To get attention authentically, care more than others do...
To get attention authentically, demonstrate your care...
In marketing it is assumed that the goal, the daily effort, is to get more views, more followers, more sales.... always wanting other people to do more of what we want them to do. Conventional marketing is very self-centered. “If I don’t strive to get my share of attention, I won’t be able to survive!” The result is the proliferation of questionable marketing strategies and pushy sales tactics, that aim to “grab” audience attention and persuade them to action. Instead, let's do marketing: demonstrating our care, and therefore, doing "good marketing" while also genuinely adding long-term benefit to others.Posted by George Kao, Authentic Business Coach on Friday, June 23, 2023
In marketing it is assumed that the goal, the daily effort, is to get more views, more followers, more sales…. always wanting other people to do more of what we want them to do.
Conventional marketing is very self-centered.
“If I don’t strive to get my share of attention, I won’t be able to survive!”
The result is the proliferation of questionable marketing strategies and pushy sales tactics, that aim to “grab” audience attention and persuade them to action.
The real problem? It seems to work in the short term. The squeaky wheel at first gets the grease. But eventually, all that squeaking gets annoying and it gets replaced!
Short-term strategies will come back to haunt the marketers who use them.
It’s this selfish core of “I want you to do this” that makes consumers distrust and dislike so much of marketing. Whether it’s the emails that clutter our inbox, or the pushy calls to action, we feel we “have” to consume marketing, in order to get to the good stuff — the content we signed up for.
The bottom line: Most marketers don’t care enough — they’re just blasting their promotions to everyone, hoping to catch a few. They don’t care enough to slow down and target their communications thoughtfully. It feels interruptive, a necessary evil — which is why adblocker browser plugins are so popular.
Instead of “how can we get more attention”, let’s think in terms of “how can we show that we care?”
There is a deep calling within us — authentic business owners — to bring more love and wisdom into the business world.
By bringing true caring to our audience, the natural reciprocity is loyal attention, deeply happy customers, and greater word of mouth.
Caring more for our current readers, subscribers, and the clients we already have, means that we will want to grow a deeper understanding of who they are and what they’re going through right now. We can then create content and offerings that are more relevant to them.
This way, everybody wins.
Care enough to seek conversation.
What are they thinking about now? How do they feel about our industry and the offerings that are available in the market? What can we do to meet them where they are… so we can serve them better?
Willingness to care means willingness to talk to them. To converse 1–1 with as many of them as possible.
Reach out privately to those who engage with our content on social media. Individually contact some of our email subscribers to get to know them better. Not just sending out surveys, but caring enough to be in 1–1 conversation with them.
In our conversations, try to uncover what it is they are struggling with now: what can we create that will help them? Find out what related products/services they’ve bought. What did they love, and what weren’t they satisfied with? This helps us create — or curate! — better offerings for them.
Most of us business owners are so in our own heads (and hearts), absorbed with our own experiences, in love with our own modality, focused on promoting our own ideas, that we can easily lose touch with what the audience actually wants.
Care enough to risk rejection.
Reaching out to people doesn’t mean they’ll get back to you. Or if they do, they might not be interested in talking with you.
Still, the fact that they’re in your audience (email subscribers, followers and friends on social media) — means that they resonated with your energy signature enough to stay. Reach out with care, whether or not they respond right away.
We need to care more about our audience than our concern for possible embarrassment by their silence or rejection.
Keep returning to these questions:
- How can I show my audience that I care?
- How can I better understand them?
This is how real trust and loyal attention are created. Not by trying to grab attention. By demonstrating caring, others naturally trust and become loyal to you.
Care enough to keep a healthy schedule
May we also care so deeply about our mission, our opportunity to serve our audience with our content and offerings, that we are careful to maintain a healthy schedule.
Without a focused effort towards a stable schedule as a solopreneur, we are prone to get drawn into rabbit holes of research, content consumption, or even, ironically, “caring” for others.
Wait, didn’t I just say we should care more? Yes, but to care in a way that allows us to have the greatest, deepest, positive impact with our mission.
This means that sometimes, we do have to say “no” when others ask us for favors or to help them with this or that random thing. We say “no” because we care about keeping good boundaries. We care enough to be very mindful of how we use our heart and energy for the more effective ways to care for our audience and clients.
The Authentic Way to Become an Influencer
Most influencers compete for attention by trying to be more entertaining, more shocking, more clever with their content.
Instead, we can instead aim to be our authentic caring selves — rather than trying to be polished.
We can win by caring more for our audience than other influencers are willing to care.
We do this by deeply understanding our audience, which then allows us to create content and offerings that they will also care about.
I dream of a world where influencers and thought leaders will prioritize their own inner growth over their external metrics.
Don’t try to “grab attention” and “get” millions of followers. Focus on caring enough for your true fans, by seeking deeper conversation with them, and your business will naturally thrive.
Originally written Nov 2018. Updated June 2023.