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I don’t believe in short attention spans, sue me

You read the subject line right, cully:


I don’t believe in short attention spans.


Of course, I’m not an idiot, nor do I play one on TV, so I understand that short-form TikTok videos are taking the world by storm. Every social media platform added TikTok-esque videos for a reason.


But I don’t think this is proof that we’re riddled by short attention spans that make us on par with intelligence to ants.


That, my friend, would be stupid.


Especially with all the counter-examples out there of people actually having widely long attention spans… Given, of course, that they find said piece of content in particular entertaining.


How about a few counter-examples of my own life:


Since wrapping up Black Friday (and since Black Friday coincides with the end of the month), I’ve had a relaxing week. I didn’t work more than 6 hours on any given day. And to help prevent burn out from a couple of more difficult extra weeks, I’ve spent my evenings doing nothing other than reading fiction.


I’ve read 500-some pages over the last 3 or so days. I don’t say this to brag in some lame guru-y way (it was fiction after all, which is considered an utter waste of time to these jabronis), but to say that obviously an ant couldn’t have done that.


How about another example?


One of my favorite bands is a jam band called Goose. Listening to crispy jams as I hammer the keys on my keyboard gives me a nice little productivity boost. And, since getting access to almost their entire catalog of live shows, I’ve been exclusively listening to them. Single songs, when performed live, in jam band fashion can end up being 30 minutes in length, and I’m listening on the edge of my seat the entire time.


Now, jam bands ain’t for everyone. But they just so happen to be Bert Kreischer’s favorite band too—and he recently had them on his podcast, which has the corny name “Bertcast.”


Anywho:


Bert asked them a question about TikTok and whether they’d ever consider only making short-arse TikTok-length songs to capture the trend of the day.


Their response to this question?


Well, there was no response. Instead they just stared at Bert perplexed that he would ask them (of all bands) a stoopid question like this.


Mayhap they’ve read my emails. Mayhap they’ve studied Earl Nightingale himself. Mayhap they just enjoy playing music with massive improv sections that take on their own life each time they’re played.


But I’ll tell you this:


They ain’t cotton to this “short attention span” BS either, buck-o.


But mayhap you need other examples from the typical, non-business owner masses:


So I won’t leave you hanging…


In the same exact moment of time where marketers everywhere are screeching that we have the attention span of ants, and it’s your job, as a marketer, to treat your, say, email list like a massive digital ant farm where you can’t write emails over 150 words because, well, ants can’t read 151 words we also have…


* More people listening to 3+ hour podcasts than ever before


* People wasting an entire weekend to binge watch over 50 hours of content of their new favorite show on a streaming service


* Anime is more popular than it’s ever been too, and most anime shows have thousands and thousands of episodes, sometimes even per season


* People scrolling social media all day and night (and while, yes, much of this is them watching those TikTok-esque videos on their preferred social media platform, the fact that they can sit on any single app for hours upon hours at a time should tell you sumtin)


And I could go on and on.


But I t’won’t.


Instead, I’ll do something far more valuable:


How can people like Joe Rogan get away with making 3+ hour podcasts (while getting millions of views per show) in an age where we have the attention span of ants?


The answer is simple, and you’ve had it this whole time:


We don’t have the attention span of ants. (Otherwise, we’d be… well, ants.)


Your email list isn’t a massive digital ant farm.


And if you have a product or service that your audience needs to be convinced of, nothing will work better than longer form copy.


Why then can’t zoomers concentrate for more than 60-second intervals at a time?


Well, because we’re easily bored.


And when we’re bored, our attention span comes down to ant-sized proportions.


But the opposite is true:

When you write in an entertaining way (like telling interesting stories, for example) then, well, you can capture like 50 straight hours of undivided attention, as many and many-a streaming shows prove.


And you know what?


When you can write in this specific way, and don’t have to treat your audience like ants, your revenue skyrockets too.


Don’t believe me?


Hit reply, we’ll set up a quick call, and on said quick call I’ll show you one of my client’s Klaviyo accounts that’ll make you think again.


Call my bluff. I dare ya.


John


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