You may have heard that a lead magnet is a must-have for generating more income for your business. But what is a lead magnet, and how will a lead magnet help you make money? Simply put, a lead magnet is any item that will attract new customers (or leads) to your business. The real beauty of a lead magnet is that it funnels potentially interested parties straight to you, either by them providing you with their contact details or by you putting your contact information and selling points straight into their hands.
A lead magnet is something that you give away for free to new customers, clients, or interested parties. It might be an ebook, an information booklet, a free course, a free online group or forum (something like a Facebook group, for instance), a free downloadable product or activity, or any other item that gives value to your potential leads. It needs to be related to your business, and it needs to be something that any potential buyer actually wants.
For example, if your business is providing gardening services in a certain area, your lead magnet could be a free PDF booklet on top gardening tips for the particular area you service. The way this generates leads is that potential customers either sign up to your mailing list in order to get the free download, or you include a couple of pages in the booklet about why your services will suit them, with details on your pricing and how to get in touch. Ideally, you would use both of these options.
You might think that giving away something for free is counter-intuitive, but that’s not the case at all. At relatively little cost to yourself, suddenly you find that a whole new pool of potential customers is coming right to you, providing you with their contact details, or getting in touch with you themselves. People are often reluctant to buy from any business they haven’t interacted with previously, either firsthand or by word of mouth. But providing a high-quality lead magnet fosters goodwill and a sense that you are a generous, reputable business.
The content in your lead magnet, whether it’s a document, a course, a group, or something else, should also help to persuade potential buyers that they should pay for your goods or services. For example, if you’re offering a free course to people, the content in the course should be helpful to them, but should also explain why they will benefit from upgrading to a paid course, package, or membership.
A lead magnet is also self-perpetuating. If it is high quality, those who have benefitted from the freebie are likely to tell their friends about it, and so your leads and potential new customer base should grow exponentially. This is the real beauty of a lead magnet, as once the initial work is put in, in creating the item you’ll give away, the leads keep coming in.
This is the key – a lead magnet will only work if people know about it. Word of mouth will produce more and more leads for you, but only once your freebie is circulating in the first place. Initially, focus your marketing on spreading the word about your lead magnet, rather than the paid goods or services you provide – this then will funnel customers to those, and it is not such a ‘hard sell’ if people are getting something for free.
Social media is a great way to get the word out there that you’ve got a great freebie that people are going to want. You’ll find that if you’re offering something for free, people are inclined to tell their friends and family about it, even if they’re not interested in your business themselves. Everybody knows somebody who is interested in a certain area, and everybody loves a freebie! Spread the word with eye-catching images and short, snappy wording showing exactly what it is that you’re giving away, and making it very clear that it is free. A simple, memorable hashtag can help to get your lead magnet noticed, too.
Outside of social media, simple advertisements can work wonders and don’t have to be terribly expensive. You can try small ads in local or niche papers, magazines and websites. Or direct mail can be just the thing to get your lead magnet noticed by your target audience. Think about who you want to funnel towards your business and where they already are (the websites and magazines they look at, and the places they visit in the real world). Focus your marketing on those places, and before you know it you’ll have plenty of new customers coming straight to you.