Getting People’s Attention: What It Means


I am taking a course on Content Marketing, and I was thinking about how attention is one of the approaches a content marketer has to employ to build their community, tribe, village, or whatever they wish to call their audience or customers. This is an age where building relationships is key to unlocking success, right?

So let’s say you finally get people’s attention, and your name is on everybody’s lips. Your phone can’t stop ringing because they all want to work with you or be associated with you. The way forward is to keep churning out content that holds their attention.

As simple as that right?

Satya Nadella said, “We are moving from a world where computing power was scarce to a place where it now is almost limitless, and where the true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention.”

Not so simple after all. Whether you like it or not, if you wish to make sales, you have to do all you can to keep your customer’s attention. That’s the entire idea behind content marketing. You must ensure that your content is constantly sating their needs, and be available for them, or else they will go somewhere else (loyalty is not up for debate).

The upside of getting people’s attention

Just because it’s tough doesn’t mean that it cannot be done. You want to get attention by ensuring that your content is relatable and solves your customer’s problems. The results have been replicated over and over again, which shows that having people’s attention is necessary to grow both a business and a personal brand. The benefits of attention are:

  • Increased organic search for your website.
  • Because your message is authentic it will be shared.
  • It helps to generate more ideas and better leads
  • You’ll be seen as an authority in your industry.

The downside of getting people’s attention

There are different ways to look at attention and it’s important to also consider the downside of it. I don’t think people talk about it enough, and this is based on my own reflections.

I haven’t had the tribe I hope to build but my work sometimes gets attention. And after the initial rush, I can’t shake the dread that it is all temporary. It’s sad that my thoughts move to the negative as soon as I’m in the presence of glowing recommendations. Sometimes all I can think of is, ‘What if a day comes when I can no longer command their attention?’ That I would have to keep working extra hard to keep putting out my best work.

I am my competition.

To be Undesirable. Unwanted. Unworthy. Nobody wants that.

Your client for sure wouldn’t want that. This is why you have to put out content that is relevant. I think that’s the most important reason why you have to do your research. And particularly, understand your audience.

It should always be about building relationships

Do your palms grow sweaty when a person earnestly appreciates your work because you are wondering if you can replicate the result? Or is there a constant weight on your chest as you move from one strategy to another trying to figure out what content to employ in your next campaign?

Even if it starts out as building an audience, it should always be about building relevant relationships. That’s the only way I can see this playing out. I have seen content creators take a bow and years after they have left the scene, people still clamor for their content because they were touching lives one way or another.

Even when people or brands make mistakes, or do something unbecoming, they will be able to get real feedback from their audience. Because there is a bond that goes beyond buying and selling. There’s an appreciation for the good work that you do. So people will be willing to give you another chance to fix things.

The takeaway

I have kept my relationship with people very civil at best and those that really matter to me, I hold close. Many opportunities have come my way because of these relationships, and I really appreciate it. I owe a lot to the people in my life for where I am now. And now as I build my career as a content marketer, I will not just focus on how to keep people’s attention, I’ll also take care to build relationships.

#Day 4 of My Journal Series

Photo Credit: Rigozo