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How To Create A Time-Based Lead Magnet For Your Business

Director and Co-founder of Eloquent, Sean Withford got together with Megan McMullin from Meet Edgar to talk about using social media to sell. Watch the recording or read the transcription below for some super useful tips.


Sean, have you got any sales tactics that you’ve seen work for every company or industry?

I’ll give away some of our secret sauce right out of the gate. One of the big challenges that we had is that we were doing a lot of social media and it was good at building awareness, but the challenge was transitioning that person into a sales conversation. And so we tried a lot of different strategies – inbound marketing, demand generation, paid traffic, leads and funnels – and they all work.


So, what is a lead magnet, and specifically, a time-based lead magnet?


One of the things that I think has really transformed things for our business and our client’s is focusing in on what we call a time-based lead magnet.

A lead magnet is whenever you see a white paper, an opt-in, or a download – it’s offering your audience a chunk of value in exchange for their contact details to build out your email list. And then typically what a business will do is they’ll then focus on sending emails to that person who’s opted into the lead magnet to nurture them towards a sales conversation or a purchase.

What we found when we looked at it really closely is, you can lose a lot of people along the way between that opt-in, or download of the lead magnet, and the person that ends up being in a sales conversation.

You could spend so much time nurturing and retargeting and content for a low conversion rate.

So, here’s what we found that was a more direct path for us and for the people we’re working with is thinking about a time-based lead magnet. Rather than a download or an opt-in, actually offering your audience a bit of time with you, for a conversation either on the phone, through a webinar, through an event, through a strategy session, or working them through an assessment or an audit, or a checklist. That really changes how you can engage with your audience, because you’re having those one-to-one conversations.

And then at the end of it, we like to say you sell like a doctor…

If you think about when you go to a doctor, you’ll go in, they’ll ask you a few questions, like where does it hurt? Then they will identify the problem, and prescribe how you can solve it.

When you’re using a time-based lead magnet, it allows you to do the same.

So you can jump on a call with your prospects, and offer them something for free, that’s valuable and that’s related to what you do. And then from there, it becomes so much easier to transition that into a sales conversation if it’s appropriate. At that point, you will have built up a lot of credibility with that person, but also you’ll be crystal clear on what they need and you can offer them the right thing.

If you’ve run a strategy session and they’ve told you their exact pain points and what they need and where they want to get to, it’s really easy at the end to say, “Hey, I can help you with that if you’d like.” You don’t have to be super sleazy. I know not everyone loves sales, but philosophically, if you just think of sales as solving problems that happen to have a budget, it can make it a lot easier.

Using these time-based lead magnets was a big thing for us. If you think about social media, once you’ve got that really good time-based lead magnet, you can then use that as the call to action at the end of all of your social posts, all of your pieces of content, all of your videos, all of your blogs.

You don’t need 20 different lead magnets and 20 different offers and 20 different funnels. You need just one great reason to have a conversation with your prospects. And then you can embed that at the end of all of your social posts, put it in the comments everywhere, put it in the headers on your Facebook pages, put it in your LinkedIn profile, add it as an outro on the end of your videos.

And that’s how you can close the loop on that awareness turning it into profitable conversations.


Can you share how you can make sure your message is hitting your followers at the right time and place for them to consume and convert?


Starting with your audience is absolutely crucial.

The first rule of sales and marketing is no one cares about you, they only care about themselves. Everyone has a level of self-interest and that’s what gains our attention. As business owners, as entrepreneurs, as marketers, it’s our job to solve problems for our audience. We make their life easier. We help them be more successful. So our job is to help them.

So when we think about our ideal audience, usually you’ll do something like a customer persona or an audience persona but it’s just getting really clear on the person that you’re talking to and what’s important to them.

Build out that version of your ideal audience.

And then you should be able to talk about your business, or your offering, your products, in a framework of ‘I help [insert audience] achieve [outcome] using [process or solution.]’

Once you’re there, then you’ve got this really crystal clear statement of how you help that audience. Then when you think about your content and social media strategy, all of your content really should be about helping your audience move closer to their goal.

What will get the most traction is just helping your audience towards their goal. That’s why informational content that helps them get where they need to go is what’s always going to perform well for you.

Think about the pain point of your audience. Think about:

  • What is hard for them?
  • What questions do they have?
  • What false beliefs do they have?
  • What do you wish they knew before they hopped on a call with you?
  • A roadblock that someone you’re working with mentioned to you just the other day?
  • What do you wish you knew when you started out that you can share with them?

Take all of these ideas and create content based on them. You’re going to have the most success when you’re helping them along their journey to get to that place. Then add your offer or time-based lead magnet to the end. That’s then going to take the people who are serious about solving that problem to take the next step.


Can you tell me what social media networks are getting you excited right now?


I would say it depends a lot on your product or solution. Ask yourself where your audience is making decisions or where they are spending their time. That answers where you should be spending your time.


Indicatively though I would say Facebook is still super successful. We see groups getting a lot more engagement than company pages, for example. So if you’re thinking about that time-based lead magnet, like creating a Facebook group that revolves around the problem that you solve, or you help people with and getting people in there and then offering it to them as well is a really good strategy.


If your audience is in B2B or your product or solution is for high net worth people, LinkedIn is probably one of the most affluent and educated social networks on the internet. You can get into really great discussions there, particularly on LinkedIn right now that video has been incredibly successful.


I think YouTube is an incredible platform – it’s the world’s second-largest search platform. The volume of people watching on there is huge. There’s still a really good opportunity there to rank for different keywords. If you’re creating video content around the problem that you solve, then you can get a lot of great stuff in there.


Personally, I also love TikTok right now. So I’m spending a lot of time there. It’s really engaging. If your audience is there, then absolutely. I think everything works, but it depends on where your audience is.

Someone asked Gary Vaynerchuk whether they should focus on quality versus quantity of content. And his answer was, “Quantity unlocks quality.” By definition, you can’t be good at content creation until you do a whole bunch of it. Once you’re comfortable with that idea that it’s quantity that unlocks quality, then it’s really freeing to go create a whole bunch of stuff at the first stop.

And the first few things may not be great. But also at that point, if I haven’t built a big audience, it doesn’t really matter, because it’s going to take a lot of time to build an audience and build an effort. And the first time that you put something out there, there’s not a hoard of people ready to tear you down because you haven’t built that audience yet anyway.

That distinction of quantity unlocks quality, that’s actually the thing for me that was like, “Yeah, I should go into a lot of this.” Just like I need to make sure I show up consistently. It made a big difference.


How do Eloquent use collaboration in your marketing strategy?


For us, the thing that we loved about MeetEdgar versus all of the competitive products out there was our ability to build out a content calendar based on different categories. So we batched different days. Monday might be thought leadership, Tuesday might be a “how-to”, Wednesday might be a call to action, Thursday might a case study, etc. So we would go do that for ourselves and for our clients and build those different funnels.

When it comes to collaborations, they work incredibly powerfully for your business because you can sit down and say, “Hey, who else has our audience? And then how can I offer some value to them and to that audience?”

We did that process where we started with who do we already love and what do we use? Because people who are using those things are probably our people as well. And so MeetEdgar was one of those first things that we looked at. But the best way to do it is to think about who else has your audience and then think about what you can offer that’s going to be valuable to them.

Don’t reach out to people and say, “Hey, can you sell my thing?”

Well, you can, but it’s much better to say…

“Hey, I’ve got this great idea that your audience might love. I would love to share it with them.”


I would love for you just to end it out here with any other marketing tip that you find very helpful for us to take some action on?

So if you’ve watched that partner webinar that we did, we spoke a lot about using different sales psychology angles. My piece of advice is, go and choose a day of the week or two days to add content to social media or MeetEdgar. Think about what content you can add there that will lead to a conversation with your audience.

Then you can start to use things like social proof, like references, testimonials, case studies, comments, Facebook screen grabs from happy customers and clients, LinkedIn recommendations, put those up and start building out a bank of those that are sitting there in your MeetEdgar library. Use those pieces of content and then use the call to action from them, like “Hey, if you were going to get the results that this person did too, love to offer you a free 15-minute conversation and I’ll map you out exactly the three steps I’ll take if I was you.”

Make sure that there’s a day in MeetEdgar in your content calendar when you’re promoting something. If you go have a look at that webinar, there’s a whole bunch of approaches that you can use around social proof or likeness and similarity and congruency, all these different psychological principles in there. Because when those people do have conversations with you, some will become customers. And if you can put it on autopilot, which is the joy of being able to do with MeetEdgar, it’s something that you can do quickly that will have a material impact over the next 12 months and growing your business.

You can check out the webinar here or register for a free 1-Hour Marketing Growth Plan here where our team will spend an hour creating a marketing plan specifically for your business.