Any marketer worth their salt is going to tell you that you need an email list. But, with social media being all the rage, and everyone-and-their-sister’s-cousin’s-uncle-twice-removed-on their-third-grandma’s-side advertising on Facebook, the simple process of building an email list gets lost in a sea of less important things. But we need to stop that and refocus.

One of the main reasons that folks don’t build email lists is because it seems like there’s a big barrier to entry. Questions abound—what email provider should you use? What in the hell is a landing page? And just what in the name of everything holy is a lead magnet (and how do you make one)?

This lesson is going to answer all of your simple lead magnet and list building questions and give you action items for getting a lead magnet out into the world so that you can start building your list.

Let’s get started with the first big question…

Who’s it for?

This is where all of the client avatar talk starts. Every business should have a well-defined avatar that niches down to the exact type of person that they want to serve. But I’m going to level with you—that takes a great deal of work and time that you might not have right now. So, I’m going to make this super simple for you.

I want you to pick one of your clients—one that you love working with, that you’d love to see 100 more of in your gym, and write to them. As you start to write, or film, see that person in your head and pretend that you’re talking with him or her.

Figuring out who exactly you’re speaking to doesn’t have to be complicated, just pick your favorite client.

Action Item: Think of your current clients, pick the one that you love working with the most and that you’ve been able to help significantly. That’s the person you’ll write or speak to.

What’s the problem?

 Once you have your person picked out, you have to decide what problem of theirs your lead magnet is going to solve. Finding the problem is much simpler than we often make it out to be. All we really have to do is pay attention. We get asked thousands of questions by our clients every year—all we have to do is pick one of those questions and answer it.

For example, since Chris started presenting his program design material back in 2014 or 2015, he received tons of questions on how to keep people using the basic exercises while also making sure they get results and make progress—without the client or the trainer getting bored. And voila! You Can’t Get Bored: Adding Variety to the Basics of Program Design was born—and it’s our best performing lead magnet to date.

He took a consistent problem that trainers all over the world were having, and he solved it simply with a short, sweet, actionable e-book. (Honestly, we could sell it instead of giving it away for free. I guess that’s how we know it’s valuable enough to attract folks’ attention.)

But here’s the key point with why it works so well for us—the problem intersects with what we actually do with our business.

You could pick a random problem that the client you picked has, and that problem may approximate something that you do, but that dog just won’t hunt. Why? Because you can’t continue to lead them down the path toward working with you or buying one of your products. If they don’t feel as though you’re the person that can continue to solve the problems they have pertaining to the outcome they want, they’ll lose interest and you’ll lose a sale.

Let’s break down the process a little more using You Can’t Get Bored.

It solves a very specific problem that coaches and trainers have—selecting loading types for basic exercises. That’s just one piece of the program design system. It’s an important piece, but it’s not the whole pie.

We offer the whole pie—via our program design course, our Strength Faction lessons, and our in-person workshops and seminars. As folks see how we can solve smaller problems for them, they also see that we have solutions for the bigger problems, and we can help them sort out which of our solutions is right for them at the time. And, more importantly, we can have a focused conversation with them about it.

If our lead magnet wasn’t dialed in, it would be tougher to lead people to our solutions. So, as you decide what problem you’re going to solve, make sure that it fits with the overall canopy of problems that you solve with your training or business.

Action Item: Take a question that you’re asked often by all of your clients, or the specific client you chose and make that the focus of your lead magnet.

The Title (This might be the most important thing)

 Let’s continue on with the You Can’t Get Bored case study.

The title has to describe and offer a solution to the problem to get people to care and what to download it, gain access, etc. In this case, the problem was coaches not knowing how to keep people doing the exercises that they know would work while also adding enough variety to keep training spicy! The title says it:

You Can’t Get Bored: Adding Variety to the Basics of Program Design

Covertly it says: this little book will help you write programs for your clients that add variety and keep them, and you, from getting bored while you do the thing you know are right for them.

That’s a problem that most trainers that would be interested in Strength Faction have. Your job is to do the same thing for the folks that would want to work with you.

Here’s the deal…don’t expect something brilliant to just pop out of your head. A good title takes several, sometimes many, iterations.

So, here’s what you’re going to do…

Action Item: As you write, or film, your lead magnet, take time to write out a bunch of iterations of a possible title. Don’t wait until you have your title done to start working on the actual lead magnet. Do it in concert—this will often help the flow of ideas in both directions. What you’ll do, is every so often, set at ten-minute timer and just start writing a bunch of potential titles. Something good is going to come out.

Structural Guidelines for Your Lead Magnet

I’m going to be honest, the most important aspect of your lead magnet is the title. Some folks will read the entirety of your lead magnet, but most won’t. You need a title that makes your ideal person want what you are offering. Then you have them on your email list and you can actually talk to them. The point is, don’t get caught up making your lead magnet the complete grand opus of everything you think on a topic. It needs to be good and it needs to be helpful, but it doesn’t need to be your life’s work.

With that in mind, let’s talk about some structural guidelines.

Make it short. If people see that your lead magnet is immensely long, whether it’s a lot of pages or a super long video, they’ll likely tune out. Now, I’m not saying so short that it’s laughable. Long enough to effectively answer the question in mind and give folks action items. Anywhere from five to twenty pages can be effective for a written lead magnet, ten to twenty minutes works for a video.

Make it actionable. Solve the problem and give folks things to do. It can’t just be your thoughts and a bunch of philosophizing.

Make it easy to digest. Don’t use big words. Use simple sentences. Write, or speak, as if you’re talking to your mom. (That’s if you’re doing this for regular folks. It’s a different story if you’re doing it for coaches. But, still, easy to digest is always better.)

Include calls to action. Include prompts for folks to do what you want them to do—whether that’s to contact you or take advantage of your friend end offer. You can do this throughout the book or video in places where more potential problems might pop up for them. Do it frequently without being salesy. Use the places where folks would naturally have more questions and use as a chance to call them to action. You should also include one at the end of the book/video for the folks that make it the whole way through. These are the folks that are likely to take action because they are really digging you.

Once it’s Written or Recorded

If you’ve chosen to write your lead magnet, just save it as a PDF. You’ll be able to either embed it in an email through your email service or embed it in your website and link it in an automated email that goes out when folks subscribe via your landing page.

If you’ve decided to record a video, just upload it to YouTube and make it password protected or unlisted. Then you can do the same embedding described above.

Designing a Cover

I’m going to turn things over to Chris here. He put together a short video on how to make an e-book cover in Canva.

Check it out and then do the things he tells you to do:

Landing Page


Whichever email provider you use will likely have a means for you to create a landing page. It probably won’t be fancy, but it will work. We use MailChimp. It’s super easy to use and has tutorials that walk you through the process of creating it and linking it to the proper email list.

Like writing a good title, the key is writing a good headline for your landing page. It needs to catch attention and make people want your book or video. We’ve used a few different ones just for the You Can’t Get Boredbook. This process works the same way coming up with a title does—iteration.

What I want you to think about is emotion as you write your headline. What is going to hit your ideal person emotionally and make them see that your lead magnet could help them solve their problem? The two that we’ve used for You Can’t Get Boredare based on time and variety. Right now it reads, “Keep the Basics Fresh. Keep getting your clients killer results.”

If I’m being honest, it could be a bit more emotional…but it’s also working right now, so I don’t want to change it.

As you write out potential headlines, consider what’s going to hit them emotionally based on the problem that they’re trying to solve.

Action Item: Read a bunch of landing page headlines and write a bunch of iterations of yours until one sticks. Don’t take forever on this. Give yourself twenty minutes or so and then roll with something you came up with. If it doesn’t work, you can always change it later.

Here’s our current You Can’t Get Bored landing page–> You Can’t Get Bored: Adding Variety to the Basics of Program Design

Get it Out There!

Ok, now you have a basic guide to creating a lead magnet. Go get to work and get it out into the world!

Got questions?  We’ve got you.  Email and let’sketit

In 2010, two dudes Chris and Todd, started the business that would eventually become Strength Faction.

You know how they say the rest is history? Well, it’s not.

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