We talk a lot about marketing and how setting up a good system can get you one step ahead as a freelancer.
Most freelancers don’t do this stuff – which means it’s a real opportunity for you.
We believe all marketing should be as focussed as possible, however.
This means attracting the right people, people who actually want what you have to offer.
The way to do this is by creating a sales funnel – make sure you read our post on creating sales funnels for your freelance business if you don’t know what we’re talking about.
So let’s assume you’ve created a lead magnet for your target audience, you’ve set up an email platform, and you’ve got your sequences and workflows ready to go – now it’s time to get people signing up and entering your sales funnel!
All that work setting up your automated selling machine is for nothing if you consider it job done at this point.
Now the real work begins – you need to start promoting your lead magnet and introducing traffic to it.
Here are our favourite – and we also find them to be the most effective – ways to promote a lead magnet:
1. Start With Your Website
Because your lead magnet should be something that your target audience wants and needs, your website should be the first place to promote it.
Your website visitors are all potential clients – so capturing them and turning them into leads is an obvious place to start.
Pop ups are a great way to capture visitors’ attention, especially because nowadays you can personalise them.
You can show them to first-time visitors only, when visitors go to certain pages or when they look like they’re about to close the tab.
You can create pop ups with different call to actions and display them to different categories of visitors – for example, a pop up for returning visitors should have a different messaging than for the first visitors.
It’s usually best to set your popup to appear after the user actively spent 10-15 seconds on your website, or has scrolled down at least 50% of the page.
If you show it too soon, before the user has even managed to properly check out what your website is about, they will close it, probably annoyed by the interruption.
Another way to put your lead magnet in the spotlight is to feature it in a banner on your website.
2. Add it to your Email Signature
Many people think of email signatures as a digital version of a plain business card, so they only include only their contact info, position and few links to websites and socials.
But that’s just a wasted opportunity – especially as a freelancer, who is probably emailing a lot of different people.
Adding a subtle link to your lead magnet can be a great way to introduce your free offer to anyone you are having a business conversation with, without having to do any overt selling or put any extra effort in:
I’m not saying you should turn your signature into an ad – as you can see in an example above, a very simple call to action as an add-on to the signature doesn’t affect its primary function, which is to provide your contact details.
For this to give results, make sure you turn the signature on in every email you send from your business address.
Data shows people tend to need to see something 7 to 11 times before they are ready to take action.
So think of this as a passive way to get your lead magnet out there.
3. Share it on Social Media
I assume you are using at least one social media platform as a way to promote your business – so obviously, you want to promote it there every now and again, to try to get that audience into your funnel.
Pinterest can be a great one for this, as people tend to use it as a search engine rather than a traditional social media.
So they are often actively looking for what free resources are available to help them solve a problem that they may have.
When you have an established presence and an engaged audience, this is probably the easiest way to get sign ups – they already know you, trust you, and they happily grab whatever it is that you are offering for free.
But what do you do if you’ve just started and are still getting your name out there?
First, don’t worry – there are plenty more ways options that you can focus on instead.
When I launched my first freebie for Freelance Success, I only had a Facebook page for it, with two likes – me and my wife’s. But using other strategies, I still managed to get over 100 sign ups in the first month alone.
Once we established Freelance Success on different social media platforms, we started to see sign ups trickling in from there as well – which leads me to another important thing:
It doesn’t matter whether you have 10 or 10k followers – include a call to action in your bio, pin the tweet or the post and include a link to the lead magnet as soon as you start actively using social media for business. You never know who will come across it – your lead magnet might be exactly what they are searching for and they may even share it with their audience.
Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out to fellow freelancers who have been in the game for a while so you can ask for a cross-promotion – you’d be surprised how much people are happy to help out, especially when you offer to do something for them in return.
4. Share it in Online Communities
It’s really helpful to find communities where you can share your value with people who are looking for it.
Depending on who is your target audience, you can find plenty of free Facebook and LinkedIn groups where your target audience is hanging out and where you can share your lead magnet.
Make sure to post with the intention to truly offer a value, not just to obviously promote yourself.
You can also go to forums, like Quora, and search for questions where it’s appropriate to include a link to your lead magnet in your answer.
Don’t just post the link – make sure you answer the question properly in the post. As an afterthought, you can then reference the lead magnet – something like “I’ve created this PDF that can help you more with…” and put a link.
It’s a fine balance here, so be careful and make sure you’re not spamming or annoying anyone or you can get into trouble.
5. Show what’s inside – share some valuable excerpts
You can intrigue people to sign up for your lead magnet by sharing some valuable excerpts from it on your newsletter, social media channels, and in community groups.
Unfortunately, there are so many spammy lead magnets out there, so people often tend to miss out on good ones, simply because they expect it to be useless and salesy by default.
So if you’ve made one that you’re actually proud of, you should try giving people a glimpse of what’s inside – if they like what they see, they’re much more likely to sign up.
You can also be very creative here and create excerpts in the form of an infographic, an animation, a video – any type of content that usually performs well by design.
Podcasts are a great way to promote your lead magnets, and reach a new audience, who may not be aware of you.,
If you are invited on a podcast make sure you mention your lead magnet to the listeners – often podcasters will give you time at the end to mention where people can get in touch with you. This is a great opportunity to mention your lead magnet.
Or you can even base the appearance around the theme of your lead magnet.
We did an overview of the checklist, I answered all the follow up questions and he was kind enough to invite his listeners to download it – with the link in the show notes.
This is another natural, casual way to invite people into your world.
So if you are pitching yourself to be a guest on the podcast, don’t forget about your lead magnet. It feels much less awkward than trying to directly ask for sales of a product.
7. Guest Posts and Blogs
Similar to podcasts, try to write guest posts and look out for opportunities to contribute blogs to other sites.
Check the guidelines and ask the editor if you can include a link. If yes, then write the post on the topic that will make sense for you to naturally link in the lead magnet.
In most cases, they allow you to have at least one follow link, so you can use it wisely and try to get readers into your funnel.
If you are writing a blog on your website, which I hope you do, then add the link to the lead magnet into any articles where you cover a relevant topic.
8. Paid Ads
It might seem backward to run paid ads for something that you are offering for free – but in reality, you are actually investing in your business. People who sign up for you lead magnet are entering your funnel, so you get a chance to turn them into paying customers.
It’s a classic mistake of paid ads to waste money chasing immediate sales. This tactic is rarely effective, because – as mentioned earlier – people normally need to come across you or your content at least 7 times before being ready to make a purchase.
If you are narrowly focussed on a specific niche, then you can get great results thanks to the advanced targeting system that both Facebook and Google have in place – and you don’t need a huge budget for that.
If you have some money for this, it can be worth spending 5-10 pounds on a testing campaign – track it daily and tweak it to see what works the best.
You can also often snatch some good deals and coupon codes for ads, so you can really make the most of it without hurting your budget.
If you are niched down and know what you’re doing, it can be worth giving a try.
If you don’t really know what you’re doing, I would focus on the other options, first, however.
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