains why we are that much more likely to purchase something recommended by people close to us and why Facebook tells you when a friend (or ten) likes a page, product, or service.

But here’s the kicker: We don’t need to know that person or company for this principle to work on us. We just have to like what they stand for and feel like they align with how we see ourselves now or how we hope we can be one day.

This principle of liking is very strong, and most of the time, we don’t even realize it’s happening because it can be subtle.

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The Marketing Funnel Show, Marketing funnel, marketing funnels, funnel, funnelsBiggest Show Takeaways:

LIKING FACTOR #1: Physical attractiveness

  • This isn’t about you personally but instead, the package of your business attractiveness. This is what Apple is all about — sleek, modern, beautiful design. I wouldn’t necessarily have put Steve Jobs into the drop-dead gorgeous category, but the PACKAGE he put together with his company’s approach to a very nerdy, tech-heavy category made them stand out as hugely attractive. That’s why even now years after he passed away, Apple continues to have a rabidly obsessed fan base that will shell out thousands and thousands of dollars for the latest Apple product.
  • Think about Jeff Bezos at Amazon. Again, not someone I would put in the movie star category looks-wise, but his vision and the experience he’s created at Amazon is HUGELY attractive to me as a busy consumer. I don’t have to worry about running out of toilet paper anymore because, hello, the HIGHLY attractive (and addictive) auto-ship feature.
  • Cialdini says that physical attractiveness suggests other favorable traits, like honesty, humor, trustworthiness and more.  
  • As you build up your online presence, try to create an attractive, engaging experience for your audience with you and your brand online.

LIKING FACTOR #2: Similarity

  • We LIKE people similar to us in terms of interests, opinions, personality, background, experiences, failures and more. That’s why it’s so important to warm your audience up.
  • The “secret” to good marketing is this idea of warming your audience up by sharing stories of a time where you faced failure like what your audience faces.
  • There is something incredibly powerful about finding a person, a leader, a company, or a brand that acts like a friend by connecting and creating a bond with you.
  • One aspect of making your customers think of you like a friend is relatability and similarity. If your customers feel that you can relate to them and understand the problems they are facing, they can begin to think of you like that trusted friend. The bottom line here is that we like people similar to us.
  • Ask yourself: How can you create a place where YOUR community feels they belong?


LIKING FACTOR #3: Compliments

  • Wendy’s is the BOMB at this. If you’ve never seen their Twitter game, it is on FIRE! Just google “wendys twitter,” and you’ll see some pretty epic Twitter battles. They are HILARIOUS.
  • They’re a form of compliments. People tweet at Wendy’s simply to get a smackdown because they want a laugh and validation…and that’s a compliment.
  • Have you ever shared or responded to a brand on social media then gotten a response? How does THAT make you feel?
  • There have been so many times that I’ve gotten comments back from people online that are thrilling, and it feels not only great but also validating. Whenever someone shares my podcast or me online and tags me so I see it, I always jump in and thank them. It’s so incredibly thoughtful and fantastic to have someone go out of their way to share me.
  • To them, you’re someone “famous,” so when you respond, you’ll make them feel like they’ve rubbed shoulders with someone famous, and that’s a compliment.
  • All of us love to receive praise and tend to like those who give it. Remember: When your audience takes the time to interact with you online, take a minute to recognize them. It goes a LONG way towards establishing more intimate conversations and relationships with your customers.
  • Ask yourself: How are you interacting with your audience when they give YOU a shoutout? When they engage with your content online?


LIKING FACTOR #4: Contact and Cooperation

  • Sometimes we like companies and people not because of who they are or what they look like but because of what they stand for. We respect and like them because they’ve got goals and values that match our own.
  • Think TOMs shoes. Think Charity: Water. Think Pencils of Promise. Think Patagonia. Think Aveda. Think Apple. Think No Child Hungry.
  • These are ALL organizations who stand FIRMLY for their values and beliefs. You know if you’re in their corner or not. If you are, you’ll probably go out of your way to engage with their cause and/or company. If they don’t stand for your values, you probably will avoid them at all costs.
  • We feel a sense of commonality when working with others to fulfill a common goal.
  • Ask yourself: Do YOU have a strong set of ideals that you support and stand for? If so, be sure to let your audience know so that they can firmly be in your camp… or not.

LIKING FACTOR #5: Conditioning and Association

  • Remember those old Mac vs. PC commercials where the Mac guy was a young guy in a hoodie who was cool and approachable? Meanwhile, the PC guy was overweight, balding, totally socially awkward wearing a tight white shirt with a pocket protector and big, ugly glasses.
  • That was conditioning and association in action. Buy a Mac, and you’re young, hip, and cool. Buy a PC, and you’re old, overweight, nerdy, and out of touch.
  • You don’t have to be quite that blatant about YOUR conditioning and association, but for your brand to be remembered, it has to evolve from being a maker of products/programs/services into a creator and enforcer of an ideal.
  • Just like how Apple represents the inner geek and rebel in all of us, your brand must be associated with an ideal/value that your customers can relate to and support.

Bottom Line

  • We are much more likely to comply with requests made by people we LIKE. We went through five ways you can make your brand more likable. Which one or ones will you use so that people find you and your business more compelling?  
  • Want to know which marketing funnel is right for you and your business? Take this free and easy quiz, and in less than 5 minutes you’ll know EXACTLY which funnel is right for you.

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