You may have noticed, more and more people add specific links and calls to action to their content in order to get readers and followers to follow through after engaging with their content.
This is a very old, very important marketing trick and you may know it by a few different names, such as freebies or lead magnets.
Freebies, Opt-Ins or Lead Magnets all the same thing, they are an incentive you provide to your audience in return for their email address.
Why should you spend time building an email database? Let me explain to you with a fun analogy.
Don’t scare people off on your first date
In order to explain a bit further, let me explain the difference between your audience and your database. Your audience is comprised of Instagram followers, blog readers etc. Your database is your email list — to put it incredibly simplistic here.
Most brands and creatives alike need a database to provide value to their audience before they can ask them to take action. When it comes to me, you’ll find that we rarely ask for a sale through our audience, and we always focus on providing value first.
Why you may ask? Because you can hardly tell how much value of yours that audience has interacted with. The commitment for them to follow you is a very different level of trust than the one of a newsletter subscriber.
Would you go on a first date and half-way in asking your date to move in with you?
I know it’s quite a strong analogy, but I am sure you got the gist.
The way we have been growing any business I started is very simple. Head to your audience. Give. Give a bit more. Yes, a bit more. Now, ask them to join your database. Oh, guess what. It’s time to give again! Give your subscribers heaps of value. Now — wait for it — now you can ask.
What is a lead magnet anyway?
A lead magnet represents an exchange of value. If your lead magnet doesn’t provide value to your client or reader, don’t waste your time on it.
Far too many people focus on the format of their magnets, rather than the benefits and the problems they are looking to solve.
If you follow the way I usually create a lead magnet for myself or with my clients, you’ll always spend time brainstorming the problem to solution journey. What I call the A to B.
Where is your reader now, what problem are they trying to solve? What would be their ideal solution? Once you know both, you can take the time to create something that can help them with the first step to get closer to their solution.
Top tip: The most successful lead magnets I created are short magnets based on successful articles and pieces. They work because you have data that shows you already that people love them.
Look at what you already have
I am a massive believer in looking at what you already have and what your audience already loves. Take time to go through your analytics and see the top posts people engage with and visit.
Find your top 3-5 posts and make magnets that relate best to those posts. Can you turn any of those into a short video, audio or practical worksheet? Most likely, yes.
This will give you the quickest increase in your subscribers as you know you are getting maximum exposure – and you can always add them at the bottom of those posts.
Look at what other peers are sharing
Take time to go on a little hunting mission – I personally love Pinterest for this.
Search some keywords in Pinterest relating to your niche and see what comes up as most popular. What types of lead magnets have been included in those top pins?
Top tip: when in doubt, ask your audience. Talk to your readers via existing posts, an existing list if you have one or social media. What would be most helpful for them?
Give something practical
This is essential – there is nothing worse than creating a magnet that does nothing for your audience.
You do not have to give too much information, or make it overwhelming for them – however, you need to make sure people feel they got value out of the exchange.
As well as providing value, make sure you also add more info about yourself in the option. Whether it’s a blurb, a few key links for social and your writing, make sure you give people another chance to get to know who you are.
Different types of lead magnets
Know that we know what a magnet should offer, is time to look at different formats and how they can work for you.
- eBooks – These can be super simple and created in a Word editing software and then saved as a PDF. You can also create those via Canva to align them to your own personal brand.
- Courses – Who doesn’t love a free opportunity to learn something? You can do something as simple as an automated course delivered via email over several days. Or you can amp it up with an amazing platform like teachable – something we use to host our free and paid courses.
- Worksheet and checklists – Give your readers something actionable with a worksheet targeted to help them accomplish something related to your post or niche.
- Challenges and online conferences – We run an online conference yearly ourselves, and it does wonders for our exposure. These can take time to organise, so I recommend to host a solo challenge via email or a private Facebook group.
- Resource List – This can be a great source of information for readers and also a fantastic opportunity for you to add in some affiliate links and keep that passive income coming.
Top tip: Once you have quite a few awesome Opt-in Freebies, you can offer them as a member’s only library. This allows you to simplify the opt-in forms on your site and have them all lead directly to your library.
The lead magnet is just one part of the equation. How do you make sure your new loyal fans get nurtured and introduced to yourself and your work?
Creating an enticing welcome email that can support your new subscribers is also an essential part of your new email strategy.
My name is Fab Giovanetti and I am a writer, author, marketing consultant, founder of the Creative Impact Group and professional troublemaker. I help people grow their online audience and monetise their content and unleash their potentials as creatives.