Note to self: do not attempt grocery shopping on December 23rd. It’s a flipping zoo out there! The introvert in me practically broke out in hives. Fully recovered, with 273 layers of clothing and a Duraflame log for company, I wanted to share a trick that’ll make your headline pop and lock (because anytime is a good time for a break dancing reference, amiright?).
So you know that a headline is essentially a hook – the first set of words that grab a readers attention. It’s the mechanism that keeps them from bouncing.
There are loads of formulas for hooking attention, without being an annoyance or an embarrassment and this one works in all but one scenario (I’ll share when NOT to use this formula in a sec).
It’s made up of 3-parts:
1. Sell the end result your thing helps your buyer achieve.
2. Add in who your buyer wants to be or become and why it makes them look good to others.
3. “Others” could be; an image they have of their best self, someone they aspire to be like (a peer, friend, sibling or rival) or an authority figure (they either want to be the authority or want to buck authority).
The trick to this formula, and all good writing, is knowing who your audience is; what they think, how they feel and where they are in the awareness process.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say we have a high performance course for executives that includes a module on speed reading. And let’s say our executive wants to make a killer impression so that they’re the one considered for the big corner office promotion. And let’s also say they’re actively looking for an edge – fast – over the other execs jockeying for the same position (so cut throat!). We could create hooks like these:
V1: Read 300 Business Books in 30-Minutes (and easily retain only the most valuable ideas) – You’ll be Remembered for Your Sharp Intellect and Limitless Knowledge.
V2: How to Read 300 Business Books in 30-Minutes Without Losing the Most Valuable Ideas (your boundless knowledge will place you in a league of your own).
V3: Great News! You Can Retain Only the Most Valuable Ideas from 300 Business Books in 30-minutes (and be known as the sharpest mind in your industry).
This is what I call an Identity Formula because it appeals to a tangible product result *and* an intangible identity result (in persuasion-speak its called prestige).
The only time the Identity Formula might work against you is if you’re addressing the ill. Generally, if you’re sick prestige is a desired outcome – you’re not looking to be “the healthiest mom on the block.” You simply want to feel better. This is why it’s so important to know your people from the inside-out.
Like I said, there are lots of formulas for hooks and getting attention. In my next message, I wanna show you how to figure out the intangible result your peeps want – it’s the stuff no one talks about – not even your peeps. Prepare for an emoji moment. 🤯