Navigating the Attention Economy: Craft a Compelling Message that Cuts Through Noise

October 9, 2017 | Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. | HCI
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The first rule of good business is always to add value, but what happens when you're not the only one attempting to leverage your competitive value?

For starters, you'll have to do more than simply show up with your value in tow.  If your message isn’t fresh and compelling, it will fade into obscurity.

Attention is the new, dominant currency, and as attention goes, people can have very little to give. Competing interests are everywhere and time is always of the essence, but it takes more than raw attention to spur you to action. The attention economy also has a pecuniary effect in business, directly affecting the bottom line.

As Fortune Magazine’s Mathew Ingram said, “The underlying principle is simple: Where the attention goes, the money will inevitably follow.”

Without a doubt, businesses must competently navigate the attention economy.

Leveraging the following strategies will help you craft a compelling message that cuts through the noise and adds value to your bottom line.

Be Knowledgeable to add value.

Competence is fundamental to credibility.

Set your goal to add uncommon value by leveraging your expertise. Without having a firm grasp on your subject matter or the requisite skills and abilities you desire to promote, it will be difficult to garner trust and influence.

To get started, master the underlying knowledge, skills and abilities first, or risk threatening brand credibility and market positioning. Remember that brand is far more than a superficial façade; there must be substance behind the name, and the quality of that substance is the litmus test for credibility.

With the advent of technology, word travels fast. It won't take long for the rest of the world to learn who you are and aren't, and people will quickly share that information with others. Even though attention is a scarce commodity, that doesn’t mean that people aren't filtering information and making effective decisions based on what they discover.

Be Disruptive.

No one wants oatmeal warmed over. Be contrarian. Be provocative. Use humor where appropriate.

Incorporate technology to keep things interesting. The point is to be creative. Try something new and don’t be afraid to rouse interest by breaking the traditional rules of mundane engagement. Even when presenting information on a popular topic, if you introduce new ideas in a fresh way, the greater likelihood of grabbing the attention of those who would have otherwise disregarded them due to their prevalence within the marketplace.

Remember, if information is presented in exactly the same way everywhere you look, there is no motivation for re-approaching it. Make sure that yours is disruptive and makes the case for drawing people in.

Communicate Your Message Effectively.

None of the above will matter if your message is not communicated well.

Yes, being knowledgeable and disruptive is critical; however, the manner in which you communicate your message can make or break engagement. It should be well-written, well-reasoned and organized around a compelling theme - all particularly true if the message is an article or other written material.

If presented orally, the same tenets apply, except that nuance and other elements become equally as important. It is where both acumen and gravitas meet to create an irresistible message that breaks the sound barrier. That said; review yours thoroughly before introducing it into the spotlight channels of distribution.