If you own or manage a small business, you likely handle more than one job, taking care of marketing, sales, finance, human resources, and more. But roles like graphic designer, videographer, and webinar host may not be on the list.
Creating a lead magnet—an offer like an e-book, webinar, or product demo worth trading an email address for—may seem daunting if you lack both technical skills and the funding to hire staff members or freelancers.
But don’t let resources or skills prevent you from creating a lead magnet. Offering a valuable experience or information is the best way to capture contact information, which allows you to follow up with prospective customers and earn their business. (Learn more about how and why to use a lead magnet in The Small Business Guide to Capturing Leads.)
These eight tools can help you create a lead magnet—and they won’t cost you anything.
Practically anyone can create professional-looking designs with Canva, a graphic-design app so intuitive that the company estimates learning time at 23 seconds. Using Canva’s templates and images or your own blank canvas, you can drag and drop photos, text, shapes and icons to design anything from a business card to a menu to an Instagram post. Try Canva to design a lead magnet like an e-book, infographic, checklist, or cheat sheet.
A lot of stock photos are cheesy, and a lot are expensive (or both cheesy and expensive). Images have neither quality on TheStocks.im, a site that compiles high-quality, royalty-free photos from 19 different providers like Unsplash, Pixabay, and Startup Stock. Look here for images to accompany your lead magnet content piece—provided you’re not looking for photos of women laughing alone with salad.
On their own, statistics wouldn’t make for an exciting lead magnet. But designed as an infographic, chart, or report? Now we’re talking. Piktochart offers more than 400 free templates (plus more paid templates) that help you turn statistics into a work of art. Input numbers into spreadsheets linked to the designs, then customize your work with your choice of fonts, colors, images, and icons.
A lead magnet often takes the form of a PDF, no matter what kind of content is inside. No Adobe skills are required with Smallpdf, a site that turns file types like Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, images, and Excel spreadsheets into PDFs—and vice versa.
Although YouTube is an obvious home for videos, it’s not ideal to send customers away from your website to a platform with millions of distractions. Wistia allows you to host video content in a cat-free zone in which you control where and how your video is consumed. With Wistia, you can collect email addresses before or during a video and pass those leads into a CRM or email provider like Infusionsoft. Wistia offers a free version with space for up to five videos, as well as paid solutions that host hundreds of videos.
Prospective customers often need to see your product—or you—in action before committing to the sale. A live demo or consultation can serve as a lead magnet when you capture contact information before providing the service. If the conversation is taking place online, use Join.me to share your screen with up to 10 participants. Join.me can also be a webinar solution with a paid plan that allows more participants to join the call.
Webinars are the way to share tutorials, presentations, and expert interviews with an audience anywhere in the world. FreeConferenceCall.com allows for screen sharing and video conferencing with up to 1,000 participants, and more with paid options. With marketing automation software like Infusionsoft, you can capture webinar registrants through an online form, then use automated emails to follow up with reminders and, after the webinar, with more information that helps nurture the lead into a sale.
Some lead magnets offer a free gift or sample in exchange for an email address—an enticing offer, but one that quickly gets pricey for small businesses. Instead, you can offer a freebie to just one lucky winner by running a contest. Gleam collects contest entries by asking entrants to take actions like following social media accounts or watching videos. Paid versions allow you to capture entrants’ email addresses and sync them to email providers like Infusionsoft.