While traveling through the Metro, I noticed an old lady struggling with an escalator. As a kid, escalators excited me, but the old lady was far from amused by these magical steps. “I am going to fall” – that’s what she kept yelling to her family members. While her family members and the crowd around tried to cheer her on and appeal to her rationality by telling her that escalators are completely safe, she was having none of it. 

But as she reached the top

Her shouting was replaced by a toothless smile. She had clearly enjoyed the ride, and a part of me was telling me she couldn’t wait to get on the escalator again. The lesson was loud and clear. Once we taste the unknown, we become comfortable with it. Doubts are replaced with trust. 


Your audience needs to get a taste of your brand too

Like the old lady, your audience is scared. Skeptical. Full of doubts about your brand. And if they are ever to engage with your brand or buy from you, you must build their trust. And the Primer does just that.


What is a Primer, you ask?

Let’s jump into it.

In this article, let’s talk about – 

  • What is a primer, and why do we need it?
  • Why do we need a primer?
  • How do we create a Primer?


  1. What is a primer, and why do we need it?

A primer is a dense piece of content that can be delivered through different mediums and can change the reader’s worldview. The primer aims to build a deep connection with your audience. 


The primer can be in multiple mediums

It can be a book, a YouTube channel, a podcast, a blog, an email sequence, etc. And yet, it’s different from other typical content marketing approaches. We will get to that in a bit. 

How Andre Chaperon primed me

A few years back, I came across a free course on Email Marketing by Andre Chaperon. I was taken through a long-form landing page, followed by an email sequence that taught me the ‘new way of doing Email Marketing’. 


As I went through the landing page and the email sequence, I felt myself falling in love with Andre’s work. His thoughts and principles on Marketing were closely associated with mine. Each email that I read changed me for the better. On the 6th email, I couldn’t help myself from buying the course. 🙂


Sean D’souza’s priming experience

To take another example, I was recommended a book ‘The Brain Audit’, written by Sean D’souza. It’s a lovely book that helps you understand why customers buy, so you can create an offer that empowers your audience to take action. 


Here, as well, I felt myself connecting with the author and his principles. As he taught me how customers buy, I felt an emotional pull to have a further association with Sean D’souza. Within a few months, I joined his paid membership Community.

Can you see the pattern here?

  1. Why do we need a primer?

Why do we actually need to go through the pain of creating a primer? What justifies the effort in creating an asset that is this dense and elaborate? Why not use more conventional tactics like social media? Or paid ads for lead generation?

Social media marketing is like a snack

Social media mostly rewards content that is short, easily digestible. Think of them as bullet points that can be consumed easily. This ‘snack-like’ content is optimized for awareness and thus fails to create light-bulb moments for the audience. A paid-ad funnel comprising of a short Facebook ad followed by a landing page might create the same experience. 

On the other hand, primers are designed for a longer engagement and a more profound change. It’s obvious, then, that primers are usually dense and need a substantial amount of time to be consumed. 

J.K. Rowling wouldn’t have been able to build a cult-like fan following if Harry Potter was just a 280-character tweet.

Which is why the primer is opinionated

Along with being dense, the primer is opinionated and proposes a distinct point of view. If the primer is identical to all the content already on the internet, it won’t stand out or change the reader. The primer’s job is to resonate strongly with a certain audience and repel the others. 

Now the ultimate question. How do we create one?

  1. How to create a primer? 

A blog post can’t do justice to the extensive process of creating this primer, but we can at least explore a few directions here.

  • The system

The system type of primer promises one result and then takes the reader through a step-by-step process of achieving the results. The book ‘The Brain Audit’ I mentioned before is a 7-step system of ensuring that a customer makes the purchasing decision. 

  • The concept

Another way of creating a primer is to take on a concept and go deep into it. The Andre Chaperon course that I mentioned falls into this category. Seth Godin’s book ‘The Purple Cow’ is another example. The book talks about creating a brand that is remarkable, and while it doesn’t deliver a step-by-step system, it primes the audience to think a certain way. 

  • The drip

Unlike ‘The Concept’, ‘The Drip’ tackles a much smaller issue. The Drip uses mediums such as podcasts, videos, & blogs and helps in priming the audience over a long period. My favorite example would be ‘Everyone Hates Marketers’, a podcast hosted by Louis Grenier that talks about doing Marketing with dignity and grace. With each episode, Louis is able to resonate with a certain kind of audience and prime them. 

To summarize

Building a Primer is an effective way of building some serious trust with your audience. A Primer is a dense piece of content that can exist in different mediums. The Primer can be a system, a concept, or a drip. 

It’s not a bad idea to start thinking about your primer today. Take a few steps today, you might enjoy creating one.

Just ask the old lady on the escalator who can’t wait to use it again.