Have you ever started to read a book and were instantly hooked?
Confession: I don’t get to read for fun as much as I’d like. But recently, I picked up a book I just COULDN’T put down! The first sentence grabbed me and I stuck with the story ‘til the very end.
That got me thinking.
The opening of a good book has a lot in common with how you grab the attention of your ideal patient.
Now, we’re not saying to go crank out a novel. Instead, think about how you can create some kind of great hook that draws in your ideal patients like flies to flypaper!
Think of your hook as that catchy first sentence that grabs your reader and pulls them in. Whether it’s for an email, a blog, or a social post, a great hook is critical for getting more eyes on your practice. Much like the opening sentence in a book, your hook has the power to grip your readers… or bore them to death.
Let’s dive more into what makes the hook so important. Then, we’ll get into how you can write hooks to grow your practice.
Why the Hook Is the Most Important Part
Headlines or hooks will determine whether your ideal patient will stay engaged and keep reading or move on for something better. Compelling hooks convince a casual scroller to stop and pay attention – that there’s something important coming up they shouldn’t miss. But without a good headline or hook, the rest of what you write goes unread.
So, it’s worth spending some time on your hook. But what makes a hook compelling? Keep reading to find out.
A famous advertiser named David Ogilvy said:
“On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar.”
Qualities of a Compelling Hook
Think of the last time you were scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and came across a caption that instantly caught your eye. What about it made it so dang compelling?
Chances are the hook that snagged you had certain qualities to it. The most attention-grabbing hooks will:
- Stir up your natural interest and curiosity
- Speak directly to the person reading (None of this third-person business!)
- Be very specific and clear about what the content is about
When it comes to writing your hook, the best ones will relate directly to your topic. Nothing’s worse than clicking on something with a juicy headline only to find that the body of the content has NOTHING to do with it. This is known as clickbait and it’s sooooo annoying!
3 Proven Types of Hooks to Use in Your Content
Finally! The moment you’ve been waiting for – how to write the right kind of hooks!
Before we get going, let’s get clear about one thing. There are many ways to effectively use hooks in your marketing content. So here are our top three favorite types of hooks and how you can create them:
Hook 1: Create the Open Loop.
Think about the last time you binge-watched a TV show. Even when your eyeballs are falling out of your head and you’re ready for a break, you finish the current episode but anticipate what’s going to happen in the next one.
This is an example of what’s called an open loop. An open-loop creates a mystery for your audience. It’s where you give just enough information to pique their curiosity but not enough for them to solve the puzzle.
Why is this strategy so effective? Because our brains are hardwired to want to close the loop. If we read something without getting the full picture or complete answer, our brains try to figure out the answer and solve the problem.
Here are some examples of open-loop hooks you can create for your readers:
- This one strategy brought quick relief for over 300 of my patients.
- 3 things you should never do with desk yoga!
- Now you can double your flexibility in 30 days with these 2 stretches!
See how each of these hooks pique curiosity and make you wonder about the answer? When you create open-loop hooks, the reader feels more compelled to read through your content to get the full scoop and find the answer.
Just make sure that when you use this technique, you do so with integrity. Nothing’s worse than seeing a juicy headline only to find out the content is totally unrelated.
Hook 2: Ask a Question.
Similar to the open-loop idea, asking a question taps into our brain’s hardwiring to want closure. When faced with a question, the brain simply can’t resist answering it. The brain starts to visualize the response. The result? Your reader becomes instantly engaged.
So, play around with asking questions as a hook. Here are a few thought-starters to get your wheels turning:
- Have you ever had this happen? Then, lead into a post telling a relevant story about something that happened to you.
- Is it just me, or does drinking plain water get soooo boring? Transition into sharing creative ways to get in your liquids for the day.
- Are you afraid of needles? Provide information that helps them overcome needle fears with acupuncture.
You get the picture! Questions are a fun way to start your copy. So, play around with them and see what creative questions you can come up with.
Hook 3: Paint the Future.
When your patients reach out to you, they’re in pain or have some type of problem. Whether it’s a specific condition or they’re looking for instant relief, they’re coming to you for help.
One effective way to connect with your reader is by painting a picture of what their life could look like once their immediate problem is solved. There are two ways you can go about this:
- Tell a story. You can share the story of one of your patients who had an incredible health result after seeing you.
- Give a one-liner. It can be as simple as, “Here’s one simple stretch that helped over half my patients with their lower back pain.” Then, follow it up with a video giving step-by-step instructions on how to do that specific stretch.
Painting the future for your readers helps them know what’s possible regarding their health. It shifts their mind to a more hopeful state and showcases you as the practitioner who can help them.
Play Around With New Hooks for Your Readers
Your hook is arguably the most important piece of your copy. If you don’t grab your reader from the get-go, they won’t keep reading. If they don’t read on, they will miss out on all the incredible and life-changing value you can bring to them.
So, spend some time on your headline. Spend time writing out a few examples and then choose the best one. You can also run them through headline optimizers, like CoSchedule’s free headline analyzer.
If you’re still not sure, reach out to us. Our team would be happy to take a look at your hook (see what I did there?). We can’t wait to help you write powerful hooks to grow your practice!