This post was most recently updated on October 17th, 2018
I’ve been following a series of articles by David Merrill called “Lead Magnet Creation” for my marketing team. I found it to be full of great ideas for people to use video, eBooks, webinars, teleseminars and other methods for creating “lead magnets”.
Lead magnets are free products you can create in order to entice your readers to join your email list. A lot of my followers have been happy to get the advice for making their own lead magnets, and some have wondered if they can use these methods to make paid products, too.
So I thought it would be a good idea to get David to write a guest post for my blog, to tell people a little bit about the differences and similarities between lead magnets and paid products.
So get your notebook and pen, and enjoy his guest post below. See how these ideas can help you in your internet business.
Take it away David!
I recently wrote several articles about different ways to create lead magnets, those free little products that we all use as “ethical bribes” to get our readers and visitors to opt in to our mailing list. I’ll summarize these for you:
eBooks and Reports – these are text documents, usually in pdf format.
Video Tutorials – there are “direct to camera,” or face videos, screen capture videos and powerpoint videos. You can use all of them, or any combination of them to create a video series of tutorials on any topic.
Audio Downloads – these can be direct mp3 download links or audio podcasts.
Interviews – interviews can be delivered in any of the above formats: text, video or audio.
Webinars – these can be live stream events or recorded, and are most commonly used as either formal tutorials or question and answer sessions.
Teleseminars – these are live telephone presentations or conversations with a group of attendees. They can also be recorded for dissemination as recorded events.
To convert a free lead magnet product into a paid one, regardless of the format it is created in, you need to understand the relationship between a lead magnet and a paid product.
To be optimally effective, your lead magnet product must adhere to two standards. It must be both compelling and relevant.
To be compelling, it must be interesting, entertaining, cutting edge or any combination of these and other stylistic features that grab and retain the attention of your visitors.
To be relevant, it must provide a solution to a major problem or challenge that your readers face. If your blog is about public speaking, it might be a video or an eBook that teaches “5 ways to ‘mesmerize’ your audience”.
A lead magnet is both compelling and when it has real value to your readers, addresses issues they are very concerned about, and is done in an interesting manner.
A lead magnet typically addresses one single key issue or topic of interest to your target audience.
A paid product will take a broader perspective of a key issue. So, “5 ways to mesmerize your audience” may be just one part of product called “How To Be A Charismatic Public Speaker”. Other portions of the product may be things like:
“Thoroughly research your topic”
“Use stories in your presentation”
“Use gestures to emphasize key points”
“Interact with your audience”
“Emotional pauses and other timing and pacing ‘tricks'”
In other words, your paid product can easily build around your lead magnet.
Before you even begin to “create” your paid product, list 10, 15 even 20 topics and issues that it will address. Any one of those topics can be your lead magnet. But when put them all together, you have a fully developed product that you can put a price on.
In fact, if you look at the list of topics I listed for a public speaking product, you’ll notice that any one of them can be your free lead magnet. In fact, you can develop each and every one of those topics as lead magnets. You could even offer them alternately on your blog, or offer different ones in different places… use one for forums, another as a link to your YouTube videos, etc.
Once you put all these individual “lead magnets” together, you’ve got a paid product.
The big difference between lead magnets and paid products is in the way they are marketed.
Typically, a lead magnet is offered via opt-in box or squeeze page. A simple bait is cast, such as a squeeze page that offers “5 ways to mesmerize your audience – Become the charismatic speaker you never thought you could be”.
Then you embed your opt-in area for people to enter their name and email address, and they are added to your list, receive your free offer, and remain on your email list until and unless they decide to unsubscribe.
Marketing your product usually revolves around a sales page. This is a more fully developed text, video or combination web page that tells readers what they will get when they buy your product, and how they will benefit from it. This is almost always far longer than a squeeze page because you’re not just asking for somebody’s email address, you’re asking them to take out their credit card and buy something. So you need to give them plenty of good reasons to take that action.
You can offer your sales page anywhere, of course, but an excellent place to start is the email list you build with your lead magnet.
This is particularly true when your lead magnet is really only one aspect of your paid product, as it is in the above example.
If someone opts in to your mailing list for your lead magnet comprising one component of public speaking, for example, you know they are interested in that topic.
Who better to introduce your full paid product on public speaking to? So after they’ve been on your email list for a few weeks, give them an email with link to your sales page.
This is what you call targeted marketing.
There’s a substantial chance they’ll buy your product if you’ve been building a good relationship with them in your first few weeks of emails.
They’ve received your free lead magnet, now they’ve gotten to know you, and if you do it right they have come to like and trust you, too. So convincing them to buy from you is mostly a matter of simply offering them your product.
They already know you, so there’s not much to stop them from buying your valuable product.
This is what you call personal branding.
The Sales Funnel
Taken together, your lead magnet and related paid product/s constitute what’s known as a sales funnel. You interest people in what you do with your free lead magnet.
Once they’ve subscribed to your email list, you offer regular emails to let them get better acquainted with you, and to see how you can help them.
A bit further into this “funnel”, you offer your paid product. If you don’t have a paid product, offer them a “relevant” affiliate product or products.
Ultimately, offer them a relevant high-end (expensive) product or service. Ideally it will be your own product or service, but again, it can be affiliate offers, too, although it’s difficult to find good high end affiliate offers. The creators of high-end offers, more often than not, do not offer affiliate commissions for them.
So whether it’s your own products and services, someone else’s (affiliate) products, or a combination of the two… you’ve got a sales funnel.
Taken together, your (1) lead magnet brings people into your sales funnel, where they are offered your (2) paid products.
Now, you’ve got an online business.
Best of luck!