Do you have a lead magnet or free resource that is attracting potential clients to your business? Are you using it to build a relationship between you and your dream client?
If the answer is No, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
A lead magnet, also referred to as an “opt-in,” “freebie,” or “resource,” is a hugely important step in the sales funnel. It is the conduit by which a complete stranger (your ideal client) gets to know you, learns more about you, becomes a fan, and eventually hires you when the time is right.
In fact, I was just talking to a prospective client on Zoom the other day, and I was explaining this concept and process to her, and suddenly this look of wonderment crosses her face, and she says, “That was exactly my process of reaching out to you!”
Yep, it works. And today I’m going to share the basics with you:
What is a lead magnet?
Why do you need a lead magnet?
What are the most important features of a successful lead magnet?
Where and how should I market my lead magnet?
What are some ideas for lead magnets in the design & home industry?
Let’s take a look…
A lead magnet is a valuable resource that you offer to potential clients on your website in exchange for their email addresses. Emphasis on valuable. If it’s not going to impact your dream clients, it’s not going to get downloaded. Period.
I’m confident that you’ve seen this concept in action before, even if you weren’t able to put a name on it just yet. In fact, O&B has THREE (since we offer a variety of services) and all are uniquely valuable:
Blog Content Strategy Workbook — for those wondering which topics will attract their dream clients AND push their business goals forward
SEO Checklist — for those who are blogging on their own or having an assistant/VA format blog posts for SEO
Depending on the week’s blog post, I’ll share the lead magnet that builds off of the topic I just shared.
Now, if you’re new to lead magnets, you don’t need to run out and get a bunch thrown together, stat. I suggest starting with ONE really good one.
Logistically, your lead magnet should be delivered automatically by email when someone subscribes to your mailing list. This can be done with any mailing list provider you use (MailChimp, Flodesk, ConvertKit, Active Campaign, etc.).
I personally use and LOVE Flodesk, and you can get 50% off your monthly subscription using my Flodesk affiliate link. Yes, I make a little something if you use this link — and it’s a great deal for you, too!
As far as attaching your lead magnet to the delivery email, I suggest using a shared Google Drive or shared Dropbox file link. Easy as that!
There are 5 important features of a successful lead magnet. And by successful, I mean a lead magnet that attracts the client you want to work with, serves them up truly valuable info, and begins a positive relationship between the two of you.
The best lead magnets make your dream clients say, “I need that.” If your topic is trendy, it may get a lot of downloads, but it misses the point entirely if those downloads aren’t the people you dream of working with.
I have some lead magnet ideas for you below, and this blog post about understanding your dream client can help you brainstorm your own.
It is essential that your lead magnet gives your potential clients valuable, useful information — not just inspiration. We are all bombarded with inspiration every day and inspiration rarely leads to action. If you don’t give your potential clients the tools to act, they won’t.
You’ll see what I mean when you see the lead magnet ideas I have for you below.
This one is slightly harder to achieve but ESSENTIAL from my point of view. For example, a budgeting guide that helps potential clients get a clear view of what they’d like to invest makes that conversation much easier with you when the time comes.
You could help them set expectations, help them better clarify their goals, etc. — whatever you know it takes to launch a successful project and great working relationship.
A great lead magnet has to be personal and include your own voice and character (or your company’s voice/brand as a whole). A bland, dry lead magnet can still be beautiful and valuable, but it is not going to deepen the connection between you and your dream client. They may remember that great content, but they could easily forget where it came from.
What can you do? Write the copy in your voice, tell stories and introduce yourself, and add some project or personal photos throughout. It makes a difference!
If someone opens your lead magnet and it looks like a Word Document, you are completing devaluing your services. Hands down. It’s simply human nature that aesthetic matters, and an overwhelming (or underwhelming) graphic design won’t do you any favors, no matter how great the content is.
So. Make sure that your lead magnet is aesthetically pleasing and on-brand with your firm’s style, colors and fonts. I share some suggested resources for doing this below.
The final feature of a successful lead magnet is having a Call to Action at the end. I usually suggest including a short bio of you, along with a button that encourages potential clients to take the next logical step with you, such as booking a discovery call or viewing your services.
It’s true that your ideal client may not be ready to book with you at this very moment, but that’s okay. You never know when they’ll reference your valuable lead magnet again — or share it with their friends — so it’s always best to give them a way to reach you. 🙂
If you’re creating a lead magnet on your own, my biggest suggestion is to make sure it is truly helpful to your ideal client. Sure, a list of decorating tips might have mass appeal, but would you want your ideal client to decorate on their own or hire you to do it?
Your best move is to think about what your ideal clients will need before they with you. Here are some ideas:
If you offer virtual services and want to sell packages where you curate items for a room and the ideal client assembles them, well, a PDF of decorating or styling tips might be perfect. Or a guide that shows ideal clients how to fine-tune their dream aesthetic. Or steps for creating a furnishings budget.
If your ideal client is for full service design, a budgeting guide (for a renovation, furnishings, etc.) or project planning guide is always a great option. You could also share tips of what it’s like to work with a designer, how to find the right designer for your project, etc.
Is your ideal client a homeowner? Investor? Builder? Real estate agent? The lead magnet you’ll want will change based on the audience. The Staging Checklist that Socialite Vault offers is a topic I’d suggest, whether you use theirs or make it yourself. It’s pretty universal.
Other options could be a list of updates that are most likely to raise home value, moving tips, something like “5 Signs You Should Stage Your Home Before Listing,” etc. Think about the most common questions you get asked when someone is deciding to work with you, and address them with valuable tips.
I’ve known workroom owners who deal directly with homeowners and others who only work with interior designers. Again, the right lead magnet depends on your audience.
You could create something about the different types of window treatments. I know us regular folks are unlikely to know the difference between box, pinch, and inverted pleats — but we’ll want to when choosing something spectacular!
You could create a guide to fabrics (performance, blackout, sheer), or a guide that would help potential clients discover their ideal design aesthetic (that you can then use to create the best treatments for them).
Great news! — you don’t necessarily have to create a lead magnet from scratch. Socialite Vault offers highly affordable lead magnet templates tailored to interior designers, workrooms, and home staging businesses.
In fact, I’ve edited a few of the Socialite templates myself for our mutual clients, and let me tell you, it was a BREEZE to only have to change fonts, colors, and add the client’s bio. Compared to designing a lead magnet from scratch, you’re looking at 30-60 minutes versus 4-6 hours. Or more. And yes, I’ve done it both ways.
3 of many templates in Socialite Vault include:
How to Prepare for a Remodel (for designers)
Home Staging Checklist (for stagers)
Guide to Creating High End Style with Window Treatments (workrooms)
In each of these cases, the lead magnet offers valuable advice that’s precisely tailored to the ideal client — and of course you can personalize it even further. These are just 3 of the topics that are in there, but I know there are more for each niche industry.
P.S. O&B’s blog post templates are in there, too!
At Ochre & Beige, we create custom copy and design for a variety of marketing materials, lead magnets included. It’s safe to say that whenever you go the custom route (with us or not), your investment will be higher, but that’s because it is THE best way to get content that is truly unique to your design firm.
We always start with a Content Strategy session to discuss your business goals, ideal client(s), ideate and plan your content. I liken this step to a consultation you would have with a design client — you could design a beautiful space without it, but it’s crucial to designing a space with depth, dimension, beauty and personalized function.
Then, we write the copy for your lead magnet, get your feedback, and once approved, design it! Reach out to us here for more info.
Okay, you have a lead magnet, it’s going to take your business places, and you’re ready to share it far and wide. But where? And how? All great questions, and I find that this is the area where most designers struggle. Follow this list and you’ll be off to the races…
As a pop-up (I know pop-ups are annoying, but they really do work)
In the announcement banner, if you have one
At the footer of your homepage
At the end of BLOG POSTS. Yes, every single one. (You didn’t think I’d leave out blog posts, did you?)
Whenever O&B creates or updates a new lead magnet, I also like to share it with our existing mailing list. These are people who have already shown interest, and I want to make sure they know that we are continuing to create helpful resources and materials for them. That’s nurturing the relationship — and it’s just being nice!
That’s right, you should promote your lead magnet(s) on social media, too, in posts and stories. At least once every other week is a great practice, because (if you’ve done everything right) your lead magnet is NOT going out of style! You could even talk about it in your stories and share your altruistic and totally relatable motivation behind it.
Just be sure that your “link in bio” includes a landing page or direct link to where people can find your lead magnet front and center. (Don’t make people dig for it… they won’t.)
And that’s it! You’re now well-versed in lead magnets and hopefully on your way to ideating and crafting a good one. Done well, it will attract your best clients, help them know/like/trust you, and make for a beautiful working relationship, too.
And of course, now it’s my turn… don’t forget to grab your Content Strategy Workbook here! It may even spark some more lead magnet ideas. 😉
Til next week,
I believe that life, like home, is meant to be designed. In just 3 years, I built a life I love and a business that supports interior designers across the globe. I’m obsessed with books, a bold red wine, and helping women rise in their power — and I believe that your freedom in business starts here. Read more >>