If you haven't yet started to create an email list as a content creator, you might want to consider doing that sooner rather than later.
An email list is often a cornerstone for a content creator business. It is your connection to the "warmest leads" your audience; that subset of your audience that's most likely to follow you on social media, engage with your content, and "buy your stuff." That's why the conversion rate for sales via email lists tends to be much higher than that of a creator's social content.
One of the best ways to build an email list is by having a lead magnet, which is a free or low-priced product or service that provides value for a member of your audience in exchange for their contact information (and sometimes a small fee).
This may sound great in principle, but there are so many questions that need to be answered. How do you get started? What kind of lead magnet should you create? What vehicle can you use to distribute the lead magnet and collect those email addresses? What results can you expect and how do you build on those? Tune in to find out, because those are the topics of this episode.
Music and sound effects are licensed under Storyblocks. Opening track: Disco Danger, by Jon Presstone.
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If you want to see my current lead magnets, you can check those out on my Freebies page.
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[00:00:00] I just created my first lead magnets, which is how I know you can do this too. And in this episode, I wanna show you how.
[00:00:05] You may have noticed that a lot of content creators have what's called a lead magnet. This is typically a free or low-price offer that is used to create a closer connection with your audience. Examples of lead magnets include principles such as a downloadable checklist or digital products such as notion templates, webinars, mini-courses, and so on.
[00:00:23] Now, you might be thinking that it sounds like a lot of work to put one of these together, but I'm gonna show you how it's gonna be easy to get started, and then once you've created your first lead magnets and have the system in place that I'm gonna show you, you can iterate increasingly better ones and scale your results from there.
[00:00:39] But first, let's talk about why you want to do this. I've already hinted at the first reason, which is to create a closer connection with that subset of your audience who is most ready to take action on one of your offers. In other words, your warmest leads.
[00:00:52] So this brings me to the second reason why a lead magnet has value for you as a content creator, and that is the concept of a sales funnel. The thing we need to realize as content creators is that most of our sales and engagement are gonna come from the top 15 to 20% of our audience. Let's take your social media profile on a platform like Instagram as an example of this.
[00:01:13] At the top of the funnel, we have people who are broadly aware of your content because they've seen your posts or reels. At the next level down, we have people who have shown interest in your content by liking or commenting on one of your posts. One more step down. We have people who are interested enough to visit your profile, maybe look at some of your other content and consider following you. And on the last step we have those who like your content enough to hit that follow button.
[00:01:36] The fact is very few leads are going to go directly from awareness to following you, and even fewer leads are gonna go from awareness to actually purchasing some. You need to bring prospective customers along on the journey from awareness to action, and your lead magnet is one of the steps that you can offer to help get them there.
[00:01:53] Last point on the value of a lead magnet is this gonna help to create your own direct line of communication with your warmest leads. This is important in case you ever lose access to one of your social channels because we've all heard the horror stories of creators, even large creators, who have had their accounts hacked or deleted somehow.
[00:02:10] This way you'll have a direct way to reach out to people who can vouch for you and say that you're the real owner of the account and that you should be able to get it back. Having this direct line of communication is also valuable in case you wanna reach out to those warmest leads and ask them to engage with your latest video, or maybe even provide a positive view of your latest product or podcast episode.
[00:02:30] So as you can see, there are a lot of good reasons why you want to create a lead magnet to start building an email list as a content creator. Now let's talk about how I got my first lead magnets done, so I can walk you through an approach you can use to do the same thing. And let's get into it.
[00:02:47] When I was first considering creating a lead magnet, one of the biggest barriers to getting it going was indecision about what to create and where to distribute it. There are so many different types of lead magnets that you can make and so many different systems that you can use to distribute it and collect email addresses.
[00:03:03] I also got somewhat blocked by the notion that my first lead magnet had to be something amazing that was tr going to generate tons and tons of signups. And of course if you've ever done this before, you know that that's not likely going to happen. So instead of just starting with something, I kept trying to iterate better and better ideas to the point where my ambitions for the lead magnet exceeded my capacity and abilities of what I could realistically produce at that time.
[00:03:29] And the way that I ultimately moved past these barriers is that one day I just decided to start somewhere somehow. And this decision to just start taking messy action is what ultimately helped me to see the way forward. And that's because it helped me to realize that the purpose of your first lead magnet is naturally not to generate tons of leads.
[00:03:47] It's to help you go through the process of creating your first lead magnet, which will allow you to create the processes and infrastructure for creating more and better lead magnets in the future. That takes a lot of pressure off of that first lead magnet, and it helps you to gain confidence that you're on the right track, and that's confidence that you're gonna need as you go through the longer-term processes of building a solid lead generation and conversion system.
[00:04:11] So how do you decide what kind of lead magnet to create in the first place? We could start by asking: what is the purpose of the lead magnet? Is it to collect an email address, qualify a sales lead, or provide value and create a connection with your audience? However, in practice, it's probably a combination of all three things, so that doesn't get us much further.
[00:04:29] This is where I come back to the point of just starting with something and making it really simple so that you can go through all the steps and just get it going. For example, my first lead magnet was a Canva template that would help people create a dynamic Twitter banner. I realized there was potential value for this template by having gone through the process of setting up my own dynamic Twitter banner from Tweet Hunter, which took a bit of time to read through all the instructions and set up in a way where everything was lined up nicely.
[00:04:54] I'll bet that as a content creator, you can think of several things that would've been helpful for your journey somewhere along the line, or perhaps where you are now. And I think those things can be an excellent basis for your first lead magnets. If you've experienced a particular challenge somewhere, there's a good chance other content creators have also experienced that same challenge.
[00:05:12] By creating something that's gonna help others through that challenge, you're gonna build trust and create a close or connection with those audience members who take you up on that offer. And if you're still stuck for ideas, you can always search around on Google for lists of lead magnet ideas, use AI software to suggest a list for you, and look at what other creators you admire have done for general inspiration.
[00:05:31] Just make sure that this first product is relatively simple. Ideally, it should be something that's easy for you to create so that you can get it done. And it should be relatively easy for your audience to digest and implement, because that will provide them with a quick win and an interest in staying connected with you, perhaps even working with you.
[00:05:49] So once you've identified and created that first product, you'll need to find a way to distribute it and collect the email addresses in exchange. The main platform I've used for this is called GumRoad. It's easy to use, it has all the functions you'll want as a product distribution system, and it's a commission-based fee structure, so there's no monthly fee, and if you're not charging anything for your lead magnet, it's free.
[00:06:11] All of that shows how it's really designed with beginner creators in mind as reflected in their motto, which is to go from zero to $1 in online sales. The other thing I like about Gum Road in particular is that it does provide that all-in-one solution for the distribution of your products, as well as post-sale follow-up.
[00:06:27] When you upload your first lead magnet, you can create a nice-looking landing page to send people to. That then allows you to send them to a checkout page where they enter their email address, and then once they do that, they'll be taken to a page where they can access the product content. What's even better is that once you have the email addresses, you can also use gum road to do follow-up emails to anyone who's already downloaded one of your products.
[00:06:48] That means you don't need a separate email list management system at least to start, and that can save you quite a bit of money because many of these more advanced systems can be fairly pricey. Gum Road also gives you a shareable link to your lead magnet landing page, which you can distribute via Twitter, your link in bio tool, blog posts, YouTube video descriptions, or anywhere else you can think of.
[00:07:08] The range of products you can distribute through this system is really impressive as well, including everything from digital products to courses and memberships, and even physical products as well. So it's a system that can grow with you as a creator.
[00:07:19] When I created and distributed my very first lead magnet, I got only one signup off of it, but that was okay because what I had done is show myself that it was possible to get a lead magnet done and get signups off of it.
[00:07:31] What I had in place after that was a process and infrastructure to create and distribute more lead magnets. This made it much easier to do that in the future without having to worry about how to go about it at the same time, the result was that my second lead magnet was better in both quality and results.
[00:07:47] It already has several downloads, and I'm confident it's going to get even more as I share it via social media, blog posts, and other distribution channels. This one is a downloadable pdf, which provides a project management tool called a work breakdown structure for people who are looking to create their first digital product.
[00:08:04] It also offers a bit of guidance on the step-by-step process you can use for doing that. And I'll share a link to that freebie in my description. And now I'm in a position to create a third lead magnet, which I can share with you in the future. So I think you can see how this goes. You get one done, iterate on it to make it better, and then continually do that to keep on building your email list.
[00:08:23] In one of his videos, Alex Hormozi says that one of the biggest boss moves you can make as a creator is to find what other people are charging for and then do it better for free. This is sometimes called the irresistible lead magnet, and although the approach may sound a little counterintuitive at first, there are some clear examples where this has worked very well.
[00:08:43] Dan Thomas is a good case study in this regard. As a creator on Instagram, Dan provides a lot of value in his free content, including insider tips and done free templates that others often charge for, and that's allowed him to build up trust with his audience, such that people are ready to take action in purchasing his lower to medium ticket paid offers, joining his paid community, or even signing up for a higher ticket course or consulting offering.
[00:09:06] Think of it this way, people who get a good freebie from you are going to be more likely to go for a low to medium-size ticket offer. That's because they've already received value from you for free, which gives them more confidence that your paid products will be good as well. And if you provide a money-back guarantee for a limited time for these prospects as well, then it becomes very easy for them to say yes to your paid offer.
[00:09:30] And then if you can provide high value in your low to medium ticket offers, those prospects will be primed to say yes to your high ticket offer. In fact, by providing higher value than what you're charging for at the lower rungs, that's how you get people lining up at your door to work with you at the higher level.
[00:09:46] And that's how lead Magnet can help to start building your business. It's not easy and it's definitely a journey to get there, but that journey starts with the creation of your first lead magnets. So just start and then when you do, drop me a link to your freebie because I'd love to check it out. I hope you found this helpful.
[00:10:02] If you did, drop me a like and consider subscribing and we'll see you in the next episode.