The two scarce elements of our economy today is trust and attention.

Trust is scarce because it is not simple to earn and it is incredibly fragile, disappearing often in the face of greed, shortcuts or ignorance.

And attention is scarce because it does not scale. We cannot do more than one thing at a time.

Entrepreneurs spend lots of money trying to earn your attention through radio and TV adverts, posters, billboards etc.

During election campaigns, we are flooded with TV and radio adverts, debates, rallies, street posters, everywhere you look are faces of candidates.

Getting my attention and earning my trust is not the same thing. You can get my attention but not earn my trust.

Trust is earned over time, through consistent and reliable performance.

It seems as though that in today’s economy, there are more people who think that if I have your attention, I will earn your trust. We have traded trust for attention. Instead if you earn my trust, you will have my attention.

Don’t get me wrong, many of those pure “attention getting” branding tactics have real merit, but without the follow though performance, they just turn into another mediocre brand trying to sell stuff that does not make a difference in our lives.

We have all experienced the “all hype, no substance” brands, brands that “over-promise and under-deliver.”

I believe that the big question today is “what does it take to create recognition and trust in a world full of brands just like us?

It is easier than ever to demand attention. It is easier than ever to steal attention. But it is harder than ever to earn attention.

People who want to steal attention use attention seeking tactics, they manipulate and shout the loudest. And sometimes the tactics works and everyone who is lazy thinks that they just need better tactics, shout a little louder, put more posters, bigger posters, distribute more pamphlets.

But, how do you earning attention. You don’t shout to ten strangers who don’t want to hear from you, you tell ten people who know you and trust you. And hopefully, there are ten people in the universe who know you and trust you. And if you give those people a story worth telling, a story that resonates, then it spreads. Start with those that know you, and deliver excellent performance, then it will scale.

There is no correlation between shouting the loudest and earning trust. 

If you are good enough, the product or service will be the advert all by itself. There are no Facebook adverts but it has over a billions users.

Persistence and consistency over time counts for something.

You don’t have to vote for him to believe that he is trustworthy. You don’t have to buy from him because he makes the loudest noise.

Consistency and reliability earns you trust, then attention will be guaranteed.

Trust is not earned by what you say, but by what you do over time.

People will buy  your if they trust that you will deliver. People will give you attention effortlessly if they trust you.

You want attention? Strive to be trustworthy. 

To earn trust, be reliable and consistent, especially when no one is looking.

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