How to Use a Lead Magnet

How to Make Your Email List Grow Like Magic with a Lead Magnet

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I know some of you are asking, “What is a lead magnet?”

Trust me. I’ll tell you in a minute.

First, let’s talk about one of the crucial things artists need to do to grow their business. An active email list is essential to a successful art career today. If you believe like I do that it’s the perfect time for artists to take control of their careers, then you will agree to the importance of building a list of subscribers.

Find Buyers and Sell Your Work to Them

For years, I have championed the idea that artists today have the opportunity to sell their work directly to buyers they cultivate. It’s why I created the How to Find Buyers and Sell Art Workshop. This option was not possible for artists in previous generations. It was considered career suicide to buck the gallery, dealer, and publisher model.

None of those distribution channels would ever consider working with an artist who they saw as competing with them. And, before the internet, social media, and email marketing, there was no easy affordable way for artists to compete. Plus, consumers were not yet conditioned to source everything from the maker. It took Amazon, and eBay, Etsy, and other sites focused on selling work by indie artists to change consumer buying habits.

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Power Up Your Email Opt-in Forms

Now, you can sign up with an email service provider and create opt-in web forms that make it easy for potential subscribers to join your list. We are harder to motivate now. Just asking for a subscription is not enough. Your prospect needs to know what’s in it for them.

A good lead magnet solves the “what’s in it for me” problem. And, that’s just the start. The right one will do much more. You’re a small businessperson so anytime you can get extra mileage out of anything you are doing, you should jump on it.

I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer. Here’s a description of a lead magnet from

The Lead Magnet is an irresistible bribe that gives a particular chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information – usually an email address.

What Makes for an Irresistible Bribe from an Artist?

The best thing you can do to make a great lead magnet is to use your existing content. You have a website, a blog; you may have published articles or written evocative emails. Anything that is already in the can makes for useful lead magnet content.

The best lead magnets are easy to consume and to access. That’s what makes e-books and portfolios such a valuable tool. They are relatively inexpensive and fast to create. You can deliver them via a download link in a thank you email to your subscribers.

There’s Good News about Lead Magnets

Creating sales starts with building relationships with prospective buyers. To start, they don’t know you from Adam. Buyers have an unspoken continuum they follow before making a purchase. The instinctively need to Know, Like, and Trust the source before they buy. You won’t find them deviating from the process.

So, an e-book as a lead magnet checks all the boxes:

  • Is desirable to own
  • Easy to consume
  • Quick and convenient to deliver
  • Affordable to create
  • Provides useful, informative, educational value to the subscriber
  • Kicks off the Know, Like and Trust continuum with the least amount of effort for all involved

And, More Good News about E-book Lead Magnets!

It’s your first step towards indoctrinating your buyers into your process. It lets them see how you do your business. They get access to some of your best content gathered together in one place. They get to see your images and learn a little about you and your art.

How better for your future collectors to get to know you than through an e-book? As a lead magnet, it doesn’t need to tell your whole story.

You don’t pour out your heart to give your life history to new people when you meet them. Sending your e-book with interesting information is perfect. It’s the Goldilocks Theory. Not too much, not too little, but just right. It’s like a “Let’s grab a coffee” kind of thing.

How to Make an E-book?

If you are handy with MS Word, you can copy and paste your content into the program. Once you are happy with the result, use the “Save As” option and select PDF. You can also use PowerPoint, Keynote or some other presentation software. Those take more formatting and rejiggering than does Word in my experience.

You can use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to create PDF e-books. But, to get a good result, you need to know how to use those programs – and have access to them as well. There is an open source version of Photoshop called Gimp. I’ve found it harder to learn than Photoshop.


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