The Artist Roadmap

Why You Need A Lead Magnet


What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is something of value you give away for free on your website in exchange for an email address.

You might think that sounds a bit too 'marketing' for artists, but I will show you how it can help you grow your customer base. Depending on where you are on your journey, if you have a website, then it's a great idea to start building an email list. This is a list of people who are interested in you and your work. They may be past customers, current customers, those who are interested but haven't bought yet, as well as your own tribe of supportive friends and family. 

Once you have a few people on your list, you can send out an email newsletter once a month or so, to let people know what you are up to. You can share new works, let them know about upcoming shows or appearances, or anything you like really.

Rather than having a generic 'subscribe to my newsletter' call to action on your website which doesn't sound very inspiring, offering a free opt-in gift or 'lead magnet' can be an incentive to sign up.

I am currently offering a Buyer's Guide to guide people through the process of buying an original painting. The guide is attached to a welcome email, so when people sign up they automatically get this email and can download the guide without me having to do anything. 

You need to offer something of value your audience will love, something they would be happy to exchange their email address for.

The bonus?

So few artists are doing this, that you’ll gain an instant competitive advantage by creating a free offer and getting it up on your website. You want it to be high quality, but your initial lead magnet does not need to be perfect.


Here are a few things a great opt-in offer will do for you:

  • It will establish trust, goodwill and reciprocity with your audience.
  • It will demonstrate you care about your audience and understand their needs.
  • It will give your audience a no-risk way to get to know you and your business.
  • If done correctly, it will generate interest and desire for your creative offerings.


So how do you choose what to create as your lead magnet?

  • The first and most important part of the process is to figure out who your ideal customers are. To create a really compelling free gift that gets email sign-ups, you first need to know who you’re trying to attract.
  • Once you know who you want to attract, you need to figure out what they struggle with or what they’re looking for. Create your free gift for this target audience based on a problem they want to solve or a pleasure they want to gain.

You may be thinking that with art, there is no pressing problem to provide a solution to. It's a luxury item. What you’re doing with your lead magnet is creating something valuable and relevant to your target audience. People want things that make them feel good, look good, get to be the one who 'discovered' something or someone unique and interesting and cool. Fine art and other creative offerings fall into the 'pleasure they want to gain' category.

Some ideas include exclusive/insider access, a peek behind the curtain at your artistic process, special offers and discounts, inspiration, information and advice, free training, your insights on creativity, free shipping?

Another way to think about this is to figure out what people who buy your work need related to what you sell. For example, jewellery designers might give away a beautifully designed PDF with '10 Must-Know Tips for Cleaning and Storing Your Jewellery' or similar.



If you’re trying to build relationships with collectors, share the kind of information that generates interest and desire for your offerings.

  • Storytelling around your art is a very effective way to do this. We humans respond to stories in a much more visceral way than we do facts and information, so an opt-in offer that taps into this dynamic could work well. For example, a video that shows you working in your studio and discussing your creative process, or displaying works in progress while explaining your inspiration for them, or simply telling the story of how you got started.
  • Think about the questions people ask most often at your shows and openings and create a beautifully designed PDF that answers these questions.
  • Create a resource guide for collectors. This could be a simple PDF that shares 10 tips about collecting fine art. This works because you’re helping your audience with something they already do – collect art – related to what you sell. 
  • From the exclusive/insider access category, you could offer an invitation to a private Facebook group where you share works in progress, upcoming show information, and special Facebook-only promotions. The key here is to give away access to a private, invitation-only Facebook group, not your regular Facebook business page.
  • Alternatively, you could tease getting on your email list by offering subscriber only access to special promotions, along with information about upcoming events and artist appearances, exclusive access to studio previews, and first look at new works.
  • You could offer a nicely designed gallery and event calendar, delivered digitally. 
  • To make things really simple, if you have a blog you update fairly regularly, you could simply offer to send your blog posts via email. If you go this route, you want to be sure to package and position it to make it something special, for example, by calling it, 'The Insider Club Letter,' 'Collector’s Club Updates,' or similar.
  • If you have illustration or graphic design skills, you could give away a free set of graphics, such as a set of social media icons.
  • High resolution image for desktop wallpaper.
  • Free shipping offer on orders over a certain amount.


Bonus Tip: Add a little bit of copy to the description of your opt-in giveaway that says something like, 'plus insider news I only share with my subscribers,' or, 'plus weekly tips and inspiration I only share with email subscribers,' or similar. This little technique will boost the desire for your giveaway.

And there you have it – plenty of ideas to get you started on brainstorming your own lead magnet!



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