One of the first and best-selling self-help books of all time was published by Dale Carnegie in 1936. You’ve probably heard of it: How to Win Friends and Influence People. To date it has sold more than 15 million copies around the world. If you haven’t read it, make a point to do so soon. The lessons found within can be a great boon to not only your podcasting career, but your life.
But today we’re going to veer away from the exact teachings of Mr. Carnegie and talk about how to influence people through podcasting. Keep in mind that though the medium has changed, the subconscious motivators of humans remain the same. Before we go any further, let’s get one thing crystal clear. You will never be able to control people, but you will be able to let people control themselves in ways that benefit you. Telling people straight out what they should do hardly is pointless. They won’t listen. Directives fly in the face of human nature. It creates resentment and insures they will NEVER do as you request. The trick is to get people to do what they already want to do, all the while making sure their wants line up with your goals.
Does all this terribly fascist? We assure you, it’s not. These types of influencing strategies are exerted upon you every day by marketers and advertisers. Sure, you have every chance to resist (heh heh – just keep thinking that).
There are essentially two ways to get people to do what you want as they listen to your podcast. The first is behavior modification, which allows you to change a person’s undesirable behavior through the use of positive reinforcement. Effective but not necessarily applicable to podcasters who want people to continue to download shows and buy products.
The second way to influence people is called reality modification. The secret to using this strategy is to learn how to present requests so that the listening audience has little choice but to go along with it, all the while thinking they had the idea themselves. To understand reality modification, we need to know the three main goals people subconsciously seek on a continuous basis: symbolic rewards, material gains, security. Let’s take a quick look at each in turn. Don’t you even dare bail out on this lesson now. This stuff can make you more money than the fanciest business degree out there.
1. Symbolic Rewards – This one is easy to understand. Think of symbolic rewards as praise and recognition. Compliments are a strong motivator, and everyone wants to feel special and important.
2. Material Rewards – In this capitalist society of ours, people are judged (for better or worse) by how much “stuff” they have. Material rewards matter and the prospect of receiving them is also a strong motivator.
3. Security – We need look no further than Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to see that security is one of the basic needs in our life. We all crave stability of some sort, in our jobs, friends, family.
All this discussion might seem pretty vague so far. Maybe it’s too esoteric for your tastes. Never fear, here we go with a few tips about how to REALLY influence people through podcasting.
Know Your Goal
Hazy objectives guarantee hazy results. Know what you want to achieve in terms of behavior modification going in. With a clear idea in your head, it becomes easier to achieve an end, such as convincing a percentage of the audience that they can’t live without your brand new ebook on cooking snails, for $9.99.
There will be setbacks along your journey to becoming an influential podcaster. Accept this reality and don’t let it slow you down. Let rejection and negative reaction roll off your back like rain drops. Learn from screw-ups, improve yourself, and keep going. If it’s worth doing once, it’s worth doing again and again until you perfect it.
Pay Attention to Your Audience
The dirty little secret of marketing is that people will tell you exactly what they want. Even better, they’ll let you know what types of product they will pay good money for. The trick for you is to learn how to pay attention to what they want, then give it to them
We’ll leave this admittedly brief lesson on how to become a superb influencer with this idea. The best way to control others is through listening. People will listen to you if you listen to them. It’s this simple. Bad listeners leave the impression they are not interested in people. On the flip side, people will like you if you listen to them. Try it. You might be surprised.
The Speaking of Wealth Team
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