last Updated 15 July 2020

Create Your First Lead Magnet in Less Than One Hour

A few days ago I wrote about what lead magnets are and why you should be using them to get more enquiries from your website. Today's post follows on from that and will explain how to create your first lead magnet.

What's It All About, Alfie?

The first step in creating a great lead magnet is to decide what it's going to be about and what you'll put in it. 

A lead magnet does not need to be a highly technical or in-depth document. Nor does it need to be a lengthy one. And it certainly shouldn't be a sales pitch.

Instead, you need to ensure that your lead magnet is about something that's relevant to your target audience and that it contains information that they will find useful and of value.

With that in mind, the best lead magnets tend to be the ones which provide the reader with some simple tips and strategies which will help them solve a specific problem or challenge they're facing.

When I'm working with clients to help them create an effective lead magnet, I take them through a three step process to decide what their lead magnet should be about.


how to create a lead magnet - Create Your First Lead Magnet in Less Than One Hour

Step 1 - Who is your lead magnet for? 

Your lead magnet should be written for your ideal client. So, what sort of person is your ideal client? What's their occupation? How old are they? How long have they worked in this industry? Do they run their own business or are they employed? What sort of organisation do they work for? Are they a junior member of staff or a senior manager? What do they do to relax?

By answering these sorts of questions you will be creating what's known as a customer persona

If you want to know more about this, my friend Rob Da Costa has some great resources for defining customer personas.


how to create a lead magnet - Create Your First Lead Magnet in Less Than One Hour

Step 2 - What keeps them awake at night? 

Having worked out who your lead magnet is aimed at, you need to think about their pain points. What is their biggest challenge likely to be? What stresses them out? What holds them back in their business/job?

What do they want to achieve? Do they want to earn more money? Get more clients? Lose weight? Be a better boss? Have more free time?

Once you've figured this out, you'll now know what your lead magnet is going to be about. It's going to contain tips and advice on how your ideal customer can fix their biggest challenge and achieve their desired outcome.

Here's an example from an IFA I worked with recently. Her ideal customer turned out to be a 40 year old married business owner with children who's worried about whether he'll ever be able to afford to retire.

So the title we settled on for her lead magnet was:

5 Ways Your Business Can Fund Your Retirement

(and let you stop work earlier than you might think)

The key ingredients that make this a good title are:

  • 5 Ways - studies have shown that using numbers in titles/headlines increases engagement and that odd numbers are better than even ones
  • Fund Your Retirement - this bit addresses the pain point of our target client, who is worried he won't be able to afford to retire
  • The bit in brackets - this is the added bonus where we're not just going to solve your problem (i.e. fix the negative thing) but we're going to give you a highly desirable positive outcome on top of that


how to create a lead magnet - Create Your First Lead Magnet in Less Than One Hour

Step 3 - What solutions will you provide? 

Hopefully you'll be able to think of plenty of advice you can provide in your lead magnet to make sure it delivers on its promises. If not, you've probably picked the wrong title!

When deciding what to include and how to structure your content, there are two approaches you can take.

The first option is to create a lead magnet where 100% of the content is related to the services or products you sell. 

For example, one of my own lead magnets is an ebook called 7 Simple Steps for a Successful Google Ads Campaign. Everything in the lead magnet is related to a service I provide (Google Ads management) but its purpose is to show people how to do it for themselves. And without being salesy, of course.

The second option is to create a lead magnet where you offer various solutions to a problem, some of which are related to things your business provides and some of which are not. 

For example, I have a lead magnet which is aimed at mortgage brokers and is called 7 Ways to Generate More Mortgage Leads and Double Your Profits Within a Year. A few of the lead generating ideas in that guide are things that I help my clients with - such as driving more traffic to your website with Google Ads and creating a strong value proposition to use on your website. But the majority of the seven ways to generate more leads (e.g. join a business networking group) are nothing to do with any services that I sell.

Whichever of these two approaches you choose, don't get too hung up on trying to make the content too complicated. Remember, what might seem obvious to you as the expert in your field is not necessarily obvious to your ideal customer - so don't underestimate the value of what may seem to you like a fairly simple piece of advice.

Choose a Format

Once you've decided on a title and content for your lead magnet, there are various formats you can use to deliver it, such as:

  • a PDF guide/ebook
  • a PDF checklist
  • a webinar
  • an online course

If you're looking for inspiration, you can find examples of most of these on my free resources page.

As this article is aimed at people who are creating a lead magnet for the first time, I'm going to focus purely on how to create a downloadable PDF guide as that's generally the easiest one to get started with.

how to create a lead magnet - Create Your First Lead Magnet in Less Than One Hour

Creating a PDF Lead Magnet

The first thing to do is to write down the heading for each of the tips/steps you're going to cover in your lead magnet.

Then, open up Word (or similar) and write a couple of paragraphs to explain each of those points. If you are someone who already blogs or who has written articles before, you may well find you have existing content that you can re-purpose to make up some or all of your new lead magnet.

Don't feel you need to go into lots of detail on each of the points in your lead magnet. By keeping it simple at this stage it allows scope for you to dive into more detail in your follow up emails (which we'll talk about later).

You're writing a lead magnet, not War and Peace, so if it ends up only being two or three pages long then that's absolutely fine. The last lead magnet I wrote was just under 1,300 words.

Ideally your content should end with a call to action. Tell people what you want them to do next and where they can find out more information.

Maybe you want them to attend a seminar or a webinar you're running. Or perhaps you want them to book a phone call or a meeting with you. You might have a paid-for product you want to offer them now they have had your free lead magnet. 

Whatever it is, tell them what they should do now and provide a button or link they can click to take that next step.

Now that your content is written, don't forget to spellcheck and proof-read it. Better still, ask someone else to do that for you and tell you if any of your content is unclear.

The final step is to convert the document to a PDF. The simplest option here is just to save it as a PDF from Word, preferably after having formatted the document nicely and perhaps added some images to break things up a bit.

Ideally, though, you should try to make your PDF look a bit more polished and professional.

Adding a cover page with a clear title and an eye-catching image can make a big difference. Even if, like me, you're no graphic designer, there are lots of online tools such as Canva, Pablo (a personal favourite), or Picmonkey which can help make the job easier, and many of these tools are available for free.

If you want to go up a level, there are tools which are specifically designed to take an ordinary document and turn it into an attractive ebook style PDF. The one I often use myself is Designrr. You can find out more about how it works and why I recommend it in this Designrr review.

The final option is to pay someone to design the PDF for you. This doesn't have to be expensive. Take a look on Fiverr and search for ebook design and you'll be presented with plenty of options for getting a professional looking PDF created for around £10.

how to create a lead magnet - Create Your First Lead Magnet in Less Than One Hour

Launch Your Lead Magnet

Congratulations! If you've got this far you now have your first lead magnet ready and waiting to help you get more leads or sales from your website.

The final piece of the jigsaw is to get the PDF uploaded to your website and provide a way for people to download it in return for providing their name and email address.

The reason you want to get their email is so as you can keep in touch with them once they've received your lead magnet.

I'll cover all this in the final instalment of this article.

Meanwhile, I'd love to hear your feedback on what we've talked about so far. Or if you've got any questions about making your own lead magnet I'd be happy to help. Just leave a comment or question in the box below and I'll get back to you.

About the author 

David Miles

As a digital marketing consultant, author and trainer, I specialise in helping businesses in the financial services sector use the internet to get more enquiries and increase profits.

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  • Great Article! The information you have mentioned in this article are impressive, helpful to those people who are looking for Lead Magnet Websites. Thanks for sharing!

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