When you want people to read your blog or buy your products, you’ve got to convince them to do it.
And despite all the rage about the “caveman diets,” you can’t apply that here, and beat your customers with a club.
Instead, you’ve got to incentivize them. You’ve got to dangle a carrot, and let them chase it.
But what type of carrot should you dangle? Riches? Fame? World Peace?
Well, that depends…
Let’s Take a Step Back…
In the mega best-seller “Freakonomics,” Levitt and Dubner said “there are three basic flavors of incentive: economic, social, and moral. Very often a single incentive scheme will include all three varieties.”
And they’re right.
In the online world, there are three incentives, and the trick to convincing people to do anything requires a mix of all three.
It’s not about which carrot you should dangle… it’s about how to dangle three carrots that send people in the same direction.
What Are Economic Incentives?
This one is easy…
It’s all about the money!
When people, especially in the business niche, decide whether they should buy products or read content, they often think “how will this help me generate revenue?”
And it’s up to you to connect those dots.
You can’t assume—or worse, Hope—they know how your product will help them generate revenue. You’ve got to tell them in clear terms.
Heck, look at how I started this blog post:
“When you want people to buy your products…”
And now, let’s move to the next incentive.
What Are Social Incentives?
Deep down, no matter who you are, you’ve got the innate desire to belong.
It’s firmly rooted in our DNA, and we likely evolved that way as a survival tactic. After all, human beings in groups were more powerful than human beings alone in the wilderness.
This same thing applies with products.
Without sounding cliche, just think about the famous Apple commercial where they make PC look nerdy, and Apple look cool. (You know, the whole “I’m a PC commercial…).
And Finally… The Elusive Moral Incentive
I’m of two minds when it comes to moral incentives for one reason:
Most people get it wrong.
Here’s the deal…
You might want people to support a great cause, but it’s not that simple.
Your morals are not your customer’s morals.
But keeping that in mind, morals, doing the right thing, and to a greater extent, justice, can kick people into gear to read your content and buy your products.
When you trigger it right, that is.
Now Let’s Talk About Why This Matters…
When you write content and sell products, you should aim to trigger each of these three incentives.
Not every piece of content needs to do it, but you should strive for it.
And what happens?
People will buy your products, share your content, and of course, read it to begin with!
How can you trigger these incentives?
There’s no hard and fast formula, unfortunately.
You just need to know that they exist… and when you’re getting ready to prepare content or a sales pitch… think about each incentive and how it applies to you.