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Today’s talking point:

I have just started a very small email list. Where should my focus be to gain more subscribers? 

Today we are talking about one of my very favourite topics: list building. Always be list building. This is one of my favourite mottos for good reason. Your email list is such an incredibly powerful resource as an online business owner, one that surpasses social media or any other efforts that you can make online. 

Now there are lots of ways to build your email list, but when you first start out with it, part of your list building efforts has to be having an effective lead magnet, a freebie, or giveaway front and centre.


Here is the ultimate guide to choosing the best lead magnet for your audience. I'm going to cover seven types of lead magnets that I think are the most valuable and that are working the best right now. We will talk about finding the right option for your business, and some pros and cons of each method.

This is going to make the process much easier for you, so that you can make a decision and move onto bigger and better things that you're dying to work on in your business. 

#1| Cheat Sheets

Now, a cheat sheet is near and dear to my heart. I use it a lot… if you've ever gotten any one of my freebies from the podcast or my blog, you have probably received a cheat sheet from me. It's roughly defined as a series of pages that offers steps, examples, and lots of imagery to help illustrate a strategy. 

I like the cheat sheet because it's easy to skim. My motto with lead magnets is to make them incredibly easy to get to the finish line, you want to give them a quick win. Here are some tips to create a valuable cheat sheet: 

  • Make them easy to digest

  • They can be pages long, but must be easy to skim

  • Have lots of imagery to show examples so people really get it

  • Don’t make it too content heavy


  • Quick read shots of information that are easy to use 

  • Eye-catching

  • People really gravitate towards the content because it just looks good and is set up in a really easy way. 


  • You don't go deep with a cheat sheet

  • They are quick hits

  • Skimmed and consumed quickly 

#2| Workbooks

With a workbook you're providing information as well as “take action” pieces for your potential clients or subscribers to actually take some time to get the ideas out of their head and onto paper. When they do the work, they are more likely to get the results they are looking for. 

An example of this is one of my past workbooks called how to overcome your fears, where I walk you through some lessons and exercises that you can use to start overcoming your fears. 

Here are some tips to create a valuable cheat sheet: 

  • Get your ideas onto paper 

  • Create actionable steps to make shifts and results

  • Don’t make it too content heavy

  • Recognise a potential to connect programs or affiliate links


  • There is a lot of perceived value 

  • A great opportunity to share resources 

  • Potential to use affiliate links and generate revenue 


  • Big investment of your time and efforts 

  • No quick hits, it is going to take your potential customer a little longer to get through

  • Relies on people doing the work

#3| Guides

A guide is more of a narrative where you can lead your potential customers through a story and then stack the value throughout. 

A great example of this is from someone called James Wedmore. His guide called “17 tiny tweaks that produce big results,” follows a formula of:

  • a brief bio

  • the outcome of the report 

  • principles every business owner should know

  • the main topic: 17 marketing tips 

Guides dive deeper than a cheat sheet or even a workbook. A guide that is well done will make somebody say they can't believe that it's free; that's when we're getting into the sphere of, “Oh my God, if her free stuff is this good, how good most her paid stuff be?” That's the aim here. 


  • Driving the quality of your knowledge

  • A greater opportunity to teach


  • Time commitment

  • You have to be careful to be concise (there is a fine line in being too much to consume)

#4| Video/Audio Training Freebie 

With this you are giving visitors the opportunity to hear or watch a piece of your content, which makes things a whole lot more personal. Right now, video is where it's at. It's only getting more popular. 

By using video and audio, we're definitely getting closer to our potential customers and making a bigger connection with them. 

One of my favourites is Marie Forleo. She offers an hour long Freebie on the homepage of her website called “how to get anything you want.” It's a fantastic introduction to who she is as an inspirational powerhouse. To achieve the same result look to:

  • Showcase your personality

  • Talk about your zone of genius

  • Look to connect deeper


  • You’re making a bigger connection

  • High perceived value

  • Opportunity to show your personality and teaching style

  • Level of connection created


  • It's more work

  • Could cost more money

  • You might not feel very comfortable in front of video or recording audio

#5| Challenges

With the challenge, you are obviously challenging your audience to do something every single day for 7 to 10 days. Challenges are fantastic for list building. 

To create a successful challenge focus on:

  • Showing up each day

  • Creating checklists, & worksheets to match

  • Having a clear goal

  • Planning content


  • When you do it right, it's a huge list builder, 

  • A well executed challenge will attract people that aren't necessarily in your tribe

  • People can easily share it with their friends and get other people involved

  • Share more about your personality, your teaching style and who you and your brand are. 


  • Takes time, strategy and focus to put together. 

  • You've got to execute it on a tight schedule

  • It needs emails set up every day 

  • Pre-recorded content, and planned socials

#6| Quizzes

These are so, so good. They are quick and fun and there is so much you can do after somebody takes a quiz. 

One example of this is “are you right for XYZ program?” You could have different levels of yes, you're ready and here's why and here's where you can get value in this program; there can also be a no, and dive into why they're not ready and what to do instead. When you create a quiz:

  • Have genuine and not generic results

  • Don’t drive people to a program if they’re not the right fit 

  • Give marching orders for a next step

  • Take the quiz as different types of customers to ensure the results match


  • You are going to learn so much about your audience. 

  • They will learn about themselves (if you do the quiz right)

  • It drives traffic to your programs

  • There is value on both sides for you,  and for your community.


  • Can be tricky to create and to set up

  • It's not a quick lead magnet 

  • You have to be very mindful about the questions and results

#7| Free Courses

Now when you think of a free course, I don't want you to think of the big type of courses that you might invest in that's way too big. Think of it in terms of a mini training. 

A good example of this is Ray Edwards. He is a copywriting genius and has a free course called permission to prosper. You get a series of videos where he walks you through how to create a business based on your ideas, and I love this because you are definitely walking away thinking, “oh my God, that was so good. I definitely would have paid for that. “


  • Your audience gets a glimpse of your skillset & teaching style

  • Ability to showcase the types of courses/offers you have

  • Creating Aha moments before they actually take out their wallet and pay you for it (showing so much value)


  • Takes more time and effort

  • Your audience could feel they don't need to buy anything right now 

  • It may take time to convert your audience (until they see the results from the free course)


  1. Cheat sheet (or checklist)

  2. Workbook

  3. A  guide

  4. Video or audio training

  5. Challenge

  6. Quiz 

  7. Free course 

As you can see, each of those lead magnets got a little bit more intense as we went down the list. 

  • If you're just starting and are brand new:

I want you to stay with number one, a cheat sheet or number two, a workbook. 

  • If you've been at it for a while and you think you need to refresh your lead magnets:

Then think about a video training or an audio or a quiz or a challenge or a mini training.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

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Holly SuttonComment