4 Types of Powerful Lead Magnets

Tools Top Digital Agencies Use to Win New Clients

By now, most people have at least been exposed to the offer of a lead magnet – a free book, PDF, webinar or other information product that produces results for the recipient.

These are tools used by digital agencies and marketers as “trip-wire products.” They’re targeted toward people dealing with a specific pain point or problem. If the research and marketing approach is done correctly, they can be very persuasive to lure new clients into your funnel.

Publishers like Rob Kosberg of Best Seller Publishing, give away their bestselling books on how to get published as an author. Fitness professionals give away their workout routines or nutritional programs.

At Offline Sharks, we have our own version of this. “Kickstarter” programs that help people gain a few steps in their journey toward becoming online entrepreneurs. In fact, that makes me think of one: we have a free simple guide on how to get your very first client as a new shark.


As if you need reminding, this is hardly an ice cream parlor with a sign out front that reads “Free Samples Inside.” Your customer could be in Timbuktu, or at an AirBnB in Indonesia for the winter. They might even live down the street; you still can’t “sample” what you know to them.

Well, not in-person at any rate. The digital world wouldn’t be much use either, except that your customer leaves all kinds of evidence as to what they’re looking for there.

Part of building your digital funnel involves researching and listening to the pain points, frustrations, fears and shortcomings of your target customer. This is the leverage point for lead magnets; if you can answer their problems directly, they’ll line up to get on your radar.

So don’t just “bash out a lead magnet,” writing up a bunch of useless information on a PDF and slapping a label on it. There are smarter, more effective ways to reach your intended audience.

In the meantime, however, you’ll need to jumpstart the engine of your online business. We’ve got some great free advice on exactly how you do that here.


According to Miles Beckler, the four strongest lead magnets converting in 2020 are:

  • E-Books
  • Real Books
  • Masterclasses
  • Multi-Day Challenges

Each of these has their own appeal and power, when paired with the right target prospect. But as Beckler goes on to point out, their value in the marketplace evolves over time. We’ll take a look at some of the recommended practices for using each of these.

  • E-Books. The gauntlet is down for you as the entrepreneur to produce a genuinely valuable offering of knowledge, beyond the simple repurposing of an old blog. So take your time with this, and make use of your design team to present it well.

That isn’t to suggest, however, that you have to come up with something entirely new. You can start with a recent blog post, but you should expand it. Industry guidelines with blogs usually call for 800-1200 words, but your e-book should be the “expansion” of the concept you originally addressed. You’d do well with 25-30k words.

E-books are also perceived by the market to connect with lower-ticket items. They’re one useful method for getting your first clients, a subject we explore in greater depth here.

  • Real Books. The higher you go in terms of the value of your service, the more compelling it is to establish yourself as an authority figure. Bestselling books offer prospects a rich, deep dive into your mind and experience.

Some people are hesitant with real books, thinking they simply don’t have the time (or, in some cases, the talent) to organize their thoughts in a page-turning, thought-provoking, lead-generating book. But if you’re already creating content online, guess what? You’re busy building the foundations of a book, and may be totally unaware of it.

Most experts, coaches, consultants and authors lift a lot of what they put in their book from their previous writings, as well as interviews and other content they produce. Many of them hire ghostwriters, who produce a book from a combination of hour-long interviews by phone and their pre-existing content.

You also have the ability, through paid advertising or affiliates with good-sized audiences, to turn your book into a widely-read treatise on your area of specialized, professional knowledge. The costs of advertising or paying affiliates, plus shipping, can get dwarfed by the income you get from just a handful of new clients.

  • Masterclasses. Even big-name celebrities of yesteryear are getting in on this now. It’s a great way to establish a more personal connection with your audience, because you’re usually offering them access to video content that isn’t available to the public. 

If you have the kind of “deep dive” we mentioned for printed books, but it’s much better to demonstrate through a workshop or visual format, masterclasses can make fantastic tools. Similarly, if you can actually “teach a class,” give a lecture or otherwise provide interesting, meaningful and entertaining instruction, go for it.

In addition to a professional setting and a promise that will transform things for viewers, Beckler added an important point: base your masterclass off your highest-performing blog posts.

Just as you would use your blogs that most solidly communicate your core values and principles to write a book, you get the most traction from your audience regarding certain topics. So find the ones that “go together” to create a good, coherent dose of quality education … and you’re off to the races.

If you’re off to the races elsewhere, such as in trying to get your first client as a shark, don’t forget to pick up our free guide.

  • Multi-Day Challenges. These not only deliver your value in practical ways people can experience, but they can also serve to “segment” your audience. Your core supporters, who read everything you send them, will quickly separate from people who trade their e-mail for a challenge they never accept. 

Challenges actually have multiple benefits to the digital marketer. For one thing, they’re like a sequence of commercials you can run hundreds of times, but you only have to pay for one spot. When people opt into your challenge, you can guarantee that over the cycle of the challenge, you’ll get numerous exposures to them. If they’re sufficiently “evergreen,” you can use the same challenge multiple times on multiple audiences.

The other lateral benefit of challenges is you can get prospects into more than one funnel. They might start on your e-mail list, but the first e-mail they get directs them into a private social networking group, where you can drip-market to them for eons. Fitness coaches have used this strategy for years, but it’s spread into other categories, such as learning languages or content creation for marketers.

Tom Gaddis

Tom Gaddis

Attended the School of Hard Knocks. A former restaurant manager in Oklahoma, Tom always wanted to be self-employed and free from the butt-smooching of the corporate world. He wanted success bad enough that he picked up his family, including two small children and moved to beautiful Maui, Hawaii. Starting from zero, Tom embarked on building a local marketing consulting business. And promptly fell on his face! It seems Hawaiians were lovely people, until you tried to sell them something! But he persevered and learned from his mistakes. Today he's arguably one of the most successful in his niche and expecting to grow over 100% this year alone.

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