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My dinner with Kim Kardashian

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Eva Rinaldi, celebrity and live music photographer

To be honest, Kim Kardashian looked great. A little heavier than I thought she might be, but her eyes...WOW. And the truth is, I'm not always a fan of winter white, either. It can be unflattering, but Kim could pull it off.

Of course, to be fair, they say the camera adds 10 pounds, and since I had "dinner" with Kim Kardashian as I sat at a hotel bar while she talked on one of those Hollywood expose TV programs that I was watching on the set next to the liquor shelves...well, she might not really be that heavy in person.

Now before you react with disappointment to my TV dinner with Kim Kardashian, stop and ask yourself -- why did you come look at this blog post in the first place? It's an important question. Getting people to come to your website, your product specification sheet, your trade-show booth or your online demonstration is partly about being able to answer the question: What makes people look?

It's a complex question, but I have a few ideas you can use. You have to create for your prospect -- with very few words -- key images in the theater of their mind. Those images include:

-- A story

-- A question

-- A promise

In this scenario, in just seven words, I created in your mind those three images. Let's break them down.

A story. What story does your title create in the mind of your prospect? The story in your mind from this title may have included:

-- A professional athlete in a Hollywood club

-- A friend listening to the heartache of a jilted newlywed (OK, just go with it for the moment and suspend the "reality TV" disbelief)

-- A new romance with a middle-aged, middle-weight, Midwestern consultant

Your curiosity was piqued because your mind conjured a story and then sought data to fill in the gaps and confirm or deny assumptions.

Whether your marketing appeal is by invitation, email, a summary in the trade show brochure or some other method, there needs to be a story that stimulates the curiosity of the buyer.

A question. You wanted an answer to some question when you clicked on this blog: Whom did Kim Kardashian have dinner with last night? Why did she have dinner with me? There was enough intrigue to make you click and begin reading. What is the question people are seeking to answer when they visit your website, marketing message or other prospect engaging activity? It's not enough to tell the story. You have to engage the recipient enough so that it generates a question of interest, making them want to seek past the first few words of information. Your question is about the new, different and unique. Do you have enough new, different and unique in your answer to satisfy the interested? Do you have enough engagement generated in your story to get create the question?

A promise. You were looking for a picture, probably. How disappointing to realize that the picture would not include some professional athlete, which seems to be the Kardashian brand of choice. Instead, it was just Kim. Regardless, the unstated promise was a picture. What is the promise that your communication subtly makes? Is it a product picture, a store tour video, a white paper or product demonstration? Without the promise, you won't hold people's attention through your message.

We are all hooked by sensational headlines and curious copy on a daily basis. These hooks are written by smart people who follow a system. Know the system and you can use some of their techniques to create interest in your own market.

(On a separate note, stay tuned tomorrow for the continuation of the 5-part mini-series: Land your biggest sale in 2012.)