The Best Lead Magnet for Freelance Copywriters
Recently, a copywriter asked me what types of lead magnets are working well to promote copywriting services.
Let me begin by describing what a lead magnet is.
A lead magnet is something special that you offer on your website or in your other marketing that gets prospects interested in your services and willing to give you their name and email address. Your lead magnet could be just about anything of value.
But typically, what most people think of as a lead magnet is a content piece like a white paper, tip sheet, or another type of content offered to get a prospect’s information (a lead).
You’ve probably seen these before when you visited websites and there's an offer for a free report. Perhaps the topic of the free report was so enticing to you that you went ahead and clicked. You then filled out a form, giving your name and email address.
You were rewarded by a free download of the report. Afterwards, you started to get follow-up emails from that company. You became a lead.
Well, you can do that in your own business as a copywriter.
You can create a lead magnet to get marketing directors, business owners, or whomever you’re targeting with your marketing interested in your copywriting services. That's a lead magnet.
It sometimes goes by different names. It used to be called the freemium. In my book that I co-wrote a few years ago called The Wealthy Freelancer, I called it a buzz piece. The most common name in the B2B world now is lead magnet.
Now, how do you use a lead magnet?
Well, I just gave you one example. The most common way to use a lead magnet is on your website. But you can also use it in other ways as well. You can use it in email prospecting when you’re reaching out to potential prospects via email or even telephone.
You can use a lead magnet as an offer. You can contact companies and offer them your free white paper, e-book, tip sheet, or whatever lead magnet you've created for your business.
You can also use it in your advertising or when you’re networking. You can offer to send the prospect a copy of your lead magnet.
You don’t say, "Hey, would you like a copy of my lead magnet?" You can say, "I have a special report on this topic that you might be interested in. May I send it to you?" So you can use a lead magnet in so many different ways. It’s a versatile tool in your marketing.
Now, back to the original question: What type of lead magnets are working well for B2B writers and copywriters?
To begin with, before getting into the specific format, it’s important to start with the content. What content would work well?
Two criteria your lead magnet content must meet
The content is critical. It must satisfy two criteria or your lead magnet will not work. So here they are.
First, it must be of high interest to your prospects. The content has to be so irresistible that it stands out in the sea of information. It should be something they want to download and look at it right away. If it's not of high interest to them, you're just not going to get their attention.
Second, your content also has to position you as the go-to copywriter to call. It should establish your expertise as a B2B copywriter.
Let me give you some examples. Let's say you were to write a white paper on how to get low-cost vacations in the Bahamas. Now, would that be of high interest to your prospects? It might be. Who wouldn’t want a low-cost vacation in the Bahamas?
But would it position you as a go-to copywriter to call? Of course it wouldn’t. It wouldn’t at all because a low-cost vacation in the Bahamas has nothing to do with your copywriting. So it wouldn’t meet those two criteria.
Now, let me give you another example. If you wrote a tip sheet called "Five Copywriting Tips that Work," would that be of high interest to your prospects?
Be careful now. The answer is no because that topic is so general, so fluffy, so common that prospects are not going to be motivated to fill out a form on your website or request it. It’s just too general to work.
So, it satisfies the second criteria, but not the first. You’ve got to satisfy both criteria.
Let me give you an example of a special report that does satisfy both. This is a real one by a copywriter named Sally Jones. She wanted to get more case study work because she's an excellent case study writer.
So she identified the number one problem her prospects have with case studies is getting their customers to agree to participate in a case study to begin with. That can be difficult for marketing directors. So she wrote a special report called "Nine Powerful Strategies to Get Customers to Say Yes to Case Studies."
Now, does that satisfy the first criteria? Is that of high interest to her prospects? Yes, because that's a big problem her target audience has, getting their customers to agree to participate. So, yes, that's very high interest to her prospects.
Does that report position Sally Jones as a go-to copywriter for case studies? Absolutely, because she wrote the report solving their biggest problem.
So that’s a great example of choosing the right content because it satisfies those two criteria. It’s of high interest to the prospects you’re targeting. It’s irresistible to them. And it positions you as a go-to copywriter to call. So whatever format your lead magnet takes, it must satisfy those two criteria.
Okay. So now let's say you've nailed the content and you know the topic. What format should it take?
Popular lead magnet formats for copywriters
There are many options. You can do a long white paper. You can do a shorter e-book or a special report. You can do a one-page infographic.
What works the best?
Well, let me give you my opinion on this because there's no hard-and-fast rule to this. But in my opinion, the five-page special report is best. That’s a cover plus five pages of content.
A five-page special report is long enough to be meaty and meaningful, but short enough to be relatively easy to write.
And it’s long enough to show off your great writing because it’s also a portfolio sample. So I like the five-page special report format because it's manageable and works well for copywriters.
But there are other types of formats you can use. For example, you can create an infographic — a combination of images, charts, graphics, and words. If you’re unfamiliar with infographics, just do an online search. You'll find plenty of examples.
The thing about infographics as a format is that they have kind of a buzz factor to them. Even though the internet is loaded with infographics, people are still interested in them. They're so visual that they get shared often. in fact, it’s one of the most shared type of content on the internet.
If you do use an infographic, make sure it’s visually appealing. You may have to partner up with a graphic designer and get it professionally designed.
Another format that works well is the checklist. You can have a checklist for a successful email campaign, an effectively written website, or for writing about your company brand. You can come up with a checklist for just about anything.
And if it's a practical and useful checklist, then your target audience may be very interested in it. The nice thing about a checklist is that it’s relatively easy to create. But again, just like the infographic, when you do create it, don’t just have a Word document or a simple-looking PDF. Dress it up with a nice design. Make it look good, because it represents you.
So those are the three formats I think that work well: a five-page special report, the infographic, the checklist. There are other formats too. You can do templates. You can do a self-scoring needs assessment. You can do a bundle of articles. You can do a tip sheet.
But those first three are the ones I find work well. And my favorite is the five-page special report simply because it gives you an opportunity to showcase your writing, which is very important.
So I hope those tips help you in creating a lead magnet that will generate leads for your writing business. Although it seems like everybody uses them, they still work very, very well.
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