How to Collect Attention for Future Leverage

Let’s break down the second most valuable component of content creation, attention collection.

In the first edition of Research Dispatch, we discussed content creation as a catalyst for serendipity. This week let’s break down the second most valuable component of content creation, attention collection.

In the future, we’ll get to monetization and digital products, but I want to establish a few basic beliefs first.

Building attention magnets

Content creation provides more than just serendipitous opportunities. With the right strategy, your content can operate as an attention magnet. It can capture valuable attention and collect it for leverage in the future.

This doesn’t happen spontaneously but is easily implemented into everything you publish.

Short-form is short-term

TikTok and Instagram will be the most explosive growth channels in your early days. You shouldn't ignore them. This growth comes at the expense of longevity so let's break down how to maximize your long-term ROI from short-term platforms.

Everything you post will have a shelf life as the platforms will only push your content for 1-3 months max. It can feel like an endless hamster wheel compared to YouTube. YouTube videos can receive algorithmic exposure for years.

In addition to a limited shelf-life, Each platform algorithm wavers in terms of exposure. Sometime TikTok will be more forgiving than Instagram. This can be frustrating if your income relies on that attention. The traditional “influencer” sold posts to brands based on their average reach. In that case, a sudden drop in reach was catastrophic. Thankfully, there's an easy solution. Let me show you how collecting attention off-site allows you to operate independently of platforms, algorithms, and shadowbans.

Create something valuable

Collecting attention from these platforms is easy. All you need is a decent incentive (digital products). The more valuable the incentive, the more people will allow themselves to be collected. Spend time creating a product that is worth hundreds of dollars and then give it away for free. It will serve you forever. The data you collect will be invaluable.

Now, Let’s break down the 3 step funnel that siphons attention out of social media-controlled platforms and into your own.

Step 1: Attention Conversion

The majority of the content you publish online needs to contain a call to action of some form. Not to trigger a purchase, but to collect attention. Here are 2 examples from Twitter:

These tweets have been amended to the end of successful threads or tweets. Twitter actually limits the reach of initial tweets containing links that lead off-site. (They don’t want to lose your attention either.) So amending a tweet to the end is a workaround.

On video platforms, like Instagram and TikTok, place your call to action at the end of the video. Experiment until you know what placement and wording perform best for your audience. Using a smart link tool like LinkDrip is a great way to track the traffic generated.

Step 2: Attention Collection

Now that you’ve gotten their attention to your link it’s time to collect it. Capture their attention through email opt-in, which is a low-pressure method that people are accustomed to. People begin to drop off as you go for higher-value information like names and phone numbers. You can get that stuff later. Below is an example of a basic community opt-in. Feel free to include a reminder of what incentives lay on the other side of this opt-in form. Implement attractive visuals and social proof to make it even more appealing.

Step 3: Attention Storage

This step is where attention collecting becomes an art form. Your incentivized call to action got them to Step 2. Your landing page converted them. Now let's maximize your value by installing a 2-for-1 strategy.

Place your incentives inside your community platform of choice. You required an email address to get access. Use a tool like Zapier to send that email address to your newsletter software.

They're getting a valuable free digital product. You're getting both a free community member and a free email subscriber. Fair trade.

My recommended opt-in flow looks like the following: A simple email opt-in sends a community invite link to their email. After joining the community, direct them to whatever incentives are waiting for them.

Now they’re in, with zero opportunity for drop-off throughout the funnel. If they fail to join the community through the email link you will still be able to send newsletters and offers.

This opt-in strategy maximizes the touch points you’re getting with each person.

In turn, this will turn into more sales as you pitch your offers later on in their journey with you. Set everything up for a long-term relationship by avoiding spammy messaging. Avoid unsubscribes by limiting the total number of broadcasts per week to 2-4.

Figure out what email welcome sequence and community strategies work best for you. We’ll cover mine in detail another day.

Software Recomendation: I suggest you gamify your community with a tool like Skool. Create a branded newsletter with a tool like Beehiiv.

Closing Thoughts…

The volatility of social platforms is pretty scary. Make sure you take back control when building an audience online by implementing what we’ve covered above. Build your house on solid rock, not sand.

This newsletter was more actionable while last week was more insight/motivation. Let me know if this was valuable or boring and I’ll adapt to you.

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Thanks for your time! Email me and let me know how you might implement the strategies we’ve covered today in your own business. I’d love to know more about what you’re building.

See you on Twitter,

- J C