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How to create a lead magnet for free

Grow Your Business
How to create a lead magnet for free
Table of contents
Read time: 5min

Lead magnets are an awesome way to grow your email list. In exchange for someone signing up to receive emails from you, you provide them with a free piece of content or downloadable resource. Think of it as a gift!

Another compelling reason to offer this type of free download is to build authority, meaning you are the expert on the matter. Some lead magnets even show the customer directly how to solve a problem, only for the potential customer to realize they should indeed hire the creator for their help.  

Let’s walk through how to create a free downloadable lead magnet. 

Prefer to watch instead of read? No worries! Watch the video below to see the process of building it out!

Step 1: Choose your type of lead magnet

First, think of what type of lead magnet you want to create. Some popular lead magnet options include:

A long form guide or ebook. If you’re skilled at writing or have an audience that likes long form content, these are both great options. 

A white paper or report. These can be especially compelling if you have interesting internal data to share or can collect it from other sources.

Templates or checklists
. They don’t require as much writing, but require some formatting skills.

Webinars or videos. If you sell online courses with video modules, these can work well!

Industry specific lead magnet. For example, recipes or meal plans are popular choices for creators in the health and fitness space. 

For a lead magnet example in this blog, we’ll be offering a checklist. 

Step 2: Brainstorm your lead magnet topic

After deciding what type of lead magnet you want to offer, you’ll need to choose the topic. Your topic should be valuable enough to hand over an email address but not so valuable that you could charge for it. It’s all about balance!

Think of something that should be fairly easy to produce and leverages your existing skill set. It also doesn’t hurt to do a quick Google search to ensure that your topic isn’t already covered by a huge number of free-to-read articles so you don’t waste your time making content that requires an email address to read. If you are covering a topic again, think of ways to make your lead magnet deeper and more compelling. 

For our checklist example, let’s imagine we’re a knowledge entrepreneur who is an expert in outdoor activities. We could offer a checklist on all the gear someone needs if they are going on a multi-night backpacking trip. 

Step 3: Do any research needed

Now that you’ve decided your topic, you can begin doing any research that you may need to complete the lead magnet. You may choose to reference data or statistics to help you illustrate your point.

Or, you may want to do some search engine optimization research about organic demand for this type of content, and if so, how tight the competition is. Search the specific topic to check out the competition, keywords you should use, and see how you can create something better and of greater value. 

Step 4: Write your draft

After you've gotten your research compiled, you’re ready to start writing. Some people choose to start with an outline while others  like to get a rough draft out on the paper. Your writing process is up to you, but ultimately you'll want to let the creativity flow and then you can refine it after.

For our checklist example, we’ll start with throwing every possible relevant idea related to backpacking we have on the page. 

Screenshot of a Google Documents page listing a sample checklist of equipment for first-time backpackers

Step 5: Edit your lead magnet

After you have a full draft, you'll want to edit it. Go back and review it and see if there's any opportunity to improve upon it. Maybe you add some new ideas, or maybe you cut out something that was less relevant. Ideally, you’ll have another person edit your document for you. But if you’re solo, simply make sure to edit your document after you’ve had some time to let it sit.

For our checklist example, perhaps we want to add some new ideas, or

make it more detailed. So, we could add links to specific recommended sporting equipment gear, which adds more value as it saves your lead from wasting time on research.

Step 6: Proofread

After you have your lead magnet finalized, it's time to proofread. Here are two helpful tips.  First, use a tool like Grammarly to help you catch typos and grammatical errors (we use it too!). Second, you want to read your copy out loud and make sure that your ideas are presented in the way that you want. 

Another tip: consider proofreading right at the beginning of the work day when your brain is fresh and when you've had time to distance yourself from the document. 

Step 7: Design your lead magnet

Now it's time for you to design your lead magnet. Luckily, there are tons of ways to make your lead magnet look professional without being too complicated or costly.

The first thing that you could do is format your document in a word processor and then export that. You can put finishing touches on it like using your brand font or colors and using spacing strategically. If you're creating a lead magnet that is text-heavy, you definitely want to prioritize legibility. If your document involves data, include some charts. And, a select few photos can help your document as well.

Or, you can use a tool like Canva which is free to design all types of files. Plus, they do allow you to use their assets for marketing and social media. Using Canva to create a lead magnet is a great option if you have graphic design skills or you want an elevated look. 

Screenshot of a Canva window designing a lead magnet with an image of a hiker and text saying The First Time Backpacker; a checklist for those who are just starting out

If you choose to use any sort of free lead magnet creator, tool, or generator, make sure to read their terms of service and that you're in compliance with what they allow. 

For a checklist, you could create a table right in the Google Document itself. After you’ve formatted it to your liking, click File, then Download, and select PDF document. Then, you have a file you can use as a lead magnet!

Remember, since a lead magnet is free, you don’t need to stress about the formatting. It needs to be polished and readable. But your lead is coming to you for the information, not the design of the document. 

Step 8: Distribute your lead magnet

Once you’ve created your lead magnet, it's time to distribute it! Make sure to upload it to Kajabi as a product and create a new free offer. You can add it to your storefront or even create its own landing page. If you use one of the Link-in-bio style Kajabi landing page templates, don’t forget to add it to that page. 

Then, post about it on social media and point back to the page where someone can fill out the form to get the lead. If you have a paid marketing budget, you can leverage paid channels like Facebook or LinkedIn to share your lead magnet too. 

Offer lead magnets in Kajabi

Ready to be your own boss? Start by generating an email subscriber list. For that, you need Kajabi -  a full-featured platform that allows professionals like you to create a business from home.

With Kajabi, you can sell your expertise online. You’ll get an online course builder, coaching platform, podcast tool, and membership management software. Plus, we pair it with sales and marketing tools like an email marketing platform and insightful analytics. All for one low cost.

Fully explore what Kajabi has to offer and start building your business during a free trial. Start your free 14-day trial of Kajabi today!

Still researching? Check out Kajabi’s free downloadable ebook guides on launching and growing a knowledge commerce online business!

Read the 2022 State of the Creator Economy Report to get the latest data on industry trends and growth for knowledge content creators.

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