Let’s see. . .what else could I have thrown into my headline. . .?  Organic?  Instant download?   This post is about getting people’s attention.

A quick glance through my Twitter or G+ or StumbleUpon accounts gets my head hurting.  Otherwise reasonable people and competent companies vying for my attention with a crazy arms race of overstatement.

Please know I share your goal; getting people’s attention.  It’s just. . .there’s a better way, and you already know what it is.  No, wait: Learn the Marketing Secret That’s Made Millions for People Just Like You!!  Sorry, couldn’t help it.

How to Get People’s Attention (Without Them Hating You Later)

Better to invest time and energy understanding what’s important to the people whose attention you’re vying for than tricking them into reading your message.  Because, if you understand what’s important to them:

You don’t have to scream and cajole and overstate.  What you say will actually be interesting to them.  And, as if by magic, you’ll get their attention.

You won’t waste their time.  Nobody (NOBODY) appreciates that.  Don’t make enemies trying to make friends.  Don’t waste my time.

You won’t set unrealistic expectations — expectations you can’t meet.

You won’t embarrass yourself with ridiculous overstatements.

You won’t attract stupid people with your ridiculous overstatements.  You don’t want stupid people; they don’t make good customers.

Understand what’s important to the people whose attention you’re vying for by asking them questions (open-ended questions) and listening to their answers.  Best to talk to a handful of current customers who fit the description of the type you want to attract more of.  Questions like:

What’s going on in your world right now?

What are the biggest challenges you face?

What projects are you working on — things you’re trying to accomplish — to improve your business?

Nothing so far relates to what you sell.  It doesn’t have to.  You want to understand, generally, what frame of mind your customers are in.  Yes, you can answer this question right now, without talking to anybody.  And yes, be assured, if you don’t talk to anybody, your answer won’t be as complete as it could be.

What can a company like mine do to help you right now?

If you wanted to find another company like mine to work with, how would you look for that company?

What would you be looking for?  What would get your attention?

Then, write about these things.  Put them in your message.

See, you already (basically) knew this, right?  It just makes sense.  I got your attention (you’re reading this far into a post by someone you don’t know) and likely drew you closer to contacting me the next time you  need help growing sales.  And you have something you can use.

Isn’t this a better way?