12: Lead Magnets: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (The Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast)

Are you using lead magnets in your business to grow your email list, but also your client roster? In today’s episode, I’m introducing you to the idea of using lead magnets in your business and sharing four reasons you need them!

The Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast is brought to you by Dolly DeLong Education. This is a podcast for creative business owners who want to learn tangible steps to automate their business through workflows, systems, tools and strategy in order to go from scattered to streamlined with purpose. Because even muggles can become automated wizards.

The Lead Magnet Mini-Course

This episode is brought to you by my Lead Magnet Mini-Course, your 6 part mini-course where you will finally learn what a lead magnet is! You will not only learn the foundations of crafting a high-converting Opt-In/Freebie, but you will learn the necessary steps you must take in order to have a consistent follow-through method once it’s been published (it’s all about the next steps!)

Enroll Now >>


Review the Show Notes:

Lead Magnet Series (:44)

Why are Lead Magnets Important? (1:00)

What is a Lead Magnet? (2:09)

Good vs. Bad Lead Magnets (3:44)

What’s an Ugly Lead Magnet? ()

Why Use Lead Magnets? ( 8:37)

Four Ways Lead Magnets Can Help Your Business (12:45)

  1. Offer value (12:55)
  2. Create relationships with potential clients (14:34)
  3. Attach your email service provider and build your email list (19:41)
  4. Puts potential clients into your sales funnel (22:19)

Connect with Dolly:




Enroll in the Lead Magnet Mini-Course

Enroll Now >>


Review the Transcript:

Welcome to the systems and workflow magic podcast where I help entrepreneurs go from scattered to streamlined in their creative businesses. I’m your host, Dolly DeLong, a wife, a mom, and a photographer turned systems educator. Join me every week as we have conversations centered around creating tactical workflows, and automations in your business. Now, let’s make some strategic workflow magic. Thank you so much, friend, for joining me on another episode of the systems that workflow magic Podcast.

I’m really so honored that you are here. So I’m starting off a series all about lead magnets. And so for the next several weeks, I am going to be talking about the systems and strategies of lead magnets, and how they can be used in your own creative business. So if you’re wondering why lead magnets Dolly, so it’s because I am slightly obsessed with them. And I love talking about them. You see, they are one of the reasons why I have organically built out my own email list, again on autopilot on automation. And they are one of the biggest reasons why I have clients who want to actually work with me. And because if you want to know more of the technical side, they are at the top of the funnel, so of a client’s journey.

And I will be talking more about funnels in the technical side of funnels later on in a different episode, maybe like in the middle of the year, but I wanted to just talk about lead magnets and just how great they are. I promise. I will not get too technical. In this episode. My goal is just to introduce the topics of lead magnets and to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of them. Okay, so let’s answer the question of what a lead magnet is. So a lead magnet is an incentive that a business owner offers for free to a potential buyer in exchange for the buyers or the leads email address, or other contact information. In this case, it is an email address to gain more leads to build out your email list. And lead magnets usually offer downloadable content like a PDF checklist, an ebook, or a video or something of that nature. Sometimes a lead magnet can even involve a free one on one strategy call.

Or it could offer a certain percentage off like a 20% off code or a certain dollar amount off. So the specifics of what your lead magnet offers depends largely on your business and what you’re trying to sell. Okay. But regardless of what you offer, the lead magnet needs to be valuable. And just side note, lead magnets go by a lot of nicknames. So to keep things consistent, I’m just gonna call them lead magnets. But in other places, you may hear them refer to as a freebie or an opt in as an incentive as a killer bribe an irresistible bribe or any other number of names. But just for clarity sake, I’m calling it a lead magnet.

And just to get into more of like, what makes a really good lead magnet, I think a really good lead magnet actually leads and funnels a person to your offers. So it makes sense. It’s just like a tiny sliver of what you have to offer. And it makes sense to the cold audience who may have downloaded it and it makes sense of what you do. I think a really badly magnet is or an ineffective lead magnet has nothing to do with your business. It just serves as fluff and it confuses people about what you do in your business. And a personal story I have about this is in early 2018 I actually created a lead magnet about how to use social media, which at the time I thought okay, this is great. It’ll get a lot of people on my email list and it’ll help serve a lot of people which it did serve a lot of people. But I  have something to tell you. You probably know this. I am not a social media manager. I don’t I’m not like an ADS person for Instagram or social media.

My job has nothing to do with social media. Yes, I’m on social media, for my business to market myself. But I am not a social media expert. So I created a lead magnet that had nothing to do with my offers with what I do with what I did at the time and what I do. And so I had a lot of people opt-in, and I know that they were confused about okay, well, I downloaded this lead magnet about social media. But yet she’s talking about systems. And she’s talking about workflows. And at the time, I was talking, yeah, I was talking about automating your business, but I hadn’t really niched down to systems and workflows with dubsado.

And with funnels. And so it was confusing. I got a lot of people on my email list, which was great, but they have not qualified leads, and they were confused. So I wanted to throw myself under the bus in this example, and let you know that, yes, you can create an incredible valuable resource. But if it has no alignment with your final offers of your business, if it doesn’t make sense with what you do, then it’s not that good. It’s not in alignment with your business. And so yes, it served the person but it doesn’t really serve your business overall. And so you want to create a lead magnet that is, again, leads people to your business leads people to get to know you and leads people down your funnel, all right, and ugly lead magnet, okay, so we’re talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly. So an ugly lead magnet is not necessarily ugly, I just named it that because there are so many dud lead magnet.

So that’s kind of ugly to me that offer no value whatsoever, to a person’s business or life. Okay, so I know we’ve all been at some point or another been bait and switched with the, with this offer of a free lead magnet a free incentive, if we exchange our email address for something, we’ll get something else in return. And this promise and this advertisement makes it sound like it’s going to be life changing. And so we exchange our email address for what we think is going to be an incredible resource. And it’s like a PDF of five checkpoints. So it’s like a checklist. And that’s it, something that doesn’t live up to the copy of what was promised. And so, one, it feels like I’m wasting my time, because the copy was not clear. And too, there is literally no transformation, there’s no value. So that’s what I call an ugly lead magnet. So again, I’m just trying to use a good pun on words, the good, the bad, the ugly of lead magnets.

So the goal here is to create a good lead magnet that will not only be valuable for the potential lead in their business or their life, whatever you do in your however you serve in your industry, but it also is in alignment with what you do. Alright, so try to avoid the bad and try to avoid the ugly and just think about what makes a good lead magnet that would be in alignment with your business and your, your offers of your business. So let’s talk about why would you use a lead magnet for your own creative business. So if you’re depending on a little signup box on your website to build your email list, you know what I’m talking about. Like when people get to your to your website and they scroll down. And there’s this little box that says join my newsletter, like, you’re going to be waiting a long time for that list to grow. While some people will sign up for your email list. Through your website. The conversion rate is super low.

So we’re talking about 3% of your or less of your website, visitors will actually click over to that box and sign up to be on your newsletter. So if you’re a savvy business owner, you know your email list is gold when it comes to selling your offers over time. But how are you supposed to get anyone on your email list if you don’t just want to depend on you know, that small little newsletter sign up? And let’s say you also don’t have a huge marketing budget for Facebook ads or Instagram ads and you are doing a lot of things organically because you’re either starting out you’re still doing this as a solopreneur You have a very low marketing budget. So you got to get scrappy, you got to get creative. And you actually want to offer value and build a know like and trust factor with people right off the bat. So I like to think of lead magnets as the superheroes of building out your email list. I know that sounds cheesy, but hear me out.

All right. So here is what a really good lead magnet can do for your business over time. And, again, it will hopefully bump up that you can remember that 3% conversion rate on your website visitors instead of just depending on that little box on the bottom of your website, or wherever you put it. So you want to grow your email list, but you don’t know where to begin. Or you are frustrated, because you know, you have to grow more awareness of your business to build an audience. But you don’t have a big budget to spend on Facebook or Instagram ads like all the other big gurus do. Like seriously, where do you even begin as a business owner who is trying to build an audience? So you can continue to grow your brand awareness and audience on social media platforms. But the algorithm always changes? And what if someone hacks into your platform, and you lose everything overnight? How will you reach your audience and communicate with them.

So this is not an ad for an email marketing class. Although I am a huge supporter of some great email marketing strategies. This is actually about the catalyst, which will help grow your email list. I’m talking about a lead magnet in my training the lead magnet mini course, you will be taught the workflows and systems you need to put in place in order to craft an amazing offer to attract the right leads to grow your email list, and to continue to nurture your audience over time. So it’s time to build that email list of your dreams. And I want to give you the systems and strategies of lead magnets, I have used to help me grow my own email list by over 57% in one year. So head on over to the show notes, grab the link to the lead magnet mini course, and use code podcast for 20% off the entire course, and start growing your email list today with a powerful lead magnet.

Let’s say you have created this amazing lead magnet. And so here are four points of how it can help your business over time. Okay, so point one is that it will offer value, and it will begin to build the know like and trust factor with your potential and future clients. So when you have a super valuable lead magnet, people will be impressed. And people will think if he or she, let’s say like my case, if she’s giving this away for free. Imagine what her paid content is like so. And also if you inject your personality and your knowledge, you will build authority after those people have consumed your lead magnet. It goes a long way for people especially in this culture that we live in where people are inundated with so many messages through social media, and they don’t know who to trust sometimes. So you want to start building trust right off the bat. And that will over time build your authority. And it goes a long way for a person it really does.

If right off the bat you offer value. And it goes along the lines of your business and it makes sense and they will be so excited to consume your lead magnet. And bonus points. If you can make your lead magnet feel fun and personable on top. It also brings even more value because you’re you’re sharing a part of your personality with that, that lead with that business owner and you’re offering them even more value. So point two is a really good lead magnet can create relationships with potential clients. So I know we talked about it offers values and it starts building the know like trust factor with potential clients but it also can create relationships and you’re wondering, okay, how can I do that? Outside of like infusing my personality in the lead magnet and giving them value Well, once someone has taken action and downloaded your lead magnet, they are much more likely to take action on your offers again.

And so meaning, let’s say somebody downloads your lead magnet, and they are inserted into a nurture welcome consumptions sequence, I like to call it the consumption sequence, because they’re consuming your lead magnet, and then they’re getting to know you, they are much, much more likely to take action on your offers again. And so the next time it like, if you have have a big launch planned for six months down the line, or whatever quarter you’re in, and you segment them to go in, I’m no, I’m saying a lot of terms right now. But let’s say that lead magnet, nurture sequence segments them into your overall email list. And then later on down the line, you decide, you know, I’m going to have this big launch, and you’ve been nurturing them through email marketing, and through intentional, just like intentional marketing every week, the name most likely will purchase from you because over time, you have created an email relationship with them, they are getting to know you, they’re getting to know your business, they are liking you and your personality, hopefully. And that’s, that’s a huge win. And even if even if they don’t buy from you right off the bat, you’re still planting seeds in their mind, and you are establishing yourself as an authority figure in their mind. So let’s say you are I’ll use family photography. As an example, since I am a family photographer, let’s say somebody downloads, I actually do have this as a free lead magnet.

But I have a style guide for future clients to download and use to plan out their future sessions. And even if they don’t book me, they still have this valuable resource from me. And it could help them better plan out their future sessions for a family session. And therefore, the mom and dad aren’t stressed, and they know how to dress their kids, and they know how to dress everyone. Alright, so that is a win. And let’s say I’ve had clients download this all over the United States. Obviously, I’m not traveling all over the United States. Currently I am based in Nashville. And so I am focusing a lot of my time in Nashville for family photography. But I have had clients download it across United States, but then they become a part of my email nurture sequence, and then they become a part of my weekly newsletter. And then when Christmas time comes, or when fall sessions come around, and they have friends or family who are looking for a Nashville family photographer, who are based in Nashville, guess who they recommend to their fan friends or family who are based in Nashville, I’ve had this happen to me multiple times.

And it is, it is powerful, like the happy sharing a powerful lead magnet that gave them a win over time, it put a really good taste in their mouth, they became well acquainted with me and my business over time through email marketing, because I was just developing a relationship with my newsletter. And then they referred me to friends who actually live in Nashville. So this, it’s I’m not like the odd person who’s able to do this, this happens for all types of business owners. So I want to encourage you, I know this point is a little longer. But creating relationships is not

point A like it’s not like here’s a five step process for how to create a relationship. It is you have to nurture it over time. And I wish there was like if there was a roadmap, and everybody can follow it A through Z, I think everybody would do it successfully, you just have to really put the time and energy in nurturing those relationships and being intentional with your email marketing, how you are over delivering after you deliver that lead magnet. So that’s kind of this kind of heavier and kind of like deeper to think about but just creating relationships with your potential clients because they can become referrals for you. So a third way a lead magnet can be really good for your business over time is obviously it gets potential clients on your email list. And this seems obvious, but a lot of people forget to attach their email service provider to their freebies. And they don’t realize they can Do this on automation. So let me explain that again.

They just have the freebie on their website. Therefore a person can just download the freebie, and there’s no exchange of email addresses. So they don’t realize that they can put like a ribbon form or embedded code from their email service provider. And their email service provider will automatically automated send out the freebie the lead magnet, a lot of people forget that step. And so if you want to continue to build out your email list or build out your client list, you really need to hone in on email marketing, and I know it may seem sleazy or weird to a lot of creative business owners who don’t want to feel like they’re selling all the time, you’re not you’re building a relationship. And again, once a person enters their info to download your FREE lead magnet, they’ll start hopefully getting your emails weekly or bi weekly to get to know you. And then you have the power to contact them directly. Instead of just depending upon social media,

which is, you know, we all know that social media is a rollercoaster. So please just consider the power of email marketing. And don’t view it as, oh, I have to sell all the time, I have to constantly sound like a US sales car. But I don’t know, I don’t know the phrase. But I have loved really leaning into email marketing, because I just really, I’m building a relationship with my email list every week, I have valuable content to share with them. I share personal, like funny stories, and I give them extra tips and advice about systems and workflows. Or if it’s family or branding photography, I give them extra tips about how to get ready for family sessions, or I give them a VIP day access to mini sessions. So it’s really, it depends on what segment I’m talking to. But I try to give them extra value. And I’m building trust over time. All right. So the fourth reason why good lead magnet can be good for your business over time. So it puts potential clients into your sales funnel. So most people aren’t going to buy from you immediately. They’re not going to land on your website and be like, oh, I want to buy this $97 product or $27. Some people might, but they might be like, Oh, I don’t know this person yet. I still need to get to know them.

So if they download a lead magnet from you, that lead magnet can funnel them into a nurture sequence. And you can remind them about the different products that you have to offer that yes or on your website. But if it’s in that nurture sequence, you can remind them how it’s in alignment with that lead magnet and how it would go well with their free download. And so, again, warms them up to getting to know you and hopefully a lot of people will begin, you know, being funneled into that lead magnet and they can get to know your products and you as well. Okay, so I know those four points were extra jam packed. But I will put all the notes in the resources of today’s episode show notes, but and I know I could go on and on about lead magnets, but I wanted to, I’m say keeping this episode pretty short and sweet. But let’s be honest, I know. I’m a little bit long winded. But I just wanted to introduce the topic of lead magnets and how they can be beneficial for your business. And I’m really hoping that these four points about lead magnets have ignited the fire in you to start thinking of creative ways. You can start building out your email list today and why it’s really important to build out your email list is not just about making sales all the time. It’s about building authority and also a know like and trust factor so that people can refer people to you. Alright, so in the next several episodes, we are going to dive more into the systems of lead magnets, different types of lead magnets to consider for your small business and why they are an essential part of your funnels. And if you had an aha moment in this episode about lead magnets, please share it with me by shooting me a DM on Instagram at dolly DeLong education and please let me know what type of lead magnet you are planning to create for your small biz.

I would love to share it with my audience. Okay, and while you’re at it, why not leave a review and share this podcast with another creative friend to who also wants to learn more about systems and workflows and strategies for their small business. So as always, I hope you continue to find the magic enjoy and systems strategic workflows and automations for your business, and life. Thank you so much for listening, and I will talk to you later. Bye. Thank you so much for listening to the systems and workflow magic podcast. You can find full show notes from today’s episode at dolly DeLong photography.com forward slash podcast. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be so honored if you’d subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast player. Be sure to screenshot this episode, share it to your stories and tag me at dolly DeLong education over on Instagram. Until next time, go make some strategic workflow magic.

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