There’s a reason grocery chains pass out food samples, online bookstores offer peeks inside books and bath and body stores offer squirts of their smooth, creamy lotions.
It’s pure customer psychology.
Besides the fact that a freebie is a big draw in itself, if you manage to delight the customer with the first nibble, that’s a near-certain, future sale.
Everyday and everywhere, people make decisions based on sampling, and irrespective of whether that choice is a yay or nay, a trial ensures an interaction, instead of just waiting for a customer (or inbound traffic).
When you are a service based business, a digital product becomes a taste, a teaser, a glimpse into the world of your expertise.
With competition only a click away, shouldn’t we be hooking our audience with every possible method within our means?
A great way of sharing a preview of your product or service is by offering Digital Products as lead magnets!
Any product that you can offer and share virtually counts as a digital product. They can be consumed or downloaded on the internet. Popular examples are eBooks, Templates, Checklists, Videos, Guides, even Audio and Software. And much more.
Almost any business can offer one and the focus of any good virtual product is to offer your customer tangible value, quickly and easily.
Whether you want to have passive income through paid digital tools, or get more clients for your local business, it makes absolute sense to give your organic audience a chance to find out the quality of work you offer.
Good lead magnets is great business sense!
The 3 major categories of digital products.
Lead magnets – these are typically free and are an inducement for your audience to try out your service.
An opt-in is more involved – it might be a content upgrade e.g. a freebie related to the content on a blog post, an offer to subscribe for more advanced content or summary information or a more ‘digestible’ version of the free content e.g an article offered as a Checklist or an eBook also offered as a Video or Podcast.
In their blog on Skills needed by entry level Digital Marketers, Skillcrush added a content upgrade of a Free Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing.
Within her blog, Angie Nelson of The Work at Home Wife offers a downloadable worksheet on services you can offer as a virtual assistant titled 68 In-Demand Virtual Assistant Services You Can Offer from Home.
Looking for ways to include your offers in your free content? Get this checklist on the essential elements of a killer blog post.
Find out how your blog posts stack up!
Here are 11 reasons why your business should create lead magnets and digital products.
1. Email capture
This is the biggest and most valuable advantage of free digital products. It gives you a chance to start the conversation with prospects with the user’s permission.
2. Showcase expertise
Lead magnets are a primer, or a window to your expertise. If you create well thought-out and well designed content, it gives a chance to show the attention you invest, even when providing free value.
3. Lead nurturing
Given the time and competition, digital products help you take on a warm prospect and make it hot. Or in other words, from curious to interested to SOLD!
Facebook Pro Meg Brunson offers a free Workbook called Figure our Facebook Live, great for those trying to use FB Lives in their business. Her next product up-sell is a paid product – Video lessons that explore this in more depth. By offering a freebie before a paid product, she garners leads and gives her prospects an insight into her expertise.
4. Browsing time
They give your audience a reason to visit your website. And encourages them to stay longer which helps your SEO efforts.
It’s the best form of advertising your services. When you provide value with content, you can always follow through with promoting your services or paid products.
Get the 25 success tips from the Pros!
6. Funnel building
Freebies are a great way to lead the user to where you want without selling relentlessly. Say your audience is already on your website reading something. You can then get them interested in the next version of that content too with a lead magnet or content upgrade inside that blog or via your thank you Page after a purchase, or as an opt-in.
In the article Get Set Do, Instagram for Business 101, ideal for those creating their business account on Instagram, we have included an eBooks digital product oneBook on 30 hacks for Instagram that the power users adopt, with great success. This offers the reader options, if they are to ready to move to the next step.
7. Recurring benefit
Creating an impactful lead magnet is a one time effort that yields repeat value for you instead of making a similar value based pitch over and over again. A key part of that is knowing where and how to promote your lead magnets and digital products on the web, email, social media and even in in-person interactions.
8. Easy to implement
As a business investment, the big requirement is the subject matter expertise you can offer. That, plus, clear communication and a few select design tools. Altogether, these require a very low to moderate cost outlay.
How can you create professional looking content with without being a designer?
Get the best - and FREE - tools to design like a pro!
9. Easy to scale and update
Has the info in your checklist become outdated? Or are there new features in your Pinterest handbook that are worth including? You can simply update your content, replace the link and send to new subscribers. (And even to the existing ones as an update.)
10. Income opportunities
Products with in-depth and expansive information, can be sold, instead of being offered for free. This is a great way to monetize your expertise and convert it into a great source of passive income.
11. Easy fulfilment
Unlike physical products, which involve shipping and other logistics, delivery is easy and quick. It’s online! The leading payment platforms ( paypal affiliate or some other) also work seamlessly across currencies, so you can sell internationally too.
Say you have a photography business where your beautiful pictures offer a glimpse into your craft. When you also create and share a digital product, like the freebies offered by Laura Lee Creative, it gives an insight into your thought process, your methodology. It also gives you an instant competitive edge against parallel businesses that don’t offer one.
According to Neil Patel, digital marketer and NY Times best selling author, lead magnets are the one tactic he uses above all others to generate new leads.
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What digital product can you create?
Digital products come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from a printable worksheet, to a downloadable PDF guide or eBook, videos, webinars, courses, podcasts, and even a Facebook group etc.
When in doubt, start simple and address the pain point that emerges from your questions your customers ask frequently. Facebook groups are a great way to engage and research what’s on the mind of your target audience right now.
Ask yourself – what is my goal for my business? Your lead magnet should point to your product as a solution and should offer some nuggets of immediate value.
A good digital download provides a clear and actionable solution to one or more problems.
So why don’t more service businesses follow suit with this tried and tested model?
Here are some common challenges that business owners shared for why they have not yet created a digital product:
Possibly the idea didn’t strike until much later
Fair enough. Business teaches us along the way that the best time to do anything is NOW.
No time to work on a digital product…
We get it. When business demands are 24X7, how does an entrepreneur carve out time?
Start small, one step at a time. An effective way to do this is to park a running list of ideas on a Google Doc that can be updated easily , across devices. It’s also easy to share with your team.. Once the content is outlined, it is very easy to design and create a clickable PDF in Canva, which has ready to use templates.
They fear a lack of authority.
A digital product is an extension of your expertise. Packaging that expertise into a digital product can be as simple as designing a single, impactful cover image and keeping the rest of the content text heavy – like a checklist or a worksheet.
Overwhelm with the thought of the many loose parts that go into creating one
Totally valid but not unsurmountable. The simple steps to creating a good digital product can be summed up as content > design > upload > market.
Once you create a lead magnet, you will need an email service that offers an email collection form to enable you to send an automatic delivery to all who subscribe. Finally, share it across different channels.
Wondering what to share? What are women entrepreneurs looking for? What do your peers offer?
Get inspiration on digital content, pricing, titles and much more on the Business Tools Marketplace.
‘ I don’t know what to create!’
Your content should serve your customer and your business. Your job is to make sure you find that commonality.
Stuck for inspiration? Here are some ideas on how to generate awesome content!
A free digital product is the first step to understanding the process involved in the creation of information products that yield passive income. Think like your customer, solve their immediate or pressing need and you can also ride the very effective digital product wave.
You can’t use up creativity. The more you create, the more you have.
A Designer and Entrepreneur, Aditi graduated from a top design school and subsequently started her own design and merchandising business. Co-founder at Maroon Oak, she has over 17 years of business experience with Two Dotts, her design consulting company and an Etsy store which serves as an outlet for her gifts and patented product designs.
A mother to a teen and a tween, she enjoys running, dancing and raising her newest baby, a Bichon named Miltie.
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