The Power Of Incentives: How To Generate Leads In 4 Basic Steps

how to attract leads

“An incentive is a bullet, a key: an often tiny object with astonishing power to change a situation.”

-Steven Levitt, co-author of best-selling book Freakonomics.

Understanding incentives gives you leverage. It’ll allow you to generate more influence, profit, and impact on your business.

And I want to share how you can use incentives to grow your business.

I was thinking about 20% of lead generation activities that provide you with 80% of results.

And one of the things that kept coming up for me was this idea.

From a human psychology perspective, incentives drive ALL human behavior.

If you’ve ever been confused about why someone does anything, look at the underlying incentives behind-the-curtains.

The benefit of incentives boils down to persuasion and influence.

If you know what your audience cares about, you can provide the correct incentive to nudge them to action.

For example, a common incentive for generating leads online is using a “lead magnet” or a free gift. This is something valuable that an audience can receive at a low-level of investment.

Even though I’ll use lead generation to illustrate this persuasion principle, an incentive can be anything. The key is in understanding what your audience wants AND needs.

Once you understand this, you can unlock action.

You’ll be able to generate more leads and make a significant impact through your business.

What Makes Incentives So Powerful?

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Author and entrepreneur Stephen Covey used an analogy he called the “emotional bank account.”

So in any relationship, both people make “deposits” or “withdrawals.” Deposits add value to the relationship, while withdrawals take value. Value is defined by what each partner cares about.

Your bank account balance represents the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship.

If there are too many withdrawals, then there will be a low level of trust in the relationship.

But if both people are making deposits consistently, they’ll have a larger bank account balance and higher trust (a much healthier relationship). 

This is a great model for personal relationships.

But it’s also a great model for the relationship you have with your audience and customers!

Imagine that you and your audience share an emotional bank account.

You make deposits by adding value (fulfilling their wants and needs).

And they make deposits by investing their time, effort, and money to receive this value.

Remember, it’s a two-way street! If someone is constantly taking withdrawals or NOT making deposits, the relationship will be weaker (and lack trust).

But why is this so powerful for your business?

Because by having a higher “balance” in this emotional bank account, you build more trust with your audience.

And you need trust if you want to incentivize someone to join your community and become a lead.

Invite Your Ideal Prospect To Invest

An incentive is an invitation for someone to invest (and make deposits into this emotional bank account).

A relationship doesn’t really begin until both people have invested.

And by incentivizing someone to take action, you’ve started your relationship on a strong note (if you’re adding value).

We can then use the psychology of reciprocity and investment to nurture our relationships with our audience.

And here’s the best part.

Having a higher “balance” in the emotional bank account compounds the leve lof trust over-time.

By having more trust, you reinforce more investment into your brand (thereby creating more trust!)

Read here about “reinforcing feedback loops” to see this principle in action across multiple domains.

The 4 Steps For Using Incentives To Attract Leads With Lead Magnets!

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So by now, we know that incentives are essential for persuasion and attracting leads.

One of the most typical incentives in online business is lead magnets.

So how can we use incentives to attract leads and grow your business online?

Step 1: What value can you provide?

This is the most important part. If you don’t know what your audience cares about, it doesn’t matter what you do after this step.

Here are some questions to ask yourself (or better yet… ask people who represent your ideal customer):

  • Question 1: What does your ideal customer want to avoid? Why?
  • Question 2: What does your ideal customer want to achieve? Why?

This step is complete when you have a handful of answers for each.

Step 2: Package your value into a lead magnet

Once you understand what your audience cares about, it’s time to package it up into something you can deliver.

You want this to be easy to set up and easy for your audience to use.

Here are some common examples:

  • eBook
  • Training video
  • Mini-course
  • Checklist
  • Etc

Once you found a “package” that suits your lead magnet, execute and create version 1.0 (it doesn’t need to be perfect!)

Step 3: Deliver lead magnet to your audience

It’s time to deliver your lead magnet.

As yourself, “Where is my ideal customer?”

Once you figure out where they’re congregating, experiment with different marketing “hooks” that incentivize them to get your lead magnet.

Once you know where your audience is AND you’ve begun persuading them to invest in your lead magnet, you’ve completed this step.

Step 4: Ascend the relationship

The reason we incentivized your audience to take action was to receive their contact info (email, Facebook Group Membership, or other list-building source).


Because you’ll want a platform that allows you to follow-up with them.

Following up is how you nurture the relationship with your audience.

This step is complete when you consistently follow-up with your audience by adding value and incentivizing them to invest more (ultimately buying your products/services).

Your incentive has two benefits:

  1. It incentivizes them to invest in your lead magnet (via your marketing).
  2. It incentivizes them to continue their relationship with you because your lead magnet actually helped them.

What If You Utilized Powerful Incentives In Your Business?

Imagine that you’ve figured out what your audience cares about.

You know you can really help them through your business (and become more profitable through the process).

So you begin using powerful incentives that motivate your audience to take action.

You begin building your audience. Generating leads. Customers. And more…

This is the power of incentives.

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