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How to Create a Lead Magnet for YOUR Business… and Why You NEED One!

If you have been in the online space for very long, trying to figure out how to get your coaching business off the ground, you have probably heard about a “lead magnet,” “freebie” or “opt-in.” (FYI–they are all the same thing!)

And you have probably heard that you need one, but may be wondering, “What is a lead magnet exactly?”

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is something of value, targeted to your niche, that you give away in exchange for an email address. It provides one solution to one problem your potential customer is facing. It can be anything from a worksheet, cheat sheet, checklist, step-by-step directions, swipe file, quiz, guide, challenge, video series, email course, or ebook.

So, let’s start first with the WHY you need a lead magnet, then we will move on to some essential features and then the HOW-TO create one.

Why do you need a lead magnet? Why are they important to YOU?

Basically, you need a lead magnet to incentivize people to give you their email address.

Let’s face it, most people get hundreds of emails a week, and they don’t want more.

And they certainly don’t want one more “newsletter” they will never read showing up in their inbox.

So in order for someone to give you their email address and essentially say, “Yes, it’s okay for you to email me,” you need to give them something of value, for free.

You want to attract your ideal client, those people in your niche you can serve, not just anyone.

Creating a very targeted lead magnet will help you grow your email list with people you can help. It doesn’t do you any good to have an email list full of people that will never want your type of coaching.

A well thought out lead magnet will help you attract the “right” people to your business, those you can serve.

To grow your business, and ultimately sign people up for what you offer, you need leads.

People that sign up for a specific lead magnet are way better leads than cold calling!

As you grow your email list from people signing up for your lead magnet, then nurture that list and connect with those people, it will be easier to sell your coaching offers.

You will grow your business as you grow your email list.

Woman working on lead magnet worksheet

5 Features of an Effective Lead Magnet

Before you go all “gung-ho” on creating your freebie, there are some essential features to keep in mind.

Not every lead magnet is good.

Lead magnets serve a very specific purpose, to build your email list with people you can help, so it’s important to keep a few things in mind before you start creating it.

A lead magnet…

  1. IS TARGETED TO YOUR NICHE. Having hundreds of people opt-in for your freebie that will never have an interest in your coaching will end up being very frustrating for you.
  2. SOLVES ONE PROBLEM! Don’t try to fix everything, just pick ONE THING you can help someone with, and solve that problem.
  3. IS EASY TO UNDERSTAND, SIMPLE TO USE, AND ACTIONABLE. People are looking for something simple. They are in pain, and they want a solution, fast. Don’t make it hard for people to figure out what they are supposed to do to get the answer. Make it simple. Make it do-able. Make it actionable—give them something TO DO, now, that will alleviate some pain.
  4. PROVIDES VALUE! Your lead magnet has to be valuable to ME. I am in pain, I need a “quick win.” Give me something I can use, right now that will help alleviate some pain or provide a solution to a problem I am facing. Make it valuable to me so I want to read your emails again.
  5. LEADS TO THE NEXT STEP. Often, a lead magnet is the first step someone needs to take in the process to move forward. It can be prerequisite material for things you will teach in your coaching. It can be something you teach every coaching client in the beginning. Ultimately, it will help the person move from step 1 (your freebie information), to step 2 (coaching with you).

A few other tips for effective lead magnets.

Lead Magnet Branding

Be sure to use your branding colors and your logo. Everything you create should be “on brand,” meaning it should all look and feel like YOU.

It should match your business, your style, your brand.

You don’t want to send out a lead magnet to your potential clients that looks totally different than your website or social media pages or whatever you are using to get the word out there. Everything should be consistent so people recognize you easily.

You should also give it a great title.

This doesn’t actually mean something catchy, although it can be.

It needs to be a descriptive title so people can quickly recognize what it is and how it will help them.

Something like “The Winds Are Ever Moving” doesn’t tell anyone what they are getting.

But something like “5 Ways to Find Balance: A Daily Guide to Better Mental Health and Overall Well-Being” gives more information to people. They know exactly what they are getting.

How to Create a Lead Magnet

  1. Start with your ultimate offer and work backwards from there. Remember, your lead magnet is going to lead them to your offer.
  2. Think about your niche, what is 1 problem you can help the solve easily?
  3. What is the first step your customer needs to take in their ultimate journey with you?
  4. What is something your customer needs to know or do BEFORE working with you?
  5. Finally, what is the best way to deliver your solution? A checklist, worksheet, 4-day video series? Or combination of 2 of these?
brainstorm ideas for lead magnet

Now just get out a pen and paper and write down your thoughts.

It doesn’t have to look pretty, just start brainstorming. Write down everything you think of, you will organize it later. 

Sketch out what you want it to look like. Write down the ideas for the 4 videos.  Just let your mind work.

Once you have some ideas, start narrowing it down. It will evolve as you work on it.


Finally, since I am a tech coach, I couldn’t write this article and not give you the tools to create it! Just remember, use what you are comfortable with.

Here are my favorites (and they may surprise you):

  • Microsoft Word (or Google Docs): Yes, this is old school. But, it works. If you are comfortable in Word or Google Docs, if you can make headings, text boxes, lines, change the fonts, colors, etc., you can use this.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to have VALUE. 

Once you are done, save it as both a document (so you can make changes and adjustments later on) and a PDF file that you can give away as the download.

  • Powerpoint: This is just as powerful. If you are familiar with Powerpoint and like to use it, go for it. You can make a “guide” or “checklist” that is a slide show. Just save it as both a Powerpoint file (so you can edit if needed) and PDF to give away.
  • Canva: I LOVE Canva.  There is a bit of a learning curve, but not much!  Canva has tons of premade templates you can use—just swap out the colors and fonts to match your branding, add your content, and voila! Download as a PDF file and you are good to go. 

The free version of Canva works great!  When you open it, search for “worksheet,” “checklist,” “presentation,” “lead magnet,” or “guide.” This will give you some really good templates to start from.

  • Zoom: Zoom is not just for online meetings. It’s also a great screen recorder tool!  If you are making a video series, just go into your own Zoom room, hit record, and GO (be sure to record to your computer so you can find it! It will create a Zoom recordings folder on your computer).

You don’t have to be perfect on video. In fact, most people prefer to see someone who is not so perfect. They want to relate to you, it’s okay to not be perfect.

I suggest a couple of short practice runs recording so you know where to find the recordings when you are done, but otherwise, just go for it!

When you are ready to share the videos in an email series, you will need to upload them to YouTube or Vimeo so they can be shared. You can make the video “unlisted” so others don’t see it. Be sure to have the box checked that allows for embedding the video as that will help when sharing.

I also recommend you know what you are going to say before going live. Don’t read a script, but have a good idea what you are saying. NOTE: sticky notes around the outside of your laptop as you talk into the camera are great prompts that no one sees.

You are ready! Now go start creating! 

I would LOVE to see what you come up with. Feel free to email me your lead magnet at april@aprilhiatt.com.

(For more ideas and examples on what to create, download the 30 Irresistible Lead Magnet Ideas with easy to create suggestions and titles to get your creative juices flowing!)

Lead magnets and list building course cover image with magnet attracting money

Ready to ACTUALLY CREATE your lead magnet, landing page for someone to opt-in, and the email automation to deliver it? But need a little guidance and direction on which free tools to use? Register for the Lead Magnets & List Building: Grow Your Email List From Zero Course where you learn to actually create your lead magnet, build your landing page, and set up the email automation… all using FREE tools!

Get course for FREE ($97 value), use coupon code (ELFREE).

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