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Does Your Lead Magnet Suck? What You Need To Know About Creating A Killer Lead Magnet

Does your lead magnet suck? Sometimes it takes a few tries to find one that works. Check out this post to learn how to create the right lead magnet for your online business.

A stellar lead magnet is your not-so-secret weapon to building your email list. It convinces your audience to raise their hand and give you their email addresses. 

But many online entrepreneurs have no clue about what makes a good lead magnet. There’s no exact science involved here but with some experimentation, you can see what works and what doesn’t.

The reason a great lead magnet works is that it speaks to your target audience. But before you can create one, you must have a deeper understanding of your niche and the people in your niche. 

You’ve got to find out what their struggles and problems are so you can speak to them through your lead magnet. Real market research, not guesswork or asking in Facebook groups, will help you create an effective lead magnet.

It’s also important to know what your audience likes. What kind of freebies would they be interested in? Create a lead magnet with the perspective of your audience in mind. 

Creating a successful lead magnet isn’t about what you want. It’s about what matters to your people. Survey your audience about a relevant idea that they might be interested in and ask for their input before you create it.

Attributes of a Great Lead Magnet

What is a great lead magnet supposed to do? It’s supposed to help your target audience move forward on their journey to solve a problem. You can do this in different ways. 

First, you can help them address an issue by offering a freebie like a how-to guide that will help them take action. When you create freebies, it should be more about helping people take action and less about giving them more information. But there are some exceptions. 

You may need to use informational freebies in some cases. In this case, you’re just providing information that doesn’t involve leading your audience to take action. 

Free white papers and e-books are perfect examples of information-based freebies. Informational freebies appeal to people who want to learn something first before they can take action.

A lot of people ask how much content should be in a freebie. The advice you’ll hear is to create a freebie that offers a quick win. It should only require a small commitment from people who joined your list. They don’t have to pay for anything, and it takes only a few minutes to make progress.

But a longer and larger freebie can also work. It allows you to be honest with people about what it takes to succeed. A longer freebie can be ideal for an audience of action takers, people who are willing to commit and invest in themselves.

Say, for instance, you’re a coach who works with people one-on-one. Obviously, you don’t need an email list with 10,000 people. What you need is a modest list of people who want to take action and are willing to commit and do the work. 

Longer and larger freebies help weed out people who won’t take action. They provide you with a more qualified pool of leads who are willing to take bigger steps. But this doesn’t mean offering a free 100-page guide. Most people go for a 10-page guide. You need to focus on a longer and more involved guide.

How Many Lead Magnets You Should Have

Many people think that one freebie is enough. In reality, though, you’ll be creating several freebies throughout your lifecycle as an online entrepreneur. 

When you’re just getting started, you likely won’t know exactly what your people need, so you shouldn’t expect to nail the perfect lead magnet right away. You’ll go through a learning process, and you need to be willing to try different things to find out what works and what doesn’t.

It’s best to begin with a lead magnet that’s easier to make and has a simple style. You don’t want to spend three months creating a lead magnet when you’re just starting because you still don’t have a clue whether your people want it or not. 

Create a basic lead magnet that allows you to try new things and make changes and adjustments until you see what works.

Back to the question of how many lead magnets you should have… it’s gonna be more than one. Even if you only have one core business, you’ll need several lead magnets to help people at different stages of their journey.

For example, someone who helps online business owners would have one freebie for the people who are just starting out, another for those who are already running a business but are still struggling, and a different one for those who are already successful but are looking to scale. People have different obstacles at different stages, which means you need different lead magnets.

What Do People Want To Learn?

Aside from being at different stages of their journey, your audience may also be interested in different topics. I help people with marketing. Some are interested in email strategies while others want to learn more about content marketing. 

You don’t have to create different freebies for each one, though. You can come up with a freebie that covers a broader and wider topic to attract people who might be interested in your product or service.

Start with one freebie, then figure out the gap. The easiest way to create multiple freebies without investing too much time and energy is to begin with one and repurpose it into another medium. The key is not to overcomplicate things.

It’s also important to remember that people consume content in different ways. Some prefer audio content while others want a simple PDF. There’s no right or wrong method here. But you need to have lead magnets that serve your audience regardless of how they prefer to consume content.

Pick The Right Lead Magnet

There are different types of lead magnets. A checklist may work for some while a mini-course works for others, there’s no one right way to do this.

It all goes back to understanding your people, knowing what they’re looking for, how they like things, and what problems they’re trying to solve. All these factors will help you determine what freebie you need to make.

For example, you need a short, simple, and easy-to-consume freebie if your audience is strapped for time. If your audience is learners who want to know all the information first before they take action, then having an information-based freebie is better.

Don’t be distracted by those who say that one particular type of freebie is the best. You need to try different things to know what works for your people because what works for other online entrepreneurs may not work for you and your audience.

Different Types of Freebies

Checklists and Guides

These are short, PDF-type freebies that offer quintessential quick wins. They provide information, act as a resource, and lead people to take action. 

They’re the most common form of freebies that are easy to create but provide value to your audience. They need to be clean and readable. The main focus should be on the information and not on the design, so a lighter background works well.


Templates are great because people can execute them quickly. They help solve a problem fast, which helps attract potential leads. Be sure to create a template for things people need to do. It should be self-explanatory or with brief and concise instructions. There are different ways to design a template but what matters is to keep it simple.

White Papers and Ebooks

White papers and e-books are more involved types of freebies. They help build credibility and thought leadership. These freebies are perfect if your audience is full of learners. 

The content must be high-quality, well-researched, and comprehensive. White papers and e-books should have a simple design and be readable.

Audio or Video Mini-Courses

These offer bigger value but require a bigger commitment too. A mini-course, whether done in video or audio, lets you communicate with your audience. You can give them more information that is organized into chunks or divided into several lessons, so it’s more consumable. You can even give out homework at the end of the lesson so that you can help your audience take action.

A mini-course encourages your audience to commit and take the next steps. They’ll get a sneak peek at what you’re like and connect with you in a deeper way. Since you’ll be offering several lessons in your mini-course, your audience will spend more time with you, which increases their likelihood of becoming a lead and then a buyer.

You’ll need a place to host the videos for a mini video course, like a course platform or even YouTube. As for mini-audio courses, they can be in the form of a private podcast feed or downloadable mp3s.

Quizzes and Assessments

Quizzes and assessments are perfect if they fit your circumstances. They provide the cheapest leads if you’re running ads to it. A quiz works if your audience is interested in self-discovery. 

Creating a quiz can be a very involved process. You need to figure out what questions to ask, know how to categorize people, and create different result pages or result PDFs. You need to make a lot of content, which can be time-consuming.

This type of freebie isn’t a great front-end list-building tool, but it works well as a way to nurture your existing leads. Even so, you can still use them for a front-end purpose, but if it doesn’t work, you should be open to trying a different approach.

Figure Out Your Killer Lead Magnet

Creating a great lead magnet takes some trial and error. But once you find one that your audience wants and needs, you’ll be on your way to building your list.

If you want to learn more about list building, we’ve got a FREE list-building course inside BADA$$ Online Marketing University. You don’t have to keep buying more courses to learn how to build your online business.