How to Create Your First Lead Magnet

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Lead Magnets are cool. Super cool. They are also an essential part of growing an online business. They can, of course, be used for offline business too! I have just started a great little experiment with a service based business and so far the results are awesome!

Here is why Lead Magnets are the sliced bread of online marketing

  • You build your list with people looking specifically for the solution you offer. 
  • Subscribers receive a valuable ‘something’ to help them with the solution they’re seeking so it is a win/win situation
  • Your glowing expertise will shine through helping you create a nice “know, like and trust” relationship with your subscribers
  • Your community will tell you how to refine your ideas and better market to them as you build your relationship with them
  • You have a team of happy supporters who will share your name around when they meet someone looking for the solution you offer

The *Disclaimer*

The right Lead Magnet will build a loyal tribe of lovers, the wrong lead magnet will turn people off faster than roadkill in summer. A poorly thought out or lazy Lead Magnet that is nothing more than digital-trash will mean all those lovely leads you received quickly unsubscribe and your chance of wooing them back is minimal.

What is a lazy Lead Magnet

You probably have already seen Lead Magnets that are really disappointed and don’t help you in any way. You take the time to enter your details and in return, you receive a one-page snore fest of a worksheet or checklist that provides zero value. Clearly, the creator just wanted to get into your inbox, they never intended to woo you. Like being groped in a bar really.

A lazy Lead Magnet will turn people off and give the impression you’re clueless about your offering. Not a good way to start a first impression. 

How do you create a killer Lead Magnet

Choose a topic that you receive a lot of questions about. If you’re not sure do a little skulking around in groups where your target market hangs out and see what questions are being asked. I love listening to Podcasts directed at my target market when I am stuck for content ideas. I always end up with so many different topics that could easily be turned into a Lead Magnet. You can also visit blogs that offer the same solution as you do and looking for inspiration. Note here that I said ‘inspiration’ not ‘rip off’ ideas.

What solution do you offer?

Every product or service offers a solution. What solution does your product or service offer? The more specific you can get the better aligned your Lead Magnet will be to your market. If you’re offering a course on micro vegetable gardens don’t offer a ebook of vegetable based recipes. That is not the solution your market is looking for. You have skipped too far ahead. You want to offer the first logical step in their information gathering.

How to choose your Lead Magnet topic

A step by step guide on creating your first lead magnet for women in business and online course creators

* I have no clue how to grow vegetables so this is for information purposes only. I can't keep a plastic plant alive*

No one buys the cow when you give the milk away for free

Thanks, Nana. That was stellar advice when I was 17 but does not apply to business. If you’re concerned about giving all of your best stuff away for free don’t be. When you give high-value content away at the start of your relationship your subscribers will assume your paid offering will knock their cotton sox off (and if you stick with me it will..).

Sprinkle me with free content, don’t drown me in it

I see a HUGE number of lead magnets from my course members. The one mistake 99% make is giving too much free information away. You want to offer your new subscribers a tease or a tickle of what is to come. Not a complete rub down. Be gentle, they’re not ready for that yet.

Choose ONE quick win that your lead magnet will focus on. Don’t attempt to solve all of their problems at once. They don’t know you yet, they won’t be prepared to invest too much time in your offering.

7 Types of Lead Magnet

  1. Checklist
  2. Cheat Sheet
  3. Tools
  4. Roadmap
  5. Tracker
  6. Planner
  7. Scorecard

Free tools to create your first Lead Magnet


Canva is a super easy to use program that allows you to create amazing PDF’s and downloadables. 


You will need somewhere to store your downloadable so when subscribers sign up can simply click a link to download their freebie. Amazon S3 provide a LOT of free storage and if you do go over it is super cheap. I store massive amounts of content including back ups of multiple website and my computer and I pay about 0.20 cents per month. Crazy cheap. 

You can also upload directly to your website (media area) or use Dropbox or Google Docs. All offer free space.

Opt In Page/Box

You will need somewhere for people to see your Lead Magnet and enter their details. Many of the services that collect email addresses and deliver the downloadable link will also have an opt in box you can embedded on your website. If you’re looking for something a little fancier you can use the WordPress Plugin Thrive Lead Builder. This is what I use for all of my opt ins. 

If you don’t have a website you can use Lead Pages. Many people prefer this option as it is super easy to use but it does come with a considerable price tag. 


Mailchimp has a free plan to get you started. As you grow and start making money you might want to consider a system will more features like Active Campaign. Mailchimp is awesome to begin with but starts to get a little cumbersome when you have multiple different Lead Magnets. 

The process to design and deliver your lead magnet to your subscriber

how to create and deliver a lead magnet to grow your list. Getting started with an online course. How to build your list

If I build it they will come!

No. They probably won’t. Just because you build an awesome Lead Magnet people won’t magically find it on the interwebs. You will need to drive traffic to your opt-in. There are so many ways to do this that I will need to write an entirely new blog post. To get you started think Facebook groups (where your market hang out), Pinterest, Podcast interviews, Instagram, SEO the peanuts out of it, paid ads, blog posts, guest posts….

Where to place your Lead Magnet

Everywhere. Smother it all over your website. Place links or opt-in boxes into your sidebar and every single blog post. I have increased my subscribers but 40% just by adding an opt-in to each blog post on my website.

Track and measure your results

Don’t just smother and walk away. Check back each week to see how many visitors came to your website and how many opted in for your free goodies. Set a conversion goal of 10% which means that for every 100 people who visit your website you should end up with 10 subscribers. I have some Lead Magnets that convert as high as 48%. Some are still sitting around 8% so I change them up and try different things to see if I can increase the results.

Subscribers = sales

With the correct strategy, you can turn those subscribers into paying customers. I made the epic mistake of ignoring the value of my list for the first few years of my business. As a result, my subscriber list is about 1/3 of what it could have been. That means my sales are also 1/3 of what they could have been… Dang, it. Don’t make my mistake. Start building your list now!

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