How to write Captivating, Confident, and Kickass to keep your audience engaged
There are not enough hours in the day for your audience to read boring walls of text.
Especially boring walls of text that go on and on and on, without some sort of emotional hook or piece of relatable information that grabs them by their eyeballs.
If you fail to hook your readers in the first 8 seconds, that’s it. Say goodbye.
Those readers are going elsewhere. Whether they press that back button, close that tab, or type in a new website address – you lost them.
The only way to get them to stay on your page longer, is to have content that is captivating, that is confident, and that kicks ass.
The nonstop news cycle and never-ending social media feeds have all turned us into dopamine hunters who are constantly on the hunt for quick hits of serotonin to feel good. Even if for just a moment.
When the world is a dumpster fire, we will do just about anything to ease the sadness, the pain, the negativity.
Some people binge-read novels to escape reality. Others binge-watch TV shows. When something finally piques our interest – we have the ability to go all in, losing ourselves in whatever rabbit trail, or trails, we find ourselves in.
While doomscrolling and escaping to ignore reality can easily become problems, hunting for hits of dopamine aren’t necessarily a bad thing.
But it does mean as a business owner, you need content that is relatable, authentic, trustworthy, and interesting.
You need content that is captivating, confident, and kickass.
Because you only have 8 seconds.
What does that mean exactly? Great question. I am going to break down each adjective and discuss how it relates to copy.
I am also going to explain why, exactly, business owners – especially small ones – cannot afford to do the bare minimum anymore.
What makes content captivating?
When something is captivating, it is literally holding the viewer, the reader, the participant, the human – captive.
Not captive in the very illegal, “kidnap someone and hold them as a prisoner” sense of the word.
But rather, when your audience is held captive by your content, your words, the journey you take them on – they are yours. They are voluntarily continuing to read because what you have to say – interests them…captivates them.
And when your content is captivating, your audience is in your hands and ready for whatever comes next, whatever needs to happen next.
Whatever is happening outside of the space between your content and their eyes – ceases to exist for a moment.
So, how do you make your content captivating? Great question.
You are going to include emotional triggers, relatable storylines, and mental visuals that will transport your reader to a future where they can see themselves benefiting from your solution.
THIS, my fellow business owners, is where you hook them.
For example, at the beginning of this article, I wrote the following paragraph:
“If you fail to hook your readers in the first 8 seconds, that’s it. Say goodbye, because those readers are going elsewhere. Whether they press that back button, close that tab, or enter in a new website address – you lost them”
I promised that if you didn’t hook your readers, you would lose them – that is an emotional trigger. The fear of failure, the fear of not connecting.
Now, if I were to leave you with this negative emotion – this would be the end of the road.
No one wants to read anything that makes them feel like a failure or less than if they do not do what you are asking them to do.
Negative doesn’t sell.
Positive does. Solutions do. Positive solution always.
This is why my next paragraph was the following:
“The only way to get them to stay on your page longer is to have content that is captivating, that is confident, and that kicks ass.”
I laid down the negative as fast as an Uno Reverse card and built you up with a solution faster than someone slapping down a Draw 2 on top of another Draw 2.
And I hope you are still reading because I hooked you by wanting to know how to keep people engaged with your content.
But there is one caveat to captivating content.
And that’s that everything is trying to be captivating these days. Open up TikTok and you suddenly lose an hour getting hooked into watching video after video.
Standing out from an overcrowded field of captivating content creators is where you are going to make the biggest splash, the most ROI, the best engagement.
What makes content Confident?
Standing out from an overcrowded field, is not as impossible as your brain has believed it to be. The first few steps might be hard, but once you get into the groove – you will know you chose right.
But, how exactly would a small business stand out from an overcrowded field?
By not holding back. By being transparent. By being authentically you.
Be being bold. By chucking out the box you feel you need to fit in, in order to make any waves.
When you try to put yourself into a box that society, or even your industry, expects from you – you are locking yourself away from reaching your full potential.
Conforming to the mold of the people who came before – is only going to suffocate you and your story.
When you are confident, when your messaging is confident – you stop holding back. And when you stop holding back, you step in to what makes your company strong.
Because only your company knows what your company, your solution, means to your audience.
You stand out by holding firm in your values, in your morals, in your authenticity. You stand out by being true to who you are. Who your brand is.
And your content should reflect that in the words you write, the content you share, the message you spread.
Instead of saying: This product might help you because it is durable.
You need to say this: This product will help you because it is built with the strength of a thousand ox’s in mind.
Any content that you create for your company, must be active. It must be so straightforward that your audience feels that they are in charge.
The words “might”, “may”, “could”, “should”, “can”, etc., tell your audience “eh, there is a possibility it won’t work”. That “eh” is going to lose you sales. Period.
The words “will”, “need”, “must”, etc., tell your audience “Ok, this is definitely going to work”
And once you switch to an active voice, everything else starts getting clearer, more concise, and easier for your readers to understand what comes next.
All important aspects of how to ensure your copy exudes confidence, rather than “eh”.
What makes content kickass?
Once you switch to the active voice and can hook your audience with confident copy to help you stand out as THE solution rather than an “eh”, the next step is to add a little spice to your content.
Yep. I said a little spice.
An extra layer on the coldest nights if you will.
A little risky to get the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing.
Be bold, daring, and stop holding back.
Content that energizes your audience, that captivates your audience and hooks them till the end – must provide something new, something risky, something completely out of left field that will raise eyebrows and make people stop and think.
As long as your content is confident and captivating.
You want your audience to stop and think.
I know it sounds odd and a little backwards when trying to sell something. But hear me out.
When your audience can stop, they digest the information you are giving them.
When they think, they are trying to figure out just how much better their life will be with your solution.
And that, my friends, is the spot we want our customers.
However, there is one caveat. A caveat that will make some of you frown in horror because it seems so counterintuitive.
You need to be honest, authentic, and transparent.
In 2022, when misinformation runs wild like the horses on the plains, you need to be upfront with the downfalls.
And then you need to immediately follow-up that downfall with an emotional benefit. Immediately. Don’t let them stew in the downfall. You only have 8 seconds.
For instance, if you know your price is higher than your competitors – tell them why.
Don’t tell your audience, “our prices are high because you get what you pay for.” That might have been OK in 2019, but not anymore.
If you know that your price is higher because you source quality materials from small, local businesses – tell your audience exactly that. Tell them how, by investing in you, they are supporting a local community.
Experts say to show, not tell. But sometimes, some of us – need to be told in addition to being shown.
Kickass content is more than just some spicy details, relatable metaphors, or truths that turn your readers into loyal, paying customers. Kickass content is what will build you a ladder so you can climb to the next level, leaving the overcrowded space of competitors – behind.
Kickass content rips off the band-aid, brings fresh perspectives, and shows your readers why you, and your solution – is the only solution.
Because kickass content proves that you care. That you understand your audience. That you want them to buy from you, because you don’t have to sell them.
Kickass content makes your readers heart race. And when they race, they feel alive. And when they feel alive…they believe.
Why do you need captivating, confident, kickass content?
Without it, what’s the point?
When was the last time you finished reading something that didn’t pique your curiosity just because, that wasn’t captivating?
When was the last time you bought something because the description was confusing, that wasn’t confident?
When was the last time you followed a brand on because they were boring, not because they were entertaining, kickass?
It doesn’t matter what order it comes in. Whether it’s confident then captivating, or kickass then confident then captivating, it just matters that all the pieces exist.
But more importantly, you cannot afford to do the bare minimum anymore and hope for the best. You are passionate about your solution, so it’s time that your content exudes that passion.
If you want to see how I can help you take your brand to the next level with captivating, confident, and kickass content – let’s connect. Click that button below this story and I will help you find the perfect solution.
In the meantime, Adventure on with Curiosity,
~ Kelly Steele, MBA (she/her)
p.s. writing captivating, confident, kickass content might be just as fun as reading captivating, confident, kickass content.
p.p.s if you can tell me how many times I wrote each of these words – captivating, confident, and kickass – I will donate 10% of your project total to your favorite non-profit charity in your name.