Building an audience isn’t easy. Sure, there are smart, simple, strategic methods for doing so, but where do you start?

More importantly, what do you DO with that attention once you’ve garnered it?

In order to run a successful business, organisation, charity, or one-person-show in 2021, you need to attract attention.

There are loads of ways you can do this. You can film yourself undertaking some kind of challenge and post it on YouTube, have a rant about a newsworthy topic on Facebook, do a dance on TikTok, or do something with your product that’s so innovative that everyone starts talking about it.

When that attention begins to pour in, it’s both a great feeling and somewhat unnerving. Because you know as well as I do – now that you have that attention you had better not waste it.

“Attention is the new currency”

Google that phrase above.

You’re hit with loads of results, aren’t you?

It’s all anyone seems to be talking about in marketing circles these days.

This is for good reason. As revealed in a study last year, customer experience trumps price and product when it comes to the ways in which consumers differentiate brands.

It’s why the biggest brands on the planet spend so much time building an audience. They understand that it’s as valuable as cash in the bank.

Without that attention, you don’t have a voice, and no matter how much you know people need your product or service, they simply won’t hear you.

Just like any currency, once you have attention in your hands, it’s time to put it to work.

How to turn attention into brand advocacy

Gaining attention for your brand might be something as simple as someone spotting your email in their inbox, or briefly slowing their scrolling speed as you pass by on their Facebook feed.

Attention helps people SEE you. But in order for them to stand a chance of one day becoming a customer, you need to make them REMEMBER you.

You do this with insights.

An insight is something which gives your audience a ‘lightbulb moment’. It’s a social media post, blog, or video which makes them stop and take note. They go from giving you some attention to giving you all of their attention.

A mentor of mine once referred to this as “giving them a braingasm”. And I can’t think of a better description.

Insight makes the reader, viewer, or listener pause and realise, “wow, this matters to me”.

The best news? It doesn’t have to be original. It just needs to be relevant at that moment in time to them (and you).

building an audience

How to ‘hack’ attention

When building an audience, it’s important to remember that people rarely buy on price. They’re far more likely to have their head turned by a specific action on your part.

For instance, that might be the choice of a certain image within your social media posts, or a well-written headline. The trick is to encourage engagement by diverting their eyes to you (that’s the attention), and then asking them a question, or running a poll (there’s the insight).

This is how you convert attention into action. It’s a hack, but it’s a brilliant one, because attention always passes by so fleetingly.

For action to take place, you need to interrupt your audience. You need to get in the way of their current thinking or task but do so in a powerful way which makes them realise that they’re missing out on something.

What are you saying to your audience?

You may be enjoying building an audience. You’re probably really good at it. But ask yourself this: what are you saying to your audience?

How are you making them stop in their tracks?

What are you doing with the attention you’re receiving?

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