Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

All signs seem to point towards some type of economic downturn, if not a full recession in the U.S. and across many parts of the world.

One of the biggest questions I keep hearing from different clients is, “What’s the best type of lead magnet to create during a recession?” More specifically, how do I stay on the forefront of different people inside my target market so I can help connect with people, keep my business going, and keep growing and thriving even during a recession? Is it even possible?”

And I would say yes, it absolutely is. So what I want to walk through today for you is:

  • What are the characteristics of a good lead magnet? Spoiler alert: most lead magnets are terrible because they’re jam-packed with faux-value (fake value) and only seem like they’re valuable.
  • What are the best types of lead magnets to create during a recession so you can help serve more people and generate more leads for your business? I’m going to show you five different types of lead magnets.

What Are the Characteristics of a Great Lead Magnet?

For the sake of refresher or in case you’re unfamiliar with the term “lead magnets”, the name is self-explanatory. A lead magnet is supposed to magnetize or attract different prospects or leads into your business. This means you can start a conversation, give value in advance, and then, guide them toward the right solution for them.

A great lead magnet needs to have at least three different characteristics. It needs to be focused. What is the specific, exact problem you want your ideal prospect to solve by using your lead magnet? One of the biggest problems I see with most lead magnets is that they try to do too much for the user. Don’t try to take the user from A-to-Z with your lead magnet — focus on taking them from A-to-B. It’s about getting the quick win instead of aiming for the moon.

And that leads to the second characteristic: fast. What is the exact problem that your lead magnet can solve in the next eight to 10 minutes? It’s ideally designed specifically for your perfect prospect to consume in 10, maybe 15 minutes, or at least in one sitting. In 10 minutes, they need to get an exact result for their business, relationship, parenting, mindset, finances, whatever area you’re focusing on with your lead magnet. Your lead magnet needs to get your audience the result they’re looking for as quickly as possible.

Lastly but just as important as the first two characteristics, I also want to make sure that it is foolproof. Great lead magnets are focused, fast, and foolproof. Foolproof means that you can give this resource to your ideal prospect and it would be much harder not to implement the resource that it would be to be successful with it. Great lead magnets often have a step-by-step process guiding the user to success. Your ideal prospect needs to believe, “I feel like I could do this in my sleep.”

When your lead magnet is focused, fast, and foolproof, it’s guaranteed to serve your audience better, especially during a time when your audience is craving results from you.

If you’d like to personally work with me to help you get better results with your message than ever before, visit workwithjoncook.com.

The 5 Best Types of Lead Magnets to Create During a Recession

Now that you know any lead magnet you create needs to be focused, fast and foolproof, you may be wondering, “What are the different types of lead magnets I can create? And, which types of lead magnets are the best to create during a recession?”

There are dozens and dozens, if not hundreds of different types of lead magnets. As a rule of thumb, avoid creating eBooks. When was the last time you actually read or even opened up an eBook or PDF version of a book? An eBook takes far too long to consume, isn’t that focused, and in many ways, even though your audience may be readers, it doesn’t have the quick-win appeal of a great lead magnet. It’s unlikely eBooks are the best type of lead magnet for your message and audience.

Specifically, during a recession, your ideal prospect is thinking, “How do I get the skillset, insight, and results I’m looking for right now?” After working with over 1,100 different business coaches and consultants and over 800 different speakers one-on-one, here are the five best types of lead magnets that can create during a recession.

01. Audio/Video Training

A training gives your ideal prospect a front-row seat to transfer your insight into their life or business. This doesn’t mean you have to put together a half-day training and people are going to watch, but it’s saying, “If I can give you a training that’s 30-60 minutes worth of training with specific action steps, that is a good lead magnet.”

You can share a recorded training you hosted in the past, especially if it was a training for current clients. That gives your ideal prospect a behind-the-scenes look at the level of value you’re already providing.

But, what if you don’t have a recorded training? Log into Zoom, share your screen with a slidedeck (PowerPoint, Keynote, etc.), and hit record. Then, upload that video or audio from Zoom to Vimeo or YouTube. You can make it so only people with the link to that video or audio can experience the recording. That’s just one approach. The key is don’t let the tech be an obstacle — reach out if you have questions or run into issues. Your message matters too much to let a tech issue get in the way.

Your training also doesn’t have to be only one session. It could be multiple sessions. I prefer one to three sessions or videos. You could do a 30-minute video or three 10-minute videos. Whatever format you choose, audio or video, include action steps inside your training. Give your audience an idea of what they’re going to experience through your training. Include great action steps they can easily implement right away to get the results they want and need. The most important goal of training is to accelerate the transfer of knowledge from your mind into your audience’s life.

02. Swipe File/Template

You may be already wondering, “What’s a swipe file?” As a messaging and copywriting specialist, I have a collection of headlines and ad copy I curated over the years that inspire my writing. If I bundle those headlines and copy examples into a Google Drive folder, that’s a resource you could ‘swipe’ to use as examples in your business. The goal of a swipe file isn’t to copy+paste — it’s to copy+adapt.

In other industries, a swipe file may be a set of wedding invitation designs, a PR firm’s introduction emails or pitch deck for TV and radio shows, or a nonprofit’s volunteer application and onboarding forms. Swipe files carry the burden of proof :  “These worked well for me in this area of life or business and I believe they will work well for you, too.”

A template is a different type of swipe file that gives your audience a blueprint to follow. It’s a starting point, but it’s not the ending point. A swipe file or template gives your audience the kickstart they need down the road of success.

If you’d like to personally work with me to help you get better results with your message than ever before, visit workwithjoncook.com.

03. Checklist

A checklist is the easiest type of lead magnet to create. You can put it into one page as a Word document or Google Doc, PDF, however you want to deliver one page to your audience. It’s a list of all the components someone needs to get a specific result.

One simple trick is to use Canva.com to create your checklist, even if you would never call yourself ‘creative’. It has good templates you can start with to create your checklist — and it’s free to use. Use Canva to design out a great two- to four-page PDF with your checklist.

04. Action Plan/Execution Plan

An action plan is a bit more in-depth than a checklist because it gives a true step-by-step experience for the user. A checklist and a swipe file or template can all be a part of an action plan. The key part of an action plan is that like a training, it’s self-paced.

Forecast the end result for your audience in the title of your action plan, like “The Podcast Launch Plan” or “The Keto Lifestyle Meal Plan”. Give three to five steps of your action plan with a checklist component connected with each step and link to resources to facilitate their progress.

05. Toolkit

A toolkit may be the most valuable type of lead magnet. If I was starting all over again from scratch, if I lost everything and had only a phone, a laptop, and an action plan, here’s exactly how I would give value to my audience: I would create a toolkit.

A toolkit is a list of equipment, tech, and resources to help facilitate an action plan’s success. If you’re wanting to build a website, a toolkit may include links to the top three recommended website platforms (WordPress, Squarespace, etc.), a link to the top domain providers (GoDaddy, Whois, etc.), a DIY logo creator, a graphic design platform (again, Canva), and a How to Launch Your Own Website Action Plan.

These are five of the best performing lead magnets because they can give your audience results right now. Again, don’t let tech be an issue — as Marie Forleo reminds us, everything is ‘figureoutable’. You’ve got this.

Also, don’t let Imposter Syndrome keep you from creating and sharing amazing resources to help people right now. Now is not the time to be shy. This is not the time to pull back. This is the time for you to say, “I can lean into this opportunity. I can create resources and amazing experiences for my audience. I know what I’m creating can actually help them get the results they’re looking for.”

Your message matters — and there are people craving what you have to say.

If you’d like to personally work with me to help you get better results with your message than ever before, visit workwithjoncook.com.