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A lead magnet is simply something that you give to your audience for free in exchange for them performing an action such as giving you their email address and sometimes other information too. Your main goal of providing a lead magnet from your perspective is to get them on your email list. But, it’s important to think about your audience’s goals too.
Competition is fierce today so it’s more important than ever that you provide a lead magnet that really resonates with your audience in a way that makes them put aside the fact that they need to provide their email to get it. Smart consumers today know and expect that you will market to them once you get their email address so that gives them pause. If you want to overcome that, you need to offer a lead magnet that is second to none and solves a specific problem for them.
A lead magnet is generally a digital product that doesn’t cost a lot to produce or a lot to deliver. The reason is that you’re giving it away for free. It would be hard for example, to give someone a physical product as a lead magnet because that would be costly. But, when you can provide them something that is helpful and useful to them to solve a problem in digital form it costs you nothing extra the more people who sign up to get it.
Lead magnets are generally easy to download files such as PDFs, MP4s, Email course files, videos, and other files that are small and easy to download and access for the recipient regardless of whether they’re on their mobile device or their desktop computers.
An effective lead magnet will be targeted to attract just the right people, as well as set them up to want to purchase more from you. To do this it has to be laser targeted to the right audience and solve a problem that your audience has in a quick, actionable, and straightforward way.
To accomplish this, it really is as easy as 123.
1) Plan It
2) Create It
3) Monetize It
In this Guide, you’re going to learn the ins and outs of each part of this process so that your lead magnets are laser targeted, simple to create, and easy to monetize so that it’s worth it for you to offer them.
Step #1: Plan It
Everything you do has to start with a plan. The reason planning is so important is that you end up knowing what your deliverable will look like. A lead magnet is an important product that you are creating for your audience.
Your lead magnet needs to be:
• Quickly Consumable
• Action Oriented
• Solves a Problem in a Notable Way
• It’s Relevant to Your Audience
• It’s Instantly Available
• It’s Free
This process requires some thought, study, and planning.
You’ve heard the saying:
“If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”
Right? You know you have heard it. But often it just seems confusing and hard to plan. But the planning process is one of the most important so that you know who, when, where, what, why and how you’re going to accomplish the goal of creating a lead magnet that your audience really wants.
If you start trying to create lead magnets without knowing who your audience is, what solutions you want to provide to them, what the lead magnet will look like (what form it’s in) and how you plan to create it it’s going to be a difficult road with a lot of starts and stops without any conclusion.
The things you need to know so that you can make a plan are, who is your audience, what problems they have, what type of solutions you can provide to them, the format you’ll deliver the lead magnet in, how you’ll deliver it, and whether or not you’re going to start from scratch, repurpose something you already have, or use private label rights (PLR) to create it.
Let’s Go Over Each Factor More in Depth
I want you to understand these things very clearly so I’m going to explain everything. You may already know some of this but it’s very important not to skip the planning process on any product you’re creating including a free product. The reason is you want the free product to be targeted, purposeful and useful to both your audience and your business.
Who Is Your Audience?
Everything always starts with your audience. If you don’t know who your audience is it’s going to be very hard to create anything that they want. It’s so much easier to start with the audience you want to work with, learn about them, and then create something they already want. You can learn about your audience in numerous ways. For example, you can join Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, go to live events and more to get to know your audience.
To get to know your audience better:
• Look at Your Metrics – If you have already started getting traffic to your site, it’s important to install analytics of some kind (Google works great) so that you can find out if the people you think are your audience are indeed your audience.
• Look at Your Competition – Identify at least one to three top competitors who market to your audience. Join their lists, join their groups, follow what they are doing. What words do they use to attract the audience? You can use software like iSpionage.com to spy on your competition and even find out what keywords they’re using.
• Develop a Customer Profile or Avatar – It’s very important that you understand so much about your audience that you can describe them down to the type of clothing they wear, their age, their sex, their wants, needs, and desires. Create a profile of your audience of one so that everything you create is for that perfect audience member.
• Build Relationships with Your Customers – When you do have visitors, customers, or clients it’s important to build a relationship with them. You can do this via groups, live events (online and offline), and even via email. By getting intimately involved with your audience you can discover what is keeping them up at night, what frightens them, what thrills them, and that can help you make more generalizations about your audience and their needs.
• Monitor Questions, Comments & Other Engagement – Within your groups, email messages, events and so forth always look at everyone’s comments and questions. Also, notice what they’re more likely to share or like. When you monitor and track enough you’ll see a pattern emerge that helps you know your audience better.
• Do Surveys – As you build your audience conduct regular surveys to find out if you’re connecting enough and well. You can also do surveys directed to your ideal audience by promoting via Google or other Social Media ads using software like Survey Monkey, Zoho Surveys, or even a simple Google Form Questionnaire.
The important thing to do is to remember that the more you can get inside your audience’s heads the better. You want it to seem as if you can read their minds and come up with amazing products and lead magnets that they already wanted before you offered it.
What Problems Does Your Audience Face?
One of the main things you want to learn is what problems your audience faces. There are numerous ways to find out what problems your audience face. Let’s look at a few ways that you can discover the pain points and problems your audience faces.
• Listen – What are they complaining about, or what questions do they ask a lot? You can watch their discussions online in discussion forums, the chat portion of any live webinar, or live event on Facebook, and even during live events that allow audience questions. Always keep listening and hearing and noting what is being said by the people you want to be your audience.
• What Products Are Your Competitors Offering? – One way to get some insight into what a serious problem for your audience may be is to look at what your successful competitors are offering to the audience. From there, you can create a better product or service to answer those problems based on what may be missing from the competition’s offers.
• Never Make Assumptions – Even if you’re part of your ideal audience and have a great passion for them don’t assume you know everything. Instead, take the time to conduct the research into your audience’s pain points, needs, desires, and wants.
• Ask the Right Questions – When you ask people questions it’s important to give them choices. Instead of what’s your biggest problem, identify some problems first, then ask them how they solve them. If you know what they’re doing now to solve a problem, you can then use that information to create something better.
• What’s the Most Common Thing About Your Audience? – If you can narrow down the most common thing about your audience that will help you discover a problem and come up with better questions and solutions.
• Ask Them – Using a survey you can ask them what their biggest challenge is but be very specific. “What is your biggest challenge when you do XYZ?” Be careful about going into groups and asking that question. You’ve probably seen it a lot but it’s not very effective if you’ve not spent time engaging with your audience.
• What if The Problem Isn’t Solved? – One thing to consider is what happens to your audience if they can’t solve their problems? What if the pain isn’t resolved? How do they suffer for it? Knowing this can help you address the issue better.
Knowing what problems your audience face is only part of the problem. Because now you need to match that knowledge with your skill set and the type of solutions you can provide.
What Solutions Can You Provide?
When you look at the audience’s problems now you want to identify the niche that you are going to fill for that audience. You don’t want to be the one-stop-shop for all because that is spreading yourself too thin. Instead, you want to ensure that you match the problems your audience has with the niche you want to be in.
For example, if you are a social media manager who wants to focus on setting up and managing your customer’s Pinterest accounts you don’t want to spread yourself into other social media accounts. Or, if you provide Vegan Meal Plans you don’t want to venture into other types of meal plans. So, stick to what you know, but focus it on your audience’s problems.
Match your skill set with your audience’s needs so that the solutions you provide are in your wheelhouse. If you’re not a graphic designer, don’t offer graphic design. If you’re not helping people become vegan don’t offer vegan options. You are only concerned with the portion of the audience that wants and needs what you have. You don’t want to be everything to everyone.
That doesn’t mean you can’t work with others to offer additional options to your customers through affiliate marketing, joint ventures, and other options to provide all-in-one solutions. But it does mean that you are going to hyper-focus on one aspect such as developing your blog that is for nursing moms to only focus on nursing moms even if you worry that your blog will alienate non-nursing moms. There is another blogger out there for that.
But do remember, you can outsource to fill in some of your gaps in knowledge or skills if it really is important to add that to your solutions. Just try not to get into the mindset that you must do everything and be everything to your audience. You don’t.
What Format Will You Use?
As you plan your lead magnet it’s important to think about what format it will be in because that’s going to inform how you deliver it to them. Here is a list of potential formats and types of a freebie lead magnet for your audience.
eBook or Report
The way you decide what type and form your lead magnet will appear is by knowing your audience and understanding what form they like to get their freebies and other products in. Don’t second guess what works or make it harder on your self than you need to.
How Will You Deliver It?
Before you even start creating it understanding the form it will be delivered in is going to help you create it. If it’s going to be a pretty easy to deliver file like a short checklist or report that will be in PDF format, then it’s simple. If it’s bigger video files you may need to consider how your audience will be able to view them and the logistics of the delivery.
You may need to invest in software that helps you deliver such as a shopping cart like Amember.com, 1shoppingcart.com, 3dcart.com, Zaxaa.com, and others. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, you can even use software like e-junkie.com if it’s not too large of a file. Check out the different options and note the steps it takes to set it up.
For example, let’s say you want to deliver an email-based course of 7 videos. You might want to write 7 emails introducing each video, then link to the video that you host on your site or on a service like Amazon S3 in each email that you send. This is an inexpensive but powerful file hosting service.
In this case, you’ll need:
• A Sales Page or Popup for The Freebie – This could be done via leadpages.net, a simple page on your WordPress site, or even a form from your email marketing software.
• A Download Page for The Freebie – Depending on how you do the first part you may need a download page, or you might just need a link to the file where it’s stored. But, a download page is a suitable place to add upsells to.
• Email Marketing Software to Deliver the Links – Email software like Aweber.com, ConvertKit.com and others are a terrific way to deliver the links to your lead magnet and they each work slightly differently. But the entire point of the lead magnet is to get them on your list, so you need an email marketing software package.
• The Free Files – Your lead magnet will be in some format that is easy to deliver using the method you’ve chosen. Whether it’s video, PDF, audio, or something else doesn’t matter as much as that it’s something you can get to your audience in an automated way.
• Follow Up Emails – Part of getting them on your list is so that you can market other things to them besides the lead magnet, so you’ll want to develop a follow-up series that offers information about new products and services that they need to solve other problems.
Don’t allow the nuts and bolts to intimidate you because once you set it up and put it together it’s seriously all automatic. Just ensure that the software you’ve picked to help in the process works for the types of files you want to deliver. In the meantime, you want to focus on what’s important and that’s getting your lead magnet created.
Step #2: Create It
Now that you know what you want to create, it’s time to get down to business. Let’s go back to planning and make sure that you create an outline, write, record or otherwise develop the lead magnet, then of course edit it and perfect it so that it’s attractive to your audience. Remember that you can outsource some or all this process.
A lead magnet has some key features you need to know before you even start creating it. The main thing is that it needs to be something easy for your audience to use, but compelling enough that they want to download it so much that they’re willing to provide you with their information.
Create an Outline
Your outline should help you understand what parts you need to create so that you have a beginning and an end. If you don’t create an outline you’re in danger of getting off track and not getting to the point.
You don’t have to outline things the way your teacher taught you in English class. You can simply write down the beginning, middle, and end then add what you’ll create for each part of the solution you’re developing as the lead magnet.
• Choose a Topic – You must have a topic to get started with your outline. You can simply come up with a single sentence to describe the lead magnet that you’re going to create, or you can create a title.
• Know Your Goal – Before you start you should know the goal of the product you’re creating. Even if the product is free it’s still going to need to be useful. It must solve one pain point as easily as possible.
• Gather Supporting Materials – Do your research. That might mean finding supporting documents such as PLR where the research has been done already or locate the research that proves your point.
• Use Short Phrases or Sentences – You can either write short phrases for each topic point or you can write a descriptive sentence stating what you want to cover in that section.
• Order Your Main Topics & Subtopics – At first, don’t put anything in order. Just write what comes to your mind as it comes. Then reorganize the main topics and subtopics in a logical order.
• Develop Two to Three Points for Each Topic & Subtopic – Under each subtopic or main topic, you’ll want to expand on each of them so that the information matches the topic or subtopic. Right now, you just need to write a few words or a phrase so that you’ll know where to go when you are creating it.
• Expand on Each Point as Needed – Once you finish the rest, you can now go in and fill in the information for each point as needed. This may mean writing a paragraph or two or it might mean inserting a video that you’ve already created in the past that you’re repurposing.
• Don’t Forget Your Conclusion – The best way to write a conclusion is to write it before you fill in everything. That may seem strange, but you want the conclusion to help you know what you want to explain to your audience, what they learned, and what to do next and don’t forget your call to action.
• Create an Introduction – It’s best to write your introduction last because you’re going to tell them what you’re going to tell them and perhaps a little about your background and why you are the one to help them with this problem.
An outline is only a guide to help you keep your lead magnet in order. You don’t have to put numbers or letters or do anything like that if you don’t want to. Just separate it so that you know that you’re covering the information in a logical order that makes sense to your audience in a way that is actionable for them.
Write, Develop, or Record It
Once you have a good outline you’ll also know what parts you can do, or which parts other people are going to complete. You may choose to outsource all or just parts of it. If you understand what parts need to be done first, and what parts can be done simultaneously that is going to help you get done faster and more efficiently.
For example, if you are including a video that you’ve already recorded, you might want to send it to a transcriptionist to create a transcript. A good transcript can bulk out what you’re wanting to teach your audience, but it can also address different learning styles.
Edit and Format It
Treat your lead magnet the same way you would any product and get it edited. You want to also include an amazing cover graphic, create the landing pages, opt-in forms, and everything that needs to go with it at this point.
You can create some of this before the meat of the product is done. If you know the name you’re calling it, for example, the cover, sales page, and download page can be created while you’re still developing the lead magnet.
The parts of a lead magnet may include the following all of which need creating, formatting, and editing.
Cover Graphics – You can outsource this by looking for someone on Fiverr.com or by asking your community for recommendations for someone who knows how to create graphics. You can also do it yourself using software like Canva.com. But do remember that it’s not always effective doing it all yourself.
• Landing Page – You can do this in several ways. Some people like creating a full-fledged sales page for each lead magnet that they make but others like using a simple form using software like Leadpages.net or Aweber.com or other landing page software forms. You’ll also need a download page or thank you page developed too.
• Opt-in Forms – These can also be created in numerous ways such as via Aweber, via integration with Leadpages.net or other software like that such as via Convertkit.com which is an email marketing software service that includes landing pages.
Additionally, some shopping cart software helps you making opt-in forms too that will connect with your email marketing software.
You don’t need to have the product done to this. You simply need to know what’s going to be in it. With the outline, you can create amazing landing pages, cover graphics, and more without being done with the rest.
Once you think you’re done you need to finally put it in the final format that the audience will use to download it, view it, or use it. It can be in any type of format you want depending on the software you’re going to use to deliver it, so make sure all that works together too. Because of this, you need to know exactly how you plan to deliver it before you finalize it and create the file format for easy download for your audience.
Make sure that you test everything out including delivery so that you know it works. (Also, remember that any part of your project can be outsourced. You don’t need to do everything. )
As you can see creating a profitable lead magnet is relatively simple even if there are a few moving parts that you’ll need to understand that all work together. You can use content you already have and repurpose it as a freebie. You can use PLR (private label rights) content to help you create lead magnets fast. And, you can even start from scratch or do a combination of all the above.
You now know that your lead magnet must:
• Solve a Problem for Your Target Audience
• Be Laser Targeted & Specific
• Focus on One Problem & One Solution
• Be Easily Obtained & Quickly Consumed
• Provide Amazing Value to Your Target Audience (and no one else)
• Build Trust with Your Target Audience
• Establish Your Expertise with Your Target Audience in Your Niche
Because of what your lead magnet needs to accomplish, it’s imperative that you focus on your audience, one pain point at a time, and make it simple for them to get and use. You don’t want them to have to go through hoops to get it, and you don’t want to make it too long. For example, a 30-day email course might be too much as a lead magnet, but a 7-day course may be just what they wanted. It really depends on your audience, the problems you’re trying to solve, and how they like to receive their information.
Now that you’ve created your lead magnet there are some other final steps that you need to put into play to ensure that you’re getting the most from any lead magnet or freebie that you create.
Before you launch your freebie find some testers. Usually, you can find them right in your own groups, or even friends and family. Often, it’s best to find people who are in your target audience to test it out instead of someone experienced with lead magnets.
If nothing else, you go through the process as your audience member would. Click on the lead magnet sign up form, sign up using a gmail.com or other free address, look at the emails you receive, look at how easy it is to follow the directions to get the freebie, then look at how the freebie works to solve the problem you say it does.
But, testing it with your actual audience via launching it will tell you even more so make sure at least the technology works seamlessly. Using software like Leadpages.net or Clickfunnels.com and Aweber.com and Convertkit.com will make everything a lot simpler. But, you can simply use an email autoresponder service along with your WordPress site to make it work.
Go Ahead and Launch It
Once you’re sure that the technology works it’s time to launch your lead magnet. You don’t want to just put it on your site as a popup, slide, or sidebar. You want to promote your lead magnet as you would promote any other product you’re proud to offer your audience.
• Social Media – Create a blurb for each type of social media (and separate but similar graphics) to announce the lead magnet. Don’t promote it as a lead magnet. Promote it as a solution and focus on the benefits to your audience not to yourself.
• Advertising – Spend a little money promoting your lead magnet if you have it in the budget. Your lead magnet may pay for itself if you’ve monetized it in the ways that we’ve mentioned such as via follow up emails, or an upsell on the download or thank you page.
• Affiliates – Even though it’s a free item if you have affiliates you can set it up in your system to let your affiliates promote the freebie and get credit for any upsells or other sales that happen due to them sending the person to you.
• On Your Site – Of course, the lead magnet offer should be promoted heavily on your website. Don’t only rely on a sidebar promotion. Most people are blind to the sidebars now. Include it in a popup, slide, or pop-under or even within other content as well as above the fold on your website.
• In Email – Don’t forget about people who are already on your list. This may seem to be counterproductive but if you set up emails that are easy to share with others your audience may share with their friends. Plus, it’s another way to segment your audience if you set up tagging options.
• Your Community – You probably already have a community of people who may be interested in your lead magnet. If so, make sure you tell them all about it however you would normally make announcements. You could host a webinar, boost a post, or even just notify others and ask them to help you promote it.
• Live Events – Make some business cards with a QR code to the lead magnet. This is a creative way to get people that you meet at live events to get some of your information and move to your list.
Launch it and spread the word far and wide across all possible methods that you have at your disposal. The more people you tell the better. Just like any other product you want people to use, your lead magnet is important even for people who are already on your email list since the information can further segment your audience and encourage purchases.
Check Your Metrics
Once you start getting some traffic it’s time to check your metrics. You can use a Facebook Pixel, and other means to set up remarketing options that can help you gather information about how your lead magnet is doing.
You need to know whether your marketing is working to build traffic that is willing to download your lead magnet or not. Plus, you need to know whether the people who do download it are making purchases, reading your email messages, and otherwise engaging with you in a new way.
One thing that could happen is you get a lot of traffic and no downloads. It’ll be up to you to figure out why. Maybe you’re getting lots of downloads but no one is reading the emails or clicking your affiliate links inside the lead magnet or joining your Facebook Group you marketed in the freebie. Whatever it is, it’s important to try to identify why so that you can fix it.
As you start getting feedback, which you should ask for as part of your follow up email series via a survey or a simple question with an invite to please reply to this email – you can make improvements. For example, if you get an email asking a question about downloading it which means they didn’t’ get the link to download the freebie you’ll need to determine whether it’s a user issue or a tech issue.
It’s possible your users aren’t that savvy when it comes to technology. If that’s the case, you may need to add a video to the lead magnet sales page that explains what is going to happen in the process for them to get the freebie. You may need to simply add more direction and information.
Whatever happens, if there are legitimate problems and complaints you want to fix them as soon as possible and send a personal note of thanks to the person who alerted you to the problems.
The remarkable thing about lead magnets is that once you perfect everything you can repeat it. A good lead magnet may work for years to send traffic to your site and ensure that you continue to build your email list with targeted, active, members who need what you’re promoting and want what you’re promoting.
Now all I need to know is what you’re waiting on? It’s time to get started creating your profitable lead magnet so that you can build your list and make more money. Plus, so that you can truly help your ideal audience get what they want too. After all, adding value is what’s going to make you feel great about what you do.