So many agency owners come to me with the same problem. They spend all of their time on client work and don’t have enough time to market their own agency. This dilemma caused The Campfire Circle to be born, as it’s an agency for agencies.
When I generate leads for my clients or when I’m coaching agencies on lead gen, I always start with a lead magnet. Lead magnets help your agency stand out in a crowded space, as agencies are a dime a dozen, and there is so much competition right now.
With 61% of agencies reporting that lead gen is their number one biggest challenge, chances are, your agency probably needs more qualified leads, and this can be accomplished through a strategic lead magnet.
This guide will take you through everything you need to know about lead magnets so that by the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and strategy needed for you to scale your lead gen efforts and generate the RIGHT leads.
What Is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is an asset housed on a landing page that offers something valuable enough for potential clients to fill out a lead capture form. This can be a variety of things like downloadable content or a webinar–we will list other types of lead magnets later in this post.
Lead magnets leverage thought leadership to draw in an audience and generate quality leads for your agency. A lead magnet is a free resource and should speak to the pain points of your target audience.
How Lead Magnets Grow Agencies
As the name suggests, lead magnets provide magnetism to entice your target audience to fill out the lead capture form.
Once the leads are generated, you can then nurture them through email marketing sequences. This part is really important as agencies that utilize email marketing to convert leads see 77% more leads convert compared to agencies that don’t use email marketing to nurture leads.
Aside from lead gen, lead magnets also provide thought leadership which builds trust with your audience. Lead magnets can be evergreen and continuously generate leads for your agency.
Identifying a Topic That Will Land You Qualified Leads
The topic of the lead magnet should be well thought out. Spend time with your buyer personas and identify a topic that will resonate with them. That way, when someone fills out your lead capture form, they’re showing an affinity for the topic you leverage for your agency which makes them a qualified lead.
You can also survey your audience (I use Google Forms as it’s so simple). Ask about their pain points, find out topics they’re craving, learn what made them want to work with your agency in the first place, and have them weigh in on how they came across your agency. The answers to questions like these will help you identify a topic for your lead magnet that resonates with your audience.
You can even ask your audience what type of information they would like to see. In a minute, we are going to explore 8 types of lead magnets, and you can include them in your survey while you’re identifying the right topic for your lead magnet.
Finding a topic for your lead magnet should include an audit of content your agency has already published. Even social media content. Identify the performance of your past years’ worth of content and see which topics got the most engagement–so easy but a great way to uncover a lead magnet topic that will work.
The Landing Page is Your Campaign Hub
Once your lead magnet is ready (or maybe in the hands of a designer), it needs a landing page. If you feel comfortable creating a landing page, that’s great. But a lot of agency owners aren’t designers, ahem, I’ve designed some pretty bad graphics when I first started out, so now I contract designers.
Write compelling copy for your landing page. Tease your audience with intriguing snippets from your lead magnet. You’ll also add your lead capture form. This should contain enough fields for you to segment your new leads but not too many fields that your audience doesn’t want to spend time filling out. If you’re going after a certain budget, you can add a field for desired marketing budget or company revenue. To keep it short, include your budget field, a field for their name, and their work email address. You can set up the form so that potential clients have to use their work email addresses so that you know which brand they are coming from.
Once your landing page is live, you need to set up a flow. Do you want them to download the asset straight from the landing page, or do you want to email it to them? You also should set up a message that goes out immediately after someone fills out your lead capture form. This should be friendly and simple and introduce your agency to them, not make a sale quite yet.
When your landing page has the assets all set up, you will use this landing page as the hub for all of your lead magnet promotion efforts. More on that in a bit.
As with all of your marketing efforts, your landing page will need a CTA. This should be to sign up for something or download your asset. However, it doesn’t hurt to have a secondary CTA for things like “check out our website” or “follow us on social.”
8 Effective Lead Magnets to Try
There are a plethora of lead magnets to choose from. My recommendation is that you try a few, see what resonates, and scale accordingly. Here are 8 lead magnets that I’ve seen that help agencies generate more leads.
1. An industry report: Survey your target audience or your client’s target audience and compile some data. Use the data you gather to create an industry report that speaks to your target audience. If you don’t have enough contacts to survey, I use PollFish. Industry reports are easy to promote because both potential clients and relevant publications love new data, so this type of content tends to get a lot of coverage.
2. An eBook: You’ve identified the right topics to reach the right clients, so take what you know about their pain points and write an eBook that addresses those pain points. If you don’t think you’re a strong enough writer, you can always hire a writer on UpWork. Once the copy is written, you’ll need to give it to a designer or design it yourself. Apps like Canva make it easier than ever to design your own eBook.
Example: eMarketing Institute
3. A webinar: Webinars are great for thought leadership, engagement, and of course, generating leads. Choose a topic you know that would intrigue and entice your target audience. If you feel comfortable speaking, great. If you don’t, you can recruit an industry thought leader to present at your webinar. Be sure to include all the details on the landing page, such as date and time, so that people can see if it fits into their schedules. When I’m writing copy for webinar landing pages, I add the verbiage “Even if you’re busy on this day, sign up anyway as we will be sending out the recording” so that I gain as many leads as possible.
Example: Dan Institute
4. Checklists: These are extremely easy to create. Identify a common process or strategy that your target brands experience. For agencies, thought leadership content like checklists revolve around marketing and PR. Examples of checklists that agencies publish hit on topics such as the succinct steps in running a certain kind of campaign or a checklist for growing their social media presence, you get the gist. Keep in mind that brands are going to download it, and many will want to print it out because checklists are so valuable, so be sure to keep your checklist in a one-page PDF file.
5. Email courses: Educating brands on services your agency offers and how they can thrive with such strategies builds trust in your agency, and people who trust your agency are much more likely to convert. Decide which topics you want to cover in your email courses and how your audience can get value. Create a landing page where your target audience can sign up for your course. Then, create 10 thought leadership emails with valuable resources that get sent every day for 10 days after someone signs up. I use HubSpot, but all marketing automation platforms make scheduling emails for a course a breeze.
Example: Great Learning
6. Workbooks and worksheets: These types of lead magnets are educational resources. Beautifully designed so that brands can fill them out or print them out and write down their ideas, workbooks and worksheets help your audience organize their thoughts and discover actionable insights. You can do fill-in-the-blanks, multiple choice, etc. The goal is for your audience to better understand a certain marketing and PR strategy. These worksheets can also be leveraged when your agency is onboarding a new client.
7. Special offers: Choose something that your agency excels at and offer it for free for people who sign up. Often this looks like a free social media or SEO audit or a free consultation for a brand’s marketing strategy. The goal is to attract your target audience to something that adds value to them and your agency. Doing free audits and consultations turns leads into clients because it’s a way to showcase your agency’s value.
Example: Search Pros
8. Case studies: I love case studies as lead magnets because they are bottom of the funnel, and if someone downloads one of your case studies, they’re going to find social proof about your agency’s talent. So, leads generated from case studies tend to convert at a higher rate than other types of lead magnets.
Example: Rossman Media
As you probably noticed, these lead magnets require excellent copywriting. If you think you have what it takes to write copy at your agency but want to sharpen your skills, check out this post on how marketers can be better writers.
Promoting Your Lead Magnet
You can create an incredible lead magnet brimming with valuable information and demonstrating actionable insights, but if no one reads it, what’s the point?
So just like any asset your agency develops, you need to promote your lead magnet like crazy. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Share it organically on your agency’s social channels
- Leverage paid ads for more visibility (I’ve had the most luck with LinkedIn)
- Email it out to all of your contacts and ask them to share it with their colleagues and on social
- Write guest posts for like-minded publications and link back to your lead magnet
- Post it in industry Facebook and LinkedIn groups that you are part of
- Partner with influencers who can share it with their large audiences
- Sponsor a newsletter or email blast from a publication that your target audience follows
Nurturing the Leads You Gain From Your Lead Magnets
Creating and promoting your lead magnet is a great start. The ultimate goal is to collect email addresses you can nurture.
I recommend a five-email sequence. The first 4 emails should provide trust and credibility with thought leadership. The fifth email can be a non-abrasive sales pitch offering your agency’s services.
After leads have gone through your sequence, they should be put in a master list that gets dripped to once a week. This is important because I’ve been at agencies that have nurtured contacts for a year or more until they convert into a client.
How to Get Started With Your First Lead Magnet
I live and breathe lead magnets, and I hope this guide has gotten you excited as well.
If you’re ready to create your first lead magnet, consider your target audience, develop a valuable topic, promote it, and nurture the leads you generate.
As you probably can imagine, lead magnets are a lot of work, but they’re so worth it when it comes to sustaining your agency’s pipeline. If you don’t have the time to create a lead magnet and promote it, you’re in luck as it is a service I offer, and you can get in touch here.
Have you created a lead magnet that you are proud of? I would love for you to link to it in the comments below, and I just may use it as an example in an upcoming article.