On this week’s Writing Momentum podcast, Chris and Gena talk about one of the most essential elements for an author’s website: The Lead Magnet. In this episode they talk about what a lead magnet is, why you need one, what a lead magnet is NOT, examples of lead magnets and how to deploy one. It’s a lead magnet fiesta!
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Episode 35 transcription:
[00:00:13].820] - Chris Welcome to the Writing Momentum podcast. My name is Christopher Maselli, and I'm here with my wife, Gena. How's it going today, Gena? [00:00:19].810] - Gena It's going great. [00:00:20].980] - Chris All right. Today in the podcast, we're going to jump right into it because we're going to talk about this is something that we really both believe strongly in and that you need on your website. You actually also need this at writer's conference tables. Anywhere you go with an author, you need to have what's called a lead magnet. So we're going to talk about lead magnets for authors. A lead magnet is really what it sounds like. It's a magnet for getting leads, right. It's a way to say, I want to get leads for my business, and I want to have something that draws them to me like a magnet, right? [00:00:57].200] - Gena Yeah. It's a way to capture names onto your mailing list. [00:01:02].450] - Chris Why do they want to do that? [00:01:04].080] - Gena Your mailing list? Okay, so here's the thing about one about lead magnets for writers is as a writer, and if you listen to Chris and I talk about the podcast or talk on this podcast for any length of time, you will hear us say that as a writer, as an author, you are your marketing department. You are your biggest, most enthusiastic marketing department. I don't care if you are independently published or traditionally published. You have to be your biggest advocate. That what you are promoting fiction, nonfiction, children, whatever, that you are your biggest advertiser or your biggest advertiser, your biggest marketer, you are the person who is promoting that. So as a writer and as an author, what you need to do is go ahead and collect names of people who are on board with your message, people who believe that what you're saying is important and they're in it. They're in it with you. They believe in what you're saying. And you may be out there feeling like nobody's in it with me. Who am I going to talk to? I don't care how niche your market is. You have an audience. You just have to find them. [00:02:29].120] - Gena And part of the way you find them is through these lead magnets. And this is a way, as you collect these names, you then can start emailing these people with your email or your newsletter. You can start sending a newsletter once a week and start conversing with these people and developing a relationship with them. Now, why this is so important for you is because who owns that newsletter? You do. If you are on any of the social media platforms, and I hope you are, I hope you are on at least one of them, that you are promoting yourself as a writer on those different platforms. But all those platforms are owned by other people. That means if you inadvertently trip some wire somewhere, making them angry at something, you've done. And believe me, there's no live person out there looking at your stuff. This is all computer generated. They can close you down. They can close you down and kick you off. But your newsletter, that's yours, you own that. All those names that come in, people who say, yeah, I love what this person has to say, you own that list, and so the sky is the limit and no one can take that away from you. [00:03:50].210] - Gena I feel so passionately about that. Can you tell? But I feel so passionately about that because everybody can start a newsletter. And I don't care if you start with five people or 20 people or 100 people, it doesn't matter. You can start a newsletter. And one of the biggest ways that you get people on your newsletter is with this lead magnet. [00:04:10].740] - Chris Yeah. The newsletter is important because it's really about building a relationship. That's what marketing is today. Marketing is about building a relationship with your audience. And having a good newsletter allows you, over time, to build trust and to get a relationship going. Now, the reason you want to have what's called a lead magnet is because people generally won't just sign up for a newsletter. They see that link where they have to put in their email to get a newsletter and they think, I'm going to get spam. Right. So to combat that, what you do is you give them something that's quickly consumable in exchange for their email address, and that's called a lead magnet. And then that allows you to start building a relationship. [00:04:57].890] - Gena So we wanted to go today over a few different examples of lead magnets to give you some ideas of what you can do, and you may come up with something totally different. That's totally fine. [00:05:10].740] - Chris Yeah. And keep in mind that when we say a lead magnet, this is something that's quickly consumable, usually in five minutes or less. This is not a full online course that you're giving away or something like that. It's something quickly consumable. So knowing that, what's a good example of a lead magnet? [00:05:28].110] - Gena So a good example of a lead magnet is a downloadable PDF. If you've been to our website, we have created a downloadable PDF. [00:05:37].940] - Chris It's a poster. go to writingmomentum.com, and you can download this poster that shares with you seven strategic steps to have writing momentum. And you can hang it up on your wallet and it will remind you every day about how to have writing momentum. But it's just a downloadable PDF, and people love that sort of thing. [00:05:57].970] - Gena Well, and it's valuable to these lead magnets that we're talking about. This is of value to people. It is worth them exchanging their email address for whatever it is that you're giving away. [00:06:10].100] - Chris That's right. That's just valuable. So it could also be like a checklist for something. If you're writing a nonfiction book, you may have a checklist of steps that people can go through. Or if you're writing fiction, one of the things that I like to do is something like a short story. So for a while, one of our lead magnets was the ability for you to download a five minute short story that you can read to your kids at night. And then after they did that, it would eventually lead to where we say, hey, we got books about this and that sort of thing with a bunch of short stories and short mysteries. But a short story like that is a good one. It just needs to be short, right? Just a few pages, ten pages maybe at most. Almost like a chapter of a book, but not much more than that. Otherwise you're getting into ebooks territory, which is just way too much. [00:06:58].460] - Gena So what is not a good lead magnet? [00:07:00].950] - Chris Chris well, like I just said, don't do a full on ebook. If you have something that takes people a long time to consume, it's way too easy for them to forget to come back. Right. What you're trying to do with that lead magnet is to get their attention so that they consume it, and then they're wanting to hear more from you, right? So you want them to hear more. A full ebook is something that could take them. I'm talking about like, it's 100 pages. I know people who've given away books, right? You do that, it's way too much for them to consume. The other thing, as I mentioned earlier, you don't want to say, hey, sign up here for my newsletter. No one wants to do that because no one wants spam, so don't do that. Make sure it's something that they can download, use, and move on. [00:07:47].060] - Gena So just an idea for the fiction writers out there, because I have seen people give away their books. They'll give away the first book in their series, which is fine. But I mean, again, how many of us have downloaded free books and then they just sit on our Kindle and we never get to them? [00:08:03].450] - Chris That's exactly why. [00:08:04].340] - Gena So instead, I would recommend even maybe a novella or a short story. And what you could do is, if you do have the beginning of a series, look at maybe one of your side characters and maybe you write a short story about their backstory or something that's happening in their life that's going on parallel to what's happening in your book and the timeline of your book. So just some ideas of ways to bring it out, maybe make it more personal. I even think for some of you who have fiction writing, if you have a character who loves to bake, maybe you give away a free recipe or something like that, or a series of recipes. [00:08:49].440] - Chris We have a friend of ours who gives away a recipe to get you interested in her books. We also have we know people who will give away a five minute video, right. Do you have a question about this or that? I'm going to share with you my five minute video that provides the answer and then they just send them the link. Let's talk about that next. How do you get a lead magnet to a person? How do you set all of that up? [00:09:13].160] - Gena Right, right. [00:09:14].130] - Chris So essentially it's actually pretty easy today because you can do the entire thing pretty much through email. So if you have an email provider, we recommend like MailerLite. They're a good email provider and they're free for the first thousand people you have on your list. So it's a nice easy way to get into using an email provider. Well, when you sign up with them, they will give you a little snippet of code that you put on your website and that allows you to collect someone's email so you can put with that snippet code the words enter your email here to get my free ebook. Right, like we said, novella. And then when they put in their email, what it does is it allows you to create an email in MailerLite that automatically goes to their inbox. And when they receive that in that email, you can have attached your novella or you can have a link to a video or whatever you want. And that's pretty much all you have to do, just have a way to deliver whatever you promised you deliver and you're good to go. [00:10:14].260] - Gena Before we go though, we were talking about we gave some ideas of what to do for fiction because I feel like sometimes people, when it comes to fiction, they're like, I don't know what to do with that. I don't want to give away my full book that I've just spent six months writing, but what can I do? So we've set like a short story or maybe a recipe, or even if you've got somebody in your book who is a knitter, maybe you give away a knitting pattern or something like that, or a craft or something like that. What would you do for a nonfiction? Chris, let's get some ideas for ways people will do this. For nonfiction. [00:10:52].300] - Chris You do the checklist, you could do the video, you can do any of those things. [00:10:56].620] - Gena Well, okay, so given an idea, say you're a financial planner and you're wanting to write, you've written a book on financial planning, maybe you have five healthy habits of a future retiree or something like that. Or you do. [00:11:16].830] - Chris Five ways you can save money today, right? That would be great. And that could be a video format, it could be in a checklist, it could be just a PDF with a list, anything like that. Yeah, just something that gets people going. Oh, I think I want to know that. How can I start saving today, find that pain point, and then create a quick downloadable item that will give them that little bit of information. [00:11:38].190] - Gena And I would even say kind of what I call, like, the Cosmo questionnaire. It's the Cosmo Questionnaire how to tell if you're someone who's in financial trouble. Here's five questions. If you answered yes to three or more of these five questions, then here's what you should consider doing. Or something like that. So we're just giving you some ideas because we don't want to leave you with just kind of an ethereal idea. We want to give you something practical. So, yeah, think about that. I would even say if you are a nonfiction writer, think about what you would start with or what you would do, like a 1 hour seminar. If you were doing a 1 hour seminar on whatever your topic is, what would be in that seminar? What would be the points that you would include in that seminar? [00:12:32].470] - Chris Yeah, that's good. And sometimes we always like to say, like, if you're doing nonfiction, if your book contains ten things that you're sharing, give one of those away as your lead magnet. Right? Just to give away that idea, and that will go a long way. [00:12:47].380] - Gena That's great. [00:12:48].200] - Chris All right, well, we hope you're creating your lead magnet. If you do, let us know what it is. We love to look at people's lead magnets and see what everyone's offering out there. See what other authors are doing. So send those to us. Just go to writingmomentum.Com. While you're there, feel free to download our lead magnet. Check out Writing Moments, which is where we write with other authors every Wednesday, and we'd love to have you there. Meanwhile, if you would please rate, review, subscribe, and share this podcast with someone you love. And let's just help everyone have Writing Momentum. Bye bye.