What is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is information that your prospect customer would find helpful. This information is offered in exchange for the reader’s email address. The lead magnet can be digital or physical.
Selecting a Lead Magnet Topic
Your Lead Magnet should position you as an expert. You accomplish this by offering educational information. This information should not be advertising. Instead it should address the situation surrounding the prospect’s problem.
For example, if you offer copy editing, your lead magnet could address:
- Why Copy Editing is Important
- What You Should Look For When Hiring a Copy Editor
- When is the Right Time to Hire a Copy Editor
- Key Copy Editing Issues You Should Address Before Publishing Content
Each of these topics educates the prospect about copy editing and positions you as the expert.
Which Format Should I Use for My Lead Magnet?
PDFs are easy to create and are the standard lead magnet delivery type. I recommend using Google Document for writing and creating the PDF
Google Docs is best because it allows you to create live web links in your final PDF document. As of this writing, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint doesn’t have live hyperlink capability when exporting to PDF format. . Apple’s Pages (word processing) and Keynote (presentation) software also retain hyperlink functionality when creating PDFs.
Audio is a great format for prospects that have little time to read content. Audio is often transferred to a MP3 player (iPod) and listened to while commuting to work or exercising.
Audio recording requires equipment which makes it slightly more complicated to create.
You will need the following:
Audio quality is very important for creating a professional recording. For starting, I recommend using a Sno-Ball microphone. This microphone is a popular and good choice for recording on a budget.
You will need software to record, edit, and encode your audio. I recommend using Audacity, a free, open source audio recording and editing tool. It’s easy to use and offers several options for exporting audio in a format your users can download.
Mac Users should try GarageBand. GarageBand works seamlessly with Apple devices and offers a variety of options for editing your audio.
Video offers the richest experience for your readers. Video can be deployed on multiple platforms, YouTube, Vimeo, and your blog to name a few. Video also tends to get higher sign-ups since it’s perceived to be high value.
The downside is that video can be hard to record, edit, and deploy. For this reason, I can’t offer an in-depth review of video recording. Instead, I recommend reviewing these high-quality resources:
Dave Kaminsky’s Web Video University:
A gold-mine of high quality tutorials on every aspect of video recording.
Another excellent resource for anyone using web video to market. Gideon also offers excellent information on optimizing your videos for YouTube visits.
What Should I Include in My Lead Magnet?
I’ve perfected a simple template for quickly creating high quality lead magnets.
- Why: Describe why the Lead Magnet will benefit the reader.
- What: Tell the reader what you will be covering. Stress the practical benefit of each section/chapter
- How: Clearly show your reader the “How to” portion of your subject. Step-by-step outlines work especially well.
- Application: Show you readers a practical application of your “How to” method. You can refer to an existing client for more credibility.
- Call To Action: Give your reader a compelling high-value offer to purchase a product or retain your services.
- About You: Briefly describe your mission and background. Also include contact information.
The entire piece should be 7-20 pages or 15-30 minutes for recorded video and audio. As a general rule, you should try to pack in as much helpful and relevant information as possible. Your customers will be using your Lead Magnet to judge your service quality, make sure your content leaves a great impression.
What About Graphics and Other Bells and Whistles?
I typically create a simple lead magnet without a lot of graphics. I believe good and done beats perfect and delayed. Graphics often is a hang-up that can hold up publishing the lead magnet. So simple titles, section headlines, and page numbers is all that is needed for print pieces.
The same goes for audio and video. Crisp audio and sharp video is all that I suggest shooting for on your initial pieces. Add more bells and whistles after you get comfortable with creating and publishing lead magnets on a consistent basis.
One Exception: Cover Graphics
More people will sign-up for your lead magnet if they can see what they are getting. Although they know they are receiving a digital file (i.e. PDF, video, or audio) they still want some graphical representation.
You have two options: Build or Buy.
I recommend using myecovermaker to help you design a book, magazine, or DVD cover graphic. This online tool is easy to use and inexpensive.
Use Elance or fiverr.com to solicit design help for your cover. The rule here is – “you get what you pay for.” However, you shouldn’t pay more than $100 for a cover design.
Search Google for “ecover design gallery” to get examples for your designer. Only pay 50% upfront and don’t accept the graphics (and pay the remaining 50%) until you are thrilled with the design.
Normally, I won’t hire a designer for a professional cover unless I’m fairly confident that my lead magnet will be popular. Once it get’s downloaded a few dozen times, I step-up my investment by getting a professional cover, professional editing, and graphic templates for each page.
Other Helpful (but Miscellaneous) Rules of Thumb:
- Put a value on your Lead Magnet and let people know that they are receiving content worth $xx for free.
- Never spend more than a weekend on a lead magnet. Spending any longer usually means you are overthinking it.
- Don’t use other people’s material/content for your lead magnet. This is your opportunity to audition for business, don’t take shortcuts.
- Start Simple: Do what you can with what you have. Get out your first piece and build from there.
- Don’t skip the “Call to Action” page in your report. Always use this opportunity to make an offer. You will be surprised by how many people will contact you after reading/watching/listening to your lead magnet.