If you’re trying to attract a larger audience, you have to get people’s attention in the first place. Thus, learning how to create a killer title is crucial to marketing success. Boring titles cause prospective readers, customers, and donors to lose interest. Whereas, compelling titles intensify a person’s curiosity so that they want to read your book, free resource, or non-profit story.
As a marketing consultant, I’m frequently asked by clients to help them create powerful titles for books, newsletters, freemiums, etc. Examples of successful titles include:
- Why Smart People Accept Unacceptable Behavior
- Made to Crave
- 5 Ways to Cure the Cool Kid Curse
- The Secret to Changing Your Spouse
- Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable
- 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid
- The 7-Day Confident Heart Challenge
- 10 Tips to Build Boundaries with Your Mom
- Why Nice People Attract Jerks
- How to Forgive When It’s Hard to Forget
People sometimes ask me, “What’s your secret to a killer title?” But, my answer is that I don’t have a secret. Instead, I create and judge a title by whether it’s able to pass or fail these five key questions:
Question 1. Is the title easy to remember a week later? Is it sticky, memorable, and easy to say out loud?
Question 2. Does the title create immediate curiosity? Does it generate a burning to desire to read more? You want to make another person think, “I have to read that right now.”
Question 3. Does the title imply value for the reader? Is there an implied promise or an answer to the reader’s ultimate question, “What’s in it for me?”
Question 4. Would a reader feel cool if they told someone else the title? People have egos, and they like to be the first one to tell others about something cool.
Question 5. Does the title help build a brand? Does it help enable the creation of complimentary spin-off resources, such as a multi-book deal for novelists (i.e. – trilogy) or assessments, seminars, coaching, and curriculum for non-fiction content?
These five questions have helped me and my clients develop titles that spread word-of-mouth like wildfire. I encourage you to use these questions as you create your own titles.
(By the way, these five questions also help when you’re developing a killer tagline to market yourself, your business, or non-profit organization.)
Rhonda Stoppe says
Great insights to create killer titles that readers will read!
No Regrets Woman
Rob Eagar says
Thanks for the kudos, Rhonda and Cheryl. Glad to help!
Cheryl Barker says
Appreciate these tips, Rob. I will be needing them very soon. Thanks!
Cindi McMenamin says
Thanks, Rob. Your article on “Killer titles” just reaffirmed to me which title I should go with on a project I’m thinking about — and it caused me to dump the other one that I now know is not going to work. For me, titles are the most difficult to come up with but, like you said, the most important. Thanks for yet another PRACTICAL and HELPFUL article.
Rob Eagar says
Thanks Cindi. I’m glad to hear that this week’s article was relevant to your immediate situation!
Keep on writing and rockin’!
Debra Rogers says
Great tips, Rob! As a book author who’s writing a lot of relationship articles these days, these are 4 terrific reminders!
Thanks again. Your newsletters always inspire!
He Did You a Favor