USE A HOOK TO GRAB ATTENTION
What is a hook?
In fishing, it’s a sharp pronged device to snag (or hook) the fish, so that you can pull it in and catch it.
It’s not much different in writing. As an author, I will purposely craft a sentence or short paragraph at the beginning of my books to grab your attention. Why? To draw you in and make you keep reading. It’s a simple concept but not always simple to do.
Business writing isn’t that much different. You must write an attention-getting headline or opening sentence or risk losing your reader.
How do you write a hook?
Hooks are often written in the form of a question. What if you didn’t have a place to sleep tonight? That draws you in because it suggests hardship, perhaps danger, and it demands an answer.
Hooks are also written as demonstrative statements. More than 500,000 people in the U.S. are homeless. That’s a statistic that’s hard to ignore, and it tells you exactly what you’ll be reading about.
You can inspire curiosity with a hook. The person living on the street isn’t so different than you and me. By making a comparison between the reader and a homeless person, you create a desire to know how they’re alike.
In the same way authors carefully craft cliff hangers at the end of chapters to get you to turn the page, hooks are carefully crafted to draw you into a story, a news article or even a white paper. Business writing doesn’t need all the bells and whistles that creative writing employs, but if you want people to read what you write, you must first get their attention.
So, take the time to write a compelling hook.