I have a question for you.
What is your website DOING for your business?
I’m asking because, if your website isn’t bringing you clients or building your list, then I’m sorry to tell you this but you’ve probably wasted your money. Every week I see beautiful-looking coaching websites that have cost their owner a small fortune but aren’t achieving either of these things and it frustrates me!
Let me share something. My website pays its way. I get a GREAT return on my investment.
- It builds my credibility
- It helps me get found in Google searches
- It’s a place where my clients can find loads of free help and advice
- It gathers leads for me – lots of leads, every day
- It builds trust with my web visitors
- It adds value for my readers
- It drives sales
- It brings me money
If not, don’t worry because I’ve put together a list of 19 things that will help you to make the most of your website and get it working for you the way that mine works for me.
Here are 19 things it would be REALLY useful to have on your coaching business website (if it’s going to build your business and make you money)
1. Your personality, shining through
Yes I know it sounds simple but do you KNOW how many coaching websites I look at each week? Loads is the answer and do you know how many stand out and are memorable? Hardly any at all. Most are samey and sterile. They use the same old stock images. They look the same as each other. They say the same things in the same words. Booooooooring!
Do you know what your best selling point is in your business? It’s YOU. You are the differentiator. You are unique. You are what sets you apart from every other coach, even those in the same field. So BE YOU on your website. Talk from the heart. Use personal stories and experiences. Write as though you are talking to a friend. Ditch the ‘professional’ language and explain why you are the perfect solution for your super-clients. Share successes and breakthroughs. Be you, loud and proud.
2. What you do and for whom
DON’T just list your services – people aren’t interested in what services you provide. No, stop arguing with me, I know what I’m talking about, I promise! It’s all about them. People want to know what you can DO FOR THEM. They want to know how you are going to make them feel. They want to know what problems you are going to solve for them and how their life will be better, as a result. They want to know the outcomes, not the processes. So make it really clear who you work with, who your Super Clients are and then tell THESE people what you will do for them and why they should care.
Blogs are a biggie on any coaching website. They add value for your visitors, especially if you are really clear on your Super Clients and write specifically for them, addressing their challenges and solving their problems. Blogs are brilliant for getting your site found on Google because the search engines LOVE new, regularly-added content and a blog is the simplest way to achieve this. Every new blog you write gives the search engines more to choose from when they are picking which sites appear in searches. Weekly or monthly blogs on your expert topics allow you to showcase your expertise, add value for your website visitors and build relationships with your readers. Every blog you write has the potential to turn into LOADS of other things, from social media posts to e-books (even more reason to get blogging right now!)
You need to bridge a big gap from stranger to trusted coach before people will buy from you and adding videos to your website is the quickest and easiest way to do this – it allows people to see and hear you, to learn from you and see whether they think you’re a good fit. A video will act as a magnet and a filter – it will attract the people who ‘get’ you and love what you are saying and will filter out anyone who doesn’t feel you’re right for them. Think about including a little ‘my story’ video on the about page if your story brought you to coaching, or how about a couple of mini help videos or classes, under 5 minutes long where you give people a valuable snippet of what you do – after all if they like your free stuff, they are going to LOVE your paid stuff.
5. Sign up box on your front page
If you don’t collect email addresses then you are losing out on every person who visits your site and doesn’t buy right away and that’s a waste! There are loads of reasons why people might not buy on their first visit to your site – it wasn’t the right time, they were just researching, they needed to speak to someone else about it, they got distracted, plus a whole load of other possible reasons. That doesn’t mean they WON’T buy. It just means they weren’t ready at that point, so what you need to do is create an easy way to figure out if they are a good fit for you and if they are, then give them a reason to sign up and hear from you.
Encourage them to hand over their email address using a great offer that really speaks to your Super Customer but not really to anyone else (because you only want to attract the RIGHT people onto your list, not just random people) and then you can start to build a relationship with them. Getting them onto your list means you can send regular value-packed e-newsletters and (occasional) amazing offers that will keep you top of mind and show your subscribers why they need to read your emails. Adding a sign up box is easy peasy with Mailchimp or any of the major email software packages.
6. Irresistible Freebie
Once you have your sign up box, you need that tempting offer I mentioned in point 5 to encourage people to hand over their email address. This can be a cheat sheet, a short video, a guide or e-book – anything your Super Clients will love (don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of it). You can use Canva.com to create quick and easy great-looking freebies that you can download as a PDF and deliver using your email software.
7. Contact details
You want people to be able to get in touch with you, so make it easy for them. It’s helpful if you let them know where in the world you are, if you offer local sessions but you don’t need to put email address on there (which will be picked up by the spammers in a matter of days)…Instead, you can use a contact form Most websites let you do this as a standard feature or your web person can set one up very easily. This will let people contact you and will forward enquiries to your email. It’s also helpful if you can manage people’s expectations and let them know when they are likely to hear from you. You could say ‘we respond to emails within one working day’ or ‘we will get back to you during our working hours (9-5 Monday to Friday)’ or whatever works for you. That way enquirers won’t expect an immediate response and if you do happen to get back to them sooner than expected, that’s a bonus!
8. Good quality images
Don’t use the same old stock images ‘woman looking thoughtful’, ‘woman staring at ocean’, ‘woman at laptop’ – make a bit of effort! You want your website to SPEAK to your Super Clients and be memorable and if it looks the same as every other site out there it’s not going to do either. Think about a style that reflects YOU. Don’t always go for free images – a better, less over-used image might only cost a few pounds but will set you apart. A professional photographer could spend half a day with you and take LOADS of photos that are yours, to love and keep and use. It won’t be as cheap as buying images off the internet but really, what’s it worth to you to have a beautifully branded, unique site that will look amazing and professional, but not samey? Also, think about getting illustrations done – they don’t have to be expensive but they can really stand out in a crowded market place. Fiverr.com is a brilliant place to start. We’ll talk about photos of YOU shortly…
9. Client testimonials
If you have happy clients and are getting great results, SHOUT ABOUT IT! When people visit your website they want to know what you can DO for them, what results you can bring and how you can make them feel. Now you can tell them but imagine how much more compelling it is if your CLIENTS tell them. Ask your clients for testimonials and be really specific about the sort of details you would like them to include and then USE them. Have a ‘success stories’ page or a ‘testimonials’ page or ‘what people are saying’ page. Testimonials are what we call social proof – they are a third party saying that you do what you say you do, and that’s worth a LOT
10. Good bio
You must include a biography (or bio) on your coaching website to show people, quickly and concisely who you are and what you have achieved.
This can feel quite uncomfortable to write, but put yourself in the mind of your website visitors and think about how you would sum up YOU. In my case I say I’m a mum of one, I give a brief history of my career to date (literally a sentence or two) and then I talk about my biggest achievements! This is your chance to shine and connect, so be yourself. Don’t list all 27 of your qualifications – if you MUST list them, just do the top few most important qualifications and maybe create a PDF where you list all of them that people can download if they really want to. Think about places you’ve been featured in the press, any events you have spoken at, anything that adds credibility and shows you’re not just any old coach.
11. Sign ups on bottom of blogs
In addition to your front page sign-up box I mentioned in point 5, it’s also a REALLY good idea to add a sign up box to the bottom of each blog. Why? Because hopefully you’ll be sharing your blog on social media and people will be following your links back to read your individual blog posts, bypassing the front page. That’s a lost opportunity so make sure you add a link to your irresistible freebie onto the bottom of each blog to capture those visitors who never see the front page – you can use JotForm (free) or Magic Action box (paid) for this.
12. Photos of you
Yes, I know you don’t like getting your photo taken. Yes, I know you’d like to lose weight/grow your hair/get a new wardrobe first – just stop it! You are gorgeous as you are and your Super Client website visitors don’t CARE if you’re not a super model, in fact they are relieved you’re not, and that you’re a real person like them. You NEED photos of you on your site. With coaching, people are buying YOU either in person or remotely via online programmes and you have to show them who you are (remember, YOU are your USP). Invest in getting some nice photos done – yes get your hair done and look your best but don’t wait, just book in and get them done asap. And instead of getting just the usual head/shoulders shot, why not have you being yourself? Don’t be boring. Be you. Let your personality shine through!
13. Social sharing buttons
Some of my blogs have got over 1000 shares on social media and guess what, if I didn’t have social sharing buttons that would never have happened. Over 1000 people shared them on their social media accounts, so just imagine how many MORE people saw them? I’m thinking it could be squillions! You NEED to add social sharing buttons to your blog. My blog and site are on WordPress (if you’re not then you need to seriously consider it) and you can get lots of social sharing plugins to add buttons to each blog. Google ‘social sharing plugin’ and go for those with the best reviews and ratings. If you’re not on WordPress then ask your web person if they can add social sharing buttons. Every blog shared is another chance to reach new Super Clients and another chance to build your list if you have a signup box on the bottom of each blog, as I mentioned in point 11.
14. Credibility strip
A credibility strip is a little strip on your website where you have the logos of all the publications/websites/media where you’ve been featured. Remember I talked about social proof in relation to testimonials? Well, a credibility strip is an other example of social proof – it’s a third party endorsement because you’ve been featured in the media. My credibility strip includes Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Ireland AM, Huffington Post, Essentials Magazine and Closer Magazine to name just a few. Do you think this helps my credibility and helps people to trust my content? Of course it does, it helps a lot and that’s why you need one too. Even if you’ve only been featured in your local press, it matters! Start to be strategic and think about what you’d LOVE to have on your credibility strip and how you can make that happen! PS ONLY EVER put logos on your credibility strip if you have actually been featured there – fibbing lacks integrity, is bad form and will come back and bite you!
15. Media page
If you DO want to build your credibility strip then you need to start getting featured places! This means you need to proactively seek PR opportunities and then do your best to show you’re just what that paper or magazine needs. Add a media page to your website showing your core areas of expertise and where you have been featured before because if you DO approach journalists, they are going to do some research on you. If you can make it easy for them, show them where you’ve had articles featured, any books you’ve written, where you’ve been an online expert or who you’ve done speaking gigs for it makes their decision easier. Link to any guest content or articles you’ve written so they can get a feel for your style and see if it works for them and their audience.
16. Easy path to buying
Look at your website. Are you making it easy for people to get in touch? Work with you? Enquire? Buy? Really? How many pages do they need to click through? How many hoops do they have to jump through. Why not ask someone else to look at your site with fresh eyes (ideally someone who is as close to a Super Client profile as possible) and see what they make of it. The more hoops and hurdles you put in place, the less likely someone is to stick with it and sign up for your freebie, fill out your enquiry form or buy that product.
17. Facebook likes box
If you have a business Facebook page it’s a great idea to embed a Facebook likes box into the front page of your site because it gives people another way to connect and engage with you. Tell them that you share loads of tips and advice on your page and to come on over and say hi. The more ways you can connect and engage, the quicker your visitors will get to know, like and trust you, and the quicker they will buy if you are right for them. Embedding a FB likes box is as simple as including a bit of code on your site – if you can’t do it then your web person will be able to sort it easily for you.
18. A clear call to action
What ONE thing do you want people to do when they are on your site? On my site I want them to join my mailing list or buy something. I give them tons of great value, high quality free marketing resources while they are there but really, I want to be able to keep in touch with them once they’ve left the site so the minimum I want them to do is sign up for my irresistible freebie, or one of my tailored list-builders like the one on the bottom of this blog.
19. Something unexpected your Super Clients will love
Instead of the same old stuff everyone else is sharing, why not think about sharing something that will surprise and delight them? Share your favourite energy-boosting smoothie recipe, a list of your favourite books, your best productivity tip – something that they can’t get anywhere else and that makes them feel that you’re opening up and sharing part of your life.
You don’t need to have all these on your site right now, but you do need to get them on there at some point. Some are really quick and easy. Others like photos of you or a great irresistible freebie might take a little planning but put them on the list and give yourself a deadline.
If you have all 19 of these elements in place your website will magically turn into a brilliant marketing and sales tool that builds your list, drives enquiries and brings you new Super Clients while you’re busy doing other things. What’s not to love?
Let me know if you have any more to add to the list. What really works on YOUR site?
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Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.