Finding your irresistible angle
When you think about the kind of content that makes you drop everything to read, listen, or watch, there's something about it that's hard to resist. In Chapter 8, we'll explore examples of unique angles creators have taken with their content, and what makes their content irresistible.
“A music producer goes to space on a mission to discover some of the universe's strangest secrets.” It sounds like the premise for a new sci-fi movie or series, but what if I told you that this is the description for a playlist on a YouTube channel?
In the previous chapter, you learned how to make your content interesting. In this chapter, we’ll take that to the next level by finding an irresistible angle, or taking an existing topic and presenting it in a new or interesting way. That’s what YouTuber and music producer Andrew Huang did for his new album, Spacetime .
Andrew Huang is a partially deaf musician from Toronto who uses his YouTube channel to share educational content about music production and to showcase his songs from a library of more than 40 albums he’s produced.
For people who are into music production and enjoy the kind of music Andrew makes, the content on his channel is already really interesting. The SPACETIME playlist he produced on his channel makes the interesting irresistible.
Sure, he could just teach music production or just share samples of his songs, but instead, he takes us on a journey into outer space, introducing us to a strange new world filled with interesting sounds, walking us through how to record and shape those sounds into music, and using the songs from his new album as examples and the soundtrack for the whole adventure.
This is one of the more outside-the-box approaches to using an irresistible angle, but there are several different ways you can find an irresistible angle for your content. Let’s check out some examples from other creators.
Experiment with a new format
In the previous chapter, one of the examples we shared was Jonathan and Ashley Longnecker’s documentary. It’s also a fantastic example of finding an irresistible angle.
Homesteading content is becoming more and more popular and there are tons of channels that provide how-to content for everything related to the subject, but few have taken the approach of documenting a large project like the Longneckers, and even fewer have taken the time to turn that footage into a well-produced two-hour documentary .
Jonathan and Ashley Longnecker
“We were recording every single day that we worked on the project. We had all the footage. I don’t think we would’ve been able to make something nearly as interesting if we hadn’t put in the work to record every single day. We were really intentional each day so that by the time we got to the end of it, and we can make this full build, we had a whole lot to work with, probably almost too much. It was a lot to work through.”
As we mentioned in the previous chapter, this approach paid off because that video alone has garnered more than 3.4 million views.
A new format doesn’t necessarily mean a huge project. Em Connors , whose content we also checked out in the previous chapter, takes a unique approach to teach Canva tips.
“There’s so many people who do exactly what I do, you know? But the secret ingredient is me and my personality and the way I teach it, that are gonna attract certain people to me.”
If you search for Canva tips, there are tons of longer articles and videos out there to take you through just about anything you can do with Canva. Em’s irresistible angle is her personality-filled, short-form approach to providing Canva tips using Instagram reels. Giving her audience quick wins has earned her more than 89,000 followers on the platform.
Improve on an existing solution
Podia creator Emily Mills discovered an irresistible angle when she saw a gap in what type of content was being offered around the topic of sketchnoting. Popular sketchnoting podcasts existed, but Emily realized that a visual medium like video would be a better fit.
“I was thinking, ‘Okay, this is a visual medium. Why is there a podcast about it?’ I honestly don’t listen to the podcast because I am not interested in hearing about their work. I’m interested in seeing their work.
Because he interviews other people who do sketchnoting and drawing and that kind of work. And so I’m like, ‘I’ll just do video interviews,’ and it’s the same format, but people get to see the work and I bring up their favorite examples, and I ask them kind of broad questions, but people get to actually see their face and their mannerisms and their work and kinda make that human connection, which I thought was more important than just hearing about it.”
If you’re someone who’s into sketchnoting, you might be interested enough to listen to a podcast, but the idea of seeing professional artists talk about and show their work in real-time is irresistible.
Share your progress
Emily uses another irresistible angle to share her work, which is sharing every completed sketchnoting piece, even the ones she’s not proud of.
“I had been posting on social media. I just made a rule for myself when I started learning sketchnoting that I would share every single one, even if I’m not proud of it, because that’ll make me get better. And so I was posting consistently on social media.
My following was growing and people were really interested in not only just looking at my sketchnotes, but learning how to do it. I think I was being seen as an inspiration and people wanted to learn from me. And so people started asking when I was going to teach it.”
Leonardo Divinci’s masterpieces are breathtaking and the idea of being able to paint like him seems out of reach for most, but if you check out one of his earliest artistic works, it’s much more attainable as a starting point.
People love seeing a progression, and it makes it easier for them to believe they can learn from you. By letting aspiring sketchnote artists see all of her work, the good and the not-so-good, Emily makes her content irresistible.
Provide expert analysis and review
Another irresistible angle that’s gained a ton of popularity lately is expert analysis. Expert analysis usually consists of an expert reviewing something like a news story or a creative work, and offering their insights and opinions based on their expertise.
Here are some of my favorite examples: VFX artists react, a series from the YouTube channel Corridor Crew , reviews clips from movies and TV series and breaks down the VFX process for creating those shots. There’s tons of content out there for folks who want to learn specific VFX software and techniques, but this approach makes it fun and accessible even for people who aren’t interested in learning VFX.
The Charismatic Voice , run by Elizabeth Zharoff, offers breakdowns of some of the most moving vocals and musical compositions and gets into the science behind why those tones and sounds make us feel things.
Cinema Therapy features licensed therapist Jonathan Decker and professional filmmaker Alan Seawright where they break down scenes from popular movies, and discuss how well they line up with a professional approach to therapy and real human psychology.
Are you an expert in something? Your analysis of things that are relevant to your niche could be an irresistible angle for your audience.
Incorporate numbers and challenges
Looking for more ideas for an irresistible angle? Look to the numbers. Some creators use large (or small) dollar amounts, some number of days, or a number of repetitions to make their content irresistible.
Ryan Trahan spent 100 days playing Pokemon VR
Mr. Beast paid a weightlifter one dollar for every curl of a one-pound dumbbell
Michelle Khare trained like a broadway star for 6 weeks
Like Michelle Khare, you could also go the route of taking on some kind of interesting or even impossible challenge, like climbing an 85 ft cliff with only a week of training.
Or like the McElroy brothers’ podcast, The McElroy Brothers Will Be In Trolls World Tour , which chronicles their attempts to get into the cast of the movie Trolls World Tour.
These ideas may seem a little out there, but if you think about interesting challenges in your niche, you can probably find a few ideas from these creators and tweak them to fit your content and audience.
Now that you’ve got some ideas for making interesting and irresistible content, it’s time to get that content in front of people, but is simply hitting publish enough? You’ll find out in the next chapter.