Episode 14: What Are Lead Magnets and Why Do You Need One?

BizMagic Podcast Episode 14: What is a Lead Magnet and Why Should You Have One?

Any good entrepreneur has repeatedly heard the term “lead magnet.” But they don’t always know what that means or if it’s something their business would benefit from. In short, if you have an online presence, then a lead magnet can bring you more business and business that you actually want. If you’re ready to learn more and get some good examples, join me!

I invite you to join me and watch the video below. If you prefer to simply listen instead, there is an audio version below as well! And of course if you prefer to read, I have that available for you too. Enjoy! 


Video Transcript

If you are one of the many business owners out there that has a presence online, then you’ve likely heard how much you need a lead magnet, even if you have no clue what it is. If that’s you, then stick around as I tell you all about what lead magnets are and why it’s actually a pretty good idea to have one, and I’ll even give a few examples of popular lead magnets to use for your business.

Welcome to the next episode of the BizMagic Podcast, sharing expertise and solopreneur journeys to help business owners find the magic in their businesses by being more productive, focused, and successful.

I’m Patti Meyer, founder of BizMagic, where I help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and small business owners clear their plate so they can get back to doing what they love - running their business

Lead magnet.
Free gift.

I’m guessing as an solopreneur with a digital presence, you’ve heard at least a couple of those terms, scratching your head trying to figure out what the difference is (they’re all the same thing)  and if you need one. And if you do need one, then where do you get it and what do you do with it?

Those are very understandable questions.

In our online world today, when it comes to our websites and social media there are all kinds of rules and strategies and it’s really hard to keep up with them all.

But one thing you’ll definitely hear often is that you won’t get far without a lead magnet (or any one of those other things you hear it called).

So today I’m going to help clear up this mystery for you and give you the lowdown on what exactly a lead magnet is, talk to you about why you probably should have one and give you a few ideas of stellar lead magnets that accomplish the goal they’re created for!

First things first, what is a lead magnet (or freebie or opt-in, etc.)?

You know when you go to a website and there’s some kind of pop-up offering you a free download when you sign up for their email list? That’s a lead magnet.

It’s something you give away for free, usually on your website, in exchange for people’s contact information, most commonly, their email address.

If it’s a successful lead magnet, in a couple clicks you’ll have a new email address for your list (and thus a potential new client/customer) and they’ll have whatever if it is you were giving away.

So what kinds of things are lead magnets? Most often they are some kind of digital product like a downloadable PDF that gives you some free tips or tricks. In some cases it can also be a discount on a particular product or a percentage discount for first time buyers or a free consultation. Lead magnets come in all forms!

So, the next question, then, is why do you need a lead magnet?

Let’s get real for a second.

Social media is super great. People love it and exclaim how important it is for you to be on all the platforms sharing lots of content and commenting on and liking everyone’s stuff. And to some extent that’s true. But at the same time, with so much happening in people’s social media feeds, the chance that everything you want to share gets seen AND gets interacted with, isn’t always very high – especially if you’re not paying to boost your content.

BUT a place that you know your content will have a much higher chance of being seen is in someone’s email inbox.

On social media, if you post something at 2pm, you are left hoping that people who aren’t on social media until the next day possibly still see it in their feed…somewhere. But if you send an email at 2pm, it will still be in someone’s inbox whenever they check their email next.

Whether or not the subject of your email grabs their attention enough for them to open it is a topic for another day.

But the point is the chance of your message (which is usually trying to drum up some kind of business and/or interaction with your company) reaching your target audience is exponentially larger when you can send that message right to their inbox.

So that means that having a lead magnet on your website or social media profiles can become pretty critical to getting the attention of your target audience and thus, ideally, making sales or obtaining new clients.

Another reason lead magnets can be valuable is because they showcase your expertise and your style.

A lot of people searching for your product or service are likely checking out your competitors as well and they want to find someone who knows their stuff and who speaks the same language as them. Someone who is a bit more conservative-minded in the way they take in information may not connect well with someone who puts lots of jokes and puns in their content.

So getting something from you that showcases how you work and what you have to offer can really separate out the people that you are more likely to work with best from those that are not ideal for your business!

Now that you know what a lead magnet is and why you need one, let’s talk about what kinds of lead magnets you can use and how you can go about making them.

Again, lead magnets are most commonly some kind of digital offering like a downloadable document or infographic (if you don’t know what an infographic is, just do a quick google search).

Think about what you, as a professional in your particular industry, have to offer the people coming to your site - and more specifically your target audience (also known as your ideal clients/customers). In general what problem are you solving for your customers or clients?

In general, if you’re making a digital lead magnet, you want to follow a couple of best practice guidelines for it to be successful!

  1. Keep it short - ideally one page, two at the most. Most people are not going to read a dissertation on your expert subject matter, they usually want a quick reference

  2. Make it digestible - you want it to be clean, crisp, and attractive and not be filled with too much information all crammed into one space.

  3. Make it valuable - give a few really good quality tips or information that again, prove you know your stuff

  4. Leave them wanting more! Don’t give away everything you know! Give just a few golden nuggets so they will come back to get more information/products/help from you (ideally by paying for it!)

  5. Make sure they can get it right away and without a billion clicks! In our current culture, instant gratification is key! If they have to wait a week or click here and then there and then over there and then right here, they’re going to give up and not give you their information or possibly not get anything else from you in the future. So make it quick and easy to access!

Now that you have the rules down. let’s talk about a few examples that are often pretty popular in the world of lead magnets:

  • Cheat Sheet - some kind of quick reference that summarizes a ton of info into a short, digestible read

  • Tip Sheet - 5 tips to a happier life, 10 tips for the perfect hair, etc.

  • Checklist - teaching your audience a new skill? Give them a checklist - a step by step guide to get whatever it is done!

  • Template - If you offer some kind of job coaching, give a free resume or letter of interest template

  • List of resources - Share a list of your favorite local or online resources that connect to the area of your business

  • Worksheet - teaching your potential clients how to niche down and find their audience? Give them a worksheet with several questions for them to answer that helps them do just that.

And those are really just a few ideas. You can offer pretty much anything.

Now, again, you may find that a digital lead magnet is not right for your business or your audience. If that’s the case, as I mentioned earlier, give a discount on your products or services or a free consultation with you. They will be just as enticing to the right audience.

But if you are going to create digital content, how can you do it so it looks good?

You can make it super simple and create a word document and then save it as a PDF. And there you go.

You can go a little fancier and make it using Canva, which can be a great tool for people with limited design and tech experience to make something pretty. Or you can hire someone to make it for you.

Find a Virtual Assistant or you can find someone on Fiverr or Upwork to make something for you pretty inexpensively.

Don’t let the worry over how you can make one look good get in your way of actually making one. There are lots of ways to do it.

If you’re still not quite sure what kind of lead magnet would work for your business and target audience, spend a little time doing a google search and reading examples that are out there - there are definitely no shortage. You can also feel free to reach out to me and maybe I could help you out!

But now I want to hear from you. Do you have any remaining questions about lead magnets? Did you come up with a great idea while watching this? Share with us in the comments! And you can always email me at questions@bizmagic.co.

If you have any topics or questions that you would like to see me talk about in future episodes of the podcast, please head over to bizmagicpodcast.com and click on Ask a Question!

If you’d like to be a guest on the show and share an area of expertise or talk about your solopreneur journey in all its ups, downs, and sideways, you can also do that in the same place by clicking on Be A Guest!

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you found some value and are on your way to creating a new lead magnet for your website today!

If you like what you saw here today, please like, share, comment, and subscribe!

Then join me next time when I give you tips on optimizing your LinkedIn profile as an entrepreneur. You don’t want to miss it!

Till then, keep the magic in your biz!