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F&S: What’s your hook?

What’s your hook? What’s your take on the situation? What is your angle?

These days it seems as though just being able to weave a good story or serve really good food with good service isn’t enough. We have to have an angle or a hook or something that’s different than our competition. I recently helped promote a series of workshops on marketing for small businesses owners and Pam emphasized this concept.  Just being a good writer doesn’t mean thousands of people are going read my blog, but having interesting an unusual content will.

While I was searching for content for this article, I found a viral video of a man using two Kermit the Frog puppets to lip sync to “Under Pressure”.  A sign to the man’s right says he’s homeless and needs money to support his family.  The video made me howl with laughter and wipe tears from my eyes and also made me listen to the lyrics a little closer:

It’s the terror of knowing
What the world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming ‘Let me out’
Pray tomorrow gets me higher
Pressure on people people on streets

It turns out the man in the video is not homeless and does not have a starving family but is an L.A. based comedian who wants to bring the issue of homelessness to light. It got my attention and made me want to give money to a local homeless shelter or charity.  Smart move. Smart hook. Check out the video:

Another smart hook this week comes from NPR’s Music blog which an article on  musical hooks and what it means for songwriters and listeners. Hooks are the catchy part of a song or melody (Obla dee obla dah life goes on) that gets stuck in your head or makes the song for you. The difference between a hook and riff (like the opening of Sweet Child O’ Mine) was also explained and examples of each were given from everything ranging from Jay Z to The Beatles.  Maybe the article in itself is a hook.

Moving along from hooks to Nooks or Kindles even, an article in the NY Times Magazine discusses the concept of “popular highlights”. Apparently if you own a Kindle and find a particular passage of oh, let’s say 1984, fascinating you can highlight it. This in turn, shares it with everyone else who buys this e-book from Amazon. I don’t know about you, but I HATED buying used textbooks or used books even that were underlined by other people. What might be an important passage to you is boring to me. If you want to get a sense of what is important to Kindle readers, check out Amazon’s list of most highlighted passages .  It’s a good hook for Kindle owners to come together and share their thoughts but I can think of other ways to do that without the yellow highlights.

Now that you’re completely hooked on my ideas and content, make sure to check out A Closer Look Radio on Pam’s guests this week will help you create your own hook as you make transitions towards new goals . They will also teach you how to create balance in your work life. The show airs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m. PST.


About Anna Alexander

I get ideas. I write things. I sometimes follow through with those ideas. I also run long distances and live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband cat who lets us pay the mortgage on his house.

3 responses »

  1. Great article, Anna!
    I need to find a hook for my art, but cutting off an ear is not an option.

  2. Hi Anna
    Loved the video of the comedian…Isn’t it great when someone can find a creative and innovative way to get their message across?

    I recently wrote a book called What’s Your Hook? so your point hit home for me. I’m always trying to get my clients to use stories, analogies and props to get their message to stick. I’ll be happy to email you a copy of the book…Just let me know.

    Keep up the terrific work!
    Kevin Carroll


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