Imagine you’re about to deliver an important speech.
It could be at your best friend’s wedding.
Or maybe it’s a make-or-break presentation at work.
Or you could even be accepting an award.
What matters is that all eyes are on you.
You clear your throat…
…and begin to speak.
Each well-rehearsed word rolls off your tongue and your delivery is on-point.
Your confidence is soaring.
But then, something unexpected happens…
One person stands up and leaves, pushing his or her neighbors aside as they make their way to the exit.
Then another person makes a beeline for the door.
Next folks start rising in pairs, and finally, groups begin leaving the premises in a hurry.
After a few short minutes less than HALF of the audience is still present and making eye contact.
Can you imagine?
How disheartening would this scenario be?
If you’re anything like most people, the answer is, pretty dang crushing.
It’s hard to see people disregard hours upon hours of work as they rush off to do something else; something they clearly feel is a better use of their time.
And yet, this is exactly what happens to the average blogger every single day!
That’s not a matter of opinion, either.
Chartbeat, a popular content intelligence company, analyzed 2 billion pageviews of popular media sites and determined that…
55% of visitors read for 15 seconds or less!
That’s barely enough to digest the headline and a couple of sentences!
So the question is, what can you do about it?
Well, a lot of the time, the answer is, “nothing.”
Some people will always leave your page shortly after opening it; there’s nothing you can do about that.
But what you can do to significantly improve your retention is to master the art of hooking undecided readers and convincing them they should stick around and keep reading (or watching).
Remember that everyone is busy and you’re asking them to invest time in consuming your content.
Part of this equation to grow an online business is writing a strong lead, which you can learn more about in this post.
But even the best hooks only work if you create enough interest in the first sentence or two.
Remember, you’re up against precious few seconds of your prospect’s attention!
So if you don’t grab them by the eyeballs right away, your audience will turn into a room full of empty seats.
So how do you generate rapt interest from the first words you write?
Well, it certainly doesn’t hurt to start with one of the eight tried-and-true formulas you’ll discover below.
You can think of these openers, or first few sentences, as a high-octane method of launching your reader into your content and creating the much-needed momentum that gets them to fully commit to reading (or watching, or listening to) your entire piece of content.
If you’re spending time producing blog posts, videos, emails, or anything else, this is one of the most crucial aspects to optimize (right after the headline).
So let’s dive in!
Formula number one is…
Generally speaking, you want your message to align with your audience’s viewpoints.
After all, you’re trying to demonstrate you can fulfill their needs, wants, and desires.
However, don’t discount how effective a initial shocking statement can be, provided you quickly return to more comfortable territory.
This isn’t a direct quote; it’s something readers of this post have likely heard, which creates instant familiarity.
Another way to use third-party information to get people reading through your entire article is with…
Like quotes, figures are highly persuasive in that they rely on data, which people trust more than opinions.
Moreover, the cool thing is that you can take a statistic and extrapolate on it, explaining what it means in different contexts.
For example: Australia’s humpback whale population is now at 90% of the pre-whaling era’s numbers, which shows us that marine animals can still live in modern-day oceans, if we stop hunting them to the brink of extinction.
But here’s the kicker:
We can use the same statistic to argue that tuna, just like whales, should be left alone for a few years (unless we want sub-par sushi for the rest of eternity).
Breaking down statistics in this way is a great way to open a blog post.
Here’s an example explaining how a study (that most people don’t have the time to read) pertains to marketing:
That’s how quickly your brain forms a first impression.
In fact, according to a study at Princeton University, participants crystallized a lasting judgment about the attractiveness, competence, and aggressiveness of a complete stranger in just one-tenth of a second!
For reference, it takes three-tenths of a second to blink your eyes.
And that’s it, you now have a eight formulas to open your next blog post!
Take any of these and integrate them with your snappy hook, and voila, you’ve set your content up for maximum engagement and retention.
The only thing that’s left is driving eager sets of eyes to your page, where the first couple of sentences (and the rest of your post) can work their magic.
So if you need any help growing your audience…
I’d like to invite you to get instant access to our flagship product: Attraction Marketing Formula, a complete, no B.S. roadmap to create your own online prospecting machine.
You’ll learn about the specific tools and techniques you can use to effortlessly connect with prospects on social media, so you’ll never experience the type of lead scarcity that compels you to act desperate or needy with your prospects.
Trust me, this type of qualifying process automatically positions you as the authority.
Not only that, but these methods allow you to build your business automatically—where people reach out to you (instead of you having to reach out to them).
And if you learn these online ‘attraction marketing skills…
People will be automatically attracted to you and will want to join your organization as a result.