What is a lead magnet and how to create one

lead magnet

What is a lead magnate and how to create one

Everyone loves a freebie – here’s how to create a lead magnet that works for you and your customers

A lead magnet is usually a piece of content that you give away for free or at a very low price in order to build a relationship with an ideal customer. It is often in exchange for an email address or contact details. The good news is that there are hundreds of different types of lead magnet that you can create, they are often free and easy to do and anyone can do one.

What makes the best lead magnet?

People are very precious about exchanging information, especially email addresses. There are so many newsletters and so much spam flying around the internet, people now often have a junk address specifically so they can sign up for things when they don’t want rubbish cluttering up their inbox.

With a lead magnet, the most important thing is to make sure your content is meaningful and valuable. The goal is for the audience to look forward to receiving your email. It has to contain something the audience really wants to read. A good lead magnet demonstrates a certain level of knowledge and they always provide valuable information for the person who signed up to them.

How to create a lead magnet

When you start to create a lead magnet you have to base it on something that you know your ideal customer needs to know or is asking questions about. So, don’t just go and create one on a hunch – always go out and ask your audience. Use your social media to find out what they would like to know.

start simpleIt’s always best to start simple. When I started, I put together a social media content planner for a week and got my daughter, who is a designer, to create a basic A4 PDF which people can download. It was a bit of a stab in the dark at the time – I didn’t actually know which button to use to be able to get people to download it, but everyone has to start somewhere!

Over the years I have adapted and changed the lead magnets I offer. I have listened to what you have told me you need to know or I read the questions in my Facebook group and if there is a subject that gets a lot of traction I know I can create a lead magnet around that subject.

Once you get comfortable with what you want to offer your audience, you can create more complicated lead magnets that may offer even more value to your audience. And you can have as many lead magnets as you like. But do keep testing them and improving the ones that work and discontinuing the ones that aren’t working as well.

My lead magnets

At the moment I have two lead magnets:

  1. Five steps to making more money as a Solopreneur. This lead magnet gets people to look at the basics. It’s an element that I know gives people tons of value so I record a special video and have designed a PDF to go with it to take people through these five steps.
  2. Five-day marketing challenge. This is a lead magnet I open four times a year when people can join a week-long challenge that really boosts their marketing. It is quite intensive and it means that I’m in the group every night for five nights.

This is a good example of how you can evolve a lead magnet because when I started this challenge it was a seven-day challenge. I realised that it was actually too much for me and for the people taking part so I adapted it down to five days and it works a lot better.

I’ve also realised that a live or video element works very well for me – this is because I’m delivering a service-led business so it’s important for people to get to know me through the video.

Ideas for lead magnets

 As I said, there are many things that could work as lead magnets. Use your knowledge of your industry and what you know your audience will find valuable to guide you.

If you have a product-based business, think of something useful such as a Christmas checklist or a birthday planner that can be downloaded. A guide to wrapping the perfect present or tying the perfect bow are all useful downloadable resources or can be made into a video tutorial.

If you have a food business, how about a guide to making a hamper or some pretty labels for homemade jams? If you have a cookery school or tea rooms, a downloadable recipe or short video tutorial could work well. Or how about a food planner or meal planner?

Budget planners are always a popular resource if you have an accountancy or financial planning firm and I find that educational videos also work well, whatever the subject matter.

What mechanism should you use to deliver your lead magnet?

So you have your fab lead magnate but you need to get it out to your audience. There are several ways to do this.


make connectionsThe easiest and most straightforward is with an email provider like mail chimp or active campaign. These allow you to send a downloadable link straight from an email. The great thing about using a provider to do this is that you’ve got your GDPR and permissions covered.

You could of course create your own email list and send a curated email to those who have signed up. The advantage of this is that you can control the way things are delivered, for example, when people sign up, you send them a PDF or a link to the lead magnet that they can download.

Landing Pages

Another alternative is to create a landing page – this is like a one-page website that stands alone. On this you add a form and a simple description of your lead magnet, asking people to sign up. Behind the scenes in the form there is an automated email that then goes back to them and generates the link to either the download or the video.

To keep things really simple, you could just talk about your lead magnet on your social media or pin a post on your social media.

Because I know my lead magnets solve a problem for my audience I often send a link in a direct message. So if I can see someone’s really struggling in a certain area I’ll send them a quick link in a direct message and say it might be useful for them to watch my video tutorial – so many people come back and say how useful that’s been.

You don’t have to have a lead magnet to make a success of your business but they really do help. They are a great way to share knowledge and also to create a sense of online community. Be purposeful about what you are offering and why you are offering it and you’ll have some very satisfied customers!


For more details on creating a lead magnet listen to the full Podcast at: http://www.simply-marketing.net/2019/12/27/what-is-a-lead-magnet-and-how-to-create-one/

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