Ep 46 – 6 Steps to Ace Your Coaching Website ‘About’ Page

This episode is the 7th in the series called Client Winning Coaching Websites

In past episodes, I’ve covered

It’s worth listening to the whole series because we’ve been building up a clear picture of exactly what a client-winning coaching website looks and sounds like copy-wise.

If you know your target audience well and have drilled down your niche, you can follow the series to create or improve your website so it attracts and pre-sells clients to work with you.

If you know right now that your coaching website is not going to help you build the business you want full of ideal clients who pay you well, let’s have a Strategy Session.

I’ll review your site and share my recommendations based on two decades of expertise about client-winning websites.

If you’re stuck, reach out. One call can lift you out of confusion on any topic so you can surge forward.

Writing Copy Is An Art 

And there is some science to it as well.

I help my clients write all of their copy in my VIP program Coaching Business Breakthrough. And by the time we’ve finished their business foundation, they know how to write great copy on their own. It took me far longer to learn.

When I started as a coach I had a lot of ideas about what made for good writing. Most of them came from school. And then, over the years, I had to slowly unlearn the stodgy rules in order to learn to write compelling copy. The kind of copy that inspires reading and taking action.

Your ABOUT page is a critical part of your website. And the truth is, all web copy is important because in relatively few words you have to strategically plan for one effect … to inspire action. Copy does that through relevance and building trust.

Not So Much About You

There’s a temptation to talk a lot about yourself and coaching on this page but that won’t help you attract and enroll clients.

When an ideal prospect lands on your website, you want them to feel totally at home and as if you are speaking directly to them. This is true for every page, even the ABOUT page.

It’s actually less about you and more about them.

People will go to the ABOUT page of your site when your other pages have made them curious.

They want to know — can this person help me overcome my biggest challenges on the way to reaching my biggest goal?

How you’ll answer that question might surprise you …

Illustrate how well you understand them.

They don’t want to read a CV. In fact, credentials are the last thing they care about. And that’s why those go last.

Jump In and Write It

So what do you write on your ABOUT page? 

Your story as it led to serving your audience. But tell it in a relatively ego-less way.

I’m about to walk you through step by step how to write this copy. To make this easier for you to visualize, check out the website of a recent client of mine. You can read her About copy and see how it fits this approach.

Go to Cultivating Resilient Teens, click on the tab in the navigation bar Meet Shawna.

Shawna, thank you for letting me share your fabulous website with other coaches.

1. Write 1 or 2 short evocative sentences that speak to the very heart of why your web visitors are on your site now. Your goal is to help them to feel immediately understood by you.2. Write a short paragraph of 2 – 3 sentences to further connect and relate to your audience. Bring in a few of the top emotional challenges plus desired outcomes related to your niche.If you’ve done market research, you’ll be able to mine that information for highly relevant words and phrases that will build a sense of trust.

3. Then, write 2 – 3 short paragraphs infused with a bit of vulnerability that show why you understand them. Either you’ve been where they are now or you have a unique perspective on it. Pull in a detail or two about your background or skills that makes you a great resource for them without being salesy or mentioning your program.

4. Segue into a short paragraph or two that explains why you created your company (name your brand) and how you help people like them (insert your Core Message/Unique Benefit Statement).

5. End with a final and more personal paragraph about what you do when you’re not serving this audience. Make it light and relatable. Add in something funny or touching.

6. Lastly, put your training, education and any relevant credentials or work history into box titled Background & Education. Eliminate any references that are too old or not on target with why this audience is on your site.

To see another equally excellent client-winning website and a slightly different approach to writing copy for the About page go to Your Business Unchained and click on Meet Audra.

Audra is another past client who generously gave me permission to share her website with you. Thank you, Audra!

Either approach is effective and one of these will work well for your About page. By the way, some people use the words Meet instead of About in their navigation bar for this page. It’s up to you.

In the Next Episode: 5 Rules to Write Better Copy for Your Coaching Business

And I’ll have a highly valuable GIVEAWAY for you with all the copywriting rules and tips I’ve curated over 2 decades. Don’t miss it!

Ep 45 – Custom Coaching Website Vs. DIY Template with Guest Nichole Betterley

Find the full transcript here of my interview with Nichole Betterley, web designer extraordinaire for coaches.

Don’t forget to check out Nichole’s free guide for you below, 5 Things for Powerful Coaching Websites.

Nichole Betterley is the Owner and Chief Web Wiz at “N” Powered Websites. She helps coaches, consultants, and other solopreneur service providers create websites that get noticed, get used, and get clients. She has more than 13 years of experience with what works for the ever-moving target of powerful websites and online marketing. Nichole lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, daughter, and the obligatory, work-from-home cat (even though she’s really a dog person at heart).

Rhonda Hess: Hey coaches, I am so excited to share a special person in my business life with you. And this is the sixth episode of Client Winning Coaching Websites.

Today we’re going to be talking about the difference between a DIY website, one that you do yourself using something like Wix or Squarespace or having a professional designer create a custom website for you.

There are a bunch of differences and I want you to know what they are so that as you’re making this decision you can go in with your eyes open.

The special guest that I have for today is my friend and colleague, Nichole Betterley. She and I have known each other … I think for 13 years or something like that now. (Nichole: Yeah!)

Nichole runs a company called NPoweredsites.com. Nichole, you call yourself the Chief Web Wiz. Tell us a little bit about you.

Nichole Betterley: Thank you so much for inviting me on your podcast to begin with. I’m just, I’m so excited to be here and to talk with you about this. I’ve been a web developer for 13 years now. Actually, you were one of my very first clients and I just hold our relationship so specially in my heart.

I came to be a web developer. I have a long history of loving technology and coming out of college I got a job as a developer at a big corporation. And like so many of my clients are, you know, after 11 years of that, I, I totally burnt out on that. And so now I’m corporate refugee.

And, I went on and didn’t quite know what to do. My husband and I started this little oatmeal business where we were making pre-packaged oatmeal, selling them at farmer’s markets and craft fairs.

I had to build the website so we could sell them online. And so I went down this whole rigmarole of figuring all of that out and designing a site and setting up, you know, the ecommerce platform and everything. And I really, really loved doing that a heck of a lot more than I actually loved making the oatmeal!

And so, you know, that’s kinda how I fell into my calling here and just discovering my love for it and transitioning into being a web developer.

Early on as I was kind of searching around for what I wanted to do after my corporate life, I did take some coaching certification classes and I kind knew coaching itself wasn’t quite right for me, but I just loved the people. I loved the philosophy, you know, I loved getting coached myself.

And so coaches just turned out to be, you know, an ideal client for me. I’ve been doing this for 13 years and love helping people. I think I’ve blossomed from being just a developer and a designer to more of a consultant and a partner. I’m working with people now and I am just so grateful for where I’m at and what I get to do every day.

Rhonda Hess: Oh, that is such a fun story. It explains a lot. It’s funny, because I did not know that you had taken coach training.

I always recommend you to my clients because I’ve been through lots and lots of web designers and I’ve never found one nearly as good as you. That is so great to know.

So tell us a little bit about who your favorite types of clients are to work with Nichole.

Nichole Betterley: Oh Gosh. You send me the best clients … coaches that work with you. It’s somebody who … the thing that I value the most … is the clarity that they have about their business. The clarity and the energy and the enthusiasm.

So when somebody shows up and they are super sure about who they’re working with and what they’re helping them with and they’ve got that sparkle and that energy about them, that that just comes from knowing that you’re in the right place and, and, and you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. That is just, it’s contagious.

And I just love those kinds of clients once they’ve hit that point. And once they found that for themselves, because that’s really special to work with. And it helps us.

When I create a website with somebody, I really believe that we co-create the website, just like coaches co-create the outcome with their clients. And when somebody brings that sparkle with them, we end up with this really amazing website at the end because of what we brought together.

Rhonda Hess: Well, first of all, I’m honored to hear that. I’m really glad you like the people that I send you. They like you. What I always hear back from them is: “I’m, like, besties with Nichole already” after they first meet you. They are so enthused to work with you.

And there’s that real sense of partnership. I also feel really lucky that I get to be in on it to a certain degree because usually when my clients work with you, they’re still working with me. And so I get to see the first designs before they’re finalized. I get to see everything as it’s going along and it’s a very  exciting unfolding.

Here’s a question for you, and you’ve already kind of partially answered this, but I want to be really clear with the people that are listening.

What do you think makes a client winning coaching website?

Nichole Betterley: What I have discovered over the years and, and the websites that I see actually work really well for coaches to in, in getting clients. They’ve got a couple of things that are, you know, that they have in common.

  • One of them is they’re talking to and about their client using their client’s language.
  • The website’s not about the coach. I mean, almost the entire website is not about the coach.
  • Even the About page really needs to connect with the client and the site visitor. The words and the branding, your company name, all of that immediately speaks to the client.
  • And then the other big thing is there’s a clear next step on just about every page for a client to take.

And not just a next step, like, oh, go read this next page. It’s the next step of, you know, this is how to take the next step with me. And it’s not even usually contact me. It’s usually, an email opt in something kind of a powerful that is a clear next step for the site visitor to take and, and kind of get them into your funnel— that process of starting to interact with you and build that relationship with you.

And, and then they’ve got things on the back end of that too, that continue that, that journey for the client. They have processes and systems in place, emails that go out that build that relationship, invitations that go out, they’re putting regular content out.

On top of that, they’re out there in the world sending people, driving that traffic back to their website. So it’s like a whole ecosystem that they start to build and have in place. And, and those are the sites that I see that actually work really well.

Rhonda Hess: That was beautifully said. And you’re totally in alignment with what I say to coaches as well. And what I have found is worked so well on my own website.

I’m very lucky that I continually get clients from my website, people I have never met before, hire me through my website and that is the beauty way to go. That’s what we all want. The things that Nichole just laid out are pretty much the same things that I laid out on episode 42.

If you have not listened to that episode, listen to that after this one because it it lays out all the very specific things that make a coaching website claim winning.

I wanted to hear it from Nichole’s perspective. She’s on the other end of the table, if you will, and usually by the time I send clients to you, Nichole, I’ve done 3 of the 4 phases of the work that I do with my clients.

So there is a lot of prep that goes on before the web design process happens, before the content gets put on the page. And then that means that the content that’s put on the page is highly valuable. It has that piece of clarity you were talking about.

By the way, I just wanted to mention, Nichole has a fantastic blog. I recommend that you go to her website and sign up to get her blog on a regular basis. I read every word of her blogs and share them out because I learn so much from them. Find Nichole’s blog at https://npoweredsites.com.

What’s the web platform that you prefer and why?

Nichole Betterley: I have been building websites almost exclusively on WordPress for just about the entire 13 years. I think you were one of my very first WordPress sites too.

I occasionally have a client that will come to me who has a Wix or Squarespace site and wants support. And every now and again I’ll take them on because they need just little bits here and there. So I have experience with both of the platforms.

I don’t want to knock Wix and Squarespaces of the worlds because for what they provide they’re pretty good solutions. They can be. And I’ve seen some really beautiful websites built on them, so I know that it’s, it’s possible.

But what I love about WordPress, it’s OPEN SOURCE software and what open source means is it’s free. The software itself is free. And it’s built almost entirely by this huge community of largely volunteer people who just love it so much that they give their time to it to build it up and support it and make it what it, what they want it to be.

They always have a project team that’s guiding the next release. But I mean, literally thousands and thousands of people can contribute to WordPress in so many ways. It’s this incredible community of people that are so supportive.

And WordPress is very much like coaching in a lot of ways it’s just the comradery of the people that are in it and the giving attitude that they have. There’s this whole community and they just put so much love and so much effort and energy into it and it’s grown and it continues to grow.

There are new releases of WordPress about every 3 months and a major new release almost at least once a year. So it’s not going anywhere. It powers over 1/3 of the websites on the Internet today, which, if you think about that, is just a phenomenal number of websites.

Just about anything you could imagine you want to do with your website, somebody has imagined it and built a solution for it. The software itself is free, but the ad-ons (plugins) are usually very reasonably priced. And so you can build an incredibly robust website that does e-commerce, membership sites, learning management for not that much money.

Things that had cost tens of thousands of dollars, you can build for a couple of hundred dollars in software and you know, course developer time takes more than that.

WordPress is such an incredibly powerful extendable system that your WordPress site can be literally whatever you need it to be.

Whereas with, with sites like Squarespace and Wix, you are limited to what they offer you. So, if you’re using Aweber for example, Squarespace doesn’t even have the necessary ability to integrate with Aweber. They integrate with MailChimp really easily. And so it requires custom coding to get that on your website.

If you don’t use what they have provided a solution for, you’re having to build custom anyhow. It’s not very easy. And, you can’t build a membership site on Squarespace or Wix. You’re just really limited by those platforms with what their offerings are. And if that’s where you’re at with your business, that’s totally fine.

But if you’ve got grand visions for your coaching business and have ideas of where it’s going to go, WordPress is a much better foundation to grow with you.

Rhonda Hess:  You’re saying everything that I have felt. I love OPEN SOURCE. I always feel really excited when I can be a patron of an open source software. And I just think WordPress is so cool.

My site, which you have helped me with all along, has done all of those things. We’ve had a membership site on there. We’ve put online training on there. There have just been so many things that we’ve added with plugins onto the original WordPress site. So it’s, it’s just imminently expandable.

I will honestly say, I hate to see my clients go with Wix or Squarespace. If they really want to have what I call a going concern, and they want to have a business that’s going to last them for 5 – 10 years or 2 – 3 decades.

I just think we never know where our business is going to take us. And that’s one of the beautiful things about being an entrepreneur is you twist, you turn, you pivot. And I love the way that WordPress can do that too.

And I just loved your enthusiasm with that. Nichole, you’re, you got really going. You’re just like sending out energy rays as you talked about it.

Why do you think it’s important for a coach’s website to be customizable?

What’s the advantage of hiring somebody like you over getting a Wix or Squarespace template and trying to figure it all out on yourself?

Nichole Betterley: I will tell you, I’ll admit straight out. I’m a total DIY person. I love do it yourself. Plumbing projects and electrical projects around my house. And just a couple of weeks ago I refinished my tabletop and so I get the DIY desire and I get why people want to do that and because I’m just right there with you.

But the templates that they offer, and you can do a lot of things with them, but the way I put it is … you’re trying to cram your business into somebody else’s template and your copy, your message into their template as opposed to building your website and your marketing engine around your message and having your website fit your message.

Having a customizable site just gives you — from an aesthetic point of view — you end up with a much more beautiful site because you’re not trying to cram this piece of copy here and, and find a picture that’s supposed to go right there.

It’s just so much less flexible and then the fact that it doesn’t grow with you.

You asked me a question … what do I do with people that come to me with those kinds of websites that they want my help to fix them?

I just don’t even do that anymore because 9 times out of 10, we just need to start from scratch because it was going to be more expensive to fix and to shoehorn in an opt in form here where the site clearly doesn’t really want an opt in form. It’s not designed that way.

One of the things I do in design is pay attention to how your eye travels down the page and make sure that where your eye lands is where we want people to be looking. That’s where you want your opt in form and that’s where you want your call to action and things like that.

So I don’t even take those clients on anymore because it’s not usually really worth their time for me to try and fix the template. I do occasionally take them on to become new custom design clients.

Yeah and I feel bad for them that they have this website that just isn’t going to adjust and grow with them as they learn more about their business, as they change their messaging, as they refine their messaging, as they want to add new features to the site.

You know, they may want to start doing content upgrades and doing more social sharing type things. The templates just don’t really support growing and changing very well without a little good amount of pain I think.

Rhonda Hess:  Well I really appreciate your point about loving DIY. I will tell you that for most of my clients that decide to DIY, it’s mostly about money. They don’t want to invest the money into hiring a web designer.

And while sometimes I think that’s just the choice you have … you’ve got to do that on your own. I will say that it does take something away from the coach as opposed to being one of these wonderful experiences where you learn something new that you’re going to be able to use again down the road.

I find that for most of my clients that DIY their website — who don’t already know what they’re doing — it actually becomes a heartbreak. It becomes this torturous sort of rabbit hole that they had no idea what they were going to experience and they’ve found it very hard to get the kind of support they need without shelling out a lot of money for consultant support.

And so in the long run they end up spending nearly as much as they would if they invested in a designer like you who is going to be kind and friendly.

And the other thing that happens is that when my clients decide to DIY their website, it means that for the time they’re working on their website, we’re not able to move forward on other tasks during the time we worked together. And so very often we don’t get to those other things. They’re sort of robbed of my support during that time.

There’s a mindset that goes with the idea of put your time and effort into things that you know how to do, that you have strengths for, and then be willing to reach out and in best in people who are experts to help you with the other things.

I’ve run my business that way from the get go and it has paid me back so many ways to be generous with myself and say:

“Okay, I don’t have any idea what I’m doing here. And, I’m not going to spend the next 3 months with my head stuck into this trying to figure this out, when I could have this person, who knows what they’re doing, do it so much faster, so much easier.”

So for what it’s worth, I really encourage that. And you’ve said something to me once that you actually charge clients more. What was that about?

Nichole Betterley: Over the past 5 or 6 years, I have come to the very sharp realization that in a good website design your copy absolutely has to come first. And, I say that as a diehard designer and developer. I love the design step. I want to get in and start doing the pictures and the layouts and things like that.

But, if you don’t have good copy up front and we build the design around that good copy. If you don’t have that piece, you are starting 100 yards behind the start line at least. And you know, you’re starting in the hole.

Clients that you send to me that you’ve worked with on their copy, I’m able to offer a substantial discount than what I charge somebody who walks in off the street. Because the person that walks in off the street … they might have a general sense of who their target audience is and what they’re helping them with but we’re usually starting from scratch on that copy.

Yes, somebody who comes to me that hasn’t started with you and doesn’t have that incredibly strong foundation about what they’re doing in their business. They’re not clear about what their signature system is and what their freebie is that they’re going to offer. It’s just, it takes so much more time and so much more money.

I just am so grateful to what you provide them. And they come up with much better at websites at the end. It’s not as hard to get that website to be churning in new clients for them as it is when we’re starting from scratch.

Rhonda Hess:  Yeah. When you mindfully put time and energy into your business rather than slap something up or follow the leader of the other coaches, you know, who may not really know what they’re doing … it’s just amazing the difference that can make.

And at the same time, I’ll just say that it’s all a developmental process. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has to do, do-overs. I have done many. It’s just all about how you like to roll.

It’s so great for me to have a colleague like you that I can send my clients to.

Nichole, I know that you have something that you want to give to the listeners of prosperous coach podcast. Could you tell us about that?

Nichole Betterley:  Absolutely. I have a little freebie of my own called:

5 Things for Powerful Coaching Websites

It’s not super long and it applies whether you’re just starting out with your website or if you’ve got a website. It’s really good to look at your website through this lens and what are these five things that you can over the next week either get really clear about what you want to go up on your website or to actually make changes to your website to make it work better for you.

Rhonda Hess: Nichole, I just want to thank you. This was so much fun. I wish we could just talk all day and I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more from Nichole somewhere down the road.

Nichole Betterley: Thank you!

Rhonda Hess: Okay, everybody well, stay inspired and make things happen.

The Next Episode Is: 6 Steps to Ace Your Coaching Website ‘About’ Page

Ep 44 – Craft a Compelling Benefit Statement for Your Coaching Business

This episode is part of the Client Winning Coaching Website series.  

In the last episode I described 3 approaches to choosing your brand or company name and domain.

Today we’re diving into how to create your benefit statement so that it’s attention-getting. It’s the second thing your web visitors should see on your website to help them feel at home and interested in what else you have to say there.

 You’ve no doubt heard the concept of a Benefit Statement. It’s a single well-crafted sentence that describes specifically how people in your target audience will benefit from working with you.

I like to call it a Core Message because it identifies your coaching niche and all of your other messaging and offers will stem from the concept. But for the purpose of this episode, I’ll stick with Benefit Statement.

If you’ve ever done any live networking, you’ve probably experienced that dreaded moment when it comes around the table to you and you’re supposed to say what you do.

I remember times like that where I literally snapped to attention when someone introduced themselves with style. That’s the power of a well-crafted Benefit Statement.

But I’ve also heard and read a lot of there statements that lack inspiration and won’t help the coach attract clients.

Obviously, you want yours to be highly relevant and compelling to your target audience. 

 So in today’s episode I’ll explain 4 main things:

  1. What makes a Benefit Statement COMPELLING as well as how to avoid that “MEH” response.
  2. What a well-crafted Benefit Statement will do for you and your target audience  plus why it will help you get engagement and enroll clients from your website.
  3.  A bunch of Benefit Statements that are beautifully word-smithed for impact as well as some that are duds so you can see the difference.
  4.  The pre-work and basic formula for crafting your own Benefit Statement.

 So first, what does a Benefit Statement do for you and your prospects?

 Your Benefit Statement is an attention-getter. It’s the centerpiece of your marketing. When you share an effective Benefit Statement, people will understand exactly who you serve and why those people would want to hire you.

You want colleagues and friends who hear it to say:
     “Oh, I know someone who could really use your help!”

You’ll use your statement a lot over the course of your business, including as:

·      The first marketing message in the header of your website.

·      The first sentence that you say to introduce yourself to prospects.

·      The beginning of your “elevator” speech when you share what you do in a networking meeting.

·      One of the first sentences within your “bio” for a presentation or your by-line in any kind of guest article or promotional material.

·      It’s also what you’d say if someone asks what you do for a living.

What Will Your Core Message Do for You?

·      Make it easy for you to articulate how you benefit your target audience.

·      “Weed out” non-ideal prospects. 

·      Spark interest with ideal prospects in seconds.

·      Evoke the response “That’s me!” or “I want help with that!”

·      Invite them to take a step with you.

·      Open potential for an enrolling conversation.

What Will Your Core Message Do for Your Coaching Audience?

·      They feel that you understand them and what they urgently want.

·      They recognize you as a potential go-to resource for them.

·      They begin to know, like and trust you (or move on).

Wouldn’t it be grand to stop having those awkward moments of trying to explain feebly what coaching is and why someone wants it.

In fact, and this is important … the word coaching doesn’t show up at all in a powerful Benefit Statement.

So before I go further let me share some actual Benefit Statements used by successful coaches.

As you listen to these, notice how each begins by specifically naming a target audience, then artfully goes on to name a challenge that target audience has which implies an outcome they want.

I help mompreneurs make more money doing work they love while taking care of priority #1: FAMILY.

I help parents empower their teenage daughters to build confidence, integrity and resilience for all of life’s adventures.

I help authors get their books out of their head and into bookstores.

I help restaurant owners and managers keep the staff and patrons who keep them in business.

I help divorced women move forward with vitality and a positive sense of self.

I help financial planners confidently build a lifetime of value with multi-generational clients.

So, do you see why those would snap the specific audiences mentioned to attention and pique interest?

What Makes for a Top Notch Benefit Statement?

Those were all top notch Benefit Statements. Why?

1.     Its one single sentence streamlined to 10 – 25 words max.

2.     It has the fewest possible prepositional phrases.

3.     The target audience is defined in the first phrase. I help _____

4.     The rest of the sentence names 1 to 2 SPECIFIC challenges and/or desired outcomes for your target audience.

5.     It flows mellifluously off the tongue. In other words it’s easy to say and read.

6.     It’s emotionally evocative.

That last one is critical if you want your statement to inspire action.

The words and concepts are highly relevant to the target audience and the syntax of the sentence is crafted mindfully.

That’s again why it’s really helpful to do market research in the form of info interviews to draw out from individuals in your target audience what specifically they say — how they language pain points and desired outcomes.

If you take nothing else away from today, I want you to hear this: Specificity grabs attention!

That applies to all messaging, whether you’re creating a Benefit Statement, writing web copy, blogs, social posts. You name it.

It’s so tempting to go with bland, broad, vague and abstract words. But those don’t grab attention or inspire action.

I think what happens for a lot for coaches is they want to leave the door open. They want their message to cover all bases. But that’s a misstep. Because broad, vague and abstract words and concepts don’t move people to action.

Let’s look at some of the Benefit Statements I read before one at a time. First, I’m going to dumb it down by replacing specific words with more broad, vague or abstract words. Then I’ll read again the crafted statement.

Here’s an example of how vague and broad misses the mark.

I help women get through divorce and thrive in their new life and relationships.

It’s not bad, just not attention getting. Now here it is with more specificity in the words:

I help divorced women move forward with vitality and a positive sense of self.

Instead of trying to cover everything — thriving in their new life — this statement hones in on vitality and positive sense of self, something all divorced women would want. 

Here’s another Benefit Statement dumbed down with abstraction and vagaries:

I help moms find fulfillment and joy in their businesses and family.

Starting with the audience as moms is too broad. The words ‘fulfillment’ and ‘joy ‘are too abstract, especially when used in a sentence that doesn’t get to a tangible benefit.

Tangible benefits get more attention. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also have emotional benefits included. 

See what I mean with this emotionally evocative Benefit Statement:

I help mompreneurs make more money doing work they love while taking care of priority #1: FAMILY.

See how much more powerful that statement is?

We know the previous statement was talking to moms with businesses but it didn’t make it as clear as it could. And what do business owners want? To make more money doing work they love. But since she’s a mom she also wants to take good care of her family.

Listen to one more set of Benefit Statements that goes from so-so to fantastic!

I help authors write with ease and grace so they can publish their books.

Okay. Not horrible. It names the target audience and something want, but it’s lacking emotionally evocative words. So this one infuses that emotion with a sense of motion:

I help authors get their books out of their head and into bookstores.

The Basic Formula for Your Benefit Statement

It might surprise you to know that a highly effective Benefit Statement is NOT:

·      About you.

·      About your skills.

·      A laundry list of how you help your clients.

·      The same as a tagline. That’s a different device altogether.

When you write your Benefit Statement:

1.     Begin with ‘I help’ or ‘Helping’.

2.     Then describe your target audience in the fewest possible words.

3.     Lastly describe in evocative language a specific tangible outcome they know they want that implies a related challenge they’ll move beyond.

CAUTION: Testing your Benefit Statement on people who are NOT in your target audience or who are not experts in marketing won’t bring you useful feedback. Well-meaning people who don’t understand what you’re doing may try to dissuade you from targeting and using specific language.

Okay, go forth and word-smith a compelling Core Message!

In the Next Episode: Custom Coaching Website Vs. DIY Template with Guest, Nichole Betterley, Chief Web Wiz

I’ll be interviewing Nichole Betterley https://npoweredsites.com, an ace web designer, the best I’ve found for coaches. We’ll talk about the real differences between DIY websites and custom professionally designed site. We’re biased for good reason.

Ep 43 – How to Brand Your Coaching Business

This episode is part of the Client Winning Coaching Website series.  

In the last episode, I detailed exactly what your website needs going for it to be a client-winning website — the type of site that helps you attract and enroll new clients.

Branding is the first thing people will see on your website and you want to leverage it by having it be on every page, plus anything else you create — a blog, a podcast, a business card, social profiles, letterhead. You get the picture.

What is a Coaching Business Brand?

It’s best known as your company name. You’ll have a logotype made for your brand. But branding goes deeper than that. It’s about the personality of your business.

Words are powerful!

When I first launched my coaching business, the brand I chose was Bubbling Well. That’s still my dba and what I use for the legal entity, copyright and other official things.

But, while the word is lovely, it only meant something to me. And it didn’t help my clients — who are coaches — to find me or understand how I can help them.

So in 2006, I changed my brand to Prosperous Coach, because helping coaches reach financial prosperity is my mission.

Branding a critical phase in your coaching business. It’s an opportunity to design a lasting brand that artfully describes your target audience and your coaching niche.

It’s best not to create your brand until you’ve chosen your target audience and designed your niche.

Every step leverages the next.

Here’s the secret … the narrower and more focused your brand, the easier it is to remember. 

Which of these brand grabs your attention most? And which do you think is most memorable?

Rhonda Hess Coaching
or
Bubbling Well
or
Prosperous Coach

You can tell that I felt the last one was most memorable. And indeed, it was somewhat magical when I made the shift how much easier it was to attract prospects who were ready to work with me.

3 Guidelines to Choose Your Brand

  1. It’s meaningful to your target audience.
  2. You love it!
  3. No one else has a similar brand / domain name.

The last point is more important than you might think because it’s better for everyone if your ideal clients don’t confuse your business with someone else’s. I know coaches who have received a “cease and desist” letter from someone who had the brand name first.

Brainstorm your brand while you’re online. Use a Google search first to see if your company name idea comes up that way. And if not, then use GoDaddy to see if the domain that matches your idea is available. If not, you’ll want to get more creative and unusual.

Let’s say you want the domain successfulmompreneurs.com and realize that someone has already registered it, DON’T simply choose a different suffix such as successfulmompreneurs.net. Similarly, if someone else has smartstartbiz.com, don’t opt for jumpstartbiz.com. In both cases your brand won’t stand out and you may lose clients to that other business.

Once you’ve landed on a good brand/domain, consider reserving not just the .com but also the .net, .biz, and .org.

Reserve the Domain For Your Own Name Too

Internet consultants recommend that you reserve your own name as well, even if it is not your company name. Your web designer can point the DNS servers of that domain to your brand domain. That way if someone can’t remember your brand name but they remember your name they can look it up and they will still arrive on your website.

3 Approaches to Choosing Your Coaching Business Brand

As with everything, there are several schools of thought about choosing a brand.

  1. Relevant to Your Audience

prosperouscoach.com

cultivatingresilientteens.com

impactfulleader.com

Audience oriented company names create a very memorable brand.

2. Relevant to the Top Problem You Solve or Your Niche

buildalifeafterloss.com

clientwinningwebsites.com

gracefuldivorcesolutions.com

yourbusinessunchained.com

These types of brands also help ideal clients find you online and reinforce the benefit of working with you.

3. Your Name

tonyrobbins.com

marieforleo.com

Names are not strong brands initially. It’s an approach best used if you’re already well known in your industry. For example you’ve written a popular book, do keynote talks or intend to do big events, press releases or use major media techniques like television.

Whatever approach you choose, go for a brand/company name that is:

  • 1 – 4 words max.
  • Easy to say and read. If you use foreign language or made up words, be certain the pronunciation is intuitive. For foreign language words, also be certain that you know what the word means, and it’s appropriate.

Leave the Words ‘Coach’ and ‘Coaching’ Off Your Brand

I recommend against using those words because it could work against you unless your target audience is coaches, which is the case with my business.

Hopefully you’ve listened to my episode called Why Coaching is a Hard Sell. . It’s true and one of the challenges we coaches face in enrolling new clients.

If you’re not targeting corporate clients, most people don’t know they want coaching so they won’t search for it or respond well to the word or concept.

Please know that I’m not implying coaching isn’t valuable. Of course it is! And it’s best not to wave it in people’s faces. It’s better for your messages, offers — everything you do — to be centered around solving a specific acute problem for a narrow group.

Once client’s enroll, coaching may be your primary tool to support them. But they don’t buy your tools, they invest in outcomes.

The Next Episode is: Craft a Compelling Benefit Statement for Your Coaching Business

Ep 42 – What Exactly Makes a Coaching Website Client Winning?

Hello coaches! Today we are doing something a little bit different … I’m going to take you on a journey.

And, this is really about how your website can work on your behalf to bring you clients and future clients and get people on your list so you can connect with them and build relationships of trust with them over the long term.

I’ve been talking about websites for a couple of episodes recently in a new series that I’m working on called Client Winning Coaching Websites. This is the third episode in this series.

If you haven’t heard the first two, I‘d recommend that you go back and listen. But after you listen to this one.

Okay, so today what we’re going to dive into is what is it that makes a coaching website client winning.

And remember last week I talked about how so many coaches are putting up what I call an online brochure, which is really not geared for attracting and enrolling coaching clients.

As a result, the website just kind of sits there and does nothing. And it’s frustrating because no doubt you spent money on it and time on it and invested a lot of your heart and soul into it too.

There is a totally different way to do a website and if you’re about to start your website, I hope you’ll listen really closely because it does begin with some really early things. One is choosing a viable target audience full of seekers and developing a really smart niche that’s going to help you stand out in the crowd.

But also there’s the mechanical thing which is to choose a website template that is actually geared towards enrolling clients for you and a lot of them are not. That online brochure type is not.

Imagine the Customer Journey Online

Now, take a couple of deep breaths, close your eyes and think about when you’ve been online and something has jumped out at you and hit the mark about what’s important to you .

You have clicked and gone to a website. Then, because of the experience that you had there on the website, you made a decision to sign up on a list for get a free download. Or, perhaps even taken a stronger action and actually invested money into a program of some sort.

That journey is called the customer journey.

Create a strategized customer journey like what I describe below for your website tailored to your target audience.

The easiest way I could think of to illustrate this for you was to talk to you about your own goals and objectives as a coach.

As human beings, when are on the Internet, we are mostly in a trance moving through this thick, very busy, loud, marketing-heavy environment. We very quickly make decisions about what we’re going to pay attention to and what we’re not going to pay attention to. 

It’s mere seconds. We pay attention to is something that has a high degree of relevance to us as individuals.

Your top challenges and goals are floating around in your head in the background all the time. Something that you’re struggling with, something that you are challenged by, something that you’d like to change, something that you’ve tried to do on your own but haven’t been able to.

You’re looking for help … maybe even consciously yet.

Relevance is What Grabs Attention Online

What we’re talking about here is relevance

You have a set of things that are top of mind for you as an individual and every other person out there on the Internet has a set of challenges, goals, things that they’re thinking about in the back of their mind all the time. 

How does that relate to your website?

Be sure that your website hits one of those high points, one of those relevancy points for your target audience. 

And you can see the problem here is that if you don’t have a narrow enough target audience — if you don’t know exactly what makes them tick

  • what keeps them up at night
  • what it is that they really, really want
  • what is an acute problem they most want solved

… then you’re going to have a hard time creating a website with an online customer journey that will enroll your ideal clients.

A Model of a Customer Journey Relevant to Coaches

I’m going to take you on my ideal client’s journey because it’s quite intimate to me and  you. I serve coaches and you are a coach so the customer journey that I’ve put together that connects to my website is relevant to you.

My hope is that by walking you through this, you’ll have a model. You’ll see what it is that you need to do with your own website, for your own target audience. 

Okay, so there you are. You’re a new coach who finished coach training or are just about to.

But so far your business really hasn’t taken off and there are set of things that you’re struggling with as it relates to your coaching business.

You want to be a successful coach and to make a difference in people’s lives. One of the struggles is this whole niche thing.

I still don’t have clarity about my coaching niche!

So what do you do when you’re online with that problem? Well, you might search for answers about coaching niches. Searches are one way that your clients might find you.

Searching online you’ve found some articles about coaching niches and you start to read them and you’ve kept your Google page open because you want to go back to options. Some of the articles are helpful and some of them are not. Some skim over the surface.

But then you come across something that is unique, that isn’t something you’ve heard everywhere else and it speaks to you.

You’re inspired so you go their website.

Here’s How to Create a Pre-Qualified Coaching Client on Your Website

To continue the journey where it becomes clear how to do this …

  1. The first thing you see is their brand (same as the name of their company and domain). and it speaks to you.
  2. And then right underneath that brand name, you see a core message or benefit statement. And what it says hits the mark about specifically what you want and what challenges you, so you’re inspired to read more.
  3. You scroll down and you read the highly relevant home page web copy. It’s short and hits specific words that you’ve been thinking and feeling.
  4. It’s pointing you towards a solution — a free downloadable guide all about how to figure out your coaching niche. And so without a thought you are putting in your name and email address and you are downloading that pdf.
  5. You’re inspired to immediately open it up and everything you see in that guide makes your heart sing because here is someone who gets you, someone who understands what it is that you’re trying to accomplish, they’ve done it themselves and they have a system.
  6. And you are so inspired by this point that when you read how the guide invites a free Discovery Session with this person you don’t hesitate to schedule it.
  7. And in the meantime, while you’re waiting for that discovery session to happen, you are back at that website bingeing on more relevant content.
  8. By the time you get to that Discovery Session you are pre-sold on hiring this person! So when they offer you an opportunity to work with them, you sign up

What I’ve just described is it customer journey. It’s a model for you and what you want to create for your ideal clients — a unique narrow audience.

Mindfully and Strategically Design Your Coaching Client’s Web Journey

Don’t throw up a website selling coaching. Instead, mindfully, strategically making every decision that influences what your website is going to look like, what the copy’s going to say, what your free offer  is that takes your ideal clients on a meaningful journey of building trust and getting pre-qualified to work with you. 

By the way, don’t just offer a Discovery Session as your freebie on your website!

It’s too early for that. It’s kind of like going on a first date with someone who brings their parents along. Too much too soon!

Build your customer journey from the ground up.

I know it’s not an easy thing to create this customer journey. I know it’s not an easy thing to choose your coaching niche to make sure that you have a viable target audience that’s full of seekers — people who will invest in your help to get exactly where they want to go.

Specificity is the Secret to Creating a Client-Winning Journey for Your Coaching Clients

It is specificity in all things that snaps our head to attention.

Going back to the coaching niche example, see how specific that is?

We need to find for you what is that burning issue that is common for your specific narrow target audience. The pain is so acute that when your ideal clients see words about that on the Internet, they snap to attention.

Examples of a Brand and Benefit Statement

Now, I promised you in this episode that I would explain to you what makes a client winning coaching website client winning. And in a way I just have but I’m going to go over it now instead of the customer journey where you’re a part of it.

First, it starts with choosing a brand name that is really specific to the outcome that you offer. Here is my brand:

Prosperous Coach

See how it fits my target audience?

I’ll go into more details about brand names in a future episode, but just know that that’s an overview. 

Your brand —which is the same thing as your company name and your domain mirrors that too — is the very first point of client attraction on your website. 

You want ideal coaching clients to arrive on your website and think: yeah, this is for me

Which brings me to the second point, which is what I call a core message and a lot of people call a benefit statement — it’s a sentence that describes in specifics how you help your target audience. 

My core message is:

Helping coaches earn more and market less

by choosing a profitable coaching niche they’ll love.

I’m naming two specific things coaches really want — to earn more and market less and a top of mind challenge for new coaches — to choose a profitable niche they’ll love.

It’s short and it’s power packed. It’s not just a tagline like — Go. Fight. Win! — it says more than that. In seconds it tells web visitors if they have arrived at a place they want to be and it inspires them to delve further into your website.

That core message is high up in your website  right on the header right there with your brand. 

On many coaches websites that I see, the header just has a quote on it or it has some pretty image, but it doesn’t really tell the person who is arrived on the website: I have arrived at the right place.

When you go to website, aren’t you pretty quick to judge whether this website is valuable to you or not? 

If not, you bounce off and you’re on to something else because the internet is a vast place and if you are not spoken to at the heart level about your specific challenges, then you’re gone off that site never to come back again.

Next, what goes right underneath the header is some client winning web copy and there are a lot of tricks to web copy. Don’t write a philosophical essay and hope that people are going to read it because people have very short attention spans.

We are a distracted population, especially when we’re online, especially when we’re on our phones.

We are so easily distracted away from what we’re doing that we very often don’t read more than a sentence before we move on

 So your web copy on your homepage needs to be short, punchy and get right to the point in a way that is emotionally evocative. It can’t be formal language. It can’t be long, deep paragraphs. Maybe … 250 words max.

Your home page copy is meant to get your target audience to your first conversion process, which is your opt in  — a free downloadable guide, loaded with value that they can’t get anywhere else.

Don’t create a freebie that’s coachey, because there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of those kinds of articles and free things out there already. 

Dig in and create a free offer that’s so specific to your target audience and niche while it solves a really unique problem they have while it pre-sells them on enrolling with you without being salesy.

I’m going to go into more detail about freebies later on down the road,

Once they download your freebie, you want them to read it. The copy needs to be short and punchy and really to the point. Pull their eyes through that downloadable freebie and deliver AHA’s quickly. Enlighten them, inspire them, open their eyes, get them thinking.

You want them to read it all the way to the end where you invite them to your Discovery Session

By the time they finish reading your guide they are so primed that they click the link takes them to your calendar.

But you know people are all different. Some people are not going to immediately read that downloadable freebie. So you also need to have set up a set of follow up emails constructed in a very strategic way. They’re short, but they’re connective, they’re emotionally evocative, and they point attention to specific passages or pages of your freebie.

Lastly, your Discovery Session is your opportunity to enroll them as a client. There’s a non-salesy, non-coachey way to enroll them that doesn’t send them away wholly satisfied as sample coaching sessions do.

If you are working on your website right now and there’s something holding you back from getting it done in a client winning way, reach out to me. Let’s have a strategy session.

In the Next Episode: How to Brand Your Coaching Business

Ep 41 – Some Coaching Websites Aren’t Set Up to Enroll Coaching Clients

Hello Coaches, this episode is the 2nd in a new series called Client Winning Coaching Websites.

Your website can help you attract and enroll clients IF … but only if … you create it and write copy in a specific way.

It requires quite a bit of strategy. I can help you with that.

In addition, it requires you or your web designer to choose a certain type of website template.

Not all web templates are set up for conversion. More about how conversion works in a minute.

The previous episode, which you can find at was about 3 things to do prior to creating your coaching website and meant to help you out especially if you’re about to create your website.

But it also can help you if you already have a website for your coaching business.

The main point to that previous episode was that, BEFORE you create your coaching website:

Bearing that episodes’ message in mind, today, I wanted to dig in a little deeper. Peel another layer off the website onion.

By the way, I was so excited to see that a record number of coaches listened to that episode. I’m honored. I think it struck a chord.

And I know how much you want to be successful in your coaching business. That’s my goal too for you!

Online Brochure Versus Client-Winning Coaching Website

Last week, a coach I recently met, launched his new website and asked a bunch of coaches, including me, to give him feedback. That was a brave thing to do.

As soon as I could, I checked out his site. What I saw was the kind of website I see most coaches put up at first. And, it’s what I did when I finished coach training school.

His site is what I’d call an online brochure-style website.

When the internet first became a place to do business, nearly every entrepreneur — consultants, coaches, other types of business owners — put up an online brochure.

At that time, online brochures were the trend … the way to do business.

But online brochures are not the best way to do business anymore.

The reason is that there is so much information online, so many websites and other types of marketing PLUS the internet has become a volatile place, meaning it’s changing rapidly.

And the competition online is fierce.

You Are Competing For Attention Online

You may think … but, Rhonda, I’m not trying to compete.

That’s what I thought when I launched my first website.

The truth is whenever you do anything online to attract clients — whether you put up a website, create and engage in social posts or put out a blog or podcast — you are competing … simply for attention.

So, in each of those cases, if you want to attract and enroll coaching clients, you need to be online in a strategic way.

An online brochure is NOT strategic in any way.

Bottom line, it’s not going to help you enroll paying clients.

What An Online Coaching Brochure Looks Like

Let’s talk about what a coach’s online brochure looks like. And while I’m doing this, I encourage you to pull up your own website and look it while I’m talking.

Or, if you can’t do that, listen to this episode again when you can.

A coach’s online brochure has 2 primary distinctions from what I call a client-winning website. That’s a website that is set up to attract and enroll clients for you. And it’s a beauty way to go.

In fact, over 50% of my clients find me through my website before I ever had a personal connection with them. They came to my website looking for answers I could give them and then were inspired to apply to work with me.

That means less work tracking down and enrolling clients the hard way.

Now, back to what an online brochure is.

1. It’s all about you, the coach, and coaching.

2. It’s missing a critical thing that client-winning coaching websites have, which is called a conversion process or a funnel.

You might of heard of that before. It’s an opt-in and an irresistible free downloadable gift that is crafted to build trust, deliver great value that you people find elsewhere and follow up emails that encourage next steps.

But that’s not the only kind of funnel or conversion process that you can have on your site. My website has 3. And that’s for another episode.

Is Your Coaching Website Set Up to Enroll Coaching Clients?

As you think about or look at your own website …

  • Is it primarily about you, the coach, and the type of coaching you offer?
  • Does your navigation bar, this is tabs on your site which might be HOME ABOUT CONTACT and something about what you do. It might say coaching or offers or work with me. That’s your navigation bar.
  • Also, are you offering a Discovery Session or sample coaching session as your only call to action on site?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any or all of these things, you’ve set your website up as an online brochure selling coaching and probably to a broad audience.

What’s wrong with that?

Absolutely nothing if your intention was to simply have an online brochure about your coaching where you can send people you’ve already met to verify that you are a professional. That’s the sole value of an online brochure.

But if your intention is to have a financially successful business with a website that attracts and enrolls clients for you, your current website isn’t set up for that.

Over the next few episodes I’ll go into what exactly makes a website client-winning. I’ll be talking about how you create smart conversion processes that are authentic and non-salesy.

What to Do If You Only Have an Online Brochure for Your Coaching Business

For now, if you’ve been wondering why your website is not helping you attract and enroll clients … it’s probably because the website template and your copy are set up that way.

And it can be fixed.

It’s part of a smart coaching business strategy.

Here’s the truth, strategizing wisely is not that easy to do by yourself.

Have you ever noticed that you can help others do what they couldn’t by themselves?

We are meant to live and grow as a village and have someone reflect our path back to us by uncovering our wisdom. And also in that village are people who have been where you want to go who can guide you and shorten your learning curves.

I know a ton about how to be successful as a coach, but even I have a hard time strategizing my own business and getting it to the next level without the support of someone who already has done what I’m trying to do.

So don’t beat yourself up if you’ve created a website that’s simply an online brochure.

Just reach out for help.

A Strategy Session is so helpful when you’re trying to accomplish something specific that you’ve never done before.

Here’s what one of my Strategy Session clients said about her strategy session with me:

“My strategy session with Rhonda was a real breakthrough in the process of finding my target audience. Not only do I have a new idea of whom I’d like to serve, but I also have a new sense of confidence that I’ll be able to reach them and provide an offering they will value.” 

— Kate Minogue, Switzerland

Thank you, Kate!

In your Strategy Session we’ll have 90 minutes of VIP mentoring together. Before we meet, I’ll send you some fun prep assignments customized to your specific challenge and goal so that we can make the most of our time together.

I have just 2 more openings for Strategy Sessions in August. And that’s it until later in September. Grab one of those openings so you’re set for the surge of energy that September always brings!

Let’s get you past that stuck place and taking leaps in your coaching business!

In the Next Episode: A Walk Through a Client-Winning Coaching Website

Stay tuned to this series because I’ll soon be interviewing the best website designer I’ve ever found for coaches. She’s smart, coach-like in her approach and knows her stuff.

Ep 40 – Do This Before You Create Your Coaching Website

This episode is part of a brand new series called Client Winning Coaching Websites.

This series is especially for new coaches who don’t have a website yet. I want to help you do it right the first time.

This series is also for you if you have a coaching website already and it’s not serving you well. No one is going to the website, signing up on your list or contacting you for a Discovery Session.

There are good reasons for that and I want to help you get your website working for you.

So be sure to stay tuned for each successive episode in this series because I’ll be going into details. And I truly believe you’ll have some big AHAs about how to improve your website.

This episode is about first steps to take before you create your coaching website.

  • Before you hire a designer.
  • Or before you decide to buy a Wix or Squarespace template and do it yourself. A dubious choice!
  • Or, before you ask your kid or your best friend’s cousin to slap up a website for you.

All tough choices especially if you do that BEFORE you make these critical 3 decisions about your coaching business.

First, I want you to know that I am not a web designer. But I am an international business mentor for coaches with 20 years of experience.

And, because I’m the TEACHER Archetype, I tend to learn from my mistakes by studying and creating step-by-step guides for others. So, after I launched my 4th website, which is a client generating website, I decided to pass on what I learned.

I created a step-by-step online training program called Client Winning Websites & Blogs for Coaches.

It was a comprehensive training that sold well for a long time.

But, the world of the Internet changes so fast. I took the program off the market because there are constant subtle shifts in how things work, in Google’s algorithms and in online trends.

I didn’t want to be updating that product every 6 months. I’d rather be helping coaches in Strategy Sessions and in my VIP 5 month Coaching Business Breakthrough program.

Every coach I work with, I help them write client-winning copy for their website and manage the web design process because my website and my client’s websites are proof that you can turn web visitors into clients if you create a friendly journey for your target audience on your site.

I realized recently, why not repurpose and upgrade the material in Client Winning Websites & Blogs for Coaches into bite-sized insights for Prosperous Coach Podcast.

So, over several weeks I’ll cover in great detail what makes for a client-winning coaching website and I’ll share some examples you can see online.

3 Steps to Take Before You Do Anything Else in Your Coaching Business

Today’s mini-episode is about 3 the things you should do before you create a coaching website so you don’t waste time and money.

And that’s always my aim— to help you create a financially successful and rewarding coaching business from the get go, rather than getting stuck blindly following the masses of coaches who don’t create a sustainable business. There’s no reason why you should know how to do this without support from someone who has taken the less traveled road and found an easier way.

Okay… let me tell you a story … and see if you see yourself anywhere in this.

About 1 – 3 times a week a new coach reaches out to me. They’ve been referred to my podcast by another coach — and I’m grateful for that — or done a search for “coaching niche” and so they end up strolling around my website and filling out the application on my Work with Rhonda page.

By the way that’s called a funnel or conversion process. More about that soon in another episode.

So the coach writes in their application that don’t know their coaching niche or target audience but they’re working on their website, creating ads and coaching programs.

And I think … bummer. In my minds eye I see them throwing time and money away on a blazing fire.

It’s an honest mistake. When you finish coach training there’s this emotional rush to get a website up, to start doing all the conventional things all coaches think are necessary to attract coaching clients.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the power of websites. My own website sends me a constant stream of ideal clients who are ready to enroll with me. That’s a client-winning website.

But, creating your website before you know who you’re serving and the problem you help them solve is like:

  • building a house on land you don’t own.
  • dressing up a manikin in finery when you’re wearing rags.
  • buying a car before you can see over the steering wheel.

Developmentally it’s better to wait until your coaching business has a solid foundation.

It’s not just the cart before the horse. There is no horse in sight. It’s a cart with square wheels mired in a swamp. It’s not going to go anywhere or do anything until it’s dismantled.

That’s what it’s like to put up a coaching website before you know WHO you serve and WHAT acute problem you help them solve.

I want you to know I made this mistake and not just once.

When I started as a coach in 1997, over the first 3 years I threw away so much money on 3 different websites. They were pretty websites with what I thought was interesting copy. I worked so hard on them.

But they were all duds. They sat there in cyberspace collecting dust. I only got hits from friends, family and myself.

Your website can be command central for your coaching business. And I do think unless you have a regional business that having a good website is critical if you want to be taken seriously. It can be an incredible tool if it’s created right. In an upcoming episode I’ll explain the distinct difference between an online coaching brochure and a client winning website.

If you’re about to create your coaching website or you have one now and it’s not serving you well, be sure to stay tuned for each successive episode.

This one is about first steps. Before you hire the designer. Or decide to buy a Wix or Squarespace template and do it yourself. Before you ask your kid or your best friend’s cousin to slap up a website for you, make critical decisions about your coaching business.

These are decisions about your future. They’re big decisions and doable. Making these decisions will help you have crystal clarity about your value as a professional coach.

What are those decisions and why are they important?

You know what I’m going to say. Step #1 is for you to choose a viable target audience to serve before you do anything else.

Viable is an audience full of seekers, people who do invest in their own personal and professional growth. That viable audience is easy to find and connect with. They are eager to evolve and it’s narrow enough group that you’ll stand out in a crowd.

And standing out in the crowd is a big part of what makes it possible to attract clients online. Think about it, if you’re just another voice in the crowd, no one ever listens.

And there’s another step to take before you slap up some copy about coaching. Market research. And it’s not what you think.

It’s not asking a bunch of people if they’ll pay for your coaching. It’s more subtle and scientific than that. It’s how you’ll learn exactly what your audience wants so much they’ll invest in your help to get it.

And knowing that is how you develop a smart coaching niche.

Then, you’re ready to create a brand and get a matching domain, to craft an attention getting core message and offers.

And finally, to write web copy that’s streamlined and resonates with your target audience.

What’s next then? Hiring a savvy web designer who knows how to code and how to make a customized website designed to convert visitors into fans and fans into clients.

Very few designers have all those skills. Most just know how to make a website look pretty.

Here’s the thing … the people you’re going to serve are at the center of your coaching business.

Their problems and goals are where YOU come in.

Transformative coaching can’t happen without the coachee — the person you’ll serve with your coaching.

You and all coaches love people and want to see them thrive. Your coaching website might be their first connection with you. So why would you build a coaching website before you know your target audience intimately?

Look, I get it. The target audience and coaching niche decision are hard. Why else would I get so many hits on my website from ideal clients about this topic. It’s not all I do to help my clients succeed but it is the first decision. And that decision becomes your true north. It’s how you’ll know what to do next and next.

If you’re struggling knowing who you audience is or how to make your coaching niche stand out in the crowd, let’s get that settled in a Strategy Session.

Or, if you’ve got a coaching website up and it’s doing nothing for you, let’s have a Strategy Session so I can review it with you and share step by step how you can transform it to be a client-winning website from now on.

In the Next Episode: Some Coaching Websites Aren’t Set Up to Enroll Coaching Clients

Ep 39 – How to Assess if a Potential Coaching Client Is a Good Fit for You

Hello coaches, this is my fourth mini episode for you on the topic of Client Management that started with Episode 34. It’s part of my series called Smart Mindsets & Habits.

You know, my husband and I have been getting our house ready for sale. Now we’ve got a fabulous buyer and it is time to pack. That’s why the mini episodes. And coaches have been loving them. Thank you for listening!

Today, we’re talking about how to assess whether a potential coaching client is right for you.

Primarily, fit is assessed during the Discovery call. That’s the Discovery Session, not a sample coaching session. There’s a difference.

That’s a time where you ask really powerful questions to draw out what’s going on with your potential client, what’s in their way of the thing that they want the most. And then, you establish how you can help them in your signature program to achieve that thing they want most.

Fit Starts With Your Coaching Niche

Fit partially depends on your target audience and coaching niche.

You know me, I’m always talking about having a target audience, a specific narrow target audience for your coaching business, learning from them what it is that they want so much they’ll invest in your help to get it.

And, then, develop your coaching niche around that and what you bring to the table regarding the outcome they most want that you’re going to help them get.

When you focus on your audience and niche, there’s a lot of power behind your messaging and your programs as everything is tailored to them. I believe in it as the most powerful way to become highly successful in your coaching business.

Why does assessing fit depend on your niche? Let me give you an example …

I help coaches build the foundation of their coaching business so they can launch with confidence and succeed financially.

My ideal clients are primed to develop their entrepreneurial business and to do the work of building that foundation together.

I ask coaches about the kind of support systems they have in place, what kind of time they have available to work on their business with me. If they don’t have enough time or support at home, if they’re not excited about being an entrepreneur, then they’re not a good fit work that I want to do with them.

You’ll develop your own way of assessing fit based on your niche.

Are They Coachable?

Another aspect of fit is about coach-ability. If you’re a coach and your client isn’t coachable, obviously that’s not going to be a really powerful transformational relationship.

There are a couple of things that you can do to assess coach-ability:

Their level of self awareness. Pay attention when they talk about their challenges, habits — things that are holding them back about what they want.

If someone is not self-aware, coaching may not be the best process for them.

Coaching works well for people who they essentially know that they are at choice. If you come across someone who seems to be blaming someone or something for their life challenges, that is an indication that they may not be coachable.

Also, what’s their attitude about paying for support? Some people are not seekers — the kind of people who are willing to invest time and money and energy into their own personal or professional transformation.

If you get to the point where you’re telling a potential client your fees and someone does not value what you’re offering for the fees that you’re asking, that’s a strong indication that you’re not the right fit for them.

Are they fully present for that discovery call? If they show up distracted, late or they miss it entirely, they might not be the best fit.

Detach From Outcome

Finally, if you are desperate to enroll a client, that is not going to set you up for a positive, powerful experience with this client.

Everyone has felt desperate to enroll a client at sometime. When you’re new to coaching there’s such a strong desire to prove you can do this that sometimes it speaks louder than your highest self.

Attachment will hold you back from enrolling ideal clients that pay you well.

That needy energy is like a bad smell that surrounds you turning your prospect off. Chances are they will feel it even if they don’t know what it is. It will unbalance the power differential between you and your prospect. And you’ll miss your opportunity to enroll a client.

I suggest to coaches I work with that before the Discovery call they open up their hands and surrender the need to have this client hire them.

Detaching from outcome sets you up for success. Without that desperation hanging around you, you’ll be able to hear your intuition more clearly about whether this prospective client is a good fit for you. Intuition is always the best guide.

If you’re struggling to get out of your own way with enrolling … I have a bit of room left in my August calendar for Strategy Sessions.

Consider grabbing time with me to help you to take a leap in mindset or one of these areas:

  • I want to choose a viable, narrow target audience.
  • I’d like guidance to conduct market research with my audience.
  • I want to choose a profitable niche and stand out in the crowd of coaches.
  • I’d like to create a signature program my audience will buy.
  • I’d like help to make my website client-winning.
  • I want to create an irresistible freebie and opt-in for my audience.

That’s just a sampling of bite-sized takeaways we could work on together to help you take a leap. I’d love to work with you!

In the Next Episode: Do This Before You Create Your Coaching Website