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May 23, 2024

How to Choose the Right Lead Magnet

Kevon Cheung

Founder & Head Teacher

Don't you think we live in an audience-driven world now? Like if you say you have 50,000 email subscribers, you instantly get respect.

It is wild.

But I have this theory that most of these email lists are bloated. The same goes for social media following.


Because people are using fake email addresses to sign up for free things.


Because most free things (lead magnets) are not good enough for people to put in their real email addresses.

Let's just say ... most lead magnets are terrible!

They are baits to get people to leave their email addresses so the creators can bombard them with sales information.

I can go on and on to talk about how to deliver an impressive learning experience through your lead magnet, but today I think it is more important to address the elephant in the room:

Choosing and positioning a lead magnet for your education business

Because there are 2 common mistakes I see all the time.

One, when you create a lead magnet that is super specific that only a small group of your audience can benefit from, you don’t see results. People already come into your world, but you are not allowing them to experience the goodness you bring.

Hold on - I have examples for you. Just wait!

Two, when you create a lead magnet to add value to your audience’s life, but the topic and value are 9 miles away from what your signature offer is (where you make most of your money), you don’t see results. You already demonstrated you bring a ton of value, but you are not paving an easy next step for them to take.

These are missing opportunities.

But now that you know them, you can turn things around!

Narrow problem. Mass appeal

It is easy to create many lead magnets and embed them in your content here and there. What’s hard is to create a signature lead magnet that you’ll proudly present to everyone walking in your door.

How do you usually figure out what lead magnet to create?

Do you observe what people ask you often? This can’t go wrong. After all, if people are asking, it means they need that information from you. Packaging that information into a product to share with more people sounds like a great approach.

But you want to go after a narrow problem.

Narrow enough so that they can almost surely feel like a winner after using your lead magnet.

Again, the issue is when the topic is too specific to a handful of people. For example, if you teach people how to tell stories on social media and your lead magnet is “How to create Instagram Reels”, then you can only attract people who are actively growing their Instagram accounts.

What about X? LinkedIn? TikTok?

This is why you also need to choose a problem that has a mass appeal.

If not “How to create Instagram Reels”, what about “Contrast Storytelling: Tell Stories That Stir More Emotions”?

Don't you think this goes after a narrow problem, but at the same time, with a mass appeal?

Build a linkage

We, creator-educators, are a different animal.

We are half expressive individuals and half ambitious entrepreneurs. We love sharing what we know and doing things our way, but we also know that we need to be strategic to run and grow a business.

A lead magnet that is effective by itself is adding value to your audience, but it might not help you grow your business.

To bridge that gap, you want the lead magnet to open people’s eyes and start them on a new path. Then they’ll bump into new problems and, uncoincidentally, you are right there to offer help.

It is like teaching a kid how to do magic tricks. You just need to show them one, then they will want to learn a few more to impress their friends!

So using the same example, if the lead magnet is a free email course called “Contrast Storytelling: Tell Stories That Stir More Emotions”, what would be a great signature offer match? And what would be a terrible signature offer match?

A great match: You run a storytelling bootcamp that covers 10 storytelling frameworks and students do live practice rounds.

A terrible match: You run an audience growth bootcamp that shows them how to get their first 1,000 followers.

Of course, this is really just to show you how the linkage works. In reality, you always want to have your signature offer well defined first, then you work backward and design a lead magnet to build a linkage.

Bonus #1: make it look legit

“Legit” is such a subjective word.

It can mean different things to different people.

What I mean here is that you want to create a lead magnet that doesn’t look like a lead magnet. It should feel like a paid product. It should be high quality. It should have reviews. It should deliver results.

There are many lead magnets that look like it is a hack-together with the purpose of getting people’s email addresses.

I recently coached Mike Mantell and he is kind enough to let me share this screenshot of his free eBook (he also recorded a video about our coaching call):

This doesn’t look legit to me.

If Mike can upgrade the presentation of his lead magnet, I’m sure more people will download and read it.

Here are a few screenshots of a course I built early in my journey that has attracted 3,000+ students on autopilot:

Shows the number of students.

Shows the positive reviews.

Shows exactly what you get.

Do you see the difference?

Is there a step-by-step guide to show you how to craft such a convincing lead magnet? Yes there is.

Bonus #2: the right format converts

Format is something so basic that most creators don’t carefully consider when they build their lead magnets.

Working backward from your signature offer, you want to decide what format your lead magnet should be.

If your signature offer is a live program, you want to show up on video to showcase who you are.

If your signature offer is a program with heavy text materials, you want to create trust through your text.

Lead magnet vs low ticket offer

In the 3-step creator business model, you also have an initial offer (low ticket offer) between a lead magnet and a signature offer.

This is common because it takes a lot of trust-building to convince someone to buy your signature offer. It is always a good idea to start the relationship with something smaller (as in both price point and scope).

But this is where most creators get confused — what to offer in a lead magnet and what to offer in a low-ticket offer?

This is how I do it.

  • A lead magnet’s job is to bring more people into your door. You can qualify these people later. You want to solve a narrow problem but with a mass appeal so that you have a lot of room to grow with your email subscribers in the future.
  • A low ticket offer’s job is to deliver value for what people pay for and clearly lead them to your signature offer. They should not be for beginners. They should attract the same type of people that will buy your signature offer.

Be strategic to be recommendable

As you can see, even though a lead magnet is a free resource that makes you no money, you should give it quality attention.

When you are strategic about it, your lead magnet has the potential to be recommendable — people will tell their friends they should get “your thing”.

I’ve been using this approach to create all my products and I have to say I’m very lucky to get a ton of referral traffic into my business.

You will no longer need to rely on your own ability to generate traffic. You will finally achieve word of mouth that takes your business upward.

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Find Joy in Chaos

My book has been read and used by 1,000+ creators to build their Twitter/X presence. You’ll learn how to systematically attract fans and opportunities.

Get Find Joy in Chaos

Find Joy in Chaos

My book has been read and used by 1,000+ creators to build their Twitter/X presence. You’ll learn how to systematically attract fans and opportunities.

Get Find Joy in Chaos