Julie Chenell Sitting at a desk writing in a notebook

10 Business & Life Tips To Take Into 2023

It was impossible for me to accurately summarize 2022 with a takeaway or a recap of all the things that happened since it was a banner year for crisis and problems. However, there are things I’d love to remember and gift to anyone who is looking for inspiration for 2023. So here are the things I’m taking with me!

#1 Ride the wave of disenchantment

There comes a time in a business where you feel utterly disenchanted with your offers, your customer, and what you’ve built. Disenchantment is part of the journey.

People freak out when it hits.

It’s normal and will happen, especially if you’re building something that’s meant to last.

You can even see this on long running TV series.

There’s always that season or two that feels lame and under done. But then they push through and the remaining seasons come back strong and ends with a bang.

Business is the same.

#2 What to do when you can’t hear your inner voice

First, stop thinking about it. Start feeling it in your body. I know… weird. But notice the sensation in your body when you think about the situation or idea. Do you get butterflies? Racing heart? Do you feel calm? Do your muscles relax?

Two, know what you need. Like a video game avatar, you have to know what stamina and strength you actually possess (and want to use up).

Three, acknowledge your fear bias. We are am drawn to that which is comfortable and avoid risk. And ask yourself what would you do if you weren’t afraid and could not fail?

Four, how much dysfunctional behavior are you doing (or dysfunctional beliefs) are you holding onto in order to exist in the current setup?

Five, are you being honest?

Six, have you acknowledged that your uncertainty is a choice in and of itself and if you search your soul, your dreams, or your quiet thoughts, are you ignoring a still small voice inside of you?

Try these six exercises the next time you can’t hear your own inner voice, and see what comes up. For me? Every time it’s paid off.

#3 Be warned… Indecision is addictive

Hard truth incoming: The habit of indecision is addictive.

I know this because as a pretty decisive person normally, I’ve found my brain stuck in several high stakes indecision loops during points of crisis and struggle in my life. And once out of it, the next time it happens, the well worn path in my brain says, “Oh good. Let’s do the indecision cycle forever!” and it’s even harder to break the next time.

You can read the full post here, but here is the cycle that the brain goes through.

How do you break out of the indecision loop?

  1. Observe the cycle
  2. Trust your acquiring information phase
  3. Remind yourself of the thief of indecision
  4. Steel yourself for your survival response and don’t listen to it

The first step is to observe yourself doing it. Once you see the behavior in action, you can actually move it from a subconscious pattern to a conscious choice you can push against.

The second step is to trust your acquiring information phase. For most decisions, whatever you learn within a few weeks or a month of hard core research, conversations, journaling, therapy, counsel, interviews, etc. is enough. Tiny little bits of new info aren’t going to change your outcome.

It’s also important to recognize that when you’re taking steps into an unknown territory, a place that requires you to start building new beliefs, there’s a level of risk that’s needed. Acquiring information may include examining your belief systems and making way for something new. Pick good mentors and critical thinkers to help you here because growth is messy.

The third step is to tell yourself that indecision is a thief, and carries far worse consequences over time than even a bad decision. Because even in a bad decision, there’s so much to learn and grow from.

The last step? Is to steel yourself for the survival response when it comes, and push through. Expect it. Don’t let it tell you you’re going to die if you choose. You will not.

I speak on this topic with deep experience in making irreversible, emotionally charged, difficult decisions that go against what is ingrained in me beliefs wise as a child.

#4 You need diverse voices in your life if you want to grow

Do you know that pine trees grow better in an unmanaged diverse forest than in a field where it’s only pine trees that are planted?

The diversity of the root systems, the fungal network that connects them underground… the pines are more likely to survive, thrive, and produce more wood and seed when they are among lots of different trees in a forest.

Next time you wonder why things aren’t going well…. Why you’re struggling to produce at the level you know you’re capable of, when you feel dead and exhausted and burned out…Get out of the field.

Get away from the monoculture you’re in.Go into the forest and live among the messy beautiful diverse species of plants and trees… and grow.

#5 No matter how loud you think you are, chances are you’re not loud enough

Ever notice on Instagram that breakout artists (singers/songwriters trying to build an audience)… they write a song and they do a reel clip of that song.

And then… another reel clip…of the same song.And then… another.

And another. Same song every time.

Maybe the lyric clip is slightly different. Maybe they are sitting behind the steering wheel of their car vs. walking on the sidewalk, but it’s the same information.

Next time you tell me you’ve run out of topics to talk about, or you are tired of the same thing…

Think about the breakout artists. Who are posting the same song day after day, hoping one of their videos catches.

Course creators and online service providers, you should NEVER run out of content because repeating content is totally fine.No one is paying as close attention to you as you are to you.

#6 Fire is designed to burn up that which isn’t supposed to last

When the heat rages and you’re in the middle of the flames, everything (in your life, business, world) that was a distraction, a weight on your mind and heart, things that were not built on your conviction but on reactions and bad habits and people pleasing…beliefs that were propped up by lies or unquestioned assumptions…It will all burn up.

And what will be left… is what’s worth holding onto.

The fire is meant to help you.

It’s meant to clear the path so you can become who you’re truly meant to be. When you avoid the heat, when you shy away from the things that strike a match to your world…you never get the opportunity to watch all your false ideas and mindset trash and assumptions that are holding you back…turn to ash.

#7 There are really only 5 things you need to make passive income through digital products

If you want to make $500/$1000 a day passively selling digital products (not courses, coaching, etc.) but digital products like swipe files, documents, templates, etc…. here are the five things you need to make sure your product does if you really want to hit that mark with JUST those products (I’m not talking upsells and lifetime value).

1. You need an EASY as hell domain. Like, it’ll fall right out of my mouth level. Probably a domain that’s going to cost you more than $10. It HAS to be a .com. It might cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars to grab.

2. You need a product that people NEED. Not, “aw yea nice to have.” No. Need. Like, I NEED an email script if I’m doing cold pitching. I literally can’t pitch without a good script. vs some checklist for cold pitching (or an SOP) which is okay, fine. That’s nice. But I can technically do the project without it. Keep in mind it’s not that the checklist is bad, and it probably could and would sell, but if we want to accomplish the goal above, you’ve gotta make something people NEED.

3. It has to be a product that dramatically shortcuts time FOR your customer, but also (and here’s what people miss), also dramatically shortcuts time for possible collabs and affiliates. I’m selling a coaching program on sales, I don’t want to have to write email scripts that I KNOW work. Takes me time. I have to test it, try it, hope it works, then build it and sell it in my program. But if you do all that work for me, I just might want to buy a license for it. Or affiliate for it.

4. It has to be a product that you can write about, video about, market about, and be something that gets in peoples’ heads easily. Not tricky to explain. Not vague. Not general. Obvious. Clear. Duh. People will search for it on Google or YouTube, talk about it and ask for recommendations in groups, and your option will pop out of peoples’ mouths and out of search.

5. It has to be priced in such a way that the product itself would cost considerably more to make/build on my own then if I just fork over some cash to give to you the seller. Cheap and inexpensive digital products are GREAT tripwires to lead to bigger products, but if you want to make $500/$1000 a day on just a few digital products, you need to make something that would cost hundreds to thousands to build on its own, but you’re selling for $100-$300.

You nail all five and you’ve got something.

#8 How to know when to pivot and when to give up

If you’re the kind of person who struggles with letting go, you’ll probably hold on longer than you should.

If you’re the kind of person who abandons projects quickly and gets distracted, you’ll probably not give your stuff the attention it needs.

Look at your character pattern throughout your life.

Are you a stubborn I’m holding onto this come hell or high water? Learn to let go.

Are you easily distracted, “Here comes a new project that doesn’t force me to face my feelings about what isn’t going well?” You might need to learn how to fight for something when it isn’t always fun.

Other criteria to use…

1. Have you looked at the data? Are you making a decision based on benchmarks or mismanaged expectations? Use data.

2. Will the longterm payoff of what you’re building/selling be worth the short term grind? Everything worthwhile is uphill all the way. Sometimes it’s not going to feel good. Hold on when the longterm potential is worth it.

3. Have you tried optimizing your offer/business multiple times and not seen the results you want?

Assuming the opportunity and container are big enough for the $$ you want, have you let go of what “you” think it should look like, and been willing to experiment with other ideas that are outside the box? Don’t be afraid to experiment or take risks before you give up completely.

#9 Fear and imposter syndrome are triggered by attachment

Here’s how:

You start a project and get really excited about it. You pour time and energy into it, and as it gets closer, you get more and more nervous.

All these crazy feelings come up, you start to overthink and get in your head. What if you’re not good enough? What if no one buys?

The reason? You are attached to the outcome. You are attached to the vision you see in your head. And the fear that it won’t come to pass or be taken away from you, triggers your brain to start to find reasons why it might not work so you can combat them.

Your attachment to the project triggers this and it’s why so many people feel these feelings as they get closer to launch. It works the same in life.

  • Ever find the house of your dreams and get so scared the closer it gets to closing because you’re afraid something will fall through?The attachment creates the fear. You can see it and taste it, but it’s not yours yet.
  • Ever find the partner of your dreams, and find yourself falling in love and then the crippling fear or “not good enoughness” comes in because your brain – in anticipation of losing it – tries to combat it with overthinking.

This is how Imposter syndrome rears its ugly head the closer and more deeply attached you are to an outcome or dream you have in your head.

The solution is NOT to never get attached.

The solution is not to scrap your project and start over.

You will always come back around to the same mountain the closer you get to the moment of truth.

You are not weird.

It’s entirely normal.

#10 There will always be more resistance to what is unknown than what is known

If you’re waiting to feel 100% ready to step into something that doesn’t have any assurances, any promised destination, any certain outcome…

You’re going to wait a long time.

Because what is unknown will always be harder to grasp than what is comfortable and familiar.

The trick is to force yourself to take steps into the unknown based on an underlying decision vs. the emotional whim of the moment.

Don’t wait for the feeling of certainty.

It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do (at least I think so).

Stepping into something that isn’t defined yet, and leaving behind the comfortable familiar habits that kept you stuck in beliefs of the present that might have worked for awhile, but don’t anymore.

Please let me know which one spoke to you most, and I look forward to learning and growing with you in 2023!

Create Your Laptop Life Podcast cover Episode 109

Ep. 109 What People Get Wrong About Setting Goals

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Today is a short little podcast to talk about mistakes I see people make when they go to set goals. Let me know, is this you? You say, “Okay, I’m going to make a business goal for quarter one or quarter two, and my goal is I want to hit $10,000 in revenue…”

or maybe your goal is, “I want to sell 30 units of my course.” Or, “I want to have 100 new subscribers on my list.” All of these goals are fundamentally flawed. I mean, they’re not flawed, they’re just incomplete because every single one of these goals you cannot control. You do not control how many people actually take their credit card out and buy your course. You do not control how much revenue comes into the business, ultimately. And you certainly don’t control how many people get on your email list.

So we create these goals that we have no actual control over, and then we get annoyed when those goals don’t come to pass. So I was talking with my friend Aria, and I said, “Do we call these lagging goals? What do we call these things?” Because they are milestones, of course, but they really can’t drive your behavior because they all have to do with the behavior of other people.

So I’m not saying that we don’t make these goals, but I’m saying that if you are going to sit there and say, “Okay, I want a certain number of subscribers.” Or “I want a certain revenue, or units sold.” That that be the milestone, that be sort of the indicator that you have done what you needed to do, but you actually need to write down some goals that you have control over.

So I see this happen a lot in the service based industry, because in that industry in particular, you can feel a little bit like feast or famine, you’re not quite sure where your leads are coming from, a lot of it is word of mouth, and sort of you’re just left with this feeling of like, am I going to get another client or not? And so lead flow becomes an issue.

So when you set a goal of, “I want to close 5 new clients.” Or, “I want to hit my first 10k month.” Or whatever it happens to be, you’re setting goals you have no control over, and your marketing lead flow is a little bit less defined than other types of markets because you’re relying so heavily on word of mouth.

So you need to step back and think about what triggers word of mouth. What triggers that? Well, number one, you have to actually be talking to people and people have to be able to communicate what you do, right? So if I’m going to recommend somebody, I’m going to see a post on Facebook or someone’s going to talk to me and they’re going to say, “ Oh I need help with xyz” and your name is going to come to mind. “Oh, Nicole is so good at this. You need to go talk to Nicole.” So I need to first know who Nicole is, know what Nicole does, and know what she does in a way that’s memorable enough that when I see somebody else asking…

So one of your goals could be to have a certain number of conversations with other people in a way that they actually know what you do. So let’s say I’m a coach for weight loss, or a ketogenic diet, let’s say. So my goal to close five new clients, one of the things I’m going to do is I’m going to aim to have 100 meaningful conversations over the month of January where I introduce myself to 100 new people and they know what I do and I am able to communicate it in a way that’s simple. So that’s the first thing.

Okay, so then I go back to word of mouth referrals and I think, what else? What else is a part of it? Well, I have to have done really great work. So maybe one of my goals for the month is to go back and look at who my best clients were and ask them for word of mouth referrals, and then maybe look at some of my clients who I’m currently working with, who I know if I step up or I over deliver or I do this extra thing, they’re going to be like, “Oh my gosh, this person is amazing.” And they’re more likely to refer me.

So this is how you start to develop your actual sort of task related goals that you can set up, which will then lead to this lagging goal, or this goal that you don’t actually have any control over.

So as you sit down and you think about whether it’s email subscribers, course units sold, breaking down what actually has to happen in that process, what are the actual nuts and bolts of selling courses? What are the nuts and bolts of getting subscribers on your list, and then setting up actions and KPIs of what you’re going to do. So do not underestimate conversations with people. Do not underestimate interviews, do not underestimate how much you are bumping into other people because this is usually at the core of a lot of lead flow and growth over the month.

Now obviously if you are a bigger entrepreneur and you have more reputation, this is a little bit easier because the proverbial snowball is already rolling down the hill, whereas if you are new it is going to be a lot of one on one conversations that on first glance don’t feel super productive. But if you are going in with the intention to provide value to them and to make sure that they understand who you are and what you do, you may find that these sort of lagging goals, these goals that you have that you really can’t control, start to get met. And once you have met them, then you sort of have a benchmark. “Oh look, 100 conversations led to 5 new clients.

Now you have a benchmark to say, “Okay, if I want 10 new clients, I maybe need to have 200 conversations.” And you start to come up with KPIs that help you dictate how to set your goals for the next month or the next quarter. Hope that helps, talk to you soon.

Ep. 102 How To Stop Procrastinating on Something You Need To Do

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Today I want to talk about how to get something done that you’re procrastinating on. This is sort of just Julie’s version of how to do something. I don’t say that it’s backed on science. This is just my unsolicited advice and opinion about how to get something done that you are procrastinating on.

So I have seen this happen in my life in multiple areas, and I would say that the first thing that you want to do when there’s something that you have to do that you’re avoiding, is to sit down and ask why you’re avoiding it. There could be some subconscious belief patterns you’re running that are creating that resistance.

So for example, let’s say you’re procrastination on writing a book, or you’ve been writing a podcast, writing a blog post or doing a podcast. In fact, I would argue that this podcast I’m recording right now, I was procrastinating on. So I look at why. Why is there resistance? Because once I’m in it, it’s actually not that hard, or I get into momentum. Usually there’s a belief system. So for me the belief system is I haven’t been consistent with my podcast, therefore nobody cares, therefore nobody is listening, it’s not going to do anything. Nobody’s going to be excited. You’ve lost all of your momentum. You should just quit.

A lot of us carry those belief systems around, now is it actually true? So I started to put myself in my customer’s shoes, and I thought, if I had a podcast that I really liked to listen to and then the person stopped recording podcasts, I would be sad. And if they started back up again, I would be excited, even if it had taken them a long time. It’s the same reason why when you watch a Netflix show, if it ends people are sad. But if you decide to come back and do another episode, people are super excited.

So I was like the belief pattern is not true. Right. So sometimes it’s belief patterns that are holding you back from doing something. So once I realized that, I was able to move into it.

The second reason you might be procrastinating is because logistically there’s a problem in the way. There’s something that you can’t quite solve. So let’s say you’re procrastination on writing sales copy. And the reason you’re procrastinating is because you actually don’t know how to write sales copy. So you need help. You need someone to teach you how to write it.

Or maybe the reason you’re procrastinating is because you haven’t really done the work yet of identifying the offer and the market, so you always sit down and sort of stare at a blank screen because you haven’t done that previous work. So sometimes there are logistical problems in the way.

The third reason that people procrastinate is based on the idea of tyranny of the urgent. We’re always reacting to things that are squeaky and loud and urgent. And we’re not doing the things that are important and are going to move the needle. And I’m preaching to the choir because there are several projects that have been sitting in my task board that I say, ‘Oh, I’ll get to them later.” And then I never do because I don’t really value importance over urgency.
So my advice for this particular problem is that you have to create space where there is none. Because a lot of us wait until there’s space, and then there never is space. This is the same thing with planning vacations or date nights, or quality time with people you care about. You think, “Oh my gosh, my schedule, there’s no way.” But if you basically ignore the laws of time and space, and you force into your schedule a block for that thing, it forces everything around it to adjust. So it’s this sort of uncomfortable, it’s uncomfortable for us to do this, but it’s forcing prioritization.

So let’s say that you are really wanting to write a book. You’re going to go on your calendar, and you’re going to block time off, even if there is no time, and you’re going to do it anyway. And what’s going to happen is you’re going to have to reschedule calls, or you’re going to have to change priorities, or you’re going to have to not attend meetings, or you’re going to have to do things that are going to be inconvenient because there’s stuff in the way.

But waiting for the stuff not to be in the way is the lie. So I would recommend if you are procrastinating on something, you start to look at these possible issues. Number one, the belief systems behind why you’re procrastinating, your own incompetence, or imposter syndrome. The second thing is that logistically there’s a problem that you haven’t solved yet, or something that you don’t know how to do that really is the precursor to getting that thing done. And the third thing is not letting the urgent overriding the important. And forcing into your schedule, things that are important, even when they don’t seem urgent.

And the last example I can give of this was back in the spring we needed some new documentation for FG Funnels, and it was one of those things that just sort of sat on the back burner. So I asked Nuno, who is our head of tech coaching for FG Funnels to come stay at my house for a week so that we could get this out in one week time. It meant he had to take time off from work, he had to leave his family, it meant I had to move a week’s worth of meetings and appointments, and get childcare. I had to move everything out of the way, and we got it done in that week.

So hopefully that helps you with your procrastination. If you pop off this podcast, go right to the thing that you’re procrastinating on, and ask yourself if it’s any one of those three issues. Appreciate you all, talk to you soon.

Ep. 98 How to Sell Something Intangible

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Today I’m going to talk to you about how to sell something that is intangible. So a lot of us work in the personal development space, mindset, we work in spirituality, relationships, things that, you know, you’re not selling mugs or lipstick or websites, or things that people can either smell, taste, hear, touch, or at least digitally see.

So when you’re selling something really intangible, it can be very hard to sell the value of that. It’s also hard for the person to really measure whether or not it worked. And especially as you go to write sales copy, it just, you know, it can easily fall flat.

So I have used a very classic example about making something intangible tangible. Many of you have probably heard me use this example. I will say it again, but I will actually give you a new example today to kind of help you walk through the process of how you think about it, so that you can come up with something.

So the classic example that I always use has to do with my two clients who are in the makeup space. But they’re really in the female empowerment space, so they wanted to do a challenge, they wanted to build their list, and they really wanted to focus on women feeling more confident, something very intangible. So what we did was we made the red lip challenge, and the idea behind this was that women typically don’t wear red lipstick, you know, unless they’re very confident, because red lipstick is very bold, it makes women feel like they’re standing out, and they’re uncomfortable. And typically a woman who is not confident in herself is probably going to avoid attention getting lipstick, like red lipstick. So if you were to imagine someone going from being afraid to loving and wearing a bright red lipstick, would you say that that was a manifestation of an increase in confidence and empowerment? And the answer is yes.

So that’s a very tangible action they can, you know, pick out their red tone for their skin, they can wear their lipstick, they can share it on social media, and they have actions that really point to the fact that they are working towards building their confidence.

Okay, so kind of how do you get there from here is really the question. So again, I’m coaching in our program Launch Gorgeous Lite, and I was working with someone who said that they wanted to do a workshop at getting better at your intuition. Okay, intuition is intangible and how are you going to know that you’re better at intuition. So I asked her, “What are some examples? Some tangible sort of manifestations of someone who has good intuition? Someone who has arrived at that result?”
Okay, so these were some things I thought of. You can foresee trouble in relationships before anything is spoken. So it’s almost like this sort of seeing eye idea. You can make better and stronger decisions that you don’t regret because you’re really in touch with yourself and your true desires. So you’re not making bad decisions because you’re following somebody else’s ideas. So that’s another one. A third one would be, maybe you’re a better partner or parent because you can read between the lines. So you’re kid is saying, you say, “How was school?” and they say, “Oh fine.” But you really know based on their body language and your intuition that they’re not fine and this is what’s going on. And you can kind of read between the lines and get at the root of the issue.

So here are three more tangible examples that show someone has good intuition. So when you’re thinking about something intangible, yeah, something intangible, ask yourself what are some examples of the manifestation of the result that you’re selling.

Okay, the next thing you need to do is think about a common theme that runs through these examples. So is there any pattern, is there any theme, is there any thread of similarity between these examples that I gave that we can kind of use? And to me, for someone who can foresee trouble before it’s coming, who can make decisions for themselves that they don’t regret, because they understand their true desires, and someone who can be a better parent because they are reading between the kids’ lines of what they are saying, the common theme is that they see and understand things that are unseen or unspoken. And that to me is the theme, learning to see and understand things that are unseen or unspoken.

So that to me is sort of the crux of good intuition, so instead of doing a workshop where you’re saying something like, “Learn how to have better intuition.” Or “The better intuition workshop.” which feels kind of, a little nebulous, maybe you call the workshop “Unspoken”. Which again, if you listened to my last episode about how to get good at writing hooks, I’m curious right. Unspoken, a workshop called unspoken, is it a silent workshop? I need to read more.

So “Unspoken: the workshop that teaches you to read between the lines with anyone.” Now we’ve taken something that’s kind of intangible and almost turned it into a skill, right. So if I say, “Hey, this is a paid workshop, it’s called unspoken, it teaches you to read between the lines with anyone, and I’m going to give you 5 steps to building your intuition so that you can foresee trouble in relationships before it happens, make better personal decisions that you don’t regret, understand your family members more completely when they give you one word answers.” Now it’s incredibly like, oh my gosh, I can see how this skill when learned will be applicable in my everyday life, in real life situations. That I can imagine.

So that is sort of the process of how I would help you think about something intangible. Right, you think about the result, you think about the person who actually has the result that you’re selling, you kind of come up with a couple of examples, you look for a common theme, and in this case I turned intuition almost into a skill, a more like, you know, hard knock skill that you can really be like, “Ooh, I have that skill.” And then I showed through some bullet points the real life examples of how that’s going to manifest when you have that skill. And that is essentially my formula for how to sell something that’s largely intangible and hard to communicate.

Appreciate you all, talk to you soon.

Ep. 97 How To Get Good At Writing Hooks

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Today I want to talk about one of the hardest parts of marketing. And that is writing a good hook. So as much teaching as I do around copywriting, marketing, talking about hooks and angles and headlines is really tricky. And I’m trying to figure out how to communicate what makes a good hook and what doesn’t.

So here are some of my best ideas, my best advice. I just went through over 300 submissions in one of our coaching programs, it’s called Launch Gorgeous Lite, and we are helping people write a paid workshop, like a low ticket paid workshop. And I went through 300 ideas and the hook was the single worst part of all of it. That’s something that people just don’t know naturally how to do. And I think a lot of people are like, “What do you mean when you say the hook? Are you talking about the headline?” Yes, it could be the headline, and often times you’ll see the hook manifest itself in the headline. But it’s really the sense of what happens when someone lands on the page and they make a decision in 3 seconds or less, “Am I going to continue reading about what’s on this page? Am I going to continue to be interested or am I going to bounce off?” So it’s a combination of the headline, of the design, of the graphics that communicates stay or eh, go.

So when you’re coming up with ideas the hook is most often found in the copy. But again I’m going to say this, I can look at a hook and it can look amazing in copy, but then somebody can put it in a funnel or on a page, and I’m like, “Ooh, you lost it.” It got lost because the design isn’t right, or the picture is distracting, or the colors don’t quite work. So the hook is really the feeling that you communicate to the lead on that page, as to whether or not they’re going to pay attention.

Okay, so the first piece of advice is do not confuse a great hook with being clever. So I saw a lot of people on this thread that I was looking at, and I would say things like, “Hey this is too broad, or this is too vague. This isn’t going to capture attention. I don’t know how this is any different than the 8000 other workshops out there.” So they rewrote it, and instead of writing a hook, they just made it clever, like theme-y. I’m trying to think of an example.

Let’s say you love, whatever, you love Disney. I do love Disney. So I rewrite my headlines all with sort of a Disney theme. Or I try to cleverly disguise a word, or use different words than I would normally do. Clever is not a hook. Clever actually oftentimes over complicates a message. Cleverness usually makes you feel cool, like, ‘Oh cool, look how clever I was when I wrote this.” But the person, it’s very hard to be clever and have the person be like, ‘Oh that was good.” Most of the time it comes off as cheesy. A great hook doesn’t necessarily mean clever. A good hook is understandable in 3 seconds or less. And most things that are clever take longer than 3 seconds to figure out. So when I say that it’s too big or too broad, don’t be clever, clever is not going to work here.

Okay, the second thing is that a good hook is a pattern interrupt. So when they land on the page, there’s something that happens in their brain, that either says, “Ooh, this is different. I haven’t seen this before.” Or “Huh, maybe I should keep reading.” Okay, so something that denotes difference. A lot of people when they’re doing pattern interrupts, they simply do the opposite of what someone expects. So if I am a weight loss coach, and I’m teaching people how to lose weight, my hook, my pattern interrupt is going to be a headline that says, “Never give up cheeseburgers.” It’s a pattern interrupt because it’s not what you expect I’m going to say. And that’s usually enough to get me to keep reading. But it doesn’t always have to be contrarian, it can be.

Another thing that creates pattern interrupt is curiosity. Where they don’t know where you’re going with it. It doesn’t mean they don’t understand what you’re doing, they totally should understand in 3 seconds what you’re saying, but they don’t necessarily understands where it leads, which is why they want to keep reading. Okay, so that’s really, really important.

If I said to you something like, I don’t know, “Write a book in 2 hours.” You instantly know what I’m saying, but you don’t really know the answer, and you don’t really know the end. You’re like, “How is she going to do that?” So it’s that curiosity, and it’s something different, it’s unexpected and you’re going to keep reading.

Now if I said, you know, if I tried to disguise “write a book in 2 hours” to be clever, you know, “Write your bespoke memoir in the same time it takes to watch a Netflix documentary.” Someone would do that right, they would be like, “Oh look, see isn’t that great copy.” No, it’s not. It went from “Write a book in 2 hours” I understand it in 2 seconds or less, to “Write a bespoke memoir in the time it takes to watch a Netflix documentary.” I’m like, that’s like 4 or 5 seconds of me trying to understand. So that is sort of the example of what I’m trying to say here.

Another thing is it should sound interesting, or possibly fun, or sexy. Meaning you want it. You want whatever it is the promise is. Whether it’s weight loss, whether it’s a better marriage, whether it’s a six figure business, whatever it happens to be, you want what it says. Some people they try to write good hooks and they’re like, you know, plan your I don’t know, lets see. “Plan what you’re going to do with your business when you retire.” Nobody wants to do that, it’s not like, “I want to do that.” So you have to be careful when you’re selling things that are not super exciting to do. You have to kind of find the hook that’s like, “Ooh, I do want that.” Without getting so clever that it takes longer than 3 or 4 seconds.

Short headlines are easier to comprehend than long headlines. So don’t make your headline more than 2 lines. In fact, one line is best. If you absolutely have to say what you need to say, you can do a pre headline, you can do a tag line, and then you can design it so those are much smaller, so that someone in still reading the first part very clearly, and then they’re sort of backing off and reading the other pieces.

So kind of as a recap, it needs to be different, it needs to be clear, needs to avoid being too clever, it needs to be understood in 3 seconds or less, it has to have either curiosity or sexy like you want to do what it says, it could be something that’s interesting and fun, it could sound new, different, something you haven’t tried before, it could be going against the grain. So that is how you write a good hook, and a good hook does include copy, but it also means that when you put that copy on the page, that the images and color and design is communicating, it’s all working together to create that same please keep reading, please keep paying attention, please keep listening.

So hopefully that helps, appreciate you all, talk to you soon.

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