The Lead Magnet
Now this is not a magnet in the real sense, but rather something related to your topic or personal brand that you could offer to your audience. Remember, you are NOT selling. I refer to this as ‘Magnet Marketing’.
To be of ‘high perceived value and low cost’. Examples of this are:
- A Free 30 minute online consultation
- Limited time access to your membership site
- A copy of your latest book (Digital or hardcopy). P.S Hard-copy books at events are a great take-away item. If you can afford it, make sure you bring along ten or twenty signed copies of your book as special giveaways.
- A Special report
- A Case study
- A Whitepaper or Guide (like this one!)
Thought Leadership is exploiting your unique position as a speaker or presenter to generate valuable insight and advice on issues that interest your audience.
The content or ‘magnets’ you use for your live or post event marketing is all about turning your insight and advice into initiatives that change people’s minds and incite action. This means that your ‘magnets’ should do more than just inform or educate, they should inspire.
A core function of ‘magnet marketing’ is lead generation. For your magnets to be successful for lead generation, it must follow these six rules:
- They are informational – promotional material will neither excite nor inspire. Magnets should always be about valuable information and something of high-perceived value.
- Are relevant – generic materials that are not highly relevant to a reader or your audience will not result in increased success. When creating your content, you must ensure it will be totally useful and relevant to your audience.
- It closes a gap – Magnet marketing should answer a question or problem. Giving people information about topics where there is no need for information will be a wasted effort.
- Are well-written – poorly prepared and written thought leadership magnets will not only provide poor results, but can also hurt your reputation. Take time to ensure your content is presented in a thoughtful manner and is free of errors. It can be informal (like a video shot from a smartphone) but make sure it is free of errors.
- It is relevant to your message and brand – if the content you create does not support your message or your overall brand proposition as a speaker/presenter in any way, then it is a waste of resources to produce. Keep relevance in mind when creating your magnets.
- It provides proof – Where at all possible, try and obtain proof from external reference sites or respected peers either through quotes, testimonials or through actual metrics and statistics.
Following these six simple steps above will enable you to create awesome content for your magnet marketing.
The Three R's
Getting content together or writing material for your audience can be a daunting task. Once you have a small portfolio of content together though, the three Rs of content marketing optimization need to be applied
Reorganize – when you reorganize content, you are taking pieces of existing content and restructuring it in a way that is more useful to your prospects or customers. This is a great when you do not have a lot of structured content available. There are many ways to do this, like compiling blog and web content in a white paper, or by using PowerPoint content as the foundation for a new video.
Rewrite – It is useful to rewrite content when your content is either dated or has been exhausted due to a high level of previous consumption. When this happens, rewrite your content. There are vast numbers of writers that you can send your material to on sites like Fiverr or Upwork. You will find resources there that can turn your material into re-purposed articles, videos and even voice over content for presentations at very reasonable rates.
Retire – every piece of content will have a limited shelf life. This means that you cannot use the same content indefinitely.
If content is not performing as well as it should, or if its consumption has significantly decreased and you do not think it will be useful to reorganize or rewrite, then it is time to retire it from your content library. This may be obvious with papers that are specific to a certain date or event, like a list of events that happened during a specific year or lessons learned from a specific trade show, but it will also be important even when less obvious events occur, such as changing trends that cause a topic to no longer be of interest.
Types for Magnets
“My kingdom for a (useful piece of information or free stuff)”.
In Shakespeare’s Richard III, King Richard was desperate to find a horse that would help him on the battlefield. He was so desperate, in fact, that he was willing to give up his kingdom in exchange for a horse. His famous line was “a horse, a horse, my kingdom for
Your potential clients are not much different. They are in the middle of a battle, a battle to find low-cost insurance plans, to use a software solution that will save them time, or to finally discover a dentist who will not scare away their kids! They may not be willing to give up their homes in exchange for these things, but they might be willing to give up their email addresses or mobile number for your information that will help them.
Here are some examples of great magnet ideas:
1. Write a Book (digital or printed)
Your book does not have to be on the bestseller list, to make a big splash in the marketplace. Digital (eBooks) are a great way to establish your authority and deliver a lot of content in one neat package.
Here are a few tips:
Choose a fairly narrow topic. Even though you have space to play with in an e-book, you should not get too broad. Instead, try to focus on a certain area of interest for your prospects and really dig in deep. If you have lots of information to present, consider splitting up your e-book into various volumes. This will help with attention span issues and help you segment your leads based on interests.
Spend some time and/or money on the cover. People want things that seem less ‘virtual’ and more ‘real’. The cover of your e-book (just like this one) should look like something you would find in a bookstore. If you are looking to do this yourself, you can use an e-book cover design program like www.myecovermaker.com but again, there are hundreds of great designers of eBook covers in Fiverr and Upwork that will create a great looking cover for you under $25.00. Whatever you do not take any shortcuts here. No matter what you think, people will judge your book by its cover.
Edit, then edit one more time. This will most likely be your first impression of you in the eyes of your prospects. Take the extra time to make sure that your message is clearly presented and that it is free of grammatical and spelling errors. Moreover, you cannot just trust the spellchecker. Run a few sets of eyes over your e-book before publishing.
2. Put Together a ‘Downloadable Kit’
Everyone learns in different ways. Some like to read, others like to watch videos, others like something else altogether. Perhaps you could tap into the interests of each of your potential leads by creating a downloadable ‘kit.’
Maria Doyle and her talented team are experts in the field of content and article writing and have a great way of illustrating the FREE content available on their site http://www.mariadoyle.com.
Your kit could include various resource materials, some of which (or all of which) will appeal to your speaking or event audience. Include worksheets, videos, articles, etc. You can even use a membership site to host the materials—just restrict access until after your potential client has opted in.
3. Give Away a Free Consultation – High Perceived Value, Low Cost
This service should be conducted one-to-one on a web-call with tools like join.me, Skype, GoToMeeting, Zoom or other similar services.
A free 20-30 minute coaching session for you to discuss your potential client needs and work through possible strategies is a great way of starting this off. In your marketing message or collateral, make sure you place high value on this and DO NOT sell yourself short. As a speaker, coach or mentor, your skills are in high demand.
I was told once by a very famous speaker and creator of Thought Leaders Global (www.thoughtleadersglobal.com) Matt Church, that “the more you charge, the busier more sought after you become”.
Do not be afraid to state that you charge $40,000 for a speaking engagement or that your rate is $1,000/hour. People LOVE dealing with expensive experts.
4. Send out an Educational Series via Email and Mobile (SMS/MMS)
An educational series is a great lead generation magnet. You can offer your audience a three- to four-part series delivered by either email or SMS (via MOBIT – more on that later!) that will dive into a topic of interest. For example, your series could be “3 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You at Your Yearly Physical” or “4 Ways to Improve Your Chances of a Salary Raise.”
You should include soft 'calls to action' in each communication, things like “click here to read more on our blog” or “click here to download a salary comparison chart.”
Most modern email or mobile marketing automation platforms like Hubspot and MOBIT have built in notifications when people click on your links. Hubspot for example can even apply lead scores to your contacts whenever they take action on your information.
This way, you can know which of your contacts in your list are your hottest prospects.
An information series delivered via email or mobile (SMS and MMS) also gets your prospect used to receiving content from you. Remember, they opted in to your series, and they’ll be looking for your emails and text messages. This is crucial if you want them to open future messages that might include special offers.
5. Send out Free Chapters of Your Latest Book as a Series
Let’s face it, we all love free stuff?
If you have written a book or better yet, one that has been published, then this is a fantastic magnet to use in your marketing. Everyone wants to hear from an expert. In exchange for an email address or mobile number (using the correct opt in procedures), offer to send a chapter of your latest book each week.
A great ‘value add’ is to have your book professionally narrated and provide the audio files on your email and SMS campaigns. Audio is about as popular as video these days, particularly with MOBIT where your SMS campaigns include mobile landing pages that host your book content, audio files and even video.
Always, always, provide a way for your readers to contact you using opt in forms either via your emails or SMS messages.
6. Activate a Free Trial to your Membership site
Free trials to membership sites are enticing to people for many reasons. For one, a free trial is a way to get something done in a short space of time. People also like the opportunity to try out your service before opening up their wallets. Membership sites are easy to set up and very affordable. Most have scaled tiers to offer your audience like Bronze, Silver and Gold status. You can sell different status tiers and organize your content accordingly.
Think of using your Bronze level (or other name) as your trial service and make the topics (not complete content) visible but not available during the trial.
During the free trial period, be sure to send out an automated follow-up messages (tools like Infusionsoft or MOBIT can do this automatically for you) that will encourage usage and answer questions.
You can send out emails and mobile messages loaded with ‘tips and tricks’ to prime your trial users for success. The more successful they are during this period, the better the chance they will convert to your paid membership service.
7. Produce a Video Series
A video series of the like that our good friend Wes Schaeffer - AKA 'The Sales Whisperer' has produced some great lead magnets. In the voyeuristic world of today, video by far outperforms almost every other medium.
There are even companies out there like www.youwillchangetheworld.com that take care of this whole process for you. They will create the strategy for you, shoot for video’s, and promote these for you via their membership site.
Videos enable you to show your personality, showcase your services or products in a visual way, or feature live customer testimonials. For speakers, coaches and mentors, you should make it your goal to record as many live events that you attend and speak at as possible. You can never have enough content.
One of the great things about videos is that they do not have to be ultra-fancy. Product demos or conceptual videos might require some professional help, but there is nothing wrong with your sitting down in front of a smartphone or tablet to record a few minutes of content. Low-tech is sometimes the best approach.
8. Extending an Offer
It is crucial that you eliminate the barriers to entry for your lead magnet. Here are a few things to keep in mind when capturing these leads via a Web form via email or SMS:
Make sure the form is visible ‘above the fold’ (visible on the first page without having to scroll down) if possible.
Use checkboxes for extended permission. Someone opting-in to receive a specific e-book or article provides you with an awesome opportunity cross-promote another service.
Put a checkbox on your Web form asking if it is okay to send other materials from time to time. This will give you permission to send special offers or other marketing materials that do not necessarily correlate to your initial content.
Ask for only what you need. Usually name and email are sufficient, but sometimes if you are using mobile SMS to communicate, then their mobile number is required or course.
Tell them what they will get, how many they will receive and how often. This is a real hot button of mine! If we had used this approach 10 years ago when email as a marketing tool came into vogue then we would not have the catastrophe we have today where virtually no emails are read apart from those sent directly to you from a known contact (not a broadcast). Listed under your inquiry form ‘submit’ button should be clear text that lets your audience know what they will receive from you and then how often they will receive content from you. E.g. two messages or emails per month
9. An Exclusive Invitation to a Live Webinar
People like webinars—they are usually free, they are interactive and they deliver content quickly. Schedule a fortnightly webinar and offer this as your lead-generation magnet to your audience. It will put you in front of them at a more intimate level—how often do you get to be on stage right on their computer screen? It also encourages interactivity and allows you to answer questions and show your personality.