The learning center

Learn powerful and proven direct response marketing strategies that will help you grow your business fast.

Reset
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

A Beginner's Guide To Marketing Your Business

Marketing is essential for the growth of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), yet it's a field rife with hype, half-truths, and misinformation. Many business owners are left confused by the myriad of opinions on marketing, often leading them to take no action at all. This inaction, however, can spell disaster for a business. Effective marketing campaigns are crucial as they are designed to generate revenue, not just incur costs. To navigate this complex landscape, SMB owners need clear, actionable strategies that focus on attracting more customers and scaling their business without breaking the bank on advertising.

Marketing

Why You Need To Master Marketing Your Business

Marketing Your Business Is The Key To Rapid Growth. Here’s How To Get More Customers And Scale Your Small Business . . . Without Spending A Fortune On Advertising

There is an endless array of hype, half-truths, and misinformation when it comes to business marketing.

Everyone seems to have an opinion, yet very few have actual experience creating marketing campaigns that do what they’re supposed to do: make money!

It’s no wonder many small to medium business owners are confused and often end up doing nothing at all.

However ignoring marketing in your business is a recipe for disaster. Doing so will severely stunt the growth of your business.

Why Learning Marketing Is Smart For Every Business Owner

Here’s the deal: you need to master marketing if your business is going to grow rapidly.

Even if your hiring someone else to do your marketing for you, you still need to be able to recognize the difference between a good marketing strategy and a poor one so that you don’t waste your money on something that won’t work.

Don’t wait until your product is perfect or until “you have more time” or until the stars all line up for you. The time to get started on learning and doing business marketing is today!

LEARN HOW TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS
LIKE A PRO

Sign up for my 1-Page Marketing Plan Course. It follows the nine stages of my bestselling book, but we go deeper into tactical implementation. I take you through the same process I take my 1:1 coaching clients, which is building out the marketing tools, assets, and processes you need to make marketing work for you.

Tell Me More

Getting Started: How To Market Your Business The Right Way

OK before we dive into the nitty gritty, let’s consider the big picture so that we’re working from a reliable marketing blueprint or “plan”.  I go into detail about creating your marketing plan. There’s even five examples which you can use to get your creative juices flowing.

How To Create A Sophisticated Marketing Plan In 9 Steps

First of all, you need to understand direct response marketing and how to create compelling copy. These messages are critical to getting your target audience to take action:

What Is Direct Response Marketing?

What Is Emotional Direct Response Copywriting?

Next, you need a totally new way of thinking about your “marketing budget” (good news: you don’t need a big one):

How To Have An Unlimited Marketing Budget

There’s also a huge mistake you need to avoid. Here’s a hint, it’s the number 1 mistake almost all small business owners make when they start marketing their business):

Why Marketing Like A Large Company Will Kill Your Business

Many business owners think they need to focus on branding. For me, branding is something that happens after a sale. If you’d like to grasp the basics of branding, you’ll want to read this:

What Is A Brand?

Choosing Your Target Market

Ok now that you’ve got some theory under your belt and understand the big picture, the next step is to choose a target market.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, it’s vital to ensure your marketing isn’t too broad. Here’s why:

The Riches Are In the Niches

Don’t get fooled into thinking that as long as you have a great product it will sell itself. That simply isn’t true! But the good news is there’s a cheap and easy way to ensure that your product or service will be a success:

How To Launch A New Product With A High Probability Of Success

Implement Lead Generation Marketing:

A lot of marketing advice focuses on fuzzy concepts like “branding” and “getting your name out there”. However, to get a measurable return on investment, you need lead generation marketing.

As basic as it may sound, the purpose of your marketing is to generate qualified leads.  But how do you find and target only high probability prospects? Use “The Visible Target Technique” to sift, sort and screen:

How To Generate Leads With The Visible Target Technique

A great way to attract high-quality leads is to create a lead magnet or what I like to call a cornerstone piece of content. My book The 1-Page Marketing Plan is my lead magnet. You can create something similar like an e-book, or a report, or a downloadable pdf, whatever. To get you started check out my how-to guide now:

How To Create A Lead Magnet That Converts In 6 Steps

How To Research, Write, and Publish Cornerstone Content

Marketers who use traditional “interruption marketing” are seen by prospects as a pest. However lead generation marketing is all about prospects seeing and treating you as a welcome guest. Here’s the secret to making this vital transformation (your business success depends on it):

Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses

The problem with a lot of advertising is that it’s often vague and self-focused. Good lead generation advertising has a very clear call to action and focuses squarely on the prospect and the problem they’re having, rather than being focused on you:

Marketing On Purpose

If you want to market on purpose then you need to choose the best media to reach your target audience. LinkedIn is the ultimate B2B lead-generating network. 50% of all social media traffic to business websites comes from LinkedIn, so it needs to be part of your marketing strategy. Here’s how you can start to build your profile, get more engagement, and grow your business:

How To Craft A Lead-Generating LinkedIn Post

Building Your Marketing Follow Up Machine:

Once you’ve captured qualified leads, the next step is to put them into your marketing machine and follow them up in a systematic manner.

Many businesses do “random acts of marketing”. On the other hand, smart business owners build marketing assets and infrastructure which they can use over and over again. Here’s how to build your own marketing infrastructure:

Building A Marketing Infrastructure

10 Marketing Assets Small Businesses Need To Build

A good follow up system is all about building a relationship with your prospects and giving them value. If you position yourself as an expert and a voice of value, prospects will actually WANT to hear from you on a regular basis.

Becoming A Voice Of Value

How​ To Create A Lead Magnet That Converts In 6-STEPS

Want to consistently get new leads to subscribe to your newsletter? You need a lead magnet. Create yours in 6 easy steps PLUS Free Worksheet

Marketing

What is a lead magnet and why is it an asset? Before I explain what it is, let’s talk about why it’s important.

If you want to grow your email list rapidly, you need to create something that generates new leads. More leads equal more potential customers to market to more regularly. But how do you acquire these leads?

With a lead magnet, of course.

I’m going to show you how to create your lead magnet so you can start raking in those sales.

Get Our 12-Step Niche Domination Framework for Free

Just tell us where to send it...

We respect your email inbox and will never spam.

Stylized illustration of an open envelope with a document emerging from it, marked by a downward arrow indicating downloading or receiving an email.

There are many reasons why businesses and brands are always trying to get you to sign up for their email list. Keep in mind:

  1. Email marketing is 5x more likely to be seen than a Facebook ad.
  2. It’s much cheaper than advertising on social media. Email generates $38 for every $1 spent. That’s a mind-blowing 3,800 percent return on investment. So it has much higher conversion rates.
  3. Where 60 percent of consumers sign up for brand emails, only 20 percent follow their social pages. This suggests that while consumers will follow you on social media, they don’t necessarily want you to message them on the platform.

So it’s clear that your customer email list is a gold mine, and you should actually be putting your money, time, and resources towards building a solid email database.

And a lead magnet is one of the best ways to help you get more high quality email subscribers. I’m going to explain what this is, share a few lead magnet ideas and examples, and take you through my step-by-step guide on how to create a lead magnet that’s high converting.

Before you do this, it helps to have a plan. Learn how to create yours here.

Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

What Is A Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is what I like to call an opt-in “ethical bribe”—something that’s going to help you to attract high converting website visitors, grow your email list, build trust, gain authority, and win new customers.

It’s usually a downloadable piece of FREE content that your niche market is compelled to get their hands on. They are experiencing some form of pain, and your lead magnet will make it go away, and fast.

So to attract a lead, you are going to give away something of value for free.

Think of it as a nice, light helium-filled balloon. Give it a tap, and it just launches into space. Learn more about which assets you need to build here.

Why You Need A Good Lead Magnet?

Lead generation! The perfect lead magnet gets your ideal audience to self-identify. You want to grow your email list. But not with just anyone.

As a startup or small business, you don’t have the time, money, or resources to waste on nurturing low-quality prospects—people who’ll never buy your product or service.

Your goal is to build a list of high quality email subscribers that will eventually convert to customers.

But why would a prospect want to identify themselves to you as a high-probability customer or client?

Because you have something of value that they want to get, it will take them from point A to point B, so pain to pleasure. It’s so valuable that they’re willing to give you their contact information, so their name and email address, or phone number, or mailing address. This way, you can keep in touch with them during the nurturing process.

Do Lead Magnets Work?

Absolutely. I’ll use my business as an example. I have roughly 45,000 email subscribers, and I’ve built this list using my lead magnet, The 1-Page Marketing Plan.

People bought the book because they wanted to learn how to use direct response marketing to grow their businesses. So I already know that it’s a high value groupd of people opting in to my email list.

And I’d say all of my one-on-one clients, the people who bought my online course or signed up for my monthly membership, Marketing & Business Academy, have done so because they’ve used my lead magnet.

I don’t have to do cold calling or cold outreach. I don’t invest much in PPC, and I’ve only recently started using social media. I just answered their burning question, how do you build a one-page marketing plan that’s designed to help you sell more products or services.

So now, let’s take a look at the key elements of a lead magnet.

How To Name A Lead Magnet

Choosing a good name is vital to the success of your lead magnet. It will determine whether your book, blog, report, or how-to guide gets read. Think of it like the packaging of a product, if it doesn’t stand out on the shelf, you’re not going to buy it.

Here’s what I like to do.  

  1. State exactly who it’s for. If your lead magnet is for mining professionals or small business owners of IT companies, you need to state that. Saying who your lead magnet is for makes it far more valuable to your audience. For example, 5-Minute Core Exercises for Seniors, or Bigger, Leaner, Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body.
  2. Have a strong promise. The title of your lead magnet needs to be short and specific. For example, The 1-Page Marketing Plan, The 4-Hour Work Week, Influence. These all make a specific promise, something that is enticing to their ideal audience. What’s yours?
  3. Include a sub-heading. This goes in-depth into your promise and really drives home the value of your lead magnet offer. It muse lay out the benefits. For example, the sub-heading of The 1-Page Marketing Plan is Get New Customers, Make More Money, and Stand Out from the Crowd. Or John Hall’s Top of Mind: Use Content To Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You.

You need to spend a lot of time coming up with a great lead magnet name. Brainstorm as much as 50 names, and then pick the best. Good luck.

Get Our 12-Step Niche Domination Framework for Free

Just tell us where to send it...

We respect your email inbox and will never spam.

Stylized illustration of an open envelope with a document emerging from it, marked by a downward arrow indicating downloading or receiving an email.

What Makes A Great Lead Magnet?

There are seven best practices that you need to adhere to when creating a lead magnet. Before I dive into what these are, I want you to understand that the purpose of your lead magnet is to start a conversation between your business and a prospect.

Right, so what do the best lead magnets have in common.

1) It needs to be short and succinct.

2) It needs to demonstrate your expertise. You’ll want to employ emotional direct response copywriting for maximum effect. Peppering the content with your personal experiences lends credibility and builds confidence.

3) Making it instantly accessible wins you favor with your prospect. As soon as they hit the send button, they should receive an email with the document attached or see that it has started downloading.

4) It must solve a problem. Think about your ideal market. What are the questions they’re typing into Google?

5) It makes a promise. So it states upfront the result it will deliver.

6) It offers perceived value. It walks you through exactly how to do something. For example, it could be how to turn your blog into a full-time business.

7) Lastly, it’s highly specific. So it targets a hyper niche target market.

Let use  5 Ways to Double Your Sales in 30 Days as an example.

  • It solves a problem: How to get more sales quickly.
  • It makes a promise: Double your sales in 30 days.
  • It offers perceived value: Five ways suggests the methods are tried and tested.
  • It’s highly specific: Here’s how to rapidly grow your business.

Now you know what makes up a perfect lead magnet. But before I take you through the framework of how to create your lead magnet, I want to cover the different types of lead magnets and share a few examples.

11 Lead Magnet Examples

Now that we know what content to include in your lead magnet, it’s time to choose what type of lead magnet you create. The options open to you are varied, but consider what your audience wants before you get started.

To help you decide, here are a few lead magnet ideas.

1: DATA

Now data is a really powerful lead magnet. Journalists lap this stuff up. They want it to be current, and if they can get the first scoop, all the better. But it does need to be compelling.

Either you can collect the data yourself using online surveys or compile the data from various sources to form an insightful report. You will ideally need to have surveyed over a thousand individuals for the stats to be taken seriously.

Learn how to pitch your insights to the media here.

But it’s not just media houses that value data.

Take the real estate industry, for example. If I want to sell my house, it’s highly likely I’m going to want to know what it’s worth. Now you may say, “Hey, we offer free appraisals, so why bother with that.”

As a prospect, I might decide to do a few upgrades before I put my house on the market. So I’m not yet ready for an appraisal. If you can offer me an up-to-date report, perhaps quarterly or monthly, that gives me the latest data on what house prices in my area are worth, that’s something that would be valuable to me.

It helps me decide if I want to sell, how soon I want to sell it, and what my house is worth?

Data is a great way to drive high-quality traffic to your website and build your authority. So it’s really about attracting website visitors that want what you’re selling.

2: Free Guide (How-To Information)

Now I want to talk about how-to information lead magnets. Shorter than an eBook, these guides typically walk you through exactly how to do something, for example, how to write a blog post or how to set up a landing page.

But they tend to be more specific than that.

For example, if I Google, How to migrate from Microsoft Office 365 to Google G Suite and download your lead magnet titled, The Ultimate Guide to Migrating to Google G Suite, there’s a reasonable chance that sometime soon, I may be in the market for IT services.

How-to-style lead magnets are sometimes referred to as a tripwire because they cause prospects to self-identify. They are very powerful for identifying high-probability prospects.

3: Template Or Framework

Another excellent lead magnet idea is a template. It outlines how to do something. For example, if you’re pitching the media, you might download a free template outlining what information to include in your pitch.

It would look a little something like this:

Subject line: Pitch: (Include the journo request)

Hi {[ insert name ]},

Intro paragraph – Introduce who you are and establish credibility (this is a short bio that highlights your experience and mentions noteworthy info). Demonstrate in this paragraph why the journo should choose your pitch.

Include a teaser line that relates to the journo request and possibly takes a stand.

REPEAT/REPHRASE THE JOURNO QUESTION

Add your sound bite quote – “Keep it short and punchy. Use emotive language. Add personality to your response. Remember, the journalist should be able to copy and paste your quote directly into their article.”

Back up your argument. Use relevant stats, reasons why, examples of, etc. Bullet points work best.

“Include another great quote. One sentence is best.”

Sign off your email pitch. Let them know if you’re available to chat. Mention you’ve got tons of great advice and data to back up their story, and if you have a large social following or customer database, you’ll want to let the journo know (as this can influence their decision to use your post or not). Say you’d be happy to share the article with this list.

All the best

Your name

Business name or your designation

Web address

Include a link to a cloud-based folder that contains web-ready visuals for the journo.

Now an example of a framework is The 1-Page Marketing Plan. This is my lead magnet, and it’s something that I’ve become famous for. I’ve written a book on this.

I have a lead magnet where you can download The 1-Page Marketing Plan canvas for free. Whenever I speak or appear on podcasts or have guest appearances, I talk about The 1-Page Marketing Plan canvas, which can be downloaded for free on my website.

This free download of The 1-Page Marketing Plan canvas generates many people entering my database every day. And again, it acts somewhat like a tripwire; it’s very highly likely that someone downloading a 1-Page Marketing Plan canvas is interested in improving their marketing.

So they might be interested in a course like this, they might be interested in one-on-one coaching or some of the other products and services that we offer. The 1-Page Marketing Plan canvas is also going to be genuinely useful to them.

It’s going to provide them with a framework for creating a direct response marketing plan.

So templates or frameworks are powerful lead magnets that can help your audience identify themselves to you.

Other examples of templated lead magnets include:

  • Resume builder
  • Marketing plan
  • Social media
  • Website builder

4: Free Trial

Another powerful lead magnet is a free trial. Now free trials are particularly relevant if you’re offering something like software as a service or an experiential product where the incremental cost of providing that service is very small or almost nothing.

If you can get people to experience your products or services before they have to buy, that can help them along the buying process and make it easier to convert them to a paying client.

It allows you to collect their

  • email addresses
  • phone numbers
  • physical mailing addresses

You’d store these details in your database and use an evergreen email sequence to nurture them over time. Some may convert immediately; some may convert in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days; and some may take much longer to convert.

The powerful thing about a free trial is it really taps into the concept of scarcity. So if the person who’s trialing your product or service doesn’t go ahead with the paid version, they actually have to give up what they’ve currently got.

And we know people are much more motivated by a fear of loss or scarcity than they are by the prospect of gain.

So good lead magnets can help you to get more email subscribers and ultimately convert them to customers.

5: Book, eBook or Audiobook

If your goal is to build a coaching business, a great way to quickly grow your authority and establish credibility is writing a book.

I like to think of my bestselling book as a business card. I can hand it over to a potential customer and say, look, read this, and if you think I can help you, reach out.

I’m currently running a free book giveaway where I send a free copy of the paperback to high value leads. But I started by selling the eBook. As a result, I’ve been a podcast guest, and I’ve been invited to speak at events all over the world.

My book’s also been translated into over 13 languages, so that brings in steady income.

And don’t be afraid to give away your best stuff in your lead magnet. It will stimulate sales because people will still want to engage with you at a deeper level, whether through one-on-one, or done for you, or whatever else you offer.

6: Checklist Or Cheat Sheet

Probably the easiest and most popular lead magnet to create is a checklist or cheat sheet. It really doesn’t take long to put together, and you can offer it as a free download.

For example, it could be a checklist of online tools you need when building a remote business, or it could be a checklist for hiring a VA, whatever.

So you’d write a blog post on starting your remote business and create a complementary lead magnet that a reader can download and use. Instead of your audience having to come back to your blog post to see what they need to get, they can print it and tick off as they go along.

You grow your list of email subscribers, and they get value. Win-win.

To help you get started, download our Website Checklist here.

7: Worksheet

You could also look at creating worksheets as a potential lead magnet.

I use worksheets in my online course. The purpose of these worksheets is to help my audience make sure they’ve understood the material. So after completing a lesson, they can download or print the editable worksheet and complete it.

An example of a worksheet could be Build Your Avatar. You can download it here. This worksheet helps my clients to get a better idea of whom their optimal client is.

8: Calendar Or Planner

The best planner or calendar lead magnets that I’ve come across are usually for social media. They help you to plan a month’s content.

Many will also give ideas for the type of content to post on any given day of the week. For example, on:

  • Monday, you might post an inspirational quote.
  • Tuesday a question that encourages your followers to engage with you
  • Wednesday a nugget of gold (some sort of helpful tip)
  • Thursday a more sales-like post (pitching a service or product)
  • Friday a poll

And so on. These are very helpful for anyone wanting to know what content to create and when to schedule it. I’ve included an example from Angie Gensler. As you can see, it’s an entire year planned out for you. What a pleasure.

9: Online Or Email Course

As I mentioned earlier, many people like to consume content in different ways. So while I like to listen to an audiobook, you might prefer to enroll in an online course where you’re given instructional notes and how-to videos, as well as downloadable worksheets.

Your job is to cater to the different segments in your target market. If you’ve already written an eBook, consider a content upgrade. It can increase your conversion rate.

Since Nathan Chan founded Foundr magazine his business has grown to include multiple free courses. I’ve personally taken his Instagram course and can say it’s packed with a ton of good advice.

10: Blog posts

Well-written educational blog posts that answer your audience’s questions are an excellent way to drive organic traffic to your website. For example, you could write a blog post on how to turn your blog into a business and include a call to action that invites website users to input their email addresses and download your free cheat sheet.

If you’ve optimized your content, you’ll attract a qualified lead, and your conversion rate will be high.

But make sure you’ve set up your sales funnel. Once the lead is in your email list, you’ll want to trigger your evergreen email sequence and start nurturing.

Neil Patel advocates using SEO blog posts to attract organic traffic.

11: Industry Reports Or White Papers

The final type of lead magnet I’d like you to consider is industry reports or white papers. Now, industry reports or white papers work very well, particularly if you’re in a B2B type of market. So if you’re targeting other businesses or enterprise customers, these can work very well.

They can help you establish yourself as a thought leader and as an industry expert. Taking a leadership role within your industry can lead to many kinds of opportunities.

For example, it can lead to

  • speaking opportunities
  • client opportunities
  • new deals coming your way
  • PR opportunities.

Journalists and bloggers frequently like to quote or ask industry experts for their opinions, and it’s vital that you take a position. Don’t be wishy-washy or scared to offend someone.

Now, I’m not saying go and purposely offend everyone in your industry, but it’s important to take a position.

Now somebody may not agree with you, but they’ll certainly respect you. I like industry reports and white papers, particularly because they can often be updated. These content upgrades can sometimes lead to new PR opportunities.

So white papers or industry reports are lead magnets worth considering.

How To Know What Type Of Lead Magnet To Create?

While you want to create one lead magnet that you become famous for, make sure that you don’t rely on it as your only lead generation source. Although your audience shares the same problem, how they consume content may differ from one person to the next.

So while one person likes to read a book, another might prefer to listen to an audiobook or enroll in an email course or online course. Right, so you need to know what lead magnets your audience wants.

To determine which lead magnet works best for your business, you need to clarify the following two questions:

  • What does your audience want?
  • What is something that’s going to move the needle for you, so increase conversion rates?

Think about an online or in-store retailer, for example. A lead magnet idea could be a get-$100-off-your-first-purchase discount (or some other amount) when you sign up for their email newsletter. So they might create a landing page or blog post promoting their campaign.

And this type of discount offer is appealing for many people, but the key here is to make your call to action compelling. If you choose a lousy or boring offer, it’ll fall flat, and you’ll have a low conversion rate. Offers that convert make your marketing and business so much more straightforward.

You don’t have to invent weird hacks or crazy marketing campaigns to get traction. You will be gaining traction by default, and marketing will just be the rocket fuel that propels you further.

How To Create Lead Magnets, Step-By-Step

I’ve outlined a six-step framework for building great lead magnets. These are the best practices I’ve used to acquire leads over my 20-year career as an entrepreneur.

Follow this framework, and it’ll help you create a lead magnet that entices your audience to opt-in to your email list and take them further through the buying cycle.

In a nutshell, your lead magnet says:

It seems like X could be one of your biggest problems. I’m going to walk you through how to solve X. And if you’d like my assistance doing Y to solve X, I’d be happy to help.

So, here’s how to create a lead magnet that people come back for again and again. It really is easy to create, so let’s get started.

STEP 1: THE BRIBE

Here you’ll want to ask yourself, “What is the biggest outcome you can give your prospects?” through your lead magnet. Is it to lose weight, double their sales, find great talent? Whatever it is, the bribe needs to compel them to act.

STEP 2: THE TITLE

Think about what title will grab their attention and convince them to take a look, hand over their email address, and download your document. Here’s a great formula for writing a lead magnet title: X ways to Y in Z days/months.

So that’s the second step in how to create a lead magnet.

STEP 3: THE PROBLEM

Remember, you’re here to solve a problem, so you must demonstrate that you know where they’re coming from, and you can relate to what they’re going through.

A quality lead magnet might get under their skin and hit a few nerves. If you can describe what their problem is better than they can, you’ve got their attention.

Keep in mind; you’ll first want to state what the problem is and then validate it by drawing on a statistic. Next, you need to elaborate on the problem and demonstrate your knowledge. Finally, you’ll want to agitate and substantiate the problem.

STEP 4: THE OPPORTUNITY

Present an opportunity that will lead to a positive result which only you can help them to achieve. It also takes the reader out of problem land and points them toward a solution.

  1. Start with the transition. It could go something like this, “Despite this, X is making more money, and working less. But how?”
  2. Now paint the picture. You want to indicate what small change or tactic is going to change the way they do business and massively impact sales.
  3. Tell a story. Get them to picture what the possibility of change could bring about.
  4. Next, you want to substantiate the opportunity, then substantiate it again, and expand. Use facts and figures to back up your claims.
  5. Now comes the direct focus. This is typically a statement that gets them to visualize what could be.
  6. Lastly, transition to content. This states what your prospect needs to start doing to achieve X.

STEP 5: THE CONTENT

Put together an outline of what you want your lead magnet to contain and all the steps that need to follow. These can include—but aren’t limited to—creating your “ethical bribe,” writing and developing a landing page for them to opt-in, and creating follow-up content to be delivered post-sign-up.

Because getting your lead is only one step in your sales process. You still have to nurture them.

STEP 6: THE CLOSE

Close with a question. Think of it like a call to action or an irresistibly intriguing offer—anything that will keep the conversation going.

It could be for more information—to request a free consultation or to demo the product. Maybe you want them to join a higher tier package or get a one-on-one class. Whatever it is, if you haven’t adequately laid the foundation for your offer, it won’t convert.

Lastly, get a design program to make your free pdf look legit. If you don’t own Adobe Creative Suite or have a dedicated graphic designer on your team, you could use a site like PosterMyWall to create your lead magnet’s look and feel. It offers thousands of awesome templates (free and paid-for) that you can access and tailor to your needs.

And that’s how to create a lead magnet that attracts your audience.

Get Our 12-Step Niche Domination Framework for Free

Just tell us where to send it...

We respect your email inbox and will never spam.

Stylized illustration of an open envelope with a document emerging from it, marked by a downward arrow indicating downloading or receiving an email.

Don’t Forget To Build A Lead Magnet Landing Page

There’s no point in going to all the effort of crafting a good lead magnet if you’re not pushing leads to a landing page that captures their details and funnels them into your CRM.

Track your conversions. It’s the best way to determine your lead magnet success.

Wrapping Up

So we’ve covered what a lead magnet is, why you want to create an effective lead magnet, ideas for writing lead magnets that convert, and how to create a lead magnet.

Remember, it’s a powerful way to grow your list of email subscribers quickly. It needs to be helpful and to solve a problem in a compelling way. Get this right, and things are going to start looking up for your small business.

So I encourage you to use lead magnets to attract leads and scale your business. It can be a blog post or an email course. Maybe it’s a case study. You could try your hand at writing an eBook or how-to guide.

Just stop investing your time and energy into cold calling and cold outreach on social media. Get started and build a lead magnet that does all the hard work for you.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy our article on What is Direct Response Marketing? As a small business owner, it’s the smarter way to market your business.

Attract More of the Right Customers with the 7-Step Messaging Framework

If your marketing isn’t working, there are two likely culprits: your target audience is wrong or your messaging. Most often, it’s your messaging.

Marketing

If your marketing isn’t working, there are two likely culprits: your target audience is wrong or your messaging. Most often, it’s your messaging.

If you want your marketing to get a good return on investment, you need a compelling message. One that clearly explains what problem you solve, who you help, and what action they need to take next.

My 7-step magnetic messaging framework will help you clarify your message so it cuts through a crowded marketplace like a hot knife through butter.

Step 1. Make your messaging about your prospect. Not you.

The number one mistake that business owners make is crafting messaging that serves their ego. It’s not about you. No one cares how many years you’ve been in business, or how many awards you’ve won.

Your prospect cares about what’s in it for them. They want to know how quickly you can make their problems go away.

So if you want your marketing messaging to stand out from every other advertising campaign, you need to take the focus off you and shine the light on your prospect.

I’ll give you an example of good verse bad messaging.

BAD MESSAGING EXAMPLE

This messaging fails because it focuses on the company and not the customer

WELCOME TO THE HOME OF SELF-PUBLISHING.

With over 20 years of experience helping authors self-publish their novel, you’re in good hands.

Why is this messaging bad?

  1. There’s nothing compelling about this messaging. It’s stock, standard, and boring.
  2. It focuses on you, and not on the person wanting to get self published.
  3. It’s forgettable.

GOOD MESSAGING EXAMPLE

This messaging is timeous, it tells you exactly what you will get, and it's focused on the client

GET SELF-PUBLISHED IN 90 DAYS

The easiest way to get your manuscript formatted for printing, distributed on Amazon, and hitting bestseller lists.

Why this messaging works?

  1. It’s compelling. For someone who has probably sent their manuscript to every major publishing house and heard no, this is the dream.
  2. It tells the prospect exactly what they can expect from you.
  3. It gives the prospect a vision to buy into.

Step 2. Make your message easily understood.

Can a 12-year-old understand what you do, how it makes their life better, and what step to take next?

So many businesses think their marketing needs to sound professional or academic. This is a huge mistake. Even if your ideal prospect is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, they are far more likely to respond to a message that’s full of personality than one that’s inflated with industry jargon.  

When we try to be clever or verbose, we create confusion, and a confused mind says no.

If your prospect can’t quickly understand what you do, they’re not going to spend hours trying to figure it out. They aren’t going to set up a meeting, so you can give them more information. They’re going to click away and go to a competitor.

  • Keep your messaging simple.
  • Use words and concepts that are easy to understand.
  • Run your marketing writing through Hemingways App to check that a 12-year-old could understand it.

Simplify your messaging, and the marketplace will reward you.

Step 3. Make your message believable.

So many businesses claim to be the leader in their market place. They’ll use words like number 1, award-winning, leading provider, best of breed, blah, blah, blah.

Your prospects don’t buy it. You have to make them believe it. And you can only do that by proving you’re the real deal.

  • What awards have you won? Industry awards legitimize your services.
  • What recognition have you received? Have you been featured in the press? If Forbes Magazine or the New York Times has featured you, that’s pretty compelling to a customer.
  • What do your customers have to say? Can you use customer testimonials, whether written and video, to back up what you’re saying?

You’ll know your message is believable when you’ve got low friction in the sales process.

If you get a lot of objections or people asking question after question that’s usually a sign they don’t believe you can deliver what you say or implement what you’re offering.

So let’s look at a few examples of good vs bad messaging.

BAD MESSAGING

From Startup to Six Figures in 3 Months

Million Dollar Side Hustle in 30 Days

Launch & Grow Your Podcast to 2 Million Downloads in 2 Weeks

Why don’t I believe these offers?

  • I know how long it takes to build to six figures. It’s rare to hit six figures in 3 months. So I have doubts.
  • If hitting six figures felt like a pipe dream, launching a million dollar side hustle in 30 days sounds like a fairy tale. Firstly, what type of side hustle are we talking about? eCommerce, maybe. But for most businesses, this isn’t achievable.
  • Unless you’re a well-known personality with a massive social and email following, launching and hitting 2 Million downloads feels unrealistic. As a relatively unknown person, I just don’t see this happening.

GOOD MESSAGING

5 Simple Systems To Organise and Scale Your Business

From $1K Months to $30K Months: How to Scale your Side Hustle

How to Start a Dropshipping Business in 6 Simple Steps

Why this offer works?

  • The promise is more believable.
  • There is no time limit to achieving my goal.
  • It’s specific and offers a proven process to growing your business.

So ask yourself, does my messaging feel believable?

Step 4. Make your messaging interesting and unique.

Why should I buy from you instead of your direct competitor?

That’s the question on your prospect’s mind. If you sell an apple and your competitor sells an apple they’re going to choose the company that gives them the best deal. You don’t want your prospect making decisions based on pricing. That’s a losing game.

You want to give them an apples to oranges comparison. Find a proposition that makes you stand out from the competition.

For example, someone who is dropshipping has to compete with major distributors like eBay, Amazon, etc. You need to find a way to get a prospect to choose you over old faithful.

It could be that you deliver outstanding customer service. Or you give a considered, honest opinion of the product. There’s no trying to bulls$$t your audience. They know they can trust you to steer them in the right direction.

For example, let’s look at the Make My Shave brand.

Create a unique selling proposition for your business

It’s a razor subscription specifically for women. We had DollarShave. com for men, and now MakeMyShave. com. au for women.

  • It’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it’s a subscription model.
  • 5% of every sale goes to reforestation projects in Australia.
  • The razor handle is reusable, and used razor heads are sustainable disposed of.
  • They prioritize sustainable packaging.

They’re targeting a female audience that wants the convenience of having their razorblades delivered monthly without them having to think about it, but also knowing that their contribution is going towards a good cause.

Remember, specificity sells.

So how can you make your messaging interesting and unique?

Step 5. Deal with their wants and needs

Getting in shape is a really good example of dealing with a prospects’ wants and needs. Most will tell you they want to feel good about themselves. Maybe they want to drop a size or two.

You know what they want. Now what do they need to achieve those results. Chances are, they have to make pretty serious lifestyle changes like exercising more regularly, and watching what they eat.

This is the part that a lot of people don’t enjoy. They want the good thing (a beach ready body) without the bad thing (hard, sweaty workout sessions at the gym, achey muscles, and a meal plan that misses all the foods they love).

Your message needs to demonstrate to prospects that you can deliver the good and limit the bad.

If you make promises you can’t deliver on, that will damage your brand reputation. It takes years to build a good opinion of your business, and it can be destroyed over night.

I’ll give you another example.

Say your company creates an app that makes retail in-store execution easier for sales reps and their office-bound managers.

The Managers want to be able to track their sales reps to make sure they’re doing their rounds.

What they need, is greater shelf presence, and the ability to action in-store orders immediately so they can increase sales.

Your marketing messaging would need to answer their wants and needs. You app helps limit no-shows, and increase in-bound orders.

So look at your message and ask yourself, what are the wants and needs I have to address in my message to compel prospects to reach out to me?

Step 6. Be clear about who you help.

This is something that so many businesses get wrong. I can’t tell you how many times I hear a client say things like, “we help everyone. ” And maybe you do. But you can’t afford to target everyone. You don’t have a big enough marketing budget.

A prospect should see your message and think it’s made just for them.

But it can’t happen if you’re all things to all people.

Here’s how to know if your messaging is to general.

  • Your listing a laundry list of products and services like, we do in-bound marketing, we do SEO, we do Pay-Per-Click, we do strategy, we do PR.
  • You’re appealing to a wide audience, rather than a tight niche. For example, We help authors get self-published. But what field do you specialize in? Children’s books, business books, romantic books, STEM books? As a published author of a marketing & business book, I don’t want a generalist helping me to launch my second book. I want someone who specializes in my area of expertise, and knows how to turn my book into a bestseller.

To recap.

Your prospects will actively seek out a specialist. If you’re everything to everyone, you’re a generalist, and you won’t attract high-value, well-paying customers.

Step 7. Tell your prospect what to do next.

What physical visible action do we want your prospect to take?

When it comes to creating a call to action, don’t overcomplicate things. Make sure you have one, clear call to action.

That could be opting into your newsletter, downloading your lead magnet, trialing your software, booking a demo or a free strategy call, buying a product, whatever.

One message, one call to action.

If you have multiple calls to action, create separate campaigns or you run the risk of your prospect doing nothing.

Here’s an example of a poor CTA.

In this case, there is no call to action. Sure, it’s a pretty picture, but what is the next step I should take.

There’s no phone number. No email address. I had to keep scrolling to the bottom of the website before I found contact details.

So if your next step is for a customer to book a consult, make it easy for them to do that.

If you don’t give them an easy way to connect, they will do nothing.

Now here’s an example of a site with a clear call to action.

Not only do I know who this offer is targeted at, but I know exactly what step to take next to start building operating systems that scale my business.

Don’t make your prospects waste precious time figuring out how to get in touch with you.

Tell them what to do next.

Download the Messaging Template

If you want to create marketing messages that cut through a crowded marketplace, download the 7-step magnetic messaging framework.  

I’ve tested and measured hundreds of data points, and the steps in this template make the biggest difference to messaging.

Download it now.

Remember, this messaging framework can be applied to all forms of content.

Apply the 7-Step Messaging Framework to your business

When it comes to messaging, clarity is king. Always choose clarity over cleverness.

Start by reviewing and refining your marketing messages. Pull up your website and ask yourself:

  • Is it clear what I do?
  • Do I clearly demonstrate how my services or product will improve my prospects’ lives?
  • What is the step I want them to take next? Is that clear?

Take a look at your social media posts, emails, SEO articles, pay-per-click ads, billboards, whatever. Is it clear to the reader what step you want them to take next?

If not, review and refine.

Ryan Reynolds Secret To Marketing Success

What do Aviation Gin, Mint Mobile, and Wrexham AFC have in common? Ryan Reynolds. Devilishly handsome, super talented, and outrageously funny, Reynolds is...

Marketing

What do Aviation Gin, Mint Mobile, and Wrexham AFC have in common?

Ryan Reynolds.

Devilishly handsome, super talented, and outrageously funny, Reynolds is arguably one of the biggest movie stars of our generation.

Deadpool. The Adam Project. Red Notice. Free Guy.

Everything Reynolds touches turns into a multimillion-dollar success story (except The Green Lantern, but I digress).

This success isn't limited to blockbuster movies. Reynolds has an uncanny ability to take a little-known start-up and turn it into an overnight sensation.

Take Aviation Gin. Reynolds loved the American gin so much that he bought the company and turned it into one of the fastest-growing gins in the world before selling it for an estimated $610 million.

So how did he do it?

By using his signature blend of sarcasm, biting wit, and self-deprecating humor!

Reynolds didn't just buy the company. He became the main attraction. From hilarious social media posts to clever ad campaigns, Reynold's made sure to inject his personality into every facet of the brand's marketing.

Whether it was sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of the gin-making process or recounting amusing anecdotes, Reynolds used masterful storytelling to captivate and entertain audiences all over the world.  

His willingness to show his goofy side and ability to authentically connect with audiences made the brand instantly relatable and approachable.

Reynolds did what many thought impossible.

He took a seemingly dull and dry industry and turned it into the kind of entertainment that people couldn't get enough of.

Messages from actual fans of Ryan Reynolds

He also isn't afraid to be reactive or ruffle feathers.

After the disastrous Peloton Holiday commercial, The Gift that Gives Back, Reynolds convinced the Peloton Wife to star in a cheeky Aviation Gin ad.

It was pure genius. Not only did the commercial go viral, but it had people buzzing about the company.

Then he did it again with the Nick Cannon Vasectomy commercial.

Dubbed the most fertile man in entertainment, having fathered 12 children, Reynold's convinced Cannon to take a starring role in his new Father's Day ad. It was an instant hit.

But it's not just those knowing looks or Reynold's mischievous smile that has customers raving about Aviation Gin.

It's the level of personalization that he delivers. It’s not unusual for Reynolds to respond directly to fans on social media. It’s experiences like this which result in priceless word-of-mouth marketing and transform mere customers into raving advocates.

Of course, none of this would matter if Aviation Gin didn't live up to the hype. Luckily, it's a great product and has won numerous accolades.

Would it have been the success story it is without Reynolds' signature magnetic charm?

Doubtful.

So what lesson can we take away from Ryan Reynolds

In a world drowning in brands and products, injecting your own unique personality into your business can be the difference between sinking or swimming strongly against the current.

Personality matters.

Don't be afraid to show yours in your marketing efforts. Embrace your quirks, engage with your audience, and tell stories they can resonate with.

Be authentic, be entertaining, and most importantly, be you because people don't just buy products; they buy experiences and emotions.

The Real Reason Why Your Email Marketing Strategy Doesn’t Work (& How To Fix It)

You’re doing what all the experts tell you to. Email your customers frequently. Focus on value. Don't sell too much. Despite this, your click rate...

Marketing

You’re doing what all the experts tell you to. Email your customers frequently. Focus on value. Don’t sell too much. Despite this, your click rate is dismal. Your open rate isn’t much better. And hearing back from a prospect comes as frequently as a blue moon.

You can continue to do what you’ve always done and reap the same underwhelming and frustrating results.

Or you can identify the real reason why your email marketing isn’t working.

11 simples steps to improve your email marketing

You have no email strategy.

That’s right. Your email marketing isn’t working because you have no email strategy. Here’s what I mean by strategy.

  • What is the point of your email marketing?
  • What specific marketing goal are you trying to achieve with email?
  • What do you need to do to achieve that goal?

Without knowing this, you’re shooting arrows in the dark and hoping something hits the bullseye.

For your email campaigns to be successful, follow this 6-step process

STEP 1: YOU NEED TO HAVE A PLAN

You need to know:

  • How often you will mail your subscriber list.
  • What time you’ll send your marketing emails.
  • What type of emails you’ll send? For example, sales, direct response, free offers, consumer interest, educational, event-based, etc.
  • How you will determine the content of those emails?

Because guessing doesn’t get results.

Speak to any marketer; they’ll tell you they’ve played around with timings. They’ve sent emails towards the early evening or at lunchtime. They’ve tested weekdays versus weekends.

They know when their subscribers will most likely read their emails and how many they should send weekly.

Do you?

STEP 2: YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT MOTIVATES YOUR AUDIENCE

What do they care about? More importantly, what would motivate them to buy what you’re selling?

Your subscribers signed up to your email list for a reason.

For an e-commerce store, it’s to learn of the latest deals or hot new products. For a coaching business, it’s to solve a problem. For a social media consultancy, it’s to get the latest advice about marketing on social and maybe to get a calendar they can use to plan their content.

Your emails are an opportunity to build trust, establish your authority in your field, and demonstrate your ability to get them a result.

  • You want to tap into their desires. What do they want most? How can you help them achieve that?
  • Play on their emotions. What are they scared of? Have you experienced similar fears, and how did you overcome them?
  • Give them a vision to buy into. Show them what their life could look like if they choose your service or product.

Understanding what motivates your audience allows you to deliver a far more personalized experience, and that’s compelling.

STEP 3: YOU NEED A MARKETING AUTOMATION CRM

To build a relationship, you need to stay in touch with your prospects. You have to get them to like you, and that requires showing up in their life.

Once a month is probably not enough.

You need to show up frequently and provide value. Simply sending emails isn’t good enough.

STEP 4: YOU NEED TO BE AHEAD OF THE GAME

You need to plan things out a couple months in advance. You want to be thinking about what's happening in 3 months time.

If you’re not, you’re constantly playing catch up and you can’t be strategic. You also don’t have the space to analyse what worked and what didn’t. And you can’t reconfigure and test.

This means you won't make crucial changes that could impact sales. So plan your emails in advance.

STEP 5: YOU NEED TO BE A/B TESTING YOUR EMAILS

  • Do your email subscribers prefer sentence case or lowercase subject lines?
  • Do they respond well to emojis?
  • Do visuals help or hinder your message?
  • Do they prefer to receive emails on certain days of the week?
  • Is there a difference in the open rate of a direct response email versus a resource email?

Without A/B testing your emails, you can’t definitively answer these questions, and that’s a problem. Because what you don’t know will hurt the success of your marketing efforts.

We had a client who tripled their open rate by reducing the length of their subject lines to two or three words, changing them into lowercase, and adding emojis.

3x the value. They wouldn’t have known that if they hadn’t tested our theory.

Even after building an entirely new email welcome sequence and course upsell six months later, our copywriter was still A/B testing subject lines and CTAs six months later.

Marketing is never done. It’s iterative. To get the best results, you need to A/B test. Are you?

To create better messages check out this messaging template.

STEP 6: YOU NEED TO TRACK YOUR NUMBERS

Is your email marketing making you money?

The only way to know that is to track your email analytics, and you need a marketing automation CRM (customer relationship management tool) to do that.

But there are loads on the market. Knowing which to use can be confusing.

Personally, I like Ontraport. It’s more techie, but it has superior analytics. If you’d prefer something a little more user-friendly, I’d invest in ActiveCampaign or ConvertKit.

So every time you push send on a campaign, track and analyze that email’s performance. Take note of the topics your audience connects with. They’re actively telling you what they want to hear more of.

Then use this information to inform your content strategy.

And give your subscribers a chance to respond to you.

How to get more sales through email? 11 top tips.

For your email marketing to be a success, you need the right CRM software and strategy.

Follow these 11 tips for building an email campaign or sending marketing emails your subscribers can't wait to open.

1. DON'T BOMBARD YOUR SUBSCRIBERS WITH TOO MANY EMAILS

Remember, you are not the only business entering your subscribers’ mailbox. There needs to be a point to every email you send. Your goal could be to:

  • get to know your subscriber better
  • get crucial feedback on your product or service
  • invite them to a live training/webinar
  • share a company/product update
  • educate them
  • launch a new product or service
  • send a promotion

Whatever your reason, make it worth their while. Otherwise, you’ll start getting negative responses, like your emails feel spammy. And you don’t want that.

2. SEGMENT YOUR EMAIL LIST FOR BETTER TARGETING

Specificity sells. People want relevant content. They don’t want generic information.

If you waste their time, you’ll lose them. If you send them content that doesn’t add value, help them solve a problem, or entertain them, you’ll lose them.

You solve this by segmenting your email list in your CRM. If you don’t have a CRM, you need to get one. If you have a CRM, find out how to segment your target audience here.

3. PERSONALIZE YOUR EMAILS

Your CRM gives you the ability to capture your subscribers’ details and personalize your emails. Take advantage of these features because they will ensure you get a better open rate, click-through rate, and response rate.

96% of businesses state that simply adding your customer’s name in an email subject line or body copy will improve your marketing success.

Learn more about marketing personalization here.

4. STICK TO ONE TOPIC PER EMAIL

One of the most common mistakes that newbie marketers/businesses make is cramming as much information as possible into a single email.

You will only confuse your readers. And if you confuse them, you lose them.

So if the point of your email is to tell your customers that you’ve added a new feature, that’s the focus of your email. Talk about why you added the feature and how it will deliver a superior customer experience. What can they expect from that feature?

Don’t talk about how many years you’ve been in business or everything else your product does.

One email. One topic.

5. WRITE BETTER EMAIL SUBJECT LINES

What’s your hook? The statement or idea that’s going to stand out in your email inbox and get your subscriber to open your email.

Most email campaigns live and die by their subject lines/hooks.

To write a good email hook, look to Twitter for inspiration. It seems like an unlikely place, but Twitter influencers are limited in the number of words they can use. So they have to write very compelling hooks to get your attention.

The formula for a good hook includes the following:

  • Keep it short (two or three words), e.g., hiding?, low-hanging fruit, unforgivable, hacking PR
  • Make an intriguing statement, e.g., raincheck, ignore the vanity metrics, you’re not famous enough, so disrespectful
  • Promise something, e.g., hang with me in Miami, the best way to get loads of free email subscribers, 7 clients in 7 days
  • Be controversial, e.g., crying on social media, I won’t apologize for this, I hate IKEA
  • Pose a question, e.g., how to get attention, how to segment your audience in 3 minutes, is this your target market?

To write better copy, check out this masterclass.

Use emojis and text speak to connect with your subscribers

6. TELL STORIES

Facts tell. Stories sell. If you want to sell more with your email marketing, you need to tell good stories.

In my opinion, Laura Belgray is the queen of storytelling. She uses stories as a way to draw you in. They entertain and elicit an emotional response. Often it’s because we can see ourselves in those stories.

So don’t be afraid to share stories from your life with your subscribers.

You can learn more about using storytelling to market your business here.

7. ALWAYS USE A CALL TO ACTION

Tell your email subscribers what to do next. Is it to respond to you, book a call, trial your product, arrange a demo, fill in a form, or buy?

Highlight it in big and bold. Use all caps. Change the color of the text. Be clear about what you want your email subscriber to do next.

For example:

8. DEVELOP AN EMAIL SUPER SIGNATURE

While you don’t have to actively sell in every email, you should never waste a sales opportunity.

An email super signature is the little bit of text that goes below your name at the end of your email.

Use this space to market different services or products. For example, you could set up a free strategy session, or sell a book. Really, the choice is yours. Here’s what mine looks like:

Here's another example of a super signature.

Use your super signature to promote your products

9. SEND IT FROM YOU, NOT A NO-REPLY EMAIL

Don’t use a generic email like info@ when you can use your name. Especially if you’re the face of your brand, using your name is a powerful way to get people on your email list to open your emails.

10. AUTOMATE YOUR CAMPAIGNS & EMAIL MARKETING

I might be stating the obvious, but you’re human. To function optimally, you need food and rest. Technology doesn’t.

If you want to get more from your email marketing campaigns, you need to automate them. Push play on a welcome sequence in your CRM, and it doesn’t matter if Nicky on the other side of the world subscribes while you’re in dream world.

Your CRM will trigger an email that kicks off the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Now if you did this manually, Nicky would have to wait until you wake up 6 hours later before she gets her first email. And by that time, she may have forgotten about you ☹️

Technology augments your abilities. Use it.

11. PURGE INACTIVE SUBSCRIBERS ON YOUR EMAIL LIST

Get rid of the dead weight. The subscribers that never open your emails. They’re not interested in what you’re selling. But by keeping them on your list, you’re paying more money, and you risk impacting your spam rating.

Give them a chance to respond. Send a reactivation email to cold subscribers. If they don’t respond, delete them.

If you found this helpful you might also like to read our Dos and don'ts of email marketing.

Start refining your email marketing strategy.

Now that you know what makes a good email marketing strategy, it’s time to refine yours.

  • What does your email strategy look like?
  • How often will you email your subscriber database?
  • What CRM will you use?
  • What numbers will you track?
  • How will you use these marketing insights to inform your content strategy?
  • Will you create monthly email campaigns?
  • Will you use an email design or stick to plain text? Personally, I prefer the latter.

Don’t forget to A/B test your email marketing. It will help you to improve your email campaigns tenfold.

If you need help refining your email strategy, download our email guide. It’s free.

8 Ways To Find Your Niche + 7 Examples To Inspire

Every week I get messages like this…"I would love to be more strategic and target the right clients. I just don’t know how.

Marketing

Every week I get messages like this…

"I would love to be more strategic and target the right clients. I just don’t know how.

"I’ve created landing pages and lead magnets, implemented local SEO and video marketing services, and I’m still unable to find the right fit for my company. "

"What are going to be some of the most profitable niches?"

Nailing your niche is foundational to your marketing success. And yet, most new business owners struggle with it.

Many are scared to niche down because they think it’ll limit their pool of prospective clients. It won’t. If you try to target everyone, no one will raise their hand and say, “Yup, that’s for me. ”

Your job is to find a sub-culture you can dominate. Because by zeroing in on your sub-niche, you can target and reach a very specific audience, making your marketing 100 times more effective.

So whether you're new to entrepreneurship and are looking for business ideas and potential niches or you're an established brand looking to build your business plan, I'm going to help you find your niche.

Try these eight steps or download our 12-step niche framework.

Get Our 12-Step Niche Domination Framework for Free

Just tell us where to send it...

We respect your email inbox and will never spam.

Stylized illustration of an open envelope with a document emerging from it, marked by a downward arrow indicating downloading or receiving an email.

How to find your niche

To be clear, you don’t need to use all these options. Finding your niche can be as simple as using two, three, or even four of these options and intersecting them to build a clearer picture of your niche audience.

1. What interests you?

If you’re living for the weekends, you have a job, not a vocation. As cliched as it sounds, the whole point of starting your business is to find something you’re passionate about. I want you to look forward to Mondays, not dread them.

Business isn’t always a smooth ride. You’ll have ups and downs. If you’re doing something you don’t really enjoy, staying committed in the rough times will be challenging.

  • What topics interest you? Start by listing five or 10 things you’re deeply interested in.
  • Who do you enjoy working with? This can change as your business matures, but having an idea of who you want to work with is vital. So is knowing whom you don’t want to work with.
  • What do you have experience in? You are an expert in your field. No matter how long you’ve worked in this industry, you have knowledge and experiences that you can draw on to help others.

For example, I came from an IT and Telecommunications background. To grow my first business, I invested a ton of time and money in learning how to market it. Helping other businesses master marketing to scale became a passion of mine.

2. Use location when relevant

It comes down to who you want to work with and the service you provide.

Are you a brick-and-mortar business serving your local community, or can you target a global audience?

Service-based businesses like coaching, copywriting, accounting, therapy, design, VA, and PR can work for international companies. Obviously, you still need to know the market you’re serving, but the location is less important. The same goes for online stores. Provided you can deliver your goods globally, you're not bound by location.

In comparison, restaurants, lawyers, doctors, and home-gardening services rely on their local communities to scale. So you’d location-based advertising to strategically target your audience.

Knowing your location determines the URL you choose for your business. Someone based in New Zealand and selling to the NZ market will choose a co.nz over a .com.

Is location important to your business niche?

3. Decide what demographic you’ll target

Who is most likely to buy your product or service? By knowing their age, sex, income, and interests, you can tailor your content to their lived experience, and start building an engaged audience.

For example, if you’re going to be selling high-ticket items (thousands of dollars), you’ll likely target a more affluent customer. Perhaps they’re older, with an established business.

But if you’re selling stretchy pants similar to Lulu Lemon, you might target new moms whose bodies are still changing but who want to feel comfortable in whatever they wear.

Start by answering these questions.

  • What is your audience’s earning potential?
  • Would you prefer to work with men or women, or does gender not matter?
  • What age would you connect with most?

What interests are relevant to your business?

Intersect these steps to find a profitable niche for your business

4. Explore potential shared values

You want your audience to stop and say, “hey, that’s for me.” They don’t want to follow wishy-washy brands. They want to buy from businesses that share their values.

If you’re in the outdoor apparel business, you might target adrenaline junkies or adventurists. If your product is created from recycled goods, you’ll probably target people who are environmentally conscious.

A food blogger is going to target self-taught cooks, and a travel influencer will target people who love to explore new places.

Using your unique experience allows you to personalize your marketing message, which is crucial to building a loyal customer base.

So what do you value?

5. Choose your vertical

Which industry do you want to work with?

Even as a coach, I know there are certain industries I can get better results for. Mainly because I have direct experience with those industries. For example, dentistry, legal, SaaS, marketing agencies, etc.

Niching down the industry you serve also allows you to be hyper-focused in your marketing. Chances are your marketing budget is limited. Do you want to waste it targeting anyone who needs your service or a select group?

To find your niche, answer this:

  • What industry do you have experience in?
  • Is it profitable?

Would you say this niche is an inch wide and a mile deep?

6. Tap into desires

What does your target audience want? What do they need?

Most customers know what they want, but they lack clarity on what they need.

For example, people wanting to get fit will be motivated by losing weight, getting a 6-pack, or having a bikini-body. That’s what they want.

What they need is someone to guide them, hold them accountable, keep them motivated when it gets hard, and instill health habits they can take with them throughout life.

Your niche wants something, but it may not be what they need.

I’ll give you another example. Someone may want to write a book. They’re doing it to establish their credibility and build their authority. But what do they need?

They need your guidance on how to monetize that book so it gets found by their niche.

So to determine your niche, ask yourself, what desires can you tap into?

7. Identify the problem you solve

Profitable businesses solve problems. What problems do your target customers suffer from, and what solution can you provide?

Not sure what that is. Try these three methods for identifying your niche’s problems.

  • Speak to your existing customers. Whether you do this in a webinar, on sales calls, or through an email Q&A, their feedback is crucial to your marketing messaging. When I started using customer feedback to build sales pages, conversions increased exponentially. It’s worth building out a series of questions that naturally lead to each other.
  • Industry forums where your prospects hang out. Reddit and Quora are great sources of information on your target market. Filter your niche and see what topics are being discussed and the problems your audience has.  
  • Study the keywords your audience is typing into search engines and on social media. You can use AHREFS and Google Trends to find your niche-related keywords. Use these to build out emails, thought pieces, and social media posts.
These are five ways you can generate content that your audience cares about

For example, say you work with business owners who want to get PR coverage. They just don’t want to pay an agency thousands of dollars, they want to try to pitch themselves.

You could create a course that shows them exactly how to get featured in the press. In it, you’d add trainings from PR experts and journalists, as well as pitching templates and a list of media to target.

That’s incredibly valuable to someone. Use the tips above to zero in on the problem you solve.

8. Are there trends you can jump on?

ChatGPT, medical cannabis, cryptocurrencies, and AI are all examples of great trends that you can use to build a powerful business.

Specializing in a specific platform is also a great way to build a business.

For example, Matt Barker is a LinkedIn Content Creator who built a 6-figure ghostwriting business teaching people how to use LinkedIn to find business.

Every single one of his posts gets hundreds of comments and thousands of likes. Anyone promoting LinkedIn gets a handy boost from the social channel because they want more people to use it.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to create a profitable business. You just need to look at the market and ask yourself, how can I do this differently?

And that's how to find your niche. Now let’s look at a few examples of businesses that weren’t afraid to niche down.

For more ways to find your target audience, check out this article - Defining your target audience.

4 Benefits of finding a niche you can dominate

Personal fulfillment

You get to wake up every morning and look forward to going to work. So many people live for retirement, a chance to finally enjoy life. I don’t want to wait until I’m in my 60s to experience the best life has to offer, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either. Choose a career that excites you.

That might start with listing what you don’t want your life to look like. In a separate column, list your ideal work life.

For example:

  • I want to have a view of the forest
  • I only want to work four hours a day
  • I want to be able to take an overseas holiday once a year.

You get the idea.

Financial freedom

Provided you’ve chosen a profitable niche, you can make a lot of money doing far less than you are now. When I pivoted into business coaching, initially, I was charging $500 a month per client. Now I charge $6000 per month.

I work less and make more. That’s the power of choosing a profitable sub-niche.

Brand awareness

Building your personal brand in a competitive niche is no easy feat. But carving out a space for yourself in a sub-niche that’s underserved is a clever way to build your authority.

Social proof is vital to cementing your personal brand. Try this:

  1. Identify a list of podcasts and publications you’d love to be featured in. Use a mix of well-known and up-and-coming.
  2. Ideate potential topics that you could share with their audience. Start with about ten.

Pitch these ideas to the publications. Particularly with regard to blogs, you don’t need to be a credible authority to be featured in the press. If you’ve got an interesting story or unique perspective to share, that’s enough to get you free media coverage.  

Long-term customer relationships

Contrary to popular belief, the fastest way to increase wealth is not to find more customers. That takes time and moolah. If you want to scale quickly, get your existing customers to buy more often.

I’ve had customers follow me, from my IT business to my telecommunications company, to my marketing consultancy. The key, I’d invested time and effort into building and nurturing those relationships. They trusted me, and you can’t put a price tag on trust.

Having long-term relationships make launching new products a guaranteed success. How do you think so many first-time business authors get on to the bestseller list? They have a loyal database of customers.

Why your niche and marketing business plan go hand in hand

Marketing is never done. It’s an iterative process. That’s why I created the 1-Page Marketing Plan template. It’s meant to be a living document that you update and add to as you get better information about your niche market.

  • What influences their buying decisions?
  • What messages do they respond to?
  • What media do they consume?
  • How can you surprise and delight?
  • Do they prefer to engage with you via email or on social media?
  • What products or services are they interested in purchasing?
  • Do they respond well to stories?
  • Are testimonials crucial in helping them to make a purchasing decision, or do you just need to get them on the phone?
  • When are they more likely to buy?

Knowing the answers to these questions is crucial to crafting a marketing plan that gets results and scales your business. So make sure you’re spending time with your niche.

7 Examples of potential niches

1. Go Nomad

Nomadic travellers use this site to find their next destination

Niche: Business Travel

Sub-niche: digital nomads

Are you a digital nomad in search of your next adventure? What if you could travel to the unusual, unknown, or unexpected? Maybe, discover a little town in the middle of nowhere rather than a bustling city. Go Nomad helps digital nomads find a place to live. Travel writers can make money crafting articles for this site, and in turn, they help nomads find their next home. It’s a niche that ranks highly.

2. Knees Over Toes Guy

Niche: Health & Fitness

Sub-niche: knee strength

Got a knee problem? Ask the knee-over-toes guy. People all over the world struggle with knee problems, especially as age kicks in. Those once well-oiled hinges now squeak and creak.

Before you search for a knee specialist, you’ll probably type how to improve your knee strength in Google, and you’d land on this guy. He has almost a million Youtube subscribers. That’s a lot of eyes on his videos. If you try his tips and you notice a difference, you’re going to trust him to get you results. It’s a niche that’s an inch wide and a mile deep.

3. We Shoot Bottles.com

Niche: Photography

Sub-niche: Bottle Manufacturers

Can’t get more specific than that business name. We Shoot Bottles is a photography company in the U.K. As you may have guessed, they take photos of bottles for a living. If you’re someone who manufactures bottles you could scroll through hundreds of photographers trying to find a good fit, or you’d contact these guys to photograph your stuff because it’s what they do. Specificity sells. So be specific in your niche.

4. Miss Excel

Master Excel with Miss Excel

Niche: Business

Sub-niche: excel for small businesses

You’ve just been promoted to manager, and now you need to track budgets. That requires Excel, only you don’t know how to use it. You could purchase an expensive course or watch Kat Norton dance across your screen while teaching you how to do things with Microsoft Excel.

It’s fun, entertaining, and helpful. Kat makes well over 7 figures selling Excel courses every year. She’s proof that you can take a seemingly boring niche and turn it into something exciting.

5. Remote Ok

Want to work remotely, here's the best place to find a job

Niche: Recruitment

Sub-niche: recruitment for remote workers

Tired of long work commutes? Want the freedom to do your job from home while wearing your superman pjs? You need a well-paying remote job.

You could look on LinkedIn, scroll through job boards, and reach out to your Network, but you’d have to sift through a bunch of job ads looking for in-house staff. Rather go to the place that only posts remote jobs. That’s Remote OK. It’s a smart way to find job talent and an ideal job.

6. The Legal Queen

Niche: Law

Sub-niche: Family law

Got a legal question. Hiring a lawyer is super expensive. Do you even know if they specialize in the field you need answers to? The Legal Queen specializes in divorce law. She’s built her following by answering the most common questions about divorce. It’s a very specific target market and does a great job. There are no bells and whistles. She doesn’t have fancy graphics or music. It’s just her answering questions, and it’s getting her a ton of new clients. So just answering common Q&As can get you new business.

7. Barehand Gloves

Your niche can be as simple as barehand gloves

Niche: Health & Fitness

Sub-niche: apparel for weight lifters

If you lift weights, your hands take a beating. Raw, open blisters aren’t pretty, and they hurt. If only you had a pair of gloves. That’s where Barehand Gloves comes in. I actually bought a pair a while ago, so I know how much a pair of gloves can impact your lifting game. Again, don’t be afraid to choose a hyper-specific target market.

Common questions around niches

How do you know if you’re too niche?

It’s very rare that I’ve come across a business that’s too niche. You’d be surprised by the number of sub-niches that are doing incredibly well on Reddit. Businesses you’d never think of.

Start by looking at competitors. If there is healthy competition in your niche, you can be confident that it’s profitable. But if you’re the only one spearheading a niche, I’d be cautious. You may have no competition because there is no viable market.

Don’t be scared to test and pivot when necessary.

How do I know if there’s a viable market for my niche?

It comes down to research and knowing your numbers.

  • Is there a demand for the product?
  • Is it a profitable space?
  • Is there a wide enough market to accommodate you as a new seller?
  • Who is your direct competitor?

You want to stay away from products with low-profit margins and too little demand. Avoid customers that buy on price. Becoming a commodity business is a losing strategy.

Where do I research my niche audience?

Start with Facebook Groups, forums like Reddit and Quora, industry publications, and podcasts. See if there is a market for your product, and pay attention to the questions that are routinely raised.

Look for gaps in the market. Can you fulfill those customers’ needs?

How to gain insight into your niche customer with keyword research

Want to know what are the most popular questions your niche searches for daily? Use a keyword research tool like AHREFS or SEMRush. They’ll give you a list of frequently asked questions and the search volume for each keyword.

You can then use these keywords in your marketing efforts. Create webinars, blogs, social posts, and email sequences that deal directly with their pain points.

Can I have more than one niche?

I’m always impressed by business owners who have multiple niches. Provided you’ve not spread yourself too thinly, you absolutely can have more than one niche.

But if you’re just starting out in business, I’d advise that you dominate one niche before pivoting to the next. Remember, you have limited firepower (marketing dollars, resources, and time), so dividing your focus in the startup phase can affect your growth.

What you can do is have different segments within a target market.

For example, there are three segments that we work with. Business owners wanting to learn how to build a marketing plan purchase our course.

The next segment targets business owners doing between $500,000 and $30M who want to scale with marketing. We provide 1:1 coaching to this segment. Then we have people who want to become consultants, coaches, etc. They join our Certification program.

So, it’s totally okay to think of your target market in multiple segments. You might choose one small segment to focus on or work with 2 or 3 segments. It’s completely up to you.

How Do I Figure Out the revenue of my niche audience?

We get this question a lot and it's tricky because asking somebody who you don't really know exactly how much money they're making is a little awkward.

Instead, use proxy questions to give you a better understanding of how much money they're making.

For example you could ask, how many employees do you have?

If you have over 10 employees, there's a good chance that you have a good deal of revenue and you're hitting around the 700 to over a million mark. Obviously, it can be much higher at that point, but at least you have a better understanding.

Some other questions you can ask are:

  • What's the volume of product that you're selling?  
  • What's the quality and quantity of the service or product that you're selling?

I don't love the clients I currently Service. When do I switch niches?

Firstly, you don't want to burn bridges.

If the target market you're currently working with is bringing in more revenue, keep them for now. But start shifting the messaging of your promotional materials while you figure out the potential customers you want to work with.

Slowly test and treat this as a skunkworks until it's been validated. You can then begin transitioning those clients you don't enjoy working with out of your business.

Are you ready to determine your personal niche?

So many people get stuck on finding their niche because they want it perfect from the start. That rarely happens. Some of the most successful people I know got their start in very different businesses from the ones they run now.

I know I did. I thought I’d provide marketing consulting to corporates, but I hated it. Too much paperwork, too many reports, and meetings with stakeholders. Urg! Once I pivoted to small businesses, I was so much happier.

So don’t be afraid to experiment. Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis. As long as you’re building relationships, you can always pivot.  

And most importantly, once you know what your niche is, invest in niche marketing. That's where your marketing plan comes into play. It's going to make connecting with, nurturing and converting leads to customers so much easier.

Use this framework to find your personal niche.

How to Surprise and Delight Your Customers with Direct Mail

What is a prospect worth to you? More importantly, what would you be willing to spend to acquire that customer? So many businesses' current marketing efforts...

Marketing

What is a prospect worth to you? More importantly, what would you be willing to spend to acquire that customer?

So many businesses' current marketing efforts focus on leveraging the power of digital marketing. I get it. I'm a tech geek. I absolutely love all the latest technology.

I have invested thousands of dollars in attracting leads through digital banners, blog articles, SEO, and PPC. I've spent hours connecting with and nurturing leads through social media, email marketing, and online webinars.

While these are all tried and trusted tactics for moving your ideal customer through the buyer journey, your competitors are doing the exact same thing.

They're investing all their time, energy, and budget into digital marketing.

To stand out, you need to do things differently. Because when you're dealing with high-value customers, the ones worth thousands of dollars, nothing beats old-school offline marketing. Whether you call it snail mail, physical mail, or direct mail, it delivers a wow experience and has a far higher success rate than online marketing.

If you want to stand out from your competitors and deliver an unforgettable customer experience, you need to invest in a surprise and delight package.

It needs to be an offer they can't resist keeping and acting on. But before we get into what that delight experience could look like, let's explain what surprise and delight marketing really is.

What is surprise and delight marketing?

Surprise and delight marketing focuses on doing the unexpected and reaping long-term customer loyalty as a result. It's all about delivering a personalized customer experience that's memorable and could lead to good PR.

When done right, it can take a cold lead and quickly turn them into a prospective customer. And it can transform an existing customer into a lifelong brand evangelist.

But really, the goal of this marketing strategy is to start a conversation and build a strong emotional connection with the customer. One which will compel them to reach out or pop down to your store and spend their dollars.

Some examples of delight strategies include direct mail packages, unexpected perks, special treatment, or personalized attention.

Why are surprise and delight strategies essential to customer satisfaction?

We're living in tough financial times. Job loss is at an all-time high. Markets are constrained. People are struggling to get by.

As a business, you need to go above and beyond the expected level of service to retain customer loyalty. Failure to delight customers will only lead to customer losses.

That's why I love using a surprise and delight campaign. It builds goodwill, enhances customer satisfaction, and costs very little.

Now you can go the digital campaign route. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. But like I said, every other business in your market is leveraging online tech. I prefer to use a pattern interrupt.

Instead of sending another boring email, think bigger. I like to delight my customers with a shock-and-awe package.

Here's why it'll lead to greater brand loyalty:

How surprise and delight tactics can fuel customer satisfaction

1. IT'S PERSONAL

Best of all, you can really leverage email to support your surprise and delight strategy.

Providing you've gathered personal information during the opt-in process, you can analyze that data and use your findings to deliver a tailor-made experience.

One that confirms your business cares about its customers and is committed to delivering unforgettable brand experiences.

2. IT'S EXCITING

People love getting deliveries. There's something genuinely joyful about receiving a package in the mail and unboxing whatever's inside.

Remember, you want every interaction your customer has with your business to be delightful.

Create memorable experiences, and they're more likely to refer your business, especially if they know it will benefit their inner circle.

3. IT'S UNEXPECTED

Picture this, a courier company arrives at your house with a package. You don't remember ordering anything, so initially, you're a little confused.

Then curiosity kicks in. You start to wonder what's inside the box. Now you're experiencing a kind of nervous anticipation as you open the box.

Finally, the big reveal. It's a massive surprise: a brand you know, and love has sent you a gift just because.

You're going to want to share that experience with friends. You're going to talk about it on social media. And you'll probably thank the business that spoilt you. Maybe you'll even spend a little more the next time you shop at their store.

Create experiences your audience can't wait to share with others.

4. IT'S LARGELY UNTAPPED

How many brands are actually using direct mail to communicate with their customers?

Most stick to email and social media. And while there's nothing wrong with that, every other brand is doing the same thing.

Your customer's inboxes are overcrowded, and their lives are busy. If your email lacks pizzazz, it'll be relegated to the bin or spam folder.

In contrast, people's mailboxes are far less crowded than their email inboxes, so it's easier to delight customers.

5. IT SHOWS YOU APPRECIATE YOUR CUSTOMERS

Use this strategy to reward customers for doing business with your brand, or you can use it to show prospects you value your customers.

Don't be the business that only accepts withdrawals from their customers. Make small deposits like a surprise birthday voucher or an invitation to an exclusive launch. It's key to delighting customers.

Unlike other marketing strategies, surprise and delight marketing will lead to repeat business. It will also stimulate inbound leads because your customers are actively referring you.

But let's consider what you can include in your delight package to surprise customers and would-be customers.

Delight prospective customers with these 3 surprise tactics

79% of consumers act on direct mail immediately. That unexpected delight package your business sent to someone might take pride of place in their office, kitchen, or lounge. Emails, on the other hand, are easily forgotten.

I'll give you an example.

I celebrated my birthday a little while ago and received tons of emails and text messages from brands wishing me a happy birthday. While it did bring a smile, they were just wishes. And every single one of those messages was binned. I can't even recall who messaged me.

Had I received a birthday card or voucher on a nice, thick, textured card in the mail, I guarantee I wouldn't have been so quick to throw it away.

Knowing what to send in your surprise package comes down to understanding

  1. the type of customer you're trying to attract,
  2. what their potential lifetime value is,
  3. and how much you're willing to spend to acquire that customer.

Remember, the purpose of a surprise and delight package is to start a conversation with cold customers or keep your brand top of mind with existing ones. Sales and marketing need to be aligned because if that consumer chooses to act on your delight package, your sales department needs to be ready to close the deal.

Right, so let's look at what you can send via mail.

3 questions you need to answer when building your surprise and delight package

1. INVEST IN A HANDWRITTEN NOTE

People don't write anymore. Everything is digitally printed. Don't get me wrong, digital notes can be beautiful, but there's something surprising about a handwritten note or letter.

It takes more time than typing something up on a computer, so it has a greater impact. It also says to a customer, you matter enough for me to personally write to you.

From my experience, after sending a surprise and delight note to a prospect, they've inevitably reached out to me via email or phoned the call center. And many of those conversations lead to new customers.

To recap:

  • Handwritten notes cost little in terms of time and money.
  • It's something that you can hire an assistant to handle or outsource to a service provider to help you with.
Use a handwritten note to show your customers you value them

2. SEND A POSTCARD

A lot of business owners understand lead nurturing via email and using things like autoresponders. I've used them myself, and it's very powerful. But what if you could take a multimedia approach?

Instead of just emailing, you'd send text messages and follow up with a monthly postcard to your customers. That's bound to delight.

But before I get into what message your surprise and delight postcard could include, I want to share the story of Joe Gerard.

He's in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's top salesperson. Joe sold an average of 2. 5 cars every day for over 14 years. It wasn't unusual for Joe to have six people scheduled to view the dealership's cars every day.

So how did he do it? With a simple postcard strategy. Every prospect he met and customer he sold to would receive a surprise and delight postcard in the mail every month. It created an emotional connection and allowed him to position himself as a friend and trusted advisor.

You could use this to promote a special event, such as a VIP night for loyal customers or a secret sale. Use surprise and delight tactics to create a sense of exclusivity and make customers feel special.

Now, what could you expect to pay?

Including printing and postage, you're looking at roughly $2 per customer. Over the year, that would amount to $24.

Really, it's cost-effective and an excellent part of your marketing process.

3. SURPRISE YOUR CUSTOMER WITH A SHOCK-AND-AWE PACKAGE

One of my favorite ways to surprise and delight customers is with a care package. It's personal, unexpected, and tactile. You could include the following:

  • a free sample of your product. If you have a physical product, giving consumers a chance to experience your product before they buy is incredibly powerful. It will fast-track sales.
  • a book if you're a published author (especially if you're a business coach). I use my book to promote my services and knowledge. You can do something similar. It's a great way to pre-frame a prospective customer.
  • unusual stationery. I have a metal business card, but you could send a really nice pen or leather-bound notebook.
  • personalized stationery. You want to send something with their name on it, not yours. Because it's all about your prospect and making their life better. Not your own. A florist might courier an orchid contained within a handcrafted vase. An e-commerce site selling ceramic pottery could send a beautiful mug with the prospect's name printed on thick card. It'll make an impression. I once received a fridge magnet. It's small but incredibly useful.
  • a discount voucher. It doesn't have to be something massive like 50% off, but if you got a buy one get one free voucher which could only be redeemed in-store, chances are you'd travel 15 miles to get your delight freebie. The sample applies to most consumers. They'll go out of their way if they believe they're getting something free. And they might even land up spending more. It's a win-win situation. They get something new at a discounted rate, and you make a sale you might not have.
Social proof of the power of a surprise and delight branded package

I'll give you an example of how I used a shock and awe package in my telecommunications company (this was many years ago). For high-value prospects, my team would send a mini trash can filled with fake money.

The purpose was to show that staying with their current telecommunications company was costing them money. If they signed with us, they'd be saving big. Included in our surprise and delight package was a copy of the contract ready for them to sign.

It cost about 20 dollars and resulted in many deals. Even if those prospects didn't sign, it got their attention and garnered chatter online.

If you're stuck on ideas of what gifts you could send, check out Giftology by John Ruhlin. This book covers exactly how to boost revenue, increase retention, and cut churn with the power of surprises.

Next, I want to discuss when it makes sense to send a shock and awe package.

When should you use shock and awe tactics?

In my opinion, the shock and awe or surprise and delight package makes sense in a few scenarios.

  1. When the customer is worth a lot. Depending on the type of package you send, it can become costly. So you might want to limit your surprise and delight tactics to high-value prospects. Surprise and delight packages are a great way to micro-manage a relationship with people you want to do business with and whose attention you want to get. Every customer who becomes a coaching client receives two copies of my book, a handwritten note, and my metal business card. No matter where in the world they're based, I religiously send these packages.
  2. When you want to move the prospect up the buying cycle. It can help you skip several steps in the buying cycle, especially in the rapport-building phase. Especially if you own a coaching business or you offer some sort of software, enticing your customers to invest in the business suite as opposed to the entry-level could be as simple as sending a monthly card.
  3. When you want to rekindle interest in a product. Imagine you've gone to the checkout of an e-commerce site. You were looking at lighting equipment and made it to checkout, but for whatever reason, you abandoned the cart. You can use a business like Postpilot to pull that data and send that customer a postcard voucher with 15% off their next purchase. With an 8.6% conversion rate on abandoned cart follow-up emails. It's worth investing in.

Can social media and email fuel your offline marketing strategy?

Absolutely. I mentioned early that a great surprise and delight experience would produce good publicity for your brand.

Some of your customers will share their brand experience on social media. Your goal is to leverage user content to further promote your brand.

User-generated content is vital to marketing your business. You're not telling social media followers to like your brand or buy your product. You're sharing content created by customers who bought your product or service and loved it. It could be a testimonial or just a happy smiling face, but it says to the larger community that you can be trusted.

If you are going to use this type of content, you need to get user consent before sharing the posts on your social media channels.

how to use user generated content to promote your brand

Hosting an online giveaway is another way you can use social media to fuel your offline marketing strategy. You can direct customers to opt-in via your website, comment on the social post, or send you a DM with their personal contact information.

Then you can randomly select a few winners and create the ultimate delight experience.

Just be sure to clearly state the terms and conditions. If the post is directing them to a competition page, make sure you add a privacy policy.

Follow-up email conversations with a gift that delights. Use your CRM to track user engagement. If you notice that a customer hasn't opened your emails in a while, you can follow up with a surprise and delight gift in the mail. It doesn't need to be big. It just needs to get their attention and rekindle their interest in your emails.

The same goes for a sales conversation where the prospect needs time to think. Go into your CRM, pull their customer information, and put together a surprise and delight package that can help them to make a decision.

Start strategizing your direct mail campaign and get ready to delight customers

Marketing your brand isn't easy. Competition is stiff, and your budget is likely tight. You could focus your efforts on online marketing, or you can invest in direct mail. Not only is it massively neglected, but it delivers the ultimate brand experience.

Just remember that your surprise and delight package doesn't have to be big and flashy. Consider the type of customer you're trying to convert, and use that information to inform how much you spend on them.

If you're in the airline business and you're looking for investors, I reckon you'd spend in the tens of thousands. But if the average lifetime value of a customer is $100,000, look to spend a couple hundred or thousand dollars on them.

WANT TO ATTRACT BETTER CLIENTS?

We'll help you plan, build and execute a marketing strategy that produces consistent, measurable results. Click to learn how.

How Can Email Marketing Fuel Your Overall Inbound Strategy?

Nobody reads emails anymore. You should be on TikTok or Instagram. If that's true, I shouldn't have been able to 3x my monthly revenue. But...

Marketing

Nobody reads emails anymore. You should be on TikTok or Instagram.

If that’s true, I shouldn’t have been able to 3x my monthly revenue. But I did, and it wouldn't have been possible without email marketing.

Email is key to a successful inbound marketing strategy. While social media posts, lead magnets, and SEO blog articles are necessary for attracting your ideal audience, email is where you'll get to know your prospects, build those all-important relationships and convert them into customers.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Let’s start by unpacking what inbound marketing is. If you already know, skip ahead.

What is inbound marketing?

We marketers love to throw around terms like inbound marketing, but for most business owners starting their marketing journey, we might as well be speaking gibberish.

Inbound marketing is the process of creating content that attracts your ideal business lead and delivering tailored experiences that convert them into life-long customers. It focuses on building trust and forming connections with people searching for solutions to a specific problem that only you can fix.

On the other hand, outbound marketing interrupts your customers with content they didn’t ask to see, for example, a television commercial. This can be met favorably (if the advertisement entertains or offers an incredible deal) or with frustration.

Why email marketing?

  1. It’s trackable. CRMs compile data on all your subscribers and the emails you send. You can see which email marketing campaigns performed well, which subject lines tanked, and what content your readers want more of. Knowing your numbers will guide your email strategy.
  2. It’s instantaneous. As 46% of smartphone owners prefer to receive email communications from businesses, you can touch base with a customer quickly.
  3. You can automate your email marketing. You’re no longer location-based. Now you can serve customers around the world without having to invest more time.
  4. You can personalize your emails.
  5. You control it. Unlike social media and advertising, no one can tell you what you can and can’t say via email. Your account can’t be banned. As long as you have your customers' contact details, you’ll always be in touch.
  6. A/B testing allows you to routinely improve your marketing message. You might find video outperforms text. Or that short-form emails outperform long-form. But you’ll only know if you test your theories.

These are just six ways that email can fuel your overall inbound strategy. But why inbound email marketing and not outbound?

Inbound email marketing vs Outbound email marketing

Personally, I prefer inbound email marketing because I know that everyone on my email list is a qualified lead and potential customer. Whether they read my book, heard me on a podcast or at a speaker event, or typed into Google, “marketing plan for small businesses,” they were actively looking for ways to improve marketing their business.

By opting into my email list, I can confidently send them information about my products and services.

In contrast, outbound email marketing targets cold leads. This happens when you buy email lists. You’re actively connecting with people who haven’t expressed interest in your products or services.

By sending unsolicited mail, you run the risk of upsetting these leads, which could negatively impact your business reputation.

There are other reasons why inbound marketing is superior and I’ve broken it down for you in the table below:

Inbound email marketing Outbound email marketing Targets a small group of qualified leads (subscribers). Targets everyone (mass marketing). Greater engagement as you’re dealing with subscribers that trust you and look to you for advice and help. Less engagement as you’re dealing with people who don’t know you or how you got their details. Takes longer to build because it relies on customers finding you. Occurs more rapidly because you’re not targeting a specific group, and you’ve likely brought an email list. Costs less because you’re emailing a smaller list of high-value leads that actively want to hear from you. Costs more because you’re mass emailing a large group of people. Increased return on investment (ROI) because you’re not spending as much on acquiring leads. Lower return on investment (ROI) because the upfront marketing costs exceed the potential conversions.

So, how can email marketing fuel your overall inbound strategy?

We walk you through the ways email can help your inbound strategy and turn prospects into customers

1. SUCCESSFUL EMAIL MARKETING ATTRACTS HIGHER QUALITY LEADS

Something like 80% of small businesses think targeting everyone will lead to more sales. It won’t because everyone is not your target audience.

Inbound marketing zeroes in on your niche audience without costing you a kidney on the black market. All you need to do is solve your customers' problems better than your competitors, and you’ll attract an invested lead. Someone who will eventually buy.

I like to use a cornerstone piece of content to get my ideal customer to self-identify. I have a book, but you can use a series of webinars or Youtube videos, blog posts, infographics, a podcast, an ebook, or a course.

Educate and provide value in advance, and you’ve already established your authority. Because they know you can help them, you’re someone they want to keep hearing from. By adding a prospect to your newsletter, you can keep in touch and nurture that relationship.

That’s why email needs to form part of your marketing strategy

Make sure every piece of content you produce includes a call to action. It can be to

  • opt-in to your newsletter
  • download a free template
  • join a webinar session

Gate it so you can capture their details.

Need help dominating your niche. Check out this 8-step process to niching down.

2. Inbound email marketing guarantees an engaged audience

Remember, an inbound strategy isn’t about coercing leads into joining your email list. These are organic leads that found you as a result of your content marketing strategy.

You answered their questions, and they believe you can help them.

Use your email marketing to get to know them better and share your story. I use an email welcome sequence.

  • Introduce yourself. Keep it brief.
  • Ask your prospective customer a question. Mention that you’re genuinely interested in learning more about them. I’ve had great feedback from email subscribers.
  • Link to a free resource to cement their goodwill.  

Humans like to do business with people they like. By actively showing interest in your audience, you open a two-way conversation. To enhance your emails

  • Share anecdotes your readers can relate to. You decide how personal you get, but don’t be scared to own your failures and celebrate your successes.
  • Add personality to your writing. I know of a writer who’s blunt and borderline rude, but his writing is compelling. He won’t appeal to everyone, but for some customers, he’s just what they need.
  • Stick to plain text. Forget about fancy templates for your email marketing. People want to feel like they’re getting a text message from a close friend.
  • Use an email super signature to promote some of your products and encourages readers to respond to you.

3. A solid inbound strategy delivers value and builds trust

There’s that word again: value. Let’s make it your intention word for 2024. Your email marketing needs to educate, entertain, and above all, deliver value.

There will always be people who just want to tap the source for free. But there are many more that need you to demonstrate your expertise. They want to put your advice into action. And if they get a result before they buy, you’ll have earned their trust.

Offer something free that can improve their business or life.

4. It allows you to segment your audience

Why segmentation? Well, how many products do you have?

Say you’re a software company. You might have an entry-level product, a premium, and an unlimited version. Big businesses with bigger budgets won’t be interested in the entry-level package. That’s designed for solopreneurs and small businesses. Corporations would probably purchase the unlimited version.

That’s why you need to segment your emails.

According to the Barilliance, segmented emails generated one-third of all email revenue. It is the most effective strategy for email marketing campaigns. But, if you’re not speaking to each segment's pain points, you’ll lose their interest.

Segmented emails improve engagement, increase sales, and deliver a higher ROI and a better click rate.

5. Inbound marketing delivers personalized content

Every day, over 306 billion emails are sent to customers across the globe. Inboxes are flooded with messages from brands, business coaches, retail companies, and service providers trying to convince consumers to purchase their products or services.

Many will land up in SPAM filters. Others will be binned due to a sucky subject line or marketing offer. But a select few will cut through the noise and be opened.

It may be because they used the reader’s name or made a controversial opinion. Success comes down to knowing your audience and delivering personalized experiences.

In fact, a report from McKinsey&Co found that 71% of customers expect personalized experiences, and three-quarters of customers get angry when you don’t personalize.

Being likable starts by giving a damn. And email marketing is one of the best mediums for building personalized relationships with prospective customers. It easily allows you to get to know your subscribers.

  • What business they’re in?
  • What challenges they’re facing?
  • What products do they like?
  • How do they make their purchasing decisions? For example, do they like to read customer reviews or ask questions?
  • Their goals
  • Name, age, physical location, marital status.

With this information, you can segment your list in a CRM and tailor your content to your prospect. You can also use past purchases to personalize future emails.

This will improve customer retention, increase goodwill and referrals, and ensure customer loyalty.

If you want your customers to see your name and open your email, you need to invest time into getting to know them and delivering tailored experiences.

Try using your subscribers name in the preview text or opening sentence of your email

6. Emails are great for reactivating or re-engaging dormant customers

So many businesses are stuck in a cycle of only trying to acquire new leads. It’s costly and time-consuming. What about your existing customer base?

When last did you engage your past customers?

There’s a boatload that stopped buying and just need a gentle nudge to part with their hard-earned cash. But if you don’t give them any attention, why would they give you their money?

As long as you’ve built a customer database, you owe it to yourself to reactivate dormant customers.

A successful email marketing strategy includes a reactivation campaign at least once or twice a year.

Track your email data long enough, and you'll notice that open rates and click-through rates vary. Drill down to an individual level, and you'll find that a subscriber who actively engaged with your emails for the first few months now only opens one in 12 emails.

Why? Perhaps they joined another list, and suddenly they couldn't keep up with all the emails in their inbox. Or circumstances in their lives have changed. Maybe they're in financial difficulty. Or they began a new job.

Either way, your email marketing won't always resonate with your customers.

Re-engaging dormant customers with email

  • kick-starts a two-way conversation.
  • helps you cull your email list so you can keep costs down.

7. Respond to abandoned carts

According to stats from the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment is roughly 70%.

7 out of 10 consumers don't complete their purchase.

Perhaps they received a client phone call they had to take. Or their kid needed help on a school project. Maybe they wanted to get free shipping and needed to spend a little more to qualify.

Whatever the reason, they were interrupted during the purchasing process, and if they're not 100% committed, they'll forget all about it.

But you can rekindle their interest with a simple reactivation email campaign. It could be a gentle reminder that they've still got products sitting in their basket. Or a brief email asking if they're still interested in the product or service they were reviewing.

Using this email marketing strategy is an excellent way to get customers to reconsider their decision.

8. You can use email to launch and sell new products

Each year, people wait in queues for hours to be the first to get their hands on the new Samsung phone or iMac computer. They do this because they already trust the brand and know the quality they deliver. That's the power of an invested customer base.

Think back to the last time you bought something from a brand you've never tried.

I bet you spent a lot more time researching it, reading reviews, speaking to the salespeople, and mulling over whether or not to buy. It was a much harder decision.

But, with email marketing, your subscribers already know and like you. They're invested in what you're selling. And they trust you not to screw them.

So even if you're in the beta phase of a product build, they're more willing to take a chance on it.

As a bonus:

  • You get sales very quickly.
  • You can use the beta product launch as a chance to get valuable customer feedback and optimize your product before you take it to market.

Once a week, I send two emails that educate or engage and one that sells. According to SaleCycle, 50% of people buy from marketing emails once a month. Now I get roughly 1500 new email subscribers each month. So if half buy, I’m generating a solid return on investment. And you can too.

When finalizing your email strategy

  • make sure you’re providing more value than hard-sell emails. If every email sells, you’ll quickly irritate your readers and they’ll unsubscribe.
  • decide how many emails you’ll send a week and set a time, so your customers know when to expect hearing from you. For example, I email my list on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10am.
  • repurpose content as much as possible. If you had an email that performed really well, think about how you can change it up. Remember, most people won’t remember reading something that you sent three to six months ago.

9. Email is a great way to increase web traffic

There's no point in creating content if you don't have a distribution strategy, and email forms a key element of that plan.

You can use email to update your subscribers on a blog post you recently wrote, a webinar you're hosting, or a podcast you've released.

You're actively driving traffic to your website. This surge of interest in that piece of content can lead to content shares on social sites, which encourages backlinks from relevant websites.

It opens other opportunities for your business. For example, you may be asked to contribute thought-leadership pieces to other publications or be invited to speak on an industry podcast.

Grow your web traffic with inbound email marketing, and you can scale your business quicker.

Start building your inbound marketing strategy

Email should fuel your inbound strategy. It's not going away. And while you can sink more of your marketing budget into platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or TikTok, you don't own them.

At least once a month, I hear of an influencer complaining about their account being hacked or blocked because of something they said. Literally, overnight they have lost access to their target audience. The people they've spent months, maybe years, building a trusted relationship with. Now they have to start from scratch.

Email guarantees that everyone sees your marketing message. Not just a small percentage. Unlike Facebook, you don’t have to pay to reach more people on your email list.  

So do the smart thing and prioritize email marketing in 2023. If you need help crafting better emails, check out this link.

How to Attract the Best Clients Using Scorecard Marketing

Discover how scorecard marketing can help you overcome the biggest challenge when attracting new clients.

Marketing

We all want better clients, right?

Clients that take action, get things done and get incredible results in the process.

The question is, how can you find these perfect clients?

In this article, we’re going to walk you through how to use Scorecard Marketing to attract the very best clients who are eager to work with you and take action.

Why scorecard marketing graphic

Ideal clients

All clients are different, and their businesses are often unique. This makes targeting your ideal clients extremely difficult. Especially if they:

  • Are spread across different niches
  • Have completely different goals
  • Have different sets of challenges

Oftentimes, you might speak to potential clients on the phone, and you might know very little about them. You or your team will have to ask a lot of questions to establish whether or not they are the right fit for you and whether you can help them.

The only problem with this is that it takes time.

Let's look at the numbers…

Let’s say you have 10 sales calls booked for the week ahead.

  • 2 people don’t show up for the sales call
  • 3 people don't have the right budget
  • 2 people aren’t ready to buy your service
  • 1 person feels like they’d be too demanding and hard work
  • 2 people buy from you

80% of your time would lead to nothing. Only 2 out of 10 people become a client.

Yes…this is pretty scary, but it’s also quite common for sales teams.

This is exactly why you need to understand your potential clients better before you speak to them.

What is Scorecard Marketing?

Scorecard marketing allows you to assess your clients before you work with them (or even speak to them). This puts you at a unique advantage going into a sales call.By using a Scorecard, you can ask your prospect specific questions about them and their business to help you determine who is a good fit and who isn’t.It works for a number of reasons:

  1. It shows that you care about doing business with the right people, which builds trust
  2. It allows you to filter out the good leads from the bad, which saves you time
  3. It makes your prospect more committed because they have to spend a little time thinking and answering your questions

Ultimately, it puts you back in control of the conversation and gives you some vital data about your leads. This makes your sales conversations much more meaningful.

Wait…why would a prospect take a scorecard?

The reason Scorecards work so well is because your prospects get a reward for taking part.

As the name suggests, Scorecards allow your audience to get a SCORE when they take part.

  • They answer a series of quick questions that tell you about them and their current situation
  • They get a score based on their answers so they can see how knowledgeable they are
  • You get lots of interesting data that you can talk about when you speak to them

Some of the questions you ask will allow you to score the person on their knowledge, and some of the questions will be for you and your sales team to establish how qualified they are to work with you.

Our Marketing Scorecard

We actually built our own scorecard called The Marketing IQ quiz, which helps our visitors uncover the missing pieces in their business and optimize for exponential growth. This scorecard is great for lead generation and pre-qualification.

As humans, we all love to score ourselves. We love trivia quizzes and game shows because we get to test our knowledge. We obsess over sporting events that are all based on scores and winning. We all want to be the best and know the most so we can feel proud of ourselves.

This is why scorecards and quizzes work so well. They tap into that deep routed need for validation and accomplishment. Let's make sure we allow our customers to scratch that itch.

How to build your own scorecard graphic

How you can build your own scorecard

Now that you know why Scorecard Marketing works so well, now’s the time to make a quiz for your business. There are four parts to the perfect quiz/scorecard, which we’ll walk you through below.

1. Concept

Ask yourself, how do you help people to achieve their goals, or what do your services allow people to do?

  • If you’re a fitness trainer, it might be to “lose weight.”
  • If you’re a marketing agency, it might be to “Become more visible online.”
  • If you’re a financial advisor, it might be to “Retire early. ”

You can use these goals as the name or concept for your scorecard.

Using the financial advisor example, you could say, “Discover your financial freedom score. Answer these 10 questions and find out when you’ll be able to retire.”

This kind of scorecard works well because it presents an end goal that you know your audience are trying to accomplish.

2. Landing Page

Your scorecard landing page is very important. Even if your audience already know, like and trust you, you still need to present them with a clear and obvious benefit for them to take the scorecard.

Using a nice clean design with some compelling copy is good enough to get your visitors to begin your scorecard and start answering your questions.

3. Questions

Your scorecard questions could be broken down into two categories.

  • Questions that help you score your audience so they can test their knowledge
  • Questions that help your team understand more about the person and how qualified they might be to work with you

All of the questions you ask should be simple and easy to answer so that you don’t lose people’s interest along the way.

Consider asking questions that will help you determine who is the best fit for your business. These kinds of questions can help with that:

  • How much do you spend on marketing/coaching/development at the moment?
  • How many team members do you have?
  • What’s your current turnover?
  • What’s your target turnover next year?

Using the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to see who is more able to afford your products and services and who might struggle.

4. Results Page

Once someone has completed your scorecard, you take them to a results page. Your scorecard results page allows you to do two things really well.

  1. You provide information about a person’s score and how well they did
  2. You provide valuable insights and resources to help them improve their situation

Based on the person's score, you can now present specific content that’s relevant to them. This means you can add different content and advice if someone scores lower vs higher vs somewhere in the middle.

If you use the results page to educate your audience and improve their knowledge, they will feel more empowered, and they’ll be more likely to take action.

Having all four parts of a scorecard will allow you to craft the perfect lead generation and qualification tool. Using quiz software like ScoreApp, you can build your entire scorecard quickly and easily.

Back to the sales call

Having someone go through the scorecard first before a sales call, means:

  • They are more likely to attend the call because they have received some value first
  • They’ll be more eager because they feel empowered and ready to get started
  • They probably won’t have as many questions because you’ve already provided some education as part of the scorecard
  • They’ll trust you so much more going into the sales call because you’ve taken the time to explore their challenges, needs and goals

Overall, scorecards make the sales process much easier and more efficient for everyone.

Should you use a scorecard within your sales process?

After reading this article, I’m sure you can see how beneficial it would be to include a scorecard as part of your sales process.

Scorecards allow you to gather vital data from your prospects whilst building trust at the same time. It’s the perfect tool for anyone who’s looking to attract the best quality clients that have the right budget and take action.

If you want to build a scorecard for your business, try ScoreApp. They offer a 14-day free trial, and they have over 20 pre-built templates to speed up the process.