What lead magnet should I make?
In Chapter 1, you'll learn how to choose the perfect lead magnet topic and format to entice your target audience. You'll also see 11+ real lead magnet examples from creators like you.
You’re ready to build a lead magnet for your online business, but what kind of lead magnet should you make? To answer this question, you’ll need to determine your lead magnet’s topic and format.
How to choose an irresistible topic for your lead magnet
Let’s say you have an online business teaching yoga classes. You create a lead magnet that’s all about picking the right color palette for your home office, and it’s good – really good. In fact, it’s one of the best resources ever created about home office color palettes.
The problem is that this lead magnet isn’t going to attract the right audience for your business. Sure, it might be an amazing resource, but you’ll end up with an email list filled with home decor DIYers instead of yoga enthusiasts.
While putting together a random freebie can be fun, one of your lead magnet’s main jobs is to draw in your target audience. There’s no point in building a list of people who aren’t interested in what you offer, so here are four questions you can ask yourself to find a topic that resonates:
What questions do you get asked the most often? Creating a resource that answers a frequently asked question is helpful for your audience and also saves you time. Instead of answering questions in your DMs, you can direct people to your free resource.
What questions are people asking in the wild? Take a look at the questions people are asking on other blogs or in YouTube comments. Find a creator in your niche and scroll down to the comment section on their videos or website. Pro tip: You can use the command+find feature and search for the question mark symbol (?) to find questions faster.
What’s the main problem your audience is trying to solve? Can you provide the first step to solving this problem or one resource that would get them going in the right direction?
What products or services do you want to launch in the future? Are there any smaller products you can make that would be a natural introduction to your bigger offers? For example, if you hope to offer a 12-week fiction writing course, a free workbook about fiction world-building or character development would be a logical first step.
After you answer these questions, see if you can find a common problem with a straightforward solution. The solution should be something that the viewer could implement in a matter of minutes.
Remember, lead magnets should give people quick wins, they don’t need to be overly extensive and elaborate.
I wasn’t certain what topic to cover for my road trip lead magnet, so I used the questions above to get clarity.
What questions do you get asked most often? When I reflected on conversations and emails with friends and family about their upcoming road trips, I realized that people always ask me about car maintenance items and what they should pack. People seem very concerned with being prepared should they experience car trouble or get lost.
What questions are people asking in the wild? I checked out the comment section under YouTube videos about road-tripping and made note of some common questions.
Here are some of the questions that came up most frequently:
- How much time do I need to road trip from point A to point B
- What exactly do I need to bring on my road trip?
- Do I need to pack XYZ items?
- How much will all this cost?
- Are road trips safe?
Think of the main problem your audience is trying to solve: Since my website is about planning road trips for beginners, I expect that the biggest problems will be where to go, what to do, and logistics. For someone new to this type of travel, overwhelm is a big issue.
What products or services do you want to launch in the future? I want to launch a coaching service where I help people plan custom road trips, so providing a resource for people who also want to plan a road trip makes sense here.
Questions like how much time it takes to get from Point A to Point B or how much a route costs will vary based on each trip, but a packing list feels like something helpful to everyone and it could reduce overwhelm.
Plus, I know that a person interested in a road trip packing list is probably in the planning stages, so they’re a potential customer for my future products.
I’m going to make a road trip packing list based on my experiences, but to give it some extra intrigue and make it stand out from the millions of other packing lists out there, I’m going to focus on 10 unexpected things that people should bring. This makes the list less overwhelming and piques curiosity since viewers will wonder what they’re missing.
11 easy lead magnet ideas (+ real creator examples)
Now that you have a topic for your lead magnet in mind, we need to decide on the delivery format. Lead magnets come in all shapes and sizes. There’s no right or wrong answer here. Whatever type of content comes most naturally to you and you enjoy making is perfect.
A printable lead magnet is a downloadable document that can be printed and used as a helpful resource or tool. Examples include printable planners, workbooks, goal-setting worksheets, or meal planning templates.
Joy Cho offers a free interactive workbook PDF for people who want to start a business or side hustle but don’t know where to start. This printable includes plenty of space for people to brainstorm business ideas around topics they’re good at and interested in.
A checklist lead magnet provides a step-by-step list of tasks to help subscribers achieve a specific goal or complete a process. This could be a pre-launch checklist for digital products, a website optimization checklist, a spring-cleaning checklist, or a social media content creation checklist.
Off-grid homesteaders and YouTubers Jonathan and Ashley Longnecker offer a free airstream renovation checklist as their lead magnet. They have paid products about other aspects of off-grid living, so it makes sense that someone looking for help with their airstream would also be interested in these topics down the road.
An ebook lead magnet is a digital book that provides valuable information, insights, or guidance on a specific topic. While an ebook is typically longer than a printable or checklist, it doesn’t need to be overly extensive.
Remember to keep your book focused on one actionable goal or outcome for your viewer, like an ebook with 10 email marketing best practices, a guide to creating your first bullet journal, or a resource for how to plant a summer garden.
Mark from Big Mountain Studio gives away an ebook about SwiftUI views, perfectly suited for his target audience of developers. His book gives prospective customers a taste of his teaching style since he offers more advanced ebooks around the same topic for sale.
#4 Video training
You can also use a video lead magnet to teach specific skills, share a tutorial, or share a replay of a training session. Remember, your video doesn’t need to be a full-scale production. You can start with something as simple as recording a slide presentation with a voiceover. ( Loom works great for this! It’s a free tool that lets you record your screen with a little circle showing your webcam at the same time.)
Photographer and Podia creator Meg Marie offers a free three-part video training about how to make more money and impact as a brand photographer . This ties in well with her other courses, products, and services as an educator and mentor for fellow photographers.
Course creation expert and Podia Pro Glen Long also uses a free video class as his lead magnet. His “ Online Course Sprint ” is a series of 5-minute videos about course creation hosted on Podia and dripped over four weeks.
If you need some video creation tips, make sure to check out these resources from our in-house video expert, Ben Toalson:
#5 Free course
Some creators give away free courses in exchange for their followers' email addresses, but if building a full-fledged course feels daunting, consider making a mini-course. A mini course is a condensed version of a larger course, offering bite-sized lessons or modules on a specific topic.
Podia creator and classical piano instructor Joseph D’Amico offers a free piano course so prospective students can experience his teaching style. This 19-lesson free course also saves him time because his students already have a foundational understanding of piano basics, so they can jump right in.
A webinar lead magnet is a live or pre-recorded online seminar around your niche topic. You could offer a webinar about building a personal brand, productivity hacks, or a question-and-answer session about a topic your audience is interested in.
Photographer and mentor Felicia Reed offers a webinar replay for her goal-setting workshop as a lead magnet. This session previously ran as a live webinar, but now new followers can still enjoy the valuable information.
Are you a spreadsheet whisperer? You can offer custom downloadable spreadsheet templates that help users organize data or track their progress toward a goal. For example, you could make a budgeting spreadsheet template, an editable content calendar, or a project management tracker spreadsheet.
Here are instructions for how to turn a Google Sheet spreadsheet into a sharable template that other people can use without editing the original file.
Little Fish Accounting, a CPA firm specializing in small business accounting, uses Podia to share their free income and expense spreadsheet as a lead magnet.
#8 Canva template
If you’d like to share another type of template with your audience, you can use Canva to create sharable templates like social media post graphics, slide decks, and brand kits. Here’s how you can share your design as a template link in Canva .
Podia Pro and course creator Emily Connors gives subscribers several freebies to choose from , including this digital download with free Canva reel templates. This free resource aligns with her paid Canva courses and programs about batching content creation, and the free Instagram reel templates demonstrate the quality of her work.
#9 Content templates
You can also offer other types of templates to your followers, like email templates, blog post outlines, and YouTube script templates. For example, business marketing strategist Eli Natoli offers her 13-part email launch sequence as a free template that followers can download.
#10 Community lead magnet
Give followers access to all or part of your community as a lead magnet. Podia’s community feature allows you to make free or paid tiers , so a free plan can be a great way to familiarize potential customers with your business and build connections.
Podia creator Emily Mills uses a free community as one of her lead magnets. She teaches sketchnote drawing and illustration, and her community is a space for people to improve their skills, get behind-the-scenes content, and connect with Emily and fellow sketchnoters. From here, she can let members know about new programs and courses via email and community updates.
#11 Free product bundles
Can’t decide what type of lead magnet to make? Try packaging your favorite ideas together into a enticing free product bundle. You could make a mini-course combined with an interactive workbook, a video packaged with free community access, or a set of ebooks around the same topic. You can even bundle together bits and pieces of your existing products to give followers a glimpse at what’s inside.
French teacher Marie Drouvin offers a kit for French language learners that includes a toolkit, resources, and two mini courses.
And Michelle Dale from Virtual Miss Friday created a bundle with a guide to getting clients, a 12-part video series, and 1nSourcing Kits to help online service-based businesses grow and scale.
Remember, the most important thing is that your lead magnet gives something of value to the reader, so the format you use likely won’t make or break your success.
If you’re unsure, go with whatever feels easiest for you. If you’re a YouTuber, make a free video training. If you love writing, start on that ebook. If you love social media, a set of stylish Canva templates works great.
In the next chapter, we’ll take your lead magnet from idea to reality.