5-Step Cheatsheet: Craft a headline instantly pulls your audience in by targeting their desire

5-Step Cheatsheet: Craft a headline instantly pulls your audience in by targeting their desire

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5 easy steps to take you from generic headline to *gotta read this* + Bonus Checklist.

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On average, only 2 out of 10 people will read past a headline. Scary, isn’t it?

The last thing you want is to pour your heart into creating a beautiful post or sales page and have 80% of your audience click away. That means you’re losing most of your potential buyers. Ouch. All because of a headline? (I can see you frowning and I totally get it.)

A very successful copywriter once told me she spends 90% of her time writing headlines and 10% on the actual copy. What does that tell you? Maybe that headlines are 9 times more important than your copy?

It seems silly that one line could matter more than an entire page of your carefully crafted, meaningful words. 

But here’s the good news. If you write headlines that hit home instantly, you can change that 20% readership to 80%.

Think of headlines as the spark that ignites your reader’s interest.

So let’s dig in.

Your headline’s job is not to summarize the page. (Remember: this is not an academic paper. This is all about psychology.) The purpose is not to shine a light on your offer. Its one single purpose is to reach out and connect with the reader’s feelings at that very moment.

Think *empathy*.

To do show empathy, you need to understand your ideal client intimately - her guilty pleasures / what she dreams about / what she wears to bed… you get the idea (which is an exercise for another post, so I’ll assume here you know your favourite clients well).

What does she crave that you have the answer for? How’s she feeling and what feelings would she like instead? For example, Chelsea feels overwhelmed and frustrated. She wants to feel in control. She craves direction and clarity. You have the answer. You’re a coach specializing in overwhelmed business owners who are also single moms. You get the idea right?

Validate her feelings and she’ll want to hear more.

Think of one or two lines that show her you understand, you know how she feels. Make it about her feelings of frustration, not about how coaching can help her.

“I can help you conquer feelings of overwhelm and frustration” - is about your coaching.

“Are you so overwhelmed you can hardly think straight?” - is about her feelings.

See the difference? Then get more specific. Paint a picture she can connect with.

“Are you so overwhelmed, you're dying to quit working and crawl into bed with your kids and watch Netflix with a big bowl of buttery popcorn?”

Now Chelsea knows you understand her. (See why you need to know all about her obsessions?)

A real life example of how validation works...

Think about life offline. You’re mingling at a cocktail party. Stella’s opening line is: “Hi! I run a super successful coaching business, what do you do?” Later in the evening, another coach, Danielle, says “I heard you’re running a new business and you’re a single mom too. That takes some real moxie... how do you manage?” Which one would you rather hear more from?

I rest my case : )

Should you worry about SEO / keyword research?

Ah… the ongoing battle between the science geeks and the purists. 

Yes. And no. (Don’t you love when people say that?) 

Yes, because it matters if you want more traffic. And no, if it means a boring, overused headline, which no human will ever want to read past. 

So I recommend a compromise. If you’re like me and you really can’t be bothered going down the Google Adwords rabbithole, I have a really simple tool you can use to see what people are asking about your Amazing Thing You Do. Just type it in here: https://answerthepublic.com and see what questions people are asking about it. Voila! Tons of ideas for tweaking your headline.

Craft the perfect headline easily and consistently, every time.

It’s easy to get lost in a jumble of thoughts, trying to come up with that perfect line or two. So I made a template and an accompanying checklist so you can just follow the prompts and craft the perfect headline in five quick steps.

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