No matter how much (or how little) experience you have in the online business world, by now you will already know the importance of building an email list and why a lead magnet is such a great way to do it.

But, as an online service provider, list building can be tricky if you are using the same strategies as infopreneurs or digital product sellers. In fact, I am willing to state right here, right now, that if you are using those strategies, you are setting yourself up for disappointment when it comes to finding dream clients!

In this blog post I am going to share 3 common mistakes I see A LOT of online service providers make with their opt in offer, and why you should avoid these pitfalls if you want to build a list of potential dream clients who will wait in line to book your services.

Let’s dive in…

Mistake #1: Using Your Service & Pricing Guide As A Lead Magnet

When you are promoting a paid offer online, you should always make sure that important information regarding your offer is easily accessible. This becomes even more necessary with services because people are less likely to jump through hoops to learn about a service, especially if they don’t know you.

I’ve seen many online service providers use their service & pricing guide as an opt in – this is a big mistake for two reasons…

  1. Your service & pricing guide does not offer any sort of value to your audience and does not give you the opportunity to build trust with people who come into contact with your business. A lead magnet should be a gift to help your audience overcome a struggle they are facing, which would in turn position you as an expert in your niche. Your service & pricing guide could be delivered in a later email in your welcome sequence once the new subscriber is more familiar with you and your business, but it should NOT replace an incentive meant to encourage people to subscribe to your email list.
  2. Asking people to subscribe to your list in order to receive your service & pricing guide is making it harder for potential clients to work with you. Nobody wants to have to jump through hoops to hire someone – it just sets a bad tone for what it may be like to work with that person. Your service & pricing guide should be easily accessible so that potential clients can effortlessly find information about your packages and how to go about hiring you. 

If you are stuck on what to create as a lead magnet, I wrote a post over here with 3 ideas for online service based businesses to get you going. 

Mistake #2: Using Discovery Calls As An Opt In

Ever since I started offering my services online back in 2018, I never, EVER needed to use discovery calls to find dream clients. It wasn’t something I was comfortable doing, there was always a time difference between myself and clients, I was adjusting to my new role as a mother and found it hard to make time (and gather the energy) for calls. I also worried about spending time on something that may or may not convert into a client signing up for my services – which, if you ask those who do offer discovery calls, happens A LOT!

Yet, discovery calls were the norm for online service providers…

The reason I believe it is a mistake to offer a discovery call as an opt in is that you are giving up your valuable time to someone who can easily turn around and not even give you a second thought. 

Yes, it is a good way to find out if you and the potential client is a good fit and it can really benefit your new subscriber, but if you know exactly who your dream client is, if you have a solid brand in place, if you clearly state your boundaries and working conditions, and if you have a seamless onboarding process ready to book new clients, then discovery calls are not necessary. 

Instead of dedicating 30 to 60 minutes on a few different people each week, you can pour that energy into creating a super helpful lead magnet that will offer true value to your potential client and give you back that time to spend on something that really needs your attention. You can offer value without being 100% hands on – as you would need to be with a discovery call!

Mistake #3: Creating An Opt In That Competes With Your Service

This is a BIG NO-NO because when you create a freebie that directly competes with your main offer, you are building a list of subscribers who are unlikely to hire you. You are attracting subscribers who would like to DIY instead of outsource – not a potential paying client.

So what do I mean when I talk about an opt in that competes with your main offer?

Say for example you are a WordPress Web Designer. A lead magnet which directly competes with your main offer would be a training that shows your audience how to DIY their own website.

Or if you are a graphic designer, an opt in that competes with your service would be a guide on how your audience can create their own logo.

Your lead magnet should not give your audience a win that you are meant to be providing them with through your service, otherwise, why should they hire you?

Your lead magnet can however give your audience a win in something they’ll need to do BEFORE taking the step in hiring you, or it could help them overcome an obstacle you find many of your clients struggle with that is not necessarily part of the service you provide in your packages.

Creating and using a lead magnet to grow your email list is just the beginning of building an audience filled with potential dream clients! Now, you need to nurture your list so that your subscribers see you as an expert in your niche and you become their go-to-gal. 

Having an email list will do you no good if you are not consistently providing your subscribers with helpful, value-packed content that actually benefits them in some way. And, since they’ve already taken that crucial first step of signing up for your list to get hold of your lead magnet, you KNOW that they are interested in what you have to say.

So now you just need to show up and say it!

However, if you are not careful, this can very quickly slip to the bottom of your priority list when you are so wrapped up with client work – ask me, I know!

This is exactly why I created this awesome resource to help you prepare 2 months of email newsletters to nurture your subscribers into becoming your dream clients…