Few things cause me to close my internet browser faster than an article or blog post that is titled, “5 Ways to Instantly (insert topic here)!” Over the past week, I have seen the following post titles that promise the reader immediate results if they just take a few minutes to read:
“6 Easy Ways to Grow Your Sales”
“4 Tricks That Will Immediately Engage an Audience”
“3 Guaranteed Methods to Increase Margins Now”
“5 Steps to Turn Customers into Clients”
“5 Sure-Fire Ways to Work Smarter and Make More Money”
As a daily (almost hourly) consumer of online content, I officially have tired head and am fed up with the rhetoric of lists and the promise of easy success. Here are some hard truths:
There is no easy way to success
Tricks don’t work
Nothing is guaranteed
I suppose the purpose of titles like the above is to grab the interest of an ever-dwindling attention span. However, when everyone purports to have “the” answer and it comes in a list form, I instantly lose interest. And I don’t think I’m the only one.
Instead of falsely promising the audience a list of “easy” steps, tell a relevant case history or share a personal story that people find relatable. By sharing a real life experience, you show your audience how to do something rather than simply telling them. The bottom line is that stories move people; numerical lists don’t.