If you’ve ever thought to yourself, as you’re knocking out daily tasks in your business, “I just want leads to come to me,” you’re far from alone.
And one of the most common ways to attract leads is a simple one: lead magnets or, in other words, free resources for your target audience that they can only access after providing some degree of contact information.
Joining us to break down this topic is the owner of Pibworth Professional Solutions, Lauren Pibworth.
As a marketing consultant for the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) Toronto and the social media coordinator for the national chapter of CAPS, Lauren is a seasoned expert in the world of websites and marketing.
Here, she explains everything you need to know about lead magnets including how to know which kind to create, what info to include, and how to make the most of leads once they download your lead magnet.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get into it!
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✅ Learn more about Lauren and Pibworth Professional Solutions: https://pibworthps.com/
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Intro: You know those moments when you’re doing what you love in your business, maybe it’s standing onstage or creating content, whatever it is, you’re totally immersed, and time just seems to slip by? This is called the Flow State. At Speaker Flow, we’re obsessed with how to get you there more often. Each week we’re joined by a new expert where we share stories, strategies, and systems to help craft a business you love. Welcome to Technically Speaking.
Taylorr: We did it. Lauren, welcome back to Technically Speaking. We are so excited to have you on, and this is the second time, so it’s going to be a blast.
Lauren: A second date, I’m so excited.
Taylorr: I know, a second date. Look at us go. We’re all talking about a third date. Two guys, we’re talking about a third one. So, things are moving quick over here. Yeah.
Austin: Yeah. We have good conversations with you every time we talk to you.
Taylorr: Everytime. For sure.
Austin: Yeah. Yeah. In fact, it was good to see you just not that long ago.
Lauren: I know, I know. At the caps convention, that was fun. It’s always fun.
Taylorr: It is.
Lauren: It is.
Taylorr: I find that heights change from what I expect when we’re going from virtual to in-person things. People are either way shorter or way taller than I had ever imagined.
Lauren: It’s usually shorter for me. At least I am shorter than, I’m shorter than I imagine.
Austin: For sure. We had this guy on our team a little while back, and we went six months or something without meeting him in-person, and then we finally ran a team retreat and got together and we saw him at the airport for the first time and he towered over Taylorr and I, and it was shocking. I, literally, could never look at the guy the same way again.
Taylorr: For sure, and it was one of moments too, I was like, is this the person? Is this actually. I wasn’t convinced that was him.
Austin: Yeah, that’s true.
Lauren: That’s when you start carrying phone books with you and strap them to your feet, so you’re much bigger.
Taylorr: Yes, correct. Much bigger.
Austin: I’ve been doing that for a long time, actually.
Taylorr: Yeah, some moonwalkers. Okay. Well, this is going to be a loaded episode, you guys. Talking about lead generation and websites and all of that fun stuff, but, as we roll, before we dive in, we like to do a little bit of research and I don’t know, pull out some personal things that are going on to just start the conversation. So, we actually got to talking about this before we started, but you are currently in the process of going through a massive renovation on your house.
Lauren: I am.
Taylorr: What has that process been like? How are you managing all of the things with that?
Lauren: I’ll tell you, it’s quite interesting being surrounded by studs. No, seriously.
Taylorr: Not the wood studs.
Austin: I can imagine.
Lauren: A little bit of both, actually. A little bit of both. No, our kitchen was completely gutted. Our master bathroom was gutted, and then parts of the bedroom and the other, it was really nasty moving because we’ve actually moved into my brother’s basement. And both my husband and I work from home and he works shift work. And where my desk is, if he were to walk out of the bedroom, he would be right in camera angle, so he’s like, honey. [Inaudible – 3:31] In your underwear, please. Just, yeah. There’s a whole lot of wrong that can happen there. But, yeah, no, the renovations are going well, we hope to be back in April, the end of April.
Austin: Yeah. Yeah.
Taylorr: Fingers crossed.
Austin: Knock on wood is right?
Lauren: Exactly. Exactly.
Austin: Has that been disruptive to your work? I feel like being displaced from my office would really throw me off.
Taylorr: I know, yeah.
Lauren: My brain is still trying to catch up. Honestly, I feel like I’ve lost several IQ points and I left them in my office at home.
Lauren: And, of course, our dog, we would take our dog out and put him outside when he needed to go. Well, now we don’t have outside privileges, so it’s the leash and the walk, and then come back and I was just in the middle of something, but, okay, let’s go for a walk. And it’s living on my brother’s timeline. I am much more of a night owl than I am an early bird, but I have to get up and move my car out of his driveway by 7 in the morning. Just silly little disrupting things, right?
Taylorr: Little things, yeah.
Lauren: Tiny little, like, who cares? But it takes up space in your head.
Austin: Yeah, it’s true. Well, hang in there. We believe in you and it’s going to be fantastic on the outset, I’m sure.
Lauren: It will, it will, it’s going to be wonderful.
Austin: Yeah. Well, good, we’re excited to have you here. So, as Taylorr and I were getting ready for today’s episode, we were thinking like, all right, what’s the most valuable thing we can discuss with this genius at the table here today? And in our first episode, we talked a lot about websites and we’ve worked with lots of the same clients on different collaborative efforts over the years, and so we know that you’re certainly an expert in this area. And even outside of the building of a website, we know that you know how a website actually needs to function to truly make an impact for this type of business, right? A thought leadership business.
Which everybody says like, I think as an entrepreneur, yeah, but my business is different. And I know we hear that a lot with speakers and I think that that’s true and not true to some degree, right? There’s definitely nuance in any space. And so, you know that nuance, and so we figured, let’s drill down into that a little bit and get into one of the specific things that lots of people talk about; everybody knows that they need. Taylorr and I are convinced everybody does well, and we know you do, which is lead magnets. So, we’re hoping to pick your brain about lead magnets today. Are you game?
Lauren: Absolutely. I’m in.
Taylorr: All right.
Austin: Okay. All right. Well, we have to start by getting on the same page, at least; nobody better to do that than you, but can you give us and our audience members an idea of what a lead magnet even is in the first place?
Lauren: Well, let’s start with what it isn’t. It isn’t join my newsletter, and it isn’t download my white paper. A lead magnet is a conversation starter. It is a way that you offer; I call this problem, solution, problem. So, it’s a way for you to highlight an issue that your potential client is having, solve it quickly and give them really high value and then lead them, point out the next step in the process. It’s not a, oh, goodie, I’m going to get them on my list and then never talk to them again. And it’s also, oh, goodie, they’re going to sign up for something, I’ll give them one thing, then they’re on my newsletter for life. It’s about building a conversation.
People hate the word sales funnel, but it is a sales funnel. It is understanding what you can help them with really quickly now, and then lead them gently, solving issue, solving issue, building trust, building credibility. It’s not a salesy, hey, you bought this so buy this, buy this, buy this, buy this. It’s a gentle leading and a relationship trust building exercise. Is that a long answer to a short question?
Austin: That was a great answer. Yes.
Taylorr: No, I love that. Yes, of course.
Taylorr: Right. Why do we have the wrong, I say we, generally speaking, a lot of people it’s the download white paper, subscribed to my newsletter, get this once, but where did it all go wrong, is my question? Why is there such a dissonance in people?
Lauren: Oh, that’s a great question.
Taylorr: Is it because they’re uncomfortable with, yeah, I’m just at a loss for why that isn’t the natural idea?
Lauren: I think they just haven’t thought it through. Honestly, I think they just haven’t thought it through. 10 years ago, we were so excited that we got to get somebody’s email.
Lauren: And 10 years ago, people were happy to get your newsletter because, hey, something cool, something for free. But the competition for our target audience’s email address has gotten so huge, and as consumers, our bandwidth has gotten so small that you really have to provide something of huge value in order to get that email address, you have to work a lot harder for it, and you have to consistently cultivate that relationship. So, honestly, I think it was easy when you could just use your free MailChimp account and download this, and there it was on your website and you didn’t think about it again. Now, we have to think about what the next step is.
Taylorr: Yeah. Wow. That’s a brilliant answer, I’d never even thought of it that way. But you’re right, everywhere you go, email, email, email, now, phone number, phone number, phone number, it’s like, oh, man, what are you going to dedicate your bandwidth to? And so, it has to be super valuable for that to even, because a person has to feel like, oh, yeah, this is totally worth my email address. I’m happy to do this and I’m excited to hear more to help me solve my problem, rather than, oh, crap, I have to give an email address for this thing. That’s not the tone you want to have.
Lauren: No. Absolutely.
Austin: Well, I think something that is worth noting too about this, and I’d love to hear if you agree, Lauren, but it’s not even just about the value, but also about the relevancy. We’re so overloaded all of the time, and just because you have something that you’ve created that’s built off of your decades of expertise, it may very well be extremely valuable. But if we’re not good at pairing that value with the context of what the person’s in, if it’s not relevant to them, then we have to tune it out as consumers because there’s already too much of it, you know?
Lauren: Yeah. And that’s why we start with formulating the right question, right? And it’s not, do you want this thing, can I just share a quick story?
Taylorr: Yeah, please.
Lauren: I have a product that I sell that is an emerging speaker website package. So, I’m selling a packaged product, a packaged website to brand new speakers. And I know that their biggest problem is that they have no clarity. 15 years has taught me that they have no idea what they’re doing yet. In fact, most of them shouldn’t necessarily be into the marketing space. If I told them right up front that they need clarity, they don’t know they need it, you don’t know what you don’t know. So, the lead magnet that I created for them was the number one roadblock that stops emerging speakers from becoming successful.
The content; number one, is helping them figure out if they have clarity, then a masterclass into how to get clarity, and then I lead them into a paid program. But if I had said, get clarity; nobody cares, because they don’t know that’s the issue. Sometimes it’s not the problem, it’s the symptom of the problem or the fear that feeds into it that is the right question. You know what I mean?
Taylorr: Yeah. Yeah. The psychological and emotional level, right? And what a better way to build trust. Somebody’s going to go through that lead magnet and you are truly acting like a guide for them. They’re like, oh my God, I didn’t even know that was my problem. It’s crazy she even knew about it before I knew about it, and now she’s providing ways for me to solve that problem. At that point, where else is there to go to solve your problem when you have that level of trust behind someone, you know?
Lauren: I’m selling a physical product, but as a thought leader, the same type of idea would be, say you’re a thought leader on leadership and culture. Right? It’s not download my culture audit, necessarily first. Although, that’s part of it. The question is what and I’m trying to make sure I don’t use client words, because I’ve built several of these for different types. But what is the gossip around the water cooler costing your company? And then it leads into culture, right? If that’s what your clients have identified most, and you’d look at your testimonials, you’d look at your case studies, what questions are most often asked by your ideal clients, and build the answer, and you know that it’s landed with several, that’s where you start.
Austin: So, okay. So, this actually brings up a really interesting challenge, actually; that we were wanting to discuss with you today, which is, as it relates to the what’s the right question, question. So many people that we’ve worked with or that we’ve seen out there marketing themselves in the past have built their lead magnets and even just their general marketing messaging, I think; to some degree, not for an economic decision maker of their thought leadership, but instead somebody that may be in the audience or a keynote speaker or something, right?
So, the question that we have for you, the challenge that we were hoping maybe you can help us think through is like, how do you ensure that the lead magnet that you’re creating, the question that you’re answering for somebody is targeting the person that can buy your stuff? Because their objectives may be different than the content that you’re sharing would be from the stage, let’s say. Does that question make sense?
Lauren: Yeah, yeah. I think I understand what you’re asking and you’ll let me know.
Austin: We’re going to find out.
Lauren: So, as thought leaders we’re selling to key decision makers that could be CEOs, CFOs, HR, education, meeting planners, and a meeting planner; one mistake that I’ve seen a lot is I sell the meeting planners so the opt-in is for the meeting planner, how to build a better meeting. But if that’s not your expertise, they know how to do that. They’re looking on behalf of their clients, so don’t forget, even if you’re being hired by a meeting planner, they’re solving a problem for their client. Don’t forget that just because you’re being hired by a meeting planner, you’re still serving their client.
The number one question they’re asking is, do you fit with my mandate for this meeting? How do I decide how I speak to the decision maker? I understand that even if I’m being hired by an HR manager, there are education coordinators; they’re still looking for something on behalf of their boss. They still have a problem that they are aware of within the company that they are trying to solve. So, no matter who is physically buying it is focusing on the problem that you are solving, rather than the individual who is giving you the money. Does that make sense?
Taylorr: Preaching. Yes, totally. The number of websites where I see the newsletter, the pdf, and the here’s how to plan an event, it’s like, well, obviously, that’s not the problem. We’re having an event to help solve some problems and they have a core set of problems in mind that is not how do I organize an event? Or how do I choose the right speakers for an event? And it’s not your expertise anyway, so you’re diluting your messaging. Are you an expert in planning meetings or are you an expert in solving culture and leadership problems? Now I don’t know, because now I have this thing in front of me that’s distracting me from the main thing you do.
Lauren: And no one’s going to sign up for that.
Taylorr: Yeah, exactly.
Austin: So true.
Taylorr: When people hear lead magnet, they think pdf or Word document, which I think is a fine medium, right? But the world is changing, right? There are many options we have available to us now. Are PDFs enough? Is it dependent on the question that we’re asking? Are there more interactive ways to give people something that’s more valuable than just more content they have to consume? What are some of the most performant lead magnet mechanisms you’ve experienced so far? And let’s put this in maybe the last year or so, just because technology.
Lauren: Yeah, yeah. Whatever.
Taylorr: Who cares about the past.
Austin: Not relevant anymore.
Taylorr: It’s not even relevant.
Lauren: I think one of the best performing lead magnets out there right now is the, and no matter what you want to call it, it’s the same thing; the quiz, the audit, the questionnaire, the assessment, whatever you want to call it, it’s still, if you’re b2b, it’s usually an audit or an assessment. If you’re b2c, it’s a quiz. Same thing, same mechanism, same tools. But, again, what is the right? And we usually start from the question; again, what is the question that we want to ask? Then we skip directly to the outcomes and we decide where we want people to land, and then we build the middle.
So, it’s a convoluted process, but when you build an assessment well; number one, you’re able to give your client the answers that they need. I know I have an issue, but what is my issue? What things do I need to focus on to fix this issue? But you’re also asking those questions, and if you have the right software, it’s recording the prospect’s answers so that when you then get on a discovery call with them, you already know what the issues are. So, an audit is a customer service tool in their eyes, but also a sales tool in yours. So, I love audits that can highlight, oh my gosh, yes, that was the issue.
And then, again, one of the things I love is that depending on their answers, and depending on what CRM you’re using, you can then craft completely different autoresponders and answers based on their questions, depending on how much work do you want to put into it? That’s up to you. But if you’re closing a 10, 15, $50,000 gig, you’re going to put some work into making sure they get exactly what they need. So, again, long answer, audit.
Austin: It’s a great answer. We just employed one of those here at Speaker Flow, and it’s been amazingly effective and for all of the reasons that you just described. Not only that, but if you think of the context of where other places assessments are used are, I think about school, right? And the nature of being given an assessment is that there’s somebody that’s authoritative, that has all of the information available to not only contextualize the questions, but also make useful recommendations and suggestions based off of the answer. So, not only is it a way to create value and generate leads, but it’s also a positioning lead magnet to some degree because you’re demonstrating like, I’m an authority in this thing that I’m assessing you on. Right?
Lauren: I’d love to add a page at the end of the assessments, and it says, I hope you’ve enjoyed this. What are you looking for? Do you just want some free resources? Absolutely. Are you interested in signing up for something else? Okay. Are you looking to hire a speaker in the next six weeks? And the people who answer that they’re looking to hire a speaker, they’re tagged and automatically texted or emailed that you have a hot lead that you need to follow-up with immediately so you can funnel them and give them the level of service that they need in accordance to what it is they’re looking to buy from you. That’s something that I haven’t seen done a lot, and I think that’s a really key piece.
Taylorr: Yeah, well, it just moves them one step closer for those that are the most ready after you’ve built that trust; it’s only fair you give them a mechanism to work with you if they’re ready for it, right? Otherwise you’re just doing them a disservice. So, why not give them those options to engage with you. Part of this too, I can understand this fear, is inherently thought leaders start their businesses to solve problems and to create impact, and they might not be as maybe marketing-minded as others. I think the vast majority is not as, but what they want is to give, which is a beautiful thing. I want to give you my newsletter. I want to give you this white paper. I don’t want to ask anything about it.
There’s a balancing act though that still needs to happen and to shift that mindset from just giving, which is great, but also like, it’s okay to ask if you’re hiring a speaker in the next six weeks, you’re giving them a path to go down if they’re ready for it. And so, I think there’s a little bit of a fear to make decisions like that, which is why we might not see it as often, but it’s okay, you can make those asks.
Lauren: But you’re not asking, the audit is asking. You don’t have to look at them and say, are you ready to hire me? No, it’s just this is.
Taylorr: Just part of the process, sorry. This is how it works.
Lauren: Exactly. And if you are, then how can you, again, as you said, how can you not give them the customer service level that they’re asking for? They’re asking for this, how can you not give it to them?
Taylorr: It’s an important mindset to have.
Austin: Good, that’s the answer. Yeah. Do that.
Taylorr: That’s right, do that.
Austin: So, I’m curious, from a promotional standpoint, right? I think one of the other components here that doesn’t get talked about enough, as it relates to a lead magnet, is a lead magnet is only as useful to you as you can get people in front of it, right? And so, I have questions just about the suggestions you would give somebody about promoting their lead magnet period. But one thing in particular that I’d be interested to hear you touch on, as it relates to this, is should people be directing traffic to their website and then have their website be funneling them, so to speak, into the lead magnet? Or should people be skipping the middleman, so to speak, and then just directing traffic directly to the lead magnet out of the gate?
Lauren: I have a specific website page for each lead magnet that I have, and I use that page when I’m promoting the lead magnet. I also have it as a section on my website when someone lands on my website without the lead magnet that they can get to it there. And I love that you asked this question because this is one of, again, I have a few bugaboos, but this is another one of them, is you don’t just set it on your website and wait, it should be part of your social media rotation. It should be part of your speaking engagements. You should be giving out your lead magnet as part; it should be something that you mention in a podcast. It should be everywhere.
Your lead magnet should be a standalone lead page that you can use in multiple places. It should be in your email signature. It should be at the bottom of your LinkedIn profile. It should be everywhere. And if it’s a standalone page, then you can make that happen.
Taylorr: Yeah. Okay. So, in addendum to this, a question that’s coming to mind, is it beneficial to have one keystone lead magnet that you really focus on promoting? Or is it equally beneficial to have multiple lead magnets? You see where I’m going? Because I see the trend of creation, creation, creation, creation, without enough focus on one thing and promoting that. When is it beneficial, let me ask that question, rather than having one lead magnet to have multiple.
Lauren: I think you should have a lead magnet for every main income generator that you have. You should have a lead magnet for your keynote and you should have a lead magnet for your secondary keynote. And they can be similar but different. But I currently have four. They’re not all running at the same time. When I’m doing the speaking circuit and I’m talking about lead magnets, I have a lead magnet on lead magnets, so that’s what I share. And when I’m focusing on NextGen websites and accessibility audits, I have a lead magnet on that, so that’s what I share.
So, it’s not necessarily that I have them all active and all over the website, because that’s confusion, and a confused mind won’t buy. But I have several in my back pocket that I can pull out when the situation best presents itself.
Taylorr: Beautiful. Man, that’s exactly it. That’s everything.
Austin: Best answer we could have gotten there.
Taylorr: Best answer.
Austin: Yeah, no doubt.
Taylorr: Yeah, for sure. True expert here.
Austin: Time and place. That’s right.
Taylorr: Yeah. Okay. So, here’s the kicker. So, we’re getting close to the top. Really excited to hear your thoughts on this. So, let’s say we do it perfectly; we’ve answered the question great, we have the outcome, we have the quiz in place; after the quiz, they have the three options like, get the free resources, talk to me about X, Y, and Z, choose your path type of situation. But let’s assume, right, a small percentage of people are going to hit that, yeah, I want to hire a speaker in the next six weeks, right? Let’s call it at best 5%. Okay? So, now what needs to happen, in your opinion, after that is submitted for the other 95% who are not quite hot yet, what would you recommend it be, rather than the standard one and done approach?
Lauren: I don’t do a one and done. Again, this flow is going to depend on your audience. So, I’m going to share a sample flow. Most of my lead magnets have anywhere from five to seven follow-up emails. So, here’s your free thing, then did you download your free thing? Oh, so here’s your free thing and don’t unsubscribe because I have another really great high-value thing for you that’s coming in your next email. Here’s the free thing I promised, credibility. I’m so glad you’re enjoying your free thing. By the way, David said that I was the best at this with a testimonial and some credibility pieces.
A, I get you, I understand. Talk to the elephant in the room, talk to, probably, the thing that their biggest objection is going to be and hit it straight on and answer it. Then this is probably the last time I’m going to talk to you. And then this sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, depending on the client, that final email that says, okay, I’m going to assume that since you downloaded this, this was something you were interested in and I hope that I’ve really solved that problem, but I’m not going to keep hammering you because that’s not good customer service.
So, with your permission, I’m going to just funnel you into my newsletter list, where I share all kinds of great information on. And, by the way, when they opted-in, you got permission to do that; you’re not just throwing them in there because you can. I like to ask, is there a reason you didn’t book a call? It would really help me in my marketing if I understood why I didn’t resonate. I get maybe 1 or 2 out of 10 people answer the question. That is; number one, they’re continuing to open the email, so that’s great for your stats and your ego. But if they’re interested enough to give you the why, they are still a hot lead. Continue to love on them, continue to give them value.