When it comes to selling financial services, your contact database is your most powerful tool. Clients sometimes walk into your office ready to invest, but your leads are usually not ready to buy your services when you first contact them. You need to nurture your leads, establish yourself as an expert, and keep them on the line until they are ready to choose you as their financial advisor.

But how do you get leads into your database in the first place? Use a simple and effective strategy: Offer lead magnets that entice clients into giving out their contact information.

Don’t know what a lead magnet is? You see them all the time. They are regularly posted to social media sites with snazzy taglines like “Download Our Free Report.” Creating lead magnets is both easy and effective.

What Is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet consists of a free piece of content that entices members of a target audience into giving out their contact information to see it. Typically, when offering a lead magnet, a marketer will ask for an email address and use it to cultivate clients with an email campaign, such as a newsletter. If the content looks juicy enough, lead magnets can be offered for more detailed information like names, addresses, and phone numbers.

Of course, a financial advisor will approach lead generation a bit differently than most marketers. Yet the key elements of successful lead magnets remain the same no matter what product you’re selling. So what are the key elements of a successful lead magnet?

Elements of a Successful Lead Magnet

Some lead magnets work better than others. While many lead magnets meet with raging success, others flop. The most successful lead magnets take advantage of the following seven elements:

Targeting

A lead magnet should target a specific group of people. It should offer a specific solution for a specific problem. For example, a list of the top ten most popular investments isn’t going to cut it. It’s too vague. Instead, you want titles like:

  • “Keeping Your 401K Tax Free When You Change Jobs”
  • “Tax Breaks for New Homeowners”
  • “Getting the Maximum Social Security Benefit”
  • “Smart Investments for New Investors”
  • “How to Retire in Ten Years”

You should choose a lead magnet that attracts the clients you want by offering them results that they seek. The more focused, the better. More focused lead magnets = more leads.

A Silver Bullet

Everyone seeks the magic key that will give them a big boost in life. Understand what your target audience’s needs and figure out that one thing they are looking for that will make a big impact. Popular silver bullets include methods for avoiding taxes, ways of getting more money in retirement, or how to score savings on big-ticket items like a home. State the one big solution in your lead magnet’s title. A strong, clear focus will be more effective than a swiss army knife approach.

Future Projection

Figure out what your target market really wants. Articles and surveys can help, but conducting some in-person interviews remains one of the best ways to really get in touch with your client demographic. Look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of their positions. In your lead magnet, help your audience understand the link between what they want and what you’re offering.

An Immediate Reward

Signing up for your lead magnet should be completely painless. The signup should require as little time and mental energy as possible. The lead magnet should promise something that your target market wants, actually delivering it, immediately. The lead shouldn’t have to spend much time to view the content. Long videos, books, and extensive reports do not make good lead magnets. Strive to deliver instant gratification. Leave your leads wanting more.

Authority

Your lead magnet should illustrate you as an expert in your field. It should position you as an authority. Focus on your client, but do mention your talents and accomplishments. Talk yourself up using simple, plain language. Mention specifically how you can help with problems that your new lead likely faces. Use a little subtlety but be overt about your expertise. For example, if you’re using a short course as a lead magnet, mention that you are the instructor of the course and give your credentials.

Value

If your lead magnet looks great on the surface but the content fails to stack up to the lead’s expectations, it won’t be effective. While it may create many leads, a worthless lead magnet will not create many conversions. Your lead magnet should produce actual benefits for your client. This will be a great chance to make a good first impression, and the best way to do that is to follow through by delivering something truly useful to your new lead.

Attractiveness

No matter how ground-shaking your report is, if it doesn’t look valuable, it’s not going to convince many people to give you their contact information. The lead magnet’s presentation should be honed by a professional. You’ll give the content away for free, but it should look like something that people would want to pay for.

Lead Magnet Ideas

So what types of lead magnets actually work? Here are five types of lead magnets that can be especially valuable for financial advisors:

Financial Calculators

Help your customers calculate savings, return on investment, payment streams, or other benefits that you can provide. What better way is there to capture targeted leads than to present prospects with a financial calculator designed to help them calculate the benefits of your services?

Reports

As a financial advisor, you can easily come up with a diverse array of reports. You might try something like “Maximizing Retirement Benefits for Union Electricians” or “Small Business Owners: Analysts Like These Four REITs.” You could even offer a report on the value of your services. Remember to keep the report short; while an ebook download might entice some prospects, you don’t want to overwhelm leads with too much information. Leave them wanting more.

Handouts

Handouts are a different breed of lead magnet than reports. A handout can take many forms such as cheatsheet, an infographic, or a diagram. Handouts should be short, typically a single page. Checklists make great handouts. Resource lists are also good. You could even put together a detailed infographic on historical risk in different asset classes or a chart showing why investors shouldn’t try to pick stocks.

Quizzes

Quizzes are very popular and can even go viral on social media. A quiz should be lighthearted and fun but should also tell people something that they want to know. For example, you could put together a short assessment on risk management aptitude, classifying people from butterfly to daredevil. Quizzes can also help you gain valuable insight into your clients’ needs, both as groups and as individuals.

Videos

Videos have a key advantage over many other types of lead magnets: they don’t take much mental energy to consume. Creating quality video content is a lot of work, but it should be easy enough for you to create a short video course. While you can offer long classes packed full of useful information, longer courses are better saved for the lead nurturing phase. A simple two-part course can draw in a lot of leads.

Conclusion

There is far more to be said about lead magnets. The very best lead magnets will not only bring in the leads targeted by your marketing campaign; excellent lead magnets will convince new prospects to show your lead magnet to other people.

Your client database is your most valuable tool for reaching potential clients. Along with a strong promotional campaign and effective lead nurturing, lead magnets are powerful devices for growing your database and expanding your business as a financial advisor.