May I have your attention please?

May I have your attention? Just for 3 minutes and 32 second. Please. It appears that the most difficult part of a marketer’s job is grabbing someone’s attention today.

Given content shock with the tsunami of blogs, emails and outbound videos, it is no wonder that our attention spans are shrinking.  At times, I think my attention span is less than your average moth. Screaming, interrupting and waiving a flag to attract a bystander is so twentieth century, that a small or mid-sized business owner has to find new ways to attract attention and draw people toward you.

Do you feel as if your marketing is like one of those tax services with the human sign dressed as the statue of liberty flailing a foam finger at passersby, you might want to rethink your approach to getting attention. There is a better way.

The secret to this isn’t complicated. It doesn’t require an army of marketing professionals or software that uses complex algorithms. This isn’t a code requiring breaking. The solution is easy.


Just be useful.

Ask yourself what could your company do that would give value and useful tools or benefit to the community you want to serve? Yes, be useful. That’s it.

This doesn’t mean how can I find a sneaky way to be commercial and hide behind some good I am doing. This means be useful to those you want to serve. Offer them something of great value. Give it away. Make it something that they value so much that they will come back for more. Be seen as someone who can help solve problems, educate and provide thought-leadership and who is deeply-committed to giving back to their community.

Offer something of value to someone in need.

  • The hospital that offers training to new parents on how to use a car seat is being useful to the community they serve. (Thank you Jay Baer for this example in your wonderful book Youtility).
  • The $100 million dollar auto parts manufacturer who provides free auto parts to low-income moms who are raising children in poor neighborhoods.
  • The marketing agency that allows non-profits and NGO’s to use their space in the evening to hold community meetings.
  • The electrician who donate one day per month to going into low-income neighborhoods who can’t afford his service, but does a free check of their wiring to prevent an accident.
  • The software company who offer 2 days per quarter to a non-profit to help them fix, solve and improve their IT infrastructure.
  • The restaurant who organizes in-home deliver of restaurant quality meals to Vets who are disabled.
  • The bowling alley that has a free afternoon of bowling on Monday afternoons for orphans and children living with their grandparents.

How can your business give back to your community? What can you do that shows you are investing in the community that supports you? And, can you do it in a quiet way knowing that if it truly is of value, the word will spread by the very people you want to serve? Let your community share your story of how useful you are and you will grab the attention you are seeking.

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