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What is a lead magnet and why do I need one?

Lead magnet. Have you heard this term being bandied around? Perhaps you have a vague understanding that you really ought to have one as part of your list-building strategy but you’re not entirely sure what exactly it is.

Well don’t worry, you’re not the only one; I didn’t use to know either.

What exactly is a lead magnet?

Well, it’s something that magnetises “leads” (potential customers) to your service, ie something of interest and value to your ideal customers and clients.

Lead magnets are sometimes referred to as:

  • free gift
  • freemium
  • optin offer
  • ethical bribe or
  • high-value proposition

Lead Magnet 1I first heard it referred to as an ethical bribe. Although the “bribe” aspect doesn’t resonate well with many intuitive business owners, I think it is pretty descriptive.

You’re basically asking a potential client to join your mailing list so you can email them about your services. However you’re giving them a little gift to increase the chances of them becoming a “lead” (prospective client).

Before you get all defensive about this (!) the ideas is that the transaction serves both parties. The prospect gets something useful that will help them in some way and you get the opportunity to talk to them more about what you do (and hopefully help them more in the future through one of your services).

It’s essentially a way of getting people onto your list to getting to know you better. They may currently only have a passing interest in your business or service and so aren’t really in a mindset to buy anything from you yet. However if you regularly keep in touch with the people on your list you can build up your know, like and trust factor to a point where, at some point in the (near or far) future, they will be ready to buy from you.

What do I put in lead magnet?

The most important thing to remember is that your lead magnet must be of high perceived value ie of genuine interest and use to the person you’re hoping to attract to your list. If someone does give their email address they’re basically raising their hand to hear more from you via regular emails. As such, it’s important they get a real flavour of you and your business from the outset. Don’t think that because it’s free, you can get away with giving out something that’s not really the useful or great quality. If that’s what you offer, people will see this as an indication of how the rest of your business operates and won’t stick around for long.

So, what to use as your lead magnet? People are getting more and more protective of their email inbox. If you want them to make the effort to type their details in and trust you with their email, you need to offer them something that’s really helpful to them and solves a problem they currently struggle with. Ideally it should be something related to the service or product that you’d ideally like the prospect to buy.

Perhaps the service you offer is a new concept to them and they want to understand it better before spending any money. With coaching I always think clients really want to get a sense of who you are and how you work before feeling comfortable enough to open up to you.

Ideas for your lead magnet

Here are some examples of what you could offer:

  • Free how-to guide PDF
  • Free in-person consultation/taster treatment
  • Free 3/5/7 day challenge
  • Free evaluation/critique
  • Free video series
  • Free audio (eg a guided meditation)
  • Free prospectus to your course
  • Free quiz

How could you create something that would address the concerns that keep your ideal clients up at night?

Think also about what format of freebie would be attractive to your ideal client as well as easy for you to create. If you find writing hard work, record a video or audio instead. If your clients would find it difficult to make time to watch a 60-minute educational video, chunk it down and offer shorter videos in a series over 5 days.

Although it’s important to give people a good first impression, your first lead magnet doesn’t need to be perfect. If the content is useful then that will outweigh the odd grammatical or formatting error or a less than perfect background for your video.

Do what you can with what you’ve got. You can always come back and revamp it. Done is better then perfect because until you get something out there, it’s not helping you get anyone on your list.

Free doesn’t = bye

Don’t worry about giving things away things for free. It won’t stop people buying from you too. Remember, “give and ye shall receive”.

Jamie Oliver gives free recipes away on his website. It doesn’t stop people buying his books or choosing to eat in his restaurants. It makes them want to do those things more because they like how he does things.

Lead-magnet-3So in terms of the content you are giving away, you could give away the what and why without breaking down the detail of exactly how to do that best. (For some people that will be enough for them with the knowledge they already have. Others will take that and piecemeal the “how” together from various sources online. And that’s fine, those people may not buy from you but will potentially recommend you to others or buy something more advanced from you later on.  However doing things that way takes effort and is time consuming so a lot of people would prefer to pay you just to tell them how to do it, or do it for them).

Teaching or showing one aspect of your business or service in the lead magnet won’t stop clients from choosing your paid services. People still hire personal trainers and health coaches even though they can get training and nutrition plans for free on the internet.

A titbit of information here and there doesn’t give a prospect the whole strategy or step-by-step “how to” for your whole system. If they like what they see of you from the free gift, truly find it useful and can clearly see that you are an authority on this subject, they are likely to see you as the go-to person for more info or implementation of the information you’ve given them. They will pay for more information on the bigger strategy, done-for-you implementation within their own life or hand-holding and support.

 

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