If you see the phrase “lead magnet” and think “Lead magnet… wait, lead isn’t a magnetic metal…” then this video is for you. 😉

Or if you think “Lead magnet… yeah, I hear I should have one of those for my business”… but you’re not solid on what it is exactly… then this video is for you.

OR if you already have a lead magnet and you’re wondering why it’s not attracting much of anything — certainly not leads — or worse still, not attracting the right kinds of leads… then this video is for you.

Basically, if you are a business owner in the 21st-century, this video is for you.

Watch it/listen to it here, or keep scrolling if you’d rather read!

If you’re new around here, hiiii. I’m Courtney! I’m also a four-time entrepreneur, a many-times course creator, and an all-the-time marketing nerd.

Truly, I get significant amounts of joy out of talking about marketing and lead magnets and anything and everything in between.

So if you don’t have a lead magnet or don’t know what that is or know why that even matters, keep reading. As a 21st-century business owner, you need this.

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So, let’s talk about lead magnets. 


Lead magnets are a powerful, often passive way to grow your e-mail list — and therefore, your list of prospective clients and customers — which ultimately grows your business. 


It’s one thing to have a lead magnet, but it’s another to make one that is irresistible to your potential clients and customers. (Hint: These are the best kind.)

Let’s get started!

The first thing I want to make sure we get clear is what the heck a lead magnet is which starts with what a lead is.

Back in the 20th century, a lead would be someone’s name, their phone number, maybe their mailing address, and those leads would often live in the Rolodex of a sales person.


Nowadays, when we say lead we almost always mean the email address of a potential client or customer. 


If you’re wanting to grow your list, you’re collecting leads. And we do that through a lot of different ways — one of those ways is by creating and promoting a lead magnet.

Since we’re bringing it back to basics for a moment, let’s also make sure we clarify a few things:

A lead magnet may also be referred to as a lead generator, a freemium, an opt-in freebie, a lead generator, or an ethical bribe. (That last one is a little weird.) 

Pretty much everyone who’s ever used the Internet has opted into a lead magnet at some point. If you’re a Netflix user like most of us are, you initially joined Netflix through a lead magnet – in their case, a free trial. With that free trial, you gave them your email address and they give you access to Netflix’s library of movies and television shows for a fixed amount of time. Then at the end of that trial, you could join as a member.

Another common example of a lead magnet is giving your email address to get a promo code or free shipping or a certain percentage off of an online order.

Also, if you’ve ever given your email address in exchange for a PDF (like this one!), a guide, checklist, a free video training, a webinar, a workshop (like this one!) — anything like that that’s free and requires your email address — those are all lead magnets.

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Businesses that use lead magnets, i.e. most smart businesses, are offering some kind of free something — something that is irresistible, something that you’d actually want — for free. Or in exchange for your email address. The idea is “I will give this to you if you give me your email address.”


And then what do businesses do with email addresses – with leads? They nurture them. They market to them.  And hopefully, one day, they convert them from leads to customers. That’s the goal, anyway.

You’ve seen this happen firsthand as well. In fact, you could probably go look in your inbox right now and see a few marketing messages from various businesses who got your email address at some point because you opted into something.

Considering that email marketing is the marketing platform with the highest ROI of any marketing platform (#Facts), then list-building – lead generation, using a lead magnet to get more leads – this is paramount for a successful and sustainable business.

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So, having an irresistible lead magnet isn’t just something nice that you could have in your business…  you should consider it a requirement.


You absolutely should have some form of lead magnet that you both passively and actively promote. Because as a business, you should always be generating leads. Leads lead to customers.

Referrals are great, but you don’t want to just help people who happen to know people you’ve worked with; you want to help people who need you. So putting a lead magnet together, putting together something free that you can give people in exchange for their email address, in exchange for an opportunity to create a deeper connection with them, that’s everything! 

So, that’s what a lead magnet is and why you absolutely have to have one in your business, but that still leaves the how to:


How do you create an irresistible lead magnet that people actually want to give up their sacred email address for?


To answer that question, I want to share with you a little acronym: RADIO. 








(Pssst… Don’t lose this post! Pin it now so you can easily reference it in the future.)

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Relevant, meaning that the lead magnet would be relevant both for your audience and for someone interested in your product or service. 

Actionable, meaning that someone could consume the lead magnet and immediately take action in some way. They wouldn’t read it and simply nod their head and think “Oh, that’s nice.” Instead, they could actually apply what you gave them to make some kind of improvement, however small. 

Digestible, meaning That someone could easily consume it in one sitting. If your lead magnet takes longer than an hour to read/watch/listen to, It’s too long. Make it shorter, more actionable, more digestible. 

Irresistible, meaning that when someone sees simply the title of the lead magnet, they can’t resist opting in and downloading it (and consuming it on the spot). Your lead magnet title shouldn’t be just mildly interesting; it should be irresistible. (Think BuzzFeed headlines!)

Offer, meaning that your lead magnet should culminate in a offer. Your lead should have a clear next step to take if they want to work with you or buy your product o book your service. Don’t lead them on (#puns); give them the next steps so they can take things to the next level if they wish.

Now, as you set out to create a lead magnet for your business, I want to give you one more little strategy that will make this far more effective for you:


Don’t start with the question “What kind of lead magnet should I create?“

Instead, I want you to start with your end goal would be and work backwards. Reverse engineer.


Don’t start with what your lead magnet should be. Rather, start with your products and services you sell, and therefore what kind of lead magnet you could create that would tease those products or services, that would fill any knowledge gaps that people have to appreciate those products or services, or what information you can give people to further understand the value of your products and services so that purchasing them is an easy and obvious yes.

A typical lead magnet – many that you’ll see being advertised in your newsfeed – seek to solve a problem and answer a bunch of frequently asked questions.


But instead, I would challenge you to create an irresistible lead magnet that gives a partial solution to a big problem, and rather than answering all the questions, instead, it helps your leads to start asking better questions.


For example, I help business owners create online courses. And one of the most frequently asked questions I get is: Which course platform should I choose for my online course?

Now, the reality is that your course platform choice is mostly insignificant. There are bigger things that are far more important, that should require far more of your time and energy trying to decide which course platform to choose.

But most people don’t know that. They come in wanting an answer to that question but that doesn’t really help them in the long run. Instead, I want them to start asking better questions. Questions like “What’s the best way to launch my online course?”

So, my lead magnet for this particular course is a course creation guide, and one of the biggest things I do in that lead magnet is to debunk a lot of the myths that people have — just one example being the (un)importance of their course platform decision.

So, it’s like painting a surface: You have to sand it first to sand away the rough edges, then lay on the primer, then you can paint.

When we prime our audience first, then people are ready to receive the real information. We acknowledge that the questions they’re asking might not be the best questions, and we essentially teach them how to ask better questions (the answers which can be found in your amazing product and services!).

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Your lead magnet shouldn’t be a bunch of free tips and tricks; instead, it should be acknowledging the mindsets and perspectives that your leads have, and then shifting them so that they can better appreciate your products or services.


Bring it back to the acronym, RADIO: relevant, actionable, digestible, irresistible, and (make an) offer.

Don’t just give people what they want but also what they need. Then you’ll attract more leads, and those leads will be more excited to work with you in the future because they’ll actually have some appreciation for what you can offer them.


I’m here to help you build, grow, and scale your business.

Check out my show here:


  1. Black Hairstyles

    Glad to be one of the visitors on this awe inspiring web site : D.

    • Joanna Hardy

      Thanks so much for stopping by! We’re glad you’re here 🙂 – Joanna | Team CFD


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