Don’t try to get attention. Be yourself and see who shows up.

George Kao
4 min readApr 26, 2024


As you grow your audience, you’ll start hearing that you need to learn to “get people’s attention”.

To try to stand out… to be more charming… to be more persuasive.

In the early years of my business I thought I had to do that too, but it became exhausting.

In recent years, I’ve actually been trying to blend in… because I’ve noticed that my ideal audience will spot me, even in a sea of content.

Here’s why:

Being flashy tends to get unwanted attention, irrelevant comments, and more spam. You might get more followers, sure, but it often doesn’t translate into sales… strange, but true. I know this from talking with creators who have bigger audiences than me.

Big audiences tend to grow very diluted and less warm towards you, which increases marketing costs to reach the right people. You would have to wade through the many shallow followers to find and connect with your true fans.

Also, I noticed that trying to get attention felt ultimately empty and unsustainable to me. People eventually find out how I am “normally” and become disillusioned, so I’d have to keep up a pretense to keep their attention.

It’s like starting a relationship trying so hard to keep them interested. It won’t work for long.

I talked with someone who had been using visual interruption techniques to grow their audience, and they said to me:

“People who reply to the ‘pattern interrupt’ are maybe 80% the worst possible leads I’ve ever dealt with… if you have a hide like a rhinoceros and are willing to deal with lots of ugly, so you can finally hit the few good leads… it can eventually work. But is it worth it??”

Beware of typical marketing advice…

Pay attention to the marketing teachings you’re learning from. Notice how many marketers are in the energy of attention-grabbing. Baiting their audience into watching or reading. Creating a presence that feels artificial and inflated.

These are normal behaviors in the online marketing world. They want us to believe that humans are constantly distracted and, therefore, require flashy and baiting tactics to finally pay attention… to “get them” to buy from us.

It’s true that all humans are distractible. But, the more you assume they need flashiness to pay attention, the more you’ll turn away your true fans.

And the ones who are left? They’ll need you to be constantly impressive.

You’ll end up behaving in ways outside your groundedness and personal truth.

What if it’s not professional enough?

Ever since the internet has democratized content creation, individuals have been increasingly empowered to show their real, everyday selves.

You don’t need makeup to be credible.

Certainly, not pro makeup, nor a perfect visual background. Sure, those things are also fine, but it’s only sustainable for bigger influencers with budgets and teams.

For the rest of us, our unfiltered looks and not-perfect writings are what come across as the most relatable and connected to our truth.

To be unique, be authentic.

Doing anything deliberate to try to get attention will take you out of your authentic energy.

Try to be less motivated by the thought of praise or purchases and, instead, explore how to resonate with your audience from a more authentic space.

If you practice simply being more deeply yourself, you will naturally be unique.

And you’ll automatically be more attractive to your true fans.

We need to remember that how we truly are is of incalculable value to the people we’re most meant to serve.

We simply need to show up, consistently, with our authenticity.

Your ideal audience is seeking you…

The truth is that your ideal audience is already looking for someone like you. They don’t know what you look like, but they feel a resonance when they encounter you.

As an example, I often make text-only posts (it’s mostly what I do on the George Kao Facebook Page). Even though text-only posts might seem “boring” on Facebook, my ideal audience immediately has a feeling of recognition: “There’s something resonant about this message… let me keep reading.”

I post videos that aren’t edited. They’re live videos for which I do a single take. Your ideal audience also probably doesn’t need you to edit much… if at all. However, if you enjoy editing your videos, go for it! Just be sure it’s a process that’s personally sustainable for you.

It’s not that you should never be artful or entertaining. It’s about doing it from your authenticity rather than any feeling of attention-seeking or desperation.

If you enjoy expressing beauty or humor, then do it! But don’t try to be beautiful or funny :) Be as if you were with a dear friend who accepts you completely. Yearn to connect your joy to theirs, your passion to theirs.

As you go about your marketing, consider the following questions:

  • Are you enjoying the process?
  • Are you tapping into the unconscious flow that comes from genuine expression?
  • Are you compassionately serving your audience?

Keeping these questions in mind will help you to create without thinking about yourself and the praise you might get.

Take on an attitude of curiosity about who will resonate with you just as you are. Treat your audience like they accept your authenticity, and you will attract those who will do exactly that.

By being yourself, marketing becomes less of a chore and turns into a beautiful form of self expression and exploration and service.



George Kao

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity"