Taking a social media detox or break might just be what your business and life need. That’s what I’m betting on as I start (June 1, 2021) on mine.
Social media is a great tool, so I’m not here to bash it and tell you that it’s evil and to never use it. There can be a lot of benefits from social media, and I also think we need to take more control over how, when, and why we use it so it’s not controlling us, and we’re controlling it.
A few months ago, we watched the docu-drama, The Social Dilemma. It delves into how social media is reprogramming civilization and the insane algorithms specifically designed to keep us coming back again and again.
I believe if rats knew and understood social media; that if given the choice between cocaine, sugar, or social media, they would choose social media. It’s that addictive.
The problem is, we’re the rats. And every like, follow, heart, share, gives us that dopamine hit. So we keep coming back for more and more. To get our fix.
I don’t know how much you use social media, but I am a heavy user. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. It controlled a lot of my life and I was tired of it and knew I needed a break when:
I was tired of my constant phone routine and always having it nearby
I started to get resentful, annoyed, and even jealous of people that I followed
It left me feeling insecure
Comparison paralysis overwhelmed me
I felt like I was losing time
I was always thinking about the next piece of content to create, the next photo, the next funny anecdote
I wasn’t present in my life and felt like I was missing out on the world outside of my phone
Do you feel the same but worry that you can’t take a break (or quit!) because you need social media for your business? Then keep reading..
I told myself I needed it too. How would my business service without it? I had to be online everywhere or I wouldn’t make money. Then I decided to get curious about those thoughts. I asked myself, is all of this true? Why did I really feel this way? Was it more about the fear of missing out (FOMO as the kids say)? Was it an excuse?
Choosing a Social Media Sabbatical
I decided to find out if leaving social media (in the way I was using it) would hurt my business.
On June 1 st 2021 I woke up and grabbed my phone. I deleted Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram (my core 4 scroll obsessions). I grabbed my iPad and did the same.
Next, I went to my computer and installed the “news feed eradicator” plugin for Chrome and Firefox, which replaces your news feed with a quote. So you can’t endlessly scroll. You can still access groups, which was important to me because I’m in some paid groups that I get value from.
I went into every group that wasn’t valuable and left them. Over 40 groups, gone. That felt so so good.
Then I went into the rest of my groups (a lot of dog groups, what can I say?) and unfollowed/shut off notifications. Then I hit up Facebook settings and shut off every possible notification that I could.
Twitter was much easier. The news feed eradicator plugin already stops the feed, and I have zero need to go to the site because I rarely, if ever, get notifications on older tweets.
I also installed “Waste No Time” extension where I could outright block sites. So I added TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube to my blocked list. And I have them blocked Monday-Sunday from 12:00am-11:59pm. So all day every day.
As an extra measure, I changed the passwords to Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter to something really obscure and long and wrote those passwords down on a piece of paper (I did not save them in lastpass, which I use for everything) and tucked them away in a sealed envelope at the very top of my closet. Extreme? Maybe, and yet it made me feel powerful to take control.
I also made it difficult to go and grab the passwords because that meant I had to put forth a lot of physical energy and silence a lot of thoughts in order to get those passwords. I was hoping that I would think that it was too much effort and move on to something else (so far that’s worked!)
My Social Media Sabbatical Exceptions
Now you may have noticed that on my list of social media sites, I did not include Pinterest or LinkedIn. I consider Pinterest more of a search engine than a social media site. I do not get sucked into it. I don’t check it regularly, so it stayed.
I use LinkedIn for networking and plan to use it for lead gen over the next 90 days (more about that below). I do not endlessly scroll and instead spend most of my time in my DM’s. So it stayed.
Youtube is also more of a search engine and I did leave it on my phone, mainly because I use it to find things like, “how to clean my faux wood blinds” (a real search from this morning) and “why haven’t my basil seeds propagated yet”. Very important things, as you can see. If I spend 15 minutes a day on YouTube, it’s a lot.
Your mileage may vary and maybe you spend 5 hours a day on YouTube (*waves at my husband*) and Pinterest is your cocaine.
For me, the core 4 (IG, FB, Twitter, TikTok) were the ones that I needed to have more control over.
How am I going to get leads?
I’m going to cover a few things here. Some that I plan on doing and some that I don’t…because I make the rules!
Let your people know
I think there are many options outside of social media for lead gen, however, I want to mention that if you get a lot of your leads from social media, I would put a plan in place to make sure those leads still find you and understand where you’ve gone.
Now I get about 10% of my leads through social media, so not a lot but hey 10% is still 10%. So I updated my profiles to let people know that I was on a social media sabbatical and where to find me.
I highly recommend doing this so people who find you have a next step. And it might just spark an unexpected conversation (I received an email from someone that found my IG profile, saw my bio, and reached out because they would love to do the same thing but aren’t sure they can. I never expected this!)
Schedule content for social media
If you’re not like me and plan ahead, you can absolutely positively use social media scheduling apps to post the content for you. Or if you have a team or a VA, they can take over this task as well.
Now, the one downfall to this and I think it’s a big one is that social media for business is about creating connections and community. With posting and not engaging, there will be more of a one-way conversation and I do think that can hurt you.
But remember, you make the rules up for your social media sabbatical. Maybe you set up the Waste No Time extension to allow you 30 minutes a day on Instagram so you can reply to comments, engage with your ideal clients’ content, and answer any DMs. Maybe your VA does this for you. That’s purposeful usage and I’d likely do this if the majority of my leads were coming from social media…but they aren’t.
For me, I really want to see if it’s actually necessary to use social media for my business so for now, there will be no scheduling of content.
Ya know, like talking to people? Crazy!
My plan does involve a lot of networking and using LinkedIn to connect with new people, and also reconnect with people that I haven’t talked to in a while.
I started by making a list of 50 people that I already know that I can personally reach out to (some are via LinkedIn and some by regular old email). I want to let them know what I’m up to and also find out what they are doing. Planting seeds that may start sprouting tomorrow or in three months.
Then I will move on to connecting with 50-100 new people a month (who are in my niche) on LinkedIn. Getting to know them, engaging with their content on LinkedIn, trying to get natural and organic conversations going in DMs.
Have a list? Start emailing them regularly. Let them know what you are doing, if you have a new offer, if you are going on a social media sabbatical 😉
Don’t have a list? Start working on creating one. Use all this “extra” time to create and execute a plan to grow your list. Keyword: EXECUTE!
Use other people’s audiences
This is a great option even if you aren’t taking a social media sabbatical.
Getting in front of an audience that someone else has built might sound like you are using them but chances are, that person is looking for new content for their audience. They are looking for ways to bring fresh ideas to their channels and you are providing your knowledge and expertise to them and in return, they are sharing their audience with you. It’s a win-win.
Here are the top three ways that I plan to do this:
Find podcasts that my niche is listening to and reach out to the creators about being interviewed
Find blogs that my niche reads and reach out and offer to write a guest blog post
Find websites or magazines that my niche reads and reach out and offer to write an article
The possibilities are endless. For example, maybe your niche is realtors. I would find 10-20 realtor associations, groups, boards, etc., and research the type of content they are creating. If they have a podcast, go listen to it and see what topics they’ve discusses and figure out where your expertise could fit in and then contact them and pitch your idea. Maybe they’re doing virtual training or seminars or conferences. Reach out and see where your expertise could be used. And if it’s not needed now, that’s okay. You’ve planted the seed. Follow up again in a few months and keep up with what they are doing so if you see an opportunity you can reach out faster.
Ads are always an option if you have the marketing budget for them and a good funnel in place. Without that, skip it or create one that you can test and iterate on until it starts performing.
I am working now on my funnel that will be for an ad campaign that I want to run over the next few months. I need to make a good deal of content for this still, including videos which I’m terrified to do but also excited to see where it goes.
I know I mentioned above that I was tired of creating content. And I am, but I’m tired of creating content that needs to be curated in a way that makes it most effective for social media.
When I say content here, I mean writing blog posts, email sequences, lead magnets, content upgrades, and/or a regular email newsletter. Content that I can control and reuse in various ways to inform, educate, and delight my ideal clients.
There’s also video and podcasts that fit into this category. Maybe your ideal client loves consuming podcasts. Start one! Or start creating videos on YouTube (again more of a search engine than social media in my opinion).
While SEO is absolutely positively a long game, I’ve been working on SEO for a long time and I am starting to reap the benefits. I also have older content that is ranking really well that could be refreshed a bit. I plan on working on some of that as well.
The “social media” site that drives most of my social traffic is…Pinterest.
I was surprised by this a few years ago and then as I dug deeper into my analytics the mystery was clear. Generally speaking, people on Pinterest on actively searching for something. They are in more of a buyer mode than browsing Instagram. They may be looking to solve a problem or learn something. I use Pinterest to drive more traffic to my site and plan to amp up that strategy over the next three months.
Whatever you decide to focus on for your lead gen, make a plan and be consistent. If you want to publish one podcast a week, be all in. If you want to write two blog posts a month and write two guest articles, commit and make it happen.
It’s when we half-ass our marketing strategy, when we don’t show up in the way we promised, that we fail to see the results we want.
Am I quitting social media permanently?
Honestly? I don’t know. As of right now – 10 days into my social media sabbatical – I can’t imagine not seeing my dog friends on Facebook ever again (I have a lot of friends that are actual dogs and I love them, don’t judge me!).
And I also feel so much better mentally in such a short period of time. I’m 10 days into this 90-day experiment and I have already seen a huge positive impact on my life.
I spend so much more time with my dogs and husband.
I’m reading physical books (not listening to them while juggling 10 other things).
I am more focused and productive for longer spans of time.
Most of my work is done by 2 pm (if not earlier).
I am cooking more.
I feel this light inside that I can’t remember ever feeling before.
I’ve been spending my afternoons swimming and being outside without a screen in sight.
I’ve had more meaningful conversations with my friends via text and phone calls.
I’ve been sleeping better.
I’ve been making legit progress on some of the goals that I’ve been talking about doing forever but never made time for.
What could happen after 80 more days of this? I don’t know and I am so excited to find out.
Is it right for you?
Do you want to be a rat or in control? I think for the majority of our society, social media usage is out of control and that most people could benefit from readjusting, tweaking, detoxing, or leaving social media.
The choice is yours though and only you know what works for you.
You can choose to your social media, or not.
You can choose to outsource it, or not.
You can choose to control it, or not.
You can choose to adjust it, tweak it, adapt new ways to use it, grow out of it, or not.
On you can decide if quitting social media or taking a break from social media is the right choice for you and your business.
I’m determined to make it work for me and my business. I’m fully committed, I’m all in, I’m going BIG (not in front of people) because it already feels like the right choice.
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Crafting the perfect content for social media usually takes a lot of time, effort, and skill.
Think about it for a moment.
To create social media content your customers will enjoy you have to do research, design graphics, get images, write the posts, or even record a video. There’s a lot involved, and even after putting in all that effort and posting the content on social media, it can quickly get buried beneath a sea of other posts.
So how can you make your life easier when it comes to creating content for social media?
You repurpose your top-performing content for your audience.
The content you post to your website that performs the best can be used as evergreen content for your social media profiles.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every new Facebook update you post!
Stop hopping on the latest trends that fizzle out quickly and start using your valuable and informative content (like your how-to guides, your checklists, and high-value blogs) that have proven track records and already come with great tips your customers will love.
But how do you start repurposing all that great content?
If you’ve been blogging, creating podcasts, and posting in-depth reports then you already have everything you need.
Here are 7 ways you can creatively repurpose your content for your social media profiles.
It’s time to bring your old blog posts back to life!
7 ways to refresh your content for social media
Turn your how-to lists into helpful tips
Do you have some amazing lists with tips that will help your readers solve their dilemmas?
Or perhaps you have some handy how-to guides that list every detail of a job that needs doing?
You can reuse these helpful tips and turn them into a social media series.
For example, let’s say you have a blog post on the 10 ten tips for advertising during the holidays. You can take each one of these tips, create an eye-catching graphic, and make a post about it on social media. Plus, because there are 10 tips you can make 10 brand new posts!
Another thing you can do with these posts is to add more content to them. By optimizing your old how-to blogs you can add more recent information that increases the value of your content (and tells Google you’re updating your website too).
You can then post about your new updated blog on your social media! This shows your audience that you’re always there to give them new and helpful information.
Create images or infographics from your statistics
If you have a piece of content that has a lot of statistics in it then you can create some attention-grabbing infographics to post on your social media.
Taking your written statistics and condensing them down into an image can make the content easier to consume. Plus you can easily post them on Instagram too!
Occasionally you’ll create a post that did so good that you might even print it out and frame it on your wall (no? Just us? Ok then…)
If you’re one of the lucky ones who created a post or two like this then consider creating a social media campaign focused on that golden post.
Sharing posts a second time isn’t a bad thing either. It can generate as much as 75% of the engagement received when the original post first went live. So if it’s one of your golden posts then that’s a whole lot of engagement.
Plus a lot of your audience might not have seen this elusive golden egg when it was originally posted.
Turn a blog post into a podcast
If you’ve got an old blog post that attracted a lot of attention and contained a lot of great content that you could easily expand on, consider turning it into a podcast episode.
More people are choosing podcasts over reading because it’s easier to digest. You can also listen to podcasts while doing a bunch of other things which makes them an attractive medium for your audience.
Apart from being easily accessible and consumable, podcasts are an authentic type of content that you can use to improve your brand image. Audio content will help you show your audience that you have a lot more industry knowledge to offer them.
You can also post your podcast episodes to social media on a regular basis to keep your followers updated.
Turn your best moments into posts
Have you ever written something so breathtaking and so inspiring that it would look great as an elegant quote on a beautiful background?
If you have then why not do just that.
Turn your wise quotes into posts and share your wisdom with your audience.
People always want to see informative and inspirational content on their feed. So, if you’ve written something that fits that criteria turn it into a nice little graphic and post it online.
Consider some memes
Everybody loves a good meme, we certainly do, and memes nowadays are everywhere! They’re a fun way to engage with your audience and they help increase shares and likes.
How can you repurpose content with memes?
Easy! Have you created a blog post that isn’t getting too many views? To help spread the word about your blog post you can put some of the important information about the blog onto a meme. Then you can post the meme with a link to the blog post in the description.
Be careful though – only use memes that match your brand voice and your personality.
It’s a well-known fact that potential customers are more likely to work with you if your current customers have good things to say about you.
If you’ve received some excellent testimonials from your customers you should use them on your social media.
Using testimonials and reviews as social media posts will help reassure your audience that they’re making the right purchasing decision. It can also help improve customer relationships as it shows them that you really do care about what they have to say.
We hope we’ve given you some inspiration to repurpose your old content into brand new social media posts and cut down the time and effort you put into finding things to post about.
If you want some extra help organizing your online presence then get in touch today, we’d love to help you out.
Long answer…let’s dive into why it’s important to upgrade ExpressionEngine (EE).
But first, story time!
I have a client that had an EE1 site that was built somewhere around 2005 – those early days of EE. In internet, this website is a senior citizen. But it was chugging along just fine until the Fall of 2020 (what a year!) when their hosting company said the could no longer support a version of software (PHP) that EE1 needed to run.
So one day their site stopped working.
Frantic emails and calls later, I informed them of the hosting situation and after searching through their emails, they found multiple notifications from their hosting provider warning them of this change. They just didn’t know it would effect their site.
Thankfully, I managed to get their site back online temporarily while we made a plan to upgrade. But it was really temporary. We had about two weeks before it would die again.
We put together a plan to get them to EE2. This was the biggest hurdle and with a site that old with thousands of pages of content, it was going to be a big job. When EE2 came out, a little (big) thing happened where the entire piece of software was rewritten and a ton of add-ons were not converted to work with EE2. Add on to that, it’s not 10+ years since EE2 came out, so some of those converted add-ons were no longer available online anymore because the developers had moved on (thankfully I’m a bit of a digital hoarder and have a lot of old stuff stashed away on multiple external drives).
Long story short, there was a happy ending in that we were able to upgrade and their site is working great. Howeverif they had upgraded when EE2 came out, they would have saved a lot of money and a lot of stress and a lot of downtime. I’ll be telling this story to other clients for years to come.
So let’s dive into why you should upgrade, now!
Top 5 Reasons to Upgrade to ExpressionEngine 6
That which we ignore is not optimal. And that goes for our websites.
An upgraded version of EE will give your site much better performance in the latest browsers. Chances are some of your templates will need to be updated to reflect either the removal of addons or resource-intensive code that has been replaced with core functionality. Both of which will increase the performance of your site.
And let’s not forget that Google loves a speedy site, so better performance can help you rank better as well.
Using any old or outdated software poses risks to the security of the site. Especially software that is completely retired and not receiving any updates (security included and a biggie).
And security threats are not going away anytime soon and as they become more sophisticated, it leaves your site open to vulnerabilities.
On top of that, users (and google) are demanding a more secure web experience and the last thing you want is for your site to flagged as dangerous in search and/or have one of your users (or multiple) experience any sort of breach of their information (especially if you’re running a site with members or e-commerce).
Updated control panel
Some of the really old versions of EE were clunky. I still loved it but it wasn’t what we are now used to seeing on the web. The latest version (EE6) is completely redesigned and streamlined.
If you are on EE2 or EE1 (and I know some of you who are), as of EE3 the control panel is responsive, making editing on mobile so much easier. And we see an even bigger improvement in EE6.
Also as of EE4, there are a number of features that were only available previouly with add-ons and now they are part of the core system (hello split-screen preview, I’m looking at you!).
Go from EE2 to EE6
Previously, when upgrading ExpressionEngine, your site had to upgrade to each individual version.
That meant EE1 -> EE2 -> EE3 -> EE4 and so on. Now, if your site is on EE2 (or higher) you can skip ahead and go right to EE6!
Now, this might not seem like a big deal to you but for us, that means it will take much less time to upgrade sites and therefore we don’t have to charge nearly as much money or spend as much time doing upgrades. This means we can take on more of them and deliver them in less time, which is the kind of work I love to do.
GDPR privacy & consent made easy
If you don’t know what GDPR is, you can read more about it here.
Briefly, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is legislation that updated and unified data privacy laws across the European Union (EU) in 2018. The law protects Europeans with regards to the processing of their personal data, as well as laying down the rules relating to the free movement of personal data.
AND, even if your website is based in the US, it still matters.
Plus, it’s likely the US may implement something similar in the future.
Starting with EE5, built into the core of EE are consent and privacy tools that make implementing cookie consent, and GDPR compliance much easier. There’s an audit log to show consents that have been granted or withdrawn, as well as cookie management for those pesky cookie popups you see on almost every site now.
Cookie consents and GDPR arent going anywhere, so the sooner your site is in compliance the better and now EE makes that process much smoother.
When should you schedule that upgrade?
My recommendation would be sooner rather than later, especially if your site is still running EE1 or EE2 (and no shame for that here, we get it and we work with a lot of clients who are still using those versions).
At the end of the day, getting your site upgraded will save you money and stress. Like the story I started with, don’t wait. Save yourself the pain and loss of revenue by having a site that stops working one day because of a server update.
98% of searches on Pinterest are also unbranded meaning users haven’t quite decided what they want to buy or commit to yet. This means you have an excellent chance of being discovered and with 265 million people making the rounds every month on Pinterest you’re bound to get a decent amount of traffic.
If you want to improve your website traffic then take a look at how you can use Pinterest to your advantage. Here are 5 ways you can drive more organic traffic to your website by using Pinterest.
Design your pins to attract more traffic
The first thing you should try to concentrate on when it comes to driving more traffic to your site with Pinterest is to design your pins so they attract more traffic.
Now we know you might not be familiar with how Pinterest works or how you should go about designing pins for your account.
If you want your pins to drive traffic to your business then you should focus on:
Focusing on these elements will help you get your audience from Pinterest to your website – which is exactly what you want.
The best way to get people invested in your pins is to design one that resonates emotionally with them. An emotional connection with your brand will not only improve awareness, but visitors will be more likely to sign up for your email campaign or consider making a purchase with you.
There’s always going to be a certain element of creativity to successful pins. People are attracted to things that look good. If your pins look half-assed and unloved then they’re going to presume your company is the same.
Traffic-driving pins usually include these creative elements:
Logo placement is tasteful and fits in with the rest of the pin
Clear use of text
Bold text for important information
Clear display of unique features
The product or service as the main aspect of the pin
Clearly shows how to use your product or service
Believe in the power of keywords
The power of keywords should never be underestimated and on Pinterest, they’re just as powerful as images. Pinterest reads text on your image and determines how to position your pin in related searches.
Pinterest also looks for keywords on:
Metadata on any linked content
But, you do have to think a little differently on Pinterest compared to Google.
With Google, people are going to be ready to act right away. They’re purposely looking for new products or searching for a service.
With Pinterest, people are window shopping. For example, instead of using a keyword like ‘oak kitchen dining table’ use something along the lines of ‘dining table inspiration’. People might not have decided on specifics yet and might want to browse through their options.
On Pinterest, you can also use keywords as hashtags in your descriptions. Hashtags are a great way to help new content get to the surface quickly so always include a couple in the description of your pin.
Increase your repins & engagement
If you want to rank number one for certain keywords then repins are what you should start focusing on. Repins are basically where people save/share ‘repin’ your content. The number of repins you get in a specific time period really impacts the search results on Pinterest.
For example, a pin that gets 100 repins in two days is more likely to rank higher than one that receives 100 repins in 10 days.
Some other things that influence the search results on Pinterest include:
Who the repinners are
If the people who repin your pins are active on Pinterest then your pins will rank higher than ones that have been repinned by non-active users.
The more engagement your pins get, the higher the chance your pins will show up in multiple interest feeds. So for example, if you name your board ‘Marketing Tips’ and one of the pins gets 200 repins in a short time period then your pin might show up on the interest feed for marketing tips or other related interest feeds.
Apply for rich pins
Rich pins are pins that contain extra information that help pins stand out on Pinterest.
Rich pins can be used for:
One benefit of using rich pins for articles is that when somebody clicks on the pin and scrolls down to the description area the meta description of the blog post appears first.
Unlike a regular pin where somebody who repins it can change the description, the meta description area of a rich pin for an article will always stay the same and can’t be changed.
This is an amazing benefit for you when trying to attract more traffic to your website. It means that people will always have a link to your blog regardless of who repins it.
If you’re using rich pins for your products then you’ll also be able to benefit hugely. One of the benefits is that pins will show the price of your product. This will help filter high-quality traffic to your website.
One of the things we love about Pinterest is that unlike Facebook and Instagram pins have a long lifetime for clicks. When you’re providing your users with evergreen content this is incredibly handy. However, when you want to increase traffic to your website then you should try to pin as consistently as possible.
Try to pin at least once a day and we’d suggest pinning about 10 pins each day. Try to pin a mixture of pins too. Some leading back to your website and others to helpful resources.
Pinterest also rewards people who pin consistently instead of in big batches so be sure to keep up your pinning routine.
BONUS TIP! Choose warm colors and readable fonts for your graphics
Pinterest is a visual platform so the design of your pins matter.
Use warm tones (red, pink, orange, yellow) or cool tones to stand out.
50% Saturated Images get 10x more re-pins
Vertical images get 60% more re-pins
Medium-light images get 20x more repins than dark ones
Also, for any text that contains keywords, use non-script fonts, because Pinterest visual search can’t read script fonts!
If you’re not using Pinterest to help build traffic yet then you’re missing out on a great opportunity.
By unlocking your inner pinning champion, you’ll be able to increase your web traffic significantly. If you’d like some help sorting out your new Pinterest lifestyle then get in contact with our team today. We’d love to help you improve your business and take full advantage of the marketing wonder that is Pinterest.
Getting the attention you want online can be a real challenge. Everybody’s fighting for attention and everybody’s competing for more customers.
With the number of people rushing online to do business, especially thanks to Covid, the online market is even more crowded. It can be difficult to secure customers for your business especially if people aren’t staying on your website long enough.
On average, visitors are only staying on websites for around 15 seconds. Most of them might never come back – which means you’ve lost out on a customer.
This is hard to hear and it hurts a lot, especially if you’ve spent a lot of resources trying to build up your website traffic.
It’s such a waste of all your hard work if most of your visitors disengage from your site without contacting you. So, how can you stop them from clicking that big red x in their browser without getting in touch?
A lot of small businesses can focus on list building. Building up an email list of potential customers is an excellent way to get your business more sales. A strong email list is the ideal tool for promotion!
If you’ve already got newsletter sign-ups on your website but your visitors are still leaving after 15 seconds, then you’re not building your email list effectively.
The best way to build an email list for a small business is with high-quality lead magnets (also known as content upgrades).
Today we’re going to go through what lead magnets are, why you need them, and what makes a good lead magnet. We’ll also show you 7 examples of great lead magnet ideas for small businesses.
By the time you’re finished absorbing this blog post, you’ll be an expert in building email lists and delivering high-quality lead magnets.
What is a lead magnet? What’s a content upgrade?
A lead magnet is a download that you offer to help promote your products or services to potential customers. You offer them something valuable in exchange for their email and their name and sometimes a phone number too.
If you want to be successful at converting customers online, building a strong email list is key.
To build an effective email list of potential customers, you’ll have to have a valuable lead magnet ready to go.
How does a lead magnet work?
Lead magnets are a key tool for small businesses online, and they can really help your business grow and expand online. They’re an essential step in improving your email marketing strategy and getting more high-quality leads to your company.
Lead magnets are literally a magnet for customers because they’re promising to deliver helpful insight, solutions, tools or frameworks to solve a problem your target audience is facing.
Lead magnets aren’t about tricking your potential customers into handing over their email. They’re about creating something uniquely valuable so they’re happy to exchange their email for this helpful information.
What makes a good lead magnet?
The content of a lead magnet should accurately, positively reflect your company’s best work, advice, and solutions.
At the heart of it, a lead magnet is a sales tool.
It’s there to showcase what you can do, what you can offer, and why your prospect should work with you.
You won’t be able to make a decent lead magnet if you hold on to your best material. You should be giving away your high-quality content to show your potential clients that you’re not only an expert in your niche but you’re eager to share your knowledge with them.
Your lead magnet has to offer something incredible, packed with value, and something that has the stuff to make your prospect feel like they’ve benefited.
The best way to make sure you’ve got everything right with your lead magnet is to follow this 6 point checklist:
Make sure it’s presented beautifully
You can get a professional to help make your lead magnet look amazing if you’re not quite sure how to do it yourself. Make sure it’s built to a high standard, so it looks professional and makes your audience think “wow I really lucked out getting this valuable piece of content!”
Check that it’s got actionable items in it
Make your lead magnet actionable by giving your users easy-to-follow steps. If they can achieve something or gain something beneficial from downloading or taking part in your lead magnet then they’ll be more likely to do business with you later on knowing you’re an expert that helps them create real change in their business.
Keep it simple
I know we said that it has to be full of valuable information but this doesn’t mean this information can’t be presented in a simple way. Make sure it’s easy for your potential client to understand. Get rid of any industry jargon and focus on helping your potential client instead.
Give them instant results
Giving your potential client an instant win is an assured way to get into their good books. By giving them results straight away they’ll never forget you or your company. This might sound difficult, but you can offer things like free templates they can use to streamline their working processes, or free guides they can use to sell their services to their clients.
Nurture the relationship
After your site’s visitor has finished reading your lead magnet, steer them into some of your other content. Always be offering up more helpful pieces of content, with the ultimate goal of converting them either into a sale, or a consultation.
For example, if your lead magnet was a how-to guide then send them follow up emails with links to any other relevant blogs, videos, webinars you’ve created that gives them more information about the guide’s subject.
Make it share-worthy
Your lead magnet should be so interesting, so informative, and so exciting that the recipient wants to tell everybody about it immediately. Make it worth sharing, and you’ll get plenty of brand exposure as a result.
7 lead magnets for small businesses
A checklist is an awesome idea for a lead magnet. You can create a neat, professional-looking checklist in the form of a PDF to send out to your potential clients.
These are helpful lead magnets that your customers will love to have on hand.
No matter what your niche is, find something you can turn into a checklist that will benefit your audience.
You get some bonus points if your checklist is printable so your clients can physically tick off what they’ve completed.
2. How-to guide
People go on the internet looking for solutions to their problems. If you can come up with a how-to-guide that appeals to the problems your audience is facing then you’ve hit the jackpot!
If you hosted a webinar, or are hosting a webinar, you can give out free tickets or free access to the recording as a lead magnet.
Webinars are seen as valuable sources of information so your potential clients will jump at the chance to gain access. Plus your webinar will show them that you’re a true expert in your niche.
4. White paper
Writing long-form content is the perfect way to show off all your industry knowledge. Give your subscribers access to an exclusive white paper that’s chock full of valuable content.
5. Cheat Sheet
If you’ve written a complex blog post, having a cheat sheet is a great way to help your clients revise what you talked about. Your cheat sheet could be as simple as a glossary of terms or a list of the key points.
eBooks are a fantastic way to get people to sign up for your newsletter especially if they’re full of valuable and exciting content.
Find out what topic is of interest in your niche at the moment and put together a short eBook to offer to your clients.
A great lead magnet idea you can try for your small business is templates. Templates are extremely handy for people to download as they make their life easier.
You could come up with the perfect template for something in your niche. For example, you could create a template for a Facebook Ad, a month worth of social posts, a financial planner, or something niche-specific.
A lead magnet is a great conversation starter for casual visitors to your website, and a great way of encouraging communication over days, weeks, or months until you can convince them to convert.
We hope our guide on lead magnets has given you some ideas on how you can streamline your email list building.
If you want some extra help optimizing your lead magnets then get in touch today, we’d love to help you out.
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