Hack your audience’s short term memory

How good is your short-term memory? Probably not as good as you think.

Don’t worry, it’s not your fault — our brains just aren’t designed for it. According to a 1956 paper published by cognitive psychologist George A. Miller, the human mind can only hold about 7 different pieces of information at once in our short-term memory.

And just so we’re clear, when we’re talking about short-term memory, we’re talking about just the past 15 to 30 seconds — not the few hours or so most people associate with short-term memory. This means that the vast majority of information in our short-term memory gets immediately discarded.

For content creators and entrepreneurs, all of this matters because your audience is bombarded with billions of different messages on social media each day, and it’s literally impossible for them to remember even 1% of them. Your content isn’t just competing with other content in your vertical — it’s competing with every other piece of information out there in the world. You can spend tons of time and effort crafting an amazing ad campaign, but is it really worth it if nobody even remembers it?

So how can you make a better impression on your audience? Research has shown that information that’s surprising or novel has a much greater chance of capturing the attention of our short-term memory. The same is true for information that has emotional intensity. This is why we suggest that our clients learn how to identify patterns in content, so they can learn how to break them, and use Hook Points that deliberately evoke strong emotional reactions.

It’s simple in concept, but difficult to execute. That’s how you know it’s worth it. There’s a clear barrier to entry, and the creators that are putting in the time and effort to break through the noise and create pattern interrupts that really stick with people are the success stories. Take the time to come up with 10 different directions for that headline before you choose the best one. Rewrite that script segment because there’s just a little more punch you can squeeze out of it.

Your competitors are doing it…at least the ones that matter, of course. Don’t worry about the rest. They’ll be forgotten anyway!

By learning how the brain works, we’re able to cut through all the noise and make sure our messages don’t just reach our customers, but that they get remembered.


Feel like there’s just one thing that’s holding you back from success? This may be the right fit for you…Register for my master class here.

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