Think of the last movie you actually went to see in the theater.
Chances are, before committing to the movie you either had heard about it from a friend or seen a trailer and were intrigued enough to forgo Netflix, leave your house, and head to the theater.
In other words, you were hooked.
Whether it’s filling movie theater seats or building an audience around your show, a great hook is essential for getting people through the door.
A lack of an immediately compelling hook, inversely, is one of the biggest reasons many shows struggle to grow.
Think back to all the times you’ve been asked what your show is about.
What was the typical reaction your description of it received?
A great hook causes people’s eyebrows to shoot up immediately, interested—intrigued even—to find out more.
The best hooks elicit this reaction even for people firmly outside your target audience who will never listen to your show.
A great hook is concise and memorable, something that sticks in the memory of everyone you tell that they can repeat verbatim next time they come across someone who might be interested in the content you create.
When you have a great hook, you can turn everyone you talk to about your work into a small part of your marketing department.
When you don’t, they tune out, lose interest, and the opportunity is wasted.
Of course, a great hook is far easier to communicate when it’s baked into the show’s concept.
No it’s not easy.
Which is why few shows actually have a great hook
Which is why few are able to consistently turn acquaintances into advocates
Which is why so many creators are left struggling to build an audience around their work.
If you believe your show is fascinating, one of your marketing’s biggest jobs is to find a way to communicate that in a way that is unmistakable to your ideal listeners.
Even better if you can do it for a random pedestrian on the street.