(Pulse Check #41) Hook them in the first 2 lines

If people don't get an immediate benefit from reading the first two lines of your social media posts, website, or any other content you put out, they're going to go onto something else.

To continue from last week's Pulse Check, today we're going to go a little deeper in what you should actually be writing.

All too often business owners making posts on Facebook that bury the most important points deep in their posts and start them off with fluff that the reader doesn't care about.

The goal instead should be to use those first two lines to hook in your desired audience and make them want to read more.  We do that by sharing some kind of benefit or insight that they deeply care about.

(Doing customer research will help you figure out what your audience and prospects care about most.)

For example don't say something like this:  I decided to start my clinic because I kept seeing patients not getting the help they needed.  I knew ketamine was the answer for so many people but no one was offering it to them.

This leaves too many questions for the reader to try to answer without enough value to make them want to find an answer.

Here's something that's a bit more impactful…

She said this was the first time she can remember not having suicidal thoughts.  It was amazing to see such a transformation in only a few weeks when so many other treatments had failed her.

Can you see the difference?

The first thing to understand is that humans connect through stories and shared experiences.  Stories evoke an emotional response that pull a reader in.  Whenever possible make your stories into a post that connects to the value.

The second example (called a hook) can transition into a story about how this person had tried several different medications in the past that never worked.  You can talk about the frustration and pain that comes along with yet another treatment failing.

From there you can talk about how Ketamine infusions started working almost immediately with significant improvements in the first two weeks.  And then finish off sharing how ketamine works differently than other treatments and that's why it's so effective for treatment-resistant depression.

All wrapped up into a story that people will related to and be able to connect with if they're in a similar spot.

The next key piece of the puzzle is connecting only to people who would be interested in this and repelling everyone else.  If you haven't struggled with suicidal thoughts, you're probably not going to be interested in reading any further.  That's exactly what we want.

But if you've struggled with suicide throughout your life then seeing a post talking about someone who was able to get rid of them is going to be profoundly interesting to you.

The third part is the hardest for people to internalize but is critically important.  You can't give everything away at once, you have to build curiosity.  Now that doesn't mean to use clickbait stuff like you see on news websites.

But you do need to hold out on telling people what it is until you've pulled them in.  Notice how the second example has a lot of curiosity built in.  

First time not having suicidal thoughts will have people wondering how.  The transformation happening in such a short time makes people wonder how long and what could possibly do that when they're used to medications that take months.  Mentioning other medications failing in the past will make those who have tried multiple treatments before wonder what this might be.

But it's not good enough to build curiosity in your hook and then give away the solution in the next few lines.  You need to continue to tell the story and talk about their transformation.

You need to make sure they really can relate to the story you're telling.  You want them nodding their head up and down thinking, “Yes, that's exactly what I've been going through.”

The easiest way to wrap your head around it is tell the story of the person's life before starting treatment.  Share a few of the major highlights they had been struggling with.  Don't go overboard, you only need a few examples.

After that it's time to start talking about the results of the treatment but still don't mention exactly what the treatment is.  Give some details about what their life has been like since working with you.  How has their life improved?  What can they do now that they couldn't before?  How do they feel as compared to before.

Again, share this as a story.  Maybe they have the energy to play with their kids again.  Or maybe they can be present with their partner and that's improved their romantic relationship.  Make sure the reader can imagine themselves in those situations.

The last part is where you talk about the treatment, in our example it would be actually talking about ketamine and telling people what it is with a few technical reasons why it's different.  But again don't go overboard here or go too deep in the science where people wouldn't understand what you're talking about.

Instead of talking about chemicals and the changes your brain undergoes use an analogy.  “It's kind of like being across the room from your thoughts.  You can still hear them but you have the space so they can't overwhelm you.”

Our brains make buying decisions based on emotion first and then use logic to justify that decision.  Once they're emotionally invested you want to back up that decision by sharing a few intellectual things that will make sense to affirm they're making the right choice.

Now your job is to go out and write your own post following this framework.  One tip, pick a topic and start writing. The blank page is the hardest to overcome so get something down and then edit later.

Often times your hook will end up being buried deeper in your post so read what you wrote carefully and see if anything jumps out at you.  If it does move that up to the top and then build the rest of your post around that.

Hope this helps.

-Jason Duprat, MBA, MSA, CRNA