Lead Magnets 101 – Your Online Outreach Tool

lad magnet


Today, I want to talk about something every business with an online presence should have, the lead magnet. (I’m working on mine this week.) They go by many names:

  • opt-In/sign up incentives
  • ethical bribes
  • freemiums
  • free gifts
  • content upgrades
  • free downloads

So it’s alright if you haven’t heard them called lead magnets before. I think, however, you know WHAT they are – those magical, wonderful, hopefully valuable items that you get when you sign up for someone’s email list.

Types of Lead Magnets

They typically take one of these common forms:

  • discount coupon
  • free, short consultation
  • short ebook or white paper-type report
  • one to two page resource – checklist, tip sheet, cheat sheet, etc.
  • free trial – software, online community, courses, etc.
  • templates – emails, Facebook ads, LinkedIn profiles, etc.
  • audio files
  • training/how to videos
  • quiz/assessment

There’s nothing wrong with any of these.  And just because everyone else is your business is using a free trial or a discounted coupon does NOT mean you have to, as well. When it comes to choosing your lead magnet, your audience may surprise you as to what works best.

Which brings me to another point – when choosing the type of lead magnet to use for your business, go with ones that YOUR PROSPECTS find most engaging and interesting. Experiment with what you offer until you find one that really clicks and has them signing up for your email list in droves.

Don’t make the mistake, however, of leaving it there for all eternity. It WILL get stale after a while. Switch it out with new content once numbers start to drop off. Fresh lead magnets every few months can really kickstart your opt-in rates again. And don’t be afraid to change the type of lead magnet, either. As your customers grow and change, you may find yourself with a whole new market to woo and win than you had this time last year.

Make Your Lead Magnet Valuable

Reread my description up there. Notice the word “valuable” in it? Don’t make the mistake I see many make – a lead magnet that’s 10% value, 90% advertisement for their latest greatest offer. If you PROMISE a great freebie, GIVE a great freebie. Remember, it’s ALWAYS all about them. Don’t slip up and create a lead magnet that breaks that rule.

Also, make your lead magnet relevant. There is a bit of a difference to relevant content and valuable content, by the way. I can create something very valuable in a holiday marketing idea sheet, but it’s not going to be very relevant here in June. I can also create a rather relevant, summer marketing ideas guide, but if the ideas aren’t that great, or they are just regurgitated from someone else, they won’t be of much value.

Shoot for BOTH – relevancy AND value – and you’ll have a lead magnet they’ll clamor to get their hands on.

Lead Magnets Don’t Have to Be Fancy

Don’t sweat and stress over the “fanciness” of your lead magnets. Focus on value and relevancy. You can create a quite passable lead magnet using the free version of Canva. Or a nifty little video with Lumen5. Or just your mobile phone’s camera. UNLESS you are selling graphic design or video production, no one is going to care much about the looks or style of the thing. (I would recommend you do a BIT of branding so they remember who you are whenever they use it/view it.) The VALUE it has to offer is MUCH more important than how pretty it is.

Need a Lead Magnet?

Here’s the part where I offer you my services. You knew it was coming. And the answer is, why yes, I can write your lead magnet content and copy for you. Whether you want a video or audio script, or an ebook, report, or a one page resource, I can do that for you. Contact Bloomers Marketing today. We’ll get you all valued up.

Marketing Lessons from Gibson Guitar’s Bankruptcy

business lessons

What can we, as business owners and builders, learn from the Gibson Guitar bankruptcy?

Some of you may know that I’m a musician. One-time member of AFM Local 580. And while I’ve never owned a Gibson, I do have some insights into what went wrong, and why they are now in the mess they are in. They are claiming acquisition debt, but they made other, more disastrous mistakes, and these, I believe, are the ones we can learn from.

What Gibson did wrong #1:
They messed with their signature model. The Les Paul was THE Gibbie to own. Until they started adding things customers didn’t want, like auto tuning machine heads. That’s NOT what a Les Paul WAS in most players’ minds. It was fine to add those ditties to OTHER models, but NOT to the Les Paul.

What we can learn #1:
Customers/clients come to expect certain things when it comes to “signature” products and services. Don’t disappoint or annoy them by changing these too much. Want to add some new shiny bit? Do it in a DIFFERENT package, or offer it as a supplemental service. Who knows? Your “new” creation may become tomorrow’s “signature” piece. But for now, until the new starts outselling the old, don’t kill the goose with the golden egg.

What Gibson did wrong #2:
They tried to become a “lifestyle” business – dabbling in all sorts of music related stuff like recording equipment, studio software, mixing boards, etc. – and making guitars took a backseat to all this. They went from 100% guitar making, 100% of the time, to 25% guitar making, 100% of the time. They gave up, in essence, the thing that made them great in the first place to try and woo more customers. And they did it so quickly that no one really had a chance to adjust. In 2015, Gibson made guitars. In 2018, Gibson made headlines by filing for bankruptcy.

What we can learn #2:
Expansion is great. Growth is wonderful. But make sure you are prepared for it, and take it a step at a time. Oh, and don’t leave behind the things that got you to the point where you CAN grow.

What Gibson did wrong #3:
They claim that the lack of “guitar gods” like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton means that today’s newer players don’t often see or know who is playing and therefore have no true inspiration to draw from. So, no new audience for their signature products.

What we can learn #3:
Firstly, I call BS on Gibson’s excuse that they can’t sell guitars because there are no more idols out there. Country music, jazz, blues, alt/indie rock, folk – all have some pretty big names in the guitar strumming business. Gary Clark, Jr., Ray LaMontagne, Alan Doyle, the new guys in Greta Van Fleet, just to name a few. Gibson, to my knowledge, has never approached or featured any of the non-rock axers on the scene because they seldom looked outside US/UK rock music for inspiration. And, they are STILL selling over 170,000 guitars a year, making roughly $300 million off guitar sales.

So, first thing to learn, I guess – have a broad appeal because your niche can collapse on you or at least not be what it once was.

Secondly, if you DO find your niche isn’t what it used to be, or never was, find or make a new one. There are millions out there who need whatever you and I have to offer. They just don’t know we exist. (Like the 18 yar old I recently met who had never HEARD of a Gibbie, but knew all about Martins…)

Thirdly, we all want to be millionaires, but let’s be reasonable and real here – a decent living not only IS possible in our field, but maybe SHOULD be all we can ask for. You WILL tap out your market’s price range. (I mean really?? $300 mill isn’t ENOUGH??? $2000 for a BASIC model guitar??)

Like Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic Park says, “they were so busy finding out if they COULD, they never stopped to wonder if they SHOULD” or something like that. I see so many new people in the business/digital marketing field that have been promised 6, even 7 figures, for following this or that guru. I see guys upping rates 6 times a year. And I see guys wondering why they can’t sell that 10K website development package to anyone. Keep your wits about you, gang, and business will be better than ever.

You won’t be hitting any sour notes, unlike our friends at Gibson.