So you’re doing the things. You’re planning content and getting online every day to post and create value for your business. You’re gaining new followers on social media and seeing an increase in your likes and shares. (Not doing these things yet? Find out how to build a social strategy that works right here.)

But until your ideal customers engage with you outside of social media and buy what you offer, you don’t actually have a business. While your social media audience is never fully yours, the contacts on your email list ARE. That’s why you need to allocate time for email list building for your business or brand. And one of the best ways to build your email list is through a lead magnet.

Why You Need A Lead Magnet

Before you decide what type of lead magnet to create for your list, let’s recap what they actually are. A “lead magnet” is a free item or service that you create in exchange for someone’s contact information. This can be anything from a workbook to a video series, product samples, or a free consultation. In exchange, you’ll get your ideal customer’s email address and permission to communicate with them.

This process is the catalyst for a new customer relationship. It’s also one of the BEST marketing tools to consistently bring new customers your way. By giving away some of your best content upfront, you’ll build trust with your ideal customer. They’ll also gain early insight into the value of your content, and better understand who you are and what you do. So how do you get started with building your lead magnet? We’re glad you asked.

How To Create Your Lead Magnet

So what do you think? Are you ready to start creating your first lead magnet?

Step 1: Take a look at your Ideal Customer Avatar. What are their needs and problems? What kind of tools would be helpful for them? How can you speak to one of their longings or desires with the knowledge you already have?

Step 2: Decide on your format. What type of lead magnet do you feel most comfortable creating? Can you throw your knowledge into a checklist or worksheet? Do you have a series of blog posts on your site that can be merged together into an ebook? Would you rather turn on your camera and talk for 20 minutes about what you know? For more helpful ideas, check out the next section with some of our favorite inspiring lead magnets. 

Step 3: It’s time to choose your tools. If you already have an email service provider, research how to deliver free offers and content through their platform. Looking for an email service provider that’s perfectly set up to create lead magnets? We love Leadpages and ConvertKit. Both offer step-by-step instructions for beginners so you’re never left feeling overwhelmed. 

Get Inspired With These Lead Magnet Ideas

Ready to start working on your first lead magnet? Get inspired by these great content ideas from around the web.

1. Offer a free trial or sample of your product or “secrets”

If you already have a product or service, why not give your ideal customers a taste of what they can expect from you? Depending on your brand or business, free samples could include meal-planning printables, budget worksheets, or the first chapter of your book. You could also offer a free one-month subscription to your membership group. Have a knowledge-based business? Offer some of your best tips and secrets in a free email course. One great example of this is the popular blog Fun, Cheap or Free.

2. Create a fun or helpful quiz or survey.

You can also collect email addresses by delivering fun quizzes that interest your audience. This can be anything from “Which Workout Plan is Right For You” to “What Type of Business Should You Start?” Survey Monkey is a great platform to use if you’d like to go this route. A personal brand that has done this well is podcaster and entrepreneur, Jenna Kutcher.

3. Use a competition or giveaway to grab leads.

A competition or giveaway is a great way to grab leads for your business. With this option, your audience can sign up with their email to win one of your products or services for free. Make sure you create rules and a giveaway timeframe that keeps your audience engaged and interested in what you have to offer. You can find some great information on hosting a giveaway for your list right here. Here’s a recent giveaway example from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

4. Offer free shipping, discount coupons, or rewards.

Last but not least, if you have a digital or physical product, discounts, reward points, or free shipping might be your best bet! Offer your new email subscribers 10% off your eBook or online course. Or give them free shipping on their first order from your shop. This is a great way to get your first sale from new subscribers,  and eventually, turn them into advocates for your brand. Here’s an example from Gap.com.

Feeling inspired yet? Why not spend some time this week brainstorming and creating your very first lead magnet? We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Have questions on creating your first lead magnet? Looking for a team of marketing experts to help you build your brand? Reach out for a FREE consultation with our Red Bird Social team right here.