31 Day Author Platform Challenge Day 11: Magnet Ideas

[Psst, before we start, have you followed 10 new people yet?]

a tesla coil plasma glass in close up shot
Photo by Alexandr Drobyshev on Pexels.com

Today will be a little bit of a break. While our email capture conversation continues, today on Day 11 we focus on the mailing list incentive. All we’re doing is brainstorming and confirming choices. Tomorrow we’ll work on it.

Today we are coming up with a list of 10 things you can offer as a freebie—your lead magnet— as an incentive to get people to sign up for your newsletter’s mailing list. What will it take them to enter their email in that pop-up you just created? It has to be not only good, but enough…enough for them to hand over their precious addy and agree to stomach yet another barrage of emails.

But in order to do that, we have to think back on WHY we are creating the mailing list and WHO the newsletter is for.

Flip back to those pages in your notebook and peruse.

You might want to create a few different ones and rotate them throughout the year. Maybe different giveaways for different seasons. Or, you can offer different freebies to different audiences. For example, if you’re a picture book writer, moms and teachers would probably love coloring pages–but different kinds. You can work with your illustrator to create them, and you both can promote ’em.

Grab that notebook and start writing down no fewer than 10 possible giveaways you can create, ones that are “enough.”

Here’s some thoughts for different audiences…

Moms (ones that might buy your book)

  • custom coloring pages only available by signing up
  • activity pages like word search or mazes not found elsewhere
  • X# new ideas for family outdoor activities related to your book or book theme
  • X# indoor/rainy day activities related to your book theme
  • list of unique craft projects with everyday household objects
  • list of freebies given by other authors or publishers
  • recipes for quick after-school snacks as long as it relates to your book or, say, a main character’s favorite food

Teachers (ones that might buy your book or use it in class)

  • custom coloring pages only available by signing up
  • unique classroom activity pages like word search or mazes
  • new outdoor classroom activities related to your book or book theme
  • unique indoor/rainy day classroom activities related to your book theme
  • fun field trip ideas they may not have thought of
  • take-home art or craft projects related to holidays, seasons, curriculum
  • read-aloud tips for keeping the attention of large groups

Fellow writers (FWIW right now most of my social media followers are writers)

  • picture book trends [need to have facts, not opinions]
  • school visit tips [based on your and other authors’ experience, not conjecture]
  • “how to avoid” xxx or yyy [share your journey]
  • steps on crafting www
  • advanced editing techniques [these kinds of things only if you’re published]
  • how to get started on qqqq

Now it’s your turn! I’d love to see what you’ve come up with! Send me an email or comment below.

Recap: come up with a list of possible giveaways you can create or make that you’ll use as your lead magnet

Since we’re nearing the halfway point, I wanted to check in. If all this work has been too overwhelming and you want it slow down, let me know. I’m trying to find the right balance of background work, with creating posts. If you’re like me you might feel like, say, brainstorming newsletter ideas isn’t “action” per se and you’re itching to post. I hope you are still posting away as you normally would and aren’t waiting for permission from me! The only time I personally think you can overpost is when you are saying the same thing or giving the same link over and over. We are getting smarter and know we’d never do that, right? (Except for that time I set up my scheduler wrong and it sent 3 almost identical tweets in a row instead of over 10 days, stop reminding me! Ugh. Physician heal thyself lol).

31 Day Author Platform Challenge Day 12: Let’s Make Freebies

[Before we start, have you followed 10 new people yet?]

Make it and they will come

Remember in Day 10 of our author platform challenge we talked about dangling a freebie to get people to sign up for your mailing list, and in Day 11 we brainstormed ten potential freebies? Today, Day 12, we are going to pick one of those freebie ideas, and create it.

If you love the idea of the coloring pages option but are pre-published so you don’t have a book let alone an illustrator who could work with you on it, by all means keep that idea on your list. But for today, pick a different freebie to work on.

Hmm, what to work on? Think…What are you known for? What are you comfortable talking about ? What you are an expert in?

I knew I wanted to create the “Secrets to Writing a Query” as my lead magnet because A) most of my followers right now are fellow authors and B) over the years, as I review my spreadsheet, it appears I have written over 200 of them. Does that mean I have 200 acceptances? Oh by no means no. But it DOES mean I know what DOESN’T work, lol. I also looked up what editors and agents have to say about it, and combined that with my own experience. That’s what makes me uniquely qualified to offer suggestions and advice on the topic, IMHO. And I know it’s a hot topic that everyone searches online for tutorials on.

I created it in Word. It’s not fancy. It’s in black and white with no graphics. The emphasis I chose is content, not outward creativity. I am a writer, not a graphic designer. I don’t have time to make it look like a business form, nor is that my goal. Sure, I could try running it through PowerPoint or whatever, but done is better than pending. I encourage you to not obsess over making it perfect.

Repeat after me….

Get to work on creating that freebie document or packet so when you install that pop-up and start collecting emails, you are instantly ready to roll. You’ll be able to set the sequence so all new subscribers are emailed the freebie the second they hit the enter button! (I personally set it to arrive two minutes after, so I don’t look too needy, lol.)

Recap: create that lead magnet freebie. Right now.

Feel free to share your pop-up link below so we can sign up to your mailing list and, and see your finished product! Include your link in the comments, or tag #31DayAuthorPlatformChallege and we’ll do our best to find it!

Don’t forget to subscribe (enter yer email in top right column) to be sent these daily tasks directly; you won’t have to remember to keep checking back every day. I don’t want anyone falling behind!