Over the last couple of weeks, we've been exploring authority and ways you can create it out of thin air.
Of course in Australia we often have a dubious relationship with authority – after all we're a bunch of criminals right? – Australia was founded as a prison colony, so our grip on respect for authority is sometimes tenuous at best.
That's kind of an “in-joke” of course. The truth is that we, like everyone else, have some deference to authority… It's part of our social makeup.
It's kind of like dogs, or gorillas or many other pack or clan type animals…
…We respond to authority, perhaps struggle to make our way up the pecking order, and pay attention to what the top-dog says and generally do what we're instructed to do.
Our government, our laws, even our religions and beliefs are created around the idea of authority.
No matter how rebellious we are, we all have some deference to some authority or other.
Part of that deference also shows up many times as attraction.
What do I mean by this?
Well, if you go to a seminar, and there is a break for lunch, you can almost guarantee that the speaker will be inundated by people during that break.
Why is that?
—>Those people are there to learn whatever the speaker is teaching and may want to ask questions.
—>They may want to thank the speaker or provide feedback
—>They may want to hear more detail that the speaker might be sharing with just a handful of people – the desire to be in the inner circle is a powerful force.
—>They may just want to bask in the reflected glory of the speakers authority.
It's easy to make light of this and to secretly say to yourself:
“Yeah, I've seen people do that, but that's not me… I don't do that.”
But on some level we all either do it or at least have a reaction to authority that goes beyond the information being provided.
With that kind of deference happening in people’s minds, it's no wonder that when an authority says “Buy my sh!t”, people whip out their credit cards and buy. Yet, when some guy you've never heard of comes up to you in the street and says “Buy my sh!t” your credit card stays firmly in your pocket.
This is the reason companies like Coke and Nike pay millions of dollars to have sports people or music stars endorse their product.
When you start to use what we covered in the two previous articles to build your authority you are putting yourself in the way of some very powerful internal forces in people.
If you are doing a good job building authority and especially if you are standing on stage delivering some great content, and you tell them about your product and ask for the sale, a fair proportion will get up and buy what you've got.
Obviously there are some other factors at play here but that not the point of this article… the point is that people respond to authority.
If you are the good kind of authority – the kind that is there to share their knowledge and offer to help them get what they want, then they will respond to you in a positive way…
If you are the kind of authority that is going to give them a parking ticket for pulling up in a no parking zone, then you're going to get abused.
If you build your authority the right way you kind of become a mini-rock star where people who recognise you from the internet or from one of your events can come up to you in the street and chat to you like they know you.
The weird thing about authority is that quite often people are quite irrational about it.
Whatever you say can often be taken as gospel
Whatever facts you claim can be accepted at fact value
And here's where it can get really weird…
You might have an area of expertise yet, you could spout theories on completely unrelated subjects, and there are people who will blindly accept that information as real… because you are an authority.
How many times to you see actors at human right conferences or at environmental summits expousing some theory or other?
It's happening more and more often, yes these guys are actors… not scientists or human rights activists… They can deliver a good performance because they are actors, and they have authority because they are famous and have lots of money.
Wealth is one of the biggest factors in this. Get someone who is really rich and people will listen to any random theory as through they know what they are talking about.
I might sound like I'm on my soapbox, but I'm not… I'm just trying to get across to you the power of authority and the ability you'll have to make money from it once you have built your brand.