Attention is overrated.
It’s cheap. It’s easy.
A trouserless drunk standing on a street corner, yelling at cars – he’ll get attention pretty fast.
Easy to get, but hard to keep.
And of course in business, that’s the important part.
There’s this great line in Bernadette Jiwa’s book ‘Difference’:
There are a thousand ways for you to get noticed, but there’s only one way to really touch someone. And that’s to give them a reason to care, a story they can believe in.”
So much energy (and moolah) is spent getting attention these days…
Advertising works – it gets attention because we have eyes and ears, we’re biologically setup to look for distraction all the time.
But marketing – particularly the idea of Selling Unique – is about what happens next, once you have someone’s attention.
How do you keep them interested?
What’s your “reason to care”, your “story they can believe in”?
Why should they remember you, or better yet, do business with you?
This is the important stuff that attention-getting ‘tactics’ like SEO and PPC can’t really help with…
Which is maybe why so many websites offering those services’ sites all look pretty much the same.
They rarely take the time to market themselves on what they do differently, or figure out their positioning…
So their sites and messaging often seem so anonymous, personality-free. “Meh”, for want of a better description.
They can only help you with the easy part: getting attention.
But that’s when the hard work begins (and, let’s face it, the fun part too).
So somebody found you, showed up at your door…
Now it’s up to YOU to convince them to stick around.
If your advertising did its job, they shouldn’t need convincing so much as confirming that yes, this is the place they’ve been looking for.
Sure, you can use a thousand ways to get noticed if they help you get the attention of your ideal prospects (and you have the budget to spare)…
You can advertise on Facebook and Google, publish articles, videos and podcasts, create webinars…
You can fly a flippin’ balloon over their house if you want…
But at some point you need to figure out a single, effective way to reward that attention.
You need to touch them somehow.
To make them feel something – good or bad – so that your message matters to them.
Educate, entertain, challenge, connect…
…you have plenty of options.
At this point, it helps to think less like a marketer, and more like simply a person interested in other people.
We can all do that (except maybe those SEO robo-folk).
Because we’re moved by feelings, not facts. Facts are ok for getting attention – clickbait headlines, incredible stats, desirable figures…
Then it’s over to you and your unique difference to help your prospect really experience something that shakes them into action.
A warning, an invitation, a surprise, a story, a comparison, a snapshot of a life…
Creating difference and showing it to the world isn’t easy. It takes courage, clarity, persistence and empathy.
But those are all qualities people are drawn to…
And long after the empty attention-seekers have given up and gone home because people didn’t care enough to listen to them (or forgot about them), you and your unique difference will still be around.
Simple structure for doing this:
- Create empathy (ask questions, give detail, be yourself)
- Communicate value (educate, entertain, connect)
- Build trust (show up, prove, reduce objections)
Do these things in your own style, consistently, and you’ve created one powerful, memorable way to touch the people you’re trying to help.
One way is really all you need.
It’s like a sturdy old oak tree your audience can climb. Each new message you create is a branch, but the trunk – the core message – is strong, supportive, resilient.
Is your marketing focused on one way to connect, or a thousand ways to get noticed?