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 …
- The first thing you see is their brand (same as the name of their company and domain). and it speaks to you.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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, I’ll go into deeper information about how you choose and develop your coaching business’s brand and domain.