Attention, Your Biggest Asset



attention, your greatest assetAttention, it is something that we need from our audience. With each word that we write, hidden underneath is “eyes on me” as if it did not, we would be sending them away. Why? Because there would be nothing that would hold their attention. This is what separates a good post from a great post or a good sales page from a great one. Write great content that people want to read and link to is repeated over and over and while we know this is extremely effective, what though makes them keep their eyes on you? There are so many distractions that could easily stray their attention and it happens in a split second.

What We Pay Attention To

We pay attention to a lot or at least we think that we do. While we probably knew within a few hours after the announcement that Google launched the +1, can we say the same about what happened, if anything, with our audience? Chances are, no. We are just not paying close enough attention. In business, especially as it relates to our customers, we have to have our eyes on them or they will never ever have their eyes on us. Brian Clark and Sonia Simone have built a blog with loyal readers and buyers. They know so much about their audience as they have paid such close attention to them that with each article they write, they have in effect created a coactive bond. They have captured the hearts and minds of their audience which, has in turn, created a personal connection to each reader. This mutual emotional bond is born from the attention they paid to their audience. If you are not a regular there, you can almost feel left out in the comments as many of the folks there seem to know each other. There are some inside jokes that throughout the years as the blog has grown is very indicative of Brian and Sonia listening to the audience and giving them an experience and exclusivity with all that they are offering. They have a clear understanding of their audience and what they want and have come to expect.

Affection for the Audience

Our audience wants to listen to us as we have what they want and need. Do we really give them a chance to? In order for the audience to pay attention to us, we have to first pay attention to them. And, not in the way traditional way that we think of with customer service. Sure that comes later but long before we get to that point, we have to have our undivided attention on them so that we know exactly what they want, need, expect, how they wish to be spoken to, how they engage amongst themselves and then how they will ultimately engage with us.

We first need to have our eyes on them before they will ever lay eyes on us. The more attention we pay to the audience, the more they pay attention to us. Not in the way of responding to them as first we have to give them something to respond to so then we can respond back. Here you can see how paying attention is more than being attentive to them, we have to have affection for them. An attachment, devotion and sentiment for them so that they feel the words that they are reading. They have to feel as if we are talking directly to them, as if we wrote the article or created the product or service thinking about each of them individually. Successful bloggers know that the great content comes from paying attention. Honing in on your target market and listening to them results in creating something that is so customized for them that they feel exclusive.

How We Pay Attention

We pay attention by developing that affection. We have to watch them by listening to them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, in comments and forums and then delivering our offering by speaking directly to them in a manner that is not intrusive or a hard sell. Chris Brogan delivers so much to his audience in all of his posts, reviews, blog topics, forums, webinars, etc that we forget that he is not talking directly to each one of us as if we were sitting across from him in a restaurant. Perusing the comments, we see how deeply committed his audience is. How does he do this? How do any of us accomplish this? Listening.

We have to set up the proper listening stations and listen and listen and listen. The audience is quite vocal and tells us so much when we stop the outside noise, silence our voice and just simply listen. If you are going to an event, search for the hashtag or keywords on Twitter to see who else is attending. Follow them, review their profile, read their blog and also cross check to see what other platforms they are active on and connect there. Listen. Look at who they are friends with to see if there is a connection that can be made there, listen to who they are talking to and connect with them if they are your target. The same applies if you are considering an ebook. Is there need? Is there an audience? This also works well when we are getting ready to launch something. Pay the closest of attention to them to understand their behavior as when it is your turn to talk, there is a greater acceptance as you are not interrupting them, you are joining them.

Does your audience have “eyes on you?”

photo credit: christine zenino

  • Facilitating people to have eyes on you, yes that’s a very interesting discussion. That is the final goal of all the constantly mentioned tips about being true in social media channels, being personal, and most important behaving as you would in any other situation, because “the Interwebs” isn’t a wall that can mask your true intentions.
    In your personal experience, Suzanne, what is the biggest step you have ever taken into getting eyes on you?

    • my biggest step I would have to say is expanding upon my writing and reaching out to different audiences to show that I am not just a marketer but a creative thinker and behaviorist. Digging deep into the thoughts that I have and placing them down in a manner that makes sense is the biggest reach I have taken of late. There generally is a story behind each post that is not always apparent. While some resonate and keep their eyes on me, some are bombs that probably needed to stay in my head.

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