Short-form Storytelling

Short-form Storytelling

Short-form Storytelling

Short-form Storytelling

Short-form Storytelling

Short-form Storytelling

Short-form Storytelling

Short-form Storytelling

The ultimate short-form storytelling framework

I’ve made 188 videos with a variety of different story formats, but there’s one that works every single time.

  1. Hook

    1. Headline (1 sentence)

    2. Shocker (1 sentence)

    3. Misdirection (1-2 sentences)

  2. Context (Meat)

  3. Conflict (Potatoes)

  4. Resolution (Dessert)

  5. Last Dab (Bang)

Let me break this down using an example.

My Messi video is currently at 28.5M views across Tiktok + Instagram. The purpose of the video was to storytell around Messi’s legendary contract to play in the MLS (American soccer league).

1. Hook

The first part of a great video is the hook. You need some way to get the viewer to stop scrolling and watch your video.

But this is where most people get it wrong.

The hook is not a single sentence. It’s a section made up of the first 3-4 sentences.

The first sentence in the hook is the “Headline”. Tell them about the purpose of the video as quickly and concisely as possible. This is not what will hook them, so you need to get through this part before they scroll away.

The reason you have to start with this is because it will qualify the video as interesting or not to the viewer.

You used to be able to hook people without this (e.g., saying something like, “You’re never going to believe this insane thing I saw”). But today, if you try to hook them with something generic and non-contextual, they will mostly likely sense it and scroll away.

So for the Headline in the Messi example, I went with “Leo Messi just changed the business of sports forever.”

It’s extremely quick, but signals to people that what comes next is going to be about Messi, soccer, sports, and business.

Next within the hook section is the “Shocker.”

This is something that helps contextualize the headline and makes it seem shocking or hard to believe. Think of it like hitting them with a quick jab they didn’t see coming.

Psychologically, the Shocker will make them pause for a second to double take on what you said. That pause is all you need to get them to the third line.

For the Messi video, I went with “He said no to $1.7B.”

So when you hear that, you’re like, “wait wtf…he said no to $1.7B. Why would he do that?!”

And those first two sentences are setting you up for the haymaker right hand.

The third piece to the hook is the Misdirection.

This is where I’ve got you leaning one way expecting to hear one thing and I surprise you with something completely different.

The surprise gives you a little shot of dopamine and you’re hooked.

So for the Messi video, you’d expect I would follow up the Shocker with something to explain why him turning down the money was dumb.

Instead, I came with “Instead, he signed one of the greatest sports deals of all time.”

At this point, I have you hook, line, and sinker. Most viewers are thinking, “Wait, what just happened? I need to keep listening to find out how this makes sense.”

2. Context & Conflict

Once you’ve got someone hooked, the video shifts into more of a dance between Context and Conflict.

You want to provide some interesting contextual points while inserting occasional mini conflicts that need more context to be resolved.

This is the meat and potatoes of the story.

You can keep doing this as long as the story needs it. Your only jobs in this section are to entertain and get them to the end.

Here was the context and conflict dance for the Messi video. Context is bold and conflict isn't.

Over the weekend, Messi announced he was joining Inter Miami, in the American soccer league.

Now rumors are that he turned down $450M per year to play in Saudi Arabia.

And the crazy thing is…

Inter Miami couldn’t even come close to matching the Saudi offer…so they got creative.

In addition to player money, Miami brought 3 friends to the table…Apple, Adidas, and the MLS.

A few months ago, Apple just paid $2.5B to own the streaming rights for American soccer.

They decided to offer Messi a share of the streaming revenue, which has never been done in any sport.

To sweeten the deal, Adidas offered Messi a profit-share in all MLS apparel they sell.

This is similar to the deal Michael Jordan signed with Nike which eventually made him a billionaire.

Messi also gets the option to buy a percentage of an MLS team when he’s finished playing.

So he’s getting salary + streaming + apparel + future team ownership.

3. Resolution

After a fun dance between context and conflict, it’s time to deliver a memorable Resolution to the video.

By this point, you will have opened a thought loop in the viewer’s brain. They need that loop closed or they will feel unsatisfied.

So with the resolution, your job is to close it. Again, no wasted ink. Make sure every sentence is additive.

This is what I wrote for the resolution of the Messi video (and this was a bit long, but this particular story required a lot of detail to tell the full story).

Now who wins most on this deal? Everyone.

Messi gets uncapped upside as a player, something that is almost never offered.

Apple’s streaming and Adidas’s apparel revenues are going to skyrocket, giving them slightly less ownership of a much bigger pie.

The American soccer league now has the greatest player on the planet as its face.

And for Inter Miami, average ticket prices jumped from $80 to $420 the minute the news was announced.

4. Last Dab

This is the secret to my success.

Most people think the video is finished at the end of the resolution. It isn’t.

After the resolution, all of the loose ends are tied up in the viewers brain. So it’s a neat and tidy loop. They will feel okay moving on.

You don’t want that (but I thought you just said…).

I know what I said. You want to close the main loop, and open another tiny one at the end. This will drive comments, shares, and rewatches.

The best thing to do is to ask a question or say some joke/witty take.

Here’s why…

Whatever the last thing is the viewer consumes will be what they will remember about the video.

So if your last line is weak, they will be less likely to share/comment/like.

Your last line should be just as strong as your hook section.

For the Messi video, this is what I used for my Last Dab.

But after all that, here’s the most interesting part to me…

If you’re Lebron, Steph Curry, Pat Mahomes, Mike Trout, Sydney Crosby or any star player in any other league…do you have a case to demand something similar?

The Last Dab is like the 9 hitter in a baseball line up.

Since short-form videos auto-loop, you need the last line to be just as good at setting the table as the first line is.

Try this story format for yourself and let me know how it works.

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, you should subscribe to me weekly creator journal, Blueprint. Each week, I share metrics, ideas, frameworks, and experiments designed to supercharge your thinking about content & brand building in the modern age.

The ultimate short-form storytelling framework

I’ve made 188 videos with a variety of different story formats, but there’s one that works every single time.

  1. Hook

    1. Headline (1 sentence)

    2. Shocker (1 sentence)

    3. Misdirection (1-2 sentences)

  2. Context (Meat)

  3. Conflict (Potatoes)

  4. Resolution (Dessert)

  5. Last Dab (Bang)

Let me break this down using an example.

My Messi video is currently at 28.5M views across Tiktok + Instagram. The purpose of the video was to storytell around Messi’s legendary contract to play in the MLS (American soccer league).

1. Hook

The first part of a great video is the hook. You need some way to get the viewer to stop scrolling and watch your video.

But this is where most people get it wrong.

The hook is not a single sentence. It’s a section made up of the first 3-4 sentences.

The first sentence in the hook is the “Headline”. Tell them about the purpose of the video as quickly and concisely as possible. This is not what will hook them, so you need to get through this part before they scroll away.

The reason you have to start with this is because it will qualify the video as interesting or not to the viewer.

You used to be able to hook people without this (e.g., saying something like, “You’re never going to believe this insane thing I saw”). But today, if you try to hook them with something generic and non-contextual, they will mostly likely sense it and scroll away.

So for the Headline in the Messi example, I went with “Leo Messi just changed the business of sports forever.”

It’s extremely quick, but signals to people that what comes next is going to be about Messi, soccer, sports, and business.

Next within the hook section is the “Shocker.”

This is something that helps contextualize the headline and makes it seem shocking or hard to believe. Think of it like hitting them with a quick jab they didn’t see coming.

Psychologically, the Shocker will make them pause for a second to double take on what you said. That pause is all you need to get them to the third line.

For the Messi video, I went with “He said no to $1.7B.”

So when you hear that, you’re like, “wait wtf…he said no to $1.7B. Why would he do that?!”

And those first two sentences are setting you up for the haymaker right hand.

The third piece to the hook is the Misdirection.

This is where I’ve got you leaning one way expecting to hear one thing and I surprise you with something completely different.

The surprise gives you a little shot of dopamine and you’re hooked.

So for the Messi video, you’d expect I would follow up the Shocker with something to explain why him turning down the money was dumb.

Instead, I came with “Instead, he signed one of the greatest sports deals of all time.”

At this point, I have you hook, line, and sinker. Most viewers are thinking, “Wait, what just happened? I need to keep listening to find out how this makes sense.”

2. Context & Conflict

Once you’ve got someone hooked, the video shifts into more of a dance between Context and Conflict.

You want to provide some interesting contextual points while inserting occasional mini conflicts that need more context to be resolved.

This is the meat and potatoes of the story.

You can keep doing this as long as the story needs it. Your only jobs in this section are to entertain and get them to the end.

Here was the context and conflict dance for the Messi video. Context is bold and conflict isn't.

Over the weekend, Messi announced he was joining Inter Miami, in the American soccer league.

Now rumors are that he turned down $450M per year to play in Saudi Arabia.

And the crazy thing is…

Inter Miami couldn’t even come close to matching the Saudi offer…so they got creative.

In addition to player money, Miami brought 3 friends to the table…Apple, Adidas, and the MLS.

A few months ago, Apple just paid $2.5B to own the streaming rights for American soccer.

They decided to offer Messi a share of the streaming revenue, which has never been done in any sport.

To sweeten the deal, Adidas offered Messi a profit-share in all MLS apparel they sell.

This is similar to the deal Michael Jordan signed with Nike which eventually made him a billionaire.

Messi also gets the option to buy a percentage of an MLS team when he’s finished playing.

So he’s getting salary + streaming + apparel + future team ownership.

3. Resolution

After a fun dance between context and conflict, it’s time to deliver a memorable Resolution to the video.

By this point, you will have opened a thought loop in the viewer’s brain. They need that loop closed or they will feel unsatisfied.

So with the resolution, your job is to close it. Again, no wasted ink. Make sure every sentence is additive.

This is what I wrote for the resolution of the Messi video (and this was a bit long, but this particular story required a lot of detail to tell the full story).

Now who wins most on this deal? Everyone.

Messi gets uncapped upside as a player, something that is almost never offered.

Apple’s streaming and Adidas’s apparel revenues are going to skyrocket, giving them slightly less ownership of a much bigger pie.

The American soccer league now has the greatest player on the planet as its face.

And for Inter Miami, average ticket prices jumped from $80 to $420 the minute the news was announced.

4. Last Dab

This is the secret to my success.

Most people think the video is finished at the end of the resolution. It isn’t.

After the resolution, all of the loose ends are tied up in the viewers brain. So it’s a neat and tidy loop. They will feel okay moving on.

You don’t want that (but I thought you just said…).

I know what I said. You want to close the main loop, and open another tiny one at the end. This will drive comments, shares, and rewatches.

The best thing to do is to ask a question or say some joke/witty take.

Here’s why…

Whatever the last thing is the viewer consumes will be what they will remember about the video.

So if your last line is weak, they will be less likely to share/comment/like.

Your last line should be just as strong as your hook section.

For the Messi video, this is what I used for my Last Dab.

But after all that, here’s the most interesting part to me…

If you’re Lebron, Steph Curry, Pat Mahomes, Mike Trout, Sydney Crosby or any star player in any other league…do you have a case to demand something similar?

The Last Dab is like the 9 hitter in a baseball line up.

Since short-form videos auto-loop, you need the last line to be just as good at setting the table as the first line is.

Try this story format for yourself and let me know how it works.

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, you should subscribe to me weekly creator journal, Blueprint. Each week, I share metrics, ideas, frameworks, and experiments designed to supercharge your thinking about content & brand building in the modern age.

The ultimate short-form storytelling framework

I’ve made 188 videos with a variety of different story formats, but there’s one that works every single time.

  1. Hook

    1. Headline (1 sentence)

    2. Shocker (1 sentence)

    3. Misdirection (1-2 sentences)

  2. Context (Meat)

  3. Conflict (Potatoes)

  4. Resolution (Dessert)

  5. Last Dab (Bang)

Let me break this down using an example.

My Messi video is currently at 28.5M views across Tiktok + Instagram. The purpose of the video was to storytell around Messi’s legendary contract to play in the MLS (American soccer league).

1. Hook

The first part of a great video is the hook. You need some way to get the viewer to stop scrolling and watch your video.

But this is where most people get it wrong.

The hook is not a single sentence. It’s a section made up of the first 3-4 sentences.

The first sentence in the hook is the “Headline”. Tell them about the purpose of the video as quickly and concisely as possible. This is not what will hook them, so you need to get through this part before they scroll away.

The reason you have to start with this is because it will qualify the video as interesting or not to the viewer.

You used to be able to hook people without this (e.g., saying something like, “You’re never going to believe this insane thing I saw”). But today, if you try to hook them with something generic and non-contextual, they will mostly likely sense it and scroll away.

So for the Headline in the Messi example, I went with “Leo Messi just changed the business of sports forever.”

It’s extremely quick, but signals to people that what comes next is going to be about Messi, soccer, sports, and business.

Next within the hook section is the “Shocker.”

This is something that helps contextualize the headline and makes it seem shocking or hard to believe. Think of it like hitting them with a quick jab they didn’t see coming.

Psychologically, the Shocker will make them pause for a second to double take on what you said. That pause is all you need to get them to the third line.

For the Messi video, I went with “He said no to $1.7B.”

So when you hear that, you’re like, “wait wtf…he said no to $1.7B. Why would he do that?!”

And those first two sentences are setting you up for the haymaker right hand.

The third piece to the hook is the Misdirection.

This is where I’ve got you leaning one way expecting to hear one thing and I surprise you with something completely different.

The surprise gives you a little shot of dopamine and you’re hooked.

So for the Messi video, you’d expect I would follow up the Shocker with something to explain why him turning down the money was dumb.

Instead, I came with “Instead, he signed one of the greatest sports deals of all time.”

At this point, I have you hook, line, and sinker. Most viewers are thinking, “Wait, what just happened? I need to keep listening to find out how this makes sense.”

2. Context & Conflict

Once you’ve got someone hooked, the video shifts into more of a dance between Context and Conflict.

You want to provide some interesting contextual points while inserting occasional mini conflicts that need more context to be resolved.

This is the meat and potatoes of the story.

You can keep doing this as long as the story needs it. Your only jobs in this section are to entertain and get them to the end.

Here was the context and conflict dance for the Messi video. Context is bold and conflict isn't.

Over the weekend, Messi announced he was joining Inter Miami, in the American soccer league.

Now rumors are that he turned down $450M per year to play in Saudi Arabia.

And the crazy thing is…

Inter Miami couldn’t even come close to matching the Saudi offer…so they got creative.

In addition to player money, Miami brought 3 friends to the table…Apple, Adidas, and the MLS.

A few months ago, Apple just paid $2.5B to own the streaming rights for American soccer.

They decided to offer Messi a share of the streaming revenue, which has never been done in any sport.

To sweeten the deal, Adidas offered Messi a profit-share in all MLS apparel they sell.

This is similar to the deal Michael Jordan signed with Nike which eventually made him a billionaire.

Messi also gets the option to buy a percentage of an MLS team when he’s finished playing.

So he’s getting salary + streaming + apparel + future team ownership.

3. Resolution

After a fun dance between context and conflict, it’s time to deliver a memorable Resolution to the video.

By this point, you will have opened a thought loop in the viewer’s brain. They need that loop closed or they will feel unsatisfied.

So with the resolution, your job is to close it. Again, no wasted ink. Make sure every sentence is additive.

This is what I wrote for the resolution of the Messi video (and this was a bit long, but this particular story required a lot of detail to tell the full story).

Now who wins most on this deal? Everyone.

Messi gets uncapped upside as a player, something that is almost never offered.

Apple’s streaming and Adidas’s apparel revenues are going to skyrocket, giving them slightly less ownership of a much bigger pie.

The American soccer league now has the greatest player on the planet as its face.

And for Inter Miami, average ticket prices jumped from $80 to $420 the minute the news was announced.

4. Last Dab

This is the secret to my success.

Most people think the video is finished at the end of the resolution. It isn’t.

After the resolution, all of the loose ends are tied up in the viewers brain. So it’s a neat and tidy loop. They will feel okay moving on.

You don’t want that (but I thought you just said…).

I know what I said. You want to close the main loop, and open another tiny one at the end. This will drive comments, shares, and rewatches.

The best thing to do is to ask a question or say some joke/witty take.

Here’s why…

Whatever the last thing is the viewer consumes will be what they will remember about the video.

So if your last line is weak, they will be less likely to share/comment/like.

Your last line should be just as strong as your hook section.

For the Messi video, this is what I used for my Last Dab.

But after all that, here’s the most interesting part to me…

If you’re Lebron, Steph Curry, Pat Mahomes, Mike Trout, Sydney Crosby or any star player in any other league…do you have a case to demand something similar?

The Last Dab is like the 9 hitter in a baseball line up.

Since short-form videos auto-loop, you need the last line to be just as good at setting the table as the first line is.

Try this story format for yourself and let me know how it works.

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, you should subscribe to me weekly creator journal, Blueprint. Each week, I share metrics, ideas, frameworks, and experiments designed to supercharge your thinking about content & brand building in the modern age.

The ultimate short-form storytelling framework

I’ve made 188 videos with a variety of different story formats, but there’s one that works every single time.

  1. Hook

    1. Headline (1 sentence)

    2. Shocker (1 sentence)

    3. Misdirection (1-2 sentences)

  2. Context (Meat)

  3. Conflict (Potatoes)

  4. Resolution (Dessert)

  5. Last Dab (Bang)

Let me break this down using an example.

My Messi video is currently at 28.5M views across Tiktok + Instagram. The purpose of the video was to storytell around Messi’s legendary contract to play in the MLS (American soccer league).

1. Hook

The first part of a great video is the hook. You need some way to get the viewer to stop scrolling and watch your video.

But this is where most people get it wrong.

The hook is not a single sentence. It’s a section made up of the first 3-4 sentences.

The first sentence in the hook is the “Headline”. Tell them about the purpose of the video as quickly and concisely as possible. This is not what will hook them, so you need to get through this part before they scroll away.

The reason you have to start with this is because it will qualify the video as interesting or not to the viewer.

You used to be able to hook people without this (e.g., saying something like, “You’re never going to believe this insane thing I saw”). But today, if you try to hook them with something generic and non-contextual, they will mostly likely sense it and scroll away.

So for the Headline in the Messi example, I went with “Leo Messi just changed the business of sports forever.”

It’s extremely quick, but signals to people that what comes next is going to be about Messi, soccer, sports, and business.

Next within the hook section is the “Shocker.”

This is something that helps contextualize the headline and makes it seem shocking or hard to believe. Think of it like hitting them with a quick jab they didn’t see coming.

Psychologically, the Shocker will make them pause for a second to double take on what you said. That pause is all you need to get them to the third line.

For the Messi video, I went with “He said no to $1.7B.”

So when you hear that, you’re like, “wait wtf…he said no to $1.7B. Why would he do that?!”

And those first two sentences are setting you up for the haymaker right hand.

The third piece to the hook is the Misdirection.

This is where I’ve got you leaning one way expecting to hear one thing and I surprise you with something completely different.

The surprise gives you a little shot of dopamine and you’re hooked.

So for the Messi video, you’d expect I would follow up the Shocker with something to explain why him turning down the money was dumb.

Instead, I came with “Instead, he signed one of the greatest sports deals of all time.”

At this point, I have you hook, line, and sinker. Most viewers are thinking, “Wait, what just happened? I need to keep listening to find out how this makes sense.”

2. Context & Conflict

Once you’ve got someone hooked, the video shifts into more of a dance between Context and Conflict.

You want to provide some interesting contextual points while inserting occasional mini conflicts that need more context to be resolved.

This is the meat and potatoes of the story.

You can keep doing this as long as the story needs it. Your only jobs in this section are to entertain and get them to the end.

Here was the context and conflict dance for the Messi video. Context is bold and conflict isn't.

Over the weekend, Messi announced he was joining Inter Miami, in the American soccer league.

Now rumors are that he turned down $450M per year to play in Saudi Arabia.

And the crazy thing is…

Inter Miami couldn’t even come close to matching the Saudi offer…so they got creative.

In addition to player money, Miami brought 3 friends to the table…Apple, Adidas, and the MLS.

A few months ago, Apple just paid $2.5B to own the streaming rights for American soccer.

They decided to offer Messi a share of the streaming revenue, which has never been done in any sport.

To sweeten the deal, Adidas offered Messi a profit-share in all MLS apparel they sell.

This is similar to the deal Michael Jordan signed with Nike which eventually made him a billionaire.

Messi also gets the option to buy a percentage of an MLS team when he’s finished playing.

So he’s getting salary + streaming + apparel + future team ownership.

3. Resolution

After a fun dance between context and conflict, it’s time to deliver a memorable Resolution to the video.

By this point, you will have opened a thought loop in the viewer’s brain. They need that loop closed or they will feel unsatisfied.

So with the resolution, your job is to close it. Again, no wasted ink. Make sure every sentence is additive.

This is what I wrote for the resolution of the Messi video (and this was a bit long, but this particular story required a lot of detail to tell the full story).

Now who wins most on this deal? Everyone.

Messi gets uncapped upside as a player, something that is almost never offered.

Apple’s streaming and Adidas’s apparel revenues are going to skyrocket, giving them slightly less ownership of a much bigger pie.

The American soccer league now has the greatest player on the planet as its face.

And for Inter Miami, average ticket prices jumped from $80 to $420 the minute the news was announced.

4. Last Dab

This is the secret to my success.

Most people think the video is finished at the end of the resolution. It isn’t.

After the resolution, all of the loose ends are tied up in the viewers brain. So it’s a neat and tidy loop. They will feel okay moving on.

You don’t want that (but I thought you just said…).

I know what I said. You want to close the main loop, and open another tiny one at the end. This will drive comments, shares, and rewatches.

The best thing to do is to ask a question or say some joke/witty take.

Here’s why…

Whatever the last thing is the viewer consumes will be what they will remember about the video.

So if your last line is weak, they will be less likely to share/comment/like.

Your last line should be just as strong as your hook section.

For the Messi video, this is what I used for my Last Dab.

But after all that, here’s the most interesting part to me…

If you’re Lebron, Steph Curry, Pat Mahomes, Mike Trout, Sydney Crosby or any star player in any other league…do you have a case to demand something similar?

The Last Dab is like the 9 hitter in a baseball line up.

Since short-form videos auto-loop, you need the last line to be just as good at setting the table as the first line is.

Try this story format for yourself and let me know how it works.

— — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, you should subscribe to me weekly creator journal, Blueprint. Each week, I share metrics, ideas, frameworks, and experiments designed to supercharge your thinking about content & brand building in the modern age.

Short-form Storytelling

Short-form Storytelling

Short-form Storytelling

Short-form Storytelling

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