After you’ve poured hard work and dollars into your coaching website, the last thing you want is for your website to sit there collecting cyber-dust. You want your site working for your coaching business all the time – pre-qualifying prospects, developing relationships with new leads, and possibly, selling your products and services.
Is your coaching website doing that for you?
Pull up your website (or if you’re starting on yours now, take note), and run through this checklist to see if your site needs a makeover.
1. Does your home page do these things?
Clearly identify and pre-qualify your target market.
When you address your niche market directly on your website, they feel like they have arrived home. If you’re leaving your website generic, hoping to address everyone, or if you have a broad coaching market, your site will be much less effective as a marketing tool and slow your success.
Show that you have viable solutions to their unique problems.
Speak your niche market’s language. Step into their shoes. If you don’t already know about them, research their “pain points” – what keeps them up at night, the elusive results they’ve been trying to achieve. Then, instead of talking about what coaching can do for them, talk about how you can help them get where they want to go.
This is where you’ll experience the advantages of focusing on one very narrow niche market. When it comes to attracting ideal clients to your coaching practice, specificity wins and generalities lose. If your prospects can tell that you know exactly what’s up for them, you’ll build trust more quickly and they will invest in your services more readily. Plus referrals will come naturally.
Convey your brand and authentic voice.
A custom website is always preferable to one of those do-it-yourself templates because you’ll be able to create a look and feel that’s uniquely you. Your brand (logo, colors, face, name, title, tag line) speaks volumes about who you are, and helps your ideal client connect with you. Include a professional (but not too stuffy looking) headshot on your banner and add in a 30 second audio or video clip of you to build trust. Audioacrobat is an easy-to-use, economical service for recording and storing audio. YouTube is the best place to store your videos.
Give them a no-risk opportunity to experience your magic.
Here’s the thing… no one buys life coaching through a website. First, you must build trust with them. Freebies, such as free reports, assessments – something you’ve created that provides relevant value to your niche market and shows you off well – will help them warm up to your offerings. Capture their email address with a web form to deliver the freebie, and then follow up with thoughtful, compelling autoresponders. Aweber, an essential, inexpensive service for coaches, provides the best delivery for your email blasts.
Invite them to take another step with you.
When you’re ready to market your services, make your call to action impossible to miss. Be direct. Sample sessions, relevant upcoming programs and products — make sure these options are teased on the home page and fleshed out on a linked page.
2. Does your “About You” page connect with your ideal clients?
Share a story that explains what led you to focus on your coaching market.
Make your bio into an inspirational short story (500 words or less) with three or four titled paragraphs. Make every word relevant to your niche market.
Build a bond of trust while you raise your credibility.
Long and formal CVs will bore them. Weave your credentials and relevant previous experience into your story. Put certifications, degrees and other relevant information at the bottom or in a side box.
3. Is your site technologically savvy?
Use search engine optimization (SEO) to attract the right leads to you
Again, understanding your market will make it easier for you to attract visitors to your site. Use keywords that your target market would use to find help for their unique problems. Remember, few people will search for coaching. So use keywords that describe solutions to their problems. Then, make sure the text on your website pages uses those keywords, and that the title and other tags are set up using those key words. Hire an SEO consultant or a web designer that really “gets” SEO – and measure their results.
Track the hits on your site and where they are coming from.
Google Analytics provides lots of usable data that’s easy to read. Get your consultant or SEO-savvy web designer to set it up for you. Track online sales and traffic sources (posted articles, search, reciprocal links, or ads). Now you’re really making your website work!
Automate online sales processes with a shopping cart system.
This may be a phase two addition to your coaching website. Add this when you are ready to sell products and group services, register people for programs, or offer an affiliate program. Professional Cart Solutions (also known as 1 Shopping Cart) serves the coaching industry and other entrepreneurs.
If you’re starting from scratch on your coaching website, or it’s time for a tune up, I have a resource you might be interested in. My self-study program, Client Winning Websites & Blogs, walks you step by step through how to pre-qualify your ideal clients, manage the web design process, and launch an effective blog. Included are samples of compelling content, examples of working websites, ace web designers and other resources.