You have a problem. And it’s likely you’re not aware of it.

Here it is: Marketers’ tactics are controlling your life.

And up to this point, you’ve had little come-back. Now you do.

Robert Cialdini, psychologist and author, reveals how marketers apply psychology to persuade and influence you.

In his book, Influence, he describes 6 key areas used by marketers to influence your buying behaviour.

They are: scarcity, consistency & commitment, authority, reciprocity, likability, social proof.

These 6, together, are a marketer’s dream tool-kit.

But what if you could use these same principles to motivate yourself?

Self-Marketing: #6 Marketing Tools That Will Help You Influence, Persuade and Convince Yourself To Finish What You Start.

Most of us, at some level, want to be more:

>> Smart and successful.

>> Financially independent.

>> Free to make choices.

>> Healthier and happier.

>> Attractive and desirable.

>> Loved and liked.

While this is a marketer’s dream shopping list to apply ‘persuasion’— it also dovetails with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. A powerful combo.

Ultimately, it’s the push to self-actualisation — the desire to be the best person you can.

Think of the last goal you set your heart on achieving, or something you desired. Chances are it represents one of the items on the list above.

Here’s an example of how it works:

You decide to get another degree or more training (To become smarter).

To helps you get a new job (be more successful), that pays more (giving you more financial independence).

With more power to delegate and make decisions (free to make choices).

So you can buy better clothes (to appear more attractive as a mate).

Which (may) have you being liked more (introduced more at networking opportunities).

The Subtle Nuances of Smart Marketing

I recently earned a ‘badge’ for being a ‘top writer in creativity’ on — I was chuffed.

I’d earned the equal of a gold star from an influencer. A tilt at recognition.

And so what did I do … I started writing this article.

Medium reinforced my behaviour which led me to making a stronger commitment and writing more consistently.

A perfect example of marketing’s influence. A positive one in this case 🙂

The Limiting Factor: Your Personal Marketing Department is M.I.A.

Here’s the problem.

When you set goals for yourself, projects you want to complete, diets that will make you healthy or savings habits to increase your wealth — you’re relying on your own marketing department to convince you to stay the course.

Problem is that your ‘inner marketer’ doesn’t understand the nuances of subtle marketing strategies.

No Marketing 101 to fall back on.

And even if there is, it’s unlikely you’re using these ‘tactics’ on yourself.

The result?

You’re left to your own devices which usually includes a to-do list, a diary and some intention setting.

These tools of self-influence don’t stack up.

In fact, for most people they’re close to useless time-wasters that add to procrastination and/or giving up — not fixing it.

Here’s What You Could Do Instead:

Become your own marketer.

Apply a marketer’s powerful persuasion tactics so you influence your own decisions.

Start with these 6 steps:

#1. Scarcity.

“The joy is not in experiencing a scarce commodity but in possessing it.”― Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

When a product or service becomes ‘scarce’ the price goes up. Think tickets to a sell-out football game or a Van Gogh painting on auction at Sotheby’s.

When I look at the word ‘scarce’ I notice the sub-words: ‘scare’ and ‘rare’.

Nobody wants to miss out — so you become ‘scared’ and fear losing this ‘rare’ opportunity.

Scarcity is powerful because we live in a want-it-now; so-have-it-now world. Don’t put off what might not be available next week.

>> Try This Marketing Tactic On Yourself:

Find someone you would like as your personal coach.

>> Someone you respect.

>> Someone who has already achieved the goal you want.

> >Someone who is VERY EXPENSIVE.

>> Someone who doesn’t take on clients because they’re booked out solidly.

To let this person down, would be like spitting in the face of … the Pope? Unthinkable. You’d never do that.

Now do this:

a. Get a big photo of this person printed out.

b. Place the photo in a prominent place. In front of your exercise equipment (if exercise if your goal). On the fridge door (if weight management is your goal). On your credit card — might need to be a smaller photo (if saving is a goal).

c. Keep a journal. At the end of each day, write a note to this person saying what you’ve achieved. Thank them for their continued support. Feel real gratitude. Make this ‘feeling’ as big as possible — because emotion keeps you in motion.

d. Continue until you’ve reached your goal. Now write a real letter to your ‘coach’ thanking them for what they’ve done. Include a photocopy of your journal entries.

#2. Consistency And Commitment.

“The desire for consistency is a central motivator of our behaviour.” ― Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Have you ever used a new piece of software with a 14-day trial?

If yes, then you’ll have experienced an ‘on-boarding’ sequence designed to keep you using the product or service during this time.

The more you use the software (consistency) and engage with it, the more likely you’ll purchase after the trial period ends. This consistency is about building a habit that aims to have you experiencing time and money savings. Making you look (and feel) more successful because you’re more productive.

Making a commitment to purchase the software is a natural consequence of your consistency.

>> Try This Marketing Tactic On Yourself:

Imagine you’ve bought the latest home gym equipment because you want to get fit and healthy.

It’s likely that you’ll use if for the first few days as you planned to. Distractions kick in after this, often rendering the new purchase as a waste of money.

Instead of using the equipment at a ‘random’ time (when you feel like it) — set a specific time. Make a commitment.

Then … Pay someone to phone you 5 minutes before your scheduled starting time. (Yes, it’s important to have some skin in the game … that’s why paying them is important.)

This person is to encourage you and tell you how worthwhile what you’re doing is. This is your personal cheer squad.

Plan to do this process in 14-day cycles until the habit is ingrained. And you begin to love the consistency which was a product of your commitment.

This explains the rise of personal trainers. You’ve made a commitment (a financial one to someone who’s going to call you out if you attend randomly — or cancel) so you act consistently with what you value: in this case, health.

#3 Authority. Imagine You Have A ‘Higher Authority’ Who You MUST Report To Daily

“Our best evidence of what people truly feel and believe comes less from their words than from their deeds.” ― Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Most of us have been raised to respect people and institutions with authority. Formative years in schools taught us to ‘obey’ or suffer consequences.

White coats have an instant association with medicine. Automatic authority.

The ‘rich and famous’ hold a ‘social’ authority and are used as pin-ups to influence magazine sales, diet fads and make-up products.

>> Try This Marketing Tactic On Yourself:

Imagine you have your own ‘higher authority’ that instructs you daily. At the end of each day you’re ‘required’ to report your progress.

The kicker with doing this is that you must have a consequence for not reaching your goal.

Say for example, you chose to lose 10 kilos so you can look better in a swimsuit when you go on holidays.

You could write down that your consequence would be not going on the holiday if you didn’t reach the goal.

I can hear you laughing.

Yes. You and I know you wouldn’t miss out on a holiday just because you didn’t meet a goal of losing 10 kilos.

But … What if there was a weigh-in before boarding the flight?

Ah, now it’s a little more real.

#4 Reciprocity: Give To Receive

“The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us.” ― Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Think of free samples you receive — at the supermarket and the make-up counter.

They’re meant to soften your desire to return the favour. Estee Lauder was the first in the cosmetic industry to use this technique to great success. It’s common practice now.

>> Try This Marketing Tactic On Yourself:

Teach someone else what you’ve been learning here: how to become their own personal marketer.

This may sound counter-intuitive.

Yet teaching someone else what you’re wanting to embed in yourself reinforces what you’re doing.

In schools, it’s called ‘peer learning’.

It’s a powerful process requiring you to synthesise what you know and then frame it so you communicate clearly.

This is ‘reciprocity’. Giving freely often means receiving more than you gave initially.

If we each share our gifts, our knowledge (also the articles we read on, then the law of reciprocity kicks in.

You could even share this article now — and begin the reciprocity pattern today 🙂

#5 Likedness

“Good-looking people are aware that other people’s positive evaluations of them are not based on their actual traits and abilities but are often caused by an attractiveness “halo” ― Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

If a patient likes a doctor, the chance of suing over malpractice is reduced.

>> Try This Marketing Tactic On Yourself:

For example: If you don’t save $500 by [insert date] then you MUST give 25% of what you have saved to a cause you DON’T support.

Researchers report most people are motivated more by a negative consequence than a positive one. Sad isn’t it? But true.

The fear of pain is greater than the gain.

Imagine having to donate to … the right-to-smoke-in-restaurants lobby group.

No. Thank you.

#6. Social Proof.

“Observers trying to decide what a man is like look closely at his actions.” ― Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Here’s where social proof comes in. And the power of creating a community around you.

I’m sure you’ve heard that hanging out with people who are more successful than you lifts your game.

Say you workout at a gym with others honing their body who wouldn’t dare harm it with junk food.

If after training, you hang out with friends slobbing it out in front of the TV eating take-away — there’s a direct mis-match in values and beliefs.

Levelling-up means finding people already living and breathing what you need to do to reach what you want.

Listening to them … learning from them … and then doing what they’ve done to achieve is the key.

>> Try This Marketing Tactic On Yourself:

Find a tribe that’s aiming to achieve what you are.

Check their results, make sure it’s not just ‘wanna-be’ talk.

Get into the tribe and connect with the active people in the group.

Read what they read. Listen to what they’re listening to. Follow their ‘success’ routine.

In other words: model what they’re doing.


Self-marketing is about using marketers’ proven psychological tactics on yourself.

And yes, I’m a marketer.

And yes, I’ve massaged Cialdini’s brilliant work in a way that helps me help others reach their goals.

BUT … none of this is possible without the mindset, the attitude and consistency of habits designed to help you thrive.

Thriving has a foundation. It’s built on solid habits. Ones that help you create a purpose driven life.

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