In a service business, we know that a key element in attracting prospective clients to our website is a good free offer, also called a lead magnet, to entice them. This is challenging for many service providers online such as coaches, freelancers, OBMs, virtual assistants, and agencies. This is why I thought it was important to share how to create your lead magnet.
7 Steps to Create Your Lead Magnet (Free Offer)
Step #1 – Research
It is crucial that you do research, both competitive and market research. Look at what others in your industry have as a free offer that can bring in a similar audience as your ideal clients to their websites.
Do not copy their material, however, it is nice to pay attention to the type of free offers they have on their website. If they offer a checklist about important tools to utilize, then maybe you can also offer a checklist (after all we found out in my last article that checklists are the most downloaded) about how to create a good email marketing campaign for instance if your niche is email marketing.
Step #2: Consider The Services You Offer
The second step and consideration is that it lines up with the services you offer. As you consider the service(s) you provide to others think about questions your clients may ask in a discovery call or even later in working with you. Your free offer should be aligned with the services you offer.
Just as in the example in step one, the email marketing specialist would not want to offer a checklist about building a course as that is not what their specialty is and they should keep it in line with what they offer.
Personal Practical Example:
When I was in digital marketing I offered a social media workbook about engagement and working with a team. I explained exactly how to engage on each platform for businesses and gave room for them to write responses and scripts for their team to use. This is something I simply expanded on from my own processes and systems that I provided for my clients and for my team to explain how we would engage others. This free offer (lead magnet) turned out to be a big hit.
I even received a call from a hair salon owner in New Jersey because he had a copy of it and wanted to become my client (the true purpose of the free offer, right?). Here is the really cool part, he didn’t originally find it on my website looking for someone who did social media, no, he heard about the workbook from a client who came in with a printout of it and who highly recommended it to him.
You never know what may happen with your lead magnet.
Step #3 – Review Any Current Offers
Even if you already have a free offer or offers it is always good to review these at least once a year. Take a look at your research in step one to determine if your offer warrants changes. Consider whether your lead magnet is attracting sign-ups at the same rate it was when you first released it.
View your design also from someone new visiting your website. Is it attractive, too busy, too bold, or not enough colors? If it is a document of a simple checklist you will want it to add some design elements to it. Remember to use your branding and your brand colors when creating the design.
Remember to put your offer out there to others on a frequent basis. Even if you need to add it to your calendar to do it on a regular basis.
Workflow to Create Your Lead Magnet
There is a workflow for these items. Below is a flowchart of the steps it will take if you follow all of these steps.
Step #4: Creating A Lead Magnet Of Value
At this step, you should really think about what others have asked you or the knowledge they wanted from you. Similar to step two yet different as well because this step is all about what will help you begin to brainstorm on a topic of value in the minds of your prospective clients.
This step is not just about finding your topic for the lead magnet but also about figuring out what will be of most value to your prospective client. You are an expert (or an almost expert) in your field so what can you offer your ideal audience member that they would find valuable and want to download? Keep in mind that they have to be willing to give you their email address so it really must be something they want and it should be of value to them in order to do that.
Many people believe they will give away too much information in their lead magnet. The truth is that prospective clients are arriving at your website because they perceive you to know something or at least more about the topic than they do. In the end, no matter what they download (if they use it) they often will come back to you because they do not have the time nor the expertise to fully execute it.~Tammy
Do not be concerned that you are giving away everything – they hope to gain that knowledge but truthfully they are too busy running their own business and trying to create wealth. Even if they use the free offer they often do not comprehend the topic as thoroughly as you. And in the end, many will return to get your expert help.
#5 – How To Create Your Offer
In step five I want to share the software that can help you create your free lead magnet. There are so many tools out there to help you. The most well-known tools are Canva, Adobe Creative Cloud, and PowerPoint (and other Microsoft tools). There is a cost to use each of these tools.
Canva – is an easy-to-use visual space that can be used by the average person. You can create documents, social media posts, presentation slides, checklists, ebooks, and more. You can start with a free account but will probably want to upgrade to create the best graphics and use the higher-end photos. They also have integrations to be able to post directly to social platforms.
Adobe Creative Cloud – is a suite of apps that includes Photoshop, Illustrator, and more. These are usually for those who are more technically inclined. For example, Photoshop has a much bigger learning curve than Canva.
PowerPoint and Microsoft – before I knew what I was doing and how to create graphics at all I found myself using PowerPoint to help make logos for clients and video presentations. In the last few years, Microsoft has released its own graphic software called Designer. It is built into the browser of Microsoft Edge. It is set up as a modular system. I have not used this one yet so included their sales page information below.
“Designer is built right inside Microsoft Edge, and it provides AI-powered design suggestions with DALL-E helping you create visual graphics like social media posts, invitations, digital postcards, graphics, and more, without having to leave your flow or site you’re on.” –-Microsoft
“Discover a container system designed to easily differentiate between browser content generated by Microsoft Edge and webpage content. The modular design also allows the browser UI to be more fluid and customizable, allowing the browser to be optimized for productivity.”-Microsoft
Step #6: Landing Pages
Landing pages are something I really didn’t understand fully until the last several years. I thought they had to be set up on special platforms and attached to funnels with an elaborate system. The truth is that you can add a page to your website if it is easier for you and this can serve as the landing page.
Honestly, I think this is often a better option as you have them on your website and since they were enticed by your free offer maybe they will also look around to see what else you offer.
What Should Be On A Lead Magnet Landing Page
You need to set up your landing page to house your free offer (lead magnet). You also will have to connect your email marketing platform usually with a form or API code. This will be where their email address ultimately ends up when someone signs up for your free offer (I discuss this a little more below).
The landing page should include a photo (or screenshot) of the cover of your free offer. For instance, mine has a photo of my ‘Scaling Your Business’ Checklist (see left).
There are many email marketing platforms that offer a free option when you sign up. They may allow you to use it free until you have 1,000 to 2,000 contacts on them.
Email Marketing Platforms:
- Moosend – Free option for 30 Days up to 1,000 contacts. This is the email marketing system I recommend and use myself. If you click on the provided link you also will get 25% off of your first month. After your free and discounted months, it will only cost you $9/Month (only $7/Month if billed annually) for unlimited emails. This software also has a landing page option you can utilize if you do not want to use your website. They also offer automation flows for emails (a whole other topic but want you to know they have this option).
- MailChimp – gives you the free option for a month and up to 500 contacts. After the free offer, you will pay $13/Month. They also have workflow automation.
- MailerLite – has a free option for up to 1,000 contacts and 10 landing pages. After which time you will pay $9/Month (billed annually) and you can have up to 3 users.
- Flodesk – the free option is very limited and does not allow for landing pages, embedded sign-up forms, or workflow automation. It does, however, offer beautiful designs and emails (seriously, I considered changing from my lifetime deal with Moosend but ultimately did not as they made some great changes including landing pages at Moosend). After you use the free option if you want to get the other features it will cost you a minimum of $26 to $38 monthly ($24/$35 if billed annually).
There are many other email marketing software systems out there, however, these four are some of the biggest names that offer emailing. If, however, you have courses or want it to be really responsive with e-commerce and other items you may want to consider ConvertKit (free up to 1,000 but jumps to $49/month afterward) or Keap or course software like Kajabi or Thinkific.
Always make sure to fill in your SEO (search engine optimization) regardless of where you host or house your landing page for your free offer. I utilize Yoast SEO to help mine. It is a great tool that will help walk through SEO and also will help your writing and give you tips. This is a free plugin for your website. They do have a paid version as well but I have used the free one for years.
Step #7: Market Your Lead Magnet
The final step is marketing your free lead magnet to attract your ideal audience. If you do not know who that is please read this article first. You need to begin to market your free offer all over. Share it on your website (other than just the free offer page), social media platforms, and anywhere else you can. Remember to share it on your blog when appropriate. You really should incorporate all of your digital marketing and its strategies to get your lead magnet out to your audience.
I could end this article without also telling you to consider doing ads, however, this can be a good strategy. Some of which I had success with in marketing the social media workbook I mentioned earlier. I suggest starting with Facebook first, with five dollars at a time, and getting good results then adding more money to it. If you decide to do Google Ads you should consult a professional (you may want to Facebook as well).
Remember to share your free offer on social media posts at least a couple of times each month at a minimum. I really believe it should be shared more. Most social media has become about sharing more personally and from the heart so do it as you feel led and tie it into something personal and emotional to help the audience and get engagement.
As with all marketing, you should keep that wheel turning. Always add content and remember to share your services and your free offer. People do not remember so putting it in front of them often is important.
Hopefully, this article and my last one have helped you with your decision about creating a free lead magnet.
Remember to pick up your free scaling checklist.
If you need help trying to figure out what to outsource for help or delegate to build your virtual team this is the checklist for you!!!
Hope you will soon create your free offer.
If you need help I have a free 20-minute mini-session that is just the thing to help you.
Have a blessed day!