Even if we are not direct competitor’s and there are no hard lines in the sand, our war over the most precious resource available: People’s Attention.
In a sea of a hundred of million people, it’s easy to believe the fastest way to win attention is to raise your voice loud enough for others to hear.
Those with the loudest voice may win the occasional battle. But like with anything that comes suddenly, it doesn’t take long to slip back into obscurity.
Winning a war takes perseverance and focus.
Those winning attention realize this. Instead of making loud noises, they pass valuable intelligence along to those closest to them. They are confident this intelligence will be passed along to more. They know over time more people will want to be among the first to receive it.
Winning a war means having friends
They realize that winning a war means having allies, and the best way to win allies is to be receptive to receiving their information and to pass it along to their own inner circle. They realize that they must strategically choose their allies to round out their overall message. Allies are always working towards the same goals, but from different angles.
To stand out in the information exchange, they listen closely to the conversation that is going on in their immediate vicinity to determine what information will be relevant in the exchange. If they have nothing to contribute, they will still pass along information. But if they are listening closely, they will never run out of ideas. This level of listening isn’t easy when someone is always nearby announcing something very loudly and waving something shiny.
But keep your enemies closer
While listening intently to those closest to them, they are also studying their enemy from across the battlefield, analyzing every move, and keeping an ear open to the exchange happening in their enemy’s inner circle. They study closely and wait patiently for their enemy’s influence to wain.
At the right moment, they’ll pass along information that exposes the flaws and challenges the core concepts in their enemies information. They do this in a way that is not obvious.
Know the rules of engagement
The goal is to not to destroy others, but to encourage them to remain relevant.
The objective is not to command attention at the expense of everyone else, but to enhance the entire industry.
Those winning the war for attention realize that the war is not about them.
It’s about large groups of people who question the very nature of their existence on the battlefield.
- “How do I do this?”
- “Am I doing it right?”
- “What are the warning signs that I’m doing it wrong?”
- “Should I even be doing this, or should I give up?”
- “How do I keep going, even when it’s this hard?”
Those winning attention address these issues in a way that is both compelling and relate-able.
Also, never give up.
The war for attention is constant. It’s a series of battles that will rage on as long as people are looking for information.
Every day you must strive to be relevant. You must strive to be useful and to always produce truly great content.
The war is never over, and every day it begins again.
So long as you have the right resources and the best allies, you’ll be equipped to handle the war.
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While you’re here: what are some ways that you are winning the war? What are some of the cracks in your defense?