One of the hardest things for content creators to do themselves is figure out what makes them unique in the marketplace.

When you are full of creative ambitions, it is hard to focus on one key value that you can express in a memorable hook. Perhaps the hardest part is letting go of some of the things you like to do and focus on what you truly are best at.

Someone like Rachael Ray can do all kinds of amazing, practical things with food. But it took a special vision to say, “I help people make dinner in 30 minutes or less.” It is focus like this that helps build an audience.

Once Rachael’s audience was solidified, she was able to branch out and explore more of her talents and interests.

Hooks and brand partnerships

A hook helps brands understand why an audience connects with specific content. When talent has a strong hook, brands can more easily understand how they can align their brand values with that hook. A great example of this alignment is the long tradition of celebrity spokespeople.

The best brands find a spokesperson whose hook and accomplishments actually reflect their values, goal, and objectives. It’s a simple formula. When a brand and a talent connect on a deeper level, there is much greater potential for engagement and content creation than a mere thumbs-up in exchange for a big check.

For instance, Troy Polamalu can endorse lots of things. He’s that incredibly gifted, two-time Super-Bowl-winning football player with all that long curly hair. His partnership with Head & Shoulders is a perfect fit. Plus the fact that they insured his hair for $1M was word-of-mouth and social-media gold.

Seeing the Future

As we look at the new horizon of media plays, we’re going to see deeper alignments between brands and talent. It behooves talent to find their hook and learn how to use it.

As your brand looks for talent with whom to partner, put your unique value next to their hook. How do they match up? This will be a vital element of marketing in the years to come.

Check back tomorrow, when I’ll play around with figuring out hooks for the nominees in the Rising Star Chef of the Year category of the James Beard Awards.