Do you want more clients in 2022? How about better clients?
If you’re nodding your head vigorously, then maybe it’s time to implement a lead magnet on your freelance website.
A lead magnet on your website allows you to…
- Get more data about who’s visiting your site
- Continue a conversation with your most interested prospects
- Establish your authority and value
… and much more.
In this final business-building challenge of the year, we’re going to focus on getting this crucial marketing task done.
We’ll cover each step, from planning to publishing. With some focus and determination, you can even get it done before the New Year!
Now, let’s walk through the process together.
Plan Your Lead Magnet
To get started, consider what kind of budget you have for this project.
You may need to invest in…
- A design to lay out your lead magnet and make it visually pleasing
- A lead magnet plugin, so you can make the process of claiming your lead magnet seamless for your visitors
- An email service provider like MailChimp or Aweber
- Technical help getting the lead magnet published on your site
As an example, I recently spent about $100 on my own lead magnet. Most of that went to the conversion optimization plugin OptinMonster. For this project, I did all the design and technical setup myself.
Once you have an idea of your budget, next plan the format you’d like to use.
A few options to consider, along with some examples…
- Checklists, like my User Experience Email Marketing Checklist
- Quizzes, like the one on com
- Guides, like AWAI’s Ultimate Guide to SEO Content Writing
- Reports, like AWAI’s 2021 State of the Industry Report
- Ebooks, like Ed Gandia’s book Hidden Gold
If you’re just starting out, simpler formats like checklists or quizzes might be a good bet.
Guides, reports, and books, on the other hand, are ideal if you’ve got some experience and/or you’re willing to invest more time in creating your lead magnet.
At this stage, you should also decide on what kind of value you want to provide your prospects.
For the lead magnet to be effective, it should solve a problem for your ideal prospect, and also tie into the services you offer.
Take Ed Gandia’s ebook, as an example, titled Hidden Gold: How Consulting Firms Can Unleash the Massive Revenue Potential Trapped Inside Their Email Lists.
Right away, his target audience of consulting firms sees this book contains relevant and highly valuable information for them. And, it ties into a key service Ed offers, which is email strategy and copywriting.
Before you begin writing your lead magnet, think about what you can provide your target audience. When you have something valuable, that your audience wants and that can position you as the expert on that topic, then you’ve most likely got a winning idea.
Write and Design Your Lead Magnet
Once the planning phase is done, it’s time to create your lead magnet.
This part is straightforward, and you can do your research and writing the way you would with any other project.
As with all copywriting projects, be sure to:
- Give it a compelling title
- Include a strong call to action, so your prospect knows what to do next
- Spend time editing and proofreading
When you’re done writing and editing, the next step is to make the design look professional and visually appealing.
Here, I encourage you to be honest with yourself about your skills and limitations.
If you’ve got some decent design skills, then you might be able to do it yourself with the help of some simple software like Pages or Canva.
If you struggle with visuals — many of us writers do! — it’s better to find a designer who can make your lead magnet look amazing.
Whichever option you choose, consider how to make the piece scannable and consistent with any branding you have on your freelance website.
Pick and Set Up Your Plugin
Once your lead magnet is polished and ready, your next steps have to do with integrating it into your website.
The most straightforward way to do this is to set up a plugin designed for this purpose.
Some options for this are:
All these plugins help you create a visually appealing and conversion-optimized opt-in form.
For a less expensive, text-based option, you can consider WP Forms or even the built-in form from your email service provider.
While you’re researching your plugin options, you’ll want to decide how prospects will download the lead magnet. Each plugin offers different functionalities, but some common choices are a simple form that you embed on a page on your website or in your header or footer, a dedicated landing pages, or exit-intent pop-ups.
For the purposes of this challenge, it’s best to focus on just one of these types. You can always add other pathways to your lead magnet, once you get it up and running.
Set Up Your Opt-In Sequence
Now that you’ve made it possible for visitors to download your lead magnet, your next task is to plan and set up your opt-in sequence. These are the steps your visitor will go through after they fill out your form to get your lead magnet.
To plan the sequence, map out all the steps the user will need to take to download the lead magnet.
Along the way, think about how you can optimize the copy in every step to make sure you’re leading them clearly through the process.
Here are the main items you’ll want to create and optimize:
- Copy on your landing page or sign-up form
- Copy for your confirmation page — this is where they’ll go after they’ve entered their email
- Welcome email message providing the link to the lead magnet
It’s also worth considering adding a longer email onboarding sequence. The purpose of this email sequence is to offer your leads even more value and give them more opportunities to consider your services.
Once you have your opt-in sequence planned and written, it’s time to set up each step in your email software.
You’ll also need to add any copy and visuals to your site using your chosen lead magnet plugin, and make sure your emails and website link to your lead magnet PDF.
Test and Go Live!
Before going live, it’s time to proofread all your elements and test as much as possible.
Make sure to:
- Proofread your lead magnet one more time
- Preview how your lead magnet will look on your website
- Send tests of all your emails to yourself for a final check — make sure you click every link!
Once you take everything live, do a few more tests to see if everything is working properly.
I also like to ask my partner to go through the steps as well, to help me catch any issues.
Plan for the Future
When you hit publish, and everything is live and working, then congrats! You’ve just completed a major milestone in your web-writing business.
Is it a decent amount of work? Yes! But, you’ve just created a hugely valuable asset for yourself.
At this final stage, I recommend scheduling some time to plan out your next steps.
For example, you could:
- Add other ways for people to download your lead magnet (e.g., a special landing page)
- Expand your onboarding sequence
- Re-use elements of your lead magnet in social media content
- Make a video promoting your lead magnet
… and so much more!
The point is once you have your lead magnet published, you’ll want to find every opportunity to maximize its potential.
Now, I’d love to hear from you…
Have you ever created a lead magnet before?
What lead magnet idea do you think is best for your freelance business?
Let us know in the comments below!