One of the tasks you may get asked to do as a VA is create a lead magnet.
This is part of a list-building strategy suitable for most businesses.
You ask people to share their name and email address – and give permission to hear more from you – in return for a piece of valuable content, or ‘lead magnet’.
This allows your business to build a relationship with prospects – and nurture them towards a first sale.
The lead magnet could be a video series, checklist, webinar or other resource. It is, however, more often than not a short eBook or PDF guide.
If you are able to put together good lead magnets you will find businesses keen to put work your way.
They may even ask you to suggest ideas for titles, content and how best to present the information.
Here are seven tips to help you create a strong lead magnet:
Tip #1 – Come Up With an Attention-Grabbing Title
Your lead magnet needs a strong title as much as a sales page requires a powerful headline.
This is a big part of what will tempt people to download it – and provide their email in return.
The reader wants to know ‘What’s In It For Me?’ – so a lead magnet should provide relevant tips, advice and knowledge. And this can help you create the wording for the guide’s title.
This really is a topic for a training all on its own but here are some examples to give you some inspiration.
“How to Create a Dazzling PowerPoint Presentation Your Bosses Will Love”
“The Secret to Successful Sales on a Shoestring”
“How To Get Your Business in the Press – Without Paying a Penny for Advertising”
“How To Double Your Income Without Doubling Your Work Hours”
“Seven Things Your Website Designer Will HATE You for Knowing (because it means they’ll have to work harder for your money)”
“OUCH! – The 5 Most Painful Ways to Lose Money to the Taxman (And How to Avoid Them)”
You get the picture.
The title is a hook to draw people in. Then all you have to do is make sure the content inside lives up to the headline act.
Tip #2 – Include a List of Contents
There are five good reasons for including a list of contents. It:
- Helps people find the information they want
- Provides a fast-track to precise pages, especially if there’s a ton of content
- Adds a professional touch – and gives a good impression
- Gives the reader an at-a-glance summary of the key content
- Looks good on a page, with enhanced visual appeal to the eye
You can create a template for this and fill in the details (like page numbers) when you have the complete content done.
Tip #3 – Make Sure The Content is of Value To The Reader
It’s one thing to grab people’s attention with a great lead magnet title. It’s another to get people to read it once they have done the download.
Get used to the idea that some people will sign up for a freebie – and NEVER get around to checking out the content.
But others will read the resource, so you want to ensure the content is up to the mark.
Include a short introduction. Set out your points in a clear, logical order. Match the tips, advice or information to the target audience and their current experience – their problems, their challenges, their issues.
Most importantly, show how the content you are providing can help them with these matters, even if only in part.
Tip #4 – Use Simple Words and Short Sentences
Even if the lead magnet is aimed at a corporate or business audience, keep your content easy to read.
Use simple words instead of long ones, where you can. Only use technical terms or jargon if it is relevant to the reader. And explain what they mean if it helps people to understand. Don’t assume people will know.
Use short sentences. It makes it easier for people to read.
A simple way to know if a sentence is too long is to read it out LOUD. Notice your breath, where the pauses are and how the words flow. Adjust and edit if necessary.
Use short paragraphs. Ideally, no paragraph should be longer than five lines on the page. A reader faced with a big block of text may not be encouraged to read it.
Tip #5 – Use Images
You don’t just want great content for your lead magnet. You want it to look good, look professional.
Using relevant and good quality images can help. You might want something for the front cover, or a picture of the author(s), or a visual to tie in with information being shared in the copy.
Also consider whether charts, tables, graphs, illustrations or a cartoon might help to present the information or make a point.
Tip #6 – Have an About Page
It’s a good idea to include a section about the author or organisation who is putting out the lead magnet.
This helps with credibility, trust and connection with the reader.
It gives people an answer to the question “Why should I listen to you?”
Keep the copy short and to the point. The reader doesn’t want ‘War and Peace’.
If you’re not sure what to write, just go to a book store and see how authors are presented to you. Take a few tips from the crisp and catchy bios on the shelves.
Tip #7 – Include a Call to Action
The primary aim of the lead magnet is to get new people on the mailing list – so you can carry on the conversation with them.
So the resource you give away for free is largely about providing the content you promised in return for the reader’s details.
But it doesn’t harm to make an invitation or offer inside the lead magnet. As long as it is relevant to the audience and appropriate for the type of document. For example, you might not include it in a research-focused White Paper report (though you could if you wanted to).
Your call to action should be clear and simple.
One offer. One or more ways to take that offer up (e.g. via phone, email, website).
You could invite people to have a free consultation with you. You choose the amount of time… 60 minutes, 40 minutes, 20 or 15… that you want to give.
You could ask them to book a paid session or a review (e.g. Social Media audit, website review, IT audit, copy review or training skills assessment).
If you’re creating a lead magnet for a client, remember to ask them if they have an action they would like the reader to take.
And there you have it.
Seven quick tips for creating a solid lead magnet – for clients or for your own business.
Do tell me how you get on.
P.S. Have you heard? I have an online course called Creating E-books and Lead Magnets in Word. It’s where I guide you step-by-step so you can start doing this kind of task with your eyes shut. (Well, you know what I mean).