Finding ideas for creating the best lead magnet and content upgrades for your site can be hard. If you're just getting started, you might have no idea what you’re even going to provide in the way of content on your blog.

So lets start there first. You need a content plan for your blog if you want to include lead magnets and content upgrades.

Without a content plan, you’ll end up wasting your time and aimlessly blogging about random things—like cat videos, recipes for brunch and what you did on the weekend!

Be smart and create a content calendar filled with at least 6 weeks worth of stuff to write on your blog. Once you’ve got that covered, then you can sit back and start to think about your lead magnets.

What the hell are lead magnets Lise?

Yeah, that’s what I thought when I first heard the term. I pictured (in my head) these huge magnets with a bunch of rope hanging off them (aka the leads…). You can see a visualisation of this below!

My version of a 'lead magnet'!

Needless to say, this is NOT what a lead magnet is…

Simply, a lead magnet is a bribe/enticement/gift that you use to encourage someone to provide their email address to you. In exchange, they receive your lead magnet.

Now all going well, and in a perfect, happy entrepreneur-world, every visitor that lands on your site will grab your lead magnet straight away—happy to hand over their email address—only it doesn’t really work out that way, does it?

Unless your lead magnet is the best lead magnet for that person at the time they’re on your site.

[Tweet “in a perfect, happy entrepreneur-world, every visitor that lands on your site will grab your lead magnet”]

Which leads to the question: How can you find your best lead magnet?

I mean, you didn’t think you could create that awesome book of 27 mistakes freelancers make (and how to avoid them) in the hopes that that would be enough, did you?

Note: this is exactly what I did and I’m so sorry — thanks for still being here 🙂

Ok, enough of all the chit-chat.

Let’s get down to business and work out what your best lead magnet is by coming up with different ideas — both for your main lead magnet and your content upgrades.

Best Lead Magnet: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step #1: Brainstorm

I know this sounds kinda simple, but I’ve always enjoyed making things simple, and brainstorming is the best way to unlock ideas you might have but hadn't considered.

So grab a piece of paper or whatever you do to take notes, and set a timer for 15 minutes.

During that time, you’re going to write down as many ideas as you can to come up with the best lead magnet for your readers.

A few things to consider before doing this:

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  • You should think about high-value ideas, like courses, video trainings etc. Avoid ebooks on their own
  • Swipe files, templates and checklists are also great ideas


Ok, now that you’ve got yourself primed with options, start writing down ideas that would work for YOUR audience.

Step #2: Check out your competitionLooking for ways to attract clients and customers? Create your best lead magnet by finding the best ideas. Click through to learn more and grab the free cheat sheet!

Next, we want to see what your competition is doing.

Find your 5-10 closest competitor's websites and check out what they’re providing in the way of lead magnets and content upgrades.

If you wanna be even more nosey, sign up for their lead magnet and see what their autoresponder sequence looks like too 🙂

Caveat: DO NOT COPY THEIR LEAD MAGNET! Instead, think about how you could make it better, provide more value, add to it.

Filter your competitions lead magnets through your own goals and purpose:

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  • What is your ultimate goal with your site?
  • Are you looking to sell services or products?
  • Are they direct competition or just in a similar niche? If direct, be careful about what you produce, again NO COPYING!


By now you should have a large list of lead magnet ideas.

Step #3: Survey your list

Again, something super simple but often overlooked.

I have to admit, I was pretty scared about sending out a survey to those of you on my own list—until I did it that is!

You guys are rockstars and were happy to answer a few simple questions, which has then helped me to provide you with even more value here on Hustle & Groove.

So if you haven’t surveyed your list, this is something you should do now.

The most important question you need to ask is:

“What’s the #1 biggest challenge you’re facing right now in/with [insert your topic here]?”

The next few questions can be things like:

“What would you like to see more of on the site?” (multi-choice, provide them with options!)

“Where are you in [your topic here]?” (multi-choice, starting out, intermediate or advanced)

To get people to answer, you could provide an incentive, like a 15-minute Skype call with you, where your reader could ask you as many questions as they want. You could provide this to three lucky people.

Avoid using things like Amazon vouchers… because the answers may not be as open as you’d want them to be.

Grab your best lead magnet ideas cheat sheet!

Step #4: Rank your ideas

Now that you’ve got a huge list, it’s time to narrow things down.

Before you do this, you need to have a bit of an idea of where your site is going…

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If you’re providing services or consulting, then you need to think about the lead magnet you offer. You want your lead magnet to relate to your services and lead them into your email sequence that will upsell/downsell them based on the actions they take.

If you’re selling products, your lead magnet should provide part of the solution that your (digital) product provides — so they get a taste of how amazing life could be if they had the whole she-bang. You’d also want to feed them into your email sequence to upsell/downsell based on the actions they take too.


You’re looking to provide a lead magnet that is high value, in fact, it should be something that people would pay for.

Some great examples would be:

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  • A resource library (perfect for both a service or product-based business)
  • A video course (3-5 videos is the sweet spot)
  • Swipe files (email copy works great in here)
  • Templates (if you’re selling ebook/book formatting services, providing them with a template with instructions is a great idea)
  • Cheat sheets (great if you’ve got some special html code that you use to get your site to do something special)


Step #5: Identify your top three

[Tweet “You’re looking to provide a lead magnet that is high value. Something people would pay for”]

Identify the top three ideas and then create all three of these lead magnets.

Why limit yourself to one lead magnet right?

In fact, if you want to be a smarty pants about it (who doesn’t?!) then you could create lead magnets for the different levels that your audience might be at:

  1. Beginner/just getting started
  2. Started, now looking to grow
  3. Advanced or nearly there

That way, you’d have three different funnels that would lead into your products or services that meet those needs.

Then you could upsell/downsell based on the actions they took during the email sequences.

Ok, getting ahead of myself here… focus Lise!

With the list of ideas that you’ve got left, consider which ones fit within your business model (services vs. products) and your content strategy.

Grab your best lead magnet ideas cheat sheet!

Can you use these as content upgrades in your blog posts?

If you do use them as content upgrades, it’s important that they also link into an email sequence that leads them into the right funnel, so that you've got everything working together and work for you, even when you're asleep!

Creating the best lead magnet for your audience is super important to the success of your business, and to how well you convert visitors on your site onto your email list.

At the least, you should have one major lead magnet and then a whole bunch of content upgrades.

You want to provide many ways for people to get onto your list. By doing this, you give plenty of opportunities for your readers to connect with you further.

Lise Cartwright
Lise Cartwright

Founder of Hustle & Groove and your creative business strategist. If you want to get notified of new posts just like the ones you see here, then make sure you join the awesome H & G community — Join Now!

    14 replies to "How to Find Ideas for Your Best Lead Magnet"

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