The Power of Indirect Influence – by Judith Tingley

Explores seven techniques you can use to influence people (co-workers, customers, friends, clients, etc.) without their being aware.  The techniques were written in the context of in-person relationships, but they can easily be applied to online, particularly dealing one on one with online followers, subscribers, and customers.

Indirect Technique 1: Modeling/matching

Behave in ways that you want people to match.  For example, if you want people to follow you on social media, follow them first. A good number of them will reciprocate.

You can also do this in reverse: you can match the behavior of people in order to strengthen your relationship with him.  For example, if people like your post, consider liking their post back.

Indirect Technique 2: Acting in accord

Give others what they want and need from you, as long as you’re not lying or going against your values. In other words, give in as much as you can without sacrificing your values.

For example, if a commenter on your blog posts aggressively attacks your blog post, instead of having a full-out argument with her, find something in her comment that you can agree with.

This will put a damper on her aggression and get her more open to listening to you.

Indirect Technique 3: Reframing

Alter the context in which a person understands a situation.

Indirect Technique 4: Paradox

Give an unexpected response to your target’s resistance. In your blog posts and comments, try providing contradictory advice that contrasts with conventional wisdom.   When conventional wisdom says, “Do it like this!” you ask, “What if we tried it differently?”

Some people may argue with you, but others will definitely be intrigued.

Indirect Technique 5: Playing dumb

Act like you don’t know the solution to a certain problem or question.  Get others to give you advice or answers.

This can be very useful online.  Online, everyone is trying to look like the expert.  What if you switched things around every once in awhile and asked your followers for help?

For example, let’s say you’re an author and you are trying to pick a new title for your book. Instead of trying to create a clever title, you could create a bunch of different titles and ask your friends or followers online to see if they can help you pick a title.

You might end up getting more interest from them in your work.

Indirect Technique 6: Storytelling/metaphor

Use an anecdote or analogy that helps relate what you want to get across. Is there a story in your own life that relates to the concept you want to talk about in your blog post? Is there an analogy or metaphor that gets your point across without you having to explain it?

Indirect Technique 7: Humor

Similar to Indirect Technique 6, but with one major difference.  Instead of pointing out a special instance, as you would with a story, with humor, the idea is to point out the irony in common or recurring situations.

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