In marketing it is assumed that the goal, the aim, the daily effort is to get more views, more followers, more sales.
We are always wanting more people to do more of what we want them to do.
It’s self-centeredness at the core, which stems from either insecurity or ego.
“If I don’t strive to get my share of attention, I won’t be able to survive / shine.”
This can easily spiral into “by any means necessary”. There are plenty of questionable marketing strategies and pushy sales tactics will “get” you more audience attention and action. The reason people keep doing it is because it works in the short term. Eventually, it always comes back to haunt them, but it’s so far into the future that they’re blind to it.
It’s this “I want you to do this for me” focus that makes us consumers distrust and dislike so much of marketing. It’s so salesy or pushy — whether it’s the emails we get, or the calls to actions at the end of posts or videos. We feel we “have” to consume marketing, in order to get to the good stuff — the content we actually want.
Additionally, so many ads and commercials are annoying because it doesn’t really speak to our wants or needs. Marketers don’t care enough — they’re just blasting their message to everyone, hoping to catch a few, and not caring enough to slow down and really understand and target their advertising thoughtfully. It feels interruptive, a necessary evil — which is why Adblockers are so popular.
Instead of “how can we get more attention”, what if we think in terms of “how can we care more?”
In authentic business, I believe we are being called to bring more love and more wisdom into business. That is the core focus.
Not “more attention” nor “more sales”.
Although by bringing more wise caring to our audience, the result tends to be more loyal attention, more happy customers, and more natural word of mouth.
If we cared more for our current readers, existing subscribers, the clients we already had, and our network, then we build a deeper understanding, real trust, and we can then create content and offerings that are much more relevant to them.
Do You Care Enough to Seek Conversation?
We need to care so much about our audience that we become eager to really get to know them better. What are they really thinking about? How do they feeling about our industry or the offerings we provide? What can we do to really meet them where they are, to serve them better?
Willingness to care means willingness to talk to them. To converse 1–1 with as many of our audience 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. Be in more meaningful regular contact with our network.
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’re struggling with now, in ways that we are able to help, especially through our content. Try to find out what related products/services they’ve bought, but aren’t totally satisfied with — and therefore what might we do to create (or curate) better offerings.
Most of us business owners are so in our own heads (and hearts), absorbed with our own peak 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 and cares about.
We need to care more about our audience than we care about our possible embarrassment by their silence or rejection. Let’s get out of self-centeredness and get very curious and audience-centered.
This is why it’s so important to keep returning to these questions:
How can I care more about my audience?
How can I better understand them?
How can I show care, in a way that they can see and feel?
This is how real trust and loyal attention are created. Not by trying to grab attention, but by caring so much that others naturally begin to trust and be loyal to you.
How Are You Spending Your Time?
Are you working on perfecting your website? You are spending time caring about preserving a high self-image of yourself. You care more about your website than anybody else. Better to spend time doing website user interviews, instead of just being in your own head.
Are you working a long time on your online course? Again, you’re probably spending too much time in your own head. How do you know what your audience actually cares about? I always launch courses / sell the outline (in the form of a sales page) first, and then if there are enough buyers/students, I then create the course module-by-module while the students are taking it, so that I can get their real-time feedback to make the next module what they want and need, so that the course can be truly relevant for them now. I then change the course outline as needed, to meet the students where they’re at.
Are you spending years trying to write a book? What I do is simply blog each week here in Medium, see what the response is, and organize the best blog posts into an upcoming book. This way, I am putting together a book based on content that my audience cares about, not just swimming in my own thoughts.
Are you posting regularly and wondering why no one cares about your content? Are you caring enough about your existing audience, even if it’s 50 email subscribers or 5 fans on facebook, to reach out to them privately to have a personal conversation with them, finding out about their wants and needs and therefore how you can make more relevant content for them?
The bottom line is that so many of us are in-our-head with our marketing actions, and not doing enough true productivity in our authentic business which is taking actions that are in-the-market, being in conversation with real human beings.
So many entrepreneurs want to become “influencers” and they think that “getting more attention” is the way to get there.
The problem is that there is only so much attention that can go around.
When you are reading my article, you can’t simultaneously be reading someone else’s. When someone is watching your video, they aren’t at the same time consuming someone else’s.
Therefore most influencers compete by trying to be more entertaining, more shocking, more clever with their calls-to-action to like their content, to subscribe, to buy.
Instead of trying to be more entertaining, clever, and competitive, let’s focus our energies on being more caring. Let’s aim to be our authentic caring selves — rather than try to be polished.
Care more for our audience than other influencers are willing to care.
Caring propels us to really get to know our audience and what they want and need. That then allows us to create content and offerings that they will actually care about.
I dream of a world where influencers truly care and have deeper engagement with a the true fans who support them. Don’t try to “get” millions of followers. Focus on caring enough for your true fans and your business will thrive.
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