What is it?
The fifth principle defined by Robert B. Cialdini is based on the power of persuasion that people we consider to be authorities on one subject or another have.
How does it work?
There?s nothing new about talking about the power of authority in society. From the time we are small, we are brought up to obey people who are believed to be in authority, such as teachers, doctors, police officers.
The principle of authority is one of the most important ones as regards the credibility we can offer as a source of communication. And people who are considered to be authorities are assumed to have qualities like leadership and reliability. And, as such, they have a high potential for persuasion.
But how can we get people to see us as an authority on the subject? Some details, like the image we have, our position, our curriculum, the things we say or support from reputed sources will help create the sensation that we are really good.
How can we apply this?
The use of blogs to show how much we know about a subject is fairly frequent on the Internet. That?s what Malcom Gladwell, the author of several best-sellers like ?Blink? or ?The Tipping Point? does. The content in his blog leads us to think ?Gosh! This guy is good, I?ll buy his new book. It looks interesting?.
Another thing which can turn us into an authority is support from reputed sources. The Ladders, the jobseeker portal offers a good example of authority through the companies for which it works No less than Microsoft, Google, American Express and Starbucks, among others. The prestige of these brands will transfer, in the user?s mind, to the company they are working with.