The Power of Intimate Attention

Oct 27, 2017 1 Min Read
donald trump changing the world with Intimate Attention
How to Stand Out, Build a Tribe, and Change the World with Intimate Attention

How can you compete when you don’t have money, brand awareness or even a track record? You are a solo consultant, executive coach, or a fitness trainer. You’re an author, speaker or entrepreneur. You are an artist or musician. How do you build a following? How do you build a base of raving fans who are eager to support you? Are you ready for the ultimate secret?

“OMG! I’m so excited!”
“Oh my gosh, I got picked as Monkey of the Month!”

My daughter, Amanda, 16 years old at that time, just got this special honour from rising pop star, Max Schneider. Justin Bieber fans are called Beliebers. Lady Gaga fans are called Little Monsters. And Max Schneider for some odd reason—I’m sure my daughter would tell me, but I’m not asking—used to call his fans Schneider Monkeys (they’re the Max Squad now).

Apparently, each month Schneider picked one person who had been especially active promoting him on Twitter and he acknowledged their efforts by naming them “Monkey of the Month.” Last summer, my daughter Natalie was surprised and excited when aprofessional photographer, Marco Secchi, followed her back on Twitter and even retweeted her tweet.

And my son, Owen, now 13-years-old, records himself playing video games and uploads them to YouTube. He gets very excited every time a big “YouTuber” likes or comments on one of his videos. My teenagers get very excited when they get some kind of attention from a “celebrity.” It doesn’t take much. A simple “like” on a tweet. A simple “cool video” comment on YouTube. A simple name check when doing a Q&A session. And what does this have to do with growing your business? Everything.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s Superpower

While conducting research for my book, I stumbled upon a great article by author, speaker and founder of Convince & Convert Jay Baer. In 11 Things Donald Trump Stole From the Gary Vaynerchuk Playbook, he wrote:

“Gary (and Donald Trump) share a superpower in their ability to make people feel like they are having a private conversation with them, even in a crowded room. This is the gift of intimacy through attention, and it’s a rare one.”

I was struck by that phrase, “the gift of intimacy through attention.”

That’s the phrase that describes the power of one-to-one authentic connection; of saying “thank you” to one person at a time; to answering every question you get asked. While Baer used that phrase to describe how Vaynerchuk connects so personally in a live setting, I think it’s just as true of how “GaryVee” connects with so many of his fans on a daily basis.

I’m not talking about how Vaynerchuk or others “authentically” reach their masses of fans through raw video clips of their daily lives and stream of conscious thoughts. I’m talking about how Vaynerchuk has spent thousands of hours tweeting back to one person at a time, and how he’ll solicit questions on Snapchat and record video answers to each individual follower.

Ricky Henderson And The Value Of A Wink

While writer Jay Baer coined Vaynerchuk’s approach “the gift of intimate attention,” Vaynerchuk himself calls it something totally different: “The Rickey Henderson Effect.” In a 2014 post on LinkedIn, Vaynerchuk tells the story of what happened when he was 10 years old, attending a Yankees game:

“Rickey Henderson catches a fly ball to end the inning and, as he runs into the dugout, he looks up, he looks me directly in the face, and he winks. And that’s it. That wink took Rickey, oh, I dunno, a hundredth of a second of effort, but over the next five years of my life, my mum bought me a Rickey Henderson jersey, my mum bought me tons of Rickey Henderson baseball cards, and the name Rickey Henderson came up hundreds of times.”

Henderson didn’t just doff his cap to all the fans down the first base line; he gave a personal, private wink to one young fan.

The Power Of Intimate Attention

We live in an age of “bowling alone” where we barely know our neighbours and even “social” media primarily consists of us blasting each other with links to articles, cat videos, memes and inspirational quotes. So going back to where we started: How do you beat your competition? How do you compete against the Goliaths?

While Goliaths are sending email blasts to thousands of subscribers on their list, you will send one email to a real person. While Goliaths are busy updating their social media pages with memes, you will answer a question for one person in an online group. While Goliaths are using social channels as a bullhorn, you will use it to start a real conversation. Simply put, the secret is to connect with one person at a time.

Watch this amazing video on how to connect to one person at a time

The secret to connecting is listening. Are you listening enough? To watch more amazing videos, click here
To read more articles on listening and growth, click here

Share This


Tags: Communication

Kevin Kruse is a New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker, and leadership expert. He is the founder of The Kruse Group.

You May Also Like

image of a stupid foolish man and a man upset with a foolish man

How to Handle Foolish People

By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries. Reasoning with foolishly stubborn people can be frustrating. How do you manage individuals who thrive on power and control, defend their position, and deny their foolishness? Read more here.

Oct 24, 2023 6 Min Read


How To Shift Your Skills And Future-Proof Yourself

Hui Ming Ang, co-founder and Growth & Strategic Initiatives Leader at Leaderonomics, explores examples of skills that have evolved and those that are emerging in various industries to explain what shifting skills entails, how it relates to upskilling, and how it can help us prepare for the future.

Mar 27, 2023 24 Min Podcast


ChatGPT4 Turbo Unveiled: Sam Altman's Keynote at OpenAI DevDay | AI's Next Leap

Discover the transformative potential of these models in various applications and learn about OpenAI's ongoing partnership with Microsoft. Key Insights Summary: - Explore the new voice and vision capabilities of ChatGPT, making it a more interactive AI tool. - Learn about OpenAI's Custom Models program and the launch of the GPT Store. - Understand how GPTs are revolutionizing programming and technology interaction. - See real-world applications of GPT in education, finance, and more. - Discover OpenAI's approach to AI safety and user accessibility.

Nov 16, 2023 43 Min Video

Be a Leader's Digest Reader