Inbound marketing is all about building a loyal band of teachers that follow, trust, appreciate, and love you. Providing them with a free lead magnet that helps them in their daily teaching lives is one of the very best ways to achieve this. In exchange for downloading your asset, all you ask from teachers is to provide you with their email address, and some details about their buyer persona so that you can go on sending them great content that cements their loyalty, and moves them through your sales funnel.
Concept: Developing a vision of what your lead magnet should achieve.
Step 1: Find a problem that needs solving
The best way to provide teachers with great value is to find a problem that is having a real impact on their daily lives. This should be the easy part; the key is to speak to the people that engage with teachers on a daily basis – your sales team! This very blog is the result of weekly catch up meetings within the sales team, which highlighted the increasing number of clients looking to create a free lead magnet for their Inbound strategies, but not knowing how to go about it – et voila!
Step 2: Show them how to solve it
It might sound obvious, but the whole focus of your free asset must be explaining to teachers what they need to do in order to solve this problem for themselves. It is going to be tempting to talk about how you can help solve their problems, but this downloadable isn’t about you - it’s about them. The only trace of your existence should be the delicate bouquet of expertise emanating from your words as they dance across the page! Your free asset only represents genuine value if it gives teachers the knowledge and tools they need to help themselves.
Step 3: Don’t hold back – overdeliver
It’s common for writers to want to hold something back through a fear they will make themselves redundant by giving away all their trade secrets. This is nonsense! If you collated all of Sprint’s whitepapers, you would know everything we know about marketing to schools, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to want to do all your marketing yourself. Teachers are giving up their email addresses in the belief they are gaining information that will help them do their job, so you must repay that faith. Even better, overdeliver and they will assume you’ll do the same with anything you do in the future – a massive credibility boost!
Step 4: Avoid the temptation to start selling
I can say from experience that there is no worse feeling than downloading a freebie in good faith, only to find that it spends much of its time trying to sell to you. When it comes to a free downloadable, there is an unspoken agreement between creator and reader; not only will it not cost anything, but it won’t try to promote any products or services either. Break this unspoken agreement, and you will damage the trust that you’re trying so hard to build.
Step 5: Make them feel something
So, we’re agreed that you can’t actively sell your products and services through your free lead magnet. However, you probably still want to encourage teachers to get in touch with you. So what can you do? You have to make sure the lead magnet stimulates some sort of emotional response in your readers – it might be excitement, intrigue, concern, or even anger if you are exposing failings in the education system. Decide what emotion you want to provoke and use that to determine your writing style.
Content: Delivering your vision in a style that engages teachers…
Step 6: Break it down and make it snackable
Now you’ve got a roadmap of what you want your free downloadable to achieve, you need to start thinking about how you are going to present it so that it’s in a format teachers will actually want to read. The most crucial thing here is to break it down into bite-size chunks so that it doesn’t appear too daunting. Utilise headers to aid skim reading and prevent long banks of unbroken text - think along the lines of ‘5 Top Tips’, ‘7 Easy Steps’ and ‘10 Shocking Facts’.
Step 7: Reinforce key points with visual cues
What are the key points that you want teachers to take away from this free eBook? Try to use images, quotes, or graphically represented stats to reinforce these key points and make them memorable. It will help to break up the long banks of uninterrupted text, and it’s a much more engaging way of getting your message across.
Step 8: Connect with teachers on a personal level
To be truly engaging, your lead magnet needs to connect with teachers on a personal level. Therefore, it’s crucial that it is written in a personalised style and appears to come from an individual at your company. Use it to position that person as a thought leader and unrivalled expert in their field. Try to include a page about them at the front of the guide, outlining their experience and showing why they are uniquely placed to offer their guidance on the subject. Oh, and make sure you include a picture of them too!
Step 9: Don’t rely on your email’s context
Don’t forget that many teachers will save your guide for later – maybe printing it off, or sharing round a copy with their colleagues, so it’s important to make sure that your lead magnet will still make sense outside of the context of your email. You need to ensure you include a nicely designed front cover, an introduction which outlines the issue, a summary of the findings and the actions required, and a back cover with your contact details (don’t forget page numbers too).
Step 10: Give your lead magnet a cracking title!
Much like the subject line of your email, the title of your free downloadable plays a crucial role in maximising the number of downloads you get. Here are my 5 top tips for a great title:
- Everyone loves a list (‘5 Top Tips’, ’10 Shocking Facts’)
- People are obsessed with learning a secret! (‘The Secret of...’)
- Make something tricky sound achievable (‘5 Easy Ways to...’)
- Tell me if I’m doing something wrong (‘Are You Making These 3 Mistakes?’)
- Nobody can resist an exposé (‘Exposed: The Shocking State of...’)
Construct: Packaging your lead magnet so it looks as good as it reads
Step 11: How to build your free lead magnet
It’s easiest to create your lead magnet in a Word document, but you can create some incredible design using publishing tools such as InDesign or Illustrator if you’re confident. Throughout, you should have a professional-looking header and footer so that teachers are constantly being reminded of your brand as they read. It’s worth spending the extra time to get your formatting and design just right as readers will subconsciously form an emotional impression of your lead magnet based upon its look and feel. Finally, convert to PDF and save your Word document as a template for future lead magnets so you can start developing a house-style that your loyal band of followers will recognise in the future. Then if you can, host it online!
Now you’re ready to become a lead magnet legend!
If you’re not quite ready to step out on your own, get in touch with us about our lead magnet creation service. We employ industry-expert teachers to co-write a lead magnet for clients’ strategies, combining our edu-marketing expertise together with real-world strategies and solutions currently being used within the industry. Topped off with an award-winning edu-marketing strategy, you’ll be growing your own loyal bank of opt-in teacher leads in no time at all!
Marketing to Education
Marketing to Schools
Marketing to Teachers
Selling to Teachers