The 6 Principles of Influence: How To Master Persuasion

Influence may seem out of reach, but that’s not the case. Learn about the 6 principles of influence that will help you persuade others and get what you want.

“I think the power of persuasion would be the greatest super power of all time.”

Jenny Cullen

Persuasion as a superpower is very much within reach. In this post, we’ll explore these six principles more closely and how you can use them. And if you want to learn more, be sure to check out the book.

1. Reciprocity

One of the most basic principles of influence is to simply give that which you want to receive. In other words, doing right by others is a good way to get others to do the same for you. This idea of reciprocity is a powerful one.

2. Consistency

The principle of consistency is based on the power of active, public, and voluntary commitments, which results in people actually sticking to their word. Let’s walk through these requirements in a little more detail. The first part is an active commitment. By active, Cialdini means something that is written or spoken to other’s. Having people say they will do something is a start, but when they actively commit to it they’re much more likely to follow through.

3. Social Proof

People rely on social cues from others on how to think, feel, and act in many situations. And not just any people, but peers. People they believe are similar to them. This is a key point and what is called social proof.

4. Liking

People like those who like them or who they perceive as friends. It’s a simple, yet powerful idea. The principle of liking can be used in a few different ways.

5. Authority

When you are perceived as an expert in an area, other’s will be more likely to defer to you. Why? Often because experts are able to offer a shortcut to good decisions that would otherwise take a long time to devise themselves. The idea then is to establish that credibility of authority and expertise.

6. Scarcity

People value what is scarce. It’s just basic supply and demand. As things become more scarce, they becoming more valuable to others. There are a few ways that you can use the principle of scarcity to persuade others. One is simply to make offers limited-time, limited-supply, or one-time, which immediately creates a sense of scarcity.

“Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.”


Cialdini is clear to say in his own writing, these principles of influence should be used from a place of good, with your influence being authentic, genuine, and leading others to the best decisions, not only for themselves, but everyone else.



Writer that designs — or is it the other way around? Digital executive, author, creator of t-shirts, and lover of books.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Aly Juma

Writer that designs — or is it the other way around? Digital executive, author, creator of t-shirts, and lover of books.