According to the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, there are 1.5 million searches every month for professional coaches. But fighting for a slice of the pie with 71,000 other businesses that want your customers can be challenging. Marketing is a vital component of attracting new coaching clients and 86% of marketing professionals voted email marketing in particular as very important. 

This means building an email list is critical for your coaching business, but how do you go about building your subscriber list so you can wow prospective clients with your content? This is where lead magnets (or freebies) come in.

Essentially, a lead magnet is a free resource you offer that provides value to would-be subscribers, encouraging them to exchange their contact details for the resource.

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How lead magnets help coaches

A lead magnet is key to your marketing strategy and it offers the following benefits:

  • Builds rapport and credibility: Whatever lead magnet you provide acts as a shopfront to your prospective clients. They can immediately get a sense of the person behind the service from the tone of your offering, which is vital for building the trust needed for an effective coaching relationship. You’re also showcasing your professional expertise, which is important as clients need to believe you can help them with whatever they are struggling with.
  • Grows your subscriber list: Your lead magnet should offer enough value to website visitors that they’ll happily exchange their email address to get it. This means it’s a powerful tool for growing your email list and building your audience.
  • Effective use of your marketing budget: There are several ways to reach prospective coaching clients, including social media campaigns, referrals, and paid ads. Email marketing which includes using lead magnets is one of the most cost-effective. The return on investment for email marketing sits at around $40 for every $1 spent, so it’s not surprising that 81% of small businesses say email marketing is crucial for customer attraction and retention. 

To learn more about how to effectively market your lead magnet, read How to Build an Email List: 5 Ways to Market Your Freebie.

11 lead magnet ideas for your coaching business

It’s clear that lead magnets are a highly effective email marketing tactic for your coaching business. But if coming up with lead magnet ideas has you stumped, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Here are 11 highly effective lead magnet ideas for coaches. 

1. Social media sign-up

As a coach, your expertise is in high demand, and people are always on the lookout for quality professional information that can help them develop. So take advantage of your social media channels to share helpful content they’re looking for. 

As you build an audience and your follower number grows, add a call-to-action at the end of your posts or in your bio asking people to sign up for your email list if they’re enjoying your content. Then, after a few days, follow up with a welcome email introducing your business.

2. How-to guides or ebook

A how-to-guide is a popular lead magnet idea for coaches and allows you to go more in-depth on a topic you know is important to your audience. How-to-guides are used to inform or educate your subscribers and can include frameworks, diagrams and activities to reinforce the concept. 

Business coach Melissa Dawn uses a free ebook as her lead magnet, offering subscribers a six-step guide to unleashing their inner leader. 

Tip: Make sure your how-to guides are responsive and work effectively on mobile devices so subscribers can access them wherever they are. Plus, try and make all your resources printer-friendly in case people prefer to read or work through them in paper form. 

For more detail on creating a highly-valuable free lead magnet, read The Exact Steps to Create a Lead-Generating Freebie Download.

3. Problem-solving checklists or cheat sheets

A cheat sheet provides subscribers with an easy-to-follow breakdown of how to approach a particular topic or solve a specific problem. It usually contains a short list of items or process steps with checkboxes that people can tick off as they complete them. The ways to use checklists are endless and could include:

  • An ideal morning routine checklist
  • A list of positive daily habits
  • A set of questions to prompt reflections at the end of the day
  • A list of tips to try when practicing a new skill

If you use a signature coaching method, then a cheat sheet can prove doubly effective. First, provide an overview of your method, then pick an element of your approach and share a free checklist to walk subscribers through it. 

Next, offer your coaching service as the solution to help them implement the other elements of the method that aren’t covered by the checklist. If they’ve found your cheat sheet valuable, they’ll be keen to get started on the other elements to really take steps to tackle the issue they’re facing.

4. Free assessments

Quizzes and assessments can generate an opt-in rate of up to 40%, making them a great lead magnet idea. Many of us enjoy learning more about ourselves, the unique traits and quirks of our personality and what drives certain behaviors. Plus, a quiz or assessment usually has short or multiple-choice answers, which means it doesn’t feel too time-consuming or difficult to complete. 

The conversion rate for assessment is high because once people have discovered an insight about themselves, they often seek support to take action based on their new knowledge. Which is exactly what a coach helps with. Also, since you provided the assessment responsible for their light-bulb moment, they’re far more likely to choose you to help them take the next step than another provider. 

For example, this is how health and wellness coach Judy Butler engages visitors to her website, with a quick quiz on a trending nutrition topic.

Like all your resources, you need to make sure your quiz is relevant and valuable. Consider your target audience persona, what might they want to discover about themselves? For example, perhaps you’re a career coach for women in leadership, and you know many of your clients lack confidence in themselves that prevents them from taking the next step in their career. 

You might offer a quiz to see if they have the typical traits of someone struggling with imposter syndrome, which over 75% of executive women have. You can then position your coaching business as an option to help them develop the confidence they need to succeed. 

To learn more about why quizzes are such an effective lead magnet, read How to Use a Quiz to Grow Your Email List.

5. Free discovery calls

A discovery call is an extremely common lead magnet among coaches. It gives people a chance to experience the service you offer and get a feel for whether you’re the right fit to help them with their issue. A free consultation can help to improve the “know, like, trust” factor, which is so important for service providers like coaches. 

Discovery calls offer a much more personal experience than other lead magnets and give you a vital chance to build a relationship with prospective clients. It can feel daunting for people to take the step to book a discovery call, so make sure you make it as simple as possible to schedule and use the rest of your website to show how approachable you are.

Leadership coach Jess Annison uses this lead magnet to great effect on her website. She offers a free discovery call to help potential clients get clear on what they need, coupled with a warm, friendly image that helps her seem approachable.

6. Workbook

Some of your potential clients will get a lot of value from a practical solution like a workbook. It’s a fantastic lead magnet because it gives prospective clients a taste of what it would be like to work with you and take action to improve whatever challenge they are facing.

 As they step through the workbook, they may also discover things they would find useful to talk through with someone, and you become the obvious choice to call. A workbook is also effective for building your brand authority in the industry as subscribers trust you to walk them through the process and provide practical steps that will deliver tangible change.

For example, here’s the workbook business coach TaJuanna from Bootstrap Dreams offers visitors to her website in exchange for their contact information:

7. Challenge or course

Challenges like 30-day productivity challenges are growing in popularity as a lead magnet, especially in online business communities. Hosting a challenge is a fantastic way for your target audience to really get to know you and build trust in you and your coaching service. 

During the challenge, you guide subscribers through a particular process with daily messages providing tips, prompts or activities for them to complete. If they follow your instructions, the daily quick win provides the motivation to see the challenge through to the end.

Running your challenge can be super simple—you might offer a downloadable list of daily prompts, for example—or it can be more complex. You can use automation to send daily emails with their task for the day and to offer encouragement. If you use an email marketing software, like Flodesk, setting up this type of workflow is super simple. 

To learn more about setting up workflows automations, read What Are Workflows and When to Use Them in Your Email Marketing

During the challenge, you could use a social media platform like Facebook, to create a community where your challenge subscribers can discuss with each other, share tips and ask questions. You could also use live videos or a pre-recorded video tutorial to increase engagement and provide additional value.

This tactic is precisely what Tiffany Julie, a highly-renowned success coach, uses on her website:

8. Access to a resource library

Over time you may create several different lead magnets for specific audience segments or to address a trending topic or issue. Creating a resource library means you can house all those resources in one place and it acts as a highly-valuable free offer for subscribers. For example, look at the range of free resources that business coach Tessa Hull makes accessible to her audience:

When a new subscriber joins your email list, you can provide them with immediate access to your resource library, enabling you to cement your authority in your coaching niche. Plus, by hosting your resource library on your website, you’ll drive traffic there and increase the number of website page views as subscribers return to access the information.

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9. Private support group or community access

An alternative lead magnet idea could center around providing access to a private community, like a Facebook group. Creating a community around your coaching business can be a great way to build trust with new subscribers. It also means you can get to know your audience better and segment them more appropriately according to their needs. Then you can provide highly-personalized offers targeted to their specific pain points

Personalization improves your chances of turning subscribers into clients—80% of customers are more likely to buy from businesses that offer a more personalized experience. Motivation coach Nikki Gundy uses exactly this tactic with her subscribers by offering them a weekly “Honestea” session in her private Facebook group.

10. An on-demand or live webinar

Webinars are a great way to reach people who prefer a more visual or interactive way of learning about a topic. You can use your webinar to cover an idea in more depth than a guide or checklist and, with live videos, you can also take questions from your attendees at the end. 

Since webinars are scheduled events, you also know that attendees have actually carved out time in their schedule to listen to you, whereas they may forget about other forms of lead magnets if things get busy. 

You can use different formats to create your webinar, including talking direct-to-camera, using a slideshow presentation with accompanying audio or both. If you’re using a slideshow, make sure your presentation complements what you’re saying and doesn’t distract attendees from listening to you. Similarly, unless you’re hosting a Q&A, you’ll probably want to have at least a semi-structured format for a direct-to-camera webinar rather than just talking on the fly.

11. Framework or template

Your professional expertise is one of the key attributes prospective clients will be scrutinizing when they’re looking for a new coach. So offering a framework or template as a lead magnet immediately demonstrates that you have the tools to help them make real change, and you’re willing to share them. Examples of this type of lead magnet might include:

  • A career coach offering an outline of how to build a professional resume
  • A life coach sharing a roadmap of how to identify your core values and use them to shape your future choices
  • An executive coach providing an overview of their signature coaching method

A framework doesn’t offer an exact step-by-step method of how to tackle something. Instead, it provides a big picture perspective that gives subscribers a glimpse of how working with you can empower them to dream bigger and go after their goals in life.

If you do have a signature coaching style, sharing an overview gives prospective clients an opportunity to check if you’ll be a good fit for what they need and get excited about what is unique about working with you.

Use lead magnets to grow your list

Lead magnets should form a core part of your overall email marketing strategy and are a valuable tool for growing your email list and ensuring your content is seen by your audience. Lead magnets can be guides, discovery calls or webinars. 

To successfully use your lead magnet for email marketing, you need a platform that will help you achieve your goals easily. That’s where Flodesk comes in. Flodesk is the fastest-growing email marketing platform on the market, helping small business owners design emails people love to get. 

You can easily create beautiful sign-up forms that showcase your lead magnet and encourage people to join your list. Plus, Flodesk offers workflows that allow users to intuitively automate lead magnet delivery, welcome sequences, and more with an easy-to-use visual builder.

And once your list is up and running, Flodesk offers a range of features, from stunning email templates to immersive forms, making it easy for beginners and experts alike to engage their audiences and convert subscribers into customers—all without needing a website.

Try Flodesk free for 30 days.

Get unlimited email sends & subscribers with Flodesk

We’ll never increase pricing because your email list is growing