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Home-based Business

Five Lead Magnet Ideas to grow your audience

…and how to create them in ways that are beneficial to your readers.

The phrase “lead magnet” for me conjures up images of moths gathering around a glimmering light. In the writer’s instance, we are light, and the moths are our targeted audience.

I wonder if this is a terrible thought on my part?

The official definition is as follows:

The fact is, lead magnets are not a new marketing strategy. However, as with any marketing format, we have to be ready to change with the times and update or upgrade our marketing content as platforms and our customers develop.

Another fact is that if your lead magnets are not providing useful content or value, your potential customer won’t part with his or her email address. If you are marketing online, an email address is an asset for your business.

As you would treat any asset, nurture it and grow it to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. A carefully crafted lead magnet can help this effort too.

What makes a good lead magnet?

A good lead magnet solves a problem, provides a quick reference to an issue, and should give your customer when actioned, a quick win too. 

It should offer a specific benefit and be easy to read, with information swift to digest. 

As with all content, highly valuable is the name of the game, and ultimately it offers a means to demonstrate your business’s unique selling proposition.

Let’s look at five ideas for lead magnets that can be easily implemented:

  1. Checklist

So popular because they are so easy to read and to understand. 

The beauty of the checklist is that it gives your customers immediately actionable checkpoints.

When you are creating one, keep the following points in mind:

  • Make the checklist specific — the list must focus on a certain subject. Using a checklist for a too broader topic will lose its impetus. So keep it narrow, not like a checklist to “Improve Your Digital Marketing Skills” because there are so many aspects that go to that broad subject. 
  • It should be goal orientated — Something like “How To Set up a Blog Page in Five Easy Steps” is narrow enough to have actionable and be easily implemented towards a final goal;
  • Designed to be digested quickly and easily — I think you will agree that we are all generally looking for instant gratification. It goes without saying then that your topic if designed in the form of a checklist, should tick this important criterion.
  • Results-driven — not just to achieve the desired results for your customer, who has just handed over his or her email address to you, but also resulting in the developing of trust between your customer and yourself. Once the checklist has been used, the customer should be able to look back and relish in his or her achievement, and then be able to hold you in mind, for helping him or she gets to that point.

2. Cheatsheet

This one is just lovely since it really removes the tendency for your customer to overthink things. It differs from the checklist, since the cheat sheet is a guideline or an outline to a process, so it is quick and easy to apply.

I love to use a Customer Avatar cheatsheet. Here is what it looks like.

In its simplicity, I have an outline of how to draft my best advert copy, so that I am focused on all aspects of my customer avatar.

It might seem a bit weird, but I even put in a picture of what I think my avatar for a specific campaign might look like. It reminds me that while I am behind my laptop, looking into my screen, that a real person exists on the other side of it.

3. Template

Now, who doesn’t love a great template? 

Since it is a format or an outline of an idea, it gives your customer the ease of simply filling in the blanks. If there is a creative gap too, templates can provide an excellent starting point and solve the problem of not really knowing where to start on something.

I also had this question initially, but what is the basic difference between a template and a cheat sheet? 

For me, my cheat sheets are easily pastable on my wall above my laptop. A template, is that formatted, structured document, that I store in my laptop, which helps me to develop a blog post or article for example.

Actually, a cheat sheet needs a template too.

4. Swipe File

The ultimate lead magnet, since this is designed as a collection of proven tools. For copywriters, digital marketers, and project managers, it is common practice to have a swipe file that is used as a reference for ideas and projects.

This is a culmination of all of your knowledge, know-how, experience, mistakes and wins for an overview of the particular topic.

A swipe file that you could share with your customer might include:

  • Ads
  • Email subject lines
  • Thank you pages
  • Opt-In pages
  • Landing pages
  • Sales pages
  • Headlines
  • Bullet points

Likewise, I have collected a swipe file over time of some of the most important lessons that I have learnt from other entrepreneurs. My file is a reference point and helps me in instances where I might find blocks creeping into my daily action points. Those days when taking action is a struggle.

I use the swipe file that I have collected for support and in the process of good, and mindfully and take care never to plagiarise the good work of all those who have come before me.

5. Toolkit

Like the swipe file, the toolkit is the one-stop-shop reference point. It goes a few more steps further than the swipe file though.

It is the tools from start to finish demonstrating a particular topic. It is in-depth and behind the scenes, of items to accomplish and is likely to include book references, course references, self-help support and mindset approaches, templates, checklists, formatted templates and reviewed products.

It is great for affiliate marketers too. While the toolkit can be given away for free, you might include affiliate links to your best products, and in providing your customer a value-based approach to a product review, including those links for consideration by your customer.

Conclusion

A lead magnet is a bridge between your target market and your product or service. 

If a lead magnet strategy is going to be a part of your overall marketing strategy, be mindful as to how they are created.

Upgrading or revamping your content will need careful planning if you are going to provide a value stacked lead magnet for your customer to download.

Remember, that most online marketers are using a lead magnet of some sort, so be sure to have these properly set out, with relevant and useful information, but also what best works for you.

Photo provided by Pixabay on Pexels

Categories
Home-based Business

Can you turn your hobby into a money-making machine?

Like so many other online entrepreneurs who have turned their passion into a cash generator, there are options to make your own pastime or hobby into something that can replace your regular salary.

It needs some research and a no holds barred mindset, but it is most certainly within your reach.

Jeff Walker speaks of Rules of Internet Success, and the first rule that is applicable to this question is:

“Only sell what the market wants”

Google Trends, is a useful tool to discover whether there is longevity and substance to your specific hobby. This research tool allows you to view the trends over a period of time, and how the trends differ between regions across the globe.

It’s wonderful to see how your candle making hobby would fair, for example, and how it might compare to other design hobbies too.

Get to grips with all likes of keywords and discover the power of this tool.

Image for post
Google Trends: A Keyword Exploration Tool

Remember that while you might be passionate about candle making, others might not feel that same burning desire to get their hands on a candle making kit.

If you are serious about making good money online with your hobby, it is natural that your costs should be less than your income, so be wary of having your passion burn up your good business sense.

If Google Trends is anything to go by though, it seems that the trend for candle making is on the up!

What about Production?

While people might not want to make their own candles, buying your creations can be an option. I love candles and have them in my home, and the fragranced ones are a huge favourite of mine. Love them!

I myself wouldn’t purchase a candle-making kit, but if there were products available for me to purchase, I would do it! The idea around this is that if you have a hobby that you could viably turn into a salary for yourself, make sure that you are thinking broadly about your passion.

Cater to many types of customers. The intrepid candlemaker who would purchase a candle-making kit and the other type of customer who is someone who just appreciates the art and calmness that the candle can bring to their home.

Creating a Following

The primary focus of all entrepreneurs and business owners!

With your blog content, articles or videos you create your audience will grow. Although this is never as easy as it sounds. It will take some skill and patience around generating interest for your product, your hobby, so resolve to be in it for the long haul.

Paid advertising is another great option to generate interest among your target market.

An age-old marketing strategy known as the A.I.D.A Model is still a sound framework in which to brainstorm your advertising process:

  • A for Attention

What is the product?

Does it solve a problem?

Does it centre around a passion or a personal pursuit?

  • I for Interest

Describing the benefits of the product to get your target customer to acknowledge that they like it!

  • D for Desire

If you have the customer’s attention and interest, digging deeper to get to their desires, will have them wanting the product

At this stage of the marketing process, your customers know, like and trust you, because you have added value, demonstrated how their problem can be resolved and shown them how your product can benefit their lives.

  • A for Action

I’m getting it!

Having a call to action once you have successfully bridged your client is paramount to a successful marketing plan and turning your hobby into a passion-drive business.

Your marketing strategy might also include the potential to make some extra money from affiliate links and advertising opportunities for third parties.

How about Teaching?

A report recently published on the types of content your audience wants to see, or what they engage in, is online classes.

It does most certainly tick the value-add box too since you are transferring your own skill to others. These newly inspired candle-makers might decide that they too want to make a go of things and go off to conquer their entrepreneurial dreams.

Conclusion

Having a clear idea about taking your passion to the next level does require some deep thought.

It requires an entrepreneurial mindset and if you have a deep-seated and purpose-driven need to create a business around your passions, this is well within your reach.

Categories
Home-based Business

5 Daily Habits of Leadership

While it might seem a dreary prospect to follow a daily routine, the power that this routine provides, and the good habits created, are incontrovertible. 

Some leading entrepreneurs and business people have their own specific routine, and these daily habits have set them up as leaders in their respective industries.

For me personally, I love Benjamin Franklin’s plans for self-improvement. On the road to being a business entrepreneur being a persistent student is key to a successful outcome. 

Elon Musk’s schedule of planning his day in five-minute blocks is something that I am going to implement to be even more effective in my management of time. 

Kevin Kruse, a Time Management expert has researched and found that top performers use time-blocks as opposed to To-Do-Lists to achieve the best possible outcome in the productivity of their days.

Habits and routines are of course very personal, but knowing how to put your best foot forward, and what critical tasks you need to accomplish to boost your business strategy, can set you up as a leader in your own niche. 

Here are five daily habits, that you could implement immediately.

Daily Habit 1 — Visualisation and meditation on your goals

Writing out a set of goals is only the first step to understanding what needs to be done in your vision for the future.

Action steps are of course critical to achieving your goals, but often these steps can become overwhelming. Self-doubt and negative talk creep in, especially if you are new to the entrepreneurial journey.

Visualizing and being in your future where your goals are already attained, solidifies your actions and bolsters your way forward. You remember your purpose and are able to pinpoint the reason for taking this journey in the first place.

It marks the way for your next step and builds the confidence you need when your journey is a path where you might be learning new skills.

Visualizing makes your goals a reality and not just a bunch of words on a piece of paper you have pasted on your wall above your desk.

Daily Habit 2 — Personal Development

Investing in yourself and your continuing growth is always money well spent. 

During my research, I read how entrepreneurs have failed on numerous occasions or have even lost their businesses completely. Because of the skills that they have learned though, those “failures” are literally like water from a duck’s back. 

It is the deep-seated knowledge and self-belief in their expertise and skill that puts them ahead of all others. It bolsters their performance and supports their daily drive towards their end-goal. 

It is also not just tangible skills that lead to the development of self. It is reading inspiring articles, and being prudent as to what you listen to and things you involve yourself in.

Self-development is not a destination, it is the ultimate journey, and having this item on your list of daily habits is a must.

I have this quote from Oprah Winfrey in clear view as I sit at my desk. It for me, highlights what self development is mostly about:

Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.”

Daily Habit 3 — Brainstorm and Mastermind with other Leaders and Mentors

I hear this often from my mentors that I learn from: 

“Read. Read some more, and then some more. Listen. Listen some more and then some more. Once you have done this, take action!” 

While you might be setting off on a journey that may be foreign to you, you can count on it that there are others who have already walked your path. They are the trailblazers who are making things happen in the same way you need to. Follow them. 

Read about their successes. Listen to their words of advice and act upon that advice. Participate actively in forums, and webinars and follow through on the lessons learned.

Being a perpetual student is not enough. Knowing that you have gained the knowledge and skills, and understanding a successful framework is just the first step. Acting on that knowledge is fundamental to the mastermind process. 

Even the most successful entrepreneurs have mentors and people they look up to. It is being a willing receptacle to learn and grow. 

Daily Habit 4 — Learn, Do, Teach

Leaders are self developers. As we are leaders, we also have an expectation that others are leaders in their own right too. 

As you have learned from your mentors and leaders, it is your responsibility to “pay it forward” by putting your new skill, or belief into action and teaching others to do the same.

It is potentially a life-changing and world-changing practice. 

Imagine a place where we are all learning from each other, putting into practice our new skills, and creating good habits everywhere?

Daily Habit 5 — Income-producing activity

As an entrepreneur, you are ultimately your own boss. 

We seldom answer to anyone else and thus, as my old dad used to say, we are responsible for pushing our own wheelbarrows. 

While we might not answer to others, we remain responsible to ourselves and to those around us who love and depend on us. Accordingly, an income-producing activity practiced every day must be on the list of daily good habits.

Placing an ad, writing an article, managing affiliate links, (if this is your strategy) and promoting your content, are habits that will ultimately have a positive effect on your income. 

Practicing these five daily habits might just be powerful enough to change your view of leadership. After all, it is not the position we lead from, but it is the mindset that we project that makes us leaders in our own right.

Categories
Home-based Business

Establishing authority with your sales funnel

How often do you scroll through your social media feed and look at an advert and think twice, or thrice, about buying despite it being a product or service you might need?

For me, it’s all about trust.

As we are, so too are our potential customers, and accordingly getting a “buy” button to be pressed is only a matter of building trust and authority.

I say only, but building trust and authority might not be as easy as it sounds.

Ultimately though, the trust you build has the potential to create a lifelong relationship with your customers, which if nurtured, can be mutually beneficial.

Adding Value

  • Stop the sales talk and add value first, and when you have done that, don’t stop adding value.
  • Learning about your customer’s pain points, and their burning questions and providing solutions to those questions is paramount to understanding your customer avatar.
  • Spend time doing an exercise to understand your customer avatars’ goals and values, where they find information to their problems or needs, and also their challenges and pain-points in their current situation.
  • A useful resource for this customer avatar exercise is a website called “Answerthepublic” As the name suggests it provides details of questions being asked and based on those questions you can create content around those queries.
  • Quite often, you should be poised to give information away. Give out a useful checklist, or perhaps a basic training video, and maybe a library of your best templates. It all goes to creating a relationship of trust first.

Once you understand the questions being asked on a certain subject, you are well on your way to adding value, by solving a problem, relieving a pain point, and creating authority in the eyes of your customers.

So you have added value, and your customer has seen your authority offer. What’s next?

Add some more value! This might be a sales process, but it shouldn’t be a pressing issue. If you have done your homework, you are selling to your niche market, and so the sale process is far easier.

Write your posts or adverts as if you are speaking to your perfect customer. Since you are generally in the pool with your perfect customer you already know a little about who they are.

At this next step, as you have already solved a problem in your first interaction with your customer, asking for their contact details is likely to be met with a positive reaction.

Perhaps you have written a top-notch educational course, and you are presenting it over a period of time. Your customer would be happy to give you his email address for regular learning opportunities and if the customer continues to receive value, he or she is likely to continue to subscribe to your ongoing offer.

And the sales funnel is working for you!

…and your list is growing. You have happy customers. You are adding value and solving problems and answering questions, left, right, and center.

Reciprocity is the name. Mutual benefit is the game. At this point in establishing a trust relationship, you could sell your value add and ideally, the price should be once-off and small enough for your customer to feel that the bank has not been broken.

But beware, you must continue to solve their problems, answer those burning questions, and relieving their pain points. Adding value in the process of moving the client through the sales funnel is neverending.

This type of relationship is for the long haul. It is the best type of relationship too, because this customer will tell their friends, and if you change their life and deliver on your promises to your customer’s friend, you have another customer. And the process continues.

Your customer just purchased an item in your micro offer. Can this goodwill continue?

Yes, it most certainly can. Remember, you have been establishing yourself as a trustworthy authority in your niche. You’ve been solving problems and answering questions and all the while taking care of your customer relationships.

At this point, your customer might feel like he is on the other end of the reciprocity scale and now decides that he can start to really invest in his outcome, with your awesome product or service.

Perhaps he is willing to charge forward and commit to a monthly subscription of sorts. Here at the end of your sales funnel, your core and continuity offers are positioned perfectly for the mutual benefit of your business and your customer.

It starts with adding value and ends with adding value, and all the while in-between, it’s about adding value.

Categories
Home-based Business

So you want to start an online business?

Google Trends suggests that the search for “online business” has risen by some 20 points, between the period starting September 2019 to September 2020. Over the past five years, the trend has steadily risen. Not big news, and it’s appropriate when we think back to the beginning of 2020, and we were all asked to stay home.

Pandemic Aftermath

The reality of the aftermath of the pandemic is rearing its nasty head. Some corporations have for months now, transitioned their employees to periods of taking leave, instead of drawing their full monthly salaries. Some businesses have had to close their doors completely, while others have had to make very quick decisions to simply stay afloat. Countries are reeling from the additional costs on their health services, and many will need to raise taxes to fulfill their debt obligations to loans taken during the height of the pandemic. People are relooking at their hard-earned pensions in response to rising inflation, and talk of recession paints a bleak picture for many.

I have my own dreams

If you are anything like me, way before the pandemic hit us all, I was looking for a life of freedom. It sounds like such a cliche and it probably is, but all I ever wanted was to determine how I spent my time. I didn’t want to be working towards someone else’s dreams and goals, I had my own dreams and it was high time that I went out to find them. It was so scary to think that I wasn’t going to be in full employment, but nevertheless I pulled the plug on a life where I would simply trade my time for a salary.

Living purposefully

Now I understand that this step seems irresponsible for many, and most will go on to say that this cannot be me, although you might resonate with the longing of having the liberty to spend your day working on your own goals for your own business. But it’s about living purposefully and living authentically, and being able to show up for your loved ones when they need you to be there. It’s about not having to check with your boss to get permission to attend family events, and getting to a point where you don’t feel afraid that your career might come crashing down around you, as a result of circumstances that are out of your control.

I needed help

Initially I was so comfortable with my decision to leave the “9 to 5”. My entire future had changed and I was at last taking steps to determining that future. I had at last, got off the treadmill of daily activities that brought me no joy and little excitement for the days ahead.

Although filled with excitement and promise, I knew that if I was going to make a success of my decision into entrepreneurship that I needed help getting it right. I needed skills to learn a career in the online industry but most of all, I needed people to assist me and who understood my journey.

There are so many online resources

It didn’t take me long to be completely overwhelmed by the resources online because there are so many! It is hard to cut through all of the advice and messaging from online entrepreneurs and it quickly became apparent to me, that not all resources online are created equal.

It was difficult not to fall into the trap of the “get rich online quickly” rhetoric of some advertisers. I knew that I needed to make money to replace the steady income that I had given up. I also was fearful as to how I would even manage with my lack of technical skills in setting up this online space for myself. I had gone from excitement to fear in one fell swoop. What on earth had I done?

My overcoming of fear

I sat quietly one day, having just read and re-read a whole bunch of downloads. These downloads told me about the best way to market online, the most efficient way to start your sales funnel and gave me tips on how to overcome my fear. I was even more scared.

While sitting quietly with myself, I made a list of what I really needed. It was a short list. This is it:

  • I need support from people who are on the same journey as me;
  • I need to learn skills from people who have made this journey, and who have already learned the mistakes I will make;
  • I need to mastermind with people to develop myself out of this place of fear
  • Ideally, I need this is one space.

The fourth point was a wish and if I found all of the first three on the same platform, then I was winning!

Fast forward to where I am now

I am winning! I am not going to tell you that I have completely overcome my fear, which I have discovered is the fear of failure. I manage that fear every day, with a community of entrepreneurs that I am in synch with. I train every day and learn new skills to keep in touch with the ever-changing digital space. I take action and the most important thing that I have learnt, is that with action, my fear seems unreasonable, and I now know that my dreams of living with freedom are within my reach.

The free training that changed my fear into action can be accessed here:

Categories
Home-based Business Self Development

Are you living your Ideal Day?

I am walking in Spain, I have my backpack on my back. It’s filled with only a few necessities. I can hear the stones underfoot, I can smell the trees and the flowers and can hear the birds singing in the distance. It doesn’t really matter where I am on the path, I am just following it and trusting that the path will lead me to my evening’s destination. It’s so simple, but that’s a version of my ideal day.

It’s actually quite funny too. I am a terrible walker. I should be swimming. I am quite a talented swimmer, I always have been and I enjoy being in the pool. My physique is such, that I am more developed for water travel too, as opposed to land 🙂

Nevertheless, when I think of my ideal day, it’s walking and being on a pilgrimage. There is a special feeling about this type of walk. It’s purpose-driven, but still, your fate is left in the hands of something higher than you, and it’s a beautiful thing to let go of all of the normal responsibilities of daily life and just simplify everything. It’s a blessing.

We can’t be on pilgrimage all of the time though. Or can we? In actual fact, why can’t we? Today, as I write this, there are a bunch of people who have walked the Camino de Santiago and who have taken the decision to change their lives. They now either live on one of the routes running albergues or have taken up residence in Santiago De Compostela assisting pilgrims in many ways. They have made their dreams a reality, they have backed themselves in pursuing those dreams and have stood for nothing less than those dreams. These are incredible people in my view.

What does your ideal day look like? My good friend loves spending time with her young boys, so for her it’s doing things that they love. Building with lego, playing outside, and just enjoying quality time with her babies. Others might see their ideal day as being just able to have a coffee with a trusted friend and take in a movie together. Spending time over lunch or dinner with your partner, lover, wife or husband and really being present in those moments.

Regardless of what your ideal day might look like, there is a common thread that will run through all versions of them. Freedom. It’s the freedom necessary to create those days from both a financial and a time abundant aspect. Are you financially able to go to dinners every other night? Are you financially settled to take time off? Are you able to spend time, but real-time with the people you love and show up for them in a way that you want to? Can you be the leader you know you are meant to be, in your current situation?

Are you living your ideal day?

Title photo: Camino Frances March 2019 between Pamplona and Puente La Reina

Categories
Home-based Business

Why is Adding Value important?

It is mentioned so often in articles and learning modules around the subject of salesmanship. First add value. You hear it and read about it all the time.

So, what is adding value and how would you go about it from a business perspective? In our personal lives, we add value almost every day. We feed the dogs, clean hamster cages, at the moment help with the children’s homeschooling regime. We help ease a certain amount of pain and pressure, by doing these small daily tasks. From your business perspective though it can’t just be about selling your product or service if you are looking for economic longevity. Longevity in your business is the reason why adding value is important.

Consider the customer’s perspective

Every bit of money, whether it be large or small, spent by your customer in your business is money that would have gone towards his or her own or his family’s maintenance. While your customer is purchasing this item on his own volition, see this experience of purchase from his perspective and value the trust being placed in your product.

Build on and strive to improve customer satisfaction

We are satisfied when we buy something and that item constantly gives us value. When it doesn’t, respect and understand the customer’s perspective and treat your customer in a way that you would want to be treated, if the tables were reversed.

The customer’s experience should be memorable

Pleasantly memorable that is to say. A memorable experience leads to excellent word-of-mouth referrals. It is much easier to sell to other people, where proof exists from others who can stand up for you and your product or service.

It really does ring true that the ‘customer is king’

Marketing models

Including free resources in your marketing models, in exchange for small things from your customers adds immense value. Whether it be an e-book, articles, or newsletters with information to educate for example give these out to position your authority in your niche market.

Once your customers are in your sales funnel and you are nurturing your relationships with them, the principle of reciprocity rings true. Since you have added value first, without asking for any money in return it is human nature that they will reciprocate on this goodwill.

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value”

Albert Einstein