The social tools make it possible for you to get attention. They provide you with everything you need to avoid obscurity. There is no reason that you should be a secret agent, possessing amazing abilities without anyone knowing who you are or how to reach you.
The tools are mostly free. Attention, however, is expensive.
- Time: The first price you pay to gain attention you pay for in time. You have to invest time in the activities that drive attention. Getting attention takes more time than most people think, but it takes less time than any other period in human history. If you don’t have the time to invest, you also won’t have the attention you want.
- Energy: The second payment you must make is in energy. You have to devote your focus and energy to attention-getting activities. You can’t spend energy browsing the web, living in your inbox, or binge watching Netflix. Attention doesn’t follow passivity. It only follows action.
- Creativity: The third payment comes in the form of creativity. Attention follows creators, particularly those who create excellent content. The price to create content compelling to the audience whose attention you want is very high. Content creation requires resourcefulness and creativity. Taking pictures with your friends at a conference is fun, and it may get you a little attention, but it isn’t a long-term attention-gaining strategy. For long-term attention, look at Seth Godin.
An attention-gaining strategy takes patience. You’re making a payment of time and energy and creativity. It works. Just not right away.
A lot of people would like attention for their product or service. A good many people would like attention for their brand, personal or professional. A small number of people want attention for all the wrong reasons.
Most people, however, will not invest the time, the energy, or their creativity to get the attention they need. They don’t want to make those investments, and they greatly prefer being comfortable.
You can have whatever you want, provided you pay the price in full beforehand.