Episode Overview

If you post anything on social media then you’ll be familiar with the slightly vain frustration of people whizzing past your post without giving it a glance.

Yes - those people might just be stupid.  But it’s more likely that you didn’t hook them.

Today, on the podcast, I’m speaking with Brendan Kane about Hook Points.  

If you’re wondering what a Hook Point is - and you should be if this matters to you - then you can listen in and discover exactly how to deploy them in your content and actually stop the scroll.

About Brendan Kane

Brendan's website:  https://brendanjkane.com/

Automatic Audio Transcription

Please note : This is an automatically generated transcription.  There are typos and the system may pick words or whole phrases up incorrectly.  

Hi there and welcome back to Amplify the Personal Brand Entrepreneur podcast. I'm Bob Gentle, and every Monday I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to take a second to subscribe through your player app. And while you're listening, join our Facebook community. Just visit, amplify me forward, slash insiders and you'll be taken right there. Hi there. And welcome back to Amplify. My name is Bob Gentile and this week I am joined by author Brendan Cain, author and consultant and general man about town.

I should say. Brandon has written the bestselling book One Million Followers, I'm sure has a bigger title than that. I'm sure you'll tell me in a moment, Brandon, and also your more recent book, Hook Point Attention and a three Second World. Now you can give me the correct titles of those books, but for my audience, these are books you should get excited about. So, Brandon, welcome to the show.

Thanks, Bob. It's a pleasure to connect with you and everybody that's listening to this.

So for those people who don't know you, if people were meeting for the first time, how would you introduce yourself? Who's Brandon Cain? What do you do?

Yeah, so I'm an author, speaker and owner consulting firm. And what we really specialise in is helping companies and individuals. We work with companies that are pre revenue all the way up to twenty five billion a year. And our core focus is helping them stand out in the very noisy world that we find ourselves in. Because if you think back pre social media, maybe there's 10000 content creators in the planet through like television, radio stations, magazines, and the distribution of content is very controlled.

Fast forward to today. There's three point nine six billion content creators in the planet. Yeah, every single one of them is creating content for the people they love and truly care about to the tune of over 100 billion messages sent out on digital platforms each day. Which means that that really sucks for people that are trying to stand out and make waves, you know, to get attention. So we specialise in just that. How do you grab attention to your product, your service or your message so that you can achieve the business goals that you're going after?

So I had a look around your world a little bit, and you worked for some pretty big names. So people like Taylor Swift and IKEA and MTV and these are great. They're super impressive and oh my God, Taylor Swift. But most of us aren't those people. Most of us aren't. Those sort of commercial powerhouses with the resources and the assets they have. And one of the things that I looked at when I was reading the reviews for a million followers, for example, is a lot of people probably thought that book was something that it wasn't, because a lot of the reviews are I mean, upfront, this book has awesome reviews, so don't take this the wrong way.

But a lot of people complaining that it was a book about ads and I think they missed the point. So for anybody that does look at a million followers, for example, and thinks, well, this is a book for big businesses, how do you feel about that?

Well, a few things to what you said. Is it for big businesses? Yes. As if for other people. Yes. I mean, the whole purpose of the the hook point of the book is to demonstrate that somebody starting from scratch, starting from zero without being a celebrity, a professional athlete or anything like that, can generate significant awareness, visibility, engagement in a short period of time. And then to do the second part of the people saying it's a book all about ads that tells me that people didn't read the entire book.

Because what I did is 25 percent of the book is my strategies. The rest, I went out and interviewed the top strategist influencers, partners that I have in the world. So collectively, if you look at the book, we've all probably done 150 to 200 million followers and well over 100 billion views. And even people just look at the title and they just look at my social accounts. I mean, my team alone has done 50 billion views and generated over one hundred million followers for clients.

So, yes, do we break down at ad strategies in the book? 100 percent. We see it's an effective tool if you have an ROIC based equation for how you're going to recoup that investment. But at the same time, we break down strategies from other people that have done things purely organically, too. So again, it's just when I hear those comments, they're obviously not reading into the entire book or they're just reading into the things that they want to read and not actually paying attention to the overarching message.

And to me, I'm a huge proponent in that there's not one way to be successful. There's many different ways, so in in both of my books, I provide different perspectives from different people that have achieved amazing results, sometimes those strategies will contradict each other. But to me, I'd rather paint a full picture of all the different ways that you can be successful and then choose the route that is the best fit for you.

Do you think it's fair to say that the people who maybe looked at the book and that was what they took away, what they were actually taking away was you can pay your way to success or you can earn your way to success, but there actually isn't very much in the middle.

Well, I think both are one and the same, because I don't know that you can pay your way to success. All ad dollars does for you is it allows you to put your content in front of people. It doesn't guarantee that somebody is going to follow you, it doesn't guarantee that somebody is going to buy a product or service from you, all it's doing is buying you the opportunity to put something in front of people.

You're absolutely right. But what I guess where I was coming from was. Actually, doesn't matter which route you take, whether you pay, I'm not articulating this properly, but what I mean is you can pay and if you don't put the effort in to create the right message and to create the right creative to show up properly in that context, even if you are paying, it's not going to work that well. But if you create great content, if you genuinely engage, if you think about what you're saying and who you're saying to, and you use the kind of tools that you're talking about in Hook Point, everything just works.

You connect. I guess this is what we're talking about here is connexion because people need connexion, attention, then connexion and then you have a relationship. But that requires effort. I think everything people talk about the effort, it's it's one of my advisers has ingrained this into my head. And I think it's one of the most valuable statements I've heard. And he says it's not easy, but it's simple. Yeah. So you think about like climbing Mount Everest, for example.

It's pretty simple. All you got to do is climb up the mountain. Is it easy? No. Same thing with, like a triathlon. It's it's pretty simple. You bike X number of miles, you swim X number of miles, you run X number of miles. But is it easy? No. And I think that that's also where a lot of people have negative reactions as they get into this. And they're like, oh my God, this is actually a lot of work.

Yeah, it's like, yeah, it's a lot of work. Anything you do to be good at takes a lot of energy, effort and dedication. It's not there's no magic pill and anything in life. And people I think are oftentimes looking for that, that quick fix. And the minute they get in there and it's not working for them, they ultimately give up and then they blame the information. They blame the strategy. They blame the author.

I think that is the danger with a book, with a with a with a title like A Million Followers, which calls out like a beacon to so many people, but then they realise, oh, I was looking for Huck. And it's not that, but it is a road map. And I think if you're going to line something like Mount Everest, you're going to need a guide. And I think it's an awesome, awesome tool for that.

Yeah, I mean, this in the book, I mean, both of the books, all I can do is share what's worked for us. That's all I'm doing. I'm not promising anything. The bulk of the book doesn't say how you can get a million followers in 30 days is how I got a million followers in 30 days. And I'm very transparent and upfront. And I've rewritten the book three times with feedback to just say, listen, here's my strategies here, strategies from other people.

This is what we found to work. Take it or leave it, do whatever you want with it. But I'm just kind of presenting what what we found in the world. And it's the same thing when we hire people or we read books. Is there certain stuff that doesn't work for us? And do I blame the information? No, because they've obviously gotten it to work for them. And then there's certain things that work extremely well. It's it's the way that I kind of operate in life is is you just bounce around and you just keep trying and trying and you don't give up.

That's the biggest thing, is make sure we look at people that have amassed tremendous success. But we we don't really talk about the journey that it took. And obviously, some people will get to the, you know, that success quicker. Some people will not get there as quick. But I can definitively tell you nobody's going to be successful if you don't keep going when you know shit hits the fan, so to speak. Yeah.

So let's talk about Hook Point, because what I love about I mean, I haven't read the book yet because I only realised who I was interviewing two days ago. So I for that, although you love this Audible has been bugging me for weeks and weeks to read this book.

I'm glad to hear that.

So let's talk about Hook Point because this is an outrageously practical book. It's really, really good. I have been watching some of the videos where you talk about the content in the book and I've been applying some of it in videos that I haven't put out there yet. But I can already I'm excited to put these videos out in a way I haven't been for a long time. So for anybody who doesn't know what Hook Point is all about, Brandon, go.

Yes, I want to again set the stage for the world that we live in today because people, you know, most brands are struggling because they're still stuck into the marketing strategies from 20 years ago. They're trying to apply marketing tactics and strategies that were developed for a pre social media world. And we all know that with social media and digital and just Internet in general, the entire world has really shifted around us. And we have to realise that we have to realise that there's three point nine, six billion content creators in the planet.

We have to realise we're competing against every single one of them for attention. We're no longer living in a world where we're just competing against our direct competition, which poses a really big challenge. How do we stand out? How do we capture attention? How do we get somebody to stop the Skrull, earn the click, open an email, respond to a LinkedIn message, take a meeting with you. Whatever your goal is, we've got to first learn how to position ourselves so we can get people to just stop for the first few seconds.

To pay attention to what we have to say, and then once we have that attention, how can we hold it as long as possible? So the whole subject matter of the book is how to master those things. And again, going back to that, that motto is of it's not easy, but it's simple. Well, the simple part is, is to be successful in today's world. You've got to do two things and two things only. You've got to grab attention.

So stop the scroll, earn the click, get the email open. And once you have that attention, you hold the attention for as long as possible. If you do those two things, you dramatically increase the ability to get the consumer action or engagement that you're going after. Now, if either one of those things falls flat or doesn't work, then the whole thing falls apart. So just an analogy is going back to science class. We we learnt about what it takes to send things into orbit, into space.

And we know that we have to have escape velocity to reach orbit. If we don't reach escape velocity, you're not putting anything into space. The same thing goes with marketing and content is you have to overcome these billions of messages that are sent out every day because if you don't rise above them. Then you get lost in the clutter and you don't generate the response you're looking for. You don't hit your goals. So that's really the focus of the book.

Now, in the book, we we don't just talk about social media. We talk about all forms of marketing. We talk about online and offline and even how to how to leverage off our online and offline off of each other. So even if you're not interested in social media, there's much bigger applications for businesses, for brands that they're really trying to reach that that next level and reach the pinnacle of their industry. So.

I love the idea of escape velocity, and I understand the imperative to stop the scroll. Now, I would say lots and lots of content creators are aware of the importance of stopping the scroll. What I see as a response to that very often literally just descends into what you might call shit posting. It's I'm posting something to get you to stop the scroll, and it actually detracts from the core message. There isn't an easy answer to this question. So I guess what I'm getting to is how do you maintain the alignment between the brand and the values of that brand and the lower rent methods that people use of stopping the scroll?

I mean, the answer is creativity. I get that. The answer is creativity and. Effort and planning and thinking things through and answering my question, I'm sorry, Brendan, what do you say to somebody whose response to reading Hook Point is shit posting? Well, that's my question.

And there's there's many different layers to what you just said and I'll break down, I'm glad because as I have a properly inarticulate moment.

No, no, I hear exactly where you're going with it. So first off, you have to create a successful hook point. There's two elements. There's grabbing attention and holding attention. And as I mentioned, you have to have both in order to be successful. So when you talk about shit posting, you're referring to click bait like that doesn't do much if you don't have a story to hold that attention and take them on a journey. Now, I would say that the biggest problem that people have is not really posting.

I would say the biggest problem I have is that they've been trained to think that I've got to put out as much content as possible. That consistency is is key publishing as much content as possible. Now, did that work at a point in time? Yes. You know, you think about seven or eight years ago when there was less people on social media, it did work. But because there's so many people that that strategy doesn't work and it doesn't work because you're not really analysing the results, you're not setting a hypothesis testing that hypothesis and then pivoting from it.

So that's number one. Number two is the the first place that you've got to start is you've got to identify the patterns of content that is being published. So when you're when you're on Instagram or YouTube or Tic-Tac or whatever platform you're on is, you've got to start studying. Get us are studying what what content is working and why, what content is not working and why and identify. And it's very easy to see that there's patterns that people fall into.

And your job as a content creator is to break those patterns. Now, there's many ways of doing that. You don't have to do use negativity or fear or those things. You can use them, they can be effective. But there's so many different ways of going about that. So the first place you've got to start is you've got to be a student of the game and see what is actually being published on these platforms and what's working and what's not working and creating hypotheses around that so that you can apply it to your content.

Secondarily, you had mentioned, you know, brand values and mission and all of that, what you stand for. Which is important, you know, to have in a business, and I'm not diluting the importance of that, but honestly, when you're creating content. People don't give a shit about it, they know they don't care about your brand values, they don't care about your mission statement or what you stand for. Now, people will say, oh, yes, they do.

10 percent of the of the world cares about that. And I can break down that a little bit further. What people care about is they want to be engaged. They want to connect. They want to be entertained. When they go to these platforms, they don't stop the scroll and be like, let me see what the brand values of this piece of content is. Let me see what the mission statement is. They just do not consume content in the way and that way.

And I would ask you that question is like when you're on social media, are you looking at content from that perspective? So so I think a lot of people get so caught up in letting brand values and mission statements dictate the content and let it instead of letting the content of what your your end user or consumer wants to engage with, lead the conversation. Does that mean you go on a tangent and do stuff that you don't believe in or that is inauthentic to you, who you are?

No, I'm not saying that by any means. When we're working with clients, we never change who they are. We never change what they care about. We just contextualise what their zone of genius is and contextualise the message they want to get out into the world. In a different way that will grab attention and hold attention, so I'll give you an example. We were on a call this morning with a client that does some truly remarkable. Healing work, and they kept saying, well, look at our testimonials are testimonials are so good, why aren't they taking off on social media?

And I was like, well, when was the last time you logged in to social media and say, I want to see some great testimonials? Yeah, never like. But can you tell amazing stories about these people? Yes, people love storytelling. Like one tactic, you know, just to test, you know, online and offline is start by saying, I want to tell you a story about X, Y and Z. I want to tell you a story about the time I thought I was going to die when I was on a plane to Los Angeles.

Well, that's great. I want to hear a story, I want to hear what that's about. Obviously, through that story, you can express something about what you're trying to get across. Another big problem that people are making is they feel like they're that social media is a sales tool. People do not log on to social media to be sold to. And there's a huge distinction between paid and organic content. Organic content is meant to engage, is meant to connect with that consumer.

It's not about selling. It's about connecting. And then you can use paid media from a retargeting perspective to go back to those people and say, thanks so much for watching that video. Why don't you check out X, Y and Z? So I just threw a lot at you. I don't know if I answered every single part of your question, but I just want to stop there to check in to see what other questions came up or if there's a part of it that I didn't answer for you.

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Go to amplify me. Dot agency Fogo ripostes to score two months for free on me now or you have to do is figure out how you want to spend those spare five hours. And I think you painted a really, really clear and useful picture there. I really actually enjoyed that because for me the whole question of educating, entertaining and inspiring, that's really, really important. And I think anybody in my Instagram feed, for example, that isn't pushing one of those buttons is very likely to get unfollowed.

And what you described was. Very clearly, you need to be doing one of those three things and you need to be doing you need to be putting some back into it, those people that are trying to transmit information that's not trying hard enough. If you're going to show up, at least get dressed up. Don't turn up in your pyjamas and social media.

That's well, I mean, you can't you're one of the biggest misconception is production value. Oh, I don't have a fancy camera. I don't have a camera. You don't need that. It's about what is the message that you're getting across? How are you connecting with somebody? That's the most important thing. People don't go to social media to look for your high production value stuff, and we often see high production value doesn't really work. I mean, you can go look at Nike's account and I don't even know what they're a hundred two hundred million followers.

And a lot of their content is falling flat because it's just overly produced. And that's coming from the biggest brand in the world. And there's other influencers that are in pyjamas or tick dancing in front of their bed or something that. Yeah, that takes off.

My my reference was to pyjamas was was more about if you're going to show up as a content creator, try and create good content.

There's so many people with minimum effort and then there's minimum viable and they're not necessarily the same thing.

Yeah, I guess I'll give you another example, I'm we're consulting for a very, very large corporation, so they have over 100000 reps all around the world. And, you know, the common question was, well, I don't have eight hours a day to create content or get good at social media. So what's the the simple hack or the simple way to get good at it? And it's just it's you can't approach these things in that way. It's not to say that you have to quit your day job or spend eight hours a day doing it, but you do have to invest some time to, at a minimum, understand it.

And even if you're going to hire other people to help you with it, you've got to understand it yourself. So you're making the right decisions going forward. So, again, I'm not saying that you have to sit there and spend all of your time every day, but like anything in life, you have to to really put some time and effort and energy into it in order to get good at it. Yeah.

I guess I'm going to ask that question for for the average independent, I'm going to say consultant, expert, author, somebody who doesn't have a team, but they need to show up for their audience because they do have an audience, but they want to try and level up their content to get attention more often, to convert people from first impression to relationship more effectively. I guess there's a few questions I have around. Number one, there is a a strong movement towards a volume of content over the potentially quality.

So if you were to take the Tim Ferriss approach, if you were going to invest in content, what's the minimum viable dose in terms of frequency from your perspective? I know there's probably no simple answer. And what are maybe three things that, you know, you could apply to pretty much everybody as the A, B and C of, OK, you're going to do a video, try these three things.

So to the first part, there's no there's no real answer for frequency. It's all about. Do you have any idea do you think is going to work or sometimes we'll have an idea where we don't think it's going to work, but we want to test to see if our hypothesis holds true. So you have an idea for a piece of content and say, I want to test this email and test this social at. Because I just saw somebody else doing something else, or I want to share this message and see how my audience responds to at that point, then you can go and invest in making that piece of content, whatever that investment looks like, time, money, resources, and then off the back and just make sure that you measure.

Did my hypothesis hold true? Did it generate the response that I was looking for? The problem with frequency is people are just getting caught in the hamster wheel of just constantly churning out content and not really setting hypotheses, not really measuring the results of it. And thus you just keep doing the same thing over and over again and you're not really learning. So that's the first part of it. So in terms of like the things that everybody can do, no one is research.

Is looking at content, so if you're trying to get better at email marketing, sign up for other newsletters. If you're trying to get better at Facebook ads, use the Facebook ad library. If you're trying to get better at organic Tic-Tac or YouTube, consume that content. And in that research phase, what you're doing is, again, you're looking at the high performers and the low performers. You have to look at content that is actually driving results and lack thereof.

Most people don't even look at the results, just look at content and say, I want to do something like that because it looks pretty. Or because I think it looks good or feels good to me, we use analysis of like what's performing and what's not performing to guide our decisions. It cuts a tremendous amount of time out in that. We're looking at what other people have done to inform our decision, so the interesting thing is. In science, we leverage centuries of data to inform our decisions and going forward, whether it's medical or other aspects of science, chemistry, space travel, we're relying on this data set to inform.

Yet when it comes to content, for some reason, everybody discards millions of data points that are readily available to all of us in lieu of I want to be completely original. I want to be completely unique. Why? I mean, that's just that's just a clear problem that if you just started there, it's going to make your life so much easier, it's going to make you more successful. So so that's kind of where we really emphasises start with the research from that research, create a clear hypothesis and then test that hypothesis and measure the results and just keep doing that over and over again and let the research guide your content decisions.

Don't let your brand values your mission statement or any of those things lead it, because people don't care about that on the front end of the communication now as when people dive deeper into your brand. Yes, that can be important. But nobody wants to watch a video of saying, oh, I want to share with you my brand values today. Yeah. So that is a system in a process. We have a viral content engineering process around that that can can work for any.

Content creator, no matter what platform, whether it's online or offline, I think anybody is listening to this and they want examples because I think in this examples are really, really useful. Go and follow Brendan on Facebook or Instagram, because you break down this content for people and actually. Although this sounds like it's a lot of work or it's it's it's complicated when you break this down for people through your content. For me, the light bulbs were just going off constantly.

This is actually easy, but it's not easy, obviously, otherwise everyone would do it. It is a bit of work. But the nice thing is you can look at, well, this is the work I need to do, but I can now have some confidence it's going to have a result. If you're somebody that's sitting there creating content on a hamster wheel and it's getting you nowhere and you think something has to change. Go check out Brandon on Instagram or Facebook.

You will not be disappointed.

Yeah, we don't. We went in creating those videos. That's the internal process that we go through and analysing other people's content. Now, we're not as diligent in creating content because we're so busy like building a business. And all of that is kind of funny. Some of the content our comments I get is like, oh, you did a million followers in 30 days, but why aren't you growing? Why aren't you posting content? It's like I got a business to run.

We're busy building awareness and followers and stuff for other people. But the whole purpose of that content that you're referring to is to externalise the internal process that I just walked you through of how we find content even. It's not related to my business. Like we broke down to musicians. I broke down a car ad. I break down an inspirational speaker. It's like that's how we learn. That's how we use references. So that's that's really the intent of those those formats.

And I'm glad you found it helpful.

Yeah, it's really, really useful. And I think anybody listening, you need to go and check that out because for me. Twenty minutes well invested. My next video completely different, it was it was really, really useful. So I'm looking forward to reading the book a lot. So for those people who are listening to this new thinking that Brandon, I think I want to go deeper with him, how can they find out more about you? Obviously, there are the books.

How can people get the books? But there might be your next A-list client listening to this. What should they do?

Yeah, if you're interested in working with us for for our team and myself to develop plug points for you or strategy, you can just go to Hook Point Dotcom and learn more about us and and schedule call with our team at Hook Point dot com. You can get the Hook Point book. Do you want one million followers. You can go to one million followers, dot com. It's also on Amazon and all inaudible and all that. I would recommend, even if you're interested in following starting with Hotpoint, because it really sets a solid foundation.

You can't go wrong with either book. But I just I just feel like Hook Point is the newer book and we incorporated a lot of the social media stuff in there. And again, like, you have to learn to grab attention and hold attention to even maximise value of followers.

Yeah, I think definitely if anybody spending money on ads, you have to go and read Hook Point because it will transform the effectiveness of those ads. I promise you, Brendan, you have been an awesome guest. It's been a treat to speak to you. I need to ask you, what's one thing you do now that you wish you'd started five years ago?

I mean, you dive very deep into behavioural psychology and understanding the subconscious and conscious mind. So I think one of the things is, is really I do a lot of breath work. I do a lot of free diving training to reprogramme the brain to understand that correlation between mind and body and dealing with anxiety, stress, self-doubt and things like that. So I would say probably that if I would have started it earlier, I would have really benefited from it.

Mhm. And do you do the free diving as well or is it just the training.

I do as well. I spend most of my time in the pool training, but I do go and do it, you know, some free diving in Mexico and other places as well.

It's far too cold for that where I live. It's been awesome. Thank you so much for being a guest.

Yeah. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe and join our Facebook group, you'll find a link in the show, notes or visit, amplify me forward. Slash insiders also connect with me. Wherever you hang out, you'll find me on all of the social platforms to potential. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love a five star review on our podcast. It would make my day. And if you share the show with a friend, you would literally make my golden list.

My name is Bob Gentle. Thanks to you for listening and I'll see you next week.

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