Stop trying to hustle attention, you’re losing trust.
“Most people, especially the ones you want to be trusted by, don’t like to be hustled.”
This was just one of the brilliant insights from my favourite interview of 2017, when Seth Godin joined Gary Vaynerchuk and shared why the most valuable currencies of anyone who wants to make change are attention and trust, yet these are continually being abused and traded by people in pursuit of quick gains.
We see this on a daily basis. Digital advertisements infiltrate our feed, ‘influencers’ insult our intelligence with clumsy product placement, and those we’ve entrusted within our LinkedIn community desperately try to hack the algorithm to maximise our attention.
But at what cost? Seth is very clear in his advice for those following this path and the more this content floods my feed the more resistant I am to engage with it.
“You don’t get (trust) by hustling a content media play to get in front of people who’ve never heard of you and somehow seduce them.”
If you’re doing this, I won’t read your posts because it wasn’t written for me.
It was written to please a machine. You wrote it to manipulate an algorithm, and whilst you will see that you caught my attention, you will quickly lose my trust if it continues.
Why did you begin adding double spaces when you never had done this before? Why did you feel it necessary to get all your friends to synchronise their ‘likes’, manipulating the platform to believe this content had mass appeal?
I believe you did this because you wanted to hustle your way to success, however unfortunately I am like so many others that Seth speaks about and unfortunately we “don’t like being hustled, because being hustled makes us feel bad”.
So is there another way?
In this interview, Seth outlines four key behaviours he believes are critical to gaining trust and, in time, earning attention. (6.40 min — 8.30min).
- Be generous.
- Step up before you have to.
- Keep your promises, especially when it’s not convenient.
- Tell the truth.
These are such simple principles, but for many people this long-term approach simply doesn’t satisfy their desire for a quick solution, so they start trading their assets to get ahead.
Every day we see people who are so-called ‘influencers’ selling our attention to the highest bidder.
They take their cash, erasing years of hard work only to realise they’ll never get the chance to do this again.
Our attention was only on loan. It was provided on the proviso that they continue to earn our trust but now they’ve sold these assets far too cheaply and will never have them again.
Trust is not something you can buy, and definitely not something you can own. It can only be earned.
This is why so many companies prefer to spend their money on attention and hide behind vanity metrics.
You reached a million people, you spammed 10,000 email accounts, you sent 1,000 letters, but how many of those people actually gave you permission to do so and what are they likely to tell their friends.
Building a brand is hard. We’re all trying to grow our businesses, share our stories, and build our profiles, and the temptation to take these short-cuts is so powerful, but it’s important to remember there’s another way.
Seth is a man who’s written over 8000 blog posts, showing up to give generously to his community every day for over 20 years. He shares this clear vision that demonstrates how you can change your mindset, change your behaviour, and begin following a different path today.
I hope this resonates with you as much it did me.
“You know your attention is precious, you know your trust has been abused.
If someone shows up and treats your attention with kindness and earns your trust every day…then they’ll likely want to hear what you have to say next.”
Thankyou for reading this article, and I hope you enjoyed the video as much as I did.
I hope this inspired you to continue being authentic, honest and generous to those in your community, and I’d love to connect with you and learn more about those people who’ve earned your trust and attention so that we can give back to those who give so much, and learn how they stay the course and join them on their journey.