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 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 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

Ep 38 – Should You Send Gifts to Your Coaching Clients?

Hello coaches. I have been doing these mini episodes over the last couple of weeks on Client Management topics for the series called Smart Mindsets & Habits.

I’m getting some really positive comments about these mini’s!

Today’s topic is … should you send gifts to your coaching clients?

The first answer is that it’s totally up to you and you should always do what you feel is right. I think that every coach deserves the opportunity to try things out and see how they work for them. We’re not all the same.

That said, I’ll tell you that I have changed my tune about giving gifts to clients over the years.

When I first started my business, I got pretty precious about every aspect of my business. I bought all these beautiful little envelopes and cards and all sorts of paraphernalia with my coaching business logo on it. (That was the old fashioned thing that people said you should do and I bought into it.)

I would also send my clients birthday gifts and Christmas gifts. I put a lot of thought into them.

But over the years, I noticed that I wasn’t getting the reception that I really wanted to from giving those gifts. And I think that sometimes gifts are so personal. We all have such different tastes.

Giving a gift to a client can sometimes burden the client and burden the relationship. So my new thought about it is not to give gifts.

If you do give gifts, whether they are for birthdays or Christmas or a similar holiday, I would suggest that you keep them small and relatable and perhaps something that’s relatively generic, such as an Amazon gift card. That is unless you know for sure that a specific gift is going to land with your client.

For example, if a client mentions a book they want, just send it to them even if it’s not yet their birthday. Then you will have done them a great favor and they’ll feel that you listened to them.

I think that gifts that have your logo on it, such as a cup or a pen, come across a bit salesy and they might even do the reverse of what you want them to do.

Now there is a circumstance that I still give gifts that I feel really good about …

When a past client or a colleague refers a new client to me, someone who enrolls in my long term program, I like to respond in a personal way.

Recently one of my colleagues — a fellow trainer at coach Training Alliance, the place where I wrote curriculum — sent me a number of clients who all enrolled!

I called her and thanked her then said: “I want to treat you to something that you don’t normally treat yourself to.” She loves massage. So, I asked her who her massage therapist is and got his contact information. I called him and said: “I want to gift my friend with a number of sessions with you.”

I bought her four massages and sent her an email saying: “You’ve got four sessions waiting for you with your massage therapist.” She loved that gift.

Reward past clients for referrals. They feel special when it’s something personal that they really want.

Now, if you have something that you really want to put into the hands of your clients at a special time in their lives, then you should do that

These days, because I have so much expertise in helping coaches build a successful business, I have a lot of guides I’ve written that are primers. I like to gift those out to my clients throughout my signature program.

And because there’s a constant flow of extras coming to them, I think that there isn’t any expectation or real desire for any other kind of gift.

I hope you got value out of this mini episode!

The Next Episode is: How to Assess if a Potential Clients is a Good Fit for You

Ep 37 – 8 Powerful Coaching Questions to Ask Any Client Anytime

This mini episode is part of the Smart Mindsets & Habits series and a continuation of the Client Management Topic that started with Episode 34.

These are powerful questions that are standard in the coaches toolbox.

The right question can really help anyone zoom past obstacles and into a power zone of awareness and action on their own behalf.

That’s why questions are so valuable to coaches and in coaching.

So the first question unlocks a lot for your clients:

What do you want?

Well, sometimes people have a hard time answering this question, but with probing questions beneath it, you might be able to get them to it.

The second question is:

What’s holding you back?

As human beings, we do generally have a sense of this. We might be in denial about it, but we generally do know what we’re doing that’s either sabotaging ourselves or what we’re thinking, what we’re feeling that is lingering too long for us to be able to transform.

So what’s holding you back?

That question will cause your coaching client to go inside and really look at the truth with a capital T.

The third question is:

What is it costing you to continue holding back?

I don’t know if we normally as human beings think about what the costs are of our actions, of our thoughts, of our habits, but to ask someone that causes them to look at themselves from a place of self responsibility.

The fourth question is:

How could you show up differently?

Presumably you’re talking to them about a circumstance or a situation and this question allows them to wonder, Oh, I’m at choice here. How could I show up differently?

I remember this one time where I was going to be speaking in public at a pretty big event for coaches and I was just so nervous. I called my husband for support and he has asked me: How do you want to show up, Rhonda?

I paused and I thought about it. Well, I want to show up standing in my power, believing in myself and being open and vulnerable to my audience as well as delivering something that is actually valuable to them.

Those four answers just grounded me. They made me feel good again, made me feel ready again. And I realized that it was okay to be vulnerable with my audience. It’s okay that I was nervous and I didn’t have to try to obliterate that nervousness before getting on stage.

The fifth question is:

What is a new perspective that you could adopt right now?

Oftentimes when our coaching clients are telling us how they feel or what they think about something, it might be a gripe. It might be the raw feeling and there’s nothing wrong with that.

As a matter of fact, I invite my clients to share their raw feelings.

You can respond to that raw stuff with the question: What’s a new perspective you could adopt right now about that?

You’re inviting them to pick themselves up out of the situation and get a 30,000 foot view. Look at it from the other person’s point of view. Or from their highest self point of view.

The sixth question is:

What is the most meaningful action you could take right now?

So often when our clients are stuck, it’s because they’re unwilling to or afraid to take an action and when you put that word meaningful in front of action, it helps them think differently.

Meaningful to them could be journaling. Or it could be having a conversation with you or someone else. Meaningful to them could be deciding not to do it at all and to take a different direction.

The seventh question is:

What new habits will you put in place right now?

Habits are amazingly powerful in our lives and in the lives of our clients.

We all have bad habits. If you take any aspect of our lives on the life wheel, we’ve got bad habits in those areas, whether it be finances, or how we behave at work … how we feed or exercise ourselves.

We all have habits that can be improved and habits are amazingly powerful if we put the right ones in place.

That’s partially why I’m talking to you about client management because these are habits that we can have in place with our prospects and our clients.

 And the last question, number eight is:

What new skills or support systems will ensure your success?

We want to teach our clients and ourselves to realize that sometimes we have to learn something new or go get help in order to ensure our success.

I always ask my prospects about their support systems. I want to know do they have a family? Do they have a partner? Is that partner supportive of them building a coaching business? Do they have childcare? Do they have ways that they’re going to be able to segment parts of their day to work on their business?

With your own target audience around the niche you have, the ultimate outcome you’re going to help them achieve —be sure they have support systems in place and not just you. You don’t want all of the help and succor to be on your shoulders.

Going back to the skills too, of course everyone who is undertaking something new or trying to do something big.

Hopefully, you’re helping your clients achieve something big to get past or solve a big problem they have or to achieve a huge goal they have. Because if you’re doing that with your clients you may not be able to earn enough as a coach

New skills might something like developing a stronger intuition. It might be developing greater awareness of themselves, of their body, of what their mind or emotions is telling them. Or it could be something really nuts and boltsy such as taking training in order to succeed.

These questions are useful for coaches, for nearly any client at any time, so I hope you use them for your success!

The Next Episode is: Should You Give Gifts To Your Coaching Clients?

Ep 36 – Ten Big Questions for Intake with Your New Coaching Clients

This episode is part of the Smart Mindsets and Habits series. And it’s a continuation from Episode 34 about client management systems.

This questionnaire I’m about to take you through is one piece of a good client management system.

This episode and the next 3 will be mini episodes because I’m moving house! So you’ll get a bitesized idea in a short time. I hope you find them valuable.

By the way, Prosperous Coach Podcast just passed 10,000 downloads! That’s one sign among many that these episodes are landing well with coaches. Thank you for listening and sharing this with other coaches! We are growing a community.

If you’d like to be part of that community, join us in the Prosperous Coach Club on Facebook

Questions are the life blood of what we do with clients. Open ended questions are so powerful that a single one can evoke a positive shift.

It makes sense that the coaching client intake would include powerful open-ended questions!

Here are the 10 questions I have in one document of my intake packet:

  1. What are your strongest beliefs about yourself?
  2. What are your strongest beliefs about the world?
  3. What wisdom has come out of your greatest life lessons?
  4. When in your life have you felt the most generative?
  5. What does prosperity mean to you?
  6. How do you define your success?
  7. What is your BIG WHY for creating an ongoing business?
  8. How might you sabotage your own success?
  9. What do you want me to do if I notice sabotaging behavior?
  10. How can I best empower you?

The Next Episode is: 8 Powerful Questions to Ask Coaching Clients Anytime