There is a well-documented psychological phenomenon called the Bandwagon Effect. Many of you know what I’m talking about, but for those who don’t, this is when people do things because other people do them.
For example, have you ever wondered why many A-List bloggers show their feedcounter? It isn’t for bragging rights, it’s because they want people to feel like they’re missing out if they are not subscribing. They want people to think, “10,000 other people are subscribing, so I should too.”
This same phenomenon can have an opposite effect. When you show your Feedcounter and it’s quite small — less than 5,000 — people may think, “nobody else is listening, so why should I?”
In the business world, the effects of this phenomenon can be the difference between success and failure. So, in the remaining part of this article, I will show you how you can make people jump on your bandwagon.
Influence People’s Snap Decisions
And, they’re pretty good at it, too. They are so good at it that they take whatever information that is readily available — like a feedcounter — and use it to make their decisions. So, here are three other ways you can present information that will make people jump on your bandwagon:
- Use Case Studies – You don’t have to be big to have people “jump on your bandwagon.” You just need a few great examples. Copywriters use case studies religiously in their marketing because they work. Take a look at Brian Clark’s latest sales letter where he shows how Sonia Simone used Mass Control to build her online business. People will want to jump on the Sonia Simone bandwagon because it worked for her.
- Borrow Influence - When I launched Prevential, I wrote several articles about Gary Vaynerchuk. I love what he does with business and wine, but when I wrote about him, I knew I would be borrowing his influence to attract blog readers. Both attempts were successful — he tweeted both articles — because I added my own unique spin to his ideas. People jumped on the Gary Vaynerchuk bandwagon and subscribed to Prevential.
- Give the Secret – When in doubt, offer the secret. Have you ever wondered why so many cosmetics have “magic ingredients?” It’s because they sell — even if they aren’t magic. People want these secret “magic ingredients” because they’re easy and all you have to do is tell them you have it and show them why it’s magic.
Use People’s Existing Relationships
Most people have friends and they often listen to them. This is one of the reasons why Social Media marketing is one of the hottest new trends on the internet. So, here are three ways you can use people’s existing relationships to make them jump on your bandwagon:
- Ask Them - Have you noticed how many websites ask their users to refer the service to other friends? They do it because it’s cheap and it works. The iPhone did it with “sent from the iPhone” and the Flip Mino did it with “share the credit.” So, if you want people to jump on your bandwagon, you should just ask them to. The worst they say is no and you move on.
- Make it Exclusive - When Facebook launched, they limited their registrants to specific colleges. Since most people have friends in several different colleges, this meant that most people were sure to know someone who had Facebook. This meant that the people who had it told their friends who didn’t have it and they usually said, “this is a better MySpace.” People jumped on the Facebook bandwagon because their other friends from other schools did.
- Use Invite-Only Marketing - Now think about how Google launched Gmail. They called it beta and gave each member a few invites. SInce these invites were limited, they were worth something. People sold invites on eBay, people raffled them off in contests, and more importantly, people told their friends about these invites. Overall, people jumped on the Google bandwagon because they wanted to be a part of the invite-only community.
Stop People’s Procrastination With Urgency
So you created a bandwagon that people want to join, but they still aren’t signing up. It is because people procrastinate and if you want them to jump on your bandwagon today instead of tomorrow, you need to create a sense of urgency. You need to show them that this bandwagon won’t be around forever and here is how you do it:
- Impose a Time Limit - Last week I offered a free consulting session to people who contacted me before Feb. 11th. Most requests came in within the first few hours because people didn’t want to miss the bandwagon. However, this just doesn’t apply to me and Prevential. Other marketers use time limits on infomercials or during “holiday sales.” They use them because it works. It fights through people’s procrastination and makes them jump on your bandwagon immediately instead of later.
- Limit Members - Now you know how this works. When you limit members, people want to ensure that they are part of the limited few who are allowed to join. When Daniel Scocco launched Online Profits, he placed a cap on the amount of people who could join. Brian Clark did the same thing with Teaching Sells. Both of these courses sold out almost immediately because people didn’t want to miss the bandwagon.
So, are you letting the bandwagon effect hurt or help your business? Talk about it in the comments.