Over the years I have seen many students create a coaching website. I do think, the best way to get a successful coaching business is by getting out there, do great work, and get referrals!
As far as websites go…some great websites emerged, some that needed improvements. Part of starting a serious business is investing. Very few businesses get off the ground, without any serious investment otherwise it would be a hobby. This is what sets apart someone who starts a coaching BUSINESS versus being a coaching friend or having a coaching hobby. It shocks me that new coaches often are willing to invest in a lot of things, but a professional website isn’t one of them. Just because websites according to some people can be done for free, or by the 15 year old kid next door. An important thing to realize is, your website is your store front. And in that pivotal in building a successful business. Just because my 6 year old niece can draw a nice looking advertisement, doesn’t mean I should let her run my marketing campaign.
Here are 10 tips to create a great coaching website, that sells.
1. Get your own URL/domain. http://www.yourcoachingcompanywhatever.com, instead of http://www.freewebsite.com/yourcoachingcompanywhatever.html
2. No advertisements from third parties, example “This website is hosted and powered for free by….freehosting.com.” Banner advertisements, are definitely not done. This just screams a commitment to only be willing to pay for a….free website to attract customers. Don’t sell MLM products either. Are you a professional successful coach? Or do you need to supplement your so so running coaching practice with selling products?
3. Stop using stock photography, these are photos from online databases like istockphoto.com. These photographs are often used by many other people. If you research coaching websites you are bound to come across: zen stones, man cheering on top of a mountain, yoga pose, drop in water and ripple effect, people sitting in suits around a table, signs pointing in different motivational directions, open door into a green field, a green traffic light, a row of people smiling and jumping, woman on green forest like background with green dress putting her arms back. You don’t need an expensive graphic designer. You are better off playing around with iPhone instagram and take some cool shots. Or ask a friend to take some pictures for you. What about a barter?
4. Stay grounded, be truthful, don’t give too many promises that sound over the top. If you feel like you sound like a home shopping network infomercial writing your website, chances are your reader feels the same.
5. Offer information, or even inspire rather than sell. Be personal and connect! Be specific and clear, no matter how well you can persuade with being vague (using the Milton Model.) A website needs to give a person a feeling. Ask yourself the question, what feeling are you conveying with your website?
6. Testimonials can be found on nearly every coaching website, so people tend to not take them seriously. However, a video testimonial that doesn’t sound too forced, will work much better. Don’t put videos on your website of yourself, unless they are professional and not too cheesy. And again, don’t sound like an informercial or those sad TV advertisements that law offices and car dealers make.
7. Don’t be the jack of all trades, rather be an expert!
8. Transparency and honesty. I think mentioning your rates, are a good thing. Consider this! Be careful with discounts and offering things for free. Would you go to a free dentist?
9. Don’t go live with your website, unless all pages are finished and it looks great. An “under construction” sign or a “coming soon” looks like a starting business.
10. You will not get a client booking a 10 coaching session package at $1200+, through a website that looks like it is worth less than that. Ironically between having a reliable hosting service (one that doesn’t get hacked), a domain, a professionally designed website, professionally designed logo + branding, search engine optimized to a degree is actually about $1200 USD if done really well. Especially if you consider the hours that you will be writing the content, and polishing it. You will have the website for many years to come, attracting business! It can be done with great quality for maybe half than that without a logo, but only pay that with a web designer who you got through referral and who’s work you observed! There are a lot of bad people out there, who not only give you a poor website, but stick you on a questionable hosting account, or get you no where or in trouble with google.
More tips to a create a coaching website coming soon.