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A Counter-Intuitive Approach To Lead Magnets


In this episode of The Launch Playbook Podcast, I share an unconventional strategy for setting up a lead magnet that converts to sales.

And then I'm joined by Annie Bacher, a fellow copywriter and friend I met in my mastermind. Annie tried out the 'unscalable lead magnet method' in her business and shares her experience.

We talked about...

  •  the four-step process for setting up a lead magnet that quickly builds relationships with potential clients
  •  why using this counter-intuitive approach to lead magnets works so well
  • how trying this method can help you figure out a winning offer
  • why Annie decided to try this strategy
  • what she choose for her lead magnet and how it's working for her business
  • the time investment you need to know about

...and much more. 

Things mentioned in this episode

Check out Annie Bacher's here: anniebacher.com

Fresh Look copy review freebie: anniebacher.com/freshlook

Email list (best place to hear what I'm up to): anniebacher.com/emails

The Copywriter Club Think Tank

Learn more about Annie Bacher

Annie Bacher is a copywriter who helps software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies get clear on their messaging so they can write copy that connects deeply with the right users. 

She uses her copywriting skills and her background in UX writing, teaching, and workshop facilitation to help her clients figure out what they're trying to say so they can attract their ideal users and improve customer experiences — and ultimately reduce churn

Read the full transcript so you don't miss a thing

Sara: What if every marketing hour was worth $3,000? sound good. That's what mine are worth. When I created my unscalable lead magnet method which led to over $75,000 and rising worth of business and a network of people who want to work with me, I created this powerful lead magnet using a counter intuitive strategy helped me build relationships at lightning speed by offering personalized feedback on the biggest marketing questions my ideal clients had, at the time, it was how to use social media effectively for their business. And the feedback I had was amazing. One person said, After receiving my feedback, the value provided in the single free resource speaks volumes about you and your offerings. I was blown away. Thanks so much. She alone paid me multiple five figures, and stuck with me through iterations of my business. This idea doesn't require your time forever. And once you start seeing the common missteps, you can curate your learning, and make an offer or automated lead magnet that lands sound interesting, I'll walk you through the step by step process to make your marketing dollars help you make more connect with people better. And I'll be joined by Annie Bacher to talk about how she tried this in her business to you're listening to the launch playbook podcast, the weekly podcast for service based business owners to discover the starts, stops and tools of transformation that go into launching their online offers. I'm your host, Sara Vartanian. And if you want to launch your ideas into the world faster, with more success and less burnout. Well, friend, consider this show your secret playbook to get you there.
I'm all kinds of excited to talk to you about what I call the unscalable lead magnet method. I know that this method was responsible for helping get me to six figures in my business, because it gave me an opportunity to connect with people. And when I dig in, you're gonna see how that happened. This powerful lead magnet strategy is something not a lot of people want to do. Full disclosure, it goes opposite of probably everything else you'll usually hear me talk about and things that you may have heard, you know, when you hear about lead magnets and list building funnels and launching, it's not super automated. It's heavily personalized. So I'm going to talk you through it and help you decide for yourself if you think this could be a helpful tool for your audience. And if you may want to give it a try. And then I'm going to be joined by Annie, where she talks about how she used it and the lessons she took away from her experience. So first step is to consider taking this unscalable approach instead of just becoming another like freebie sitting in someone's like inbox graveyard, try taking a personalized unscalable approach to building your list. personal connection is so rare these days. And the lead magnet the stands the best chance of warming up your subscriber relationships at lightning speed is that one that offers an opportunity to connect with your expertise through personalized feedback. And before you decide this isn't for you, don't worry, I'm going to show you how you can turn everything you learn into a scaled automated approach later on. Think about what the people you love to serve really want insight on. You may already know this from conversations you've had with them. Or you might need to go hang out some Facebook groups where ideal clients spend their time go read forums, Reddit testimonials on Amazon, through people you've worked with, you might need to set up a few interviews. The key here is to figure out what is a right now problem that the people you want to work with are experiencing that you could offer them feedback on. So for example, when I created my unscalable lead magnet, I knew from Facebook groups and discovery calls that a lot of the ideal clients I want to work with, were struggling with how to use social media effectively for their business. They didn't know how to market their business. And so what I did was I created this landing page, and it said, Send me your URL. And I'll send you a made just for you mini marketing roadmap filled with actionable ideas to reduce overwhelm and make it easy to know what to do next. And so that was mostly the automated part of this whole unscalable lead magnet. So people would fill out the opt in and they get hit up with an email that reminded them to send me the URL. And I would then get to work. And I usually tried to aim for about 72 hours and hit them back with a mini social media roadmap. And so what it looked like was a Google Doc wasn't fancy. I put like an image I'd made in Canva on the first page of it with my name and the person's name. And then the mini marketing roadmap said, here are some things you're doing great already. So I loved on them first. Here are some Changes to make in the next week, in the next three months, in the next six months, and I invited them to connect with me for a call to chat it about if they wanted to and told them that my inbox was open to them for the next week if they had any questions. That's it. Now, I'm not going to say that it didn't take a lot of time because it did the first I want to say 10 to 15 roadmaps I did. I probably spent over an hour on them. But then what happened was, once I started looking at a ton of these roadmaps, I realized that a pattern was emerging. And that brings me to step number two, which is looking for patterns, key words and phrases. When people were signing up, like sending me the URL, they often send an email with it, which would tell me what was going on with them. Like what were they really hoping to get out of this personalized feedback, a lot of them identified that they weren't built growing their list, or they didn't know what to say on Instagram, or they did it were either selling too much they realized, or they were never asking for a sale. So I started taking note of what people were asking for. And then as well, when I was like all over their websites and their social media, these patterns would emerge, there was really so much valuable market research, you can learn from your audience, if you simply open up the space to connect with, through these, like 50 plus mini marketing roadmaps I ended up creating, I noticed that 75% of the people didn't actually have a way to funnel their Instagram audience, which is where most of the people that I was working with were spending their time on to their email list. A lot of them also told me they didn't know what to talk about in social media. And after the first dozen or so roadmaps became actually really easy for me to create them. Because most of the people were actually facing the same issues. These common missteps were eventually curated into this like automated lead magnet, so that I could take all those beautiful, personalized responses I had, see where the patterns and keywords were emerging, and turn that into something that did work for me an autopilot. So I didn't do these mini marketing roadmaps for years. In fact, I think I did it for about six weeks, maybe two months, somewhere in that range, before I took the information I learned and used it on autopilot. And what was really powerful about that was,
I knew exactly what issues that people I want to work with are facing. So I was able to create an augmented lead magnet that when it was found, people would say oh my gosh, like this is exactly what I need right now. This is the exact issue I'm going through. And it was true, because I had looked at so many of them. I was accurate with that, right? So you can do the same thing if you want to take this unscalable lead magnet approach. And that's how I recommend you use it is to use it as an opportunity to learn what's happening with the people that you want to work with. What are those patterns? What are the problems? What are their pains, what are their dreams, and use that access that you're giving them? And the access they're giving you to to dig into their stuff. I mean, it's hard to have people look at our stuff and give us critique, right. Like, it's really brave of them to show up. And give me that opportunity. And the same for you. It's really brave of people, if you're going to ask them to do something like this, to let you critique it. Respecting that bravery was part of the reason that I gave them an opportunity to pop into my inbox for the week, right? Like, not only was I doing something for them spending my time on this, but they were also doing something for me, I was learning from them. I know. And I was getting an opportunity to connect with all of these people. And the amazing thing was when I was doing this was quite a few of them when they get these roadmaps that for me would actually share in a Facebook group or refer me to someone else and tell them how like she did all this for free. And or look at her knowledge here. She knows so much. I never would have thought about this. And that's how this lead magnet started actually making me money. It was that people either bought my service want to work with me after this or that they would have started referring me after this from relationships. And that I was able to create an offer that connected with the people I wanted to work with really well because of everything I learned in these like mini marketing roadmaps, which brings me to step number three, which is creating your winning offer. So when you're really clear on those common issues that are repeatedly showing up for your prospects, you now actually have the proof you need to create an offer that speaks directly to their needs. You can use their very words to help you write your sales page. So when they land on it, they feel right away that you get them. And of course you can reach out to some of these people that you gave this access to and ask if they'd be willing to give you a testimonial to use a solid social proof. Step number four is to tap into your new customer base. So once this winning offer is live, make sure that you reach back out to the people who you gave this personalized feedback to through an email and introduce them to your new offer. They are definitely potential customers for you. So They've already experienced a taste of what it's like to work with you. And then they're more prepared to take the next step. When I followed up with those 50 plus people, I made roadmaps for, as I already mentioned, several became long term customers. Others talked me up in their communities and became amazing referral sources. And I can trace more than $75,000 worth of business back to these deep connections I made by opening up my time to people, which is why the unscalable lead magnet method is a process I'd recommend for anyone who wants to be sure that the freebie they create will turn viewers to the subscribers, and that the related offer is a solid one that sells. Now let's jump over to the conversation I'm having with Annie to talk about how she tried this unscalable lead magnet method in her business and the results she got.
 She's my guest here to talk all about how she put the unscalable lead magnet method to work in her business. Welcome, Annie. Thanks for joining me today.

Annie: Hi, Sara. I'm so happy to be here.

Sara: So excited to talk to you about your results. And what you did here. I know I got to experience your unscalable lead magnet, which we'll talk about. But first, tell us a bit about what you do. 

Annie: Yeah, so I'm a copywriter. And I specialize in copy for SaaS, software as a service companies. And I help my clients simplify and clarify their message so that they can connect with the right customers. And I mostly do email copy website copy and messaging strategy to help them really clarify their message that makes sense and helps them sell more products. 

Sara: Amazing. So I know you put the on sale, the magnet method to work in your business and I got to test it, I get it myself from you. We'll talk about that. But why did you decide to try it. 

Annie: So when I saw you talk about your unscalable lead magnet, it was such a lightbulb moment for me because I was pretty limited in what I thought a lead magnet was like, we see all these PDFs and checklists. And I didn't think about how a lead magnet could be like a personalized service. And then also, I was thinking a lot about what my audience needed. And I was spending a lot of time in groups of tech founders and software people. And everyone was kind of overloaded with information. Like they had so many resources and so much kind of on their to do list and they didn't need more info, it seemed like they needed what they really needed was like feedback and personalized advice. And so yeah, when I came up with this idea to do something unscalable it just seemed to fit so that I could provide something that was actually useful and that people wanted and not just kind of give another checklist for them to never open on their computer.

Sara: Yes. I love that. I love that you like talk about how you were listening in like the Facebook groups and like letting that guide what you created. Because I think when we when we do that, right, we definitely get to the heart of what people actually need and how we can serve them as opposed to, like you said, just having another PDF in their inbox that feels overwhelming, as opposed to give them something like actionable. Exactly. So what kind of results were you hoping to get from this? Like, what were you hoping to get out of putting this into play? 

Annie: So honestly, because I didn't have a lead magnet before, my first goal was just to prove to myself that I could implement something and set it up and like have people wanted. So I didn't have like huge goals yet. I just wanted to kind of be helpful and start connecting more with my audience face and tell us about what you created. Yeah, so it's pretty simple. It's a free five minute copy review. And that I called a fresh look, copy review. And I have a landing page where people can put in, they put in their information, the URL of their page, and then they tell me a little bit about what they're most struggling with, whether that's their headline, or their calls to action or something more difficult, like a certain section of their copy. And then that goes directly to me. And my my promise is it within 48 business hours, I will turn around a five minute video, reviewing your copy and giving you suggestions, tips, recommendations, and sometimes I'll even rewrite some of the copies so they can see exactly what I would do. So I record a video on loom and just screenshare while I'm going over their copy. And then I've also used the edit anything Chrome extension so sometimes I can like live edit your website so that you can see exactly like the changes that I would make 

Sara: Yeah, I loved you know, I signed up for the freshlook experience with you. And I really loved how you kept yourself on video. So I could see you while you're doing it, it felt like we were having like a like a one on one session. And I know I took a lot of notes for myself that I actually online, December is all dedicated to redoing stuff on my site. And it's on those notes for me to work on a page I sent you. So excited to see. Yeah, I'll show you. But yeah, I found that the tips that you gave us just knew like main really good sense. And it was so nice. Having a different perspective on a page. It was making me feel stuck. And like sort of, I felt like re inspired by what you're sharing with me to do.

Annie: Exactly. That's actually why like why I called it the freshlook because I find it like even other copywriters, but especially the software founders, they're so in their project, and they have often like tunnel vision. And they it's really hard to see your copy when you've been staring at it forever. And you've been working on this project for years. Yeah, I think a lot of people have found it helpful to just have this outside perspective, even if it's for a few minutes. And there's some things that people have been like really surprised about how simple it is. But they just never saw these things that they should change because they're kind of in it paint, who has been showing up for this like raising their hand. 

Sara: I know you mostly work with people in tech, has it been mostly that those people, and then also what have they been sending you to look at yet.

Annie:  So because it's fairly time intensive, like it is a five minute review, but it takes me anywhere from half an hour to an hour to kind of look at the website and come up with what I'm going to say. So I didn't want to just share it anywhere, because I was worried that I might get too many. So I started out sharing just in like slack groups with software people. And usually they share their homepage where prospects go to find out about their product.

Sara: Has there been anything in common that you see, keep showing up when you're looking at these home pages, like the same kind of sort of little mistakes or little chips that they could make have been in common or not really different?

Annie: Totally? Yeah, there have been so many patterns that I've seen mostly. So I look a lot like the hero copy. Because I think that's one of the most important pieces. And a lot of times I'll advise people to be more specific, like they'll have a word like get they'll have a phrase like get more leads or streamline your business or something that sounds buzzword II. And I'll challenge them to get specific about what what the benefit really is for their audience. And then the other thing Oh, sometimes people have taglines that aren't really saying anything. And they that your hero copy is really important the copy at the top of your homepage, and you don't want to kind of waste that real estate saying something that doesn't make sense or sounds like a buzzword. So I'll usually challenge them to like give them a couple suggestions for how to get specific and how to talk directly to your ideal customer so that they connect and want to keep reading down the page. Because if you lose people right at the top, then they're not going to keep reading. And then the other thing that I look a lot at is the headings down the page. So a lot of people have the details in the copy. But they haven't they have these really general headings, like benefits headings that don't tell you anything. So I'll encourage them to like pull some of the details out of the paragraphs and put them into the headings so that if someone's scanning down the page, they can get the main idea without read it because a lot of people aren't going to read every word of copy. So just making sure your message really comes through. Even for people that are just skinning.

Sara: Have you thought about taking any of those like it sound like there's certain lipstick, things that keep happening, and then a really uncommon. Have you thought about turning around taking any of that to make maybe make one of those PDFs or checklists or even just like a video people could watch to self assess their own totally sounds like it's all really in common benefit? 

Annie: Yeah, that's definitely on my to do list. Because you're right. Yeah, a lot of people have the same mistake or same not necessarily mistakes, but things that they could make better. Yeah. And I think they could learn from each other. Yeah, like to improve the conversion. Yeah. So when you send people these videos is to be like you're spending a good amount of time on them. And obviously, like making some powerful suggestions. I know, I found that to have a do most people reach back out to you what sort of happens once you send it to them? Yeah. So I send them an email that I've created like a template so that I can give them some information on what like some tips on what to do next. And then I think every single person that I've done a review for has responded like, wow, this is like so much more than I expected. Just really thankful for the things I've done. And then sometimes they'll talk about what they changed or what they're going to change because of what I said in the review one person, she responded and said that she went over it with her business partner and they had this moment this aha moment of like, why haven't we worked with copyright before? This is exactly what we need. And then she reached out to ask about my services. And we're talking about doing about website copy overhaul. 

Sara: That's amazing. Yeah. So talk about A little bit more about the results. And I guess, learnings you've gotten from this experience. 

Annie: Yeah. So I mean, apart from learning kind of the common patterns and common mistakes that like SAS websites have, I've also Well, I've learned a lot about the needs of my audience. So I get to hear when when people give me their websites, they tell me what they're struggling with. And I get to hear exactly what they need help with from a copywriter, which is amazing, because that I can kind of tailor my message to that, once they fill out the form, they have an option to subscribe to my email list. And almost everyone has subscribed. So then I have these people on my email list who I know I have this connection with, because I've reviewed that copy and maybe exchange a few exchanged a few emails with and so I know who they are. And I have a much more engaged email list. And then other than like the one lead I have for a project, just kind of becoming a little more engaged with my audience. So some of the people who have done these copy reviews will then like shout me out in groups, or they've offered to share it on Twitter, just because they're really thankful for the help I've given them. 

Sara: It's so cool. Yeah, so it sounds like a lot of good stuff was happening then from that. I mean, just the good, like karma out into the world with a copy of those people you want to work with. And then just potentially they're working. 

Annie: Totally. Yeah, I mean, it's not all like, I'm not just doing it. So I can like give back to them my heart like I do have kind of business goals. But I think like the research has helped me tailor my message so that I can attract more clients and leads Yeah, for sure. 

Sara: That's exactly why I went into my and did mine, as well as like, we're in about right directly from the people I want to work with, like what was going on with them what they needed, you know, to make my offer stronger, and actually what resonated with them. But also, like when I said they're sort of like out into that world that good feeling was not really it was more about like building not like relationships or the referral network, right? Because what they've experienced working with you, if they don't hire us, there's like they're they've, they've taught like maybe talking to someone else, or anything like helping to expand a network of people who know what it's like to sort of, like work with you or copywriters, or that's just saying like to experience that sort of the magic and the power behind making these shifts, we can do totally Yeah.

Annie: And I think it's so cool to be able to, for someone to experience what it's like to hear, like, they hear my voice, they see my face, and they get to experience what it might be like to work with copywriter without having to kind of get on a call, which may be a little scary, or yet, like they might be hesitant to spend 2030 minutes on a call but accelerating the process, like I get to connect with them without kind of taking up their time.

Sara: And I love how you've been really purposeful about where you're sharing it so that you can like manage, I wouldn't say like your energy and time around it. Because it is time intensive. You know, if you want to, you're gonna give them back, like a really good review, like a fresh look. So you're using it where like in the right spots, basically for yourself?

Annie: Yeah, and keep using it like to keep it out there and and using it like as a sort of like PC fat type of thing. Like, what are the plans, I definitely want to do some more. I think I'm ready to share it on Twitter, because I had some of the people who have done the audits have offered to retweet and then share it. So I just need to kind of make sure I have enough room in my in my schedule so that I can fulfill the promise of doing these. Yeah, it's kind of opened my eyes to thinking about how I can do more unscalable unscalable in quotes, things in my business, because I don't know if it's from a messaging and this marketing worlds are in the like online business world. But I feel like we're taught everything we do has to be scalable and automated. And for some reason, I got that into my head and skipped over some of these things that aren't scalable. So now that I've done something that's not scalable, it's made me think about how I want to do more things like death in my business, like connecting with people on my email list and doing things that aren't necessarily like an automated thing that I can do for thousands of people. Right? And were you what would the goal behind that be? Yeah, so one is connecting with my audience. And then also like growing my list, but I don't just want to have hundreds of people on my list. Because to have the numbers I want to like have people on my list that will eventually buy for me or actually interested in the things I'm saying and then to be able to continue to like develop my services around so I'm working on my audit offer and I want that offered to speak exactly to the needs of the people that I serve. So yeah, by doing more unscalable things I'm I have like a closer eye on the actual needs of people that I work with and not just I'm not just like guessing guessing I get to actually try things out.

Sara: Yeah, your own customer research all the time. Right. Exactly. Yeah. Any other results or any Anything else you want to share about this experience?

Annie: I just saw, I've been thinking, why don't why don't more people do stuff like this? And because I mean, you've had such great results? Well, I think one is that we want things to be scalable, and to be able to send hundreds of PDFs, without any extra effort on our part. But then the other thing I've been thinking about is, I wonder if there's a little bit of fear behind it. Because connecting with someone one on one is a lot harder. And like putting yourself out there and creating a video or, like you did creating a roadmap is a lot scarier than just sending a PDF or a file. So I wonder if it's a little scary to like, interact directly with people.

Sara:  I really love that you brought that up. I think that is something I've heard a few times that people are like, well, what if what if they don't agree with what I'm, I'm saying to them, or like I hurt their feelings, or we haven't even had that, like, you know, we haven't had a conversation yet. And I tell them something that makes them feel badly, you've had someone bring up to me, I know, for myself, I was a little bit worried at first, but then I just realized, like, I always like I start with like some of the positives, like here's what I'm really I can see working here are some things that I think will be really powerful for you to make changes on. So like always know, giving them both like, and I think I was like I used to elementary school teacher. So I always think of it like his like, we used to call it like three stars in a wish, right? Like, here's some things you're doing really well. And here's what they would like the next type of thing.

Annie: Totally. Yeah. And and if you do discover that people don't vibe with the suggestions you give them, or it doesn't something about it doesn't work, then you learn so much faster than you would if you were just sending out something where you don't get any feedback.

Sara: Exactly. Because they actually, you know, because you spent that time I think most people will feel like they're gonna say something back to you about it, right. Like in terms of they appreciated it or like this is learning, or actually like, even if it was maybe they didn't agree, although I have to say like with my my roadmaps and never really heard that, right. But it's a possibility it could have happen, but it didn't ever everybody wrote back was something that like, I hadn't thought I'm gonna try that. I never got any negative feedback with that. But I just it could happen. But like you said, like, what a learning that would be as opposed to the nothingness I'm trying to get from a PDF or a checklist, right? 

Annie: Yeah, that's, that's my favorite part. Like hearing people say, what, what they'll change. And then the cool thing about website copy is that often I'll go to their site, like a week later, and I can see Oh, they've like rewritten their headline, or they added the copy that I suggested to their call to action, actually, now that I think about I should reach out and like ask about results and see if they're making a difference. 

Sara: Yeah, that would be it makes me like really cool case studies, or many case studies, or testimonials, like the before and after, if they all look good before and after. Oh, yeah, that's a good idea. And take your advice. Okay, any thank you so much for being here to talk about your experience of the unscalable lead magnet method. And also just like the realism of like, it isn't something that you're likely you're not going to likely do with hundreds of you don't necessary want to run Facebook ads to it, but to use them like a really purposeful way and the right time. I think that was really important that you brought that up, tell us how we can experience your fresh look, if it's right, you know, for us, or then also where we can find out more about you in general. Yeah, well, thank you for the original inspiration to do this. So I'd love to have anyone who's listening, give a copy review of your website, or an email or any kind of copy you're working on whether it's published or not. So my website is any beta.com slash fresh look. And that's where you can sign up for your own copy review. Thank you so much. So everyone who's listening, be sure to go check out Andy's copy review, you'll definitely walk away with some really actual tips that you can put into play right away. I love my review from her and listen to it a bunch of times. Yeah, and he has an amazing way of just like, yeah, make you feel like so possible to put these changes into play. You just know that they're gonna make a big difference in your conversion. And I'm like, I'll definitely share with you any before and after of my page. When I'm finished putting into play. You can can't wait. Right. Thanks for joining us any Thank you. Thanks for tuning into the launch playbook podcast. If you want to get weekly launch secrets in your ears. I hope you'll hit subscribe on iTunes so you'll never miss an episode. Because who knows? It could reveal just a thing you've been looking for to make your next launch a success. And be sure to leave a five star review in iTunes telling me how this episode inspired your launch plans. Until next time, keep putting your big ideas out into the world. I'm rooting for you.


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