How many times have you been scrolling social media and seen another one of those reels telling you the “5 things you need to do to gain 1000 new followers a day”? (Or some other bogus promise.)
They’re everywhere, and I’m not pooh-poohing them en masse. Some of them include some excellent tips which are worth incorporating into your marketing alongside your existing strategies.
But there’s one particular piece of advice that irritates me enough to devote an entire blog post to it. It’s the suggestion that “Everything needs a hook”… and maybe a sinker too.
A “hook”, in marketing talk, is a way of capturing people’s attention and getting them to read on in the hope they’ll then interact with you. (The sinker is usually the call to action at the end.)
Here’s why I don’t believe they need to exist on every piece of content you create.
As one client wrote to me in an email:
“I recently did a free course about creating social media copy and now I’ve felt like I needed to have a hook or say something dramatic at the beginning of my posts. It feels so salesy .”
The goal of your marketing isn’t (and shouldn’t) be to yell to get the attention of every person that scrolls past. Your marketing is about giving people an opportunity to begin to know, like and trust you so they see your business as being the solution to their needs, wants or challenges.
Marketing is about developing a connection with people and hooks are just ONE way to capture attention and encourage connection. They shouldn’t be the only way.
Think about how you like to develop a connection with a new brand? You might like to be invited into a conversation, and probably appreciate being told what to “do next” in order to engage their services or buy their product. But you probably also like some “breathing room” to sit back, take it all in, and make up your own mind about whether a brand delivers the value you’re looking for.
Respect your potential clients enough to know that you don’t need to shout at them to be heard. And anyway, too much shouting and you’ll end up losing your voice and then no one will hear you. The occasional whistle or microphone works just fine. 😉
It’s worth mentioning that you can use hooks effectively in a “non-shouty” way. The first sentence of this blog post is, in fact, a hook! Hooks come in all shapes and sizes, and you get to choose when and how to use them in a way that makes you feel comfortable.