If you think about the newsletters you receive in your inbox each month, how many of these started with you signing up for something free? Maybe there was a promised discount to your favorite soy candle company, or maybe it was a few dozen free stock photos perfect for social media. (Been there!)
In any case, you probably still continue to receive their emails, and you don’t mind them. Maybe you don’t open every single one, but every once in a while there’s a topic that will catch your eye. You’ll click on it to investigate. Maybe forward it to a friend. But what really matters is this…
You remember the company’s name. You remember that they exist. And you genuinely like them.
This is the power of your mailing list, and it’s twice as powerful when it’s made up of people who are your dream clients. This is where a lead magnet comes in…
What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is a downloadable resource that you offer for free in exchange for someone’s email address. You may have also heard them called freebies, opt-in offers, opt-in incentives, content upgrades, etc. To receive the resource, your website visitor (ideally your dream client) will type in their email address and join your mailing list.
Why is it important to offer a lead magnet?
By itself, a lead magnet helps you build trust with your dream client by offering something of value that they can quickly use to answer a tricky question or solve a problem. However, well-made lead magnets also help your ideal client connect with you on a personal level and, in some cases, have a better working experience with you down the road. (More on how to do this in a bit.)
But the biggest reason to offer a lead magnet on your website is that it helps build your mailing list. Your mailing list is where prospective clients learn more about you, feel supported before you’re even working together, and are most inspired to take action — booking that initial discovery call with you.
In summary, the best lead magnet achieves several goals for you and your design firm:
- Builds trust with your dream client
- Helps your audience get to know you and connect with you
- Primes your ideal client for the best possible experience when working together
- Grows your list of prospective clients (helps to avoid dry spells)
- Allows you to further the relationship with helpful emails + newsletters
Now, how do you make sure that your lead magnet is doing all of this? Here’s what I suggest…
What are the top 5 qualities of a successful lead magnet?
1. Clear Audience
Your lead magnet should speak clearly to the ideal client and design project you want to attract. Better yet, make sure it speaks only to the clients you hope to serve. For example, a “Style Quiz” may speak to your dream projects (kitchen renos), but it’s probably also going to attract DIYers and those looking for decorating. So be sure to get clear on your audience first.
2. Valuable Topic
Your lead magnet should be valuable to this person, answering a burning question or solving a common problem you know your dream client encounters. Gone are the days of people looking for a 45-page workbook that gives them all the answers to life. No one has time for that. Your lead magnet should give your dream clients a quick win they can feel good about. (Keep reading for some topic ideas below.)
3. On-Brand Design
The graphic design of your lead magnet should be on-brand with the rest of your site. Yes, potential clients will notice a disconnect! Provide them with a seamless digital experience and they’ll associate that polished professionalism with you and your service.
4. Relatable Content
Your lead magnet should start with a cover page and an intro from you, including your photo, so that they can match a face to the content they’re about to read. This creates a human connection that supersedes a faceless brand. The content itself should be clear and easily digestible, with the main points highlighted and skimmable.
5. Call to Action
The last page of every lead magnet should include a short bio about you or your design firm and a call to action. In this case, I would include a button linked to your contact page, inviting them to book a discovery call with you.
Lead magnet topic ideas for interior designers:
What are some “quick win” ideas for interior designers looking to attract bigger, better projects with the clients they love? First, make sure you have your ideal client and project in mind. Then, take a peek at the ideas below and see if there’s one that resonates with you or inspires another idea. It’s by no means an exhaustive list but should get you on the right track.
Use a chart of price tiers to help your clients build their own budget, set realistic expectations, and better understand quality levels. This could be done for a home furnishings project, kitchen renovation, renovating in general, building a new home, etc.
# Things to Know Before […]
Help potential clients understand some of the common hurdles, misconceptions, and realities homeowners experience during a project. Give them tips for nipping these in the bud or working with you to fast-track their way to success. Again, this topic could be specific to: kitchen renovations, furnishing a new home, building a custom home, renovating your whole home, etc.
This idea is similar to the one above but in a checklist format. Who doesn’t love a list??
Use this to illustrate an answer to one of the questions you hear the most. For example, “Essentials of a Home Designed for Kids and Pets” or “Essentials of a Home Designed to Last.” You know your dream clients best. Think about what they need and then deliver the answer.
This one goes against my “keep it short” rule and is a beast to create, but I’ve seen it done to stunning effect. An on-brand and beautiful digital magazine could include a “letter from the editor” (you), project features with client testimonials, favorite products, and even fun contributions from team members. It can be colorful, fun, and make your design firm look high-end in a blink. A quick win from an aesthetic point of view!
Still feeling stuck?
What is the most common struggle you hear from your ideal clients? When they’re chatting with you on a discovery call, what are you hearing time and time again? That should move you closer to a winning lead magnet idea.
How do you deliver the lead magnet to new subscribers?
Once you have your lead magnet created, you’ll want to choose an email service provider. An email service provider (ESP) allows you to create forms and/or landing pages to collect email addresses, manage your email list and send broadcast emails to your list.
If you already have an email service provider that you love, great. Need a recommendation? I highly recommend and personally use ConvertKit. It’s simple to use and their support team is top-notch. Plus, it’s free to get started. Click here to sign up for free. (aff. link) I’ve also heard great things about Flodesk. (aff. link)
“An effective lead magnet will meet your potential clients where they’re at, offer them a quick win, give them a taste of your style, and invite them to take some sort of action.”
If you can do all of this, you will be supporting prospective clients and leading them toward a wonderful experience of working with you…and enjoying their happiest future at home.
Need help designing your brand and website? Wish you had a website with all the right marketing elements in place? I would love to support you. Reach out to me here and let’s chat.