If you have something to sell (and I’m assuming you do if you’re reading this), the odds are stacked against you.
Your prospects are exposed to thousands of selling messages a day. That’s exponentially more than at any other time in human history.
There’s an all-you-can-eat buffet of mindless media and entertainment to distract people if they aren’t captivated by what you have to say.
And, if that wasn’t bad enough, people are busier than ever before. That busyness has an inverse relationship with the length of their attention spans.
Do you have to accept these trends as “the way things are?”
Or can you still find a way to your prospects’ emotions, minds, and (if everything goes according to plan), wallets in this wild west time of hyper-information stimulation?
50 years ago, if you had the money for a TV or radio spot, the likelihood of your selling message reaching your target audience was practically guaranteed.
You didn’t have to fight off the “Distraction Hydra”™ of DVRs, satellite television, and the internet.
Once you ponied up the money for the time, your prospects’ attention followed.
The game’s changed.
Money still matters, but not like it used to.
Now there are ways to broadcast your selling message out to millions of people for a fraction of cost.
As Seth Godin pointed out, attention is the new currency to chase if you want a successful business.
And it’s only becoming more and more valuable…
You know that old adage?
Something about if you make a better mousetrap the whole world will beat a path to your front door to buy it from you?
You can’t afford to stop marketing or advertising.
But how can you make sure your message cuts through the millions of others out?
Glad you asked!
Here’s a start…
1. Stop assuming you have people’s attention. There are a million other things your prospects could be doing with their time than lending an ear to your sales pitch. Give people reasons to care about you. Focus on earning attention and not wasting time.
2. Don’t oversell. Consumers are becoming increasingly immune to huge headlines and “hype.” Your job is to present your product or service in the best possible, truthful way. No one else will make your case for you, but a pack of strangers will tear it apart if they catch you in a single lie.
3. Use “one shot” ads as part of long-term marketing relationships. If you’re a complete stranger, your prospects are less likely to be receptive to your pitch. This doesn’t mean you can’t use focused, discrete promotions. But they’re more effective if they’re a part of a marketing strategy that gains your prospects’ trust over the long haul.
4. Make reading your message worthwhile, regardless if the prospect ends up buying. Just because your prospect might not buy right now doesn’t mean they won’t buy eventually. If you design every ad to provide free value (content marketing is my favorite way to do this) you create incentives for your prospects to read your latest stuff and buy when they’re ready/able to.
5. Craft your promotional messages so they’re easy to read. Do everything you can to make your ads easy and enjoyable to read. Attention to the details – white space, short paragraphs, a warm, conversational tone, etc. – can make the difference between someone tuning in or shutting down.
6. Hire me to worry about all of this for you. If you have enough on your plate already (which business owner doesn’t?), get in touch with me. We’ll have a conversation about how I can help you upgrade your ads to make you more money.
All of these are just different angles respecting same overarching principle:
Treat your prospects’ time and attention like the privileges that they are. Do your best to earn them… and be persistent about it.
If your actions reflect that principle, you’re well on your well to separating yourself from the winners and all the “Prince of Nigeria” gathering dust in your spam folder.
What do you do to stay out of your prospects’ spam folders and keep their attention? Leave me a comment below and let me know!