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The Hook

How to Grab Attention for your

Mission, Message, or Marketing Campaign

I can help you hook your ideal client, donor, reader, customer, or buyer. As a fiction writer, blogger, communications specialist, ghost writer, and content creator, I have a lifetime of experience casting… and reeling in.

First impressions happen fast. The first image in a TV commercial, the first words spoken by a blind date, the first line of a new novel – these are the hooks. You might agree with me that a bit of patience and discernment would probably help us make more informed judgments. But, human nature being what it is, combined with the dizzying speed of information technology and the flood of words, images, and sound bites we are hip deep in at any given moment—hooks are often what we rely on.

If you are a business owner, if you run a non-profit with a mission you are passionate about, if you have something to say, or if you are rebranding and want to make sure your marketing presence rises like cream—consider the value of the hook.

Take a look at some great first lines of novels. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

  • “Where’s Papa going with that ax?” Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White This line demands that the reader know the answer.

  • “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.” Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston We understand this intuitively as we wait for our ship to come in one day. She has made the connection to her reader.

  • “It was a pleasure to burn.” Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury What could a pleasure so peculiar mean? Reading on is the only way to find out.

  • “You better not never tell nobody but God.” The Color Purple, Alice Walker There is a story here—one so monumental that only God should hear it, but if we read on, we can know it too.

Your hook connects with your audience, intrigues the people you want to capture, demands that they stay tuned in to find out more. Or, hooks create cognitive dissonance that must be reconciled.

Move past the ten second opportunity to capture your audience with a hook and you can keep them engaged with your expertise, knowledge, product, service, or whatever it is you want them to know about.

If you hook them and then keep them engaged, they can be yours forever. \

Photo "Heather Casts" by Win Haas


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