Welcome back to another edition of the Digital Brand Builders newsletter, a newsletter teaching you one actionable lesson you can use each week to build and grow your own brand online.
I want to teach from my own experience, so I’ll be sharing everything I’ve learned about starting and growing my personal brand and online business over the past several months in the hopes that it helps you do the same.
And by the end of every edition, I’ll leave you with a few action steps you can take to get one step closer to building your own digital brand this upcoming week.
Sound like a plan?
Alrighty, let’s dive right into this one!
Here’s what we’ll be covering this week:
3 ways you can hook your audience and turn attention into $$$.
This Week’s Blueprint 🗺
Want to know the average attention span of a human? I’ll give you a hint… it’s less than a goldfish (shoutout to Ted Lasso for that fun fact).
The answer? 8.25 seconds.
Yep… that’s it.
Which means it’s never been harder to capture (and keep) the attention of your audience.
And as writers, creators, and digital brand builders, whether you like it or not we need attention if we want to sell our offers or simply get people to view our content.
Luckily for you, though, there are a few simple tricks you can use to not only capture the attention of your audience, but also keep that attention and turn it into a profit.
So without further ado, here are X ways you can hook your audience and get them to pay attention to what you have to say ↓
1. Start in the Middle of the Action 🎬
This is one of my favorites.
Because at the end of the day, I love telling stories and finding ways to incorporate entertaining stories into my content.
But truth is, everything you’ve been told about stories is a lie.
We’ve been told that the best stories follow the structure of:
Beginning → Middle → End
When in reality, if you really want to use a story to capture your reader’s attention, you need to start in the middle of the action.
Think about all of Cristopher Nolan’s movies. Inception, The Dark Knight, Tenet, Momento.
They all start in the middle of the action and work their way back from there.
Because Nolan knows he only has a few short minutes to hook his viewers or else they’ll be bored before the movie even begins (that’s why he’s my favorite director).
Take this recent story I published on Twitter (or X or whatever you want to call it):
I started right in the middle of the action and hooked readers from the first line.
“I woke up to a ruckus.”
Tell me if you read that, you wouldn’t keep reading to learn what happens next?
Exactly… that’s the power of starting in the middle of the action.
So if you’re using a story to hook your readers (which I’d recommend), don’t follow the Beginning → Middle → End structure.
Instead, start your story in the middle of the action and hook your readers from the very first line.
2. Use Numbers to Spark Curiosity 🔢
Look, people love numbers.
Because they get our attention and they’re easy to follow.
If I’m quickly scrolling on social media and see a headline that says something like:
- 7 ways to…
- I quit my 9-5 job 3 months ago…
- I made $1M in the past 90 days…
These are all impossible to ignore. They capture my attention. And now I need to know how you made a million dollars in the past 90 days (I mean, who wouldn’t want to read that?).
Remember, people love numbers. Use that to your advantage.
Here’s an example:
3. Compare Two Different Things ⚖️
Another thing people love? Comparisons.
We compare how one outfit looks vs. another. We compare how one food tastes vs. another. We even compare ourselves to others for crying out loud!
Comparing different things is just a natural human behavior.
So why not leverage it?
Here are a few ways you can use a comparison to hook your audience:
- Then vs. now transformation
- Comparing two similar things at different prices
- Comparing two things that seem like they have nothing in common but actually do
Just look at this YouTube headline from Mr. Beast:
I can’t imagine what a $1 house looks like. And I want to see what a $100,000,000 house looks like.
They’re the same thing (both a house) but I can imagine they’re very different from one another.
Mr. Beast also uses the cost comparison with numbers to spark our interest.
And it works… because who wouldn’t want to watch that video? 134 million people did so far haha!
And the best part? That hook keeps working for him. Just look at how many comparison videos he has on his channel.
Playing into human psychology at its best.
Why Do All These Methods Work? 🤔
Truth is, there are countless ways you can hook your audience to capture their attention.
- Ask an interesting question
- Paint a vivid picture in their minds
- Agitate one of their most painful problems
But why do all these methods work so well… especially the three mentioned above?
Because they’re all a pattern interrupt.
You see, a pattern interrupt is when you interrupt or break your reader’s typical habits. It’s unexpected.
Because the thing is, there’s so much content out there and things we could pay attention to every single day.
But if you want to capture attention, you have to think different.
When everyone’s saying this, you say that. When everyone’s starting at the beginning of a story, you start in the middle (or even the end). When everyone’s going left, you go right.
We crave for something different. Deep down, we want our typical habits and patterns to be interrupted so we can think:
“Wait, did I really just read that? Did that really just happen?”
That’s the power of a pattern interrupt. And that’s the power of hooking your reader.
Because if you can hook your audience and capture and keep their attention, you can get them to pay you thousands of dollars (but that’s a lesson for another time… and one I’m still learning myself lol).
This Week’s Action Steps 🐾
Annnndddd… there you have it!
3 ways you can hook your audience to capture their attention. And use that attention to become a very rich man or woman.
Here are your action steps for this week:
- Type something into YouTube or Google and scroll through until something makes you stop and read
- Take note of all the headlines that make you stop. What about them caught your attention?
- Reverse engineer them to write three of your own hooks or headlines
As always, let me know if you have any questions :)
Connor “grab hold of that attention” Flynn
This Week’s Top Quote 🗯
“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson | American Writer and Abolitionist