10 Steps to Creating a Great Lead Magnet

As a savvy coach or consultant, you already know the importance of generating leads online. Hinge Research Institute data reports that firms generating 60% of their leads online are two-times more profitable than those generating less than 20% of their leads online. 

But generating online leads is easier said than done. Sure, you engage on social media, but as you have most likely discovered, likes and follows do not equal leads. You may have built a website that attracts steady traffic, but again, traffic does not equal leads. Most website visitors will simply browse your pages and bounce. 

You must give them a reason to stay on your site and a reason to give you their information. That is the job of the lead magnet. 

Picture for a moment, a powerful magnet held over a metal object, say a paper clip. The magnet not only attracts the paperclip, but it pulls it with such force that the paper clip becomes attached to the magnet. The magnet effectively captures the paper clip. 

This illustrates what a good lead magnet can do for your business. A lead magnet is a piece of content that not only attracts the interest of your prospects, but it effectively captures them by convincing them to part with their contact information, which then enables you to begin a relationship with them.  

We’re not talking about a 400-word blog post that may catch your prospect’s attention but has no pulling power. A lead magnet pulls and sticks by providing content so compelling and so valuable that the prospect is readily drawn into your fold. 

Done right, a lead magnet is the lynchpin of your lead generation efforts. 

Done wrong, a lead magnet is just a bunch of content with no strategy behind it and no results achieved. 

So how can you ensure that your lead magnet doesn’t suck? 

Follow the 10 steps outlined below and you will soon be creating superior opt-in offers that attract prospects in droves.

1. Know Your Market

The first step in creating an effective lead magnet is figuring out what your client or potential clients want to know. Notice I said want to know. Which is not necessarily the same as what you want to share with them. 

Don’t make the classic mistake of forcing thinly disguised sales literature down their throats or drowning them in a 10,000-word opus because you want to sound authoritative. 

Find out what your prospects want to know by polling them with an easy online tool like SurveyMonkey. Send questions to your email list, ask people directly on social media and browse conversations in relevant industry groups online. 

Also check out the Google Analytics metrics from your website to see what the most popular articles are and where people spend the most time on your site. 

Research what types of content your competitors produce and then use a tool like BuzzSumo to see how well their content ranks and what the most shared content is on your topic of choice. 

2. One Is Not Enough

You deal with prospects at different stages of the buyer journey. This means that there can be no one-size-fits-all content that will meet the needs of your entire lead pool. The cold prospect who is coming across your website or your service for the first time, is different from the person who has been on your list, reads your content but is still mulling over your offer (the “tire kickers”). 

There may also be those who have bought your intro-level product or service, who you now want to upsell to your premium service. You will have to create different lead magnets that address the issues, wants and pain points of these different customer segments. 

3. Choose the Right Format

Lead magnets run the gamut from one-page checklists to 100-page eBooks and can be delivered in any format – written, audio, video and infographic. But you need to make sure that your preferred format fits the characteristics of your audience. For example, you may have been itching to get into the webinar game, but this would be a loser move if your target prospects do not typically attend webinars.

Similarly, if you a sales coach who works with engineering firms for example, they may prefer a template/blueprint type of lead magnet to a wordy report. 

But you may also have clients whose preference is for a robust guide that clarifies a complex topic. It all boils down to understanding your audience and focusing on their needs rather than yours.

4. Niche Down

The lead magnet will be most effective if it addresses a very specific audience. General topics to general audiences simply do not convert well.  If you are a health coach for example, an eBook on selling to a particular niche (e.g., women over 40) will attract more qualified leads than one that talks generally about health. 

Furthermore, focus on one major theme instead of multiple topics. Going back to the health coach example, a generic piece on how to eat healthy is not as compelling as a focused checklist on how to cook delicious food without salt. 

5. Decide Your Approach

When you create a lead magnet, you can use varying approaches to reel the reader in. Here are three ways to present your content:

  • Give a behind-the-scenes look at your process - this works great for service businesses because it provides an extensive look at how you do what you do. The content you share gives the “do-it-yourself” contingent enough to get started, but it also convinces others that you are the right person to hire for the job.
  • Set them up for more - teach the reader what comes before or after, but you don’t give away the full story. For example, a recruitment consultant delivers a white paper on how to identify and attract C-level talent, but the report doesn’t elaborate on how to negotiate and close the deal. This leaves the reader wanting more and gives the consultant the opportunity to deliver again.

Show how to use what you do - put yourself into the shoes of your target market and make it clear how your service is directly relevant to them. If you are a digital marketing consultant going after financial planners for example, instead of writing a general lead magnet on the importance of digital marketing, offer case studies of different ways in which financial planning firms use digital marketing to grow their businesses.

6. Provide Solutions

Remember, you are not just creating content for the sake of it.  The lead magnet should solve a problem that is an identified pain point for your target audience. It should map the way to a clear result for the reader.  

Moreover, your readers want to hear your point of view, so share in-house secrets, give your opinion on industry issues and don’t be afraid to go against conventional wisdom. Controversy sells, and so long as you are making verifiable claims based on real insights, then you are bringing value.

7. Think like a Copywriter

Although a lead magnet is not a sales piece (I repeat it is NOT a sales piece), every piece of content should be created with the end goal of moving the lead further down the sales funnel. So don’t approach a lead magnet like an academic essay. Keep the format, tone and content easy to consume. 

Above all, follow the principles of good copywriting (persuasive writing): a captivating headline, engaging intro, strong proof, action steps in the main body, a strong conclusion and a very clear call to action.

8. Bring Value

A lead magnet is worth the investment in time and money because it can bring great returns. You cannot afford to just patch together some content and hope it works. Do it right or not at all. Your lead magnet must share truly valuable content (which means it speaks to the needs of the target audience, it offers new insights, and it helps solve a problem). 

As coach or consultant, what you are really selling is your expertise and your approach to business. A lead magnet is a perfect opportunity for you to showcase thought-leadership and establish an authority brand. Share your fresh perspective on an evergreen issue or an industry hot topic. Be generous with information, strategies and solutions that you think will be of help to your target audience. And don’t hold back out of a misplaced fear of giving away all your secrets. 

9. Split test

As a wise man once said, “assumption is the mother of all f**-ups.” Nowhere is this truer than in online marketing. Sometimes that headline or that topic that you think is really going to resonate, completely bombs. And the one you didn’t rate at all, converts like crazy. So, take the time to A/B test (split test) your lead magnets to verify what type of format, design and content converts best with your audience.  

You can split test lead magnets of different lengths to see whether your readers prefer longer or shorter content; compare different styles of calls to action, test visual lead magnets (such as videos or infographics) against written lead magnets. 

Make testing a regular part of your content planning so that as you introduce a new lead magnet you test it against the one you are currently running. If the new one converts better, you roll it out. If it doesn’t, you can repurpose it as a blog post or offer it as a bonus to your existing subscribers.

10.  Play the Long Game

Always keep the big picture in mind - your focus should be on gaining a long-term customer, not just an email subscriber. A download by itself is still not a qualified lead. A lead magnet is only successful if it leads a prospect one step closer to becoming a client. 

Once someone signs up for your content offer, you then have to follow-up, with email marketing, quality content on your website and other high-value lead magnets. You need to build on the relationship you have started so that the prospect continues to look to you as a trusted resource. Don’t be that company that gets the download but loses the lead.

Final Words

Now that you understand these 10 points, you know what it takes to create a compelling lead magnet. 

If you want to create new lead magnets but don’t have the time or the skills to do the work in-house, contact [email protected] and we will take that task off your hands and help you bring in fresh leads on autopilot.  

Categories: Personal Branding