The art of the head-line, the grab words: New; Now you can; How to get; The secret to; You can be like… and then there are the numbers. 7 is the magic number allegedly – why? Anybody’s guess. One absolutely indisputable fact in a word awash with sages, advisers and experts who espouse removing your ‘pain’, is that those who have at least a basic understanding of how to ‘grab’ attention are much more likely to be seen as the ‘experts’.
There are two problems with this, firstly, ‘credibility’ in the virtual world is measured by ‘hits’, ‘likes’, ‘comments’ and ‘shares’ and pretty much in that order – albeit there is a push for ‘likes’ being more important than ‘hits or views’. So how do you get ‘hits’ with your ‘post’ regardless of how banal is it or how much is regurgitated content (plagiarism was seen as bad form – now is seems to be encouraged)? With human attention shrinking seemingly by the hour these days – literally no-one reads things through anymore, if they do they ‘speed read’. That means skimming through the content which from a ‘brain processing’ perspective has a ZERO chance of being comprehended. The only thing that will ‘stick’ is the headline or bits of the headline which further reinforces the ‘attention’ words as something readers ‘grab’ hold of – oh and the number of hits, likes etc stick, further reinforcing the ‘measures of credibility’. This is how we have become programmed to consume content, lots of hits – then it must be good or important or interesting or maybe even funny – we crave being entertained.
The second thing and one that quite frankly I find simply mind-boggling – is this seemingly insatiable addiction to being ‘seen’ and heard as some sort of expert and usually in something that ‘is popular or a buzz word concept, the latest fad. I think the phenomena of ‘career development’ is driving this, as allegedly numbers on LinkedIn for example, are ‘important’ for career growth. Recommendations, endorsements, posts, likes, followers, the LinkedIn experts tell us are the way to get ahead. The cacophony of noise out there is SO loud that the chances of ‘genuinely’ (a whole other post) being heard are very, very slim.
The real experts who are most credible and dedicate their lives to their craft or area of passion are the ones who are more likely to not be barking about themselves and their ‘expertise’. These experts are also quite satisfied with their lot, they have a job, or clients, customers who are so ‘delighted’ by their services (this also apply’s to employee’s) that they talk about their experience with friends, family, colleagues in conversation (this includes bosses talking about great employees). Conversations, F2F or phone, brings so many rich elements to light that ‘are absent’ in the social media realm. There is an increasing realization that whilst technology has radically increased ‘connectivity’ were are actually less ‘connected in a real human way that ever before’.
Just think about looking for a service or product and how much more convinced you are ‘hearing F2F or by phone about the experience from someone, as opposed to reading reviews. You can ask questions – get a deeper sense of whether the product, service will meet your needs and also gauge the feedback for ‘fit to you’, because you ‘know’ the person you are speaking with. The real experts I describe above exist in a community of experience, where they ‘get what they want’ – doing satisfying meaningful work that is appreciated by those they do it for. At the end of the day is what we all want, we actually crave being appreciated for what it is that we do in our way – that no one else does because we are all unique. BTW the brain is hard-wired to seek this level of satisfaction – if we are really smart then we will ‘get with the brain program’.