Why should I give you my attention?
That's the question I ask all the time. People contact me, tweet me, email me, send me Snapchats - asking for my eyeballs and, more importantly, my time.

Why should I give it to them?

My time is finite. I run a successful coaching and publishing startup, but I don't have an unlimited number of hours, minutes or seconds left on this rock. So when people create content or communicate with me, they have to make it clear why I should give some of that time to them and not to my fiancé, my business, my family, my cat or my damn Xbox.

The window to make that clear to me is pretty small. It's about first impressions, and like they say, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

There's got to be an obvious value for me. If it's an email, the subject line alone should be or should offer the promise of something valuable. I don't want to have to sift through "Hi, my name is..." - I want immediate Action, Information, Inquiry or Offer. Right out the gate.

The same goes for any other medium.

And you know what? I'm not that unusual. Wanting this isn't unusual. You'll find that almost all of your audience are exactly the same, and they want exactly the same thing.

Nobody wants to pay attention.
So give them a reason to.

Published on: Jan 10, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.