11 Lead Magnet Ideas for Coaches That Actually Work

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If an email list is one of the most powerful marketing tools in your possession, then a lead magnet is one of the best ways to build that email list.

But finding lead magnet ideas for coaches can be difficult, especially when you’re starting from scratch. You should spend your time reaching out to clients, not giving away freebies. Right?

Not so fast. Lead magnets offer more than just a list-building opportunity. They also help you establish trust with your target audience and build your relationship with them over time. If done correctly, they can be an effective tool in getting new coaching clients.

Are you looking for a great lead magnet idea for your coaching business? Here are eleven that should get your creative juices flowing.

Why Should Coaches Use a Lead Magnet?

Before clients book an appointment with a potential coach, they need to feel like that session will add value to their life or business. Lead magnets can provide a valuable way to demonstrate that authority with virtually no cost to the client.

A lead magnet can provide a host of other benefits:

  • Lead generation and cultivation
  • Initial buy-in to your coaching methods
  • Increased engagement over time
  • Relatively inexpensive to distribute

If you’re on board with the idea of a lead magnet, the only thing left is to determine which type of giveaway you should offer.

1. eBook

eBook is by far one of the most popular lead magnets. Besides being extremely rich in value—depending on how long you make it—it’s also extremely versatile. You can bolt it onto another lead magnet (such as a video series) or sell it on a platform like Amazon and reach an even wider audience.

The list of potential benefits extends for miles:

  • Simple to create: Either outsource this project to a writer or cobble together your existing content (like blog posts) and create a book with it.
  • Demonstrates topical authority: Nothing says “I am an expert” like a 200-page book filled with statistics and real-life examples. Throw in some case studies, and it’s even more potent.
  • Surprisingly deep: Depending on what coaching niche you’re in, you can demonstrate exceptional knowledge by going really deep on a particular subject. Over time, you’ll develop a corner on the market that will be hard for competitors to replicate.
  • Easy to deliver: A lead magnet can be delivered immediately via a service like BookFunnel. Once someone fills out the form on your website or lead generation ad, it can be in their inbox in seconds.
  • Gateway to future upsells: When someone finishes the book, it’s a quick transition to move them into purchasing your Masterclass or signing up for a coaching session. This keeps them moving along the customer journey at their own speed.

Melissa Dawn, a business coach from Montreal, Canada, offers a free eBook on her website called 6 Steps to Unleash Your Inner Leader. With just a few clicks, potential clients can sign up for her mailing list and receive the book right in their mailbox.

The book isn’t very long, but if there’s even a little bit of value that the reader can derive from its contents, it’s much more likely they’ll also sign up for a session with Melissa.

Melissa Dawn’s e-book landing page
Melissa Dawn’s eBook landing page

2. Webinar/Video Series

If you prefer to interact with your audience, a webinar or series of short videos also works as a great lead magnet. Not only will the audience get to see your face and hear your voice while you present information, but you can also use it to give them a preview of what your coaching program would be like.

And creating webinars doesn’t have to be a daunting task. All you need is a camera and a topic (and a willingness to be on camera), and you can have a series up in no time.

Deciding on a topic for your webinar should also be simple. Brainstorm some of your best topics—the ones you know provide value—and package them into a single video or set of videos. Think of the most common questions that your audience asks and run through them as well.

For example, Amy Porterfield uses a free masterclass as a lead magnet to promote her program—List Builders Society. In the masterclass, Amy shares valuable insights into building and growing an email list, which she then uses to promote her course.

Amy Porterfield's List Building Masterclass
Amy Porterfield’s list building masterclass

3. Digital Workbook

First things first: a digital workbook is NOT the same thing as an eBook. It can have some of the same features—such as the fact that it’s content-based and can be uploaded to virtual marketplaces like Amazon—but a workbook is very different.

In a workbook, the reader will consume some of your content, then answer questions or take quizzes that will help them put what they’ve learned into action.

This allows coaches a unique opportunity to provide a low-cost, low-barrier-to-entry type of lead magnet that also displays their unique coaching style. You can customize the format to your liking, and clients will then see what types of questions and processes you’ll ask of them before they commit to your program.

While you can always create a PDF to upload to an online store, a much better option would be to use an app like Wobo to make one for you. Wobo has lots of templates for you to choose from that will help you create your worksheet in minutes.

Wobo home page
Wobo home page

4. Quiz/Assessment

With so many options for a lead magnet listed here, why would anyone ever choose something as simplistic as a quiz?

Despite the obvious “fun” factor for your audience, quizzes provide a great way to learn valuable insights about your target audience. They’ll freely give you information about their pain points, areas of expertise, and ways in which they personally want to grow.

Not only are quizzes personable and interactive, but they’re also highly shareable. People take the quiz, then want to compare their scores or answers to their peers. When that happens, you start generating responses on autopilot.

The irresistible nature of quizzes is what helps them convert so well. A quiz like Michael O’Neill’s “Business Growth Quiz” offers respondents an opportunity to analyze their business from his predetermined criteria and show key areas to develop further. Who wouldn’t want that information to help grow their business?

Landing page for Michael O’Neill’s “Business Growth Quiz”
Landing page for Michael O’Neill’s “Business Growth Quiz”

When you’re trying to put together your first quiz, remember these tips:

  • Choose relevant questions: Make sure your niche is represented so you can funnel the right type of clients and information into your program.
  • Create clear questions: There are few things that will cause a person to click away from a quiz faster than incomplete or confusing questions.
  • Keep it short: Unless you have supreme confidence that your clients will click through a 30-question quiz, keep it to 10 questions or less.
  • Deliver valuable feedback: When people take your quiz, they want to learn more about themselves or their business. Make sure you deliver that once they’re finished.

5. Online Challenge/Course

A good lead magnet should provide value, and a course or “challenge” delivers an immense amount of value in a single package. These types of assets are all about transformation: How will that person or business grow by the time the challenge is over?

Best of all, a challenge can be used by just about any coach, whether that’s a life coach offering a “happier you” or a business coach teaching you how to “double your lead pipeline.”

Tiffany Julie, a business coach and entrepreneur, offers a one-week “High Performance Accelerator Course” that wants to help people increase results by 30% in that time span. To increase her credibility, there are testimonials placed all over her coaching website from students who claim to have done precisely that.

Tiffany Julie offers a free course on her homepage
Tiffany Julie offers a free course on her homepage

You can create an online challenge (or a course, if you want to package it that way instead) by taking your information and putting it into a chronological timeline. Put the appropriate steps in a logical order and use emails or a video series to walk them through the process.

Want to really improve the quality of your challenge? Create an online community around the challenge that welcomes new participants and encourages the leads to keep going. With one of those in place, the quality of your leads will dramatically improve.

6. Free Coaching Session

Just like a free trial for a SaaS (software-as-a-service) product, a free coaching session allows clients to get a glimpse into the “product” that you’re offering.

Most coaches characterize this as a free “discovery” call, where clients can book a short call (15–30 minutes at most), and the coach will ask about the client’s specific needs. If there are opportunities to help, most coaches offer simple tips during this time, as well, to make sure they deliver value.

Stephanie Hamby is a recovery coach and the founder of Renewed and Restored. On her website, she offers a free 30-minute discovery call where she learns about her client’s challenges and offers specific action steps to move past them. To schedule the call, there’s a button directly on her website that allows clients to select from an available time slot.

Scheduling page for Stephanie Hamby’s 30 minute discovery call
Scheduling page for Stephanie Hamby’s 30-minute discovery call

For best results, make sure that you make the sign-up process as simple as possible. Don’t make your clients send a series of emails to correspond with you directly to set it up. Instead, have a button on your page like Stephanie. You should further back it up by using a professional solution like Zoom or a virtual phone number for the discovery call.

Additionally, you should also outline what the client can expect. Depending on what type of coaching you offer, new clients can be wary of opening up. A good landing page for your call puts them at ease and informs them how you can help them or their business.

7. Free Tool

In 2017, digital marketing expert Neil Patel bought a website called Ubersuggest for $120,000.

At the time, it generated little to no revenue and didn’t have a clear path forward. As he explains on his website, Neil Patel bought it as a lead generation vehicle for his marketing agency and digital marketing consultation services. By offering a “freemium” service (free to a certain limit) Neil funnels traffic to his website and then upsells them on other services.

Normally, marketing coaches like Neil wouldn’t be able to sit down with every single person and go over high-level strategy, nor did every person necessarily want that from Neil. What they wanted was a simple tool to do it for them. Neil provided that free tool, and they logically signed up for some of his services once they saw the value he delivered.

Neil Patel offers Ubersuggest, an SEO keyword tool as a lead magnet
Neil Patel offers Ubersuggest, an SEO keyword tool as a lead magnet

While a full-fledged software like this is cost prohibitive, your tool doesn’t have to be costly; it can be something as simple as a calculator.

And if you have a slightly higher budget, you can build a more custom tool using ChatGPT’s API. A life coach, for example, may create a prompt that generates positive affirmations.

However, your tool doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. Most software costs thousands of dollars in development hours to create, not including the ongoing costs associated with maintenance and troubleshooting.

By the way, our coaching business name generator utilizes ChatGPT’s technology. Don’t forget to check it out here!

8. Template Library

If you are a business coach that helps others develop their brand, then a template library would be a perfect lead magnet.

Why? Because the cost of hiring a freelancer to write a series of scripts for their email sequence or sales process can be astronomical. When there’s an opportunity to get something like that for free—that has already been vetted and proven effective—clients will usually happily give up their email addresses in exchange for access.

The real key, as any business owner knows, is being able to utilize those assets. Without training, the best sales process in the world is essentially useless. That’s how you can turn those leads into potential clients—by pitching your business coaching services at the end of an email sequence that starts by sending them their templates.

9. Case Study

Highlighting the success of past clients is an effective way to showcase your coaching program’s credibility and encourage new sign-ups. After all, if it worked for your past clients, why wouldn’t it also work for them?

A case study is essentially a play-by-play account of previous success stories, showing where they were then and where they are now. It can be as long or short as you want it.

The fact that a case study shows a real-world application of concepts that can otherwise be seen as simply theoretical is one of the main advantages of this lead magnet. People can put a face with a name—hopefully, one that has a similar struggle (and victory) to their own.

In fact, a study by Uplift Content showed that case studies are the most effective marketing tool in the SaaS industry. Even though the study was conducted in a different industry, the findings still hold true.

Case studies as the most successful lead magnet in SaaS companies (Source: Uplift Content)
Case studies as the most successful lead magnet in SaaS companies (Source: Uplift Content)

Ideally, your case study would identify specific pain points that are common to your niche and demonstrate your specific coaching approach. The right structure will give your case study the social proof it needs to convert visitors into leads.

The combination of storytelling, results, and demonstration of problem solving is one of the reasons that case studies are effective marketing tactics to generate leads. They’re also versatile, which means you can use them in several locations, not just as a lead magnet.

10. Free Community

An online community can be a powerful lead magnet for your coaching business as well.

Despite the fact that it’s your job to get the people into your community, with the right strategies, you can turn it into a group that takes on a life of its own.

Over time, your members will begin to find an attachment to your brand that extends beyond you. They’ll meet like-minded individuals that will also help them grow in their life and business and will usually bring other members into your group as well.

Gated access is required in order to make this an effective lead magnet idea though. Either require a contact to create their own account (which will give you their contact information) or ask them to submit an email address as part of an entry questionnaire.

A good example of using an online community to generate leads is the Podcraft Community. It’s a free community run by the Podcast Host, and they use it to promote their courses and software products.

The Podcraft community
The Podcraft Community

11. Blog Posts/Podcasts

If you can’t create other lead magnets due to time or resource constraints, you can consider using your existing content for lead generation.

As a coach, you probably already have a blog or a podcast for your business, so this is a quick and cost-effective way to create lead magnets.

You can start by checking your analytics and identifying your top-performing content. If it’s a blog post, you can format it into a PDF and offer it as a free download. If you have a podcast, you can simply make the audio file available for download.

You can also create a “best of” collection from your blog or podcast. This can include the top five or ten posts or podcast episodes.

Conclusion

Finding effective lead magnet ideas for coaches doesn’t have to be rocket science. Put yourself in the shoes of your clients and ask yourself which type of resource you would’ve wished to have. Package it together in the most appealing and efficient package possible and drive traffic. The leads will come.

Have you ever seen a lead magnet that was almost irresistible? If so, let us know what it was in the comments!

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