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How to Create a Lead Magnet PDF: Step by Step for Beginners

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    OK, so you’ve probably read that you need a lead magnet and you want to implement one on your blog. The main way of delivering a lead magnet, in media form, is via PDF so let’s learn how to create one today using free tools.

    Note: Steps 1 to 6 of this tutorial will teach you how to just create the PDF quickly and neatly, in case you don’t need to learn how to promote it as well. You can skip the steps after those.

    Here are the Step-by-Step Instructions

    Decide Your PDF Contents

    The first thing you need to do is decide what you’re going to put in your lead magnet.

    Yeah, I get that you probably want to create a PDF, but you need to decide what the PDF is going to be about.

    I’m going to make a recommendation here which is to not make it long-form text. The easiest strategy to roll out when you just getting started is to use what’s called a content upgrade.

    What is a content upgrade lead magnet? A content upgrade is a lead magnet offer that helps the user get more out of their existing reading. For example, a checklist based on an instructional article, like the one you are reading. Or, it’s a list of ideas that they can use to implement a strategy being described in an article. It gives them something extra to engage with that’s directly related to the piece that they’re reading now.

    The other thing to consider is where you will put the lead magnet.

    Lead magnets at great at the top of the funnel, meaning you should be targeting people who are relatively new to your topic, they are not necessarily aware of your product or service, and their exploring problems related to it.

    The strategy here is that you’ll want to nurture those people by providing content after you get the email that helps them to consider and decide upon products and services like yours.

    So with these two things in mind, consider what articles you’re going to put the lead magnet on, and how you can upgrade those articles with an easy piece of content like a checklist to offer an extension on the existing topic.

    Here I recommend going with a checklist for a how-to article (just like this one) because everybody loves checklists, and they are basically a summary of the steps you describe in a particular article, and they make very good printable assets. And, they are relatively fluff-free.

    Now you will have the topic and the contents decided.

    Let’s create it.

    Create a Free Beacon Account

    There are many tools out there for creating PDFs, but I’m going to recommend that you create a free beacon account here because it will help you create the PDF to use with any tool you like, but also you can choose to promote it using Beacon.

    It’s free and offers you the ability to create a form so that you can easily embed the lead capture anywhere you want straight after creating it.

    Create a Beacon Account

    Create a New Lead Magnet

    Now that you’re inside the application, go to the top right-hand corner and click the yellow create new lead magnet button.

    Choose Lead Magnet from the dropdown list as you can see below:

    Choose Your Format and Template

    Here you will be presented with about 7 different options on the type of lead magnets you can create.

    Choose which type of lead magnet you will create.

    You can use the blank template here if you want to create something else that’s not listed, but I suggest trying the checklist to start because it’s the easiest to do.

    Now, choose a template for your checklist.

    I choose something as simple as possible, that I can easily customize for being printer-friendly.

    Edit The Contents

    Great so now you’ll be presented with a page that shows a preview of your lead magnet.

    Click onto each of the elements on the page to start customizing the text first.

    Then, click through each of the items and change their colors and fonts to match your brand.

    If at any time you wanna see what the document looks like without the editing stuff on the left, click the preview tab at the very top of the screen. It will open a new window with your PDF in it.

    Publish Via Inline Form

    Once you have finished customizing your design, make sure to click the yellow Save button at the top left.

    Then, click the publish tab.

    Here you will have a bunch of options on how you can promote the lead magnet. For this tutorial, we’re going to click inline form.

    What is an inline form? An inline form simply means a form that you can place in the middle of text anywhere on your website. You will get a code that you can copy and paste and wherever that code is it will show a little form to collect leads in return for the PDF you just created.

    Note: if you just want the PDF, click the Download PDF option as seen in the screenshot below 👇.

    After you clicked the inline form, click Use Beacon Resource.

    This will give you the option to select the PDF you just created before.

    Choose the lead magnet PDF you just created.

    Choose a Form Template

    Now you can choose a form template to use that will show up on your website anywhere you place a code that you get from Beacon.

    The code is coming after you finish customizing this so don’t worry bout that yet.

    I suggest picking the most simple design possible so that it is easy to customize.

    Now, add a name for your form.

    Edit the Form Contents

    Using the same process as before, edit all the text in your form starting from the top and working your way down to the bottom.

    Don’t click the button itself, click the button tab on the accordion on the left-hand side.

    Click the red Save button as you go.

    Now, edit all the colors on your form so they match your brand.

    Next, click the Thank You Tab at the top (see below) and customize the thank you page text.

    Click Save as you go.

    Finally, click the Confirmation tab at the top.

    Now you should edit the delivery email contents. This is the email that gets sent to people once they complete the form you are creating here.

    Click the red Save button as you go.

    Copy & Paste The Embed Code

    Now you’re on the final stretch.

    Click the Publish tab at the end of the menu at the top.

    This will generate a short code that you can now copy and paste anywhere on your website to show the form.

    Now copy the code, and paste it on your website anywhere you want the form to appear.

    If you are using WordPress, you can use the HTML block, and paste the code inside that.

    Now the page should have something that looks like this:

    Example of a lead magent

    What To Do Next

    Congratulations, you should have your first lead magnet created and implemented on your website!

    Now you can promote your pages where your lead capture form is shown. You can also review the performance of your lead magnet on the Lead Capture Forms dashboard in Beacon.

    Example of the performance of your lead magnet

    Written By:

    Benjamin Boman
    Benjamin is a freelance marketing consultant and the host of the Benjamin Boman Podcast. Benjamin helps service firm clients with data-backed marketing plans and strategies, lead conversion rate optimization and marketing outsourcing.

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