It’s Not A Headline, It’s A Hook Point

The world is a busy place with millions of people and brands competing for attention on digital platforms. If you want to succeed and see results, you need to hook people in with your content and message.

It’s why the headlines you use with your content are more important than ever, and why I refer to headlines as “HOOK POINTS.”

I reference Hook Points in my book, One Million Followers, and will be elaborating a lot more on the topic in the future. It’s also a tactic that I regularly discuss with my private consulting clients, during my speaking engagements and with my private groups.

During a recent private group coaching call, I put the group through the Hook Point exercise I’ve used with the celebrities and major brands I’ve worked with. The members of the group are a mix of influencers, entrepreneurs, creators, artists and executives who are leveraging digital platforms to drive their success. The exercise was a powerful way for everyone to identify what makes them stand out, and help bring it into their content and message to rise above the noise.

Here’s the Hook Point process:

  1. Imagine yourself passing a kiosk with magazines and books as you walk through an airport.
  2. You have just a few moments to choose a magazine or book to read on your flight.
  3. What headline would catch your attention and drive your selection?

This is very similar to how people choose content on digital platforms. It’s what makes them read a post, watch a video, or click on an ad. When you identify your Hook Point, you are essentially finding what will make your content stand out and hook people in.

I then had my private group members pitch me the Hook Points they created based on the exercise, and provided them with guidance and feedback. One of the more compelling Hook Points came from a member who has a software app that allows users to design and play their own golf course from their smartphone. We iterated through multiple Hook Point ideas.

Here are a few that were generated, and my feedback:

  • Drop A Pin Anywhere – Too abstract.
  • YOU Can Design YOUR OWN Golf Course – Not compelling enough.
  • Build A Golf Course In 20 Minutes – A bit better.
  • Play Golf From the Bathroom! – A perfect Hook Point example./li>

I’m sharing the progression of ideas here to show how ideas evolve in the Hook Point exercise. Typically, you’ll start with something that sounds interesting to you because you know and care about the subject. But, as you purposefully iterate through ideas, you’ll start to get creative and add extra elements to make the audience pause and take a look.

You’ll also start to think like the audience. For example, it’s better to use “Build A Golf Course in 20 Minutes” than “Build Your Own Golf Course,” because it adds a compelling element and uniqueness to the headline. While, “Golf From Your Bathroom,” is most likely to make people take notice.

You want to think of multiple Hook Points for your content and message, and test them against each other. For the golf app, I advised running an app install campaign with the ad budget set at the default recommended budget (usually $20-25 per day for an app campaign). Then, to create 8-10 Hook Point variations against the same interest to see which one drives the lowest cost per install. And finally, to extend the best performing Hook Point to other interests and test at scale. This is how he’ll find and leverage the strongest Hook Point he’s created.

Hook Points can be applied to any content you make and distribute, so start thinking about what your perfect Hook Point might be.

If you’re interested in learning more about my private group or other ways to work with me, you can find details here.

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