The Dangers of Relying on Social Media
One thing that I say to my clients over and over again is how important it is for them to be building up their own email list. And countless clients come back to me with, “Jennie, I don’t need an email list. I have thousands of followers on Facebook!” So many people focus solely on building their social media following. They end up forgetting that they don’t actually OWN their followers. You’re at the mercy of Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram. If something happens, you’re out of luck.
That is exactly what happened to me last week. I logged onto my Facebook account, only to discover that every single one of my posts over the last nine months was gone. Deleted! ERASED! To say that I felt sick to my stomach would be an understatement. All of that content, the time and effort I put into it, poof.
Of course, I immediately contacted Facebook, and they told me that it was a “bug” that wasn’t just affecting me, but many other accounts on the platform. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything they could do to restore my posts, but they are still working on resolving the “problem!” Well, gee, thanks!
Now, the happy ending to this story is that they did end up recovering the posts for me. But for several days there, I had a 10 year old Facebook business page that was empty! The only reason I didn’t entirely panic is that I knew that I had a massive email list that was MINE. Even if Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram suddenly vanished one morning, I would still have a way to get in contact with my clients. So believe me when I say that having a robust email list isn’t an option, it’s a necessity!
The tricky part, of course, is building that list. Unlike Facebook, people won’t just “follow” your newsletter. They need to freely add their email to the list. That’s why I’ve found that hands-down, the best way to build your email list (and thus, your business) is by creating lead magnets. These are substantial pieces of content that provide your clients with genuinely valuable information.
“But Jennie,” you might ask, “How am I going to make money by giving stuff away for free? Here’s how…
Why You Should Create Free Content
When most clients find you online, they aren’t ready to buy from you on day one. Like with all customers, they need to warm up a bit and get to know you better. They want to make sure that you’re someone who a) is trustworthy, b) is knowledgeable, and c) they genuinely like.
In-person, that might not be a difficult task as you can speak to them directly. It’s a bit more complicated when you’re online. So, you need to find ways to connect and prove yourself to them. Some strategies include writing a weekly blog, recording a podcast, holding a webinar, or (my favorite) giving away a lead magnet to funnel them into your product offerings.
A lead magnet funnel will give them the time they need to get to know, like and trust you. Generally, you should ask yourself three questions when creating a lead magnet.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
- What do I currently, or want to, sell?
- What does my ICA need to believe to purchase my product or services?
- Which type of lead magnet will fully align with my product or service that I want to sell?
The bottom line is this: a lead magnet should give potential customers a small win and a sense of accomplishment. By doing so, they will want more, and so will happily enter into your funnel to your landing pages!
Examples of Lead Magnet Funnels
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I had a TON of lead magnets on my website.
That’s for two reasons. One, I truly believe in them. And two, I offer dozens of different services. One of the reasons why I’ve been so successful as a virtual assistant and digital marketer is because I routinely give my customers a helping hand for free. If I can prove that my knowledge and experience are valuable to them in a small way, they will know that I can also help them with larger products that will directly impact their business’s overall health.
Let’s take a look at a few of my most popular lead funnels to see what I mean.
As a virtual assistant, I am continually fielding this question from potential clients: What IS a virtual assistant?
Simply put, a VA is just like a “real” assistant who can take care of any number of your daily tasks. The only difference is that they work remotely.
Not only is this ideal in the world today, but it can be a remarkable way to save money while still getting the massive boost in productivity that comes with having an assistant. It pays to have someone who can take all of the small tasks off your plate so you can focus on the big picture of your business.
The Trick Is…
The trick is that many people don’t quite know how a virtual assistant could save them time and money. That’s the purpose of this lead magnet. It lays out exactly what a virtual team looks like, how it works, and what’s in it for them. A lead magnet gives them actionable things that they can put into practice immediately, therefore, giving their business a boost. It also leads them into my virtual assistant funnel and gets me their email address for my newsletter! Win-win!
It’s the same situation with the next lead magnet…
I’m a big believer in writing a business plan every January. It not only gives me a way to organize my thoughts, ambitions, goals, and struggles for the year, but it also gives me a roadmap that can help to keep me on track. Obviously, a business plan can change due to unforeseen circumstances, but it still provides a decent framework for your small business’ future.
Writing one, however, can be difficult. Many people have vague ideas about what they want for their business but can’t put them into words. That’s why my Business Plan opt-in is so valuable to them. It gives them a framework to give their thoughts some shape. It’s actionable, inspiring, and gets them thinking about the future! And if they put together a great business plan using this, they might start thinking, “Hm, I wonder how else she could help me at my business…”
Bringing on a new client should be a time of celebration, but it’s often just a ton of work. You need to send out emails, get contracts signed, figure out the services they want, and much more. It’s a major time-sink.
That’s why this opt-in is so valuable to business owners. It shows them a way they can save massive amounts of time in the future! The advantage for me? It’s that if they won’t want to do the work of setting up their automated client onboarding themselves. They will likely ask me to do it for them! Again, win-win. I even did a podcast episode on the subject!
Of course, these are MY lead magnets. Here is one of the most effective that I’ve created for my clients…
This one is a little different than mine but, boy oh boy, is it effective!
When I was working with her, Laurie wanted a simple quiz that she could offer site visitors to figure out what is causing the clutter in their lives. The result was not quite a downloadable “opt-in,” but it is certainly a lead magnet! Not only is it informative, but it’s also fun and interactive! If you want to take the test yourself, just head to her homepage and a popup featuring it will appear.
Laurie’s business is to help her clients deal with the clutter in their lives. Most people have some kind of clutter, whether it be a disorganized basement, messy kids’ rooms, or just way too much stuff. This quiz perfectly sums up her business, giving her visitors a “win” to get them started organizing their lives. If they want to continue down the path she started them on, they should give her a call!
Those Are the Lead Magnets, But What About the Funnel?
Ok, so you now understand how lead magnets can grow your email list, prove that you’re an expert in your field, and give potential clients a small win. But how does all that help get them into your funnel?
Well, first, there is the obvious. If they read about a product or service that they love in one of your lead magnets, they sign up for it and ta-da they are on your email list. Now, it’s time to nurture them through a nurture sequence, a series of emails that go out to your subscribers who sign up for your core lead magnet.
Goal of a Nurture Sequence
The goal of a nurture sequence is to give your audience more time to get to know, like and trust you. It extends the value of your freebie. It also gives you time to dive a bit deeper into the challenge that motivated your ideal customer avatar to sign up for your freebie in the first place! Most people won’t be ready to buy as soon as they learn about your product or service. A nurture sequence gives them that warming up period that is necessary to get them to convert. With each nurturing email that you send out, you are creating an experience. You want them to see exactly where they can go if they decide to work with you!
So, What Did We Learn?
Let’s review what we learned:
- You should never rely on social media followers because you don’t “own” them.
- Building an email list is the best way to keep in contact with clients.
- The best way to build that list is by creating lead magnets.
- Lead magnets are free pieces of content that give your customers a quick “win.”
- It will build trust with you, as you can show off that you’re an expert in your field through the lead magnet’s content.
- Check out other people’s lead magnets to learn how to create your own.
- Ideas or services found within your lead magnet will drive them to your funnel.
- You can and should use your email list to nurture potential leads.
So, are you convinced that you should be creating some lead magnets of your own? Well, I can help! All you need to do is download How to Identify Your Core Lead Magnet workbook. It walks you through all of the questions you should ask yourself to identify the best lead magnet for your ideal customer avatar. And if you don’t have the time to work on it yourself… Well, that’s why I’m here! You can grab it here!
How We Can Help
If you’re curious about checking out some more lead magnets to see how they work, you can find a ton of them on my website here. Remember, they are all free to download!
I hope you found this information helpful and it inspires you to take that next step to create a lead magnet to fill your email list with a raving audience!
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