We all want to get good at getting attention.

It’s not as negative as some might make us think.

After all, we’re born wanting attention. We want attention as toddlers. And we still want attention as adults.

(Oi, put that phone down and spend time with me will ya?!)

Episode 103 with John Follis from Follis Inc is all about understanding the different ways we can use for getting attention.


Nervous about going all in without a sneaky peek? Don’t worry – we’re covering your bases with this one!

Watch the promo of the conversation about getting attention on your Apple device or on YouTube





A quote from the episode that's all about getting attention



Here’s what’s in this episode about getting attention!

(Table of contents)



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Who is John Follis?

John Follis knows how you go about getting attention


John Follis is a creative who had the “Mad Men” world at his fingertips in Madison Avenue working for Pizza Hut, VW and Coca-Cola.

He’s an advertising legend with over 10 years’ experience creating commercials that have been seen all around America on TV networks such as CBS or ABC.

But not just there!

You can find them online too through John’s company Big Idea Video which has been running since 2013.



John’s experience with getting attention, leveraging his podcast as a discovery tool before social was a thing!

John Follis is a man who has been around the block a bit when it comes to creative and getting attention for brands.

And he’s got high levels of credibility having been a real life Don Draper.

That’s right, we have one of the Mad Men on the show!


Photographer: Austin Distel | Source: UnsplashJ



Now as you’d expect with a forward-thinking creative, John was dabbling with podcasts before they were even really a thing.


His first exposure to them was in 2006, when he hosted the first marketing podcast.

He assures us this is true.

We are not Wikipedia so we’re not going to offer a citation link.

We’ll just take him on trust.

He slowly stopped podcasting as he wasn’t getting the ROI out of it that he’d hoped.

However, video beckoned.



Success is about timing

John makes the valid point that a large part of success in the attention economy is down to the time you’re putting in, and the time your ideal audience is getting out of it.

When you consider that there are formats of 30 seconds, 60 seconds and 3 minutes, it can be a challenge to figure out what will strike the chord with your ideal audience member.

Clearly formats like Instagram Reels and Tik Tok are absolutely cashing in on the power and impact of short form content.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a deeper level of storytelling.

And when it comes to getting attention to your stuff, this is what you have to think about.

  • Where are my audience hanging out?
  • What do I need to connect to them with?



Whatever platform or medium you use, you’ve got to get the messaging right!

Some swear by audio.

Some by video.

And then there’s long form and short form to decide on.

John speaks to the nuances of content creation and the need for understanding the attraction of certain audiences towards those nuances.

And as Wendy suggests to him in the episode. spray and pray rarely works, so you’ve got to be quite focused in where you’re placing your messaging.

An excerpt

John Follis – “What it does is it forces businesses to realize that people’s attention span is very short. They probably are not going to listen or watch to a 30 minutes podcast, but they will listen to and watch a 30 second video. And because my training is 30 second TV commercials, there’s not a big leap between a 30 second TV commercial that’s got to captivate someone, get their attention, and in that period of time get them interested to know more about your product or service.

Between TV commercial and a video, it’s really the same thing. So it’s not just a matter of having video, but having really short, compelling, creative, entertaining videos that get people excited about the product or service that you’re trying to promote. And because my expertise is writing and design and art direction and video creation, that’s what I excel at.

That’s my skill set. I don’t come out of the business side of marketing, I come out of the creative side. I’m really a creative guy that realized that I’ve got to be more smart about the marketing behind the creative. But I just think that every business can have a lot more really compelling, short, creative content. And then the question becomes is how you get that video in front of the person. But the first step is creating a message that you want to get in front of people that if they see it, they’re going to get excited about it, they’re going to react to it. There’s a lot of video crap out there, but it’s not created by people who are talented at communicating a message in 30, 60 seconds.”



The algorithms are constantly changing!

Everyone on social media is an expert it seems.

“Don’t post links in tweets or LinkedIn posts.”

“Avoid writing long form captions on Instagram.”

“Stop creating your own content on TikTok! Instead pay ‘tribute’ to existing content.”

There are so many expert opinions on these platforms, yet no one answer seems to yield results for very long.

It seems like as soon as a new ‘best practice’ rule comes along, there’s an algorithm change that renders the advantage nil.

The pair discuss this very challenge in the episode.


An excerpt from the transcript

John – “I’m still fascinated. I could get cynical about it, but it’s fascinating. But again, as a creative person, my tolerance for learning about the stuff and this analytical stuff, because a lot of it is very analytical and algorithmic based and all that stuff, my tolerance level for that is limited because at the end of the day, if I’m not creating something, that’s my talent. That’s what I do better than most people. So if I can’t do something that allows me to showcase what I’m really good at, then maybe I should hire someone else to figure out all this other stuff because…”

Here’s the player to listen right now.



Wendywoo’s Takeaway from the conversation about getting attention

“The challenges of social media marketing in the age of constantly changing algorithms are vast.

It can be difficult to keep up with the best practices, as no one solution seems to work for very long.

John Follis suggests that businesses should focus on creating short, creative videos that capture people’s attention.

We could all probably put more effort into video, but I still maintain that I’m an audio girl, and so video is not my natural habitat.

Which is why I went all in on this podcast.

I feel like I’ve got my people, listening in to these episodes.

But let me know what you think!

Use the various links to carry on the conversation with me!”


John’s links



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