You’ve probably heard of lead magnets. A lead magnet is something you offer to a potential customer in exchange for them giving you something (like their email address so you can market to them later.) eBooks are one of the best lead magnets you can offer – provided they give true value. eBooks give your leads something more valuable and informative than just a simple checklist or infographic. An ebook can also show your authority and help position you as a thought leader on the topic you’ve written about. Once written, the eBook can be used all over the web to grow your email subscriber list and enhance your reputation.
However, there are a few problems. First, who has the time to sit down and write an eBook from start to finish? Many eBooks are dozens of pages long, and if you’re trying to run your own digital marketing agency, you might not have enough hours in the day to create that kind of content. Your super-valuable lead magnet could be months in the making!
The second problem is that many other marketers out there already know how important eBooks are as lead magnets, so the industry is saturated with them. How can you make yours stand out from the crowd and ensure it’s a hit with your target audience?
Thankfully, there are ways you can create an incredibly useful and valuable eBook without having to take a six-month sabbatical to write it. Here’s our guide to creating an informative, helpful eBook that will be an effective lead magnet.
Step One: Do Your Research
As with all tasks, it all starts off with comprehensive market research. Don’t get caught up trying to think of titles or trying to write your eBook without carrying out the appropriate research first – otherwise you could end up wasting a lot of time. If you’re a marketer, this is where you could really build a solid foundation for your eBook (market research is part of your expertise after all.)
Look at the content that is most popular on your website – perhaps it’s a particular service your agency offers or a blog post that gets lots of visitors and shares. You should also look at the most popular keywords people use when they find your website.
You should also consider surveying your visitors or current clients, asking which topics they would find most useful and would like to see an eBook about. This important step will help you narrow down your eBook topic ideas and set you on the path to lead magnet success.
Step Two: The Title
Now that you’ve picked a topic, you can start thinking about your eBook’s title. Be very specific when you’re thinking about your title: ’10 Amazing Ways To Create Dynamic Lead Magnets’ is far more likely to catch the interest of your visitors than ‘How To Create Lead Magnets For Your Business.’ Using numbers in your title is a great way to get right to the point in your title, and powerful words like ‘amazing’, ‘ultimate’ or ‘supercharge’ will give your title some real edge. Come up with an attention-grabbing title.
Step Three: The Content
Time to get down to the nitty-gritty of actually writing your eBook. You might think that this part is the biggest challenge, but if you’ve been hard at work creating fantastic content for your website, this section might not be as tough as you think!
When creating your eBook, go back and repurpose content that has already performed well on your website, transforming these individual pieces of content into a single entity (instead of a series of blog posts or articles.) Go back to your best-performing blog posts – can you use some of those posts (or parts of those posts) in your eBook? The content might need a little tweaking, but editing a few existing blog posts is far more time-efficient than starting from scratch.
Of course, you will need to add in some original content, but you will already have a bunch of content that you can piece together to create your eBook. If you have a 50/50 ratio of repurposed content vs. original content, you can create a comprehensive eBook relatively quickly.
Step Four: Putting Your eBook Lead Magnet All Together
Once you have the content, you’ll need to start putting it into a format that resembles an eBook. You’ll need an introduction (definitely make sure this is 100% original), a table of contents and maybe even a glossary or index section. You could also add some extras: an ‘About The Author’ page, or a story about your business and its successes.
Remember to keep your content highly organized throughout. Use headers and bullet-pointed lists where you can to help break up content. Include images or diagrams to add some visual appeal (nothing worse than just plain text.) If you’re using quotes or statistics in your copy, consider highlighting them in some way to make them stand out (and be sure to cite the source of any quotes or statistics.) These types of things break up the text, draws attention to important sections and keeps everything readable.
Step Five: Design Your eBook
Even if you don’t have graphic design experience – you can still be in charge of the design for your own eBook. There is plenty of software out there that can help you: PowerPoint, Calibre and Adobe InDesign are all popular options that come with templates to help you get started. Here are some additional eBook design tips:
- Use classic fonts. An eBook is no place to experiment with a novelty font – stick with reliable old favorites like Arial or Verdana.
- Don’t go overboard with colors – choose one or two (preferably in line with your branding color scheme) and use them throughout. Don’t use color for the sake of it – only when drawing attention to something! Main body text should always be black.
- Keep margins consistent for a more professional finish.
- Design a great cover. This is one area where the help of a graphic designer might be warranted, but if you have the time to experiment, it’s certainly possible to create attractive eBook covers without any prior experience.
- Always convert your eBook to a PDF file – they can be opened on computers, mobile devices and all e-readers.
Step Six: Publish!
The last step is always the most fun. Publish your eBook! Upload it to your site and create a landing page specifically for it. Promote your eBook offer on social media, send out an excerpt to your email list – do whatever you can to spread the word about your fantastic new asset. Then sit back and watch the leads roll in!