This is a guest post by Logan Marshall.
Is it just me…or do people have attention spans about the size of a pygmy marmoset these days?
In our fast moving, caffeine drinking, hyperactive society…if something isn’t immediately captivating we are gone in a heartbeat.
And this is even more apparent online.
Studies now show that you have a whopping 7 SECONDS to convince a new visitor that your site is worthy of their attention. If you don’t…they will leave and never come back. Ever.
No pressure though
With these hyperactive, squirrel chasing web surfers in mind, it’s CRITICAL that you maximize your 7 seconds and make an impression immediately. Not at the bottom of your latest 2,000 word article. RIGHT NOW.
Well…that’s another story. As the blogosphere becomes more and more crowded, standing out is becoming increasingly difficult. What was once a happy communion of email swapping revelry has quickly turned into a fiercely competitive cybernetic boxing match.
But there is hope.
In this post I’m going to present you with four revolutionary strategies on how YOU can break through the clutter, entrance your audience and get the attention you deserve.
Let’s get started.
4 Ways to Capture the attention of Web Surfers with ADD
Before we dive into specific strategies on how to steal your audience’s attention, there’s something I want to stress. Something that’s CRITICAL to your success.
You see, most entrepreneurs never take the time to lay a rock-solid foundation for their business. They go straight for the tactics without ever getting the big stuff under control.
As I’ve said already, the blogosphere is incredibly competitive…and it’s only getting worse. Every day thousands of people hop on the (already jam-packed) blogging bandwagon in search of freedom.
With this in mind, you MUST take the time to strategically “position” your blog on a new and indomitable level of awesomeness. This takes time. This takes hard work…
…but it’s worth it.
So PLEASE don’t just start implementing “shiny object” tactics hoping they’ll take you where you want to go.
Instead, put in the time it takes to really give yourself that upper hand we’re all searching for. Master the fundamentals, hone your mindset, and do the “hard thinking” that no one else has the GUTS to do.
I admit, some of the strategies in this post are not sexy. They’re hard work. But…if you take the time to complete them you’ll be miles ahead of most other bloggers.
Let’s dive in.
1. Laser focus on the people you want to target
It’s hard to capture the attention of your target audience if you don’t know who your target audience is.
Yet so many people never take the time to figure this out. And consequently, they create a message that doesn’t resonate with the people they’re trying to reach.
Understanding this, the first step is to figure out who you’re trying to attract…then laser focus your marketing on that group of people.
This is extremely powerful.
Imagine if you landed on a website and the author understood you so completely that he could communicate the EXACT thoughts and emotions you were experiencing. Would you be more likely to stick around?
You bet you would!
So here’s your mission: Get crystal clear on who your blog is for…then research, survey and analyze that market until you can create an offer that connects with them INSTANTLY.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Identify an audience with a specific problem
Instead of starting with a product in mind–like everyone does–start by identifying an audience…an audience with a specific problem.
99% of marketers screw this part up.
They cast a net too wide, try to appeal to everyone and their mother, dilute their marketing…and end up looking just like everyone else.
They don’t REPEL anyone, but they don’t attract anyone either. They end up becoming a lukewarm resource that generates a knee-jerk “meh” response (click that link. It will make a lot more sense).
Ramit Sethi explains it like this:
“If you see a product that’s just right for you…but it’s also “just right” for your grandma and some 18-year-old hoochie, what are you going to do? Buy it?
Of course not. You’re closing the window and moving on.
We want something that serves OUR needs — not our needs + everyone else’s. This is why men buy MEN’S RAZORS even though cheaper women’s razors would work just fine.
This is why there are restaurants that can charge 10x what other restaurants charge. The food might be essentially the same…so what justifies the price difference?”
Such great advice.
The key to cutting through the clutter and making Bart Simpson scream “AWESOME!” when he lands on your website is simple: Go narrow. Polarize. Laser in on one specific group of people with a desired outcome and…
IGNORE EVERYONE ELSE!
The radically overused quote “there are riches in niches” is dead on. You gotta go narrow.
Well, let me introduce you to…drumroll please…the “Two-Qualifier method.”
I was first introduced to the Two-Qualifier method by (yep, you guessed it) Ramit Sethi.
Ramit explains it like this,
“The Two-Qualifier Method takes you from one level — say, tutoring for high-school kids – and layers another qualifier on top of it — say, tutoring for private high school kids. Of course, you can take this a lot further.
In essence it looks like this:
[QUALIFIER 1] — [QUALIFIER 2] who need (YOUR SERVICE)
So here are three examples:
- Small-business companies in the financial services industry who need copywriting for marketing materials.
- Bloggers with 1,000 to 5,000 subscribers who want to develop information products.
- Working parents in the San Francisco Bay area who want tutoring for their high school kids.”
You take a broad “lukewarm” audience and you niche it down two levels. You add in two qualifiers that will narrow your offering and ATTRACT that specific group of people.
Of course, truly understanding your audience is not easy. I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard work. It takes time, research and lots of digging…but it’s worth it.
Once you understand WHO you are targeting, it makes it a helluva lot easier to get in front of them and create content they’ll connect with. You’ll be able to strategically craft a marketing message (based on your research) that will make your ideal customers stop DEAD in their tracks.
This step is critical.
Don’t neglect it.
Step 2: Speak directly to that audience and “filter” everyone else out
Hey, you made it through the first obstacle. Nice work. Don’t you feel smarter and more prepared already?
Now that you’ve identified a narrow and polarized target market that you’re trying to reach, it’s time to craft the kind of message they’ll enthusiastically respond to.
This is another place where most bloggers stumble…and get shot down.
You see…instead of identifying a specific problem they can solve, most marketers start with a PRODUCT in mind. They start with what THEY think their market wants.
Not a smart move.
Here’s the thing:
Your audience doesn’t care about you. The primary thing they are looking for is actionable advice on how to solve some acute, painful and emotional problem in their life.
This acute problem could be a painful lack of financial abundance, being painfully overweight or having to suffer the pain of slogging along in a miserable job.
Are you starting to get this?
In order to immediately capture your audience’s attention you must:
- Identify the most common “emotionally motivating” problem within your niche.
- Provide a specific solution to that problem and communicate it persuasively.
On order to effectively do this, you must have a deep understanding of your audience. You don’t wanna guess. So make sure you’ve got step one under control.
Step 3: Use a Pattern Interrupt
You made it through the hard stuff…now’s where it get really fun. I’m talking rap singing, alien shooting, corn hole playing fun.
So pay attention.
You understand your audience. You have a specific problem you can solve…now it’s time to bring out those “tactics” I warned you about earlier.
Don’t get me wrong, tactics CAN be effective…but only when coupled with an unshakeable foundation. But you already know this.
Here’s the deal:
People online don’t just have sub-atomic attention spans. They’ve also been conditioned to expect mediocrity.
As I wrote in a recent guest post over at YoungPrePro,
“Most online writing is dryer than a saltine cracker. It’s flakey, bland, and boring.
Ryan Deiss puts it like this:
“Finding information on the Internet today is sort of like drinking tap water in a 3rd world country. Sure, it’s wet…it might even quench your thirst…for a bit. But before long, you’re vomiting out of both ends because the “water” (like most of the “free content” on the internet and blogs) turned out to be filled with dirt, filth and parasites.”
In spite of that hilariously graphic visualization, Ryan speaks the truth. The web has now become a virtual dumping ground for mindless rambling.
Chock FULL of pointless, boring, good-for-nothing content.
Because of this, people have been conditioned to expect mediocrity. Boring, cookie cutter content has lulled us into a half conscious browsing state…barely aware as we click from blog to blog.
BOOM SAUCE! That’s where you come in.
Your job is to grab these glassy-eyed people by the throat with unexpected verbiage and make them “Wake the eff up and pay attention!!”
In the mysterious world of NLP, this is called a “Pattern Interrupt.” In essence, a “pattern interrupt” is a strategically surprising action or statement that catches people off guard and forces them to give you their undivided attention.
As Andy from StomperNet puts it, “A pattern interrupt is the distant cousin of “Exceed Expectations” but with Moxie.”
Too funny. But very accurate.
In order to “hook” visitors immediately, you need to determine what people EXPECT…and then VIOLATE their expectations, do something different, interrupt their “pattern.”
This is brilliant. Works every time.
For a killer example, check out Frank Kern’s latest video. Frank is an absolute BOSS at interrupting people’s patterns and wooing them with his “shock and awe coolness.”
Done right, pattern interrupts are awesomely effective. They have the power to cut through the noise.
Let’s recap the steps so far:
- Laser focus on a narrow, polarized niche.
- Speak directly to a specific problem your audience faces.
- Understand the norms in your niche.
- Do something “completely different.”
99% of bloggers never make it this far…but we’re gonna take it one step further. This final strategy is the the most effective of all. It has the power to literally EXPLODE your opt-in rates and ignite of firestorm of excitement.
It will have people tweeting your praises to the world, jumping up and down and shouting your name from the rooftops.
Okay maybe not…but it will at least make people pay attention.
To discover EXACTLY what i’m talking about (and how to implement it)…head over to Free Life Project.
But before you do, remember this: Achieving real and lasting online success isn’t about mastering the latest “magic bullet” strategy. There is no ONE strategy that will give you superhuman powers and allow you to turn anything you touch into money. If there was…well…we’d have a problem.
The “secret” is that there is no secret. Ultimately your success is entirely up to you. You have the power to build a thriving online audience. You have the power to capture peoples attention, make a living and live the life of your dreams…
…but you gotta get started.
So take these concepts and put them into practice right away. Narrow your niche, research your audience, design a compelling pattern interrupt, learn the final strategy…and before you know it you’ll be exactly where you want to be.
This is your mission. Now get to work.